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Sample records for selective morphologic alterations

  1. Geranylgeranylacetone selectively binds to the HSP70 of Helicobacter pylori and alters its coccoid morphology

    PubMed Central

    Grave, Ewa; Yokota, Shin-ichi; Yamamoto, Soh; Tamura, Arisa; Ohtaki-Mizoguchi, Takako; Yokota, Kenji; Oguma, Keiji; Fujiwara, Kazuhiko; Ogawa, Nobuaki; Okamoto, Tomoya; Otaka, Michiro; Itoh, Hideaki

    2015-01-01

    Geranylgeranylacetone (GGA) is used to treat patients suffering from peptic ulcers and gastritis. We examined the effect of GGA on Helicobacter pylori, which is a causative factor of gastrointestinal diseases. Previously, we have reported that GGA binds specifically to the molecular chaperone HSP70. In this paper, we report that GGA bounds to H. pylori HSP70 (product of the DnaK gene) with 26-times higher affinity than to human HSP70, and induced large conformational changes as observed from surface plasmon resonance and circular dichroism. Binding of GGA suppressed the activity of the H. pylori chaperone. GGA also altered several characteristics of H. pylori cells. GGA-treated cells elicited enhanced interleukin-8 production by gastric cancer cell lines and potentiated susceptibility to complement as compared to untreated cells. GGA also caused morphological alterations in H. pylori as reflected in fewer coccoid-like cells, suggesting that GGA converts H. pylori to an actively dividing, spiral state (vegetative form) from a non-growing, coccoid state. This morphological conversion by GGA resulted in accelerated growth of H. pylori. These results suggest a model in which GGA sensitizes H. pylori to antibiotic treatment by converting the cells to an actively growing state. PMID:26345206

  2. Evolution of vertebrate mechanosensory hair cells and inner ears: toward identifying stimuli that select mutation driven altered morphologies

    PubMed Central

    Fritzsch, Bernd; Straka, Hans

    2014-01-01

    Among the major distance senses of vertebrates, the ear is unique in its complex morphological changes during evolution. Conceivably, these changes enable the ear to adapt toward sensing various physically well-characterized stimuli. This review develops a scenario that integrates sensory cell with organ evolution. We propose that molecular and cellular evolution of the vertebrate hair cells occurred prior to the formation of the vertebrate ear. We previously proposed that the genes driving hair cell differentiation, were aggregated in the otic region through developmental re-patterning that generated a unique vertebrate embryonic structure, the otic placode. In agreement with the presence of graviceptive receptors in many vertebrate outgroups, it is likely that the vertebrate ear originally functioned as a simple gravity-sensing organ. Based on the rare occurrence of angular acceleration receptors in vertebrate outgroups, we further propose that the canal system evolved with a more sophisticated ear morphogenesis. This evolving morphogenesis obviously turned the initial otocyst into a complex set of canals and recesses, harboring multiple sensory epithelia each adapted to the acquisition of a specific aspect of a given physical stimulus. As support for this evolutionary progression, we provide several details of the molecular basis of ear development. PMID:24281353

  3. Comparative study of the effect of BPA and its selected analogues on hemoglobin oxidation, morphological alterations and hemolytic changes in human erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Maćczak, Aneta; Bukowska, Bożena; Michałowicz, Jaromir

    2015-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) has been shown to provoke many deleterious impacts on human health, and thus it is now successively substituted by BPA analogues, whose effects have been poorly investigated. Up to now, only one study has been realized to assess the effect of BPA on human erythrocytes, which showed its significant hemolytic and oxidative potential. Moreover, no study has been conducted to evaluate the effect of BPA analogues on red blood cells. The purpose of the present study was to compare the impact of BPA and its selected analogues such as bisphenol F (BPF), bisphenol S (BPS) and bisphenol AF (BPAF) on hemolytic and morphological changes and hemoglobin oxidation (methemoglobin formation) of human erythrocytes. The erythrocytes were incubated with different bisphenols concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 500μg/ml for 1, 4 and 24h. The compounds examined caused hemolysis in human erythrocytes with BPAF exhibiting the strongest effect. All bisphenols examined caused methemoglobin formation with BPA inducing the strongest oxidative potential. Flow cytometry analysis showed that all bisphenols (excluding BPS) induced significant changes in erythrocytes size. Changes in red blood cells shape were conducted using phase contrast microscopy. It was noticed that BPA and BPAF induced echinocytosis, BPF caused stomatocytosis, while BPS did not provoke significant changes in shape of red blood cells. Generally, the results showed that BPS, which is the main substituent of bisphenol A in polymers and thermal paper production, exhibited significantly lower disturbance of erythrocyte functions than BPA. PMID:26232583

  4. Electrochemical selection and characterization of a high current-generating Shewanella oneidensis mutant with altered cell-surface morphology and biofilm-related gene expression

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 exhibits extracellular electron transfer (EET) activity that is influenced by various cellular components, including outer-membrane cytochromes, cell-surface polysaccharides (CPS), and regulatory proteins. Here, a random transposon-insertion mutant library of S. oneidensis MR-1 was screened after extended cultivation in electrochemical cells (ECs) with a working electrode poised at +0.2 V (vs. Ag/AgCl) to isolate mutants that adapted to electrode-respiring conditions and identify as-yet-unknown EET-related factors. Results Several mutants isolated from the enrichment culture exhibited rough morphology and extraordinarily large colonies on agar plates compared to wild-type MR-1. One of the isolated mutants, designated strain EC-2, produced 90% higher electric current than wild-type MR-1 in ECs and was found to have a transposon inserted in the SO_1860 (uvrY) gene, which encodes a DNA-binding response regulator of the BarA/UvrY two-component regulatory system. However, an in-frame deletion mutant of SO_1860 (∆SO_1860) did not exhibit a similar level of current generation as that of EC-2, suggesting that the enhanced current-generating capability of EC-2 was not simply due to the disruption of SO_1860. In both EC-2 and ∆SO_1860, the transcription of genes related to CPS synthesis was decreased compared to wild-type MR-1, suggesting that CPS negatively affects current generation. In addition, transcriptome analyses revealed that a number of genes, including those involved in biofilm formation, were differentially expressed in EC-2 compared to those in ∆SO_1860. Conclusions The present results indicate that the altered expression of the genes related to CPS biosynthesis and biofilm formation is associated with the distinct morphotype and high current-generating capability of strain EC-2, suggesting an important role of these genes in determining the EET activity of S. oneidensis. PMID:25028134

  5. Antiherbivore defenses alter natural selection on plant reproductive traits.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Ken A; Johnson, Marc T J

    2016-04-01

    While many studies demonstrate that herbivores alter selection on plant reproductive traits, little is known about whether antiherbivore defenses affect selection on these traits. We hypothesized that antiherbivore defenses could alter selection on reproductive traits by altering trait expression through allocation trade-offs, or by altering interactions with mutualists and/or antagonists. To test our hypothesis, we used white clover, Trifolium repens, which has a Mendelian polymorphism for the production of hydrogen cyanide-a potent antiherbivore defense. We conducted a common garden experiment with 185 clonal families of T. repens that included cyanogenic and acyanogenic genotypes. We quantified resistance to herbivores, and selection on six floral traits and phenology via male and female fitness. Cyanogenesis reduced herbivory but did not alter the expression of reproductive traits through allocation trade-offs. However, the presence of cyanogenic defenses altered natural selection on petal morphology and the number of flowers within inflorescences via female fitness. Herbivory influenced selection on flowers and phenology via female fitness independently of cyanogenesis. Our results demonstrate that both herbivory and antiherbivore defenses alter natural selection on plant reproductive traits. We discuss the significance of these results for understanding how antiherbivore defenses interact with herbivores and pollinators to shape floral evolution. PMID:26940904

  6. Astragalar Morphology of Selected Giraffidae.

    PubMed

    Solounias, Nikos; Danowitz, Melinda

    2016-01-01

    The artiodactyl astragalus has been modified to exhibit two trochleae, creating a double pullied structure allowing for significant dorso-plantar motion, and limited mediolateral motion. The astragalus structure is partly influenced by environmental substrates, and correspondingly, morphometric studies can yield paleohabitat information. The present study establishes terminology and describes detailed morphological features on giraffid astragali. Each giraffid astragalus exhibits a unique combination of anatomical characteristics. The giraffid astragalar morphologies reinforce previously established phylogenetic relationships. We find that the enlargement of the navicular head is a feature shared by all giraffids, and that the primitive giraffids possess exceptionally tall astragalar heads in relation to the total astragalar height. The sivatheres and the okapi share a reduced notch on the lateral edge of the astragalus. We find that Samotherium is more primitive in astragalar morphologies than Palaeotragus, which is reinforced by tooth characteristics and ossicone position. Diagnostic anatomical characters on the astragalus allow for giraffid species identifications and a better understanding of Giraffidae. PMID:27028515

  7. Astragalar Morphology of Selected Giraffidae

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The artiodactyl astragalus has been modified to exhibit two trochleae, creating a double pullied structure allowing for significant dorso-plantar motion, and limited mediolateral motion. The astragalus structure is partly influenced by environmental substrates, and correspondingly, morphometric studies can yield paleohabitat information. The present study establishes terminology and describes detailed morphological features on giraffid astragali. Each giraffid astragalus exhibits a unique combination of anatomical characteristics. The giraffid astragalar morphologies reinforce previously established phylogenetic relationships. We find that the enlargement of the navicular head is a feature shared by all giraffids, and that the primitive giraffids possess exceptionally tall astragalar heads in relation to the total astragalar height. The sivatheres and the okapi share a reduced notch on the lateral edge of the astragalus. We find that Samotherium is more primitive in astragalar morphologies than Palaeotragus, which is reinforced by tooth characteristics and ossicone position. Diagnostic anatomical characters on the astragalus allow for giraffid species identifications and a better understanding of Giraffidae. PMID:27028515

  8. Metronidazole-induced alterations in murine spermatozoa morphology.

    PubMed

    Mudry, Marta D; Palermo, Ana M; Merani, María S; Carballo, Marta A

    2007-02-01

    The aim of this work was to assess the effect of metronidazole (MTZ) on the stages of the seminiferous epithelial cycle and spermatozoa morphology when the drug is administered in human therapeutic doses to 60-day-old CFW male mice. The frequency of the stages was established by counting spermatocytes in pachytene and spermatids. Abnormalities in the flagellum or the head, lack of maturity and multiple malformations, were considered in the morphological analysis. Murine control strain was compared with MTZ treated group (v.ip 130 mg/kg/bw) both kept in standard captivity conditions. Cellular composition or number of stages in the seminiferous tubules were not altered in MTZ exposed animals, though the number of cells in stages I, V and XII was increased. The sperm cell morphology was severely affected by the treatment with potentially serious consequences on the normal fertilization process. Thus, the MTZ has to be considered as a conceivable thread regarding male fertility. PMID:17184970

  9. Functional alterations in macrophages after hypoxia selection.

    PubMed

    Degrossoli, Adriana; Giorgio, Selma

    2007-01-01

    Regions of low oxygen tension are common features of inflamed and infected tissues and provide physiologic selective pressure for the expansion of cells with enhanced hypoxia tolerance. The aim of this study was to investigate whether macrophages resistant to death induced by hypoxia were accompanied by functional alterations. A mouse macrophage cell line (J774 cells) was used to obtain subpopulations of death-resistant macrophages induced by long-term exposure to severe hypoxia (<1% O(2)). The results indicated that exposing J774 macrophages to periods of severe hypoxia results in the selection of cells with phenotypes associated with the modulation of heat-shock protein 70 kDa (HSP70) expression, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and nitric oxide (NO) production and reduced susceptibility to parasite Leishmania infection. Thus, we suggest that hypoxia-selected macrophages may influence the outcome of inflammation and infection. PMID:17202589

  10. Unusual Morphological Alteration in Sigmoid Notch: An Insight Through CBCT.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Anjali; Kant, Sanchita; Phulambrikar, Tushar; Kode, Manasi; Singh, Siddharth Kumar

    2015-12-01

    The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is a ginglymo-diarthrodial joint known to be the most complex joint in human body. Growth disturbances, owing to genetic influences or trauma during the intrauterine life or during early developmental age may lead to morphological and functional variations in the mandible resulting in developmental anomaly. We report a rare case of altered sigmoid notch morphology on the right side and condylar hypoplasia on the left side, not related to any clear pathological disorder. Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) was helpful in evaluating this case. This case of unknown aetiology was thoroughly examined; based on clinical and radiographic findings, we suggest that this case is of congenital origin. PMID:26816996

  11. Unusual Morphological Alteration in Sigmoid Notch: An Insight Through CBCT

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Anjali; Phulambrikar, Tushar; Kode, Manasi; Singh, Siddharth Kumar

    2015-01-01

    The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is a ginglymo-diarthrodial joint known to be the most complex joint in human body. Growth disturbances, owing to genetic influences or trauma during the intrauterine life or during early developmental age may lead to morphological and functional variations in the mandible resulting in developmental anomaly. We report a rare case of altered sigmoid notch morphology on the right side and condylar hypoplasia on the left side, not related to any clear pathological disorder. Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) was helpful in evaluating this case. This case of unknown aetiology was thoroughly examined; based on clinical and radiographic findings, we suggest that this case is of congenital origin. PMID:26816996

  12. Cell morphology and focal adhesion location alters internal cell stress.

    PubMed

    Mullen, C A; Vaughan, T J; Voisin, M C; Brennan, M A; Layrolle, P; McNamara, L M

    2014-12-01

    Extracellular mechanical cues have been shown to have a profound effect on osteogenic cell behaviour. However, it is not known precisely how these cues alter intracellular mechanics to initiate changes in cell behaviour. In this study, a combination of in vitro culture of MC3T3-E1 cells and finite-element modelling was used to investigate the effects of passive differences in substrate stiffness on intracellular mechanics. Cells on collagen-based substrates were classified based on the presence of cell processes and the dimensions of various cellular features were quantified. Focal adhesion (FA) density was quantified from immunohistochemical staining, while cell and substrate stiffnesses were measured using a live-cell atomic force microscope. Computational models of cell morphologies were developed using an applied contraction of the cell body to simulate active cell contraction. The results showed that FA density is directly related to cell morphology, while the effect of substrate stiffness on internal cell tension was modulated by both cell morphology and FA density, as investigated by varying the number of adhesion sites present in each morphological model. We propose that the cells desire to achieve a homeostatic stress state may play a role in osteogenic cell differentiation in response to extracellular mechanical cues. PMID:25297316

  13. Cell morphology and focal adhesion location alters internal cell stress

    PubMed Central

    Mullen, C. A.; Vaughan, T. J.; Voisin, M. C.; Brennan, M. A.; Layrolle, P.; McNamara, L. M.

    2014-01-01

    Extracellular mechanical cues have been shown to have a profound effect on osteogenic cell behaviour. However, it is not known precisely how these cues alter intracellular mechanics to initiate changes in cell behaviour. In this study, a combination of in vitro culture of MC3T3-E1 cells and finite-element modelling was used to investigate the effects of passive differences in substrate stiffness on intracellular mechanics. Cells on collagen-based substrates were classified based on the presence of cell processes and the dimensions of various cellular features were quantified. Focal adhesion (FA) density was quantified from immunohistochemical staining, while cell and substrate stiffnesses were measured using a live-cell atomic force microscope. Computational models of cell morphologies were developed using an applied contraction of the cell body to simulate active cell contraction. The results showed that FA density is directly related to cell morphology, while the effect of substrate stiffness on internal cell tension was modulated by both cell morphology and FA density, as investigated by varying the number of adhesion sites present in each morphological model. We propose that the cells desire to achieve a homeostatic stress state may play a role in osteogenic cell differentiation in response to extracellular mechanical cues. PMID:25297316

  14. Morphological Alteration and Survival of Burkholderia pseudomallei in Soil Microcosms.

    PubMed

    Kamjumphol, Watcharaporn; Chareonsudjai, Pisit; Taweechaisupapong, Suwimol; Chareonsudjai, Sorujsiri

    2015-11-01

    The resilience of Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, was evaluated in control soil microcosms and in soil microcosms containing NaCl or FeSO4 at 30°C. Iron (Fe(II)) promoted the growth of B. pseudomallei during the 30-day observation, contrary to the presence of 1.5% and 3% NaCl. Scanning electron micrographs of B. pseudomallei in soil revealed their morphological alteration from rod to coccoid and the formation of microcolonies. The smallest B. pseudomallei cells were found in soil with 100 μM FeSO4 compared with in the control soil or soil with 0.6% NaCl (P < 0.05). The colony count on Ashdown's agar and bacterial viability assay using the LIVE/DEAD(®) BacLight(™) stain combined with flow cytometry showed that B. pseudomallei remained culturable and viable in the control soil microcosms for at least 120 days. In contrast, soil with 1.5% NaCl affected their culturability at day 90 and their viability at day 120. Our results suggested that a low salinity and iron may influence the survival of B. pseudomallei and its ability to change from a rod-like to coccoid form. The morphological changes of B. pseudomallei cells may be advantageous for their persistence in the environment and may increase the risk of their transmission to humans. PMID:26324731

  15. Insulin Resistance Alters Islet Morphology in Nondiabetic Humans

    PubMed Central

    Mezza, Teresa; Muscogiuri, Giovanna; Sorice, Gian Pio; Clemente, Gennaro; Hu, Jiang; Pontecorvi, Alfredo; Holst, Jens J.; Giaccari, Andrea; Kulkarni, Rohit N.

    2014-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes is characterized by poor glucose uptake in metabolic tissues and manifests when insulin secretion fails to cope with worsening insulin resistance. In addition to its effects on skeletal muscle, liver, and adipose tissue metabolism, it is evident that insulin resistance also affects pancreatic β-cells. To directly examine the alterations that occur in islet morphology as part of an adaptive mechanism to insulin resistance, we evaluated pancreas samples obtained during pancreatoduodenectomy from nondiabetic subjects who were insulin-resistant or insulin-sensitive. We also compared insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion, and incretin levels between the two groups. We report an increased islet size and an elevated number of β- and α-cells that resulted in an altered β-cell–to–α-cell area in the insulin- resistant group. Our data in this series of studies suggest that neogenesis from duct cells and transdifferentiation of α-cells are potential contributors to the β-cell compensatory response to insulin resistance in the absence of overt diabetes. PMID:24215793

  16. Three-dimensional Nasolabial Morphologic Alterations Following Le Fort I

    PubMed Central

    DeSesa, Christopher R.; Metzler, Philip; Sawh-Martinez, Rajendra

    2016-01-01

    Background: Le Fort I osteotomy imparts significant changes to the nasolabial region. Past studies have relied on 2-dimensional data and have not delineated differences among various Le Fort I subtypes. The purpose of this study is to 3-dimensionally analyze Le Fort I–induced nasal and lip changes comparing advancement alone versus widening alone [surgically assisted maxillary expansion (SAME)] versus advancement and widening. We hypothesize that the combination of maxillary advancement with widening will result in the most profound changes. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed. Included Le Fort I patients were grouped as: (1) nonsegmental straight advancement, (2) widening without advancement, and (3) segmental advancement and widening. Pre- and postoperative 3-dimensional photogrammetry (Canfield) were analyzed. Anthropometric landmarks were placed and measured by 2 independent observers. Statistics involved both paired and unpaired t tests (significance = P < 0.05). Results: One hundred eight photogrammetric data sets were analyzed, including 46 single-piece, 26 SAME, and 36 segmental. Significant postoperative nasal changes were observed within each intragroup analysis. The most dramatic changes were seen after segmental Le Fort I with advancement and widening, which included alar base width, alar width, nostril width, and soft triangle angle, all P < 0.05. Conclusions: Le Fort I osteotomy results in significant alteration of the nasolabial morphology. This is the first study to 3-dimensionally analyze nasal changes that occur comparing maxillary advancement alone versus widening alone (SAME) versus advancement with widening. These objective data permit improved patient counseling and surgical planning. PMID:27622116

  17. Altered hippocampal morphology in unmedicated patients with major depressive illness.

    PubMed

    Bearden, Carrie E; Thompson, Paul M; Avedissian, Christina; Klunder, Andrea D; Nicoletti, Mark; Dierschke, Nicole; Brambilla, Paolo; Soares, Jair C

    2009-01-01

    Despite converging evidence that major depressive illness is associated with both memory impairment and hippocampal pathology, findings vary widely across studies and it is not known whether these changes are regionally specific. In the present study we acquired brain MRIs (magnetic resonance images) from 31 unmedicated patients with MDD (major depressive disorder; mean age 39.2+/-11.9 years; 77% female) and 31 demographically comparable controls. Three-dimensional parametric mesh models were created to examine localized alterations of hippocampal morphology. Although global volumes did not differ between groups, statistical mapping results revealed that in MDD patients, more severe depressive symptoms were associated with greater left hippocampal atrophy, particularly in CA1 (cornu ammonis 1) subfields and the subiculum. However, previous treatment with atypical antipsychotics was associated with a trend towards larger left hippocampal volume. Our findings suggest effects of illness severity on hippocampal size, as well as a possible effect of past history of atypical antipsychotic treatment, which may reflect prolonged neuroprotective effects. This possibility awaits confirmation in longitudinal studies. PMID:19843010

  18. Genetic selection alters thermoregulatory response to ethanol.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, C S; Crawshaw, L I; Crabbe, J C

    1993-03-01

    The present study examined the effect of ethanol on the regulated temperature of two lines of mice selected in replicate for a smaller (HOT1 and HOT2) or greater (COLD1 and COLD2) decline in rectal temperature after IP ethanol. Mice were implanted with indwelling telemetry devices for remote monitoring of internal temperature and trained in a temperature gradient (8-40 degrees C). Both internal and selected temperature were tracked and recorded with a computer after injections of NaCl or various doses of ethanol. All animals responded similarly to control injections, with a transient rise in body temperature. After an effective dose of ethanol, mice showed clear evidence of a regulated decline in body temperature, as evidenced by selection of low temperatures in the gradient at the same time internal temperatures were falling. COLD mice were more sensitive than HOT mice; this was apparent in both replicates of the selected lines, indicating that a difference in the CNS regulator of body temperature has been selected for in these animals. PMID:8451254

  19. Predator Diet and Trophic Position Modified with Altered Habitat Morphology.

    PubMed

    Tewfik, Alexander; Bell, Susan S; McCann, Kevin S; Morrow, Kristina

    2016-01-01

    Empirical patterns that emerge from an examination of food webs over gradients of environmental variation can help to predict the implications of anthropogenic disturbance on ecosystems. This "dynamic food web approach" is rarely applied at the coastal margin where aquatic and terrestrial systems are coupled and human development activities are often concentrated. We propose a simple model of ghost crab (Ocypode quadrata) feeding that predicts changing dominant prey (Emerita talpoida, Talorchestia sp., Donax variablis) along a gradient of beach morphology and test this model using a suite of 16 beaches along the Florida, USA coast. Assessment of beaches included quantification of morphological features (width, sediments, slope), macrophyte wrack, macro-invertebrate prey and active ghost crab burrows. Stable isotope analysis of carbon ((13)C/(12)C) and nitrogen ((15)N/(14)N) and the SIAR mixing model were used to determine dietary composition of ghost crabs at each beach. The variation in habitat conditions displayed with increasing beach width was accompanied by quantifiable shifts in ghost crab diet and trophic position. Patterns of ghost crab diet were consistent with differences recorded across the beach width gradient with respect to the availability of preferred micro-habitats of principal macro-invertebrate prey. Values obtained for trophic position also suggests that the generalist ghost crab assembles and augments its diet in fundamentally different ways as habitat morphology varies across a highly dynamic ecosystem. Our results offer support for a functional response in the trophic architecture of a common food web compartment (ghost crabs, macro-invertebrate prey) across well-known beach morphologies. More importantly, our "dynamic food web approach" serves as a basis for evaluating how globally wide-spread sandy beach ecosystems should respond to a variety of anthropogenic impacts including beach grooming, beach re-nourishment, introduction of non

  20. Predator Diet and Trophic Position Modified with Altered Habitat Morphology

    PubMed Central

    Tewfik, Alexander; Bell, Susan S.; McCann, Kevin S.; Morrow, Kristina

    2016-01-01

    Empirical patterns that emerge from an examination of food webs over gradients of environmental variation can help to predict the implications of anthropogenic disturbance on ecosystems. This “dynamic food web approach” is rarely applied at the coastal margin where aquatic and terrestrial systems are coupled and human development activities are often concentrated. We propose a simple model of ghost crab (Ocypode quadrata) feeding that predicts changing dominant prey (Emerita talpoida, Talorchestia sp., Donax variablis) along a gradient of beach morphology and test this model using a suite of 16 beaches along the Florida, USA coast. Assessment of beaches included quantification of morphological features (width, sediments, slope), macrophyte wrack, macro-invertebrate prey and active ghost crab burrows. Stable isotope analysis of carbon (13C/12C) and nitrogen (15N/14N) and the SIAR mixing model were used to determine dietary composition of ghost crabs at each beach. The variation in habitat conditions displayed with increasing beach width was accompanied by quantifiable shifts in ghost crab diet and trophic position. Patterns of ghost crab diet were consistent with differences recorded across the beach width gradient with respect to the availability of preferred micro-habitats of principal macro-invertebrate prey. Values obtained for trophic position also suggests that the generalist ghost crab assembles and augments its diet in fundamentally different ways as habitat morphology varies across a highly dynamic ecosystem. Our results offer support for a functional response in the trophic architecture of a common food web compartment (ghost crabs, macro-invertebrate prey) across well-known beach morphologies. More importantly, our “dynamic food web approach” serves as a basis for evaluating how globally wide-spread sandy beach ecosystems should respond to a variety of anthropogenic impacts including beach grooming, beach re-nourishment, introduction of non

  1. Tumors of the Testis: Morphologic Features and Molecular Alterations.

    PubMed

    Howitt, Brooke E; Berney, Daniel M

    2015-12-01

    This article reviews the most frequently encountered tumor of the testis; pure and mixed malignant testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT), with emphasis on adult (postpubertal) TGCTs and their differential diagnoses. We additionally review TGCT in the postchemotherapy setting, and findings to be integrated into the surgical pathology report, including staging of testicular tumors and other problematic issues. The clinical features, gross pathologic findings, key histologic features, common differential diagnoses, the use of immunohistochemistry, and molecular alterations in TGCTs are discussed. PMID:26612222

  2. Different methods to alter surface morphology of high aspect ratio structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leber, M.; Shandhi, M. M. H.; Hogan, A.; Solzbacher, F.; Bhandari, R.; Negi, S.

    2016-03-01

    In various applications such as neural prostheses or solar cells, there is a need to alter the surface morphology of high aspect ratio structures so that the real surface area is greater than geometrical area. The change in surface morphology enhances the devices functionality. One of the applications of altering the surface morphology is of neural implants such as the Utah electrode array (UEA) that communicate with single neurons by charge injection induced stimulation or by recording electrical neural signals. For high selectivity between single cells of the nervous system, the electrode surface area is required to be as small as possible, while the impedance is required to be as low as possible for good signal to noise ratios (SNR) during neural recording. For stimulation, high charge injection and charge transfer capacities of the electrodes are required, which increase with the electrode surface. Traditionally, researchers have worked with either increasing the roughness of the existing metallization (platinum grey, black) or other materials such as Iridium Oxide and PEDOT. All of these previously investigated methods lead to more complicated metal deposition processes that are difficult to control and often have a critical impact on the mechanical properties of the metal films. Therefore, a modification of the surface underneath the electrode's coating will increase its surface area while maintaining the standard and well controlled metal deposition process. In this work, the surfaces of the silicon micro-needles were engineered by creating a defined microstructure on the electrodes surface using several methods such as laser ablation, focused ion beam, sputter etching, reactive ion etching (RIE) and deep reactive ion etching (DRIE). The surface modification processes were optimized for the high aspect ratio silicon structures of the UEA. The increase in real surface area while maintaining the geometrical surface area was verified using scanning electron

  3. Morphological alteration of microwave disinfected acrylic resins used for dental prostheses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popescu, M. C.; Bita, B. I.; Avram, A. M.; Tucureanu, V.; Schiopu, P.

    2015-02-01

    In this paper we aim to perform a cross section morphological characterization of an acrylic polymer used for dental prostheses subjected to microwave disinfection. The method was largely investigated and the microbiological effectiveness is well established, but there are some issues regarding the in-depth alteration of the material. In our research, the surface roughness is insignificant and the samples were not polished or refined by any means. Two groups of 7 acrylic discs (20 mm diameter, 2 mm thickness) were prepared from a heat-cured powder. Half of the samples embedded a stainless steel reinforcement, in order to observe the changes at the interfaces between the polymer and metallic wire. After the gradual wet microwave treatment, the specimens - including the controls - were frozen in liquid nitrogen and broken into pieces. Fragments were selected for gold metallization to ensure a good contrast for SEM imaging. We examined the samples in cross section employing a high resolution SEM. We have observed the alterations occurred at the surface of the acrylic sample and at the interface with the metallic wire along with the increase of the power and exposure time. The bond configuration of acrylate samples was analysed by FTIR spectrometry.

  4. Natural selection on floral morphology can be influenced by climate

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Diane R.; Powers, John M.

    2015-01-01

    Climate has the potential to influence evolution, but how it influences the strength or direction of natural selection is largely unknown. We quantified the strength of selection on four floral traits of the subalpine herb Ipomopsis sp. in 10 years that differed in precipitation, causing extreme temporal variation in the date of snowmelt in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The chosen floral traits were under selection by hummingbird and hawkmoth pollinators, with hawkmoth abundance highly variable across years. Selection for flower length showed environmental sensitivity, with stronger selection in years with later snowmelt, as higher water resources can allow translation of pollination success into fitness based on seed production. Selection on corolla width also varied across years, favouring narrower corolla tubes in two unusual years with hawkmoths, and wider corollas in another late snowmelt year. Our results illustrate how changes in climate could alter natural selection even when the primary selective agent is not directly influenced. PMID:25972465

  5. Natural selection on floral morphology can be influenced by climate.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Diane R; Powers, John M

    2015-06-01

    Climate has the potential to influence evolution, but how it influences the strength or direction of natural selection is largely unknown. We quantified the strength of selection on four floral traits of the subalpine herb Ipomopsis sp. in 10 years that differed in precipitation, causing extreme temporal variation in the date of snowmelt in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The chosen floral traits were under selection by hummingbird and hawkmoth pollinators, with hawkmoth abundance highly variable across years. Selection for flower length showed environmental sensitivity, with stronger selection in years with later snowmelt, as higher water resources can allow translation of pollination success into fitness based on seed production. Selection on corolla width also varied across years, favouring narrower corolla tubes in two unusual years with hawkmoths, and wider corollas in another late snowmelt year. Our results illustrate how changes in climate could alter natural selection even when the primary selective agent is not directly influenced. PMID:25972465

  6. Tailoring fungal morphology of Aspergillus niger MYA 135 by altering the hyphal morphology and the conidia adhesion capacity: biotechnological applications

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Current problems of filamentous fungi fermentations and their further successful developments as microbial cell factories are dependent on control fungal morphology. In this connection, this work explored new experimental procedures in order to quantitatively check the potential of some culture conditions to induce a determined fungal morphology by altering both hyphal morphology and conidia adhesion capacity. The capacity of environmental conditions to modify hyphal morphology was evaluated by examining the influence of some culture conditions on the cell wall lytic potential of Aspergillus niger MYA 135. The relative value of the cell wall lytic potential was determined by measuring a cell wall lytic enzyme activity such as the mycelium-bound β-N-acetyl-D-glucosaminidase (Mb-NAGase). On the other hand, the quantitative value of conidia adhesion was considered as an index of its aggregation capacity. Concerning microscopic morphology, a highly negative correlation between the hyphal growth unit length (lHGU) and the specific Mb-NAGase activity was found (r = -0.915, P < 0.001). In fact, the environment was able to induce highly branched mycelia only under those culture conditions compatible with specific Mb-NAGase values equal to or higher than 190 U gdry.wt-1. Concerning macroscopic morphology, a low conidia adhesion capacity was followed by a dispersed mycelial growth. In fact, this study showed that conidia adhesion units per ml equal to or higher than 0.50 were necessary to afford pellets formation. In addition, it was also observed that once the pellet was formed the lHGU had an important influence on its final diameter. Finally, the biotechnological significance of such results was discussed as well. PMID:23688037

  7. Epigenetic Alterations in Density Selected Human Spermatozoa for Assisted Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Yu, Bolan; Zhou, Hua; Liu, Min; Zheng, Ting; Jiang, Lu; Zhao, Mei; Xu, Xiaoxie; Huang, Zhaofeng

    2015-01-01

    Epidemiological evidence indicates that assisted reproductive technologies (ART) may be associated with several epigenetic diseases such as Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) or Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS). Selection of sperm by density-gradients in ART has improved DNA integrity and sperm quality; however, epigenetic alterations associated with this approach are largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated DNA methylation and histone retention profiles in raw sperm and selected sperm derived from the same individual and separated by using density-gradients. Results from a study group consisting of 93 males demonstrated that both global DNA methylation and histone retention levels decreased in density selected sperm. Compared to unselected raw sperm, histone transition rates decreased by an average of 27.2% in selected sperm, and the global methylation rate was 3.8% in unselected sperm and 3.3% in the selected sperm. DNA methylation and histone retention location profiling analyses suggested that these alterations displayed specific location patterns in the human genome. Changes in the pattern of hypomethylation largely occurred in transcriptional factor gene families such as HOX, FOX, and GATA. Histone retention increased in 67 genes, whereas it was significantly clustered in neural development-related gene families, particularly the olfactory sensor gene family. Although a causative relationship could not be established, the results of the present study suggest the possibility that sperm with good density also possess unique epigenetic profiles, particularly for genes involved in neural and olfactory development. As increasing evidence demonstrates that epigenetics plays a key role in embryonic development and offspring growth characteristics, the specific epigenetic alterations we observed in selected sperm may influence the transcriptional process and neural development in embryos. PMID:26709917

  8. Epigenetic Alterations in Density Selected Human Spermatozoa for Assisted Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Bolan; Zhou, Hua; Liu, Min; Zheng, Ting; Jiang, Lu; Zhao, Mei; Xu, Xiaoxie; Huang, Zhaofeng

    2015-01-01

    Epidemiological evidence indicates that assisted reproductive technologies (ART) may be associated with several epigenetic diseases such as Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) or Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS). Selection of sperm by density-gradients in ART has improved DNA integrity and sperm quality; however, epigenetic alterations associated with this approach are largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated DNA methylation and histone retention profiles in raw sperm and selected sperm derived from the same individual and separated by using density-gradients. Results from a study group consisting of 93 males demonstrated that both global DNA methylation and histone retention levels decreased in density selected sperm. Compared to unselected raw sperm, histone transition rates decreased by an average of 27.2% in selected sperm, and the global methylation rate was 3.8% in unselected sperm and 3.3% in the selected sperm. DNA methylation and histone retention location profiling analyses suggested that these alterations displayed specific location patterns in the human genome. Changes in the pattern of hypomethylation largely occurred in transcriptional factor gene families such as HOX, FOX, and GATA. Histone retention increased in 67 genes, whereas it was significantly clustered in neural development-related gene families, particularly the olfactory sensor gene family. Although a causative relationship could not be established, the results of the present study suggest the possibility that sperm with good density also possess unique epigenetic profiles, particularly for genes involved in neural and olfactory development. As increasing evidence demonstrates that epigenetics plays a key role in embryonic development and offspring growth characteristics, the specific epigenetic alterations we observed in selected sperm may influence the transcriptional process and neural development in embryos. PMID:26709917

  9. Nanoparticles in Mesostructured Polymers: Stabilizations and Morphology Selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jaeup; O'Shaughnessy, Ben

    2002-03-01

    A major challenge in the rapidly developing field of nano-materials is finding ways to create delicate spatial arrangements of nano-sized particles. Nanostructured polymer phases and ultrathin polymer films offer potential templates to spontaneously generate this spatial organization. Here we present theory of such systems. Our conclusions are as follows. (1) Nanoparticles tending to aggregate into clusters under van der Waals attractions may be stabilized in a stretched polymer environment as offered by tethered thin film brushes or lamellar diblock phases. By extending the hydrodynamic analogy of Williams and Pincus to the real case of the end-annealed Semenov brush, we show cluster formation is strongly influenced: disc-shaped clusters are suppressed in favor of extended cylindrical forms. (2) The final morphology of extended nanoparticle aggregates depends on the polymer environment. If the nanoparticle/air/polymer surface tensions and the degree of chain stretching satisfy certain conditions, the polymer media selects the length scale of nanoparticle clusters. This offers the possibility of tuning nanoparticle aggregate morphology by suitable choice of polymeric media. Our predictions are consistent with experiments at Columbia by Levicky, Durning, Cerise and Liu demonstrating nanoparticle stabilization and morphology selection in ultrathin end-tethered polymer films.

  10. Morphological divergence and flow-induced phenotypic plasticity in a native fish from anthropogenically altered stream habitats.

    PubMed

    Franssen, Nathan R; Stewart, Laura K; Schaefer, Jacob F

    2013-11-01

    Understanding population-level responses to human-induced changes to habitats can elucidate the evolutionary consequences of rapid habitat alteration. Reservoirs constructed on streams expose stream fishes to novel selective pressures in these habitats. Assessing the drivers of trait divergence facilitated by these habitats will help identify evolutionary and ecological consequences of reservoir habitats. We tested for morphological divergence in a stream fish that occupies both stream and reservoir habitats. To assess contributions of genetic-level differences and phenotypic plasticity induced by flow variation, we spawned and reared individuals from both habitats types in flow and no flow conditions. Body shape significantly and consistently diverged in reservoir habitats compared with streams; individuals from reservoirs were shallower bodied with smaller heads compared with individuals from streams. Significant population-level differences in morphology persisted in offspring but morphological variation compared with field-collected individuals was limited to the head region. Populations demonstrated dissimilar flow-induced phenotypic plasticity when reared under flow, but phenotypic plasticity in response to flow variation was an unlikely explanation for observed phenotypic divergence in the field. Our results, together with previous investigations, suggest the environmental conditions currently thought to drive morphological change in reservoirs (i.e., predation and flow regimes) may not be the sole drivers of phenotypic change. PMID:24363894

  11. Why climate change will invariably alter selection pressures on phenology.

    PubMed

    Gienapp, Phillip; Reed, Thomas E; Visser, Marcel E

    2014-10-22

    The seasonal timing of lifecycle events is closely linked to individual fitness and hence, maladaptation in phenological traits may impact population dynamics. However, few studies have analysed whether and why climate change will alter selection pressures and hence possibly induce maladaptation in phenology. To fill this gap, we here use a theoretical modelling approach. In our models, the phenologies of consumer and resource are (potentially) environmentally sensitive and depend on two different but correlated environmental variables. Fitness of the consumer depends on the phenological match with the resource. Because we explicitly model the dependence of the phenologies on environmental variables, we can test how differential (heterogeneous) versus equal (homogeneous) rates of change in the environmental variables affect selection on consumer phenology. As expected, under heterogeneous change, phenotypic plasticity is insufficient and thus selection on consumer phenology arises. However, even homogeneous change leads to directional selection on consumer phenology. This is because the consumer reaction norm has historically evolved to be flatter than the resource reaction norm, owing to time lags and imperfect cue reliability. Climate change will therefore lead to increased selection on consumer phenology across a broad range of situations. PMID:25165771

  12. Partial purification and characterization of an escherichia coli toxic factor that induces morphological cell alterations.

    PubMed Central

    Caprioli, A; Falbo, V; Roda, L G; Ruggeri, F M; Zona, C

    1983-01-01

    A factor produced by several strains of Escherichia coli isolated from enteritis-affected children has been shown to produce both a necrotizing effect on rabbit skin and striking morphological alterations on CHO, Vero, and HeLa cells. The same strains were found to have hemolytic activity on sheep erythrocytes. The toxic, cell-altering factor was demonstrated to be different from both heat-labile and heat-stable enterotoxins and from Vero toxin. The main effect induced by the isolated factor on cultured cells was the formation of large multinucleated cells. The partial purification achieved suggests that the same factor (most likely a protein with a molecular weight of 70,000 to 80,000) is responsible for toxic and cell-altering activities, whereas a different molecular species is responsible for hemolytic activity. Images PMID:6341235

  13. Morphological selection of human spermatozoa in cervical mucus "in vivo".

    PubMed

    Ragni, G; Di Pietro, R; Bestetti, O; De Lauretis, L; Olivares, D; Guercilena, S

    1985-01-01

    Spermatozoa morphology at two levels in the cervical canal was compared, at the external and internal uterine orifices, in samples taken "in vivo" during 21 postcoital tests (P.C.T.s). P.C.T.s with cervical mucus, with Moghissi scores lower than 10 and exo- and endocervical pH less than 7 were excluded. At the upper level of the cervical canal, 12 of the 21 P.C.T. showed more than 5% more normal spermatozoa than at the lower level of the canal (in 5 of these P.C.T. the increase was greater than 10%). Selection for normal heads was seen in 2 and for normal tails in 4. The P.C.T. that selected for normal tails all had greater than 10% abnormal tails at the external orifice. These results confirm that there is some selection of spermatozoa during passage through the cervical canal. Above all, the selection appears to exclude those spermatozoa with defective locomotive mechanisms (abnormal tails), which indicates that the mucus acts as a "passive filter" with selection depending on the spermatozoa themselves in relation to motility. PMID:4061891

  14. Ethanol exposure during gastrulation alters neuronal morphology and behavior in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Shan, Shubham D; Boutin, Savanna; Ferdous, Jannatul; Ali, Declan W

    2015-01-01

    Ethanol (EtOH) exposure during development has been shown to lead to deficits in fine and gross motor control. In this study we used zebrafish embryos to determine the effects of EtOH treatment during gastrulation. We treated embryos in the gastrulation stage (5.25 hours post fertilization (hpf) to 10.75 hpf) with 10 mM, 50 mM or 100 mM EtOH and examined the effects on general animal morphology, the c-start reflex behavior, Mauthner cell (M-cell) morphology and motor neuron morphology. EtOH treated fish exhibited a minor but significant increase in gross morphological deformities compared with untreated fish. Behavioral studies showed that EtOH treatment resulted in an increase in the peak speed of the tail during the escape response. Furthermore, there was a marked increase in abnormally directed c-starts, with treated fish showing greater incidences of c-starts in inappropriate directions. Immunolabeling of the M-cells, which are born during gastrulation, revealed that they were significantly smaller in fish treated with 100 mM EtOH compared with controls. Immunolabeling of primary motor neurons using anti-znp1, showed no significant effect on axonal branching, whereas secondary motor axons had a greater number of branches in ethanol treated fish compared with controls. Together these findings indicate that ethanol exposure during gastrulation can lead to alterations in behavior, neuronal morphology and possibly function. PMID:25599605

  15. Altered Morphology and Immunohistochemical Characteristics in Metastatic Malignant Melanoma After Therapy With Vemurafenib.

    PubMed

    Powell, Matthew R; Sheehan, Daniel J; Kleven, Daniel T

    2016-09-01

    Metastatic melanoma is traditionally diagnosed using classic morphologic features in addition to immunohistochemical studies. The authors report a case of metastatic malignant melanoma where both morphology and immunohistochemistry were altered after treatment. This 51-year-old patient presented with metastatic melanoma to the brain and axilla. Initially, both metastases showed classic morphology and diffuse staining with the pan-melanoma antibody cocktail. This cocktail is a combination of 3 antibodies commonly used to diagnose melanocytic neoplasms: Melan-A (MART-1), tyrosinase, and HMB-45. In combination, the cocktail is highly sensitive for detecting melanocytic neoplasms and is commonly used to diagnose metastatic melanoma. Her tumor was positive for the BRAF 1799T>A (V600E) mutation, and she was treated with BRAF inhibitor therapy (vemurafenib). However, the axillary tumor recurred after treatment with vemurafenib. The recurrent tumor showed a markedly different morphology and complete loss of staining with the pan-melanoma antibody cocktail. This loss of staining accompanied by the change in morphology was an observation not previously documented after therapy with vemurafenib. This case demonstrates a potential pitfall in the diagnosis of metastatic or recurrent malignant melanoma. PMID:27541173

  16. Morphological alterations of all stages of spermatogenesis and acrosome reaction in Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuan-Li; Sun, Wen-Juan; He, Lin; Li, Qing; Wang, Qun

    2015-05-01

    The Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) is a seasonally breeding species and its reproductive system comprises paired symmetrical structures: testes, vasa deferentia, seminal vesicles, accessory glands and ejaculatory ducts. Histological examination of the testis of mature males reveals regression of the gonads and inhibition of the process of spermatogenesis during December to April of the following year, the regeneration of the gonads during June to July and the occurrence of the highest level of spermatogenesis during August to October. Microscopic assessments and hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining were used to describe all spermatogenic stages (spermatogonia, primary and secondary spermatocytes, spermatids and spermatozoids). To observe the morphological changes during spermiogenesis, we successfully initiated primary cell culture using testis tissue of E. sinensis, which will lay a solid foundation for further work on the immortalization of crab cells. During the interaction between the sperm and oocyte, the fertilizing spermatozoon must undergo a series of terminal morphological changes, called the acrosome reaction (AR). This study also provides a detailed description of the structural alterations of the acrosome reaction of E. sinensis. The acrosome complex and cup-shaped nucleus are located at the anterior and posterior of the spermatozoon, respectively. Male germ cell development involves a tightly controlled sequence of differentiation switches. The purpose of this study is to increase our knowledge of the morphological alterations during spermatogenesis and the acrosome reaction, whose changes are a fundamental requirement for fertilization of E. sinensis. PMID:25648553

  17. A gene fusion at a homeobox locus: alterations in leaf shape and implications for morphological evolution.

    PubMed Central

    Chen, J J; Janssen, B J; Williams, A; Sinha, N

    1997-01-01

    Compound leaves are seen in many angiosperm genera and are thought to be either fundamentally different from simple leaves or elaborations of simple leaves. The knotted1-like homeobox (knox) genes are known to regulate plant development. When overexpressed in homologous or heterologous species, this family of genes can cause changes in leaf morphology, including excessive leaf compounding in tomato. We describe here an instance of a spontaneously arisen fusion between a gene encoding a metabolic enzyme and a homeodomain protein. We show that the fusion results in overexpression of the homeodomain protein and a change in morphology that approximates the changes caused by overexpression of the same gene under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter in transgenic plants. Exon-shuffling events can account for the modularity of proteins. If the shuffled exons are associated with altered promoters, changes in gene expression patterns can result. Our results show that gene fusions of this nature can cause changes in expression patterns that lead to altered morphology. We suggest that such phenomena may have played a role in the evolution of form. PMID:9286107

  18. Peptide fibrils with altered stability, activity, and cell selectivity

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Long; Liang, Jun F.

    2014-01-01

    Peptides have some unique and superior features compared to proteins. However, the use of peptides as therapeutics is hampered by their low stability and cell selectivity. In this study, a new lytic peptide (CL-1, FLGALFRALSRLL) was constructed. Under the physiological condition, peptide CL-1 self-assembled into dynamically stable aggregates with fibrils-like structures. Aggregated CL-1 demonstrated dramatically altered activity and stability in comparison with single molecule CL-1 and other lytic peptides: when incubated with co-cultured bacteria and tissue cells, CL-1 aggregates killed bacteria selectively but spared co-cultured human cells; CL-1 aggregates kept intact in human serum for more than five hours. Peptide-cell interaction studies performed on lipid monolayers and live human tissue cells revealed that in comparison with monomeric CL-1, aggregated CL-1 had decreased cell affinity and membrane insertion capability on tissue cells. A dynamic process involving aggregate dissociation and rearrangement seemed to be an essential step for membrane bound CL-1 aggregates to realize its cytotoxicity to tissue cells. Our study suggests that peptide aggregation could be as important as the charge and secondary structure of a peptide in affecting peptide-cell interactions. Controlling peptide self-assembly represents a new way to increase the stability and cell selectivity of bioactive peptides for wide biomedical applications. PMID:23713839

  19. Selective alterations within executive functions in adolescents with excess weight.

    PubMed

    Verdejo-García, Antonio; Pérez-Expósito, Manuel; Schmidt-Río-Valle, Jacqueline; Fernández-Serrano, Maria J; Cruz, Francisco; Pérez-García, Miguel; López-Belmonte, Gemma; Martín-Matillas, Miguel; Martín-Lagos, Jose A; Marcos, Ascension; Campoy, Cristina

    2010-08-01

    Increasing evidence underscores overlapping neurobiological pathways to addiction and obesity. In both conditions, reward processing of preferred stimuli is enhanced, whereas the executive control system that would normally regulate reward-driven responses is altered. This abnormal interaction can be greater in adolescence, a period characterized by relative immaturity of executive control systems coupled with the relative maturity of reward processing systems. The aim of this study is to explore neuropsychological performance of adolescents with excess weight (n = 27, BMI range 24-51 kg/m(2)) vs. normal-weight adolescents (n = 34, BMI range 17-24 kg/m(2)) on a comprehensive battery of executive functioning tests, including measures of working memory (letter-number sequencing), reasoning (similarities), planning (zoo map), response inhibition (five-digit test (FDT)-interference and Stroop), flexibility (FDT-switching and trail-making test (TMT)), self-regulation (revised-strategy application test (R-SAT)), and decision-making (Iowa gambling task (IGT)). We also aimed to explore personality traits of impulsivity and sensitivity to reward. Independent sample t- and Z Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests showed significant differences between groups on indexes of inhibition, flexibility, and decision-making (excess-weight participants performed poorer than controls), but not on tests of working memory, planning, and reasoning, nor on personality measures. Moreover, regression models showed a significant association between BMI and flexibility performance. These results are indicative of selective alterations of particular components of executive functions in overweight adolescents. PMID:20057376

  20. Oleic acid induces specific alterations in the morphology, gene expression and steroid hormone production of cultured bovine granulosa cells.

    PubMed

    Yenuganti, Vengala Rao; Viergutz, Torsten; Vanselow, Jens

    2016-06-01

    After parturition, one of the major problems related to nutritional management that is faced by the majority of dairy cows is negative energy balance (NEB). During NEB, excessive lipid mobilization takes place and hence the levels of free fatty acids, among them oleic acid, increase in the blood, but also in the follicular fluid. This accumulation can be associated with serious metabolic and reproductive disorders. In the present study, we analyzed the effects of physiological concentrations of oleic acid on cell morphology, apoptosis, necrosis, proliferation and steroid production, and on the abundance of selected transcripts in cultured bovine granulosa cells. Increasing oleic acid concentrations induced intracellular lipid droplet accumulation, thus resulting in a foam cell-like morphology, but had no effects on apoptosis, necrosis or proliferation. Oleic acid also significantly reduced the transcript abundance of the gonadotropin hormone receptors, FSHR and LHCGR, steroidogenic genes STAR, CYP11A1, HSD3B1 and CYP19A1, the cell cycle regulator CCND2, but not of the proliferation marker PCNA. In addition, treatment increased the transcript levels of the fatty acid transporters CD36 and SLC27A1, and decreased the production of 17-beta-estradiol and progesterone. From these data it can be concluded that oleic acid specifically affects morphological and physiological features and gene expression levels thus altering the functionality of granulosa cells. Suggestively, these effects might be partly due to the reduced expression of FSHR and thus the reduced responsiveness to FSH stimulation. PMID:27118706

  1. A Complex Interaction Between Reduced Reelin Expression and Prenatal Organophosphate Exposure Alters Neuronal Cell Morphology

    PubMed Central

    Mullen, Brian R.; Ross, Brennan; Chou, Joan Wang; Khankan, Rana; Khialeeva, Elvira; Bui, Kimberly

    2016-01-01

    Genetic and environmental factors are both likely to contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders including schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, and major depressive disorders. Prior studies from our laboratory and others have demonstrated that the combinatorial effect of two factors—reduced expression of reelin protein and prenatal exposure to the organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos oxon—gives rise to acute biochemical effects and to morphological and behavioral phenotypes in adolescent and young adult mice. In the current study, we examine the consequences of these factors on reelin protein expression and neuronal cell morphology in adult mice. While the cell populations that express reelin in the adult brain appear unchanged in location and distribution, the levels of full length and cleaved reelin protein show persistent reductions following prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos oxon. Cell positioning and organization in the hippocampus and cerebellum are largely normal in animals with either reduced reelin expression or prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos oxon, but cellular complexity and dendritic spine organization is altered, with a skewed distribution of immature dendritic spines in adult animals. Paradoxically, combinatorial exposure to both factors appears to generate a rescue of the dendritic spine phenotypes, similar to the mitigation of behavioral and morphological changes observed in our prior study. Together, our observations support an interaction between reelin expression and chlorpyrifos oxon exposure that is not simply additive, suggesting a complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors in regulating brain morphology. PMID:27364165

  2. Hippocampus-based contextual memory alters the morphological characteristics of astrocytes in the dentate gyrus.

    PubMed

    Choi, Moonseok; Ahn, Sangzin; Yang, Eun-Jeong; Kim, Hyunju; Chong, Young Hae; Kim, Hye-Sun

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes have been reported to exist in two states, the resting and the reactive states. Morphological changes in the reactive state of astrocytes include an increase in thickness and number of processes, and an increase in the size of the cell body. Molecular changes also occur, such as an increase in the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). However, the morphological and molecular changes during the process of learning and memory have not been elucidated. In the current study, we subjected Fvb/n mice to contextual fear conditioning, and checked for morphological and molecular changes in astrocytes. 1 h after fear conditioning, type II and type III astrocytes exhibited a unique status with an increased number of processes and decreased GFAP expression which differed from the typical resting or reactive state. In addition, the protein level of excitatory excitatory amino acid transporter 2 (EAAT2) was increased 1 h to 24 h after contextual fear conditioning while EAAT1 did not show any alterations. Connexin 43 (Cx43) protein was found to be increased at 24 h after fear conditioning. These data suggest that hippocampus-based contextual memory process induces changes in the status of astrocytes towards a novel status different from typical resting or reactive states. These morphological and molecular changes may be in line with functional changes. PMID:27460927

  3. A Complex Interaction Between Reduced Reelin Expression and Prenatal Organophosphate Exposure Alters Neuronal Cell Morphology.

    PubMed

    Mullen, Brian R; Ross, Brennan; Chou, Joan Wang; Khankan, Rana; Khialeeva, Elvira; Bui, Kimberly; Carpenter, Ellen M

    2016-06-01

    Genetic and environmental factors are both likely to contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders including schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, and major depressive disorders. Prior studies from our laboratory and others have demonstrated that the combinatorial effect of two factors-reduced expression of reelin protein and prenatal exposure to the organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos oxon-gives rise to acute biochemical effects and to morphological and behavioral phenotypes in adolescent and young adult mice. In the current study, we examine the consequences of these factors on reelin protein expression and neuronal cell morphology in adult mice. While the cell populations that express reelin in the adult brain appear unchanged in location and distribution, the levels of full length and cleaved reelin protein show persistent reductions following prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos oxon. Cell positioning and organization in the hippocampus and cerebellum are largely normal in animals with either reduced reelin expression or prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos oxon, but cellular complexity and dendritic spine organization is altered, with a skewed distribution of immature dendritic spines in adult animals. Paradoxically, combinatorial exposure to both factors appears to generate a rescue of the dendritic spine phenotypes, similar to the mitigation of behavioral and morphological changes observed in our prior study. Together, our observations support an interaction between reelin expression and chlorpyrifos oxon exposure that is not simply additive, suggesting a complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors in regulating brain morphology. PMID:27364165

  4. Vaccine Adjuvants Alter TCR-Based Selection Thresholds

    PubMed Central

    Malherbe, Laurent; Mark, Linda; Fazilleau, Nicolas; McHeyzer-Williams, Louise J.; McHeyzer-Williams, Michael G.

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY How TCR specificity evolves in vivo following protein vaccination is central to the development of T helper cell function. Most models of clonal selection in the T helper cell compartment favor TCR affinity-based thresholds. Here, we demonstrate that depot-forming vaccine adjuvants do not require TLR agonists to induce clonal dominance in antigen-specific T helper cell responses. However, readily dispersible adjuvants using TLR-9 and TLR-4 agonists skew TCR repertoire usage by increasing TCR selection thresholds and enhancing antigen-specific clonal expansion. In this manner, vaccine adjuvants control the local accumulation of T helper cells expressing TCR with the highest peptide MHC class II binding. Clonal composition was altered by mechanisms that blocked the local propagation of clonotypes independent of antigen dose and not as a consequence of inter-clonal competition. This capacity of adjuvants to modify antigen-specific Th cell clonal composition has fundamental implications for the design of future protein sub-unit vaccines. PMID:18450485

  5. Neonatal exposure to monosodium glutamate induces morphological alterations in suprachiasmatic nucleus of adult rat.

    PubMed

    Rojas-Castañeda, Julio César; Vigueras-Villaseñor, Rosa María; Chávez-Saldaña, Margarita; Rojas, Patricia; Gutiérrez-Pérez, Oscar; Rojas, Carolina; Arteaga-Silva, Marcela

    2016-02-01

    Neonatal exposure to monosodium glutamate (MSG) induces circadian disorders in several physiological and behavioural processes regulated by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of neonatal exposure to MSG on locomotor activity, and on morphology, cellular density and expression of proteins, as evaluated by optical density (OD), of vasopressin (VP)-, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP)- and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-immunoreactive cells in the SCN. Male Wistar rats were used: the MSG group was subcutaneously treated from 3 to 10 days of age with 3.5 mg/g/day. Locomotor activity was evaluated at 90 days of age using 'open-field' test, and the brains were processed for immunohistochemical studies. MSG exposure induced a significant decrease in locomotor activity. VP- and VIP-immunoreactive neuronal densities showed a significant decrease, while the somatic OD showed an increase. Major axes and somatic area were significantly increased in VIP neurons. The cellular and optical densities of GFAP-immunoreactive sections of SCN were significantly increased. These results demonstrated that newborn exposure to MSG induced morphological alterations in SCN cells, an alteration that could be the basis for behavioural disorders observed in the animals. PMID:26799547

  6. Anthropogenic habitat alteration induces rapid morphological divergence in a native stream fish

    PubMed Central

    Franssen, Nathan R

    2011-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat alteration creates novel environments that can alter selection pressures. Construction of reservoirs worldwide has disturbed riverine ecosystems by altering biotic and abiotic environments of impounded streams. Changes to fish communities in impoundments are well documented, but effects of those changes on native species persisting in reservoirs, which are presumably subjected to novel selective pressures, are largely unexplored. I assessed body shape variation of a native stream fish in reservoir habitats and streams from seven reservoir basins in the Central Plains of the USA. Body shape significantly and consistently diverged in reservoirs compared with stream habitats within reservoir basins; individuals from reservoir populations were deeper-bodied and had smaller heads compared with stream populations. Individuals from reservoir habitats also exhibited lower overall shape variation compared with stream individuals. I assessed the contribution of genotypic divergence and predator-induced phenotypic plasticity on body shape variation by rearing offspring from a reservoir and a stream population with or without a piscivorous fish. Significant population-level differences in body shape persisted in offspring, and both populations demonstrated similar predator-induced phenotypic plasticity. My results suggest that, although components of body shape are plastic, anthropogenic habitat modification may drive trait divergence in native fish populations in reservoir-altered habitats. PMID:25568023

  7. Retinal function and morphology are altered in cattle infected with the prion disease transmissible mink encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Smith, J D; Greenlee, J J; Hamir, A N; Richt, J A; Greenlee, M H West

    2009-09-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are a group of diseases that result in progressive and invariably fatal neurologic disease in both animals and humans. TSEs are characterized by the accumulation of an abnormal protease-resistant form of the prion protein in the central nervous system. Transmission of infectious TSEs is believed to occur via ingestion of prion protein-contaminated material. This material is also involved in the transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy ("mad cow disease") to humans, which resulted in the variant form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Abnormal prion protein has been reported in the retina of TSE-affected cattle, but despite these observations, the specific effect of abnormal prion protein on retinal morphology and function has not been assessed. The objective of this study was to identify and characterize potential functional and morphologic abnormalities in the retinas of cattle infected with a bovine-adapted isolate of transmissible mink encephalopathy. We used electroretinography and immunohistochemistry to examine retinas from 10 noninoculated and 5 transmissible mink encephalopathy-inoculated adult Holstein steers. Here we show altered retinal function, as evidenced by prolonged implicit time of the electroretinogram b-wave, in transmissible mink encephalopathy-infected cattle before the onset of clinical illness. We also demonstrate disruption of rod bipolar cell synaptic terminals, indicated by decreased immunoreactivity for the alpha isoform of protein kinase C and vesicular glutamate transporter 1, and activation of Müller glia, as evidenced by increased glial fibrillary acidic protein and glutamine synthetase expression, in the retinas of these cattle at the time of euthanasia due to clinical deterioration. This is the first study to identify both functional and morphologic alterations in the retinas of TSE-infected cattle. Our results support future efforts to focus on the retina for the development of

  8. Endothelial Cell Morphology and Migration are Altered by Changes in Gravitational Fields

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melhado, Caroline; Sanford, Gary; Harris-Hooker, Sandra

    1997-01-01

    vascular cells. However, few studies have been directed at assessing the effect of altered gravitational field on vascular cell fiction and metabolism, Using image analysis we examined how bovine aortic endothelial cells altered their morphological characteristics and their response to a denudation injury when cells were subjected to simulated microgravity and hypergravity.

  9. Alterations in braided rivers' morphology: a typology for Curvature Subcarpathians (Romania)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ioana-Toroimac, Gabriela; Zaharia, Liliana; Ciobotaru, Nicu

    2015-04-01

    The morphology of braided rivers was altered by human pressures in the last century in Europe. Rivers from Curvature Subcarpathians have the highest sediment charges in Romania, therefore it seems relevant to evaluate the status of their braided sectors. Therefore, the aim of this work is to carry out an inventory of river morphology alterations suffered by braided rivers in Curvature Subcarpathians and to establish a typology based on indicators for channel adjustments and artificiality. For channel adjustments, we calculated the length of the braided sectors, the width of the active-channels and the length of banks covered by a riparian forest for 1900-2011 interval, in GIS. For artificiality, we counted dams, weirs, bridges, as well as artificial banks length for 2011 time horizon. The results indicate a diminishing braiding activity: all the rivers narrowed their braided active-channel (30-70% of the mean width); the majority suffered fluvial metamorphosis, transforming partially into single channels (0-75% of the braided sector length in 1900); artificial banks vary from 0 to 40% of the initial braided sector. We distinguished three main types of braided rivers based on morphological alterations. Type 1 includes rivers with human interventions and important braiding retraction, both upstream and downstream; a sub-type characterises by riparian forest lining the downstream metamorphosed reach; most rivers are in the south-western part of the studied region; the most demonstrative examples are Prahova and Ialomiţa rivers. Type 2 corresponds to rivers with important retraction upstream, without important values of artificiality; most demonstrative is Râmna River. Type 3 regroups rivers with a low level of channel adjustments and artificiality; actually, they had and still have the highest braiding activity in the studied region; they are located in the north-eastern part; typical examples are Putna and Şuşiţa rivers. As a discussion, the variations of active

  10. Morphological Alterations in Gastrocnemius and Soleus Muscles in Male and Female Mice in a Fibromyalgia Model

    PubMed Central

    Oezel, Lisa; Schwarzbach, Hans; Ocker, Matthias; Thieme, Kati; Di Fazio, Pietro; Kinscherf, Ralf

    2016-01-01

    Background Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic musculoskeletal pain disorder, characterized by chronic widespread pain and bodily tenderness and is often accompanied by affective disturbances, however often with unknown etiology. According to recent reports, physical and psychological stress trigger FM. To develop new treatments for FM, experimental animal models for FM are needed to be development and characterized. Using a mouse model for FM including intermittent cold stress (ICS), we hypothesized that ICS leads to morphological alterations in skeletal muscles in mice. Methods Male and female ICS mice were kept under alternating temperature (4°C/room temperature [22°C]); mice constantly kept at room temperature served as control. After scarification, gastrocnemius and soleus muscles were removed and snap-frozen in liquid nitrogen–cooled isopentane or fixed for electron microscopy. Results In gastrocnemius/soleus muscles of male ICS mice, we found a 21.6% and 33.2% decrease of fiber cross sectional area (FCSA), which in soleus muscle concerns the loss of type IIa and IIx FCSA. This phenomenon was not seen in muscles of female ICS mice. However, this loss in male ICS mice was associated with an increase in gastrocnemius of the density of MIF+ (8.6%)-, MuRF+ (14.7%)-, Fbxo32+ (17.8%)-cells, a 12.1% loss of capillary contacts/muscle fiber as well as a 30.7% increase of damaged mitochondria in comparison with male control mice. Moreover, significant positive correlations exist among densities (n/mm2) of MIF+, MuRF+, Fbxo32+-cells in gastrocnemius/ soleus muscles of male ICS mice; these cell densities inversely correlate with FCSA especially in gastrocnemius muscle of male ICS mice. Conclusion The ICS-induced decrease of FCSA mainly concerns gastrocnemius muscle of male mice due to an increase of inflammatory and atrogenic cells. In soleus muscle of male ICS and soleus/gastrocnemius muscles of female ICS mice morphological alterations seem to occur not at all or

  11. Thermal alteration and morphological changes of sound and demineralized primary dentin after Er:YAG laser ablation.

    PubMed

    Brandão, Cristina Bueno; Contente, Marta Maria Martins Giamatei; De Lima, Fabrício Augusto; Galo, Rodrigo; Corrêa-Afonso, Alessandra Marques; Bachmann, Luciano; Borsatto, Maria Cristina

    2012-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of Er:YAG laser pulse repetition rate on the thermal alterations occurring during laser ablation of sound and demineralized primary dentin. The morphological changes at the lased areas were examined by scanning electronic microscopy (SEM). To this end, 60 fragments of 30 sound primary molars were selected and randomly assigned to two groups (n = 30); namely A sound dentin (control) and B demineralized dentin. Each group was divided into three subgroups (n = 10) according to the employed laser frequencies: I-4 Hz; II-6 Hz, and III-10 Hz. Specimens in group B were submitted to a pH-cycling regimen for 21 consecutive days. The irradiation was performed with a 250 mJ pulse energy in the noncontact and focused mode, in the presence of a fine water mist at 1.5 mL/min, for 15 s. The measured temperature was recorded by type K thermocouples adapted to the dentin wall relative to the pulp chamber. Three samples of each group were analyzed by SEM. The data were submitted to the nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis test and to qualitative SEM analysis. The results revealed that the temperature increase did not promote any damage to the dental structure. Data analysis demonstrated that in group A, there was a statistically significant difference among all the subgroups and the temperature rise was directly proportional to the increase in frequency. In group B, there was no difference between subgroup I and II in terms of temperature. The superficial dentin observed by SEM displayed irregularities that augmented with rising frequency, both in sound and demineralized tissues. In conclusion, temperature rise and morphological alterations are directly related to frequency increment in both demineralized and sound dentin. PMID:21761493

  12. Eugenol and thymol, alone or in combination, induce morphological alterations in the envelope of Candida albicans.

    PubMed

    Braga, P C; Sasso, M Dal; Culici, M; Alfieri, M

    2007-09-01

    The envelope of Candida albicans, with its outermost array of macromolecules protruding towards the environment, is pivotal to the expression of major virulence factors such as adhesiveness, and the morphological transition to hyphal form. We tested the anticandidal activity of eugenol, main component of clove oil, and thymol, main component of thyme oil, alone or in combination, by investigating their ability to interfere with the architecture of the envelope of C. albicans. Both molecules alterated the morphogenesis of the envelope, but the effects of thymol were more pronounced than those of eugenol. Certain combinations of the two molecules led to a synergistic effect, which is interesting in the view of potentiating their inhibition of C. albicans colonisation and infectiousness. PMID:17590533

  13. Oxidative Stress Alters the Morphology and Toxicity of Aortic Medial Amyloid.

    PubMed

    Davies, Hannah A; Phelan, Marie M; Wilkinson, Mark C; Migrino, Raymond Q; Truran, Seth; Franco, Daniel A; Liu, Lu-Ning; Longmore, Christopher J; Madine, Jillian

    2015-12-01

    The aggregation and fibril deposition of amyloid proteins have been implicated in a range of neurodegenerative and vascular diseases, and yet the underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we use a combination of cell-based assays, biophysical analysis, and atomic force microscopy to investigate the potential involvement of oxidative stress in aortic medial amyloid (AMA) pathogenesis and deposition. We show that medin, the main constituent of AMA, can induce an environment rich in oxidative species, increasing superoxide and reducing bioavailable nitric oxide in human cells. We investigate the role that this oxidative environment may play in altering the aggregation process of medin and identify potential posttranslational modification sites where site-specific modification and interaction can be unambiguously demonstrated. In an oxidizing environment, medin is nitrated at tyrosine and tryptophan residues, with resultant effects on morphology that lead to longer fibrils with increased toxicity. This provides further motivation to investigate the role of oxidative stress in AMA pathogenicity. PMID:26636947

  14. Diethylstilbestrol alters the morphology and calcium levels of growth cones of PC12 cells in vitro.

    PubMed

    Janevski, J; Choh, V; Stopper, H; Schiffmann, D; De Boni, U

    1993-01-01

    Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a synthetic estrogen with carcinogenic properties. DES is known to alter cytoskeletal components, including the organization of actin stress fibres in C6 rat glioma cells. In a test of the hypothesis that DES disrupts actin filaments of growth cones in neuron-like cells, DES-induced changes in filopodial lengths were quantified in rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells in vitro. DES significantly altered growth cone morphology, with collapse of growth cone filopodia and neurite retraction invariably occurring at a concentration of 10 microM. At 5 microM DES, transient reductions in total filopodial lengths occurred. At DES concentrations of 0.1 nM and 1 nM, reductions in total filopodial lengths occurred in a fraction of growth cones. Evidence exists which shows that growth cone activity and morphology are intimately linked to levels of intracellular, free calcium and that DES increases such levels. Measurements of free intracellular calcium levels by fluorescence microscopy, at times concurrent with the DES-induced reduction in total filopodial lengths, showed that calcium levels were indeed significantly increased by 10 microM DES. Labelling of filamentous actin (f-actin) with FITC-phalloidin showed that the f-actin distribution in growth cones exposed to DES could not be differentiated from the distribution found in spontaneously retracting growth cones. Together with evidence which showed that growth cone motility was not affected, the results are taken to indicate that DES, rather than acting directly on the cytoskeleton, exerts its effects indirectly, by a calcium-induced destabilization of actin filaments in the growth cone. PMID:8164893

  15. Prenatal stress is a vulnerability factor for altered morphology and biological activity of microglia cells.

    PubMed

    Ślusarczyk, Joanna; Trojan, Ewa; Głombik, Katarzyna; Budziszewska, Bogusława; Kubera, Marta; Lasoń, Władysław; Popiołek-Barczyk, Katarzyna; Mika, Joanna; Wędzony, Krzysztof; Basta-Kaim, Agnieszka

    2015-01-01

    Several lines of evidence suggest that the dysregulation of the immune system is an important factor in the development of depression. Microglia are the resident macrophages of the central nervous system and a key player in innate immunity of the brain. We hypothesized that prenatal stress (an animal model of depression) as a priming factor could affect microglial cells and might lead to depressive-like disturbances in adult male rat offspring. We investigated the behavioral changes (sucrose preference test, Porsolt test), the expression of C1q and CD40 mRNA and the level of microglia (Iba1 positive) in 3-month-old control and prenatally stressed male offspring rats. In addition, we characterized the morphological and biochemical parameters of potentially harmful (NO, iNOS, IL-1β, IL-18, IL-6, TNF-α, CCL2, CXCL12, CCR2, CXCR4) and beneficial (insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)) phenotypes in cultures of microglia obtained from the cortices of 1-2 days old control and prenatally stressed pups. The adult prenatally stressed rats showed behavioral (anhedonic- and depression-like) disturbances, enhanced expression of microglial activation markers and an increased number of Iba1-immunopositive cells in the hippocampus and frontal cortex. The morphology of glia was altered in cultures from prenatally stressed rats, as demonstrated by immunofluorescence microscopy. Moreover, in these cultures, we observed enhanced expression of CD40 and MHC II and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-1β, IL-18, TNF-α and IL-6. Prenatal stress significantly up-regulated levels of the chemokines CCL2, CXCL12 and altered expression of their receptors, CCR2 and CXCR4 while IGF-1 production was suppressed in cultures of microglia from prenatally stressed rats. Our results suggest that prenatal stress may lead to excessive microglia activation and contribute to the behavioral changes observed in depression in adulthood. PMID

  16. Morphology Alters Fluid Transport and the Ability of Organisms to Mix Oceanic Waters.

    PubMed

    Katija, Kakani

    2015-10-01

    Mixing in the ocean is opposed by the stratification of fluid, such that density of seawater increases with greater depth. The mechanisms by which mixing occurs have been attributed largely to physical processes that include atmospheric forcing, tides, and internal waves. Biogenic mixing, another potential source of mixing in the ocean, may generate significant transport of fluid during diel vertical migrations of organisms. Biogenic mixing is not limited to the near-surface or to regions of rough bottom topography, as are other physical mixing processes, and may contribute significantly to the energy budget of mixing in mid-ocean. "Fluid drift", a mechanism first described by Charles Galton Darwin, has been identified as a mechanism that allows for long-distance, vertical transport of fluid by the smallest of swimming organisms. However, little is known about how fluid drift varies with morphology and behavior of swimming organisms. We conducted numerical simulations of theoretical and experimentally measured flows of swimming medusae (Phyllorhiza sp.), and compared the volume of the drift induced by these flows. Our numerical simulations of fluid drift showed that morphology coupled with swimming behavior alters the transport of fluid both spatially and temporally. Given empirical velocity field data, the methods presented here allow us to systematically compare fluid transport across taxa, and enable us to deduce the potential of swimming organisms to influence fluid transport. PMID:26117832

  17. Relationship between Altered Platelet Morphological Parameters and Retinopathy in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

    PubMed Central

    Yilmaz, Tolga; Yilmaz, Ahu

    2016-01-01

    Purpose. To investigate whether platelet morphology or function is altered in patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR). Methods. This prospective study enrolled 85 healthy controls (HCs) (group 1) and 262 patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Patients were subclassified into three groups according to ocular findings: no DR (group 2; n = 88); nonproliferative DR (group 3; n = 88), and proliferative DR (group 4; n = 86). Mean platelet volume (MPV), platelet distribution width (PDW), platelet large cell ratio (PLCR), plateletcrit (PCT) values, and platelet count were measured in the studied groups. Results. MPV, PDW, and PLCR levels were significantly altered in groups 2–4 compared with HCs (p < 0.05, p < 0.05, p < 0.05). Compared with group 2, both DR groups had higher MPV and PDW levels, with a significant difference between groups 2 and 4 for both MPV (p = 0.036) and PDW (p = 0.006). PLCR correlated with retinopathy stage, but no significant difference was found between the DR groups. Platelet count and PCT values were not significantly different between the groups (p > 0.05). Conclusion. Our findings suggest an association between mean platelet indices (MPI) (i.e., MPV, PDW, and PLCR) and DR stage. Therefore, MPI could be a beneficial prognostic marker of DR in patients with T2DM. PMID:27190641

  18. AMPK Knockdown in Placental Trophoblast Cells Results in Altered Morphology and Function

    PubMed Central

    Carey, Erica A.K.; Albers, Renee E.; Doliboa, Savannah R.; Hughes, Martha; Wyatt, Christopher N.; Natale, David R.C.

    2014-01-01

    The placenta is a transient organ that develops upon the initiation of pregnancy and is essential for embryonic development and fetal survival. The rodent placenta consists of distinct lineages and includes cell types that are analogous to those that make up the human placenta. Trophoblast cells within the labyrinth layer, which lies closest to the fetus, fuse and come in contact with maternal blood, thus facilitating nutrient and waste exchange between the mother and the baby. Abnormalities of the placenta may occur as a result of cellular stress and have been associated with pregnancy-associated disorders: such as preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, and placental insufficiency. Cellular stress has also been shown to alter proliferation and differentiation rates of trophoblast cells. This stress response is important for cell survival and ensures continued placental functionality. AMP-activated protein kinase is an important sensor of cellular metabolism and stress. To study the role of AMPK in the trophoblast cells, we used RNA interference to simultaneously knockdown levels of both the AMPK alpha isoforms, AMPKα1 and AMPKα2. SM10 trophoblast progenitor cells were transduced with AMPKα1/2 shRNA and stable clones were established to analyze the effects of AMPK knockdown on important cellular functions. Our results indicate that a reduction in AMPK levels causes alterations in cell morphology, growth rate, and nutrient transport, thus identifying an important role for AMPK in the regulation of placental trophoblast differentiation. PMID:25003940

  19. Developmental but not adult cannabinoid treatments persistently alter axonal and dendritic morphology within brain regions important for zebra finch vocal learning

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Marcoita T.; Soderstrom, Ken

    2014-01-01

    Prior work shows developmental cannabinoid exposure alters zebra finch vocal development in a manner associated with altered CNS physiology, including changes in patterns of CB1 receptor immunoreactivity, endocannabinoid concentrations and dendritic spine densities. These results raise questions about the selectivity of developmental cannabinoid effects: are they a consequence of a generalized developmental disruption, or are effects produced through more selective and distinct interactions with biochemical pathways that control receptor, endogenous ligand and dendritic spine dynamics? To begin to address this question we have examined effects of developmental cannabinoid exposure on the pattern and density of expression of proteins critical to dendritic (MAP2) and axonal (Nf-200) structure to determine the extent to which dendritic vs. axonal neuronal morphology may be altered. Results demonstrate developmental, but not adult cannabinoid treatments produce generalized changes in expression of both dendritic and axonal cytoskeletal proteins within brain regions and cells known to express CB1 cannabinoid receptors. Results clearly demonstrate that cannabinoid exposure during a period of sensorimotor development, but not adulthood, produce profound effects upon both dendritic and axonal morphology that persist through at least early adulthood. These findings suggest an ability of exogenous cannabinoids to alter general processes responsible for normal brain development. Results also further implicate the importance of endocannabinoid signaling to peri-pubertal periods of adolescence, and underscore potential consequences of cannabinoid abuse during periods of late-postnatal CNS development. PMID:24594017

  20. In vitro exposure of Ulva lactuca Linnaeus (Chlorophyta) to gasoline - Biochemical and morphological alterations.

    PubMed

    Pilatti, Fernanda Kokowicz; Ramlov, Fernanda; Schmidt, Eder Carlos; Kreusch, Marianne; Pereira, Débora Tomazi; Costa, Christopher; de Oliveira, Eva Regina; Bauer, Cláudia M; Rocha, Miguel; Bouzon, Zenilda Laurita; Maraschin, Marcelo

    2016-08-01

    Refined fuels have considerable share of pollution of marine ecosystems. Gasoline is one of the most consumed fuel worldwide, but its effects on marine benthic primary producers are poorly investigated. In this study, Ulva lactuca was chosen as a biological model due to its cosmopolitan nature and tolerance to high levels and wide range of xenobiotics and our goal was to evaluate the effects of gasoline on ultrastructure and metabolism of that seaweed. The experimental design consisted of in vitro exposure of U. lactuca to four concentrations of gasoline (0.001%, 0.01%, 0.1%, and 1.0%, v/v) over 30 min, 1 h, 12 h, and 24 h, followed by cytochemical, SEM, and biochemical analysis. Increase in the number of cytoplasmic granules, loss of cell turgor, cytoplasmic shrinkage, and alterations in the mucilage were some of the ultrastructural alterations observed in thalli exposed to gasoline. Decrease in carotenoid and polyphenol contents, as well as increase of soluble sugars and starch contents were associated with the time of exposure to the xenobiotic. In combination, the results revealed important morphological and biochemical alterations in the phenotype of U. lactuca upon acute exposure to gasoline. This seaweed contain certain metabolites assigned as candidates to biomarkers of the environmental stress investigated and it is thought to be a promise species for usage in coastal ecosystems perturbation monitoring system. In addition, the findings suggest that U. lactuca is able to metabolize gasoline hydrocarbons and use them as energy source, acting as bioremediator of marine waters contaminated by petroleum derivatives. PMID:27192480

  1. Light-Induced Indeterminacy Alters Shade-Avoiding Tomato Leaf Morphology1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Chitwood, Daniel H.; Kumar, Ravi; Ranjan, Aashish; Pelletier, Julie M.; Townsley, Brad T.; Ichihashi, Yasunori; Martinez, Ciera C.; Zumstein, Kristina; Harada, John J.; Maloof, Julin N.; Sinha, Neelima R.

    2015-01-01

    Plants sense the foliar shade of competitors and alter their developmental programs through the shade-avoidance response. Internode and petiole elongation, and changes in overall leaf area and leaf mass per area, are the stereotypical architectural responses to foliar shade in the shoot. However, changes in leaf shape and complexity in response to shade remain incompletely, and qualitatively, described. Using a meta-analysis of more than 18,000 previously published leaflet outlines, we demonstrate that shade avoidance alters leaf shape in domesticated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and wild relatives. The effects of shade avoidance on leaf shape are subtle with respect to individual traits but are combinatorially strong. We then seek to describe the developmental origins of shade-induced changes in leaf shape by swapping plants between light treatments. Leaf size is light responsive late into development, but patterning events, such as stomatal index, are irrevocably specified earlier. Observing that shade induces increases in shoot apical meristem size, we then describe gene expression changes in early leaf primordia and the meristem using laser microdissection. We find that in leaf primordia, shade avoidance is not mediated through canonical pathways described in mature organs but rather through the expression of KNOTTED1-LIKE HOMEOBOX and other indeterminacy genes, altering known developmental pathways responsible for patterning leaf shape. We also demonstrate that shade-induced changes in leaf primordium gene expression largely do not overlap with those found in successively initiated leaf primordia, providing evidence against classic hypotheses that shaded leaf morphology results from the prolonged production of juvenile leaf types. PMID:26381315

  2. Light-Induced Indeterminacy Alters Shade-Avoiding Tomato Leaf Morphology.

    PubMed

    Chitwood, Daniel H; Kumar, Ravi; Ranjan, Aashish; Pelletier, Julie M; Townsley, Brad T; Ichihashi, Yasunori; Martinez, Ciera C; Zumstein, Kristina; Harada, John J; Maloof, Julin N; Sinha, Neelima R

    2015-11-01

    Plants sense the foliar shade of competitors and alter their developmental programs through the shade-avoidance response. Internode and petiole elongation, and changes in overall leaf area and leaf mass per area, are the stereotypical architectural responses to foliar shade in the shoot. However, changes in leaf shape and complexity in response to shade remain incompletely, and qualitatively, described. Using a meta-analysis of more than 18,000 previously published leaflet outlines, we demonstrate that shade avoidance alters leaf shape in domesticated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and wild relatives. The effects of shade avoidance on leaf shape are subtle with respect to individual traits but are combinatorially strong. We then seek to describe the developmental origins of shade-induced changes in leaf shape by swapping plants between light treatments. Leaf size is light responsive late into development, but patterning events, such as stomatal index, are irrevocably specified earlier. Observing that shade induces increases in shoot apical meristem size, we then describe gene expression changes in early leaf primordia and the meristem using laser microdissection. We find that in leaf primordia, shade avoidance is not mediated through canonical pathways described in mature organs but rather through the expression of KNOTTED1-LIKE HOMEOBOX and other indeterminacy genes, altering known developmental pathways responsible for patterning leaf shape. We also demonstrate that shade-induced changes in leaf primordium gene expression largely do not overlap with those found in successively initiated leaf primordia, providing evidence against classic hypotheses that shaded leaf morphology results from the prolonged production of juvenile leaf types. PMID:26381315

  3. Altered Contralateral Auditory Cortical Morphology in Unilateral Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Wenliang; Zhang, Wenjuan; Li, Jing; Zhao, Xueyan; Mella, Grace; Lei, Ping; Liu, Yuan; Wang, Haha; Cheng, Huamao; Shi, Hong; Xu, Haibo

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the cerebral gray matter volume alterations in unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients within the acute period by the voxel-based morphometry method, and to determine if hearing impairment is associated with regional gray matter alterations in unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients. Study Design: Prospective case study. Setting: Tertiary class A teaching hospital. Patients: Thirty-nine patients with left-side unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss and 47 patients with right-side unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Intervention: Diagnostic. Main Outcome Measure: To compare the regional gray matter of unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients and healthy control participants. Results: Compared with control groups, patients with left side unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss had significant gray matter reductions in the right middle temporal gyrus and right superior temporal gyrus, whereas patients with right side unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss showed gray matter decreases in the left superior temporal gyrus and left middle temporal gyrus. A significant negative correlation with the duration of the sudden sensorineural hearing loss (R = −0.427, p = 0.012 for left-side unilateral SSNHL and R = −0.412, p = 0.013 for right-side unilateral SSNHL) was also found in these brain areas. There was no region with increased gray matter found in both groups of unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients. Conclusions: This study confirms that detectable decreased contralateral auditory cortical morphological changes have occurred in unilateral SSNHL patients within the acute period by voxel-based morphometry methods. The gray matter volumes of these brain areas also perform a negative correlation with the duration of the disease, which suggests a gradual brain structural impairment after the progression of the disease. PMID:26595717

  4. Crickets in space: morphological, physiological and behavioral alterations induced by space flight and hypergravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horn, E.; Agricola, H.; Böser, S.; Förster, S.; Kämper, G.; Riewe, P.; Sebastian, C.

    "Crickets in Space" was a Neurolab experiment by which the balance between genetic programs and the gravitational environment for the development of a gravity sensitive neuronal system was studied. The model character of crickets was justified by their external gravity receptors, identified position-sensitive interneurons (PSI) and gravity-related compensatory head response, and by the specific relation of this behavior to neuronal arousal systems activated by locomotion. These advantages allowed to study the impact of modified gravity on cellular processes in a complex organism. Eggs, 1st, 4th and 6th stage larvae of Acheta domesticus were used. Post-flight experiments revealed a low susceptibility of the behavior to micro- and hypergravity while the physiology of the PSI was significantly affected. Immunocytological investigations revealed a stage-dependent sensitivity of thoracic GABAergic motoneurons to 3g-conditions concerning their soma sizes but not their topographical arrangement. The morphology of neuromuscular junctions was not affected by 3g-hypergravity. Peptidergic neurons from cerebral sensorimotor centers revealed no significant modifications by microgravity (μg). The contrary physiological and behavioral results indicate a facilitation of 1g-readaptation originating from accessory gravity, proprioceptive and visual sense organs. Absence of anatomical modifications point to an effective time window of μg- or 3g-expo-sure related to the period of neuronal proliferation. The analysis of basic mechanisms of how animals and man adapt to altered gravitational conditions will profit from a continuation of the project "Crickets in Space".

  5. Amiodarone-induced hepatic phospholipidosis: a morphological alteration independent of pseudoalcoholic liver disease

    SciTech Connect

    Guigui, B.; Perrot, S.; Berry, J.P.; Fleury-Feith, J.; Martin, N.; Metreau, J.M.; Dhumeaux, D.; Zafrani, E.S.

    1988-09-01

    In order to study the relationship between amiodarone-induced hepatic phospholipidosis and liver disease, liver biopsies obtained from 13 patients treated with amiodarone for 4 months to 15 years were investigated by light and electron microscopy. Light microscopy showed pseudoalcoholic liver lesions that were probably related to amiodarone in four cases, various alterations (i.e. cirrhosis, three cases; steatosis and fibrosis, two cases; chronic venous congestion, one case; acute hepatitis, one case) that could be explained by another cause than amiodarone in seven cases and normal liver in two cases. In all cases, electron microscopy showed intralysosomal myelin figures suggestive of phospholipidosis. These myelin figures were associated with intralysosomal electron-dense deposits. In the four cases in which analysis by electron microprobe was performed, it demonstrated large amounts of iodine in the electron-dense deposit-containing lysosomes, indicating the accumulation of amiodarone. These results show that hepatic phospholipidosis is constantly observed in amiodarone-treated patients, whether or not pseudoalcoholic liver lesions are present. This phospholipidosis, which could be only a morphological marker of intrahepatic accumulation of the drug, should not therefore be considered grounds for attributing liver disease to the drug.

  6. Altered Mitochondria Morphology and Cell Metabolism in Apaf1-Deficient Cells

    PubMed Central

    Herrera, Andrés E.; Andreu-Fernández, Vicente; Ferraro, Elisabetta; Cecconi, Francesco; Orzáez, Mar; Pérez-Payá, Enrique

    2014-01-01

    Background Apaf1 (apoptotic protease activating factor 1) is the central component of the apoptosome, a multiprotein complex that activates procaspase-9 after cytochrome c release from the mitochondria in the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis. Other cellular roles, including a pro-survival role, have also been described for Apaf1, while the relative contribution of each function to cell death, but also to cell homeostatic conditions, remain to be clarified. Methodology and Principal Findings Here we examined the response to apoptosis induction of available embryonic fibroblasts from Apaf1 knockout mice (MEFS KO Apaf1). In the absence of Apaf1, cells showed mitochondria with an altered morphology that affects cytochrome c release and basal metabolic status. Conclusions We analysed mitochondrial features and cell death response to etoposide and ABT-737 in two different Apaf1-deficient MEFS, which differ in the immortalisation protocol. Unexpectedly, MEFS KO Apaf1 immortalised with the SV40 antigen (SV40IM-MEFS Apaf1) and those which spontaneously immortalised (SIM-MEFS Apaf1) respond differently to apoptotic stimuli, but both presented relevant differences at the mitochondria when compared to MEFS WT, indicating a role for Apaf1 at the mitochondria. PMID:24416260

  7. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils.

    PubMed

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F; Currano, Ellen D; Jacobs, Louis L; Sylvestersen, Rene Lyng; Gabbott, Sarah E; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-10-13

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns. PMID:26417094

  8. Lost region in amyloid precursor protein (APP) through TALEN-mediated genome editing alters mitochondrial morphology.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yajie; Wu, Fengyi; Pan, Haining; Zheng, Wenzhong; Feng, Chi; Wang, Yunfu; Deng, Zixin; Wang, Lianrong; Luo, Jie; Chen, Shi

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition in the brain. Aβ plaques are produced through sequential β/γ cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP), of which there are three main APP isoforms: APP695, APP751 and APP770. KPI-APPs (APP751 and APP770) are known to be elevated in AD, but the reason remains unclear. Transcription activator-like (TAL) effector nucleases (TALENs) induce mutations with high efficiency at specific genomic loci, and it is thus possible to knock out specific regions using TALENs. In this study, we designed and expressed TALENs specific for the C-terminus of APP in HeLa cells, in which KPI-APPs are predominantly expressed. The KPI-APP mutants lack a 12-aa region that encompasses a 5-aa trans-membrane (TM) region and 7-aa juxta-membrane (JM) region. The mutated KPI-APPs exhibited decreased mitochondrial localization. In addition, mitochondrial morphology was altered, resulting in an increase in spherical mitochondria in the mutant cells through the disruption of the balance between fission and fusion. Mitochondrial dysfunction, including decreased ATP levels, disrupted mitochondrial membrane potential, increased ROS generation and impaired mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity, was also found. These results suggest that specific regions of KPI-APPs are important for mitochondrial localization and function. PMID:26924205

  9. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F.; Currano, Ellen D.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Lyng Sylvestersen, Rene; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-10-01

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns.

  10. LGI1-associated epilepsy through altered ADAM23-dependent neuronal morphology

    PubMed Central

    Owuor, Katherine; Harel, Noam Y.; Englot, Dario C.; Hisama, Fuki; Blumenfeld, Hal; Strittmatter, Stephen M.

    2009-01-01

    Most epilepsy genes encode ion channels, but the LGI1 gene responsible for Autosomal Dominant Partial Epilepsy with Auditory Features produces a secreted protein. LGI1 is suggested to regulate PSD-95 via ADAM22. However, no unbiased screen of LGI1 action has been conducted. Here, we searched for brain genes supporting high affinity LGI-1 binding. ADAM23 was the only LGI1 interactor identified. The related proteins, ADAM22 and ADAM11, but not ADAM12, bind LGI1. Neither ADAM23 nor ADAM11, nor some forms of ADAM22, contain PDZ-interacting sequences, suggesting PSD-95-independent mechanisms in ADPEAF. Because ADAMs modulate integrins, we examined LGI1 effect on neurite outgrowth. LGI1 increases outgrowth from wild type but not ADAM23-/- neurons. Furthermore, CA1 pyramidal neurons of ADAM23-/- hippocampi have reduced dendritic arborization. ADAM23-/- mice exhibit spontaneous seizures, while ADAM23+/- mice have decreased seizure thresholds. Thus, LGI1 binding to ADAM23 is necessary to correctly pattern neuronal morphology and altered anatomical patterning contributes to ADPEAF. PMID:19796686

  11. Lost region in amyloid precursor protein (APP) through TALEN-mediated genome editing alters mitochondrial morphology

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yajie; Wu, Fengyi; Pan, Haining; Zheng, Wenzhong; Feng, Chi; Wang, Yunfu; Deng, Zixin; Wang, Lianrong; Luo, Jie; Chen, Shi

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition in the brain. Aβ plaques are produced through sequential β/γ cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP), of which there are three main APP isoforms: APP695, APP751 and APP770. KPI-APPs (APP751 and APP770) are known to be elevated in AD, but the reason remains unclear. Transcription activator-like (TAL) effector nucleases (TALENs) induce mutations with high efficiency at specific genomic loci, and it is thus possible to knock out specific regions using TALENs. In this study, we designed and expressed TALENs specific for the C-terminus of APP in HeLa cells, in which KPI-APPs are predominantly expressed. The KPI-APP mutants lack a 12-aa region that encompasses a 5-aa trans-membrane (TM) region and 7-aa juxta-membrane (JM) region. The mutated KPI-APPs exhibited decreased mitochondrial localization. In addition, mitochondrial morphology was altered, resulting in an increase in spherical mitochondria in the mutant cells through the disruption of the balance between fission and fusion. Mitochondrial dysfunction, including decreased ATP levels, disrupted mitochondrial membrane potential, increased ROS generation and impaired mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity, was also found. These results suggest that specific regions of KPI-APPs are important for mitochondrial localization and function. PMID:26924205

  12. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils

    PubMed Central

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F.; Currano, Ellen D.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Sylvestersen, Rene Lyng; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-01-01

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns. PMID:26417094

  13. The Effect of Speed Alterations on Tempo Note Selection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Madsen, Clifford K.; And Others

    1986-01-01

    Investigated the tempo note preferences of 100 randomly selected college-level musicians using familiar orchestral music as stimuli. Subjects heard selections at increased, decreased, and unaltered tempi. Results showed musicians were not accurate in estimating original tempo and showed consistent preference for faster than actual tempo.…

  14. Alterations induced by gestational stress in brain morphology and behaviour of the offspring.

    PubMed

    Weinstock, M

    2001-12-01

    Retrospective studies in humans suggest that chronic maternal stress during pregnancy, associated with raised plasma levels of CRH, ACTH and cortisol may increase the likelihood of preterm birth, developmental delays and behavioural abnormalities in the children. In adulthood, it may contribute to the significant association between the incidence of schizophrenia, increased left or mixed handedness, reduction in cerebral asymmetry and anomalies in brain morphology. Our studies and others have shown that prenatal stress in rats can mimic these developmental and behavioural alterations. These rats show a reduced propensity for social interaction, increased anxiety in intimidating or novel situations and a reduction in cerebral asymmetry and dopamine turnover, consistent with those in schizophrenic humans. Prenatally-stressed (PS) rats also show behaviour consistent with depression, including a phase-shift in their circadian rhythm for corticosterone, sleep abnormalities, a hedonic deficit and greater acquisition of learned helplessness under appropriate conditions. These behavioural abnormalities are associated with impaired regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to stress and increased CRH activity. PS males may show demasculinisation and feminisation of their sexual behaviour. The developmental and behavioural abnormalities in PS offspring could occur through sensitisation of the foetal brain by maternal stress hormones to the action of glucocorticoid and CRH and to neurotransmitters affected by them. This may have long-lasting consequences and could explain the precipitation of depressive symptoms or schizophrenia by psychosocial stress in later life. The character of the behavioural abnormalities probably depends on the timing of the maternal stress in relation to development of the particular neuronal systems. PMID:11689280

  15. stem fasciated, a Recessive Mutation in Sunflower (Helianthus annuus), Alters Plant Morphology and Auxin Level

    PubMed Central

    FAMBRINI, MARCO; BONSIGNORI, ELISA; RAPPARINI, FRANCESCA; CIONINI, GIULIANO; MICHELOTTI, VANIA; BERTINI, DANIELE; BARALDI, RITA; PUGLIESI, CLAUDIO

    2006-01-01

    • Background and Aims Plant lateral organs such as leaves arise from a group of initial cells within the flanks of the shoot apical meristem (SAM). Alterations in the initiation of lateral organs are often associated with changes in the dimension and arrangement of the SAM as well as with abnormal hormonal homeostasis. A mutation named stem fasciated (stf) that affects various aspects of plant development, including SAM shape and auxin level, was characterized in sunflower (Helianthus annuus). • Methods F1, F2 and F3 generations were obtained through reciprocal crosses between stf and normal plants. For the genetic analysis, a χ2 test was used. Phenotypic observations were made in field-grown and potted plants. A histological analysis of SAM, hypocotyl, epicotyl, stem and root apical meristem was also conducted. To evaluate the level of endogenous indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), a capillary gas chromatography–mass spectrometry–selected ion monitoring analysis was performed. • Key Results stf is controlled by a single nuclear recessive gene. stf plants are characterized by a dramatically increased number of leaves and vascular bundles in the stem, as well as by a shortened plastochron and an altered phyllotaxis pattern. By histological analysis, it was demonstrated that the stf phenotype is related to an enlarged vegetative SAM. Microscopy analysis of the mutant's apex also revealed an abnormal enlargement of nuclei in both central and peripheral zones and a disorganized distribution of cells in the L2 layer of the central zone. The stf mutant showed a high endogenous free IAA level, whereas auxin perception appeared normal. • Conclusions The observed phenotype and the high level of auxin detected in stf plants suggest that the STF gene is necessary for the proper initiation of primordia and for the establishment of a phyllotactic pattern through control of both SAM arrangement and hormonal homeostasis. PMID:16845141

  16. Apoptosis and morphological alterations after UVA irradiation in red blood cells of p53 deficient Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes).

    PubMed

    Sayed, Alla El-Din Hamid; Watanabe-Asaka, Tomomi; Oda, Shoji; Mitani, Hiroshi

    2016-08-01

    Morphological alterations in red blood cells were described as hematological bioindicators of UVA exposure to investigate the sensitivity to UVA in wild type Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) and a p53 deficient mutant. The fewer abnormal red blood cells were observed in the p53 mutant fish under the control conditions. After exposure to different doses of UVA radiation (15min, 30min and 60min/day for 3days), cellular and nuclear alterations in red blood cells were analyzed in the UVA exposed fish compared with non-exposed controls and those alterations included acanthocytes, cell membrane lysis, swollen cells, teardrop-like cell, hemolyzed cells and sickle cells. Those alterations were increased after the UVA exposure both in wild type and the p53 deficient fish. Moreover, apoptosis analyzed by acridine orange assay showed increased number of apoptosis in red blood cells at the higher UVA exposure dose. No micronuclei but nuclear abnormalities as eccentric nucleus, nuclear budding, deformed nucleus, and bilobed nucleus were observed in each group. These results suggested that UVA exposure induced both p53 dependent and independent apoptosis and morphological alterations in red blood cells but less sensitive to UVA than Wild type in medaka fish. PMID:27203565

  17. Selected morphological changes in Artemia franciscana after ionizing radiation exposure.

    PubMed

    Dvořák, P; Zd'árský, M; Beňová, K; Spalek, M

    2012-08-01

    Nauplii of Artemia franciscana were irradiated by the doses of 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.5 kGy (60)Co. Dimensions of the body length, body width, intestine width, intestine epithelium width, and intestine lumen width, as well as the mutual ratios of dimensions were determined in 126 specimens. Ratios of the body length/body width (3.98, 3.60, 3.59, and 3.45 vs. 4.13 of control group), and ratios of the intestine epithelium width/intestine lumen width (0.64, 0.52, 0.51, and 0.45 vs. 0.85 of control group), according to the doses, were the most important parameters of evaluation of dependence of morphological changes on radiation doses. PMID:22673764

  18. Urban Detection, Delimitation and Morphology: Comparative Analysis of Selective "MEGACITIES"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alhaddad, B.; Arellano, B. E.; Roca, J.

    2012-08-01

    Over the last 50 years, the world has faced an impressive growth of urban population. The walled city, close to the outside, an "island"for economic activities and population density within the rural land, has led to the spread of urban life and urban networks in almost all the territory. There was, as said Margalef (1999), "a topological inversion of the landscape". The "urban" has gone from being an island in the ocean of rural land vastness, to represent the totally of the space in which are inserted natural and rural "systems". New phenomena such as the fall of the fordist model of production, the spread of urbanization known as urban sprawl, and the change of scale of the metropolis, covering increasingly large regions, called "megalopolis" (Gottmann, 1961), have characterized the century. However there are no rigorous databases capable of measuring and evaluating the phenomenon of megacities and in general the process of urbanization in the contemporary world. The aim of this paper is to detect, identify and analyze the morphology of the megacities through remote sensing instruments as well as various indicators of landscape. To understand the structure of these heterogeneous landscapes called megacities, land consumption and spatial complexity needs to be quantified accurately. Remote sensing might be helpful in evaluating how the different land covers shape urban megaregions. The morphological landscape analysis allows establishing the analogies and the differences between patterns of cities and studying the symmetry, growth direction, linearity, complexity and compactness of the urban form. The main objective of this paper is to develop a new methodology to detect urbanized land of some megacities around the world (Tokyo, Mexico, Chicago, New York, London, Moscow, Sao Paulo and Shanghai) using Landsat 7 images.

  19. Hepatitis C Virus Selectively Alters the Intracellular Localization of Desmosterol.

    PubMed

    Villareal, Valerie A; Fu, Dan; Costello, Deirdre A; Xie, Xiaoliang Sunney; Yang, Priscilla L

    2016-07-15

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) increases intracellular desmosterol without affecting the steady-state abundance of other sterols, and the antiviral activity of inhibitors of desmosterol synthesis is suppressed by the addition of exogenous desmosterol. These observations suggest a model in which desmosterol has a specific function, direct or indirect, in HCV replication and that HCV alters desmosterol homeostasis to promote viral replication. Here, we use stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy in combination with isotopically labeled sterols to show that HCV causes desmosterol to accumulate in lipid droplets that are closely associated with the viral NS5A protein and that are visually distinct from the broad distribution of desmosterol in mock-infected cells and the more heterogeneous and disperse lipid droplets to which cholesterol traffics. Localization of desmosterol in NS5A-associated lipid droplets suggests that desmosterol may affect HCV replication via a direct mechanism. We anticipate that SRS microscopy and similar approaches can provide much needed tools to study the localization of specific lipid molecules in cellulo and in vivo. PMID:27128812

  20. Protective effect of soybeans as protein source in the diet against cadmium-aorta redox and morphological alteration

    SciTech Connect

    Pérez Díaz, Matías F.F.; Acosta, Mariano; Mohamed, Fabián H.; Ferramola, Mariana L.; Oliveros, Liliana B.; Gimenez, María S.

    2013-11-01

    We investigated the effects of cadmium exposition on thoracic aorta redox status and morphology, and the putative protective effect of soybeans in the diet. Male Wistar rats were separated into 6 groups: 3 fed with a diet containing casein and 3 containing soybeans, as protein source. Within each protein group, one was given tap water (control) and the other two tap water containing 15 and 100 ppm of Cd{sup 2+}, respectively, for two months. In rats fed with casein diet, 15 ppm of Cd induced an increase of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), and of the catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities, which were even higher with 100 ppm of Cd{sup 2+}, in aorta. Also, 100 ppm Cd{sup 2+} exposure increased superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) activity; CAT, GPX, SOD, Nrf2 and metallothioneine II mRNA expressions and CAT, GPx and NOX-2 protein levels, compared with control. Aorta endothelial and cytoplasmic alterations were observed. However, with the soybeans diet, 15 and 100 ppm of Cd{sup 2+} did not modify TBARS levels; CAT, GPX and Nrf2 mRNA expressions; CAT, GPx and NOX-2 protein; and the aorta morphology, compared with control. The soybean diet attenuates the redox changes and protects against morphological alterations induced, in a dose-dependent way, by Cd in aorta. - Highlights: • Under casein diet, 100 ppm Cd{sup 2+} in drinking water induces oxidative stress in aorta. • Under casein diet, 100 ppm Cd{sup 2+} increases Nrf2, MT II and NOX2 expressions in aorta. • Under casein diet, 100 ppm Cd{sup 2+} induces morphological changes in rat aorta. • The soybean diet attenuates the redox changes induced by Cd in rat aorta. • The soybean diet attenuates morphological alterations induced by Cd in rat aorta.

  1. Geometric Frustration Selects Morphology in Chiral Filament Bundles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Douglas; Bruss, Isaac; Barone, Justin; Grason, Gregory

    Assemblies of twisted filaments appear in a range of biological contexts, from extracellular filament bundles to amyloid fibrils. Owing to numerous distinctions in molecular structures and interactions underlying these diverse assemblies, a framework to predict and classify the basic mechanisms of structure formation in twisted filament assemblies is still lacking. In this study, we model how the size and shape of self-assembled fibers are controlled by competition between the elastic costs of inter-filament frustration, bending deformation of filaments and bundle surface energy. Exploiting a geometric mapping between inter-filament packing in twisted bundles and packing on positively-curved 2D surfaces, we show that the anisotropy of the bundle cross-section is determined by a single parameter describing the competition between elastic and bending costs. We compare the continuum model's predictions for stability of cylindrical and tape-like twisted morphologies to numerical simulations of cohesive filament bundles and observations of micron-scale amyloid fibers assembled from hydrolyzed protein fragments. Nsf (CAREER) DMR-0955760.

  2. Silica and Iron Oxide Minerals in Acidic Hydrothermal Alteration Products at Volcanic Fumaroles - Crystallinity of Cristobalite and Morphology of Hematite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isobe, H.; Korenaga, Y.

    2010-12-01

    Cristobalite is a common alteration product occured in highly acidic hydrothermal environment around fumaroles in geothermal/volcanic areas. In the terrestrial environment, iron mineral species and morphology in the alteration products relate to temperature, acidity and redox conditions of surface or subsurface fluids. These silica and iron minerals show various textures and crystallographic characteristics depending on geochemical conditions. Severe acidic hydrothermal alteration of the pyroxene-amphibole andesite occurs at Garan-dake volcano, Oita, Japan. We carried out petrologic observation and powder XRD analysis of the hydrothermal alteration products with various color, composition and textures. XRD analysis revealed that the alteration degree is represented by abundance of cristobalite. Intermediately altered layers are characterized by various occurrence of alunite, pyrite, kaolinite, goethite and hematite. Detailed powder XRD analysis show that the primary diffraction peak of cristobalite composed with two or three phases with different d-spacing and FWHM by peak profile fitting analysis. Most samples contain well-crystallized, shorter d-spacing and narrow FWHM cristobalite and less-crystallized, longer d-spacing and wide FWHM cristobalite with various ratio. Samples with silica phases resembled to agate, and reddish samples with spheroidal hematite of several micron meters in diameter contain the least-cryatallized, largest d-spacing and very wide FWHM cristobalite phase in addition to the well and low-crystallized phases. The granular hematite grains show quite similar texture with hydrothermal alteration experimental products of iron-rich basalt with sulfuric acid solution possible hydrothermal alteration in the Martian volcano. Occurence of poorly crystalline cristobalite and fine grained spheroidal hematite may have essential constraint to understand acidic hydrotermal alteration processes in the volcanic provinces on the terrestrial planets.

  3. Selective alterations of the host cell architecture upon infection with parvovirus minute virus of mice

    SciTech Connect

    Nueesch, Juerg P.F. . E-mail: jpf.nuesch@dkfz-heidelberg.de; Lachmann, Sylvie; Rommelaere, Jean

    2005-01-05

    During a productive infection, the prototype strain of parvovirus minute virus of mice (MVMp) induces dramatic morphological alterations to the fibroblast host cell A9, resulting in cell lysis and progeny virus release. In order to understand the mechanisms underlying these changes, we characterized the fate of various cytoskeletal filaments and investigated the nuclear/cytoplasmic compartmentalization of infected cells. While most pronounced effects could be seen on micro- and intermediate filaments, manifest in dramatic rearrangements and degradation of filamentous (F-)actin and vimentin structures, only little impact could be seen on microtubules or the nuclear envelope during the entire monitored time of infection. To further analyze the disruption of the cytoskeletal structures, we investigated the viral impact on selective regulatory pathways. Thereby, we found a correlation between microtubule stability and MVM-induced phosphorylation of {alpha}/{beta} tubulin. In contrast, disassembly of actin filaments late in infection could be traced back to the disregulation of two F-actin associated proteins gelsolin and Wiscott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein (WASP). Thereby, an increase in the amount of gelsolin, an F-actin severing protein was observed during infection, accounting for the disruption of stress fibers upon infection. Concomitantly, the actin polymerization activity also diminished due to a loss of WASP, the activator protein of the actin polymerization machinery the Arp2/3 complex. No effects could be seen in amount and distribution of other F-actin regulatory factors such as cortactin, cofilin, and profilin. In summary, the selective attack of MVM towards distinct host cell cytoskeletal structures argues for a regulatory feature during infection, rather than a collapse of the host cell as a mere side effect of virus production.

  4. An embryonic atrazine exposure results in reproductive dysfunction in adult zebrafish and morphological alterations in their offspring.

    PubMed

    Wirbisky, Sara E; Weber, Gregory J; Sepúlveda, Maria S; Lin, Tsang-Long; Jannasch, Amber S; Freeman, Jennifer L

    2016-01-01

    The herbicide atrazine, a suspected endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC), frequently contaminates potable water supplies. Studies suggest alterations in the neuroendocrine system along the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis; however, most studies address either developmental, pubertal, or adulthood exposures, with few investigations regarding a developmental origins hypothesis. In this study, zebrafish were exposed to 0, 0.3, 3, or 30 parts per billion (ppb) atrazine through embryogenesis and then allowed to mature with no additional chemical exposure. Reproductive function, histopathology, hormone levels, offspring morphology, and the ovarian transcriptome were assessed. Embryonic atrazine exposure resulted in a significant increase in progesterone levels in the 3 and 30 ppb groups. A significant decrease in spawning and a significant increase in follicular atresia in the 30 ppb group were observed. In offspring, a decrease in the head length to body ratio in the 30 ppb group, along with a significant increase in head width to body ratio in the 0.3 and 3 ppb groups occurred. Transcriptomic alterations involved genes associated with endocrine system development and function, tissue development, and behavior. This study provides evidence to support atrazine as an EDC causing reproductive dysfunction and molecular alterations in adults exposed only during embryogenesis and morphological alterations in their offspring. PMID:26891955

  5. An embryonic atrazine exposure results in reproductive dysfunction in adult zebrafish and morphological alterations in their offspring

    PubMed Central

    Wirbisky, Sara E.; Weber, Gregory J.; Sepúlveda, Maria S.; Lin, Tsang-Long; Jannasch, Amber S.; Freeman, Jennifer L.

    2016-01-01

    The herbicide atrazine, a suspected endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC), frequently contaminates potable water supplies. Studies suggest alterations in the neuroendocrine system along the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis; however, most studies address either developmental, pubertal, or adulthood exposures, with few investigations regarding a developmental origins hypothesis. In this study, zebrafish were exposed to 0, 0.3, 3, or 30 parts per billion (ppb) atrazine through embryogenesis and then allowed to mature with no additional chemical exposure. Reproductive function, histopathology, hormone levels, offspring morphology, and the ovarian transcriptome were assessed. Embryonic atrazine exposure resulted in a significant increase in progesterone levels in the 3 and 30 ppb groups. A significant decrease in spawning and a significant increase in follicular atresia in the 30 ppb group were observed. In offspring, a decrease in the head length to body ratio in the 30 ppb group, along with a significant increase in head width to body ratio in the 0.3 and 3 ppb groups occurred. Transcriptomic alterations involved genes associated with endocrine system development and function, tissue development, and behavior. This study provides evidence to support atrazine as an EDC causing reproductive dysfunction and molecular alterations in adults exposed only during embryogenesis and morphological alterations in their offspring. PMID:26891955

  6. Postcopulatory Sexual Selection Is Associated with Reduced Variation in Sperm Morphology

    PubMed Central

    Calhim, Sara; Immler, Simone; Birkhead, Tim R.

    2007-01-01

    Background The evolutionary role of postcopulatory sexual selection in shaping male reproductive traits, including sperm morphology, is well documented in several taxa. However, previous studies have focused almost exclusively on the influence of sperm competition on variation among species. In this study we tested the hypothesis that intraspecific variation in sperm morphology is driven by the level of postcopulatory sexual selection in passerine birds. Methodology/Findings Using two proxy measures of sperm competition level, (i) relative testes size and (ii) extrapair paternity level, we found strong evidence that intermale variation in sperm morphology is negatively associated with the degree of postcopulatory sexual selection, independently of phylogeny. Conclusions/Significance Our results show that the role of postcopulatory sexual selection in the evolution of sperm morphology extends to an intraspecific level, reducing the variation towards what might be a species-specific ‘optimum’ sperm phenotype. This finding suggests that while postcopulatory selection is generally directional (e.g., favouring longer sperm) across avian species, it also acts as a stabilising evolutionary force within species under intense selection, resulting in reduced variation in sperm morphology traits. We discuss some potential evolutionary mechanisms for this pattern. PMID:17476335

  7. Open and closed evolutionary paths for drastic morphological changes, involving serial gene duplication, sub-functionalization, and selection

    PubMed Central

    Abe, Gembu; Lee, Shu-Hua; Li, Ing-Jia; Chang, Chun-Ju; Tamura, Koji; Ota, Kinya G.

    2016-01-01

    Twin-tail goldfish strains are examples of drastic morphological alterations that emerged through domestication. Although this mutation is known to be caused by deficiency of one of two duplicated chordin genes, it is unknown why equivalent mutations have not been observed in other domesticated fish species. Here, we compared the chordin gene morphant phenotypes of single-tail goldfish and common carp (close relatives, both of which underwent chordin gene duplication and domestication). Morpholino-induced knockdown depleted chordin gene expression in both species; however, while knockdown reproduced twin-tail morphology in single-tail goldfish, it had no effect on common carp morphology. This difference can be explained by the observation that expression patterns of the duplicated chordin genes overlap completely in common carp, but are sub-functionalized in goldfish. Our finding implies that goldfish drastic morphological changes might be enhanced by the subsequent occurrence of three different types of evolutionary event (duplication, sub-functionalization, and selection) in a certain order. PMID:27220684

  8. Open and closed evolutionary paths for drastic morphological changes, involving serial gene duplication, sub-functionalization, and selection.

    PubMed

    Abe, Gembu; Lee, Shu-Hua; Li, Ing-Jia; Chang, Chun-Ju; Tamura, Koji; Ota, Kinya G

    2016-01-01

    Twin-tail goldfish strains are examples of drastic morphological alterations that emerged through domestication. Although this mutation is known to be caused by deficiency of one of two duplicated chordin genes, it is unknown why equivalent mutations have not been observed in other domesticated fish species. Here, we compared the chordin gene morphant phenotypes of single-tail goldfish and common carp (close relatives, both of which underwent chordin gene duplication and domestication). Morpholino-induced knockdown depleted chordin gene expression in both species; however, while knockdown reproduced twin-tail morphology in single-tail goldfish, it had no effect on common carp morphology. This difference can be explained by the observation that expression patterns of the duplicated chordin genes overlap completely in common carp, but are sub-functionalized in goldfish. Our finding implies that goldfish drastic morphological changes might be enhanced by the subsequent occurrence of three different types of evolutionary event (duplication, sub-functionalization, and selection) in a certain order. PMID:27220684

  9. Disentangling the responses of boreal stream assemblages to low stressor levels of diffuse pollution and altered channel morphology.

    PubMed

    Turunen, Jarno; Muotka, Timo; Vuori, Kari-Matti; Karjalainen, Satu Maaria; Rääpysjärvi, Jaana; Sutela, Tapio; Aroviita, Jukka

    2016-02-15

    Non-point diffuse pollution from land use and alteration of hydromorphology are among the most detrimental stressors to stream ecosystems. We explored the independent and interactive effects of morphological channel alteration (channelization for water transport of timber) and diffuse pollution on species richness and community structure of four organism groups in boreal streams: diatoms, macrophytes, macroinvertebrates, and fish. Furthermore, the effect of these stressors on stream condition was evaluated by Ecological Quality Ratios (EQR) from the national Water Framework Directive (WFD) assessment system. We grouped 91 study sites into four groups that were impacted by either diffuse pollution or hydromorphological alteration, by both stressors, or by neither one. Macroinvertebrate richness was reduced by diffuse pollution, whereas other biological groups were unaltered. Hydromorphological modification had no effect on taxon richness of any of the assemblages. Community structure of all groups was significantly affected by diffuse pollution but not by hydromorphology. Similarly, EQRs indicated negative response by diatoms, macroinvertebrates and fish to diffuse pollution, but not to hydromorphological alteration. Agricultural diffuse pollution thus affected species identities and abundances rather than taxonomic richness. Our results suggest that channelization of boreal streams for timber transport has not altered hydromorphological conditions sufficiently to have a strong impact on stream biota, whereas even moderate nutrient enrichment may be ecologically harmful. Controlling diffuse pollution and associated land use stressors should be prioritized over restoration of in-stream habitat structure to improve the ecological condition of boreal streams. PMID:26706766

  10. Morphological and Physiological Alteration of Maize Root Architectures on Drought Stress.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Drought tolerance is a complex agronomic trait and root characteristics logically play an important role in determining the response of plants to drought stress. Research experiments were conducted to investigate genotypic variations in morphological and physiological responses of roots to drought s...

  11. Morphological and Biological alteration of maize root architectures on drought stress

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Drought tolerance is a complex agronomic trait and root characteristics logically play an important role in determining the response of plants to drought stress. Studies were conducted to investigate genotypic variations in morphological and physiological responses of roots to drought stress in corn...

  12. Alterations during positive selection in the thymus of nackt CD4-deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Nepomnaschy, I; Lombardi, G; Bekinschtein, P; Berguer, P; Francisco, V; de Almeida, J; Buggiano, V; Pasqualini, C D; Piazzon, I

    2000-12-01

    The T-cell repertoire is shaped by the positive and negative selection of immature CD4(+) CD8(+) double positive (DP) thymocytes. Positive selection of DP T cells to the CD4(+) CD8(-) and CD4(-) CD8(+) simple positive (SP) lineages is a multistep process which involves cellular interactions between thymocytes and stromal cells. Mutant nackt (nkt/nkt) mice have been shown to have a deficiency in the CD4(+) CD8(-) T-cell subset both in the thymus and in the periphery. The present report suggests that nkt/nkt mice present alterations in early steps of positive selection because they show decreases in the percentages of CD69(+) and CD5(+) cells within the DP subset. Experiments involving bone marrow transfer and thymic chimeras demonstrate that the thymic epithelium of nkt/nkt mice is involved in the alterations registered during positive selection and dictates the ultimate fate of CD4(+) SP cells. PMID:11119260

  13. Enhanced copper adsorption and morphological alterations of cells of copper-stressed Mucor rouxii

    SciTech Connect

    Gardea-Torresdey, J.L.; Cano-Aguilera, I.; Webb, R.; Gutierrez-Corona, F.

    1997-03-01

    Fungi are ubiquitous and can become dominant in metal-polluted habitats. Some fungal strains are tolerant to metal toxicity. The presence of a high copper concentration in the culture medium induced morphological changes in the copper-tolerant strain of Mucor rouxii. Copper binding by strains of M. rouxii cultured at a trace copper concentration was less effective than those cultured at a high copper concentration. These experiments were performed at an optimum time of 30 min and a pH of 5 for Cu{sup 2+} binding. The results suggest that a passive metal-binding mechanism makes the majority of total copper binding. These preliminary findings suggest that the presence of high levels of copper in the culture medium allow the development of chemical functional groups on the fungal surface, which led to an enhanced copper-binding ability and induced important morphological changes in M. rouxii.

  14. Morphologic correlates of molecular alterations in extrauterine Müllerian carcinomas.

    PubMed

    Ritterhouse, Lauren L; Nowak, Jonathan A; Strickland, Kyle C; Garcia, Elizabeth P; Jia, Yonghui; Lindeman, Neal I; Macconaill, Laura E; Konstantinopoulos, Panagiotis A; Matulonis, Ursula A; Liu, Joyce; Berkowitz, Ross S; Nucci, Marisa R; Crum, Christopher P; Sholl, Lynette M; Howitt, Brooke E

    2016-08-01

    Extrauterine high-grade serous carcinomas can exhibit various histologic patterns including (1) classic architecture that is papillary, micropapillary and infiltrative and (2) solid, endometrioid, and transitional (ie, SET) patterns. Although the SET pattern has been associated with germline BRCA mutations, potential molecular underpinnings have not been fully investigated. DNA was isolated from 174 carcinomas of the fallopian tube, ovary, or peritoneum. Targeted next-generation sequencing was performed and single-nucleotide and copy number variants were correlated with morphologic subtype. Overall, 79% of tumors were classified as high-grade serous carcinoma (n=138), and the most common mutations in high-grade serous carcinomas were TP53 (94%), BRCA1 (25%), BRCA2 (11%), and ATM (7%). Among chemotherapy-naive high-grade serous carcinomas, 40 cases exhibited classic morphology and 40 cases had non-classic morphology (SET or ambiguous features). Mutations in homologous recombination pathways were seen across all tumor histotypes. High-grade serous carcinomas with homologous recombination mutations were six times more likely to be associated with non-classic histology (P=0.002) and were significantly more likely to be platinum sensitive and have improved progression-free survival (PFS) (P=0.007 and P=0.004, respectively). In a multivariate analysis adjusted for age, homologous recombination mutation status and increased copy number variants were independently associated with improved PFS (P=0.008 and P=0.005, respectively). These findings underscore the potential significance of variant morphologic patterns and comprehensive genomic analysis in high-grade serous carcinomas with potential implications for pathogenesis, as well as response to targeted therapies. PMID:27150160

  15. VARSEDIG: an algorithm for morphometric characters selection and statistical validation in morphological taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Guisande, Cástor; Vari, Richard P; Heine, Jürgen; García-Roselló, Emilio; González-Dacosta, Jacinto; Perez-Schofield, Baltasar J García; González-Vilas, Luis; Pelayo-Villamil, Patricia

    2016-01-01

    We present and discuss VARSEDIG, an algorithm which identifies the morphometric features that significantly discriminate two taxa and validates the morphological distinctness between them via a Monte-Carlo test. VARSEDIG is freely available as a function of the RWizard application PlotsR (http://www.ipez.es/RWizard) and as R package on CRAN. The variables selected by VARSEDIG with the overlap method were very similar to those selected by logistic regression and discriminant analysis, but overcomes some shortcomings of these methods. VARSEDIG is, therefore, a good alternative by comparison to current classical classification methods for identifying morphometric features that significantly discriminate a taxon and for validating its morphological distinctness from other taxa. As a demonstration of the potential of VARSEDIG for this purpose, we analyze morphological discrimination among some species of the Neotropical freshwater family Characidae. PMID:27615992

  16. A Pro23His Mutation Alters Prenatal Rod Photoreceptor Morphology in a Transgenic Swine Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Patrick A.; Fernandez de Castro, Juan P.; Kaplan, Henry J.; McCall, Maureen A.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. Functional studies have detected deficits in retinal signaling in asymptomatic children from families with inherited autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Whether retinal abnormalities are present earlier during gestation or shortly after birth in a subset of children with autosomal dominant RP is unknown and no appropriate animal RP model possessing visual function at birth has been available to examine this possibility. In a recently developed transgenic P23H (TgP23H) rhodopsin swine model of RP, we tracked changes in pre- and early postnatal retinal morphology, as well as early postnatal retinal function. Methods. Domestic swine inseminated with semen from a TgP23H miniswine founder produced TgP23H hybrid and wild type (Wt) littermates. Outer retinal morphology was assessed at light and electron microscopic levels between embryonic (E) and postnatal (P) day E85 to P3. Retinal function was evaluated using the full field electroretinogram at P3. Results. Embryonic TgP23H rod photoreceptors are malformed and their rhodopsin expression pattern is abnormal. Consistent with morphological abnormalities, rod-driven function is absent at P3. In contrast, TgP23H and Wt cone photoreceptor morphology (E85–P3) and cone-driven retinal function (P3) are similar. Conclusions. Prenatal expression of mutant rhodopsin alters the normal morphological and functional development of rod photoreceptors in TgP23H swine embryos. Despite this significant change, cone photoreceptors are unaffected. Human infants with similarly aggressive RP might never have rod vision, although cone vision would be unaffected. Such aggressive forms of RP in preverbal children would require early intervention to delay or prevent functional blindness. PMID:24618321

  17. Verb Selection and Past-Tense Morphology: Crystal's Criteria Revisited

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weiler, Brian

    2013-01-01

    Research findings concerning verb-level influences on past-tense morphology carry implications for the careful selection of treatment targets. Using 6 of the broad criteria for "good verbs to choose" proposed by D. Crystal (1985) more than 25 years ago as a framework, this article summarizes some of the more recent research with a nod…

  18. Altered Morphologies and Functions of the Olfactory Bulb and Hippocampus Induced by miR-30c

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Tingting; Li, Tianpeng; Davies, Henry; Li, Weiyun; Yang, Jing; Li, Shanshan; Ling, Shucai

    2016-01-01

    Adult neurogenesis is considered to contribute to a certain degree of plasticity for the brain. However, the effects of adult-born neurons on the brain are still largely unknown. Here, we specifically altered the expression of miR-30c in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and dentate gyrus (DG) by stereotaxic injection with their respective up- and down-regulated lentiviruses. Results showed an increased level of miR-30c enhanced adult neurogenesis by prompting cell-cycles of stem cells, whereas down-regulated miR-30c led to the opposite results. When these effects of miR-30c lasted for 3 months, we detected significant morphological changes in the olfactory bulb (OB) and lineage alteration in the hippocampus. Tests of olfactory sensitivity and associative and spatial memory showed that a certain amount of adult-born neurons are essential for the normal functions of the OB and hippocampus, but there also exist redundant newborn neurons that do not further improve the functioning of these areas. Our study revealed the interactions between miRNA, adult neurogenesis, brain morphology and function, and this provides a novel insight into understanding the role of newborn neurons in the adult brain. PMID:27242411

  19. Altered Morphologies and Functions of the Olfactory Bulb and Hippocampus Induced by miR-30c.

    PubMed

    Sun, Tingting; Li, Tianpeng; Davies, Henry; Li, Weiyun; Yang, Jing; Li, Shanshan; Ling, Shucai

    2016-01-01

    Adult neurogenesis is considered to contribute to a certain degree of plasticity for the brain. However, the effects of adult-born neurons on the brain are still largely unknown. Here, we specifically altered the expression of miR-30c in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and dentate gyrus (DG) by stereotaxic injection with their respective up- and down-regulated lentiviruses. Results showed an increased level of miR-30c enhanced adult neurogenesis by prompting cell-cycles of stem cells, whereas down-regulated miR-30c led to the opposite results. When these effects of miR-30c lasted for 3 months, we detected significant morphological changes in the olfactory bulb (OB) and lineage alteration in the hippocampus. Tests of olfactory sensitivity and associative and spatial memory showed that a certain amount of adult-born neurons are essential for the normal functions of the OB and hippocampus, but there also exist redundant newborn neurons that do not further improve the functioning of these areas. Our study revealed the interactions between miRNA, adult neurogenesis, brain morphology and function, and this provides a novel insight into understanding the role of newborn neurons in the adult brain. PMID:27242411

  20. Structure-Guided Mutations in the Terminal Organelle Protein MG491 Cause Major Motility and Morphologic Alterations on Mycoplasma genitalium.

    PubMed

    Martinelli, Luca; García-Morales, Luis; Querol, Enrique; Piñol, Jaume; Fita, Ignacio; Calisto, Bárbara M

    2016-04-01

    The emergent human pathogen Mycoplasma genitalium, with one of the smallest genomes among cells capable of growing in axenic cultures, presents a flask-shaped morphology due to a protrusion of the cell membrane, known as the terminal organelle, that is involved in cell adhesion and motility and is an important virulence factor of this microorganism. The terminal organelle is supported by a cytoskeleton complex of about 300 nm in length that includes three substructures: the terminal button, the rod and the wheel complex. The crystal structure of the MG491 protein, a proposed component of the wheel complex, has been determined at ~3 Å resolution. MG491 subunits are composed of a 60-residue N-terminus, a central three-helix-bundle spanning about 150 residues and a C-terminal region that appears to be quite flexible and contains the region that interacts with MG200, another key protein of the terminal organelle. The MG491 molecule is a tetramer presenting a unique organization as a dimer of asymmetric pairs of subunits. The asymmetric arrangement results in two very different intersubunit interfaces between the central three-helix-bundle domains, which correlates with the formation of only ~50% of the intersubunit disulfide bridges of the single cysteine residue found in MG491 (Cys87). Moreover, M. genitalium cells with a point mutation in the MG491 gene causing the change of Cys87 to Ser present a drastic reduction in motility (as determined by microcinematography) and important alterations in morphology (as determined by electron microscopy), while preserving normal levels of the terminal organelle proteins. Other variants of MG491, designed also according to the structural information, altered significantly the motility and/or the cell morphology. Together, these results indicate that MG491 plays a key role in the functioning, organization and stabilization of the terminal organelle. PMID:27082435

  1. Structure-Guided Mutations in the Terminal Organelle Protein MG491 Cause Major Motility and Morphologic Alterations on Mycoplasma genitalium

    PubMed Central

    Querol, Enrique; Piñol, Jaume; Fita, Ignacio; Calisto, Bárbara M.

    2016-01-01

    The emergent human pathogen Mycoplasma genitalium, with one of the smallest genomes among cells capable of growing in axenic cultures, presents a flask-shaped morphology due to a protrusion of the cell membrane, known as the terminal organelle, that is involved in cell adhesion and motility and is an important virulence factor of this microorganism. The terminal organelle is supported by a cytoskeleton complex of about 300 nm in length that includes three substructures: the terminal button, the rod and the wheel complex. The crystal structure of the MG491 protein, a proposed component of the wheel complex, has been determined at ~3 Å resolution. MG491 subunits are composed of a 60-residue N-terminus, a central three-helix-bundle spanning about 150 residues and a C-terminal region that appears to be quite flexible and contains the region that interacts with MG200, another key protein of the terminal organelle. The MG491 molecule is a tetramer presenting a unique organization as a dimer of asymmetric pairs of subunits. The asymmetric arrangement results in two very different intersubunit interfaces between the central three-helix-bundle domains, which correlates with the formation of only ~50% of the intersubunit disulfide bridges of the single cysteine residue found in MG491 (Cys87). Moreover, M. genitalium cells with a point mutation in the MG491 gene causing the change of Cys87 to Ser present a drastic reduction in motility (as determined by microcinematography) and important alterations in morphology (as determined by electron microscopy), while preserving normal levels of the terminal organelle proteins. Other variants of MG491, designed also according to the structural information, altered significantly the motility and/or the cell morphology. Together, these results indicate that MG491 plays a key role in the functioning, organization and stabilization of the terminal organelle. PMID:27082435

  2. One-hit effects in cancer: Altered proteome of morphologically normal colon crypts in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis

    PubMed Central

    Yeung, Anthony T.; Patel, Bhavinkumar B.; Li, Xin-Ming; Seeholzer, Steven H.; Coudry, Renata A.; Cooper, Harry S.; Bellacosa, Alfonso; Boman, Bruce M.; Zhang, Tao; Litwin, Samuel; Ross, Eric A.; Conrad, Peggy; Crowell, James A.; Kopelovich, Levy; Knudson, Alfred

    2008-01-01

    We studied patients with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP), because they are virtually certain to develop colon cancer, and because much is known about the causative APC gene. We hypothesized that the inherited heterozygous mutation itself leads to changes in the proteome of morphologically normal crypts and the proteins that changed may represent targets for preventive and therapeutic agents. We determined the differential protein expression of morphologically normal colon crypts of FAP patients versus those of individuals without the mutation, using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, mass spectrometry and validation by 2D gel Western blotting. Approximately 13% of 1,695 identified proteins were abnormally expressed in the morphologically normal crypts of APC mutation carriers, indicating that a colon crypt cell under the one-hit state is already abnormal. Many of the expression changes affect pathways consistent with the function of the APC protein, including apoptosis, cell adhesion, cell motility, cytoskeletal organization and biogenesis, mitosis, transcription and oxidative stress response. Thus, heterozygosity for a mutant APC tumor suppressor gene alters the proteome of normal-appearing crypt cells in a gene-specific manner, consistent with a detectable one-hit event. These changes may represent the earliest biomarkers of colorectal cancer development, potentially leading to the identification of molecular targets for cancer prevention. PMID:18794146

  3. Morphological alterations in salivary glands of Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) exposed to neem seed oil with known azadirachtin concentration.

    PubMed

    Remedio, R N; Nunes, P H; Anholeto, L A; Oliveira, P R; Sá, I C G; Camargo-Mathias, M I

    2016-04-01

    Neem (Azadirachta indica) has attracted the attention of researchers worldwide due to its repellent properties and recognized effects on the morphology and physiology of arthropods, including ticks. Therefore, this study aimed to demonstrate the effects of neem seed oil enriched with azadirachtin on salivary glands of Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks, targets of great veterinary interest because of their ability to transmit pathogens to dogs. For this, R. sanguineus semi-engorged females were subjected to treatment with neem seed oil, with known azadirachtin concentrations (200, 400 and 600ppm). After dissection, salivary glands were collected and evaluated through morphological techniques in light microscopy, confocal scanning laser microscopy and transmission electron microscopy, so that the possible relation between neem action and further impairment in these ectoparasites feed performance could be established. Neem oil demonstrated a clear dose-dependent effect in the analyzed samples. The agranular (type I) and granular acini (types II and III) showed, particularly in individuals treated with the highest concentrations of the product, cells with irregular shape, intense cytoplasmic disorganization and vacuolation, dilation of rough endoplasmic reticulum lumen, besides alterations in mitochondrial intermembrane space. These morphological damages may indicate modifications in salivary glands physiology, demonstrating the harmful effects of compounds present in neem oil on ticks. These results reinforce the potential of neem as an alternative method for controlling R. sanguineus ticks, instead of synthetic acaricides. PMID:26852009

  4. Alterations in neuronal morphology in infralimbic cortex predict resistance to fear extinction following acute stress

    PubMed Central

    Moench, Kelly M.; Maroun, Mouna; Kavushansky, Alexandra; Wellman, Cara

    2015-01-01

    Dysfunction in corticolimbic circuits that mediate the extinction of learned fear responses is thought to underlie the perseveration of fear in stress-related psychopathologies, including post-traumatic stress disorder. Chronic stress produces dendritic hypertrophy in basolateral amygdala (BLA) and dendritic hypotrophy in medial prefrontal cortex, whereas acute stress leads to hypotrophy in both BLA and prelimbic cortex. Additionally, both chronic and acute stress impair extinction retrieval. Here, we examined the effects of a single elevated platform stress on extinction learning and dendritic morphology in infralimbic cortex, a region considered to be critical for extinction. Acute stress produced resistance to extinction, as well as dendritic retraction in infralimbic cortex. Spine density on apical and basilar terminal branches was unaffected by stress. However, animals that underwent conditioning and extinction had decreased spine density on apical terminal branches. Thus, whereas dendritic morphology in infralimbic cortex appears to be particularly sensitive to stress, changes in spines may more sensitively reflect learning. Further, in stressed rats that underwent conditioning and extinction, the level of extinction learning was correlated with spine densities, in that rats with poorer extinction retrieval had more immature spines and fewer thin spines than rats with better extinction retrieval, suggesting that stress may have impaired learning-related spine plasticity. These results may have implications for understanding the role of medial prefrontal cortex in learning deficits associated with stress-related pathologies. PMID:26844245

  5. Biochemical and morphological alterations of the extracellular matrix of chicken calcaneal tendon during maturation.

    PubMed

    Fêo, Haline Ballestero; Biancalana, Adriano; Nakagaki, Wilson Romero; De Aro, Andrea Aparecida; Gomes, Laurecir

    2015-11-01

    The region in tendons that surrounds bone extremities adapts to compression forces, developing a fibrocartilaginous structure. During maturation, changes occur in the amount and organization of macromolecules of the extracellular matrix of tendons, changing the tissue morphology. To study the effect of maturation on tendons, Pedrês chickens were sacrificed at 1, 5, and 8 months old and had the calcaneal tendon (CT) divided into proximal region, submitted to tension/compression forces (p), and distal region submitted to tension force (d). Morphological analysis of the p region showed the presence of fibrocartilage in all ages. In the central part of the fibrocartilage, near a diminishment of the metachromasy, there was also a development of a probable fat pad that increased with the maturation. The activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 was higher at 5 and 8 months old, in both regions, compared with 1-month-old animals. In SDS-PAGE analysis, components with electrophoretic migration similar to decorin and fibromodulin increased with maturation, particularly in the d region. The Western blotting confirmed the increased amount of fibromodulin with maturation. In conclusion, our results show that process of maturation leads to the appearance of a probable fat pad in the center of the fibrocartilage of CT, with a reduced amount of glycosaminoglycans and an increased activity of MMPs. PMID:26250889

  6. Alterations in neuronal morphology in infralimbic cortex predict resistance to fear extinction following acute stress.

    PubMed

    Moench, Kelly M; Maroun, Mouna; Kavushansky, Alexandra; Wellman, Cara

    2016-06-01

    Dysfunction in corticolimbic circuits that mediate the extinction of learned fear responses is thought to underlie the perseveration of fear in stress-related psychopathologies, including post-traumatic stress disorder. Chronic stress produces dendritic hypertrophy in basolateral amygdala (BLA) and dendritic hypotrophy in medial prefrontal cortex, whereas acute stress leads to hypotrophy in both BLA and prelimbic cortex. Additionally, both chronic and acute stress impair extinction retrieval. Here, we examined the effects of a single elevated platform stress on extinction learning and dendritic morphology in infralimbic cortex, a region considered to be critical for extinction. Acute stress produced resistance to extinction, as well as dendritic retraction in infralimbic cortex. Spine density on apical and basilar terminal branches was unaffected by stress. However, animals that underwent conditioning and extinction had decreased spine density on apical terminal branches. Thus, whereas dendritic morphology in infralimbic cortex appears to be particularly sensitive to stress, changes in spines may more sensitively reflect learning. Further, in stressed rats that underwent conditioning and extinction, the level of extinction learning was correlated with spine densities, in that rats with poorer extinction retrieval had more immature spines and fewer thin spines than rats with better extinction retrieval, suggesting that stress may have impaired learning-related spine plasticity. These results may have implications for understanding the role of medial prefrontal cortex in learning deficits associated with stress-related pathologies. PMID:26844245

  7. Morphological alterations in the liver of yellow perch (Perca flavescens) from a biological mercury hotspot.

    PubMed

    Müller, Anne-Katrin; Brinkmann, Markus; Baumann, Lisa; Stoffel, Michael H; Segner, Helmut; Kidd, Karen A; Hollert, Henner

    2015-11-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination is a global issue due to its anthropogenic release, long-range transport, and deposition in remote areas. In Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, Nova Scotia, Canada, high concentrations of total mercury (THg) were found in tissues of yellow perch (Perca flavescens). The aim of this study was to evaluate a possible relationship between THg concentrations and the morphology of perch liver as a main site of metal storage and toxicity. Yellow perch were sampled from five lakes known to contain fish representing a wide range in Hg concentrations in fall 2013. The ultrastructure of hepatocytes and the distribution of Hg within the liver parenchyma were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron energy loss spectrometry (EELS). The relative area of macrophage aggregates (MAs) in the liver was determined using image analysis software and fluorescence microscopy. No relation between general health indicators (Fulton's condition index) and THg was observed. In line with this, TEM examination of the liver ultrastructure revealed no prominent pathologies related to THg accumulation. However, a morphological parameter that appeared to increase with muscle THg was the relative area of MAs in the liver. The hepatic lysosomes appeared to be enlarged in samples with the highest THg concentrations. Interestingly, EELS analysis revealed that the MAs and hepatic lysosomes contained Hg. PMID:25936831

  8. Amygdala Kindling Alters Estrus Cycle and Ovarian Morphology in the Rat.

    PubMed

    Pan, Juan; Zhang, Lingwu; Wang, Feng; Liu, Dan; Li, P Andy; Sun, Tao

    2013-11-01

    The objective of this study is to explore the effects of amygdala kindling on estrus cycle and ovarian morphology. Thirty-five female rats at the age of 8 weeks were randomly designated to electrode kindled, sham-kindled, and normal controls. Kindled rats were implanted with kindling electrodes in the left basolateral amygdala and kindled by brief suprathreshold stimulations with a bipolar electrode. Estrous cycles were daily monitored through vaginal smears. Electrographic and behavioral seizures were recorded and ovarian morphology was evaluated by light and electron microscopies. Our results showed that the kindled rats lost their ovarian periodicity displayed significant ovarian enlargement. H&E staining revealed increased number of growing follicles and total follicles, as well as polycysts in the ovaries of the kindled animals compared to sham and control animals. Ultrastructural study detected numerous apoptotic granulosa cells in growing follicles and thecal cell hyperplasia with secretary granules in the thecal cells in the kindled rats. The results suggest that amygdala kindling is a risk factor for the development of polycystic ovary syndrome. PMID:25285307

  9. Calcium-induced alterations in mitochondrial morphology quantified in situ with optical scatter imaging.

    PubMed Central

    Boustany, Nada N; Drezek, Rebekah; Thakor, Nitish V

    2002-01-01

    Optical scatter imaging (OSI), a technique we developed recently, was used to measure the ratio of wide-to-narrow angle scatter (OSIR) within endothelial cells subjected to calcium overload (1.6 mM) after permeabilization by ionomycin. Within a few minutes of calcium overload, the mitochondria, which started as elongated organelles, rounded up into spherically shaped particles. This change in morphology was accompanied by a statistically significant 14% increase in OSIR in the cells' cytoplasm. Mitochondrial rounding and OSIR increase were suppressed by cyclosporin A (25 microM), implying that the observed geometrical and scattering changes were directly attributable to the mitochondrial permeability transition. The angular scattering properties of a long mitochondrion rounding up were approximated by numerical simulations of light scatter from an ellipsoid rounding up into a sphere. The simulations predicted a relative increase in OSIR comparable to that measured experimentally for the case where the shape transition takes place with little or no volume increase. The simulations also suggested that mitochondrial refractive index changes could not account for the OSIR changes observed. Our data show that changes in OSIR correlate with mitochondrial morphology change in situ. OSI provides a new tool for subcellular imaging and complements other microscopy methods, such as fluorescence. PMID:12202392

  10. Amygdala Kindling Alters Estrus Cycle and Ovarian Morphology in the Rat

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Juan; Zhang, Lingwu; Wang, Feng; Liu, Dan

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study is to explore the effects of amygdala kindling on estrus cycle and ovarian morphology. Thirty-five female rats at the age of 8 weeks were randomly designated to electrode kindled, sham-kindled, and normal controls. Kindled rats were implanted with kindling electrodes in the left basolateral amygdala and kindled by brief suprathreshold stimulations with a bipolar electrode. Estrous cycles were daily monitored through vaginal smears. Electrographic and behavioral seizures were recorded and ovarian morphology was evaluated by light and electron microscopies. Our results showed that the kindled rats lost their ovarian periodicity displayed significant ovarian enlargement. H&E staining revealed increased number of growing follicles and total follicles, as well as polycysts in the ovaries of the kindled animals compared to sham and control animals. Ultrastructural study detected numerous apoptotic granulosa cells in growing follicles and thecal cell hyperplasia with secretary granules in the thecal cells in the kindled rats. The results suggest that amygdala kindling is a risk factor for the development of polycystic ovary syndrome. PMID:25285307

  11. Housing Complexity Alters GFAP-Immunoreactive Astrocyte Morphology in the Rat Dentate Gyrus

    PubMed Central

    Salois, Garrick; Smith, Jeffrey S.

    2016-01-01

    Rats used in research are typically housed singly in cages with limited sensory stimulation. There is substantial evidence that housing rats in these conditions lead to numerous neuroanatomical and behavioral abnormalities. Alternatively, rats can be housed in an enriched environment in which rats are housed in groups and given room for exercise and exploration. Enriched environments result in considerable neuroplasticity in the rodent brain. In the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, enriched environments evoke especially profound neural changes, including increases in the number of neurons and the number of dendritic spines. However, whether changes in astrocytes, a type of glia increasingly implicated in mediating neuroplasticity, are concurrent with these neural changes remains to be investigated. In order to assess morphological changes among astrocytes of the rat dentate gyrus, piSeeDB was used to optically clear 250 μm sections of tissue labeled using GFAP immunohistochemistry. Confocal imaging and image analysis were then used to measure astrocyte morphology. Astrocytes from animals housed in EE demonstrated a reduced distance between filament branch points. Furthermore, the most complex astrocytes were significantly more complex among animals housed in EE compared to standard environments. PMID:26989515

  12. Binary Matrix Shuffling Filter for Feature Selection in Neuronal Morphology Classification

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Congwei; Dai, Zhijun; Zhang, Hongyan; Li, Lanzhi; Yuan, Zheming

    2015-01-01

    A prerequisite to understand neuronal function and characteristic is to classify neuron correctly. The existing classification techniques are usually based on structural characteristic and employ principal component analysis to reduce feature dimension. In this work, we dedicate to classify neurons based on neuronal morphology. A new feature selection method named binary matrix shuffling filter was used in neuronal morphology classification. This method, coupled with support vector machine for implementation, usually selects a small amount of features for easy interpretation. The reserved features are used to build classification models with support vector classification and another two commonly used classifiers. Compared with referred feature selection methods, the binary matrix shuffling filter showed optimal performance and exhibited broad generalization ability in five random replications of neuron datasets. Besides, the binary matrix shuffling filter was able to distinguish each neuron type from other types correctly; for each neuron type, private features were also obtained. PMID:25893005

  13. Binary matrix shuffling filter for feature selection in neuronal morphology classification.

    PubMed

    Sun, Congwei; Dai, Zhijun; Zhang, Hongyan; Li, Lanzhi; Yuan, Zheming

    2015-01-01

    A prerequisite to understand neuronal function and characteristic is to classify neuron correctly. The existing classification techniques are usually based on structural characteristic and employ principal component analysis to reduce feature dimension. In this work, we dedicate to classify neurons based on neuronal morphology. A new feature selection method named binary matrix shuffling filter was used in neuronal morphology classification. This method, coupled with support vector machine for implementation, usually selects a small amount of features for easy interpretation. The reserved features are used to build classification models with support vector classification and another two commonly used classifiers. Compared with referred feature selection methods, the binary matrix shuffling filter showed optimal performance and exhibited broad generalization ability in five random replications of neuron datasets. Besides, the binary matrix shuffling filter was able to distinguish each neuron type from other types correctly; for each neuron type, private features were also obtained. PMID:25893005

  14. Altered gene regulation and synaptic morphology in Drosophila learning and memory mutants.

    PubMed

    Guan, Zhuo; Buhl, Lauren K; Quinn, William G; Littleton, J Troy

    2011-01-01

    Genetic studies in Drosophila have revealed two separable long-term memory pathways defined as anesthesia-resistant memory (ARM) and long-lasting long-term memory (LLTM). ARM is disrupted in radish (rsh) mutants, whereas LLTM requires CREB-dependent protein synthesis. Although the downstream effectors of ARM and LLTM are distinct, pathways leading to these forms of memory may share the cAMP cascade critical for associative learning. Dunce, which encodes a cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase, and rutabaga, which encodes an adenylyl cyclase, both disrupt short-term memory. Amnesiac encodes a pituitary adenylyl cyclase-activating peptide homolog and is required for middle-term memory. Here, we demonstrate that the Radish protein localizes to the cytoplasm and nucleus and is a PKA phosphorylation target in vitro. To characterize how these plasticity pathways may manifest at the synaptic level, we assayed synaptic connectivity and performed an expression analysis to detect altered transcriptional networks in rutabaga, dunce, amnesiac, and radish mutants. All four mutants disrupt specific aspects of synaptic connectivity at larval neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Genome-wide DNA microarray analysis revealed ∼375 transcripts that are altered in these mutants, suggesting defects in multiple neuronal signaling pathways. In particular, the transcriptional target Lapsyn, which encodes a leucine-rich repeat cell adhesion protein, localizes to synapses and regulates synaptic growth. This analysis provides insights into the Radish-dependent ARM pathway and novel transcriptional targets that may contribute to memory processing in Drosophila. PMID:21422168

  15. Different Levels of DNA Methylation Detected in Human Sperms after Morphological Selection Using High Magnification Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Cassuto, Nino Guy; Montjean, Debbie; Siffroi, Jean-Pierre; Bouret, Dominique; Marzouk, Flora; Copin, Henri; Benkhalifa, Moncef

    2016-01-01

    Objective. To analyze DNA methylation levels between two groups of spermatozoa taken from the same sample, following morphological selection by high magnification (HM) at 6100x microscopy. A prospective study was conducted and studied 876 spermatozoa from 10 randomly selected men. Sperm morphology was characterized at HM according to criteria previously established. High-scoring Score 6 and low-scoring Score 0 sperm were selected. Sperm DNA methylation level was assessed using an immunoassay method targeting 5-methylcytosine residues by fluorescence microscopy with imaging analysis system to detect DNA methylation in single spermatozoon. Results. In total, 448 S6 spermatozoa and 428 S0 spermatozoa were analyzed. A strong relationship was found between sperm DNA methylation levels and sperm morphology observed at HM. Sperm DNA methylation level in the S6 group was significantly lower compared with that in the S0 group (p < 10−6), OR = 2.4; and p < 0.001, as determined using the Wilcoxon test. Conclusion. Differences in DNA methylation levels are associated with sperm morphology variations as observed at HM, which allows spermatozoa with abnormal levels to be discarded and ultimately decrease birth defects, malformations, and epigenetic diseases that may be transmitted from sperm to offspring in ICSI. PMID:27148551

  16. Different Levels of DNA Methylation Detected in Human Sperms after Morphological Selection Using High Magnification Microscopy.

    PubMed

    Cassuto, Nino Guy; Montjean, Debbie; Siffroi, Jean-Pierre; Bouret, Dominique; Marzouk, Flora; Copin, Henri; Benkhalifa, Moncef

    2016-01-01

    Objective. To analyze DNA methylation levels between two groups of spermatozoa taken from the same sample, following morphological selection by high magnification (HM) at 6100x microscopy. A prospective study was conducted and studied 876 spermatozoa from 10 randomly selected men. Sperm morphology was characterized at HM according to criteria previously established. High-scoring Score 6 and low-scoring Score 0 sperm were selected. Sperm DNA methylation level was assessed using an immunoassay method targeting 5-methylcytosine residues by fluorescence microscopy with imaging analysis system to detect DNA methylation in single spermatozoon. Results. In total, 448 S6 spermatozoa and 428 S0 spermatozoa were analyzed. A strong relationship was found between sperm DNA methylation levels and sperm morphology observed at HM. Sperm DNA methylation level in the S6 group was significantly lower compared with that in the S0 group (p < 10(-6)), OR = 2.4; and p < 0.001, as determined using the Wilcoxon test. Conclusion. Differences in DNA methylation levels are associated with sperm morphology variations as observed at HM, which allows spermatozoa with abnormal levels to be discarded and ultimately decrease birth defects, malformations, and epigenetic diseases that may be transmitted from sperm to offspring in ICSI. PMID:27148551

  17. Morphological characterization of selected balloon films and its effects on balloon performances

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Said, Magdi A.

    1994-01-01

    Morphological characterization of several polyethylene balloon films have been studied using various techniques. The objective is to determine, if any, differentiating structural or morphological features that can be related to the performance of these balloon film materials. The results of the study indicate that the films are composed of either linear low denstiy polyethylene (LLDPE) or low density polyethylene (LDPE). A selective examination of these data imply that films limited degree of branching and larger crystallites size (same % crystallinity) showed good mechanical properties that appear to correlate with their high level of success in balloon flights.

  18. Endothelial Cell Morphology and Migration are Altered by Changes in Gravitational Fields

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melhado, Caroline; Sanford, Gary; Harris-Hooker, Sandra

    1997-01-01

    Endothelial cell migration is important to vascular wall regeneration following injury or stress. However, the mechanism(s) governing this response is not well understood. The microgravity environment of space may complicate the response of these cells to injury. To date, there are no reports in this area. We examined how bovine aortic (BAEC) and pulmonary (BPEC) endothelial cells respond to denudation injury under hypergravity (HGrav) and simulated microgravity (MGrav), using image analysis. In 10% FBS, the migration of confluent BAEC and BPEC into the denuded area was not affected by HGrav or MGrav. However, in low FBS (0.5%), signficantly retarded migration under MGrav, and increased migration under HGrav was found. MGrav also decreased the migration of postconfluent BPEC while HGrav showed no difference. Both MGrav and HGrav strongly decreased the migration of postconfluent BAEC. Also, both cell lines showed significant morphological changes by scanning electron microscopy. These studies indicate that endothelial cell function is affected by changes in gravity.

  19. Morphological and growth altering effects of Cisplatin in C. albicans using fluorescence microscopy.

    PubMed

    Kesavan, Chandrasekhar; Raghunathan, Malathi; Ganesan, Natarajan

    2005-01-01

    Changes in morphology and growth curve of Candida albicans in response to treatment by Cisplatin has been studied using fluorescence staining with ethidium bromide. Treatment with Cisplatin was found to markedly inhibit hyphae and ovoid growth as revealed by ethidium bromide staining of drug treated cells. These changes were concomitant with inhibitory effects on the growth curve with respect to untreated cells. Presence of Cisplatin not only caused suppression in the limiting values in the growth curve, but also caused a slight left shift in the EC50 values. Some of the ovoid cells undergoing poisoning with cisplatin were found to be unusually enlarged before undergoing their natural fate thus suggesting formation of similar cytotoxic end products with DNA. PMID:15850483

  20. Sublethal concentrations of carbapenems alter cell morphology and genomic expression of Klebsiella pneumoniae biofilms.

    PubMed

    Van Laar, Tricia A; Chen, Tsute; You, Tao; Leung, Kai P

    2015-03-01

    Klebsiella pneumoniae, a Gram-negative bacterium, is normally associated with pneumonia in patients with weakened immune systems. However, it is also a prevalent nosocomial infectious agent that can be found in infected surgical sites and combat wounds. Many of these clinical strains display multidrug resistance. We have worked with a clinical strain of K. pneumoniae that was initially isolated from a wound of an injured soldier. This strain demonstrated resistance to many commonly used antibiotics but sensitivity to carbapenems. This isolate was capable of forming biofilms in vitro, contributing to its increased antibiotic resistance and impaired clearance. We were interested in determining how sublethal concentrations of carbapenem treatment specifically affect K. pneumoniae biofilms both in morphology and in genomic expression. Scanning electron microscopy showed striking morphological differences between untreated and treated biofilms, including rounding, blebbing, and dimpling of treated cells. Comparative transcriptome analysis using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) technology identified a large number of open reading frames (ORFs) differentially regulated in response to carbapenem treatment at 2 and 24 h. ORFs upregulated with carbapenem treatment included genes involved in resistance, as well as those coding for antiporters and autoinducers. ORFs downregulated included those coding for metal transporters, membrane biosynthesis proteins, and motility proteins. Quantitative real-time PCR validated the general trend of some of these differentially regulated ORFs. Treatment of K. pneumoniae biofilms with sublethal concentrations of carbapenems induced a wide range of phenotypic and gene expression changes. This study reveals some of the mechanisms underlying how sublethal amounts of carbapenems could affect the overall fitness and pathogenic potential of K. pneumoniae biofilm cells. PMID:25583711

  1. Altered corpus callosum morphology associated with autism over the first 2 years of life.

    PubMed

    Wolff, Jason J; Gerig, Guido; Lewis, John D; Soda, Takahiro; Styner, Martin A; Vachet, Clement; Botteron, Kelly N; Elison, Jed T; Dager, Stephen R; Estes, Annette M; Hazlett, Heather C; Schultz, Robert T; Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie; Piven, Joseph

    2015-07-01

    Numerous brain imaging studies indicate that the corpus callosum is smaller in older children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. However, there are no published studies examining the morphological development of this connective pathway in infants at-risk for the disorder. Magnetic resonance imaging data were collected from 270 infants at high familial risk for autism spectrum disorder and 108 low-risk controls at 6, 12 and 24 months of age, with 83% of infants contributing two or more data points. Fifty-seven children met criteria for ASD based on clinical-best estimate diagnosis at age 2 years. Corpora callosa were measured for area, length and thickness by automated segmentation. We found significantly increased corpus callosum area and thickness in children with autism spectrum disorder starting at 6 months of age. These differences were particularly robust in the anterior corpus callosum at the 6 and 12 month time points. Regression analysis indicated that radial diffusivity in this region, measured by diffusion tensor imaging, inversely predicted thickness. Measures of area and thickness in the first year of life were correlated with repetitive behaviours at age 2 years. In contrast to work from older children and adults, our findings suggest that the corpus callosum may be larger in infants who go on to develop autism spectrum disorder. This result was apparent with or without adjustment for total brain volume. Although we did not see a significant interaction between group and age, cross-sectional data indicated that area and thickness differences diminish by age 2 years. Regression data incorporating diffusion tensor imaging suggest that microstructural properties of callosal white matter, which includes myelination and axon composition, may explain group differences in morphology. PMID:25937563

  2. Altered astrocyte morphology and vascular development in dystrophin-Dp71-null mice.

    PubMed

    Giocanti-Auregan, Audrey; Vacca, Ophélie; Bénard, Romain; Cao, Sijia; Siqueiros, Lourdes; Montañez, Cecilia; Paques, Michel; Sahel, José-Alain; Sennlaub, Florian; Guillonneau, Xavier; Rendon, Alvaro; Tadayoni, Ramin

    2016-05-01

    Understanding retinal vascular development is crucial because many retinal vascular diseases such as diabetic retinopathy (in adults) or retinopathy of prematurity (in children) are among the leading causes of blindness. Given the localization of the protein Dp71 around the retinal vessels in adult mice and its role in maintaining retinal homeostasis, the aim of this study was to determine if Dp71 was involved in astrocyte and vascular development regulation. An experimental study in mouse retinas was conducted. Using a dual immunolabeling with antibodies to Dp71 and anti-GFAP for astrocytes on retinal sections and isolated astrocytes, it was found that Dp71 was expressed in wild-type (WT) mouse astrocytes from early developmental stages to adult stage. In Dp71-null mice, a reduction in GFAP-immunopositive astrocytes was observed as early as postnatal day 6 (P6) compared with WT mice. Using real-time PCR, it was showed that Dp71 mRNA was stable between P1 and P6, in parallel with post-natal vascular development. Regarding morphology in Dp71-null and WT mice, a significant decrease in overall astrocyte process number in Dp71-null retinas at P6 to adult age was found. Using fluorescence-conjugated isolectin Griffonia simplicifolia on whole mount retinas, subsequent delay of developing vascular network at the same age in Dp71-null mice was found. An evidence that the Dystrophin Dp71, a membrane-associated cytoskeletal protein and one of the smaller Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene products, regulates astrocyte morphology and density and is associated with subsequent normal blood vessel development was provided. GLIA 2016;64:716-729. PMID:26711882

  3. Sublethal Concentrations of Carbapenems Alter Cell Morphology and Genomic Expression of Klebsiella pneumoniae Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Van Laar, Tricia A.; Chen, Tsute; You, Tao

    2015-01-01

    Klebsiella pneumoniae, a Gram-negative bacterium, is normally associated with pneumonia in patients with weakened immune systems. However, it is also a prevalent nosocomial infectious agent that can be found in infected surgical sites and combat wounds. Many of these clinical strains display multidrug resistance. We have worked with a clinical strain of K. pneumoniae that was initially isolated from a wound of an injured soldier. This strain demonstrated resistance to many commonly used antibiotics but sensitivity to carbapenems. This isolate was capable of forming biofilms in vitro, contributing to its increased antibiotic resistance and impaired clearance. We were interested in determining how sublethal concentrations of carbapenem treatment specifically affect K. pneumoniae biofilms both in morphology and in genomic expression. Scanning electron microscopy showed striking morphological differences between untreated and treated biofilms, including rounding, blebbing, and dimpling of treated cells. Comparative transcriptome analysis using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) technology identified a large number of open reading frames (ORFs) differentially regulated in response to carbapenem treatment at 2 and 24 h. ORFs upregulated with carbapenem treatment included genes involved in resistance, as well as those coding for antiporters and autoinducers. ORFs downregulated included those coding for metal transporters, membrane biosynthesis proteins, and motility proteins. Quantitative real-time PCR validated the general trend of some of these differentially regulated ORFs. Treatment of K. pneumoniae biofilms with sublethal concentrations of carbapenems induced a wide range of phenotypic and gene expression changes. This study reveals some of the mechanisms underlying how sublethal amounts of carbapenems could affect the overall fitness and pathogenic potential of K. pneumoniae biofilm cells. PMID:25583711

  4. Gape-limited predators as agents of selection on the defensive morphology of an invasive invertebrate.

    PubMed

    Miehls, Andrea L J; Peacor, Scott D; McAdam, Andrew G

    2014-09-01

    Invasive species have widespread and pronounced effects on ecosystems and adaptive evolution of invaders is often considered responsible for their success. Despite the potential importance of adaptation to invasion, we still have limited knowledge of the agents of natural selection on invasive species. Bythotrephes longimanus, a cladoceran zooplankton, invaded multiple Canadian Shield lakes over the past several decades. Bythotrephes have a conspicuous caudal process (tail spine) that provides a morphological defense against fish predation. We measured viability selection on the longest component of the Bythotrephes spine, the distal spine segment, through a comparison of the lengths of first and second instar Bythotrephes collected from lakes differing in the dominance of gape-limited predation (GLP) and nongape-limited predation (NGLP) by fish. We found that natural selection varied by predator gape-limitation, with strong selection (selection intensity: 0.20-0.79) for increased distal spine length in lakes dominated by GLP, and no significant selection in lakes dominated by NGLP. Further, distal spine length was 17% longer in lakes dominated by GLP, suggesting the possibility of local adaptation. As all study lakes were invaded less than 20 years prior to our collections, our results suggest rapid divergence in defensive morphology in response to selection from fish predators. PMID:24916281

  5. Prolonged endoplasmic reticulum stress alters placental morphology and causes low birth weight

    SciTech Connect

    Kawakami, Takashige Yoshimi, Masaki; Kadota, Yoshito; Inoue, Masahisa; Sato, Masao; Suzuki, Shinya

    2014-03-01

    The role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in pregnancy remains largely unknown. Pregnant mice were subcutaneously administered tunicamycin (Tun), an ER stressor, as a single dose [0, 50, and 100 μg Tun/kg/body weight (BW)] on gestation days (GDs) 8.5, 12.5, and 15.5. A high incidence (75%) of preterm delivery was observed only in the group treated with Tun 100 μg/kg BW at GD 15.5, indicating that pregnant mice during late gestation are more susceptible to ER stress on preterm delivery. We further examined whether prolonged in utero exposure to ER stress affects fetal development. Pregnant mice were subcutaneously administered a dose of 0, 20, 40, and 60 μg Tun/kg from GD 12.5 to 16.5. Tun treatment decreased the placental and fetal weights in a dose-dependent manner. Histological evaluation showed the formation of a cluster of spongiotrophoblast cells in the labyrinth zone of the placenta of Tun-treated mice. The glycogen content of the fetal liver and placenta from Tun-treated mice was lower than that from control mice. Tun treatment decreased mRNA expression of Slc2a1/glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1), which is a major transporter for glucose, but increased placental mRNA levels of Slc2a3/GLUT3. Moreover, maternal exposure to Tun resulted in a decrease in vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (VEGFR-1), VEGFR-2, and placental growth factor. These results suggest that excessive and exogenous ER stress may induce functional abnormalities in the placenta, at least in part, with altered GLUT and vascular-related gene expression, resulting in low infant birth weight. - Highlights: • Maternal exposure to excessive ER stress induced preterm birth and IUGR. • Prolonged excessive ER stress altered the formation of the placental labyrinth. • ER stress decreased GLUT1 mRNA expression in the placenta, but increased GLUT3. • ER stress-induced IUGR causes decreased glycogen and altered glucose transport.

  6. Selective concentration of cesium in analcime during hydrothermal alteration, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keith, T.E.C.; Thompson, J.M.; Mays, R.E.

    1983-01-01

    Chemical and mineralogical studies of fresh and hydrothermally altered rhyolitic material in Upper and Lower Geyser Basins, Yellowstone National Park, show that all the altered rocks are enriched in Cs and that Cs is selectively concentrated in analcime. The Cs content of unaltered rhyolite lava flows, including those from which the altered sediments are derived, ranges from 2.5 to 7.6 ppm. The Cs content of analcime-bearing altered sedimentary rocks is as high as 3000 ppm, and in clinoptilolite-bearing altered sedimentary rocks Cs content is as high as 180 ppm. Altered rhyolite lava flows which were initially vitrophyres, now contain up to 250 ppm Cs, and those which were crystallized prior to hydrothermal alteration contain up to 14 ppm. Mineral concentrates of analcime contain as much as 4700 ppm Cs. The Cs must have been incorporated into the analcime structure during crystallization, rather than by later cation substitution, because analcime does not readily exchange Cs. The Cs Cl of the fluids circulating through the hydrothermal system varies, suggesting that Cs is not always a conservative ion and that Cs is lost from upflowing thermal waters due to water-rock interaction resulting in crystallization of Cs-bearing analcime. The source of Cs for Cs enrichment of the altered rocks is from leaching of rhyolitic rocks underlying the geyser basins, and from the top of the silicic magma chamber that underlies the area. Analcime is an important natural Cs sink, and the high Cs concentrations reported here may prove to be an important indicator of the environment of analcime crystallization. ?? 1983.

  7. Altered and dynamic ion selectivity of K+ channels in cell development and excitability

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Haijun; Chatelain, Franck C.; Lesage, Florian

    2015-01-01

    K+ channels play a key role in regulating cellular excitability. It was thought that the strong K+-selectivity of these channels was static, only altered by mutations in their selectivity filter, which can cause severe genetic disorders. Recent studies demonstrate that selectivity of K+ channels can also exhibit dynamic changes. Under acidic conditions or in low extracellular K+ concentrations, the two-pore domain K+ channel (K2P) TWIK1 becomes permeable to Na+, shifting from an inhibitory role to an excitatory role. This phenomenon is responsible for the paradoxical depolarization of human cardiomyocytes in pathological hypokalemia, and therefore may contribute to cardiac arrhythmias. In other cell types, TWIK1 produces depolarizing leak currents under physiological conditions. Dynamic ion selectivity also occurs in other K2P channels. Here we review evidence that dynamic selectivity of K2P channels constitutes a new regulatory mechanism of cellular excitability, whose significance is only now becoming appreciated. PMID:25023607

  8. Obesity diminishes synaptic markers, alters microglial morphology, and impairs cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Bocarsly, Miriam E; Fasolino, Maria; Kane, Gary A; LaMarca, Elizabeth A; Kirschen, Gregory W; Karatsoreos, Ilia N; McEwen, Bruce S; Gould, Elizabeth

    2015-12-22

    Obesity is a major public health problem affecting overall physical and emotional well-being. Despite compelling data suggesting an association between obesity and cognitive dysfunction, this phenomenon has received relatively little attention. Neuroimaging studies in obese humans report reduced size of brain regions involved in cognition, but few studies have investigated the cellular processes underlying cognitive decline in obesity or the influence of obesity on cognition in the absence of obesity-related illnesses. Here, a rat model of diet-induced obesity was used to explore changes in brain regions important for cognition. Obese rats showed deficits on cognitive tasks requiring the prefrontal and perirhinal cortex. Cognitive deficits were accompanied by decreased dendritic spine density and synaptic marker expression in both brain regions. Microglial morphology was also changed in the prefrontal cortex. Detrimental changes in the prefrontal cortex and perirhinal cortex occurred before metabolic syndrome or diabetes, suggesting that these brain regions may be particularly vulnerable to early stage obesity. PMID:26644559

  9. Obesity diminishes synaptic markers, alters microglial morphology, and impairs cognitive function

    PubMed Central

    Bocarsly, Miriam E.; Fasolino, Maria; Kane, Gary A.; LaMarca, Elizabeth A.; Kirschen, Gregory W.; Karatsoreos, Ilia N.; McEwen, Bruce S.; Gould, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Obesity is a major public health problem affecting overall physical and emotional well-being. Despite compelling data suggesting an association between obesity and cognitive dysfunction, this phenomenon has received relatively little attention. Neuroimaging studies in obese humans report reduced size of brain regions involved in cognition, but few studies have investigated the cellular processes underlying cognitive decline in obesity or the influence of obesity on cognition in the absence of obesity-related illnesses. Here, a rat model of diet-induced obesity was used to explore changes in brain regions important for cognition. Obese rats showed deficits on cognitive tasks requiring the prefrontal and perirhinal cortex. Cognitive deficits were accompanied by decreased dendritic spine density and synaptic marker expression in both brain regions. Microglial morphology was also changed in the prefrontal cortex. Detrimental changes in the prefrontal cortex and perirhinal cortex occurred before metabolic syndrome or diabetes, suggesting that these brain regions may be particularly vulnerable to early stage obesity. PMID:26644559

  10. Morphology in the Digital Age: Integrating High Resolution Description of Structural Alterations with Phenotypes and Genotypes

    PubMed Central

    Nast, Cynthia C.; Lemley, Kevin V.; Hodgin, Jeffrey B.; Bagnasco, Serena; Avila-Casado, Carmen; Hewitt, Stephen M; Barisoni, Laura

    2015-01-01

    Conventional light microscopy (CLM) has been used to characterize and classify renal diseases, evaluate histopathology in studies and trials, and educate renal pathologists and nephrologists. The advent of digital pathology, in which a glass slide can be scanned to create whole slide images (WSI) for viewing and manipulating on a computer monitor, provides real and potential advantages over CLM. Software tools such as annotation, morphometry and image analysis can be applied to WSIs for studies or educational purposes, and the digital images are globally available to clinicians, pathologists and investigators. New ways of assessing renal pathology with observational data collection may allow better morphologic correlations and integration with molecular and genetic signatures, refinements of classification schema, and understanding of disease pathogenesis. In multicenter studies, WSI, which require additional quality assurance steps, provide efficiencies by reducing slide shipping and consensus conference costs, and allowing anytime anywhere slide viewing. While validation studies for the routine diagnostic use of digital pathology still are needed, this is a powerful tool currently available for translational research, clinical trials and education in renal pathology. PMID:26215864

  11. Heteroresistance to Itraconazole Alters the Morphology and Increases the Virulence of Cryptococcus gattii.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Gabriella Freitas; Santos, Julliana Ribeiro Alves; Costa, Marliete Carvalho da; Holanda, Rodrigo Assunção de; Denadai, Ângelo Márcio Leite; Freitas, Gustavo José Cota de; Santos, Áquila Rodrigues Costa; Tavares, Priscila Batista; Paixão, Tatiane Alves; Santos, Daniel Assis

    2015-08-01

    Cryptococcus gattii is the main etiological agent of cryptococcosis in immunocompetent individuals. The triazole drug itraconazole is one of the antifungals used to treat patients with cryptococcosis. Heteroresistance is an adaptive mechanism to counteract the stress of increasing drug concentrations, and it can enhance the ability of a microorganism to survive under antifungal pressure. In this study, we evaluated the ability of 11 C. gattii strains to develop itraconazole heteroresistance. Heteroresistant clones were analyzed for drug susceptibility, alterations in cell diameter, capsule properties, and virulence in a murine model. Heteroresistance to itraconazole was intrinsic in all of the strains analyzed, reduced both the capsule size and the cell diameter, induced molecular heterogeneity at the chromosomal level, changed the negatively charged cells, reduced ergosterol content, and improved the antioxidant system. A positive correlation between surface/volume ratio of original cells and the level of heteroresistance to itraconazole (LHI) was observed in addition to a negative correlation between capsule size of heteroresistant clones and LHI. Moreover, heteroresistance to itraconazole increased the engulfment of C. gattii by macrophages and augmented fungal proliferation inside these cells, which probably accounted for the reduced survival of the mice infected with the heteroresistant clones and the higher fungal burden in lungs and brain. Our results indicate that heteroresistance to itraconazole is intrinsic and increases the virulence of C. gattii. This phenomenon may represent an additional mechanism that contributes to relapses of cryptococcosis in patients during itraconazole therapy. PMID:26014951

  12. Biomechanical evaluation of the pathophysiologic developmental mechanisms of mitral valve prolapse: effect of valvular morphologic alteration.

    PubMed

    Choi, Ahnryul; McPherson, David D; Kim, Hyunggun

    2016-05-01

    Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) refers to an excessive billowing of the mitral valve (MV) leaflets across the mitral annular plane into the left atrium during the systolic portion of the cardiac cycle. The underlying mechanisms for the development of MVP and mitral regurgitation in association with MV tissue remodeling are still unclear. We performed computational MV simulations to investigate the pathophysiologic developmental mechanisms of MVP. A parametric MV geometry model was utilized for this study. Posterior leaflet enlargement and posterior chordal elongation models were created by adjusting the geometry of the posterior leaflet and chordae, respectively. Dynamic finite element simulations of MV function were performed over the complete cardiac cycle. Computational simulations demonstrated that enlarging posterior leaflet area increased large stress concentration in the posterior leaflets and chordae, and posterior chordal elongation decreased leaflet coaptation. When MVP was accompanied by both posterior leaflet enlargement and chordal elongation simultaneously, the posterior leaflet was exposed to extremely large prolapse with a substantial lack of leaflet coaptation. These data indicate that MVP development is closely related to tissue alterations of the leaflets and chordae. This biomechanical evaluation strategy can help us better understand the pathophysiologic developmental mechanisms of MVP. PMID:26307201

  13. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles alter cellular morphology via disturbing the microtubule dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Zhilei; Xu, Bo; Ji, Xiaoli; Zhou, Kun; Zhang, Xuemei; Chen, Minjian; Han, Xiumei; Tang, Qiusha; Wang, Xinru; Xia, Yankai

    2015-04-01

    Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely used in our daily lives, for example, in the areas of sunscreens, cosmetics, toothpastes, food products, and nanomedical reagents. Recently, increasing concern has been raised about their neurotoxicity, but the mechanisms underlying such toxic effects are still unknown. In this work, we employed a human neuroblastoma cell line (SH-SY5Y) to study the effects of TiO2 NPs on neurological systems. Our results showed that TiO2 NPs did not affect cell viability but induced noticeable morphological changes until 100 μg ml-1. Immunofluorescence detection showed disorder, disruption, retraction, and decreased intensity of the microtubules after TiO2 NPs treatment. Both α and β tubule expressions did not change in the TiO2 NP-treated group, but the percentage of soluble tubules was increased. A microtubule dynamic study in living cells indicated that TiO2 NPs caused a lower growth rate and a higher shortening rate of microtubules as well as shortened lifetimes of de novo microtubules. TiO2 NPs did not cause changes in the expression and phosphorylation state of tau proteins, but a tau-TiO2 NP interaction was observed. TiO2 NPs could interact with tubule heterodimers, microtubules and tau proteins, which led to the instability of microtubules, thus contributing to the neurotoxicity of TiO2 NPs.Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely used in our daily lives, for example, in the areas of sunscreens, cosmetics, toothpastes, food products, and nanomedical reagents. Recently, increasing concern has been raised about their neurotoxicity, but the mechanisms underlying such toxic effects are still unknown. In this work, we employed a human neuroblastoma cell line (SH-SY5Y) to study the effects of TiO2 NPs on neurological systems. Our results showed that TiO2 NPs did not affect cell viability but induced noticeable morphological changes until 100 μg ml-1. Immunofluorescence detection showed disorder

  14. Alterations in Rat Fetal Morphology Following Abuse Patterns of Toluene Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Bowen, Scott E.; Irtenkauf, Susan; Hannigan, John H.; Stefanski, Adrianne L.

    2009-01-01

    Toluene is a commonly abused organic solvent. Inhalant abusers are increasingly women in their prime childbearing years. Children born to mothers who abused solvents during pregnancy may exhibit characteristics of a “fetal solvent syndrome” which may include dysmorphic features. This study examined the teratological effects of an abuse pattern of binge toluene exposure during gestation on skeletal and soft tissue abnormalities, body weight, and body size in fetal rats. Pregnant Sprague–Dawley rats were exposed for 30 min, twice daily, from gestational day (GD) 8 through GD20 to either air (0 ppm), 8,000 ppm, 12,000 ppm, or 16,000 ppm toluene. Two-thirds of each litter was prepared for skeletal examination using Alizarin Red S staining while the remaining third of each litter was fixed in Bouin’s solution for Wilson’s soft tissue evaluation. Exposure to toluene at all levels significantly reduced growth, including decreases in placental weight, fetal weight, and crown-rump length. In addition, numerous gross morphological anomalies were observed such as short or missing digits and missing limbs. Skeletal examination revealed that ossification of the extremities was significantly reduced as a result of toluene exposure at all levels. Specific skeletal defects included misshapen scapula, missing and supernumerary vertebrae and ribs, and fused digits. Soft tissue anomalies were also observed at all toluene levels and there was a dose-dependent increase in the number of anomalies which included cryptorchidism, displaced abdominal organs, gastromegaly, distended/hypoplastic bladder, and delayed cardiac development, among others. These results indicate that animals exposed prenatally to levels and patterns of toluene typical of inhalant abuse are at increased risk for skeletal and soft tissue abnormalities. PMID:19429395

  15. Tracheal Morphologic and Protein Alterations FollowingShort-Term Cigarette Mainstream Smoke Exposure to Rats.

    PubMed

    Carter, Charleata A; Misra, Manoj; Maronpot, Robert R

    2012-09-01

    A short-term 5-day nose-only cigarette smoke exposure study was conducted in Fisher 344 rats to identify smoke-induced tracheal protein changes. Groups of 10 male and female 5 week old rats were assigned to 1 of 4 exposure groups. Animals received filtered air, or 75, 200 or 400 mg total particulate matter (TPM)/m(3) of diluted 3R4F Kentucky reference cigarette mainstream smoke. Exposures were conducted for 3 hrs/day, for 5 consecutive days. Tracheas from half the rats were processed for pathology, and tracheas from the other half of the rats frozen immediately for proteomics. We hypothesized that smoke will activate tracheal inflammatory, apoptotic, proliferative, and stress-induced pathways. Mucosal epithelial toxicity from the inhaled material was evidenced by cilia shortening and loss of tracheal mucosal epithelium in smoke-exposed animals. Mucosal thinning occurred in all smoke-exposed groups with hyperplastic reparative responses in the 200 and 400 mg TPM/m(3) groups. Tracheal lysates from control vs. treated animals were screened for 800 proteins using antibody-based microarray technology and subsequently the most changed proteins evaluated by Western blot. Tracheal proteins expressed at high levels that were markedly increased or decreased by smoke exposure depended on dose and gender and included caspase 5, ERK 1/2 and p38. Signaling pathways common between the morphologic and protein changes were stress, apoptosis, cell cycle control, cell proliferation and survival. Changes in identified proteins affected by smoke exposure were associated with tracheal mucosal pathology, may induce functional tracheal changes, and could serve as early indicators of tracheal damage and associated disease. PMID:22988338

  16. Three-dimensional Humeral Morphological Alterations and Atrophy Associated with Obstetrical Brachial Plexus Palsy

    PubMed Central

    Sheehan, Frances T.; Brochard, Sylvain; Behnam, Abrahm J.; Alter, Katharine E.

    2014-01-01

    Background Obstetrical Brachial Plexus Palsy (OBPP) is a common birth injury, resulting in severe functional losses. Yet, little is known about how OBPP affects the 3D humeral morphology. Thus, the purpose of this study was to measure the 3D humeral architecture in children with unilateral OBPP. Methods Thirteen individuals (4F/9M, age=11.8±3.3 years, Mallet score=15.1±3.0) participated in this IRB-approved study. A three-dimensional T1-weighted gradient-recalled-echo magnet resonance image set was acquired for both upper limbs (involved/non-involved). Humeral size, version, and inclination were quantified from 3D humeral models derived from these images. Results The involved humeral head was significantly less retroverted and in declination (medial humeral head pointed anteriorly and inferiorly), relative to the non-involved side. Osseous atrophy was present in all three dimensions and affected the entire humerus. The inter-rater reliability was excellent (ICC = 0.96–1.00). Discussion This study demonstrated that both humeral atrophy and bone shape deformities associated with OBPP are not limited to the axial plane, but are three-dimensional phenomena. Incorporating information related to these multiplanar, 3D, humeral deformities into surgical planning could potentially improve functional outcomes following surgery. The documented reduction in retroversion is an osseous adaptation, which may help maintain glenohumeral congruency by partially compensating for the internal rotation of the arm. The humeral head declination is a novel finding and may be an important factor to consider when developing OBPP management strategies, as it has been shown to lead to significant supraspinatus inefficiencies and increased required elevation forces. Level of evidence Anatomic Study, Imaging PMID:24291045

  17. Metabolic Engineering of the Morphology of Aspergillus oryzae by Altering Chitin Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Christian; McIntyre, Mhairi; Hansen, Kim; Nielsen, Jens

    2002-01-01

    Morphology and α-amylase production during submerged cultivation were examined in a wild-type strain (A1560) and in strains of Aspergillus oryzae in which chitin synthase B (chsB) and chitin synthesis myosin A (csmA) have been disrupted (ChsB/G and CM101). In a flowthrough cell, the growth of submerged hyphal elements was studied online, making it possible to examine the growth kinetics of the three strains. The average tip extension rates of the CM101 and ChsB/G strains were 25 and 88% lower, respectively, than that of the wild type. The branching intensity in the CM101 strain was 25% lower than that in the wild type, whereas that in the ChsB/G strain was 188% higher. During batch cultivation, inseparable clumps were formed in the wild-type strain, while no or fewer large inseparable clumps existed in the cultivations of the ChsB/G and CM101 strains. The α-amylase productivity was not significantly different in the three strains. A strain in which the transcription of chsB could be controlled by the nitrogen source-regulated promoter niiA (NiiA1) was examined during chemostat cultivation, and it was found that the branching intensity could be regulated by regulating the promoter, signifying an important role for chsB in branching. However, the pattern of branching responded very slowly to the change in transcription, and increased branching did not affect α-amylase productivity. α-Amylase residing in the cell wall was stained by immunofluorescence, and the relationship between tip number and enzyme secretion is discussed. PMID:11916702

  18. Energy-selective neutron imaging for morphological and phase analysis of iron-nickel meteorites.

    PubMed

    Peetermans, S; Grazzi, F; Salvemini, F; Lehmann, E H; Caporali, S; Pratesi, G

    2013-09-21

    We propose energy-selective neutron imaging as a new and non-destructive method to investigate rare metallic meteorites. It is based on attenuation of a neutron beam of limited spectral distribution in a sample depending on the elemental composition and crystalline structure. Radiography and tomography allow obtaining the presence, morphology and orientation information in the bulk of mineral inclusions, oxide crust and crystalline structure. Its usage in classification and meteor formation studies would be of great value. PMID:23869384

  19. Age-Dependent Morphologic Alterations in the Outer Retinal and Choroidal Thicknesses Using Swept Source Optical Coherence Tomography

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate the age-dependent morphologic alterations in the outer retina and choroid at the macula using swept-source optical coherence tomography (OCT). Methods Thirty eyes (30 normal subjects; average age, 49 years) were examined; five (age range, third-eighth decades of life) had refractive errors of ±2 diopters or less and no fundus abnormalities. An Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) map of the outer retinal and choroidal thickness was constructed using swept-source OCT. The outer retinal and choroidal segmentation lines were drawn automatically, partially manually, within 6 millimeters of the macula. Results The mean outer retinal and choroidal thicknesses in the 6-millimeter-diameter circle were 145±13 and 236±68 microns, respectively. The choroidal thickness and age were negatively (r = -0.66, P<0.01) correlated; the outer retinal thickness and age were not correlated (r = -0.16, P = 0.39). The outer retinal and choroidal thicknesses in the ETDRS map were not correlated (r = -0.13, P = 0.49) within 1 millimeter but correlated (r = 0.32, P<0.01) within 6 millimeters. Conclusions The choroid thins with aging. The outer retina remains stable. Outer retina and choroid are correlated in the entire macula except for the center. ETDRS map can be useful for evaluation of the morphologic relationship between the outer retina and choroid. PMID:27467879

  20. Morphological alteration, lysosomal membrane fragility and apoptosis of the cells of Indian freshwater sponge exposed to washing soda (sodium carbonate).

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Soumalya; Ray, Mitali; Dutta, Manab Kumar; Acharya, Avanti; Mukhopadhyay, Sandip Kumar; Ray, Sajal

    2015-12-01

    Washing soda is chemically known as sodium carbonate and is a component of laundry detergent. Domestic effluent, drain water and various anthropogenic activities have been identified as major routes of sodium carbonate contamination of the freshwater ecosystem. The freshwater sponge, Eunapius carteri, bears ecological and evolutionary significance and is considered as a bioresource in aquatic ecosystems. The present study involves estimation of morphological damage, lysosomal membrane integrity, activity of phosphatases and apoptosis in the cells of E. carteri under the environmentally realistic concentrations of washing soda. Exposure to washing soda resulted in severe morphological alterations and damages in cells of E. carteri. Fragility and destabilization of lysosomal membranes of E. carteri under the sublethal exposure was indicative to toxin induced physiological stress in sponge. Prolonged exposure to sodium carbonate resulted a reduction in the activity of acid and alkaline phosphatases in the cells of E. carteri. Experimental concentration of 8 mg/l of washing soda for 192 h yielded an increase in the physiological level of cellular apoptosis among the semigranulocytes and granulocytes of E. carteri, which was suggestive to possible shift in apoptosis mediated immunoprotection. The results were indicative of an undesirable shift in the immune status of sponge. Contamination of the freshwater aquifers by washing soda thus poses an alarming ecotoxicological threat to sponges. PMID:26313128

  1. Repeated immobilization stress alters rat hippocampal and prefrontal cortical morphology in parallel with endogenous agmatine and arginine decarboxylase levels

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Meng-Yang; Wang, Wei-Ping; Huang, Jingjing; Feng, Yang-Zheng; Regunathan, Soundar; Bissette, Garth

    2008-01-01

    Agmatine, an endogenous amine derived from decarboxylation of L-arginine catalyzed by arginine decarboxylase, has been proposed as a neurotransmitter or neuromodulator in the brain. In the present study we examined whether agmatine has neuroprotective effects against repeated immobilization-induced morphological changes in brain tissues and possible effects of immobilization stress on endogenous agmatine levels and arginine decarboxylase expression in rat brains. Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to two hour immobilization stress daily for seven days. This paradigm significantly increased plasma corticosterone levels, and the glutamate efflux in the hippocampus as measured by in vivo microdialysis. Immunohistochemical staining with β-tubulin III showed that repeated immobilization caused marked morphological alterations in the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex that were prevented by simultaneous treatment with agmatine (50 mg/kg/day, i.p.). Likewise, endogenous agmatine levels measured by high performance liquid chromatography in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, striatum and hypothalamus were significantly increased by immobilization, as compared to controls. The increased endogenous agmatine levels, ranging from 92% to 265% of controls, were accompanied by a significant increase of arginine decarboxylase protein levels in the same regions. These results demonstrate that administration of exogenous agmatine protects the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex against neuronal insults caused by repeated immobilization. The parallel increase in endogenous brain agmatine and arginine decarboxylase protein levels triggered by repeated immobilization indicates that the endogenous agmatine system may play an important role in adaptation to stress as a potential neuronal self-protection mechanism. PMID:18832001

  2. Altered Morphology and Function of the Lacrimal Functional Unit in Protein Kinase Cα Knockout Mice

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Zhuo; Li, Zhijie; Basti, Surendra; Farley, William J.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose. Protein kinase C (PKC) α plays a major role in the parasympathetic neural stimulation of lacrimal gland (LG) secretion. It also has been reported to have antiapoptotic properties and to promote cell survival. Therefore, the hypothesis for the present study was that PKCα knockout (−/−) mice have impaired ocular surface–lacrimal gland signaling, rendering them susceptible to desiccating stress and impaired corneal epithelial wound healing. In this study, the lacrimal function unit (LFU) and the stressed wound-healing response were examined in PKCα−/− mice. Methods. In PKCα+/+ control mice and PKCα−/− mice, tear production, osmolarity, and clearance rate were evaluated before and after experimental desiccating stress. Histology and immunofluorescent staining of PKC and epidermal growth factor were performed in tissues of the LFU. Cornified envelope (CE) precursor protein expression and cell proliferation were evaluated. The time course of healing and degree of neutrophil infiltration was evaluated after corneal epithelial wounding. Results. Compared with the PKCα+/+ mice, the PKCα−/− mice were noted to have significantly increased lacrimal gland weight, with enlarged, carbohydrate-rich, PAS-positive acinar cells; increased corneal epithelia permeability, with reduced CE expression; and larger conjunctival epithelial goblet cells. The PKCα−/− mice showed more rapid corneal epithelial healing, with less neutrophil infiltration and fewer proliferating cells than did the PKCα+/+ mice. Conclusions. The PKCα−/− mice showed lower tear production, which appeared to be caused by impaired secretion by the LG and conjunctival goblet cells. Despite their altered tear dynamics, the PKCα−/− mice demonstrated more rapid corneal epithelial wound healing, perhaps due to decreased neutrophil infiltration. PMID:20505191

  3. Physiological and morphological responses of Tamarix ramosissima and Populus euphratica to altered groundwater availability.

    PubMed

    Li, J; Yu, B; Zhao, C; Nowak, Robert S; Zhao, Z; Sheng, Y; Li, J

    2013-01-01

    Riparian plants in arid areas are subject to frequent hydrological fluctuations induced through natural flow variation and water use by humans. Although many studies have focused on the success of Tamarix ramosissima Ledeb. in its invaded ranges, its major competitor in its home range, Populus euphratica Oliv., historically has dominated riparian forests where both species occur naturally. Thus, identifying ecophysiological differences between T. ramosissima and its co-evolved competitor under varying hydrological conditions may help us understand how flow regimes affect dominance in its home range and promote invasion in new ranges. We examined ecophysiological responses of T. ramosissima and P. euphratica, which are both native to the Tarim River Basin, northwest China, to experimental alterations in groundwater. Seedlings of both species were grown in lysimeters, first under well-watered conditions and then exposed to different groundwater treatments: inundation, drought, and relatively shallow, moderate and deep groundwater. Under inundation, T. ramosissima showed little growth whereas P. euphratica died after ~45 days. Droughted seedlings of both species suffered from considerable water stress evidenced by slow growth, decreased total leaf area and specific leaf area, and decreased xylem water potential (ψ), maximum photosynthetic rate and carboxylation efficiency. Both species had better ecophysiological performances under shallow and moderate groundwater conditions. When groundwater declined below rooting depth, seedlings of both species initially experienced decreased ψ, but ψ of T. ramosissima recovered late in the experiment whereas P. euphratica maintained decreased ψ. This ability of T. ramosissima to recover from water deficit might result from its rapid root elongation and subsequent ability to acquire groundwater, which in turn likely provides ecophysiological advantages over P. euphratica. Our results suggest that recent groundwater declines

  4. Stomatal malfunctioning under low VPD conditions: induced by alterations in stomatal morphology and leaf anatomy or in the ABA signaling?

    PubMed

    Aliniaeifard, Sasan; Malcolm Matamoros, Priscila; van Meeteren, Uulke

    2014-12-01

    Exposing plants to low VPD reduces leaf capacity to maintain adequate water status thereafter. To find the impact of VPD on functioning of stomata, stomatal morphology and leaf anatomy, fava bean plants were grown at low (L, 0.23 kPa) or moderate (M, 1.17 kPa) VPDs and some plants that developed their leaves at moderate VPD were then transferred for 4 days to low VPD (M→L). Part of the M→L-plants were sprayed with ABA (abscisic acid) during exposure to L. L-plants showed bigger stomata, larger pore area, thinner leaves and less spongy cells compared with M-plants. Stomatal morphology (except aperture) and leaf anatomy of the M→L-plants were almost similar to the M-plants, while their transpiration rate and stomatal conductance were identical to that of L-plants. The stomatal response to ABA was lost in L-plants, but also after 1-day exposure of M-plants to low VPD. The level of foliar ABA sharply decreased within 1-day exposure to L, while the level of ABA-GE (ABA-glucose ester) was not affected. Spraying ABA during the exposure to L prevented loss of stomatal closing response thereafter. The effect of low VPD was largely depending on exposure time: the stomatal responsiveness to ABA was lost after 1-day exposure to low VPD, while the responsiveness to desiccation was gradually lost during 4-day exposure to low VPD. Leaf anatomical and stomatal morphological alterations due to low VPD were not the main cause of loss of stomatal closure response to closing stimuli. PMID:24773210

  5. Morphological Characterization of Cherry Rootstock Candidates Selected from Central and East Black Sea Regions in Turkey

    PubMed Central

    Koc, Aysen; Celik, Zumrut; Akbulut, Mustafa; Bilgener, Sukriye; Ercisli, Sezai; Gunes, Mehmet; Gercekcioglu, Resul; Esitken, Ahmet

    2013-01-01

    The use of rootstocks particularly for sweet cherry cultivars is of great importance for successful and sustainable production. Choosing the right cherry rootstocks is just as important as choosing the right cultivar. In this study, 110 sweet cherry, 30 sour cherry, and 41 mahaleb types displaying rootstock potential for sweet cherry cultivars were selected from Central and East Black Sea Regions in Turkey. The morphologic characteristics of the studied genotypes were compared with the standard clonal rootstocks PHL-A, MaxMa 14, Montmorency, Weiroot 158, Gisela 5, Gisela 6, and SL 64. A total of 42 morphological UPOV characteristics were evaluated in the selected genotypes and clonal rootstocks. The obtained data were analyzed by using principal component analysis and it revealed that eigenvalues of the first 3 components were able to represent 36.43% of total variance. The most significant positive correlations of the plant vigor were determined with leaf blade length and petiole thickness. According to the diversity analysis of coefficients, the 05 C 002 and 08 C 039 genotypes were identified as being similar (6.66), while the 05 C 002 and 55 S 012 genotypes were determined as the most distant genotypes (325.84) in terms of morphology. PMID:24453921

  6. Morphological impact on the reaction kinetics of size-selected cobalt oxide nanoparticles

    SciTech Connect

    Bartling, Stephan Meiwes-Broer, Karl-Heinz; Barke, Ingo; Pohl, Marga-Martina

    2015-09-21

    Apart from large surface areas, low activation energies are essential for efficient reactions, particularly in heterogeneous catalysis. Here, we show that not only the size of nanoparticles but also their detailed morphology can crucially affect reaction kinetics, as demonstrated for mass-selected, soft-landed, and oxidized cobalt clusters in a 6 nm to 18 nm size range. The method of reflection high-energy electron diffraction is extended to the quantitative determination of particle activation energies which is applied for repeated oxidation and reduction cycles at the same particles. We find unexpectedly small activation barriers for the reduction reaction of the largest particles studied, despite generally increasing barriers for growing sizes. We attribute these observations to the interplay of reaction-specific material transport with a size-dependent inner particle morphology.

  7. Selective estrogen receptor modulators differentially alter the immune response of gilthead seabream juveniles.

    PubMed

    Rodenas, M C; Cabas, I; García-Alcázar, A; Meseguer, J; Mulero, V; García-Ayala, A

    2016-05-01

    17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2), a synthetic estrogen used in oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy, tamoxifen (Tmx), a selective estrogen-receptor modulator used in hormone replacement therapy, and G1, a G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) selective agonist, differentially increased the hepatic vitellogenin (vtg) gene expression and altered the immune response in adult gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata L.) males. However, no information exists on the effects of these compounds on the immune response of juveniles. This study aims, for the first time, to investigate the effects of the dietary intake of EE2, Tmx or G1 on the immune response of gilthead seabream juveniles and the capacity of the immune system of the specimens to recover its functionality after ceasing exposures (recovery period). The specimens were immunized with hemocyanin in the presence of aluminium adjuvant 1 (group A) or 120 (group B) days after the treatments ceased (dpt). The results indicate that EE2 and Tmx, but not G1, differentially promoted a transient alteration in hepatic vtg gene expression. Although all three compounds did not affect the production of reactive oxygen intermediates, they inhibited the induction of interleukin-1β (il1b) gene expression after priming. Interestingly, although Tmx increased the percentage of IgM-positive cells in both head kidney and spleen during the recovery period, the antibody response of vaccinated fish varied depending on the compound used and when the immunization was administered. Taken together, our results suggest that these compounds differentially alter the capacity of fish to respond to infection during ontogeny and, more interestingly, that the adaptive immune response remained altered to an extent that depends on the compound. PMID:27012396

  8. Growth Inhibition and Morphological Alterations of Trichophyton Rubrum Induced by Essential oil from Cymbopogon Winterianus Jowitt Ex Bor

    PubMed Central

    de Oliveira Pereira, Fillipe; Alves Wanderley, Paulo; Cavalcanti Viana, Fernando Antônio; Baltazar de Lima, Rita; Barbosa de Sousa, Frederico; de Oliveira Lima, Edeltrudes

    2011-01-01

    Trichophyton rubrum is one of the most common fungi causer of dermatophytosis, mycosis that affect humans and animals around the world. Researches aiming new products with antifungal activity become necessary to overcome difficulties on treatment of these infections. Accordingly, this study aimed to investigate the antifungal activity of essential oil from Cymbopogon winterianus against the dermatophyte T. rubrum. The antifungal screening was performed by solid medium diffusion method with 16 T. rubrum strains, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum fungicide concentration (MFC) were determined using the microdilution method. The effects on mycelial dry weight and morphology were also observed. Screening showed essential oil in natura inhibited all the tested strains, with inhibition zones between 24-28 mm diameter. MIC50 and MIC90 values of the essential oil were 312 μg/mL for nearly all the essayed strains (93.75 %) while the MFC50 and MFC90 values were about eight times higher than MIC for all tested strains. All tested essential oil concentrations managed to inhibit strongly the mycelium development. Main morphological changes on the fungal strains observed under light microscopy, which were provided by the essential oil include loss of conidiation, alterations concerning form and pigmentation of hyphae. In the oil presence, colonies showed folds, cream color and slightly darker than the control, pigment production was absent on the reverse and with evident folds. It is concluded that C. winterianus essential oil showed activity against T. rubrum. Therefore, it could be known as potential antifungal compound especially for protection against dermatophytosis. PMID:24031626

  9. Lead Exposure Impairs Hippocampus Related Learning and Memory by Altering Synaptic Plasticity and Morphology During Juvenile Period.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tao; Guan, Rui-Li; Liu, Ming-Chao; Shen, Xue-Feng; Chen, Jing Yuan; Zhao, Ming-Gao; Luo, Wen-Jing

    2016-08-01

    Lead (Pb) is an environmental neurotoxic metal. Pb exposure may cause neurobehavioral changes, such as learning and memory impairment, and adolescence violence among children. Previous animal models have largely focused on the effects of Pb exposure during early development (from gestation to lactation period) on neurobehavior. In this study, we exposed Sprague-Dawley rats during the juvenile stage (from juvenile period to adult period). We investigated the synaptic function and structural changes and the relationship of these changes to neurobehavioral deficits in adult rats. Our results showed that juvenile Pb exposure caused fear-conditioned memory impairment and anxiety-like behavior, but locomotion and pain behavior were indistinguishable from the controls. Electrophysiological studies showed that long-term potentiation induction was affected in Pb-exposed rats, and this was probably due to excitatory synaptic transmission impairment in Pb-exposed rats. We found that NMDA and AMPA receptor-mediated current was inhibited, whereas the GABA synaptic transmission was normal in Pb-exposed rats. NR2A and phosphorylated GluR1 expression decreased. Moreover, morphological studies showed that density of dendritic spines declined by about 20 % in the Pb-treated group. The spine showed an immature form in Pb-exposed rats, as indicated by spine size measurements. However, the length and arborization of dendrites were unchanged. Our results suggested that juvenile Pb exposure in rats is associated with alterations in the glutamate receptor, which caused synaptic functional and morphological changes in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, thereby leading to behavioral changes. PMID:26141123

  10. Instrument-assisted cross fiber massage increases tissue perfusion and alters microvascular morphology in the vicinity of healing knee ligaments

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Ligament injuries are common clinical problems for which there are few established interventions. Instrument-assisted cross fiber massage (IACFM) was recently shown to accelerate the restoration of biomechanical properties in injured rodent knee medial collateral ligaments (MCL). The current study aimed to investigate the influence of IACFM on regional perfusion and vascularity in the vicinity of healing rodent knee MCL injuries. Methods Bilateral knee MCL injuries were induced in female Sprague–Dawley rats. Commencing 1 week post-injury, 1 minute of IACFM was introduced unilaterally 3 times/week for 3 weeks. The contralateral injured MCL served as an internal control. Regional tissue perfusion was assessed in vivo throughout healing using laser Doppler imaging, whereas regional microvascular morphology was assessed ex vivo via micro-computed tomography of vessels filled with contrast. Results IACFM had no effect on tissue perfusion when assessed immediately, or at 5, 10, 15 or 20 min following intervention (all p > 0.05). However, IACFM-treated hindlimbs had enhanced tissue perfusion when assessed 1 day following the 4th and 9th (last) treatment sessions (all p < 0.05). IACFM-treated hindlimbs also had greater perfusion when assessed 1 wk following the final treatment session (32 days post-injury) (p < 0.05). Subsequent investigation of microvascular morphology found IACFM to increase the proportion of arteriole-sized blood vessels (5.9 to <41.2 μm) in the tibial third of the ligament (p < 0.05). Conclusions These findings suggest IACFM alters regional perfusion and vascularity in the vicinity of healing rodent knee MCL injuries. This effect may contribute to the beneficial effect of IACFM observed on the recovery of knee ligament biomechanical properties following injury. PMID:24073942

  11. Channel-morphology data for the Tongue River and selected tributaries, southeastern Montana, 2001-02

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chase, Katherine J.

    2004-01-01

    Coal-bed methane exploration and production have begun within the Tongue River watershed in southeastern Montana. The development of coal-bed methane requires production of large volumes of ground water, some of which may be discharged to streams, potentially increasing stream discharge and sediment load. Changes in stream discharge or sediment load may result in changes to channel morphology through changes in erosion and vegetation. These changes might be subtle and difficult to detect without baseline data that indicate stream-channel conditions before extensive coal-bed methane development began. In order to provide this baseline channel-morphology data, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, collected channel-morphology data in 2001-02 to document baseline conditions for several reaches along the Tongue River and selected tributaries. This report presents channel-morphology data for five sites on the mainstem Tongue River and four sites on its tributaries. Bankfull, water-surface, and thalweg elevations, channel sections, and streambed-particle sizes were measured along reaches near streamflow-gaging stations. At each site, the channel was classified using methods described by Rosgen. For six sites, bankfull discharge was determined from the stage- discharge relation at the gage for the stage corresponding to the bankfull elevation. For three sites, the step-backwater computer model HEC-RAS was used to estimate bankfull discharge. Recurrence intervals for the bankfull discharge also were estimated for eight of the nine sites. Channel-morphology data for each site are presented in maps, tables, graphs, and photographs.

  12. Na+ Influx Induced by New Antimalarials Causes Rapid Alterations in the Cholesterol Content and Morphology of Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Das, Sudipta; Bhatanagar, Suyash; Morrisey, Joanne M.; Daly, Thomas M.; Burns, James M.; Coppens, Isabelle; Vaidya, Akhil B.

    2016-01-01

    Among the several new antimalarials discovered over the past decade are at least three clinical candidate drugs, each with a distinct chemical structure, that disrupt Na+ homeostasis resulting in a rapid increase in intracellular Na+ concentration ([Na+]i) within the erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum. At present, events triggered by Na+ influx that result in parasite demise are not well-understood. Here we report effects of two such drugs, a pyrazoleamide and a spiroindolone, on intraerythrocytic P. falciparum. Within minutes following the exposure to these drugs, the trophozoite stage parasite, which normally contains little cholesterol, was made permeant by cholesterol-dependent detergents, suggesting it acquired a substantial amount of the lipid. Consistently, the merozoite surface protein 1 and 2 (MSP1 and MSP2), glycosylphosphotidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins normally uniformly distributed in the parasite plasma membrane, coalesced into clusters. These alterations were not observed following drug treatment of P. falciparum parasites adapted to grow in a low [Na+] growth medium. Both cholesterol acquisition and MSP1 coalescence were reversible upon the removal of the drugs, implicating an active process of cholesterol exclusion from trophozoites that we hypothesize is inhibited by high [Na+]i. Electron microscopy of drug-treated trophozoites revealed substantial morphological changes normally seen at the later schizont stage including the appearance of partial inner membrane complexes, dense organelles that resemble “rhoptries” and apparent nuclear division. Together these results suggest that [Na+]i disruptor drugs by altering levels of cholesterol in the parasite, dysregulate trophozoite to schizont development and cause parasite demise. PMID:27227970

  13. Na+ Influx Induced by New Antimalarials Causes Rapid Alterations in the Cholesterol Content and Morphology of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Das, Sudipta; Bhatanagar, Suyash; Morrisey, Joanne M; Daly, Thomas M; Burns, James M; Coppens, Isabelle; Vaidya, Akhil B

    2016-05-01

    Among the several new antimalarials discovered over the past decade are at least three clinical candidate drugs, each with a distinct chemical structure, that disrupt Na+ homeostasis resulting in a rapid increase in intracellular Na+ concentration ([Na+]i) within the erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum. At present, events triggered by Na+ influx that result in parasite demise are not well-understood. Here we report effects of two such drugs, a pyrazoleamide and a spiroindolone, on intraerythrocytic P. falciparum. Within minutes following the exposure to these drugs, the trophozoite stage parasite, which normally contains little cholesterol, was made permeant by cholesterol-dependent detergents, suggesting it acquired a substantial amount of the lipid. Consistently, the merozoite surface protein 1 and 2 (MSP1 and MSP2), glycosylphosphotidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins normally uniformly distributed in the parasite plasma membrane, coalesced into clusters. These alterations were not observed following drug treatment of P. falciparum parasites adapted to grow in a low [Na+] growth medium. Both cholesterol acquisition and MSP1 coalescence were reversible upon the removal of the drugs, implicating an active process of cholesterol exclusion from trophozoites that we hypothesize is inhibited by high [Na+]i. Electron microscopy of drug-treated trophozoites revealed substantial morphological changes normally seen at the later schizont stage including the appearance of partial inner membrane complexes, dense organelles that resemble "rhoptries" and apparent nuclear division. Together these results suggest that [Na+]i disruptor drugs by altering levels of cholesterol in the parasite, dysregulate trophozoite to schizont development and cause parasite demise. PMID:27227970

  14. Fenitrothion induced oxidative stress and morphological alterations of sperm and testes in male sprague-dawley rats

    PubMed Central

    Taib, Izatus Shima; Budin, Siti Balkis; Ghazali, Ahmad Rohi; Jayusman, Putri Ayu; Louis, Santhana Raj; Mohamed, Jamaludin

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Fenitrothion residue is found primarily in soil, water and food products and can lead to a variety of toxic effects on the immune, hepatobiliary and hematological systems. However, the effects of fenitrothion on the male reproductive system remain unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of fenitrothion on the sperm and testes of male Sprague-Dawley rats. METHODS: A 20 mg/kg dose of fenitrothion was administered orally by gavages for 28 consecutive days. Blood sample was obtained by cardiac puncture and dissection of the testes and cauda epididymis was performed to obtain sperm. The effects of fenitrothion on the body and organ weight, biochemical and oxidative stress, sperm characteristics, histology and ultrastructural changes in the testes were evaluated. RESULTS: Fenitrothion significantly decreased the body weight gain and weight of the epididymis compared with the control group. Fenitrothion also decreased plasma cholinesterase activity compared with the control group. Fenitrothion altered the sperm characteristics, such as sperm concentration, sperm viability and normal sperm morphology, compared with the control group. Oxidative stress markers, such as malondialdehyde, protein carbonyl, total glutathione and glutathione S-transferase, were significantly increased and superoxide dismutase activity was significantly decreased in the fenitrothion-treated group compared with the control group. The histopathological and ultrastructural examination of the testes of the fenitrothion-treated group revealed alterations corresponding with the biochemical changes compared with the control group. CONCLUSION: A 20 mg/kg dose of fenitrothion caused deleterious effects on the sperm and testes of Sprague-Dawley rats. PMID:23420164

  15. Unravelling anisogamy: egg size and ejaculate size mediate selection on morphology in free-swimming sperm.

    PubMed

    Monro, Keyne; Marshall, Dustin J

    2016-07-13

    Gamete dimorphism (anisogamy) defines the sexes in most multicellular organisms. Theoretical explanations for its maintenance usually emphasize the size-related selection pressures of sperm competition and zygote survival, assuming that fertilization of all eggs precludes selection for phenotypes that enhance fertility. In external fertilizers, however, fertilization is often incomplete due to sperm limitation, and the risk of polyspermy weakens the advantage of high sperm numbers that is predicted to limit sperm size, allowing alternative selection pressures to target free-swimming sperm. We asked whether egg size and ejaculate size mediate selection on the free-swimming sperm of Galeolaria caespitosa, a marine tubeworm with external fertilization, by comparing relationships between sperm morphology and male fertility across manipulations of egg size and sperm density. Our results suggest that selection pressures exerted by these factors may aid the maintenance of anisogamy in external fertilizers by limiting the adaptive value of larger sperm in the absence of competition. In doing so, our study offers a more complete explanation for the stability of anisogamy across the range of sperm environments typical of this mating system and identifies new potential for the sexes to coevolve via mutual selection pressures exerted by gametes at fertilization. PMID:27412273

  16. High temperature during grain fill alters the morphology of protein and starch deposits in the starchy endosperm cells of the developing wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grain

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    High temperature during grain fill reduces wheat yield and alters flour quality. Starchy endosperm cell morphology was investigated in wheat (Triticum aestivum L. ‘Butte 86’) grain produced under a 24/17 °C or 37/28 °C day/night regimen imposed from anthesis to maturity to identify changes in cell s...

  17. Morphological and metabolic changes in transgenic wheat with altered glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase or acyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) thioesterase activities.

    PubMed

    Edlin, D A; Kille, P; Wilkinson, M D; Jones, H D; Harwood, J L

    2000-12-01

    We have transformed varieties of wheat with a Pisum sativum glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase gene, and also with an Arabidopsis thaliana acyl-ACP thioesterase gene. Morphological (growth, organelle development) and metabolic changes (fatty acid labelling of chloroplast and non-chloroplast lipids) have been observed in transgenics with altered gene expression for either enzyme. PMID:11171169

  18. Naringenin ameliorates kainic acid-induced morphological alterations in the dentate gyrus in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Park, Jungha; Jeong, Kyoung Hoon; Shin, Won-Ho; Bae, Young-Seuk; Jung, Un Ju; Kim, Sang Ryong

    2016-10-19

    Granule cell dispersion (GCD) in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus is a morphological alteration characteristic of temporal lobe epilepsy. Recently, we reported that treatment with naringin, a flavonoid found in grapefruit and citrus fruits, reduced spontaneous recurrent seizures by inhibiting kainic acid (KA)-induced GCD and neuronal cell death in mouse hippocampus, suggesting that naringin might have beneficial effects for preventing epileptic events in the adult brain. However, it is still unclear whether the beneficial effects of naringin treatment are mediated by the metabolism of naringin into naringenin in the KA-treated hippocampus. To investigate this possibility, we evaluated whether intraperitoneal injections of naringenin could mimic naringin-induced effects against GCD caused by intrahippocampal KA injections in mice. Our results showed that treatment with naringenin delayed the onset of KA-induced seizures and attenuated KA-induced GCD by inhibiting activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 in both neurons and reactive astrocytes in the DG. In addition, its administration attenuated the production of proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) from microglial activation in the DG following KA treatment. These results suggest that naringenin may be an active metabolite of naringin and help prevent the progression of epileptic insults in the hippocampus in vivo; therefore, naringenin may be a beneficial metabolite of naringin for the treatment of epilepsy. PMID:27584687

  19. Age-Related Onset of Obesity Corresponds with Metabolic Dysregulation and Altered Microglia Morphology in Mice Deficient for Ifitm Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Wee, Yin Shen; Weis, Janis J.; Gahring, Lorise C.; Rogers, Scott W.; Weis, John H.

    2015-01-01

    The IfitmDel mouse lacks all five of the Ifitm genes via LoxP deletion. This animal breeds normally with no obvious defect in development. The IfitmDel animals exhibit a steady and significantly enhanced weight gain relative to wild-type controls beginning about three months of age and under normal feeding conditions. The increased weight corresponds with elevated fat mass, and in tolerance tests they are hyporesponsive to insulin but respond normally to glucose. Both young (4 mo) and older (12 mo) IfitmDel mice have enhanced levels of serum leptin suggesting a defect in leptin/leptin receptor signaling. Analysis of the gene expression profiles in the hypothalamus of IfitmDel animals, compared to WT, demonstrated an altered ratio of Pomc and Npy neuropeptide expression, which likely impairs the satiation response of the IfitmDel animal leading to an increased eating behavior. Also elevated in hypothalamus of IfitmDel mice were pro-inflammatory cytokine expression and reduced IL-10. Anatomical analysis of the hypothalamus using immunohistochemistry revealed that microglia exhibit an abnormal morphology in IfitmDel animals and respond abnormally to Poly:IC challenge. These abnormalities extend the phenotype of the IfitmDel mouse beyond abnormal responses to viral challenge to include a metabolic phenotype and weight gain. Further, this novel phenotype for the IfitmDel mouse could be related to abnormal neuropeptide production, inflammatory status and microglia status in the hypothalamus. PMID:25856311

  20. Pseudouridine synthase 1 deficient mice, a model for Mitochondrial Myopathy with Sideroblastic Anemia, exhibit muscle morphology and physiology alterations

    PubMed Central

    Mangum, Joshua E.; Hardee, Justin P.; Fix, Dennis K.; Puppa, Melissa J.; Elkes, Johnathon; Altomare, Diego; Bykhovskaya, Yelena; Campagna, Dean R.; Schmidt, Paul J.; Sendamarai, Anoop K.; Lidov, Hart G. W.; Barlow, Shayne C.; Fischel-Ghodsian, Nathan; Fleming, Mark D.; Carson, James A.; Patton, Jeffrey R.

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial myopathy with lactic acidosis and sideroblastic anemia (MLASA) is an oxidative phosphorylation disorder, with primary clinical manifestations of myopathic exercise intolerance and a macrocytic sideroblastic anemia. One cause of MLASA is recessive mutations in PUS1, which encodes pseudouridine (Ψ) synthase 1 (Pus1p). Here we describe a mouse model of MLASA due to mutations in PUS1. As expected, certain Ψ modifications were missing in cytoplasmic and mitochondrial tRNAs from Pus1−/− animals. Pus1−/− mice were born at the expected Mendelian frequency and were non-dysmorphic. At 14 weeks the mutants displayed reduced exercise capacity. Examination of tibialis anterior (TA) muscle morphology and histochemistry demonstrated an increase in the cross sectional area and proportion of myosin heavy chain (MHC) IIB and low succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) expressing myofibers, without a change in the size of MHC IIA positive or high SDH myofibers. Cytochrome c oxidase activity was significantly reduced in extracts from red gastrocnemius muscle from Pus1−/− mice. Transmission electron microscopy on red gastrocnemius muscle demonstrated that Pus1−/− mice also had lower intermyofibrillar mitochondrial density and smaller mitochondria. Collectively, these results suggest that alterations in muscle metabolism related to mitochondrial content and oxidative capacity may account for the reduced exercise capacity in Pus1−/− mice. PMID:27197761

  1. Suppression of Radixin and Moesin Alters Growth Cone Morphology, Motility, and Process Formation In Primary Cultured Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Paglini, Gabriela; Kunda, Patricia; Quiroga, Santiago; Kosik, Kenneth; Cáceres, Alfredo

    1998-01-01

    In this study we have examined the cellular functions of ERM proteins in developing neurons. The results obtained indicate that there is a high degree of spatial and temporal correlation between the expression and subcellular localization of radixin and moesin with the morphological development of neuritic growth cones. More importantly, we show that double suppression of radixin and moesin, but not of ezrin–radixin or ezrin–moesin, results in reduction of growth cone size, disappearance of radial striations, retraction of the growth cone lamellipodial veil, and disorganization of actin filaments that invade the central region of growth cones where they colocalize with microtubules. Neuritic tips from radixin–moesin suppressed neurons displayed high filopodial protrusive activity; however, its rate of advance is 8–10 times slower than the one of growth cones from control neurons. Radixin–moesin suppressed neurons have short neurites and failed to develop an axon-like neurite, a phenomenon that appears to be directly linked with the alterations in growth cone structure and motility. Taken collectively, our data suggest that by regulating key aspects of growth cone development and maintenance, radixin and moesin modulate neurite formation and the development of neuronal polarity. PMID:9786954

  2. The Alteration of Plant Morphology by Small Peptides Released from the Proteolytic Processing of the Bacterial Peptide TENGU1[W

    PubMed Central

    Sugawara, Kyoko; Honma, Youhei; Komatsu, Ken; Himeno, Misako; Oshima, Kenro; Namba, Shigetou

    2013-01-01

    Phytoplasmas are insect-borne plant pathogenic bacteria that alter host morphology. TENGU, a small peptide of 38 residues, is a virulence factor secreted by phytoplasmas that induces dwarfism and witches’ broom in the host plant. In this study, we demonstrate that plants process TENGU in order to generate small functional peptides. First, virus vector-mediated transient expression demonstrated that the amino-terminal 11 amino acids of TENGU are capable of causing symptom development in Nicotiana benthamiana plants. The deletion of the 11th residue significantly diminished the symptom-inducing activity of TENGU, suggesting that these 11 amino acids constitute a functional domain. Second, we found that TENGU undergoes proteolytic processing in vitro, generating peptides of 19 and 21 residues including the functional domain. Third, we observed similar processing of TENGU in planta, and an alanine substitution mutant of TENGU, for which processing was compromised, showed reduced symptom induction activity. All TENGU homologs from several phytoplasma strains possessed similar symptom induction activity and went through processing, which suggests that the processing of TENGU might be related to its function. PMID:23784461

  3. Pseudouridine synthase 1 deficient mice, a model for Mitochondrial Myopathy with Sideroblastic Anemia, exhibit muscle morphology and physiology alterations.

    PubMed

    Mangum, Joshua E; Hardee, Justin P; Fix, Dennis K; Puppa, Melissa J; Elkes, Johnathon; Altomare, Diego; Bykhovskaya, Yelena; Campagna, Dean R; Schmidt, Paul J; Sendamarai, Anoop K; Lidov, Hart G W; Barlow, Shayne C; Fischel-Ghodsian, Nathan; Fleming, Mark D; Carson, James A; Patton, Jeffrey R

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial myopathy with lactic acidosis and sideroblastic anemia (MLASA) is an oxidative phosphorylation disorder, with primary clinical manifestations of myopathic exercise intolerance and a macrocytic sideroblastic anemia. One cause of MLASA is recessive mutations in PUS1, which encodes pseudouridine (Ψ) synthase 1 (Pus1p). Here we describe a mouse model of MLASA due to mutations in PUS1. As expected, certain Ψ modifications were missing in cytoplasmic and mitochondrial tRNAs from Pus1(-/-) animals. Pus1(-/-) mice were born at the expected Mendelian frequency and were non-dysmorphic. At 14 weeks the mutants displayed reduced exercise capacity. Examination of tibialis anterior (TA) muscle morphology and histochemistry demonstrated an increase in the cross sectional area and proportion of myosin heavy chain (MHC) IIB and low succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) expressing myofibers, without a change in the size of MHC IIA positive or high SDH myofibers. Cytochrome c oxidase activity was significantly reduced in extracts from red gastrocnemius muscle from Pus1(-/-) mice. Transmission electron microscopy on red gastrocnemius muscle demonstrated that Pus1(-/-) mice also had lower intermyofibrillar mitochondrial density and smaller mitochondria. Collectively, these results suggest that alterations in muscle metabolism related to mitochondrial content and oxidative capacity may account for the reduced exercise capacity in Pus1(-/-) mice. PMID:27197761

  4. Lead-enhanced siderophore production and alteration in cell morphology in a Pb-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain 4EA.

    PubMed

    Naik, Milind Mohan; Dubey, Santosh Kumar

    2011-02-01

    A lead-resistant bacterial strain 4EA from soil contaminated with car battery waste from Goa, India was isolated and identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This lead-resistant bacterial isolate interestingly revealed lead-enhanced siderophore (pyochelin and pyoverdine) production up to 0.5 mM lead nitrate whereas cells exhibit a significant decline in siderophore production above 0.5 mM lead nitrate. The bacterial cells also revealed significant alteration in cell morphology as size reduction when exposed to 0.8 mM lead nitrate. Enhanced production of siderophore was evidently detected by chrome azurol S agar diffusion (CASAD) assay as increase in diameter of orange halo, and reduction in bacterial size along with significant biosorption of lead was recorded by scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDX). Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain 4EA also exhibits cross tolerance to other toxic metals viz. cadmium, mercury, and zinc besides resistance to multiple antibiotics such as ampicillin, erythromycin, amikacin, cephalexin, co-trimoxazole, mecillinam, lincomycin, ciphaloridine, oleondamycin, and nalidixic acid. PMID:20661573

  5. Multiwalled carbon nanotubes induce altered morphology and loss of barrier function in human bronchial epithelium at noncytotoxic doses

    PubMed Central

    Snyder, Ryan J; Hussain, Salik; Rice, Annette B; Garantziotis, Stavros

    2014-01-01

    Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) have seen increasing application in consumer products over the past decade, resulting in an increasing risk of human exposure. While numerous toxicological studies have been performed using acute high doses of various carbonaceous nanomaterials, the effects of longer-term, low doses of MWCNTs remain relatively unexplored. This study examined bronchoscopy-derived healthy human bronchial epithelial cells exposed in submerged culture to noncytotoxic doses of MWCNTs over 7 days. Under these conditions, doses as low as 3 μg/mL caused altered cell morphology, superficially resembling fibroblasts. Electrical impedance of the epithelial monolayer was greatly reduced following MWCNT exposure. However, Western blot and polymerase chain reaction showed no elevated expression of the fibroblast markers, vimentin, α-smooth muscle actin, or fibronectin, indicating that a mechanism other than epithelial–mesenchymal transition may be responsible for the changes. Phalloidin and tubulin immunostaining showed disruption of the cytoskeleton, and confocal imaging showed a reduction of the tight junction proteins, zona occludens 1 and occludin. We propose that MWCNTs interfere with the cytoskeleton of the lung epithelium, which can result in a harmful reduction in barrier function over time, even at noncytotoxic doses. PMID:25187712

  6. Altering morphology of membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Narayan, R.S.

    1987-01-01

    The use of membranes in industrial gas processing and separation has been on the increase in the last eight years, especially since the successful introduction and commercialization of PRISM separators by Monsanto in 1979. Since that time, a number of gas separation applications have been successfully applied on an industrial scale. Separation of hydrogen from N/sub 2/ and hydrocarbons using membranes have become commonplace, and separation of carbon dioxide from hydrocarbons is gaining increasing acceptance. More recently, the separation of nitrogen from oxygen from air has been gaining considerable attention. The economic benefits of using membranes for on-site generation of N/sub 2/ containing less than 5% O/sub 2/ for inert blanketing such as, product storage, packaging, on board ships, airplanes and oil/gas production platforms, etc., are demonstrated to be significant.

  7. Speeding up Growth: Selection for Mass-Independent Maximal Metabolic Rate Alters Growth Rates.

    PubMed

    Downs, Cynthia J; Brown, Jessi L; Wone, Bernard W M; Donovan, Edward R; Hayes, Jack P

    2016-03-01

    Investigations into relationships between life-history traits, such as growth rate and energy metabolism, typically focus on basal metabolic rate (BMR). In contrast, investigators rarely examine maximal metabolic rate (MMR) as a relevant metric of energy metabolism, even though it indicates the maximal capacity to metabolize energy aerobically, and hence it might also be important in trade-offs. We studied the relationship between energy metabolism and growth in mice (Mus musculus domesticus Linnaeus) selected for high mass-independent metabolic rates. Selection for high mass-independent MMR increased maximal growth rate, increased body mass at 20 weeks of age, and generally altered growth patterns in both male and female mice. In contrast, there was little evidence that the correlated response in mass-adjusted BMR altered growth patterns. The relationship between mass-adjusted MMR and growth rate indicates that MMR is an important mediator of life histories. Studies investigating associations between energy metabolism and life histories should consider MMR because it is potentially as important in understanding life history as BMR. PMID:26913943

  8. Controls on the distribution of channel reach morphology in selectively glaciated catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Addy, S.; Soulsby, C.; Hartley, A. J.

    2014-04-01

    To assess the controls on the distribution of channel reach morphology in a selectively glaciated landscape, we used field mapping and a geographical information system (GIS) in the River Dee catchment, northeast Scotland. Controls on channel morphology were investigated using (1) continuous longitudinal assessment of channel morphology distribution in relation to geology, glacial history, topography, and total stream power (Ω) in two subcatchments, and (2) slope (S), Ω, and a slope-drainage area (S-A) framework to understand the occurrence of 173 widely distributed bedrock, mixed bedrock-alluvial, and alluvial (three different types) reaches. The S-A framework used indicators of transport capacity (Qc) and sediment supply (Qs) to differentiate channel types. The study highlights the disjointed nature of channel reach distribution at the river scale that reflects variable lithology and glacial modification. Because of the subdued topography in contrast to other regions, colluvial forcing of channel morphology in the headwaters was lacking. However, in common with other glaciated landscapes, repeated sequences of channel reach type progression determined by valley steps were evident. The S-A analysis successfully discriminated 87.2% of alluvial and 91.4% of bedrock reaches despite the variable land use and glacial modification. Discrimination of the full range of channel types using S, Ω, or the S-A framework was poor however. Notably, a third of the transport alluvial reaches were located in the bedrock S-A domain, and the majority of mixed reaches were widely distributed mostly within the bedrock domain and not close to the critical slope (Sc). In comparison to other regions, the Sc above which Qc > Qs and bedrock reaches dominate, was notably higher. We hypothesise that a drier climate and the higher entrainment threshold of coarse, granite-dominated bed materials create a higher Sc.

  9. Altering the interfacial activation mechanism of a lipase by solid-phase selective chemical modification.

    PubMed

    López-Gallego, Fernando; Abian, Olga; Guisán, Jose Manuel

    2012-09-01

    This study presents a combined protein immobilization, directed mutagenesis, and site-selective chemical modification approach, which was used to create a hyperactivated semisynthetic variant of BTL2. Various alkane chains were tethered at three different positions in order to mimic the lipase interfacial activation exogenously triggered by detergents. Optimum results were obtained when a dodecane chain was introduced at position 320 by solid-phase site-selective chemical modification. The resulting semisynthetic variant showed a 2.5-fold higher activity than the wild-type nonmodified variant in aqueous conditions. Remarkably, this is the maximum hyperactivation ever observed for BTL2 in the presence of detergents such as Triton X-100. We present evidence to suggest that the endogenous dodecane chain hyperactivates the enzyme in a similar fashion as an exogenous detergent molecule. In this way, we also observe a faster irreversible enzyme inhibition and an altered detergent sensitivity profile promoted by the site-selective chemical modification. These findings are also supported by fluorescence studies, which reveal that the structural conformation changes of the semisynthetic variant are different to those of the wild type, an effect that is more pronounced in the presence of detergent. Finally, the optimal immobilized semisynthetic variant was successfully applied to the selective synthesis of oxiran-2-yl butyrate. Significantly, this biocatalyst is 12-fold more efficient than the immobilized wild-type enzyme, producing the S-enantiomer with higher enantiospecificity (ee = 92%). PMID:22876885

  10. CaV3.2 KO mice have altered retinal waves but normal direction selectivity.

    PubMed

    Hamby, Aaron M; Rosa, Juliana M; Hsu, Ching-Hsiu; Feller, Marla B

    2015-01-01

    Early in development, before the onset of vision, the retina establishes direction-selective responses. During this time period, the retina spontaneously generates bursts of action potentials that propagate across its extent. The precise spatial and temporal properties of these "retinal waves" have been implicated in the formation of retinal projections to the brain. However, their role in the development of direction selective circuits within the retina has not yet been determined. We addressed this issue by combining multielectrode array and cell-attached recordings to examine mice that lack the CaV3.2 subunit of T-type Ca2+ channels (CaV3.2 KO) because these mice exhibit disrupted waves during the period that direction selective circuits are established. We found that the spontaneous activity of these mice displays wave-associated bursts of action potentials that are altered from that of control mice: the frequency of these bursts is significantly decreased and the firing rate within each burst is reduced. Moreover, the projection patterns of the retina demonstrate decreased eye-specific segregation in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN). However, after eye-opening, the direction selective responses of CaV3.2 KO direction selective ganglion cells (DSGCs) are indistinguishable from those of wild-type DSGCs. Our data indicate that although the temporal properties of the action potential bursts associated with retinal waves are important for activity-dependent refining of retinal projections to central targets, they are not critical for establishing direction selectivity in the retina. PMID:25873107

  11. Estrogen-induced breast cancer: Alterations in breast morphology and oxidative stress as a function of estrogen exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Mense, Sarah M.; Remotti, Fabrizio; Bhan, Ashima; Singh, Bhupendra; El-Tamer, Mahmoud; Hei, Tom K.; Bhat, Hari K.

    2008-10-01

    Epidemiological evidence indicates that prolonged lifetime exposure to estrogen is associated with elevated breast cancer risk in women. Oxidative stress and estrogen receptor-associated proliferative changes are suggested to play important roles in estrogen-induced breast carcinogenesis. In the present study, we investigated changes in breast morphology and oxidative stress following estrogen exposure. Female ACI rats were treated with 17{beta}-estradiol (E{sub 2}, 3 mg, s.c.) for either 7, 15, 120 or 240 days. Animals were euthanized, tissues were excised, and portions of the tissues were either fixed in 10% buffered formalin or snap-frozen in liquid nitrogen. Paraffin-embedded tissues were examined for histopathologic changes. Proliferative changes appeared in the breast after 7 days of E{sub 2} exposure. Atypical ductal proliferation and significant reduction in stromal fat were observed following 120 days of E{sub 2} exposure. Both in situ and invasive carcinomas were observed in the majority of the mammary glands from rats treated with E{sub 2} for 240 days. Palpable breast tumors were observed in 82% of E{sub 2}-treated rats after 228 days, with the first palpable tumor appearing after 128 days. No morphological changes were observed in the livers, kidneys, lungs or brains of rats treated with E{sub 2} for 240 days compared to controls. Furthermore, 8-isoprostane (8-isoPGF{sub 2{alpha}}) levels as well as the activities of antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase, were quantified in the breast tissues of rats treated with E{sub 2} for 7, 15, 120 and 240 days and compared to activity levels in age-matched controls. 8-isoPGF{sub 2{alpha}} levels displayed time-dependent increases upon E{sub 2} treatment and were significantly higher than control levels at the 15, 120 and 240 day time-points. 8-isoPGF{sub 2{alpha}} observed in E{sub 2}-induced mammary tumors were significantly higher than levels found in control

  12. Removing or truncating connexin 43 in murine osteocytes alters cortical geometry, nanoscale morphology, and tissue mechanics in the tibia.

    PubMed

    Hammond, Max A; Berman, Alycia G; Pacheco-Costa, Rafael; Davis, Hannah M; Plotkin, Lilian I; Wallace, Joseph M

    2016-07-01

    Gap junctions are formed from ubiquitously expressed proteins called connexins that allow the transfer of small signaling molecules between adjacent cells. Gap junctions are especially important for signaling between osteocytes and other bone cell types. The most abundant type of connexin in bone is connexin 43 (Cx43). The C-terminal domain of Cx43 is thought to be an important modulator of gap junction function but the role that this domain plays in regulating tissue-level mechanics is largely unknown. We hypothesized that the lack of the C-terminal domain of Cx43 would cause morphological and compositional changes as well as differences in how bone responds to reference point indentation (RPI) and fracture toughness testing. The effects of the C-terminal domain of Cx43 in osteocytes and other cell types were assessed in a murine model (C57BL/6 background). Mice with endogenous Cx43 in their osteocytes removed via a Cre-loxP system were crossed with knock-in mice which expressed Cx43 that lacked the C-terminal domain in all cell types due to the insertion of a truncated allele to produce the four groups used in the study. The main effect of removing the C-terminal domain from osteocytic Cx43 increased cortical mineral crystallinity (p=0.036) and decreased fracture toughness (p=0.017). The main effect of the presence of the C-terminal domain in other cell types increased trabecular thickness (p<0.001), cortical thickness (p=0.008), and average RPI unloading slope (p=0.004). Collagen morphology was altered when either osteocytes lacked Cx43 (p=0.008) or some truncated Cx43 was expressed in all cell types (p<0.001) compared to controls but not when only the truncated form of Cx43 was expressed in osteocytes (p=0.641). In conclusion, the presence of the C-terminal domain of Cx43 in osteocytes and other cell types is important to maintain normal structure and mechanical integrity of bone. PMID:27113527

  13. Mutli-Temporal Analysis of Beach Morphology on Fire Island, NY and the Impacts of Human Alterations Within the System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hapke, C.; Lentz, E.; Kratzmann, M.; Bradley, M.

    2007-12-01

    Fire Island is a barrier island that lies along the south shore of Long Island, New York. Fire Island National Seashore comprises the majority of the island and a number of private communities are located within the boundary of the Seashore. The beach-front houses within the communities are generally built on or just behind the primary dune. A series of severe storms in the early 1990s resulted in widespread erosion and prompted many communities to begin a program to create protective, artificial dunes by bulldozing sand from the berm to the back beach area: a practice known as beach scraping. The National Park Service grants the permits for scraping, and there is some concern as to whether morphologic alterations to the beach and dune from scraping may be permanently impacting the natural resources in the park, both in the scraped and adjacent non-scraped and undeveloped areas. A study is currently underway to characterize the geomorphology of the beach/dune system on Fire Island and is presently focused on assessing beach and dune change at storm-event, seasonal, and decadal time scales, based on both field data and existing lidar, beach profile and shoreline data. Semi-annual topographic beach surveys are being conducted to map seasonal variations. These data, along with lidar, are being used to calculate seasonal and storm volumetric beach changes as well as assess shoreline change. The volumetric change analysis from 1998 to 2007 indicates that the beach and dune are in a dominantly erosional state. However, shoreline change analyses over both the long-term (30-year) and short-term (seasonal and storm) indicate a relatively uniform pattern of erosional and accretional cells that range from approximately 0.8 to 1.0 km in length. These correspond to alongshore undulations in beach width that are clearly visible in aerial photography. The long-term and seasonal patterns of shoreline change suggest that the cells occur as pulses of sediment that rapidly move in a

  14. Multiple sexual selection pressures drive the rapid evolution of complex morphology in a male secondary genital structure.

    PubMed

    Frazee, Stephen R; Masly, John P

    2015-10-01

    The genitalia of internally fertilizing taxa represent a striking example of rapid morphological evolution. Although sexual selection can shape variation in genital morphology, it has been difficult to test whether multiple sexual selection pressures combine to drive the rapid evolution of individual genital structures. Here, we test the hypothesis that both pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection can act in concert to shape complex structural variation in secondary genital morphology. We genetically modified the size and shape of the posterior lobes of Drosophila melanogaster males and tested the consequences of morphological variation on several reproductive measures. We found that the posterior lobes are necessary for genital coupling and that they are also the targets of multiple postcopulatory processes that shape quantitative variation in morphology, even though these structures make no direct contact with the external female genitalia or internal reproductive organs during mating. We also found that males with smaller and less structurally complex posterior lobes suffer substantial fitness costs in competitive fertilization experiments. Our results show that sexual selection mechanisms can combine to shape the morphology of a single genital structure and that the posterior lobes of D. melanogaster are the targets of multiple postcopulatory selection pressures. PMID:26664690

  15. The Rose-comb Mutation in Chickens Constitutes a Structural Rearrangement Causing Both Altered Comb Morphology and Defective Sperm Motility

    PubMed Central

    Boije, Henrik; Bed'hom, Bertrand; Fillon, Valérie; Dorshorst, Ben; Rubin, Carl-Johan; Liu, Ranran; Gao, Yu; Gu, Xiaorong; Wang, Yanqiang; Gourichon, David; Zody, Michael C.; Zecchin, William; Vieaud, Agathe; Tixier-Boichard, Michèle; Hu, Xiaoxiang; Hallböök, Finn; Li, Ning; Andersson, Leif

    2012-01-01

    Rose-comb, a classical monogenic trait of chickens, is characterized by a drastically altered comb morphology compared to the single-combed wild-type. Here we show that Rose-comb is caused by a 7.4 Mb inversion on chromosome 7 and that a second Rose-comb allele arose by unequal crossing over between a Rose-comb and wild-type chromosome. The comb phenotype is caused by the relocalization of the MNR2 homeodomain protein gene leading to transient ectopic expression of MNR2 during comb development. We also provide a molecular explanation for the first example of epistatic interaction reported by Bateson and Punnett 104 years ago, namely that walnut-comb is caused by the combined effects of the Rose-comb and Pea-comb alleles. Transient ectopic expression of MNR2 and SOX5 (causing the Pea-comb phenotype) occurs in the same population of mesenchymal cells and with at least partially overlapping expression in individual cells in the comb primordium. Rose-comb has pleiotropic effects, as homozygosity in males has been associated with poor sperm motility. We postulate that this is caused by the disruption of the CCDC108 gene located at one of the inversion breakpoints. CCDC108 is a poorly characterized protein, but it contains a MSP (major sperm protein) domain and is expressed in testis. The study illustrates several characteristic features of the genetic diversity present in domestic animals, including the evolution of alleles by two or more consecutive mutations and the fact that structural changes have contributed to fast phenotypic evolution. PMID:22761584

  16. Long-term exercise training selectively alters serum cytokines involved in fever.

    PubMed

    Rowsey, Pamela Johnson; Metzger, Bonnie L; Carlson, John; Gordon, Christopher J

    2009-04-01

    Long-term exercise training selectively alters serum cytokines involved in fever. Chronic exercise training has a number of effects on the immune system that may mimic the physiological response to fever. Female rats that voluntarily exercise on running wheels develop an elevated daytime core temperature after several weeks of training. It remains to be seen whether the elevation in daytime temperature involves inflammatory patterns characteristic of an infectious fever. We assessed whether chronic exercise training in the rat would alter levels of cytokines involved in fever. Female Sprague Dawley rats at 45 days of age weighing 90-110 g were divided into two groups (exercise and sedentary) and housed at an ambient temperature of 22( degrees )C. Interleukin-1 beta (IL-1beta), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-10 (IL-10), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), iron, and zinc levels were analyzed. Rats underwent 8 weeks of exercise on running wheels. Exercise led to altered levels of some key cytokines that are involved in fever. Exercise animals had significantly higher IL-1beta levels and lower IL-10 levels compared to sedentary animals. Although IL-6 levels were slightly lower in the exercise animals, these levels were not significantly affected by training. TNF-alpha activity was similar in the two groups. Training also led to a slight increase in serum zinc and decrease in serum unsaturated iron binding capacity (UIBC). The data suggest that chronic exercise training evokes immune responses that mimic some, but not all, aspects of fever. This may explain why exercise leads to elevated daytime core temperature. PMID:19190031

  17. Environmentally Realistic Exposure to the Herbicide Atrazine Alters Some Sexually Selected Traits in Male Guppies

    PubMed Central

    Shenoy, Kausalya

    2012-01-01

    Male mating signals, including ornaments and courtship displays, and other sexually selected traits, like male-male aggression, are largely controlled by sex hormones. Environmental pollutants, notably endocrine disrupting compounds, can interfere with the proper functioning of hormones, thereby impacting the expression of hormonally regulated traits. Atrazine, one of the most widely used herbicides, can alter sex hormone levels in exposed animals. I tested the effects of environmentally relevant atrazine exposures on mating signals and behaviors in male guppies, a sexually dimorphic freshwater fish. Prolonged atrazine exposure reduced the expression of two honest signals: the area of orange spots (ornaments) and the number of courtship displays performed. Atrazine exposure also reduced aggression towards competing males in the context of mate competition. In the wild, exposure levels vary among individuals because of differential distribution of the pollutants across habitats; hence, differently impacted males often compete for the same mates. Disrupted mating signals can reduce reproductive success as females avoid mating with perceptibly suboptimal males. Less aggressive males are at a competitive disadvantage and lose access to females. This study highlights the effects of atrazine on ecologically relevant mating signals and behaviors in exposed wildlife. Altered reproductive traits have important implications for population dynamics, evolutionary patterns, and conservation of wildlife species. PMID:22312428

  18. Polyethylene glycol binding alters human telomere G-quadruplex structure by conformational selection

    PubMed Central

    Buscaglia, Robert; Miller, M. Clarke; Dean, William L.; Gray, Robert D.; Lane, Andrew N.; Trent, John O.; Chaires, Jonathan B.

    2013-01-01

    Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) are widely used to perturb the conformations of nucleic acids, including G-quadruplexes. The mechanism by which PEG alters G-quadruplex conformation is poorly understood. We describe here studies designed to determine how PEG and other co-solutes affect the conformation of the human telomeric quadruplex. Osmotic stress studies using acetonitrile and ethylene glycol show that conversion of the ‘hybrid’ conformation to an all-parallel ‘propeller’ conformation is accompanied by the release of about 17 water molecules per quadruplex and is energetically unfavorable in pure aqueous solutions. Sedimentation velocity experiments show that the propeller form is hydrodynamically larger than hybrid forms, ruling out a crowding mechanism for the conversion by PEG. PEGs do not alter water activity sufficiently to perturb quadruplex hydration by osmotic stress. PEG titration experiments are most consistent with a conformational selection mechanism in which PEG binds more strongly to the propeller conformation, and binding is coupled to the conformational transition between forms. Molecular dynamics simulations show that PEG binding to the propeller form is sterically feasible and energetically favorable. We conclude that PEG does not act by crowding and is a poor mimic of the intranuclear environment, keeping open the question of the physiologically relevant quadruplex conformation. PMID:23804761

  19. Desired Alteration of Protein Affinities: Competitive Selection of Protein Variants Using Yeast Signal Transduction Machinery

    PubMed Central

    Kaishima, Misato; Fukuda, Nobuo; Ishii, Jun; Kondo, Akihiko

    2014-01-01

    Molecules that can control protein-protein interactions (PPIs) have recently drawn attention as new drug pipeline compounds. Here, we report a technique to screen desirable affinity-altered (affinity-enhanced and affinity-attenuated) protein variants. We previously constructed a screening system based on a target protein fused to a mutated G-protein γ subunit (Gγcyto) lacking membrane localization ability. This ability, required for signal transmission, is restored by recruiting Gγcyto into the membrane only when the target protein interacts with an artificially membrane-anchored candidate protein, thereby allowing interacting partners (Gγ recruitment system) to be searched and identified. In the present study, the Gγ recruitment system was altered by integrating the cytosolic expression of a third protein as a competitor to set a desirable affinity threshold. This enabled the reliable selection of both affinity-enhanced and affinity-attenuated protein variants. The presented approach may facilitate the development of therapeutic proteins that allow the control of PPIs. PMID:25244640

  20. Effects of Mercuric Chloride on Growth and Morphology of Selected Strains of Mercury-Resistant Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Vaituzis, Z.; Nelson, J. D.; Wan, L. W.; Colwell, R. R.

    1975-01-01

    A survey of the comparative cytological effects of growth in the presence of mercury by a group of mercury-resistant bacterial cultures and a characterization of the process of bacterial adaptation to Hg2+ ion was accomplished. Mercury resistance was found to be dependent upon the ability to volatilize mercury from the medium and upon the amount of mercury accumulated by the cells. The results indicate that most cultures which adapt to growth in the presence of HgCl2 exhibit extensive morphological abnormalities. Significant effects are delay in the onset of growth and cell division and numerous structural irregularities associated with cell wall and cytoplasmic membrane synthesis and function. A detailed analysis of the adaptation process and the resulting effects on morphology was performed on an Enterobacter sp. During the period preceding active multiplication, a selection for mercury-resistant mutants occurred. It was also demonstrated that growth commenced only at a specific threshold concentration of Hg2+. Images PMID:1115499

  1. Solar Active Region Morphologies Selected From Near-Side Helioseismic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macdonald, G. A.; Henney, C. J.; Gonzalez-Hernandez, I. E.; Arge, C. N.; Mcateer, R.

    2013-12-01

    Global estimates for the solar photospheric magnetic flux distribution are essential for determining the magnetic structure of the corona and surrounding heliosphere. The reliability of these estimates is an important issue as they serve as input to solar wind models. In recent years, the Air Force has been using the Air Force Data Assimilative Photospheric flux Transport (ADAPT) model to provide the photospheric flux distribution. ADAPT began including Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) helioseismic data to track active regions on the far-side of the sun, improving its capabilities. We present efforts to further improve these capabilities by establishing whether far-side active region morphology can be selected from GONG data. Using near-side GONG and ADAPT synoptic maps, we show this is feasible. We conclude morphological features - namely active region size, tilt angle, and polarity distribution - may be culled from far-side GONG maps. In addition, we independently confirm the phase-field calibration found by González Hernández et al. (2007).

  2. Controlled morphology of regular GaN microrod arrays by selective area growth with HVPE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lekhal, Kaddour; Bae, Si-Young; Lee, Ho-Jun; Mitsunari, Tadashi; Tamura, Akira; Deki, Manato; Honda, Yoshio; Amano, Hiroshi

    2016-08-01

    The selective area growth (SAG) of GaN was implemented on patterned GaN/sapphire templates by hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE) to fabricate regular arrays of Ga-polar GaN microrods. The control of growth parameters such as H2/N2 carrier gas ratio, growth temperature, and absolute NH3/HCl gas flow resulted in changes in the growth morphology. In particular, for an optimized mixed-carrier gas ratio of H2 to N2, we achieved vertically well-aligned microrods. The topmost regions of the GaN microrods were terminated with pyramidal facets, indicating typical Ga polarity. The optical properties of the grown microrods were characterized by cathodoluminescence (CL) at a low temperature. This revealed that the GaN microrods had high crystal quality since they exhibited suppressed yellow luminescence as well as strong band edge emission.

  3. Surface morphology of Ti-6Al-4V plate fabricated by vacuum selective laser melting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, Y.; Tsukamoto, M.; Yamashita, Y.

    2015-06-01

    A plate made of Ti-6Al-4V (Ti64) was built by vacuum selective laser melting (SLM) at a pressure of 10-2 Pa. The vacuum SLM system employed a single-mode fiber laser and three-axis galvanic mirror in order to form 3D metallic structure. In order to investigate the surface morphology on the fabricated plates, Vickers microhardness and surface roughness R a were measured. From the results, the Vickers microhardness of the fabricated plates was recorded at 391 HV, higher than the typical 340 HV for a Ti64 plate. It was also determined that crystal orientation was evaluated with X-ray diffraction. From the results, the crystal orientation of powder is composed mainly of martensitic alpha. Diffraction peaks corresponding to β (110) were detected in vacuum SLM processed samples.

  4. Effects of brief stress exposure during early postnatal development in Balb/CByJ mice: II. Altered cortical morphology.

    PubMed

    Hohmann, C F; Beard, N A; Kari-Kari, P; Jarvis, N; Simmons, Q

    2012-11-01

    Early life experience can significantly determine later mental health status and cognitive function. Neonatal stress, in particular, has been linked to the etiology of mental health disorders as divergent as mood disorder, schizophrenia, and autism. Our study uses a Balb/CByJ mouse model to test the hypothesis, that neonatal stress will alter development and subsequent environmental modulation of neocortex. Using a split litter design, we generated stressed mice (STR) and within litter controls (LMC) along with age-matched, untreated animals (AMC), to serve as across litter controls. Short, daily exposure to a psychosocial/physical stressor, during the first week of life, resulted by adulthood in significant changes in neocortical thickness and architecture, which were further modulated by exposure to behavioral testing. Surprisingly, cortical size in LMC mice was also affected. These observations were compared to the effects of environmental enrichment in the same mouse strain. Our data indicate that LMC and STR males share with environmentally enriched males, an increase in thickness in infra-granular cortical layers, while STR also display a stress selective decrease in supragranular layers, in response to behavioral training as adults. PMID:22488100

  5. Selection for mutants altered in the expression or export of outer membrane porin OmpF.

    PubMed Central

    Sodergren, E J; Davidson, J; Taylor, R K; Silhavy, T J

    1985-01-01

    Strains in which the lacZ gene (which specifies beta-galactosidase) is fused to a gene encoding an envelope protein often exhibit a phenotype termed overproduction lethality. In such strains, high-level synthesis of the cognate hybrid protein interferes with the process of protein export, and this leads ultimately to cell death. A variation of this phenomenon has been discovered with lacZ fusions to the gene specifying the major outer membrane porin protein OmpF. In this case, we find that lambda transducing phage carrying an ompF-lacZ fusion will not grow on a host strain that constitutively overexpresses ompF. We have exploited this observation to develop a selection for ompF mutants. Using this protocol, we have isolated mutants altered in ompF expression and have identified mutations that block OmpF export. Our results suggest that it should be possible to adapt this selection for use with other genes specifying exported proteins. Images PMID:2987179

  6. Antioxidant Treatments Recover the Alteration of Auditory-Evoked Potentials and Reduce Morphological Damage in the Inferior Colliculus after Perinatal Asphyxia in Rat.

    PubMed

    Revuelta, Miren; Arteaga, Olatz; Montalvo, Haizea; Alvarez, Antonia; Hilario, Enrique; Martinez-Ibargüen, Agustin

    2016-03-01

    Maturation of the auditory pathway is dependent on the central nervous system myelination and it can be affected by pathologies such as neonatal hypoxic ischemic (HI) encephalopathy. Our aim was to evaluate the functional integrity of the auditory pathway and to visualize, by histological and cellular methods, the damage to the brainstem using a neonatal rat model of HI brain injury. To carry out this morphofunctional evaluation, we studied the effects of the administration of the antioxidants nicotine, melatonin, resveratrol and docosahexaenoic acid after hypoxia-ischemia on the inferior colliculus and the auditory pathway. We found that the integrity of the auditory pathway in the brainstem was altered as a consequence of the HI insult. Thus, the auditory brainstem response (ABR) showed increased I-V and III-V wave latencies. At a histological level, HI altered the morphology of the inferior colliculus neurons, astrocytes and oligodendricytes, and at a molecular level, the mitochondria membrane potential and integrity was altered during the first hours after the HI and reactive oxygen species (ROS) activity is increased 12 h after the injury in the brainstem. Following antioxidant treatment, ABR interpeak latency intervals were restored and the body and brain weight was recovered as well as the morphology of the inferior colliculus that was similar to the control group. Our results support the hypothesis that antioxidant treatments have a protective effect on the functional changes of the auditory pathway and on the morphological damage which occurs after HI insult. PMID:25990815

  7. Sexual selection and the evolution of behavior, morphology, neuroanatomy and genes in humans and other primates.

    PubMed

    Stanyon, Roscoe; Bigoni, Francesca

    2014-10-14

    Explaining human evolution means developing hypotheses about the occurrence of sex differences in the brain. Neuroanatomy is significantly influenced by sexual selection, involving the cognitive domain through competition for mates and mate choice. Male neuroanatomy emphasizes subcortical brain areas and visual-spatial skills whereas that of females emphasizes the neocortex and social cognitive areas. In primate species with high degrees of male competition, areas of the brain dealing with aggression are emphasized. Females have higher mirror neuron activity scores than males. Hundreds of genes differ in expression profiles between males and females. Sexually selected differences in gene expression can produce neuroanatomical sex differences. A feedback system links genes, gene expression, hormones, morphology, social structure and behavior. Sex differences, often through female choice, can be rapidly modulated by socialization. Human evolution is a dramatic case of how a trend toward pair bonding and monogamy lowered male competition and increased female choice as a necessary step in releasing the cognitive potential of our species. PMID:25445181

  8. Study of the stress proteins secreted by Leishmania donovani after treatment with edelfosine, mitelfosine and ilmofosine, and morphological alterations analyzed by electronic microscopy.

    PubMed

    Azzouz, S; Maache, M; Sarciron, M E; Petavy, A F; Osuna, A

    2009-09-01

    We studied the stress proteins induced in protozoa Leishmania donovani after treatment with edelfosine, miltefosine and ilmofosine. We studied the morphological and structural modifications caused in the promastigote forms of the parasite after treatment with the three alkyl-lysophospholipids (ALPs). A resistant strain of L. donovani to miltefosine was obtained and the morphological modifications were observed. The stress proteins induction was studied in promastigote forms and also in amastigote-like forms obtained in vitro. The proteins synthesized with the three alkyl-lysophospholipids were compared to those obtained by heat shock. The axenic amastigote forms synthesized a pattern of different proteins for those observed in the promastigote forms. The morphological alterations were observed under electronic microscopy. The membrane and mitochondria were the organs most affected by the three ALPs. We noted an apparition of vacuoles and vesicles in the treated promastigotes. In the resistant strain, we noted myelin bodies in the treated and untreated parasites. PMID:19839267

  9. Size-selective harvesting alters life histories of a temperate sex-changing fish.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Scott L; Caselle, Jennifer E; Standish, Julie D; Schroeder, Donna M; Love, Milton S; Rosales-Casian, Jorge A; Sosa-Nishizaki, Oscar

    2007-12-01

    Selective mortality, whether caused naturally by predation or through the influence of harvest practices, initiates changes within populations when individuals possessing certain heritable traits have increased fitness. Theory predicts that increased mortality rates will select for changes in a number of different life history characteristics. For example, fishing often targets larger individuals and has been shown repeatedly to alter population size structure and growth rates, and the timing of maturation. For sex-changing species, selective fishing practices can affect additional traits such as the mature population sex ratio and the timing of sexual transformation. Using historical comparisons, we examined the effects of exploitation on life history characteristics of California sheephead, Semicossyphus pulcher, a temperate protogynous (female-male sex changer) labrid that inhabits nearshore rocky environments from central California, USA, to southern Baja California, Mexico. Recreational fishing intensified and an unregulated commercial live-fish fishery developed rapidly in southern California between the historical and current studies. Collections of S. pulcher from three locations (Bahia Tortugas, Catalina Island, and San Nicolas Island) in 1998 were compared with data collected 20-30 years previously to ascertain fishery-induced changes in life history traits. At Bahia Tortugas, where fishing by the artisanal community remained light and annual survivorship stayed high, we observed no changes in size structure or shifts in the timing of maturation or the timing of sex change. In contrast, where recreational (Catalina) and commercial (San Nicolas) fishing intensified and annual survivorship correspondingly declined, males and females shifted significantly to smaller body sizes, females matured earlier and changed sex into males at both smaller sizes and younger ages and appeared to have a reduced maximum lifespan. Mature sex ratios (female:male) increased at

  10. Do Adult Phenotypes Reflect Selection on Juvenile Performance? A Comparative Study on Performance and Morphology in Lizards.

    PubMed

    Herrel, Anthony; Lopez-Darias, Marta; Vanhooydonck, Bieke; Cornette, Raphaël; Kohlsdorf, Tiana; Brandt, Renata

    2016-09-01

    When competing for food or other resources, or when confronted with predators, young animals may be at a disadvantage relative to adults because of their smaller size. Additionally, the ongoing differentiation and growth of tissues may constrain performance during early ontogenetic stages. However, juveniles must feed before they can become reproductively active adults and as such the adult phenotype may be the result of an ontogenetic filter imposing selection on juvenile phenotype and performance. Here we present ontogenetic data on head morphology and bite force for different lizard species. We test whether adults reflect selection on juveniles by comparing slopes of growth trajectories before and after sexual maturity in males and females and by examining the variance in head morphology and bite force in juveniles versus adults. Finally, we also present the first results of a selection study where animals were measured, marked and released, and recaptured the subsequent year to test whether head morphology and bite force impact survival. PMID:27400973

  11. Loss of Nogo receptor homolog NgR2 alters spine morphology of CA1 neurons and emotionality in adult mice

    PubMed Central

    Borrie, Sarah C.; Sartori, Simone B.; Lehmann, Julian; Sah, Anupam; Singewald, Nicolas; Bandtlow, Christine E.

    2014-01-01

    Molecular mechanisms which stabilize dendrites and dendritic spines are essential for regulation of neuronal plasticity in development and adulthood. The class of Nogo receptor proteins, which are critical for restricting neurite outgrowth inhibition signaling, have been shown to have roles in developmental, experience and activity induced plasticity. Here we investigated the role of the Nogo receptor homolog NgR2 in structural plasticity in a transgenic null mutant for NgR2. Using Golgi-Cox staining to analyze morphology, we show that loss of NgR2 alters spine morphology in adult CA1 pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus, significantly increasing mushroom-type spines, without altering dendritic tree complexity. Furthermore, this shift is specific to apical dendrites in distal CA1 stratum radiatum (SR). Behavioral alterations in NgR2−/− mice were investigated using a battery of standardized tests and showed that whilst there were no alterations in learning and memory in NgR2−/− mice compared to littermate controls, NgR2−/− displayed reduced fear expression in the contextual conditioned fear test, and exhibited reduced anxiety- and depression-related behaviors. This suggests that the loss of NgR2 results in a specific phenotype of reduced emotionality. We conclude that NgR2 has role in maintenance of mature spines and may also regulate fear and anxiety-like behaviors. PMID:24860456

  12. Stem cell isolation by a morphology-based selection method in postnatal mouse ovary

    PubMed Central

    Parvari, Soraya; Abbasi, Niloufar; Malek, Valliollah Gerayeli; Amidi, Fardin; Aval, Fereydoon Sargolzaei; Roudkenar, Mehryar Habibi; Izadyar, Fariburz

    2015-01-01

    Introduction An increasing body of evidence has emerged regarding the existence and function of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs); however, their female counterparts are the subject of extensive debate. Theoretically, ovarian germ stem cells (GSCs) have to reside in the murine ovary to support and replenish the follicle pool during the reproductive life span. Recently, various methods have been recruited to isolate and describe aspects of ovarian GSCs, but newer and more convenient strategies in isolation are still growing. Herein, a morphology-based method was used to isolate GSCs. Material and methods A cell suspension of mouse neonatal ovaries was cultured. Colonies of GSCs were harvested mechanically and cultivated on mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF). Alkaline phosphatase activity was assessed to verify stemness features of cells in colonies. Expression of germ and stem cell specific genes (Oct-4, Nanog, Fragilis, C-kit, Dazl, and Mvh) was analyzed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Immunofluorescence of Oct4, Dazl, Mvh, and SSEA-1 was also performed. Results Small colonies without a clear border appeared during the first 4 days of culture, and the size of colonies increased rapidly. Cells in colonies were positive for alkaline phosphatase activity. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction showed that Oct-4, Fragilis, C-kit, Nanog, Mvh, and Dazl were expressed in colony-forming cells. Immunofluorescence revealed a positive signal for Oct4, Dazl, Mvh, and SSEA-1 in colonies as well. Conclusions The applicability of morphological selection for isolation of GSCs was verified. This method is easier and more economical than other techniques. The availability of ovarian stem cells can motivate further studies in development of oocyte and cell-based therapies. PMID:26170863

  13. Acute Stress Alters Auditory Selective Attention in Humans Independent of HPA: A Study of Evoked Potentials

    PubMed Central

    Elling, Ludger; Steinberg, Christian; Bröckelmann, Ann-Kathrin; Dobel, Christan; Bölte, Jens; Junghofer, Markus

    2011-01-01

    Background Acute stress is a stereotypical, but multimodal response to a present or imminent challenge overcharging an organism. Among the different branches of this multimodal response, the consequences of glucocorticoid secretion have been extensively investigated, mostly in connection with long-term memory (LTM). However, stress responses comprise other endocrine signaling and altered neuronal activity wholly independent of pituitary regulation. To date, knowledge of the impact of such “paracorticoidal” stress responses on higher cognitive functions is scarce. We investigated the impact of an ecological stressor on the ability to direct selective attention using event-related potentials in humans. Based on research in rodents, we assumed that a stress-induced imbalance of catecholaminergic transmission would impair this ability. Methodology/Principal Findings The stressor consisted of a single cold pressor test. Auditory negative difference (Nd) and mismatch negativity (MMN) were recorded in a tonal dichotic listening task. A time series of such tasks confirmed an increased distractibility occuring 4–7 minutes after onset of the stressor as reflected by an attenuated Nd. Salivary cortisol began to rise 8–11 minutes after onset when no further modulations in the event-related potentials (ERP) occurred, thus precluding a causal relationship. This effect may be attributed to a stress-induced activation of mesofrontal dopaminergic projections. It may also be attributed to an activation of noradrenergic projections. Known characteristics of the modulation of ERP by different stress-related ligands were used for further disambiguation of causality. The conjuncture of an attenuated Nd and an increased MMN might be interpreted as indicating a dopaminergic influence. The selective effect on the late portion of the Nd provides another tentative clue for this. Conclusions/Significance Prior studies have deliberately tracked the adrenocortical influence on cognition

  14. Spatiotemporal alterations of cortical network activity by selective loss of NOS-expressing interneurons.

    PubMed

    Shlosberg, Dan; Buskila, Yossi; Abu-Ghanem, Yasmin; Amitai, Yael

    2012-01-01

    Deciphering the role of GABAergic neurons in large neuronal networks such as the neocortex forms a particularly complex task as they comprise a highly diverse population. The neuronal isoform of the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) is expressed in the neocortex by specific subsets of GABAergic neurons. These neurons can be identified in live brain slices by the nitric oxide (NO) fluorescent indicator diaminofluorescein-2 diacetate (DAF-2DA). However, this indicator was found to be highly toxic to the stained neurons. We used this feature to induce acute phototoxic damage to NO-producing neurons in cortical slices, and measured subsequent alterations in parameters of cellular and network activity. Neocortical slices were briefly incubated in DAF-2DA and then illuminated through the 4× objective. Histochemistry for NADPH-diaphorase (NADPH-d), a marker for nNOS activity, revealed elimination of staining in the illuminated areas following treatment. Whole cell recordings from several neuronal types before, during, and after illumination confirmed the selective damage to non-fast-spiking (FS) interneurons. Treated slices displayed mild disinhibition. The reversal potential of compound synaptic events on pyramidal neurons became more positive, and their decay time constant was elongated, substantiating the removal of an inhibitory conductance. The horizontal decay of local field potentials (LFPs) was significantly reduced at distances of 300-400 μm from the stimulation, but not when inhibition was non-selectively weakened with the GABA(A) blocker picrotoxin. Finally, whereas the depression of LFPs along short trains of 40 Hz stimuli was linearly reduced with distance or initial amplitude in control slices, this ordered relationship was disrupted in DAF-treated slices. These results reveal that NO-producing interneurons in the neocortex convey lateral inhibition to neighboring columns, and shape the spatiotemporal dynamics of the network's activity. PMID:22347168

  15. Residues Controlling Facial Selectivity in an Alkene Reductase and Semirational Alterations to Create Stereocomplementary Variants

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    A systematic saturation mutagenesis campaign was carried out on an alkene reductase from Pichia stipitis (OYE 2.6) to develop variants with reversed stereoselectivities. Wild-type OYE 2.6 reduces three representative Baylis–Hillman adducts to the corresponding S products with almost complete stereoselectivities and good catalytic efficiencies. We created and screened 13 first-generation, site-saturation mutagenesis libraries, targeting residues found near the bound substrate. One variant (Tyr78Trp) showed high R selectivity toward one of the three substrates, but no change (cyclohexenone derivative) and no catalytic activity (acrylate derivative) for the other two. Subsequent rounds of mutagenesis retained the Tyr78Trp mutation and explored other residues that impacted stereoselectivity when altered in a wild-type background. These efforts yielded double and triple mutants that possessed inverted stereoselectivities for two of the three substrates (conversions >99% and at least 91% ee (R)). To understand the reasons underlying the stereochemical changes, we solved crystal structures of two key mutants: Tyr78Trp and Tyr78Trp/Ile113Cys, the latter with substrate partially occupying the active site. By combining these experimental data with modeling studies, we have proposed a rationale that explains the impacts of the most useful mutations. PMID:25068071

  16. Theater targets plume edge extraction and hardbody aimpoint selection using morphological image processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paiva, Clifford A.

    1997-06-01

    (U) Future successful ballistic missile booster intercepts will require advanced automatic target detection, tracking, classification and identification (ADTCI) image processing techniques. Two such techniques are presented in this classified SECRET paper using the synthetic scene generator model (SSGM) in combination with the advanced systems (AVS) image processing package. Two challenging multispectral cases are treated: (1) missile hardbody occultation by the missile exhaust plume, and (2) variable plume/hardbody system (PHS) gradient intensities generated by missile tumbling due to exiting the sensible atmosphere. The target detection, tracking and edge extraction methods selected for this study include morphological, open-close operations within decision- level fusion for the obscuration case and pixel-level fusion for variable edge intensities. Other investigators have approached this issue on similar image processing techniques. The multispectral (2.69 - 2.95 micrometer SWIR; 4.17 - 4.2, 4.35 - 4.50 micrometer MWIR; and 8.0 - 12.0 micrometer LWIR) target/background imagery includes SWIRM/MWIR boost phase track (with occlusion problem) and LWIR aimpoint selection (with tumbling problem). The two classified missile systems are: (1) a depressed-angle submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and (2) a medium range ballistic missile (MRBM). The results indicate that for 6 degrees of freedom (6 DOF) hardbodies, ATDCI geometrical pattern reference libraries should be optimized to accommodate the extreme variable gradient geometries for tumbling midcourse targets. For boost- phase missile hardbody occultation by missile exhaust plumes, segmentation and feature extraction should be implemented in each bandpass before processing to the ATDCI classifier. This study demonstrates that although the plume/hardbody system edges were extracted, the geometry of the target edge often deviated from symmetry.

  17. Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection and congenital birth defects: a retrospective cohort study.

    PubMed

    Hershko-Klement, A; Sukenik-Halevy, R; Biron Shental, T; Miller, N; Berkovitz, A

    2016-09-01

    Our objective was to study the birth defect rates in intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI) pregnancies. A cohort of couples presenting male factor infertility between January 2006 and January 2014 was retrospectively analyzed. Discharge letters and a telephone interview were performed for assessing pregnancy outcome. All clinical data were reviewed by a board certified medical geneticist. Main outcomes were fetal/birth defect and chromosomal abnormality rates. Two thousand two hundred and fifty-eight pregnancies were available for analysis, of them, 1669 (73.9%) resulting from ICSI and 2258 (26.1%) achieved by IMSI. Pregnancy outcome distribution did not show a significant difference. For the fresh embryo transfer cohort, fetal/birth defect rate was 4.5%, chromosomal aberration rate was 1.0%, and structural malformation rate was 3.5%. IMSI vs. ICSI pregnancies were less likely to involve a fetal/birth defect: 3.5% vs. 4.8%, respectively, but did not reach a statistical significance OR 0.71 (95% CI 0.39-1.22). Split by multiplicity, this trend existed only for singleton pregnancies; 1.4% structural malformations rate vs. 3.8%, respectively, OR 0.35 (95% CI 0.11-0.9). The frozen cohort demonstrated a significantly lower birth defect rate (OR 0.25, 95% CI 0.09-0.58). We conclude that IMSI procedure does not involve an increased malformation rate and may offer a reduced anomaly incidence. Further studies are required. PMID:27317040

  18. Morphology, structural properties and reducibility of size-selected CeO2- x nanoparticle films.

    PubMed

    Spadaro, Maria Chiara; D'Addato, Sergio; Gasperi, Gabriele; Benedetti, Francesco; Luches, Paola; Grillo, Vincenzo; Bertoni, Giovanni; Valeri, Sergio

    2015-01-01

    Non-stoichiometric ceria nanoparticles (NPs) were obtained by a gas aggregation source with a magnetron and were mass-selected with a quadrupole mass filter. By varying magnetron power, Ar gas flow, and the length of the aggregation tube, NPs with an average diameter of 6, 9, and 14 nm were synthesized and deposited onto a substrate, thus obtaining NP films. The morphology of the films was studied with scanning electron microscopy, while high resolution transmission electron microscopy was used to gain a deeper insight into the atomic structure of individual NPs. By using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy we analyzed the degree of reduction of the NPs of different diameters, before and after thermal treatments in vacuum (reduction cycle) and in O2 atmosphere (oxidation cycle) at different temperatures. From this analysis we inferred that the size is an important parameter only at intermediate temperatures. As a comparison, we evaluated the reducibility of an ultra-thin ceria film with the same surface to volume ratio as the 9 nm diameter NPs film, observing that NPs are more reducible than the ceria film. PMID:25671152

  19. Morphological alterations in the synganglion and integument of Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks exposed to aqueous extracts of neem leaves (Azadirachta indica A. JUSS).

    PubMed

    Remedio, R N; Nunes, P H; Anholeto, L A; Camargo-Mathias, M I

    2014-12-01

    Currently, the necessity of controlling infestation by ticks, especially by Rhipicephalus sanguineus, has led researchers and public health managers around the world to search for new and more efficient control methods. This way, we can highlight neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) leaf, bark, and seed extracts, which have been very effective on tick control, and moreover causing less damage to the environment and to the host. This study showed the potential of neem as a control method for R. sanguineus through morphological and morphometric evaluation of the integument and synganglion of females, in semiengorged stage. To attain this, routine techniques of optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and morphometry of the cuticle and subcuticle of the integument were applied. Expressive morphological alterations were observed in both organs, presenting a dose-dependent effect. Integument epithelial cells and nerve cells of the synganglion showed signs of cell vacuolation, dilated intercellular boundaries, and cellular disorganization, alterations not previously reported in studies with neem. In addition, variations in subcuticle thickness were also observed. In general, the effects of neem are multiple, and affect the morphology and physiology of target animals in various ways. The results presented in this work are the first evidence of its effects in the coating and nervous system of ticks, thus allowing an indication of neem aqueous extracts as a potential control method of the brown dog tick and opening new perspectives on acaricide use. PMID:25130979

  20. Morphologic and Functional Connectivity Alterations of Corticostriatal and Default Mode Network in Treatment-Naïve Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Jingming; Song, Lingheng; Zhang, Wei; Wu, Wenjing; Wang, Jian; Zhou, Daiquan; Qu, Wei; Guo, Junwei; Gu, Shanshan; He, Mei; Xie, Bing; Li, Haitao

    2013-01-01

    Background Previous studies have demonstrated that structural deficits and functional connectivity imbalances might underlie the pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The purpose of the present study was to investigate gray matter deficits and abnormal resting-state networks in patients with OCD and further investigate the association between the anatomic and functional alterations and clinical symptoms. Methods Participants were 33 treatment-naïve OCD patients and 33 matched healthy controls. Voxel-based morphometry was used to investigate the regions with gray matter abnormalities and resting-state functional connectivity analysis was further conducted between each gray matter abnormal region and the remaining voxels in the brain. Results Compared with healthy controls, patients with OCD showed significantly increased gray matter volume in the left caudate, left thalamus, and posterior cingulate cortex, as well as decreased gray matter volume in the bilateral medial orbitofrontal cortex, left anterior cingulate cortex, and left inferior frontal gyrus. By using the above morphologic deficits areas as seed regions, functional connectivity analysis found abnormal functional integration in the cortical-striatum-thalamic-cortical (CSTC) circuits and default mode network. Subsequent correlation analyses revealed that morphologic deficits in the left thalamus and increased functional connectivity within the CSTC circuits positively correlated with the total Y-BOCS score. Conclusion This study provides evidence that morphologic and functional alterations are seen in CSTC circuits and default mode network in treatment-naïve OCD patients. The association between symptom severity and the CSTC circuits suggests that anatomic and functional alterations in CSTC circuits are especially important in the pathophysiology of OCD. PMID:24358320

  1. Early postnatal respiratory viral infection alters hippocampal neurogenesis, cell fate, and neuron morphology in the neonatal piglet.

    PubMed

    Conrad, Matthew S; Harasim, Samantha; Rhodes, Justin S; Van Alstine, William G; Johnson, Rodney W

    2015-02-01

    Respiratory viral infections are common during the neonatal period in humans, but little is known about how early-life infection impacts brain development. The current study used a neonatal piglet model as piglets have a gyrencephalic brain with growth and development similar to human infants. Piglets were inoculated with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) to evaluate how chronic neuroinflammation affects hippocampal neurogenesis and neuron morphology. Piglets in the neurogenesis study received one bromodeoxyuridine injection on postnatal day (PD) 7 and then were inoculated with PRRSV. Piglets were sacrificed at PD 28 and the number of BrdU+ cells and cell fate were quantified in the dentate gyrus. PRRSV piglets showed a 24% reduction in the number of newly divided cells forming neurons. Approximately 15% of newly divided cells formed microglia, but this was not affected by sex or PRRSV. Additionally, there was a sexual dimorphism of new cell survival in the dentate gyrus where males had more cells than females, and PRRSV infection caused a decreased survival in males only. Golgi impregnation was used to characterize dentate granule cell morphology. Sholl analysis revealed that PRRSV caused a change in inner granule cell morphology where the first branch point was extended further from the cell body. Males had more complex dendritic arbors than females in the outer granule cell layer, but this was not affected by PRRSV. There were no changes to dendritic spine density or morphology distribution. These findings suggest that early-life viral infection can impact brain development. PMID:25176574

  2. Alterations in dendrite and spine morphology of cortical pyramidal neurons in DISC1-binding zinc finger protein (DBZ) knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Koyama, Yoshihisa; Hattori, Tsuyoshi; Nishida, Tomoki; Hori, Osamu; Tohyama, Masaya

    2015-01-01

    Dendrite and dendritic spine formation are crucial for proper brain function. DISC1-binding zinc finger protein (DBZ) was first identified as a Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia1 (DISC1) binding partner. DBZ is highly expressed in the cerebral cortex of developing and adult rodents and is involved in neurite formation, cell positioning, and the development of interneurons and oligodendrocytes. The functional roles of DBZ in postnatal brain remain unknown; thus we investigated cortical pyramidal neuron morphology in DBZ knockout (KO) mice. Morphological analyses by Golgi staining alone in DBZ KO mice revealed decreased dendritic arborization, increased spine density. A morphological analysis of the spines revealed markedly increased numbers of thin spines. To investigate whole spine structure in detail, electron tomographic analysis using ultra-high voltage electron microscopy (UHVEM) combined with Golgi staining was performed. Tomograms and three-dimensional models of spines revealed that the spines of DBZ KO mice exhibited two types of characteristic morphology, filopodia-like spines and abnormal thin-necked spines having an extremely thin spine neck. Moreover, conventional electron microscopy revealed significantly decreased number of postsynaptic densities (PSDs) in spines of DBZ KO mice. In conclusion, DBZ deficiency impairs the morphogenesis of dendrites and spines in cortical pyramidal neurons. PMID:25983680

  3. Morphological assessment on day 4 and its prognostic power in selecting viable embryos for transfer.

    PubMed

    Fabozzi, Gemma; Alteri, Alessandra; Rega, Emilia; Starita, Maria Flavia; Piscitelli, Claudio; Giannini, Pierluigi; Colicchia, Antonio

    2016-08-01

    The aim of this study was to describe a system for embryo morphology scoring at the morula stage and to determine the efficiency of this model in selecting viable embryos for transfer. In total, 519 embryos from 122 patients undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) were scored retrospectively on day 4 according to the grading system proposed in this article. Two separate quality scores were assigned to each embryo in relation to the grade of compaction and fragmentation and their developmental fate was then observed on days 5 and 6. Secondly, the prediction value of this scoring system was compared with the prediction value of the traditional scoring system adopted on day 3. Morulas classified as grade A showed a significant higher blastocyst formation rate (87.2%) compared with grades B, C and D (63.8, 41.3 and 15.0%, respectively), (P < 0.001). Furthermore, the ability to form top quality blastocysts was significantly higher for grade A morulas with respect to grades B, and C and D (37.8% vs. 22.4% vs. 11.1%), (P < 0.001). Finally, the morula scoring system showed more prediction power with respect to the embryo scoring a value of 1 [Akaike information criterion (AIC) index 16.4 vs. 635.3 and Bayesian information criterion (BIC) index -68.8 vs. -30.0 for morulas and embryos respectively]. In conclusion, results demonstrated that the presented scoring system allows for the evaluation of eligible embryos for transfer as a significant correlation between the grade of morula, blastulation rate and blastocyst quality was observed. Furthermore, the morula scoring system was shown to be the best predictive model when compared with the traditional scoring system performed on day 3. PMID:26350430

  4. Deficiency of Starch Synthase IIIa and IVb Alters Starch Granule Morphology from Polyhedral to Spherical in Rice Endosperm.

    PubMed

    Toyosawa, Yoshiko; Kawagoe, Yasushi; Matsushima, Ryo; Crofts, Naoko; Ogawa, Masahiro; Fukuda, Masako; Kumamaru, Toshihiro; Okazaki, Yozo; Kusano, Miyako; Saito, Kazuki; Toyooka, Kiminori; Sato, Mayuko; Ai, Yongfeng; Jane, Jay-Lin; Nakamura, Yasunori; Fujita, Naoko

    2016-03-01

    Starch granule morphology differs markedly among plant species. However, the mechanisms controlling starch granule morphology have not been elucidated. Rice (Oryza sativa) endosperm produces characteristic compound-type granules containing dozens of polyhedral starch granules within an amyloplast. Some other cereal species produce simple-type granules, in which only one starch granule is present per amyloplast. A double mutant rice deficient in the starch synthase (SS) genes SSIIIa and SSIVb (ss3a ss4b) produced spherical starch granules, whereas the parental single mutants produced polyhedral starch granules similar to the wild type. The ss3a ss4b amyloplasts contained compound-type starch granules during early developmental stages, and spherical granules were separated from each other during subsequent amyloplast development and seed dehydration. Analysis of glucan chain length distribution identified overlapping roles for SSIIIa and SSIVb in amylopectin chain synthesis, with a degree of polymerization of 42 or greater. Confocal fluorescence microscopy and immunoelectron microscopy of wild-type developing rice seeds revealed that the majority of SSIVb was localized between starch granules. Therefore, we propose that SSIIIa and SSIVb have crucial roles in determining starch granule morphology and in maintaining the amyloplast envelope structure. We present a model of spherical starch granule production. PMID:26747287

  5. Experiment K-6-02. Biomedical, biochemical and morphological alterations of muscle and dense, fibrous connective tissues during 14 days of spaceflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vailas, A.; Zernicke, R.; Grindeland, R.; Kaplanski, A.

    1990-01-01

    Findings on the connective tissue response to short-term space flight (12 days) are discussed. Specifically, data regarding the biochemical, biomechanical and morphological characteristics of selected connective tissues (humerus, vertebral body, tendon and skeletal muscle) of growing rats is given. Results are given concerning the humerus cortical bone, the vertebral bone, nutritional effects on bone biomechanical properties, and soft tense fiber connective tissue response.

  6. Absence of Dp71 in mdx3cv mouse spermatozoa alters flagellar morphology and the distribution of ion channels and nNOS

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-González, Enrique O; Mornet, Dominique; Rendon, Alvaro; Martínez-Rojas, Dalila

    2005-01-01

    Summary In muscle, the absence of dystrophin alters the dystrophin associated protein complex (DAPC), which is involved in the clustering and anchoring of signaling proteins and ion and water channels. Here we show that mice spermatozoa express only dystrophin Dp71 and utrophin Up71. The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of the absence of Dp71 on the morphology and membrane distribution of members of the DAPC, ion channels and signaling proteins of spermatozoa obtained from dystrophic mutant mdx3cv mice. Our work indicates that although the absence of Dp71 results in a dramatic decrease in β-dystroglycan, it induces membrane redistribution and an increase in the total level of a-syntrophin, voltage dependent Na+ (μ1) and K+ (Kv1.1) channels and neural nitric oxide synthase (nNOS). The short utrophin (Up71) was upregulated and redistributed in the spermatozoa of mdx3cv mice. A significant increase in abnormal flagella morphology was observed in the absence of Dp71, which was partially corrected when the plasma membrane was eliminated by detergent treatment. Our observations point to a new phenotype associated with the absence of Dp71. Abnormal flagellar structure and altered distribution of ion channels and signaling proteins may be responsible for the fertility problems of mdx3cv mice. PMID:15601658

  7. Morphology and rheology of SIS and SEPS triblock copolymers in the presence of a midblock-selective solvent

    SciTech Connect

    Laurer, J.H.; Khan, S.A.; Spontak, R.J.; Satkowski, M.M.; Grothaus, J.T.; Smith, S.D.; Lin, J.S.

    1999-11-09

    While numerous fundamental studies have sought to elucidate the effect of a parent homopolymer on the morphological characteristics and mechanical properties of microphase-ordered block copolymer blends, few comparable efforts have extended such studies to concentrated copolymer solutions in the presence of a low-molar-mass block-selective solvent. In this work, the authors investigate the microstructures that form in blends of a poly(styrene-block-isoprene-block-styrene)(SIS)triblock copolymer with a midblock-selective aliphatic mineral oil. To discern the influence of midblock/oil compatibility on blend morphology and properties, identical blends with a poly[styrene-block-(ethylene-alt-propylene)-block-styrene] (SEPS) copolymer, the hydrogenated variant of the SIS copolymer, have likewise been examined. The saturated midblock of the SEPS copolymer is responsible for the observed shifts in morphology stability limits and higher dynamic elastic shear moduli relative to the SIS analogue. These results reveal that the morphologies and properties of such triblock copolymer/oil blends are sensitive to the chemical/statistical nature of the copolymer midblock and may be judiciously tailored to satisfy application-specific requirements.

  8. Tuning the Morphology and Performance of Low Bandgap Polymer: Fullerene Heterojunctions via Solvent Annealing in Selective Solvents

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Huipeng; Hsiao, Yu-Che; Hu, Bin; Dadmun, Mark D

    2014-01-01

    Low bandgap polymer (LBG):fullerene mixtures are some of the most promising organic photovoltaic active layers. Unfortunately, there are no post-deposition treatments available to rationally improve the morphology and performance of as-cast LBG:fullerene OPV active layers, where thermal annealing usually fails. Therefore, there is a glaring need to develop postdeposition methods to guide the morphology of LBG:fullerene bulk heterojunctions towards targeted structures and performance. In this paper, the structural evolution of PCPDTBT:PCBM mixtures with solvent annealing (SA) is examined, focusing on the effect of solvent quality of the fullerene and polymer in the annealing vapor on morphological evolution and device performance. The results indicate that exposure of this active layer to the solvent vapor controls the ordering of PCPDTBT and PCBM phase separation very effectively, presumably by inducing component mobility as the solvent plasticizes the mixture. These results also unexpectedly indicate that solvent annealing in a selective solvent provides a method to invert the morphology of the LBG:fullerene mixture from a polymer aggregate dispersed in a polymer:fullerene matrix to fullerene aggregates dispersed in a polymer:fullerene matrix. The judicious choice of solvent vapor, therefore, provides a unique method to exquisitely control and optimize the morphology of LBG conjugated polymer/fullerene mixtures.

  9. Real time measurements of sediment transport and bed morphology during channel altering flow and sediment transport events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curran, Joanna Crowe; Waters, Kevin A.; Cannatelli, Kristen M.

    2015-09-01

    Real-time measurements of bed changes over a reach are a missing piece needed to link bed morphology with sediment transport processes during unsteady flows when the bed adjusts quickly to changing transport rates or visual observation of the bed is precluded by fine sediment in the water column. A new technique is presented that provides continuous measurement of sediment movement over the length of a flume. A bedload monitoring system (BLMS) was developed that makes use of pressure pillows under a false flume bottom to measure sediment and water weights over discrete flume channel sections throughout a flow event. This paper details the construction of the BLMS and provides examples of its use in a laboratory setting to reconstruct bed slopes during unsteady flows and to create a real-time record of sediment transport rates across the flume channel bed during a sediment transporting flow. Data gathered from the BLMS compared well against techniques commonly in use in flume studies. When the BLMS was analyzed in conjunction with bed surface DEMs and differenced DEMs, a complete transport and bed adjustment picture was constructed. The difference DEMs provided information on the spatial extent of bed morphology changes. The BLMS supplied the data record necessary to reconstruct sediment transport records through the downstream channel, including locations and time periods of temporary sediment storage and supply. The BLMS makes it possible to construct a continuous record of the spatial distribution of sediment movement through the flume, including areas of temporary aggradation and degradation. Exciting implications of future research that incorporates a BLMS include a more informed management of river systems as a result of improved temporal predictions of sediment movement and the associated changes in channel slope and bed morphology.

  10. The use of an ion-beam source to alter the surface morphology of biological implant materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weigand, A. J.

    1978-01-01

    An electron bombardment, ion thruster was used as a neutralized-ion beam sputtering source to texture the surfaces of biological implant materials. Scanning electron microscopy was used to determine surface morphology changes of all materials after ion-texturing. Electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis was used to determine the effects of ion texturing on the surface chemical composition of some polymers. Liquid contact angle data were obtained for ion textured and untextured polymer samples. Results of tensile and fatigue tests of ion-textured metal alloys are presented. Preliminary data of tissue response to ion textured surfaces of some metals, polytetrafluoroethylene, alumina, and segmented polyurethane were obtained.

  11. High-Efficiency Nonfullerene Polymer Solar Cell Enabling by Integration of Film-Morphology Optimization, Donor Selection, and Interfacial Engineering.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xin; Li, Weiping; Yao, Jiannian; Zhan, Chuanlang

    2016-06-22

    Carrier mobility is a vital factor determining the electrical performance of organic solar cells. In this paper we report that a high-efficiency nonfullerene organic solar cell (NF-OSC) with a power conversion efficiency of 6.94 ± 0.27% was obtained by optimizing the hole and electron transportations via following judicious selection of polymer donor and engineering of film-morphology and cathode interlayers: (1) a combination of solvent annealing and solvent vapor annealing optimizes the film morphology and hence both hole and electron mobilities, leading to a trade-off of fill factor and short-circuit current density (Jsc); (2) the judicious selection of polymer donor affords a higher hole and electron mobility, giving a higher Jsc; and (3) engineering the cathode interlayer affords a higher electron mobility, which leads to a significant increase in electrical current generation and ultimately the power conversion efficiency (PCE). PMID:27246160

  12. Natural soil microbes alter flowering phenology and the intensity of selection on flowering time in a wild Arabidopsis relative

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Maggie R.; Lundberg, Derek S.; Coleman-Derr, Devin; Tringe, Susannah G.; Dangl, Jeffery L.; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Plant phenology is known to depend on many different environmental variables, but soil microbial communities have rarely been acknowledged as possible drivers of flowering time. Here we tested separately the effects of four naturally occurring soil microbiomes and their constituent soil chemistries on flowering phenology and reproductive fitness of Boechera stricta, a wild relative of Arabidopsis. Flowering time was sensitive to both microbes and the abiotic properties of different soils; varying soil microbiota also altered patterns of selection on flowering time. Thus, soil microbes potentially contribute to phenotypic plasticity of flowering time and to differential selection observed between habitats. We also describe a method to dissect the microbiome into single axes of variation that can help identify candidate organisms whose abundance in soil correlates with flowering time. This approach is broadly applicable to search for microbial community members that alter biological characteristics of interest. PMID:24698177

  13. QUANTITATIVE MORPHOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract: In toxicology, the role of quantitative assessment of brain morphology can be understood in the context of two types of treatment-related alterations. One type of alteration is specifically associated with treatment and is not observed in control animals. Measurement ...

  14. Altering the interfacial morphology of polymer light-emitting diodes using polymer interlayers: effect on hole injection and device performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harding, M. James; Poplavskyy, Dmitry; Choong-En, Vi; So, Franky; Campbell, Alasdair J.

    2006-08-01

    We report preliminary studies of the nature of hole injection from poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/polystyrenesulphonic acid (PEDOT:PSS) into three commercial conjugated light emitting polymers (LEPs). Sumation's LUMATION Green 1300, LUMATION Blue, and Merck's SuperYellow LEPs are studied in combination with interlayers of poly(9,9-dioctyl-fluorene-co-N-(4-butylphenyl)-diphenylamine) (TFB), and poly[9,9-dioctylfluorene-co-(bis-N,N'-(3-carboxyphenyl)-bis-N,N'-phenylbenzidine)] (BFA). Despite the highest occupied molecular orbitals (HOMOs) of the interlayers being close to that of PEDOT:PSS and the LEP, different interlayers have different effects on hole injection and OLED device performance. We use dark injection transient current method to show that interfacial morphology changes results in modulation of hole trap densities that in turn affect hole injection. Depending on the interlayer/LEP combination partial penetration of interlayer into the LEP layer may also occur resulting in additional changes in the bulk transport properties of the LEP. Our results show that it is not the interfacial energy level alignment but the physical morphology changes at the interface which are important for varying hole injection into the device. A combination of either improved or reduced hole injection due to variations in physical contact, intermixing and trapping at the interlayer/LEP boundary dominate device performance.

  15. A Bed Load Monitoring System for Real Time Sediment Transport and Bed Morphology during Channel Altering Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curran, J. C.; Waters, K. A.; Cannatelli, K.

    2014-12-01

    A new technique is presented that provides continuous measurement of sediment movement over the length of a flume. Real-time measurements of bed changes over a reach are a missing piece needed to link bed morphology with sediment transport processes during unsteady flows when the bed adjusts quickly to changing transport rates or visual observation of the bed is precluded by fine sediment in the water column. A bed load monitoring system (BLMS) was developed that records the sediment and water loads over discrete bed lengths throughout a flow event. It was designed for laboratory application where controlled measurement methods are possible. Upon data processing, the BLMS provides a continuous measure of the sediment load across the bed from which sediment movement rates through the reach, including areas of temporary aggradation or degradation, can be reconstructed. Examples are provided of how the bed load monitoring system has been applied during sediment feed and sediment recirculation experiments to further the interpretation of channel processes occurring during large flows. We detail the use of the BLMS to measure bed slopes during unsteady flows and to measure the movement of sediment downstream following different methods of dam removal. We evaluate the BLMS for use where DEM differencing was also applied to illustrate the information provided by each measurement method. Exciting implications of future research that incorporates a BLMS include a more informed management of river systems as a result of improved temporal predictions of sediment movement and the associated changes in channel slope and morphology.

  16. Female Sterile Mutations on the Second Chromosome of Drosophila Melanogaster. II. Mutations Blocking Oogenesis or Altering Egg Morphology

    PubMed Central

    Schupbach, T.; Wieschaus, E.

    1991-01-01

    In mutagenesis screens for recessive female sterile mutations on the second chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster 528 lines were isolated which allow the homozygous females to survive but cause sterility. In 62 of these lines early stages of oogenesis are affected, and these females usually do not lay any eggs. In 333 lines oogenesis proceeds apparently normally to stage 8 of oogenesis, but morphological defects become often apparent during later stages of oogenesis, and are visible in the defective eggs produced by these females whereas 133 lay eggs that appear morphologically normal, but do not support normal embryonic development. Of the lines 341 have been genetically characterized and define a total of 140 loci on the second chromosome. Not all the loci are specific for oogenesis. From the numbers obtained we estimate that the second chromosome of Drosophila contains about 13 loci that are relatively specific for early oogenesis, 70 loci that are specifically required in mid to late oogenesis, and around 30 maternal-effect lethals. PMID:1783295

  17. Alterations of digestive enzyme activities, intestinal morphology and microbiota in juvenile paddlefish, Polyodon spathula, fed dietary probiotics.

    PubMed

    Fang, Cheng; Ma, Mingyang; Ji, Hong; Ren, Tongjun; Mims, Steven D

    2015-02-01

    The effects of dietary supplementation of probiotics on digestive enzymes activities, intestinal morphology and microbiota in juvenile paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) were studied. A total of 400 fish were reared in two cages and fed with a basal diet (control group, CG) or diet supplemented with commercial probiotics (treatment group, TG) for 80 days. Enzymes activities analysis indicated that protease and α-amylase activities increased (P < 0.01 or P < 0.05) in TG. Light microscopy observation demonstrated the decrease of wall thickness and muscularis thickness in foregut (P < 0.01), the increase of those in hindgut (P < 0.05), the increase of folds height in foregut (P < 0.01) and midgut in TG (P < 0.05). DGGE results of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA confirmed that the richness and diversity of intestinal microbial species increased in TG. The similarity between the commercial bacteria product and intestinal microbiota of TG were higher than the microbiota from CG. The quantities of bacterium, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Fusobacteria, present an increasing trend from foregut to hindgut both in two groups. To our knowledge, this is the first in vivo study to reveal the effect of dietary probiotics on intestinal digestive enzymes activities, morphology and microbiota in paddlefish. PMID:25403154

  18. Deletions of the SACPD-C locus elevate seed stearic acid levels but also result in fatty acid and morphological alterations in nitrogen fixing nodules

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Soybean (Glycine max) seeds are the primary source of edible oil in the United States. Despite its widespread utility, soybean oil is oxidatively unstable. Until recently, the majority of soybean oil underwent chemical hydrogenation, a process which also generates trans fats. An alternative to chemical hydrogenation is genetic modification of seed oil through identification and introgression of mutant alleles. One target for improvement is the elevation of a saturated fat with no negative cardiovascular impacts, stearic acid, which typically constitutes a minute portion of seed oil (~3%). Results We examined radiation induced soybean mutants with moderately increased stearic acid (10-15% of seed oil, ~3-5 X the levels in wild-type soybean seeds) via comparative whole genome hybridization and genetic analysis. The deletion of one SACPD isoform encoding gene (SACPD-C) was perfectly correlated with moderate elevation of seed stearic acid content. However, SACPD-C deletion lines were also found to have altered nodule fatty acid composition and grossly altered morphology. Despite these defects, overall nodule accumulation and nitrogen fixation were unaffected, at least under laboratory conditions. Conclusions Although no yield penalty has been reported for moderate elevated seed stearic acid content in soybean seeds, our results demonstrate that genetic alteration of seed traits can have unforeseen pleiotropic consequences. We have identified a role for fatty acid biosynthesis, and SACPD activity in particular, in the establishment and maintenance of symbiotic nitrogen fixation. PMID:24886084

  19. Effects of cross-modal selective attention on the sensory periphery: cochlear sensitivity is altered by selective attention.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, S; Keil, A; Stratis, K; Woodruff Carr, K L; Smith, D W

    2012-10-25

    There is increasing evidence that alterations in the focus of attention result in changes in neural responding at the most peripheral levels of the auditory system. To date, however, those studies have not ruled out differences in task demands or overall arousal in explaining differences in responding across intermodal attentional conditions. The present study sought to compare changes in the response of cochlear outer hair cells, employing distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs), under different, balanced conditions of intermodal attention. DPOAEs were measured while the participants counted infrequent, brief exemplars of the DPOAE primary tones (auditory attending), and while counting visual targets, which were instances of Gabor gradient phase shifts (visual attending). Corroborating an earlier study from our laboratory, the results show that DPOAEs recorded in the auditory-ignoring condition were significantly higher in overall amplitude, compared with DPOAEs recorded while participants attended to the eliciting primaries; a finding in apparent contradiction with more central measures of intermodal attention. Also consistent with our previous findings, DPOAE rapid adaptation, believed to be mediated by the medial olivocochlear efferents (MOC), was unaffected by changes in intermodal attention. The present findings indicate that manipulations in the conditions of attention, through the corticofugal pathway, and its last relay to cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs), the MOC, alter cochlear sensitivity to sound. These data also suggest that the MOC influence on OHC sensitivity is composed of two independent processes, one of which is under attentional control. PMID:22871520

  20. Bisphenol A and its analogs induce morphological and biochemical alterations in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (in vitro study).

    PubMed

    Michałowicz, Jaromir; Mokra, Katarzyna; Bąk, Agata

    2015-10-01

    Few studies have addressed the cellular effects of bisphenol S (BPS) and bisphenol AF (BPAF) on cells, and no study has been conducted to analyze the mechanism of action of bisphenols in blood cells. In this study, the effect of bisphenol A (BPA), bisphenol F (BPF), BPS and BPAF on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was analyzed. It was shown that BPA, BPF and BPAF in particular, decreased cell viability, which was associated with depletion of intracellular ATP level and alterations in PBMCs size and granulation. Bisphenols enhanced ROS (including OH˙) formation, which led to damage to lipids and proteins in PBMCs. The most significant alterations in ROS level were induced by BPF, and particularly BPAF. Moreover, it was shown that BPAF most strongly provoked lipid peroxidation, while BPA and BPS caused the greatest damage to proteins. It may be concluded that BPA and its analogs were capable of inducing oxidative stress and damage in PBMCs in the concentrations ranging from 0.06 to 0.5 μM (0.02-0.1 μg/ml), which may be present in human blood as a result of environmental exposure. Although, most of bisphenols studied decreased cell viability, size and ATP level at higher concentrations, BPAF exhibited its cytotoxic potential at low concentrations ranging from 0.3 to 3 μM (0.1-1.0 μg/ml) that may correspond to concentrations in humans following occupational exposure. PMID:26028149

  1. Age-related modifications of the morphological organization of pituicytes are associated with alteration of the GABAergic and dopaminergic innervation afferent to the neurohypophysial lobe.

    PubMed

    Alonso, G; Runquist, M; Hussy, N; Duvoid, A; Moos, F

    2003-10-01

    Ageing is known to induce a marked activation of astrocytes within various regions of the central nervous system. To date, the age-related factors responsible for these modifications are unknown. The neural lobe of the hypophysis (NL) is a particular brain region which does not contain neurons but does contain specialized astrocytes, called pituicytes, and numerous terminals of afferent axons, including (i) peptidergic neurohypophysial axons which terminate on the NL blood vessels, and (ii) axons containing both gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA) and dopamine (DA) which form contacts with pituicytes. Because evidence has recently been provided that GABA signalling mediates the morphological organization of astrocytes, the present study was designed to determine whether modifications of pituicytes during ageing were associated with modifications of the GABAergic axons innervating the NL. We show here that, in adult rats, GABA/DA axons form preferential synaptic-like contacts with pituicytes which express both GABAA and D2 dopamine receptors. We then show that, during ageing, pituicytes undergo dramatic modifications of their morphology, correlatively with marked modifications of the GABA/DA fibres innervating the NL. Lastly, in vitro experiments indicate that modifications of the morphology of pituicytes similar to those observed during ageing were obtained by incubating isolated NL of adult rats with a GABAA receptor agonist and/or a D2 dopamine receptor antagonist, whereas inverse modifications were observed when NL of aged rats were incubated with a GABAA receptor antagonist and a D2 dopamine receptor agonist. Taken together, these data suggest that the age-related morphological changes of pituicytes result from the alteration of the GABA/DAergic innervation of the NL. PMID:14622222

  2. Virus-induced gene silencing of PEAM4 affects floral morphology by altering the expression pattern of PsSOC1a and PsPVP in pea.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhe-Hao; Jia, Fei-Fei; Hu, Jiang-Qin; Pang, Ji-Liang; Xu, Lei; Wang, Li-Lin

    2014-01-15

    pea-MADS4 (PEAM4) regulates floral morphology in Pisum sativum L., however, its molecular mechanisms still remain unclear. Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) is a recently developed reverse genetic approach that facilities an easier and more rapid study of gene functions. In this study, the PEAM4 gene was effectively silenced by VIGS using a pea early browning virus (PEBV) in wild type pea JI992. The infected plants showed abnormal phenotypes, as the floral organs, especially the sepals and petals changed in both size and shape, which made the corolla less closed. The petals changed in morphology and internal symmetry with, the stamens reduced and carpel dehisced. Larger sepals and longer tendrils with small cauline leaves appeared, with some sepals turning into bracts, and secondary inflorescences with fused floral organs were formed, indicating a flower-to-inflorescence change. The infected plants also displayed a delayed and prolonged flowering time. The PEAM4-VIGS plants with altered floral morphology were similar to the pim (proliferating inflorescence meristem) mutant and also mimicked the phenotypes of ap1 mutants in Arabidopsis. The expression pattern of the homologous genes PsSOC1a and PsSVP, which were involved in flowering time and florescence morphological control downstream of PEAM4, were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR and mRNA in situ hybridization. PsSOC1a and PsSVP were ectopically expressed and enhanced in the floral meristems from PEAM4-silenced plants. Our data suggests that PEAM4 may have a similar molecular mechanism as AtAP1, which inhibits the expression of PsSOC1a and PsSVP in the floral meristem from the early stages of flower development. As such, in this way PEAM4 plays a crucial role in maintaining floral organ identity and flower development in pea. PMID:24331430

  3. p53 alteration in morphologically normal/benign breast tissue in patients with triple-negative high-grade breast carcinomas: breast p53 signature?

    PubMed

    Wang, Xi; Stolla, Moritz; Ring, Brian Z; Yang, Qi; Laughlin, Todd S; Rothberg, Paul G; Skinner, Kristin; Hicks, David G

    2016-09-01

    p53 alterations have been identified in approximately 23% of breast carcinomas, particularly in hormone receptor-negative high-grade carcinomas. It is considered to be an early event in breast carcinogenesis. Nevertheless, the putative precursor lesion of high-grade breast carcinoma remains elusive. Breast excision specimens from 93 triple-negative high-grade invasive ductal carcinomas, 48 estrogen receptor (ER)-positive/progesterone receptor-positive/Her2-negative non-high-grade invasive ductal carcinomas, and 50 mammoplasty breasts were selected. At least 2 tissue blocks with tumor and adjacent benign tissue were sectioned and subjected to immunohistochemistry staining for p53. TP53 gene sequencing was performed on select tumors. Further immunohistochemistry staining for ER and Ki-67 was performed on consecutive sections of tissue with p53-positive normal/benign cells. Of the 93 high-grade carcinomas, 51 (55%) were positive for p53 alteration, whereas only 3 (6.25%) of the 48 non-high-grade carcinomas were p53 altered. Focal p53 positivity in adjacent normal/benign breast tissue was identified in 19 cases, and 18 of them also had p53 alteration in their carcinomas. Only 1 case had focal p53 staining in normal/benign tissue, but the tumor was negative for p53 alteration. No p53 staining positivity was identified in the mammoplasty specimens. The p53-stained normal/benign cells were ER negative and did not show an increase in the Ki-67 labeling index. These findings indicate that the p53 staining positivity in normal/benign breast tissue is not a random event. It could be considered as the "p53 signature" in breast and serve as an indicator for future potential risk of p53-positive high-grade breast carcinoma. PMID:27246177

  4. Inhibition of phenolic acid metabolism results in precocious cell death and altered cell morphology in leaves of transgenic tobacco plants

    PubMed Central

    Tamagnone, L; Merida, A; Stacey, N; Plaskitt, K; Parr, A; Chang, CF; Lynn, D; Dow, JM; Roberts, K; Martin, C

    1998-01-01

    Several complex phenotypic changes are induced when the transcription factor AmMYB308 is overexpressed in transgenic tobacco plants. We have previously shown that the primary effect of this transcription factor is to inhibit phenolic acid metabolism. In the plants that we produced, two morphological features were prominent: abnormal leaf palisade development and induction of premature cell death in mature leaves. Evidence from the analysis of these transgenic plants suggests that both changes resulted from the lack of phenolic intermediates. These results emphasize the importance of phenolic secondary metabolites in the normal growth and development of tobacco. We suggest that phenolic acid derivatives are important signaling molecules in the final stages of leaf palisade formation and that phenolic acid derivatives also play a prominent role in tissue senescence. PMID:9811790

  5. The use of an ion-beam source to alter the surface morphology of biological implant materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weigand, A. J.

    1978-01-01

    An electron-bombardment ion-thruster was used as a neutralized-ion-beam sputtering source to texture the surfaces of biological implant materials. The materials investigated included 316 stainless steel; titanium-6% aluminum, 4% vanadium; cobalt-20% chromium, 15% tungsten; cobalt-35% nickel, 20% chromium, 10% molybdenum; polytetrafluoroethylene; polyoxymethylene; silicone and polyurethane copolymer; 32%-carbon-impregnated polyolefin; segmented polyurethane; silicone rubber; and alumina. Scanning electron microscopy was used to determine surface morphology changes of all materials after ion-texturing. Electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis was used to determine the effects of ion-texturing on the surface chemical composition of some polymers. Liquid contact angle data were obtained for ion-textured and untextured polymer samples. Results of tensile and fatigue tests of ion-textured metal alloys are presented. Preliminary data of tissue response to ion-textured surfaces of some metals, polytetrafluoroethylene, alumina, and segmented polyurethane have been obtained.

  6. Retinol induces morphological alterations and proliferative focus formation through free radical-mediated activation of multiple signaling pathways

    PubMed Central

    Gelain, Daniel Pens; Pasquali, Matheus Augusto de Bittencourt; Caregnato, Fernanda Freitas; Castro, Mauro Antonio Alves; Moreira, José Claudio Fonseca

    2012-01-01

    Aim: Toxicity of retinol (vitamin A) has been previously associated with apoptosis and/or cell malignant transformation. Thus, we investigated the pathways involved in the induction of proliferation, deformation and proliferative focus formation by retinol in cultured Sertoli cells of rats. Methods: Sertoli cells were isolated from immature rats and cultured. The cells were subjected to a 24-h treatment with different concentrations of retinol. Parameters of oxidative stress and cytotoxicity were analyzed. The effects of the p38 inhibitor SB203580 (10 μmol/L), the JNK inhibitor SP600125 (10 μmol/L), the Akt inhibitor LY294002 (10 μmol/L), the ERK inhibitor U0126 (10 μmol/L) the pan-PKC inhibitor Gö6983 (10 μmol/L) and the PKA inhibitor H89 (1 μmol/L) on morphological and proliferative/transformation-associated modifications were studied. Results: Retinol (7 and 14 μmol/L) significantly increases the reactive species production in Sertoli cells. Inhibition of p38, JNK, ERK1/2, Akt, and PKA suppressed retinol-induced [3H]dT incorporation into the cells, while PKC inhibition had no effect. ERK1/2 and p38 inhibition also blocked retinol-induced proliferative focus formation in the cells, while Akt and JNK inhibition partially decreased focus formation. ERK1/2 and p38 inhibition hindered transformation-associated deformation in retinol-treated cells, while other treatments had no effect. Conclusion: Our results suggest that activation of multiple kinases is responsible for morphological and proliferative changes associated to malignancy development in Sertoli cells by retinol at the concentrations higher than physiological level. PMID:22426700

  7. Protective Effect of Urtica dioica L. (Urticaceae) on Morphometric and Morphologic Alterations of Seminiferous Tubules in STZ Diabetic Rats

    PubMed Central

    Golalipour, Mohammad Jafar; Kabiri Balajadeh, Babak; Ghafari, Soraya; Azarhosh, Ramin; Khori, Vahid

    2011-01-01

    Objective(s) Urtica dioica L. has been known as a medicinal plant in the world. This study was conducted to determine the effects of the hydroalcoholic extract of Urtica dioica leaves on seminiferous tubules of diabetic rats. Materials and Methods Animals were allocated to control, diabetic and protective groups. Treated animals received extract of U. dioica (100 mg/ kg/ day) IP for the first 5 days and STZ injection on the 6th day. After 5 weeks, testes removed and stained with H&E technique. Results Tubular cell disintegration, sertoli and spermatogonia cell vacuolization, and decrease in sperm concentration observed in diabetic in comparison with control and protective groups. External seminiferous tubular diameter and seminiferous epithelial height significantly reduced (P< 0.05) in diabetic compared with controls, and these parameters increased (P< 0.05) in the treated compared with diabetics. Conclusion Hydroalcoholic extract of U. dioica, before induction of diabetes; has protective role on seminiferous tubules alterations. PMID:23493848

  8. Altered brain morphology and functional connectivity reflect a vulnerable affective state after cumulative multigenerational stress in rats.

    PubMed

    McCreary, J Keiko; Truica, L Sorina; Friesen, Becky; Yao, Youli; Olson, David M; Kovalchuk, Igor; Cross, Albert R; Metz, Gerlinde A S

    2016-08-25

    Prenatal stress is a risk factor for abnormal neuroanatomical, cognitive, behavioral and mental health outcomes with potentially transgenerational consequences. Females in general seem more resilient to the effects of prenatal stress than males. Here, we examined if repeated stress across generations may diminish stress resiliency and cumulatively enhance the susceptibility for adverse health outcomes in females. Pregnant female rats of three successive generations were exposed to stress from gestational days 12-18 to generate multigenerational prenatal stress (MPS) in the maternal lineage. Stress response was measured by plasma corticosterone levels and open-field exploration in each generation. Neuromorphological consequences of MPS were investigated in the F3 generation using in vivo manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI), T2-relaxometry, and cytoarchitectonics in relation to candidate gene expression involved in brain plasticity and mental health. Each additional generation of prenatal stress incrementally elevated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation, anxiety-like and aversive behaviors in adult female offspring. Elevated stress responses in the MPS F3 generation were accompanied by reduced neural density in prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and whole brain along with altered brain activation patterns in in vivo MEMRI. MPS increased ephrin receptor A5 (Epha5), neuronal growth regulator (Negr1) and synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (Snap25) gene expression and reduced fibroblast growth factor 12 (Fgf12) in prefrontal cortex. These genes regulate neuronal maturation, arborization and synaptic plasticity and may explain altered brain cytoarchitectonics and connectivity. These findings emphasize that recurrent stress across generations may cumulatively increase stress vulnerability and the risk of adverse health outcomes through perinatal programing in females. PMID:27241944

  9. Interspecific competition alters nonlinear selection on offspring size in the field.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Dustin J; Monro, Keyne

    2013-02-01

    Offspring size is one of the most important life-history traits with consequences for both the ecology and evolution of most organisms. Surprisingly, formal estimates of selection on offspring size are rare, and the degree to which selection (particularly nonlinear selection) varies among environments remains poorly explored. We estimate linear and nonlinear selection on offspring size, module size, and senescence rate for a sessile marine invertebrate in the field under three different intensities of interspecific competition. The intensity of competition strongly modified the strength and form of selection acting on offspring size. We found evidence for differences in nonlinear selection across the three environments. Our results suggest that the fitness returns of a given offspring size depend simultaneously on their environmental context, and on the context of other offspring traits. Offspring size effects can be more pervasive with regards to their influence on the fitness returns of other traits than previously recognized, and we suggest that the evolution of offspring size cannot be understood in isolation from other traits. Overall, variability in the form and strength of selection on offspring size in nature may reduce the efficacy of selection on offspring size and maintain variation in this trait. PMID:23356607

  10. Recurrent selection for sucrose has altered assimilate partitioning between growth and storage in sugarcane internodes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sucrose yield in sugarcane is a function of sucrose content of the cane and cane yield. Selection for sucrose content is a high priority in sugarcane breeding programs. Louisiana sugarcane breeding programs have used a modified recurrent selection program whereby genotypes with high sucrose content ...

  11. Widely Tunable Morphologies in Block Copolymer Thin Films Through Solvent Vapor Annealing Using Mixtures of Selective Solvents

    PubMed Central

    Chavis, Michelle A.; Smilgies, Detlef-M.; Wiesner, Ulrich B.; Ober, Christopher K.

    2015-01-01

    Thin films of block copolymers are extremely attractive for nanofabrication because of their ability to form uniform and periodic nanoscale structures by microphase separation. One shortcoming of this approach is that to date the design of a desired equilibrium structure requires synthesis of a block copolymer de novo within the corresponding volume ratio of the blocks. In this work, we investigated solvent vapor annealing in supported thin films of poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) [PHEMA-b-PMMA] by means of grazing incidence small angle X–ray scattering (GISAXS). A spin-coated thin film of lamellar block copolymer was solvent vapor annealed to induce microphase separation and improve the long-range order of the self-assembled pattern. Annealing in a mixture of solvent vapors using a controlled volume ratio of solvents (methanol, MeOH, and tetrahydrofuran, THF), which are chosen to be preferential for each block, enabled selective formation of ordered lamellae, gyroid, hexagonal or spherical morphologies from a single block copolymer with a fixed volume fraction. The selected microstructure was then kinetically trapped in the dry film by rapid drying. To our knowledge, this paper describes the first reported case where in-situ methods are used to study the transition of block copolymer films from one initial disordered morphology to four different ordered morphologies, covering much of the theoretical diblock copolymer phase diagram. PMID:26819574

  12. Altered BCR and TLR signals promote enhanced positive selection of autoreactive transitional B cells in Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Kolhatkar, Nikita S.; Brahmandam, Archana; Thouvenel, Christopher D.; Becker-Herman, Shirly; Jacobs, Holly M.; Schwartz, Marc A.; Allenspach, Eric J.; Khim, Socheath; Panigrahi, Anil K.; Luning Prak, Eline T.; Thrasher, Adrian J.; Notarangelo, Luigi D.; Candotti, Fabio; Torgerson, Troy R.; Sanz, Ignacio

    2015-01-01

    Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is an X-linked immunodeficiency disorder frequently associated with systemic autoimmunity, including autoantibody-mediated cytopenias. WAS protein (WASp)–deficient B cells have increased B cell receptor (BCR) and Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling, suggesting that these pathways might impact establishment of the mature, naive BCR repertoire. To directly investigate this possibility, we evaluated naive B cell specificity and composition in WASp-deficient mice and WAS subjects (n = 12). High-throughput sequencing and single-cell cloning analysis of the BCR repertoire revealed altered heavy chain usage and enrichment for low-affinity self-reactive specificities in murine marginal zone and human naive B cells. Although negative selection mechanisms including deletion, anergy, and receptor editing were relatively unperturbed, WASp-deficient transitional B cells showed enhanced proliferation in vivo mediated by antigen- and Myd88-dependent signals. Finally, using both BCR sequencing and cell surface analysis with a monoclonal antibody recognizing an intrinsically autoreactive heavy chain, we show enrichment in self-reactive cells specifically at the transitional to naive mature B cell stage in WAS subjects. Our combined data support a model wherein modest alterations in B cell–intrinsic, BCR, and TLR signals in WAS, and likely other autoimmune disorders, are sufficient to alter B cell tolerance via positive selection of self-reactive transitional B cells. PMID:26371186

  13. Altered gill morphology in benthic macroinvertebrates from mercury enriched streams in the Neversink Reservoir Watershed, New York.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Kathleen M; Bennett, Jessica D

    2007-04-01

    Aquatic macroinvertebrates were collected from five sites in the Neversink Reservoir Watershed in Sullivan County, New York: Aden Brook, Biscuit Brook, Main Branch, Tison and Winnisook, and examined for gill abnormalities. The Neversink Reservoir is part of the New York City water supply system and is located in the Catskill Mountains. Total mercury and methylmercury concentrations were measured by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) in composite samples of macroinvertebrates at the five sites and ranged from 13.6 to 20.9 ng/g total mercury and 2.4-9.8 ng/g methylmercury. Gill deformities in the organisms were evident from each sampling site. These were observed as puckering or dimpling of the gill lamellae and interior spotting. The greatest percentage of gill morphological abnormalities were from invertebrates at the Main Branch site where 28% of invertebrate gills exhibited abnormalities. This site had the highest mercury/methylmercury concentration in composite invertebrate samples. Macroinvertebrates from a reference location showed little evidence of gill abnormalities. Other factors may have contributed to the abnormalities such as dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, other contaminants, and/or stream profiles. PMID:17253158

  14. Morphology in the Digital Age: Integrating High-Resolution Description of Structural Alterations With Phenotypes and Genotypes.

    PubMed

    Nast, Cynthia C; Lemley, Kevin V; Hodgin, Jeffrey B; Bagnasco, Serena; Avila-Casado, Carmen; Hewitt, Stephen M; Barisoni, Laura

    2015-05-01

    Conventional light microscopy has been used to characterize and classify renal diseases, evaluate histopathology in studies and trials, and educate renal pathologists and nephrologists. The advent of digital pathology, in which a glass slide can be scanned to create whole slide images (WSIs) for viewing and manipulating on a computer monitor, provides real and potential advantages compared with conventional light microscopy. Software tools such as annotation, morphometry, and image analysis can be applied to WSIs for studies or educational purposes, and the digital images are available globally to clinicians, pathologists, and investigators. New ways of assessing renal pathology with observational data collection may allow better morphologic correlations and integration with molecular and genetic signatures, refinements of classification schema, and understanding of disease pathogenesis. In multicenter studies, WSIs, which require additional quality assurance steps, provide efficiency by reducing slide shipping and consensus conference costs, and they allow slide viewing anytime and anywhere. Although validation studies for the routine diagnostic use of digital pathology still are needed, this is a powerful tool currently available for translational research, clinical trials, and education in renal pathology. PMID:26215864

  15. Zeta Sperm Selection Improves Pregnancy Rate and Alters Sex Ratio in Male Factor Infertility Patients: A Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial

    PubMed Central

    Nasr Esfahani, Mohammad Hossein; Deemeh, Mohammad Reza; Tavalaee, Marziyeh; Sekhavati, Mohammad Hadi; Gourabi, Hamid

    2016-01-01

    Background Selection of sperm for intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is usually considered as the ultimate technique to alleviate male-factor infertility. In routine ICSI, selection is based on morphology and viability which does not necessarily preclude the chance injection of DNA-damaged or apoptotic sperm into the oocyte. Sperm with high negative surface electrical charge, named “Zeta potential”, are mature and more likely to have intact chromatin. In addition, X-bearing spermatozoa carry more negative charge. Therefore, we aimed to compare the clinical outcomes of Zeta procedure with routine sperm selection in infertile men candidate for ICSI. Materials and Methods From a total of 203 ICSI cycles studied, 101 cycles were allocated to density gradient centrifugation (DGC)/Zeta group and the remaining 102 were included in the DGC group in this prospective study. Clinical outcomes were com- pared between the two groups. The ratios of Xand Y bearing sperm were assessed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) methods in 17 independent semen samples. Results In the present double-blind randomized clinical trial, a significant increase in top quality embryos and pregnancy rate were observed in DGC/Zeta group compared to DGC group. Moreover, sex ratio (XY/XX) at birth significantly was lower in the DGC/Zeta group compared to DGC group despite similar ratio of X/Y bearings sper- matozoa following Zeta selection. Conclusion Zeta method not only improves the percentage of top embryo quality and pregnancy outcome but also alters the sex ratio compared to the conventional DGC method, despite no significant change in the ratio of Xand Ybearing sperm population (Registration number: IRCT201108047223N1). PMID:27441060

  16. Prenatal exposure to ethinylestradiol alters the morphologic patterns and increases the predisposition for prostatic lesions in male and female gerbils during ageing.

    PubMed

    Perez, Ana P S; Biancardi, Manoel F; Caires, Cássia R S; Falleiros-Junior, Luiz R; Góes, Rejane M; Vilamaior, Patricia S L; Santos, Fernanda C A; Taboga, Sebastião R

    2016-02-01

    Ethinylestradiol (EE) is an endocrine disruptor (ED) which acts as an oestrogen agonist; this compound is known as an oral contraceptive. Male and female rodents exposed to EE during critical time points of development, such as in the prenatal period, show alterations in their reproductive tract during adulthood. Few studies have placed an emphasis on the effects of EE during ageing. Thus, this study had as it's objective the analysis of the morphological and immunohistochemical effects of exposure to EE in the prenatal period on ventral male prostate and female prostate of gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) during ageing. The animals were exposed to EE (15 μg/kg/day) during the 18-22th days of prenatal life (EE/PRE group), and the analyses were performed when the male and female reached 12 months of age. Our results showed an increase in the development of prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), which was observed in the male and female prostate of EE/PRE groups. Immunohistochemistry showed a rise in prostatic epithelial and basal cells immunoreactivity, respectively, and to AR and p63 in the male EE/PRE. There were alterations in the morphological pattern of the prostatic glands and increase in predisposition to emergence of prostatic lesions of both sexes during ageing. Despite male and female having been exposed to the same doses of EE, the "exposure to EE promoted modifications" more accentuated in the male prostate. Thus the male gland is more sensitive to the action of this synthetic oestrogen than the female prostate. PMID:26852889

  17. Linked alterations in gray and white matter morphology in adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder: A multimodal brain imaging study

    PubMed Central

    Itahashi, Takashi; Yamada, Takashi; Nakamura, Motoaki; Watanabe, Hiromi; Yamagata, Bun; Jimbo, Daiki; Shioda, Seiji; Kuroda, Miho; Toriizuka, Kazuo; Kato, Nobumasa; Hashimoto, Ryuichiro

    2014-01-01

    Growing evidence suggests that a broad range of behavioral anomalies in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be linked with morphological and functional alterations in the brain. However, the neuroanatomical underpinnings of ASD have been investigated using either structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and the relationships between abnormalities revealed by these two modalities remain unclear. This study applied a multimodal data-fusion method, known as linked independent component analysis (ICA), to a set of structural MRI and DTI data acquired from 46 adult males with ASD and 46 matched controls in order to elucidate associations between different aspects of atypical neuroanatomy of ASD. Linked ICA identified two composite components that showed significant between-group differences, one of which was significantly correlated with age. In the other component, participants with ASD showed decreased gray matter (GM) volumes in multiple regions, including the bilateral fusiform gyri, bilateral orbitofrontal cortices, and bilateral pre- and post-central gyri. These GM changes were linked with a pattern of decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) in several white matter tracts, such as the bilateral inferior longitudinal fasciculi, bilateral inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi, and bilateral corticospinal tracts. Furthermore, unimodal analysis for DTI data revealed significant reductions of FA along with increased mean diffusivity in those tracts for ASD, providing further evidence of disrupted anatomical connectivity. Taken together, our findings suggest that, in ASD, alterations in different aspects of brain morphology may co-occur in specific brain networks, providing a comprehensive view for understanding the neuroanatomy of this disorder. PMID:25610777

  18. The enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) Map effector is imported into the mitochondrial matrix by the TOM/Hsp70 system and alters organelle morphology.

    PubMed

    Papatheodorou, Panagiotis; Domańska, Grazyna; Oxle, Marius; Mathieu, Johannes; Selchow, Olaf; Kenny, Brendan; Rassow, Joachim

    2006-04-01

    Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) is a human intestinal pathogen and a major cause of diarrhoea, particularly among infants in developing countries. EPEC target the Map and EspF multifunctional effector proteins to host mitochondria - organelles that play crucial roles in regulating cellular processes such as programmed cell death (apoptosis). While both molecules interfere with the organelles ability to maintain a membrane potential, EspF plays the predominant role and is responsible for triggering cell death. To learn more about the Map-mitochondria interaction, we studied Map localization to mitochondria with purified mitochondria (from mammalian and yeast cells) and within intact yeast. This revealed that (i) Map targeting is dependent on the predicted N-terminal mitochondrial targeting sequence, (ii) the N-terminal 44 residues are sufficient to target proteins to mitochondria and (iii) Map import involves the mitochondrial outer membrane translocase (Tom22 and Tom40), the mitochondrial membrane potential, and the matrix chaperone, mtHsp70. These results are consistent with Map import into the mitochondria matrix via the classical import mechanism. As all known, Map-associated phenotypes in mammalian cells are independent of mitochondrial targeting, this may indicate that import serves as a mechanism to remove Map from the cytoplasm thereby regulating cytoplasmic function. Intriguingly, Map, but not EspF, alters mitochondrial morphology with deletion analysis revealing important roles for residues 101-152. Changes in mitochondrial morphology have been linked to alterations in the ability of these organelles to regulate cellular processes providing a possible additional role for Map import into mitochondria. PMID:16548893

  19. Melatonin treatment during early life interacts with restraint to alter neuronal morphology and provoke depressive-like responses

    PubMed Central

    Aubrecht, Taryn G.; Weil, Zachary M.; Nelson, Randy J.

    2014-01-01

    Stressors during early life induce anxiety- and depressive-like responses in adult rodents. Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) exposed to short days post-weaning also increase adult anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors. To test the hypothesis that melatonin and exposure to stressors early in life interact to alter adult affective responses, we administered melatonin either during the perinatal (gestational day 7 to postnatal day 14) or postnatal (day 15–56) periods and also exposed a subset of dams to restraint during gestation (1 h–2×/day for 4 days). During the final week of injections, depressive-like behaviors were assessed using the sucrose anhedonia and forced swim tests. Hamsters exposed to prenatal restraint and treated with melatonin only during the postnatal period increased depressive-like responses in the forced swim test relative to all other groups. Offspring from restrained dams increased the number of fecal boli produced during the forced swim test, an anxiety-like response. In the present study, prenatal restraint reduced CA1 dendritic branching overall and perinatal melatonin protected hamsters from this restraint-induced reduction. These results suggest that the photoperiodic conditions coincident with birth and early life stressors are important in the development of adult affective responses. PMID:24486255

  20. Interacting Effects of Discharge and Channel Morphology on Transport of Semibuoyant Fish Eggs in Large, Altered River Systems

    PubMed Central

    Worthington, Thomas A.; Brewer, Shannon K.; Farless, Nicole; Grabowski, Timothy B.; Gregory, Mark S.

    2014-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation and flow regulation are significant factors related to the decline and extinction of freshwater biota. Pelagic-broadcast spawning cyprinids require moving water and some length of unfragmented stream to complete their life cycle. However, it is unknown how discharge and habitat features interact at multiple spatial scales to alter the transport of semi-buoyant fish eggs. Our objective was to assess the relationship between downstream drift of semi-buoyant egg surrogates (gellan beads) and discharge and habitat complexity. We quantified transport time of a known quantity of beads using 2–3 sampling devices at each of seven locations on the North Canadian and Canadian rivers. Transport time was assessed based on median capture time (time at which 50% of beads were captured) and sampling period (time period when 2.5% and 97.5% of beads were captured). Habitat complexity was assessed by calculating width∶depth ratios at each site, and several habitat metrics determined using analyses of aerial photographs. Median time of egg capture was negatively correlated to site discharge. The temporal extent of the sampling period at each site was negatively correlated to both site discharge and habitat-patch dispersion. Our results highlight the role of discharge in driving transport times, but also indicate that higher dispersion of habitat patches relates to increased retention of beads within the river. These results could be used to target restoration activities or prioritize water use to create and maintain habitat complexity within large, fragmented river systems. PMID:24802361

  1. Reduced Anxiety-Like Behavior and Altered Hippocampal Morphology in Female p75NTRexon IV−/− Mice

    PubMed Central

    Puschban, Zoe; Sah, Anupam; Grutsch, Isabella; Singewald, Nicolas; Dechant, Georg

    2016-01-01

    The presence of the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) in adult basal forebrain cholinergic neurons, precursor cells in the subventricular cell layer and the subgranular cell layer of the hippocampus has been linked to alterations in learning as well as anxiety- and depression- related behaviors. In contrast to previous studies performed in a p75NTRexon III−/− model still expressing the short isoform of the p75NTR, we focused on locomotor and anxiety–associated behavior in p75NTRexon IV−/− mice lacking both p75NTR isoforms. Comparing p75NTRexon IV−/− and wildtype mice for both male and female animals showed an anxiolytic-like behavior as evidenced by increased central activities in the open field paradigm and flex field activity system as well as higher numbers of open arm entries in the elevated plus maze test in female p75NTR knockout mice. Morphometrical analyses of dorsal and ventral hippocampus revealed a reduction of width of the dentate gyrus and the granular cell layer in the dorsal but not ventral hippocampus in male and female p75NTRexon IV−/− mice. We conclude that germ-line deletion of p75NTR seems to differentially affect morphometry of dorsal and ventral dentate gyrus and that p75NTR may play a role in anxiety-like behavior, specifically in female mice. PMID:27313517

  2. Expression of LIF in transgenic mice results in altered thymic epithelium and apparent interconversion of thymic and lymph node morphologies.

    PubMed Central

    Shen, M M; Skoda, R C; Cardiff, R D; Campos-Torres, J; Leder, P; Ornitz, D M

    1994-01-01

    Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is a cytokine involved in embryonic and hematopoietic development. To investigate the effects of LIF on the lymphoid system, we generated a line of transgenic mice that expresses diffusible LIF protein specifically in T cells. These mice display two categories of phenotype that were not previously attributed to LIF overexpression. First, they display B cell hyperplasia, polyclonal hypergammaglobulinemia and mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis, defects similar to those described for transgenic mice overexpressing the functionally related cytokine, interleukin-6. Secondly, the LIF transgenic mice display novel thymic and lymph node abnormalities. In the thymus, cortical CD4+CD8+ lymphocytes are lost, while numerous B cell follicles develop. Peripheral lymph nodes contain a vastly expanded CD4+CD8+ lymphocyte population. Furthermore, the thymic epithelium is profoundly disorganized, suggesting that disruption of stroma-lymphocyte interactions is responsible for many observed defects. Transplantation of transgenic bone marrow into wild type recipients transfers both the thymic and lymph node defects. However, transplantation of wild type marrow into transgenic recipients rescues the lymph node abnormality, but not the thymic defect, indicating the thymic epithelium is irreversibly altered. Our observations are consistent with a role for LIF in maintaining a functional thymic epithelium that will support proper T cell maturation. Images PMID:8137821

  3. Interacting effects of discharge and channel morphology on transport of semibuoyant fish eggs in large, altered river systems.

    PubMed

    Worthington, Thomas A; Brewer, Shannon K; Farless, Nicole; Grabowski, Timothy B; Gregory, Mark S

    2014-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation and flow regulation are significant factors related to the decline and extinction of freshwater biota. Pelagic-broadcast spawning cyprinids require moving water and some length of unfragmented stream to complete their life cycle. However, it is unknown how discharge and habitat features interact at multiple spatial scales to alter the transport of semi-buoyant fish eggs. Our objective was to assess the relationship between downstream drift of semi-buoyant egg surrogates (gellan beads) and discharge and habitat complexity. We quantified transport time of a known quantity of beads using 2-3 sampling devices at each of seven locations on the North Canadian and Canadian rivers. Transport time was assessed based on median capture time (time at which 50% of beads were captured) and sampling period (time period when 2.5% and 97.5% of beads were captured). Habitat complexity was assessed by calculating width∶depth ratios at each site, and several habitat metrics determined using analyses of aerial photographs. Median time of egg capture was negatively correlated to site discharge. The temporal extent of the sampling period at each site was negatively correlated to both site discharge and habitat-patch dispersion. Our results highlight the role of discharge in driving transport times, but also indicate that higher dispersion of habitat patches relates to increased retention of beads within the river. These results could be used to target restoration activities or prioritize water use to create and maintain habitat complexity within large, fragmented river systems. PMID:24802361

  4. Melatonin treatment during early life interacts with restraint to alter neuronal morphology and provoke depressive-like responses.

    PubMed

    Aubrecht, Taryn G; Weil, Zachary M; Nelson, Randy J

    2014-04-15

    Stressors during early life induce anxiety- and depressive-like responses in adult rodents. Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) exposed to short days post-weaning also increase adult anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors. To test the hypothesis that melatonin and exposure to stressors early in life interact to alter adult affective responses, we administered melatonin either during the perinatal (gestational day 7 to postnatal day 14) or postnatal (day 15-56) periods and also exposed a subset of dams to restraint during gestation (1 h-2×/day for 4 days). During the final week of injections, depressive-like behaviors were assessed using the sucrose anhedonia and forced swim tests. Hamsters exposed to prenatal restraint and treated with melatonin only during the postnatal period increased depressive-like responses in the forced swim test relative to all other groups. Offspring from restrained dams increased the number of fecal boli produced during the forced swim test, an anxiety-like response. In the present study, prenatal restraint reduced CA1 dendritic branching overall and perinatal melatonin protected hamsters from this restraint-induced reduction. These results suggest that the photoperiodic conditions coincident with birth and early life stressors are important in the development of adult affective responses. PMID:24486255

  5. Morphological evolution and electronic alteration of ZnO nanomaterials induced by Ni/Fe co-doping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fletcher, Cameron; Jiang, Yijiao; Sun, Chenghua; Amal, Rose

    2014-06-01

    Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanocrystals mono- and co-doped with nickel/iron were prepared using a facile solvothermal procedure. A significant change in the surface morphology from nanorods to plate-like nanoparticles was observed with an increase in the dopant concentration. The variations of their optical and electronic properties induced by metal dopants were investigated using a combination of characterization techniques and ab initio calculations. It is found that both nickel and iron atoms have been successfully incorporated into the crystal lattice rather than forming a secondary phase, suggesting good dispersion of dopants within the ZnO matrix. Doping with iron has red-shifted the absorption edges of ZnO towards the visible portion resulting in lower band gap energies with increasing dopant concentration. Evidenced by Raman and EPR spectroscopy, the addition of iron has been shown to promote the formation of more oxygen vacancy and crystal defects within the host lattice as well as increasing the free-electron density of the nanomaterial. The DFT plus Hubbard model calculations confirm that low concentration Ni-doping does not induce band gap narrowing but results in localized states. The calculations show that Fe-doping has the potential to greatly improve the optical absorption characteristics and lead to structural deformation, corroborating the UV-Vis, Raman, and EPR spectra.Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanocrystals mono- and co-doped with nickel/iron were prepared using a facile solvothermal procedure. A significant change in the surface morphology from nanorods to plate-like nanoparticles was observed with an increase in the dopant concentration. The variations of their optical and electronic properties induced by metal dopants were investigated using a combination of characterization techniques and ab initio calculations. It is found that both nickel and iron atoms have been successfully incorporated into the crystal lattice rather than forming a secondary phase

  6. Zearalenone Altered the Serum Hormones, Morphologic and Apoptotic Measurements of Genital Organs in Post-weaning Gilts

    PubMed Central

    Chen, X. X.; Yang, C. W.; Huang, L. B.; Niu, Q. S.; Jiang, S. Z.; Chi, F.

    2015-01-01

    The present study was aimed at investigating the adverse effects of dietary zearalenone (ZEA) (1.1 to 3.2 mg/kg diet) on serum hormones, morphologic and apoptotic measurements of genital organs in post-weaning gilts. A total of twenty gilts (Landrace×Yorkshire×Duroc) weaned at 21 d with an average body weight of 10.36±1.21 kg were used in the study. Gilts were fed a basal diet with an addition of 0, 1.1, 2.0, or 3.2 mg/kg purified ZEA for 18 d ad libitum. Results showed that 3.2 mg/kg ZEA challenged gilts decreased (p<0.05) the serum levels of luteinizing hormone, however, serum levels of prolactin in gilts fed the diet containing 2.0 mg/kg ZEA or more were increased (p<0.05) compared to those in the control. Linear effects on all tested serum hormones except progesterone were observed as dietary ZEA levels increased (p<0.05). Gilts fed ZEA-contaminated diet showed increase (p<0.05) in genital organs size, hyperplasia of submucosal smooth muscles in the corpus uteri in a dose-dependent manner. However, the decreased numbers of follicles in the cortex and apoptotic cells in the ovarian were observed in gilts treated with ZEA in a dose-dependent manner. Degeneration and structural abnormalities of genital organs tissues were also observed in the gilts fed diet containing 1.1 mg/kg ZEA or more. Results suggested that dietary ZEA at 1.1 to 3.2 mg/kg can induce endocrine disturbance and damage genital organs in post-weaning gilts. PMID:25557812

  7. Altered Competitive Fitness, Antimicrobial Susceptibility, and Cellular Morphology in a Triclosan-Induced Small-Colony Variant of Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Forbes, Sarah; Latimer, Joe; Bazaid, Abdulrahman

    2015-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus can produce small-colony variants (SCVs) that express various phenotypes. While their significance is unclear, SCV propagation may be influenced by relative fitness, antimicrobial susceptibility, and the underlying mechanism. We have investigated triclosan-induced generation of SCVs in six S. aureus strains, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Parent strains (P0) were repeatedly passaged on concentration gradients of triclosan using a solid-state exposure system to generate P10. P10 was subsequently passaged without triclosan to generate X10. Susceptibility to triclosan and 7 antibiotics was assessed at all stages. For S. aureus ATCC 6538, SCVs were further characterized by determining microbicide susceptibility and competitive fitness. Cellular morphology was examined using electron microscopy, and protein expression was evaluated through proteomics. Triclosan susceptibility in all SCVs (which could be generated from 4/6 strains) was markedly decreased, while antibiotic susceptibility was significantly increased in the majority of cases. An SCV of S. aureus ATCC 6538 exhibited significantly increased susceptibility to all tested microbicides. Cross-wall formation was impaired in this bacterium, while expression of FabI, a target of triclosan, and IsaA, a lytic transglycosylase involved in cell division, was increased. The P10 SCV was 49% less fit than P0. In summary, triclosan exposure of S. aureus produced SCVs in 4/6 test bacteria, with decreased triclosan susceptibility but with generally increased antibiotic susceptibility. An SCV derived from S. aureus ATCC 6538 showed reduced competitive fitness, potentially due to impaired cell division. In this SCV, increased FabI expression could account for reduced triclosan susceptibility, while IsaA may be upregulated in response to cell division defects. PMID:26033734

  8. Altered Active Zones, Vesicle Pools, Nerve Terminal Conductivity, and Morphology during Experimental MuSK Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Vishwendra; Oh, Anne; Voit, Antanina; Sultatos, Lester G.; Babu, Gopal J.; Wilson, Brenda A.; Ho, Mengfei; McArdle, Joseph J.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies demonstrate reduced motor-nerve function during autoimmune muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK) myasthenia gravis (MG). To further understand the basis of motor-nerve dysfunction during MuSK-MG, we immunized female C57/B6 mice with purified rat MuSK ectodomain. Nerve-muscle preparations were dissected and neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) studied electrophysiologically, morphologically, and biochemically. While all mice produced antibodies to MuSK, only 40% developed respiratory muscle weakness. In vitro study of respiratory nerve-muscle preparations isolated from these affected mice revealed that 78% of NMJs produced endplate currents (EPCs) with significantly reduced quantal content, although potentiation and depression at 50 Hz remained qualitatively normal. EPC and mEPC amplitude variability indicated significantly reduced number of vesicle-release sites (active zones) and reduced probability of vesicle release. The readily releasable vesicle pool size and the frequency of large amplitude mEPCs also declined. The remaining NMJs had intermittent (4%) or complete (18%) failure of neurotransmitter release in response to 50 Hz nerve stimulation, presumably due to blocked action potential entry into the nerve terminal, which may arise from nerve terminal swelling and thinning. Since MuSK-MG-affected muscles do not express the AChR γ subunit, the observed prolongation of EPC decay time was not due to inactivity-induced expression of embryonic acetylcholine receptor, but rather to reduced catalytic activity of acetylcholinesterase. Muscle protein levels of MuSK did not change. These findings provide novel insight into the pathophysiology of autoimmune MuSK-MG. PMID:25438154

  9. Evaluation of cytotoxicity, morphological alterations and oxidative stress in Chinook salmon cells exposed to copper oxide nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Srikanth, Koigoora; Pereira, Eduarda; Duarte, Armando C; Rao, Janapala Venkateswara

    2016-05-01

    The current study is aimed to study cytotoxicity and oxidative stress mediated changes induced by copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO NPs) in Chinook salmon cells (CHSE-214). To this end, a number of biochemical responses are evaluated in CHSE-214 cells which are as follows [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazoliumbromide] MTT, neutral red uptake (NRU), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), protein carbonyl (PC), lipid peroxidation (LPO), oxidised glutathione (GSSG), reduced glutathione (GSH), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione sulfo-transferase (GST), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), 8-Hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and reactive oxygen species (ROS), respectively. The 50 % inhibition concentration (IC50) of CuO NPs to CHSE-214 cells after 24 h exposure was found to be 19.026 μg ml(-1). Viability of cells was reduced by CuO NPs, and the decrease was dose dependent as revealed by the MTT and NRU assay. CHSE-214 cells exposed to CuO NPs induced morphological changes. Initially, cells started to detach from the surface (12 h), followed by polyhedric, fusiform appearance (19 h) and finally the cells started to shrink. Later, the cells started losing their cellular contents leading to their death only after 24 h. LDH, PC, LPO, GSH, GPx, GST, SOD, CAT, 8-OHdG and ROS responses were seen significantly increased with the increase in the concentration of CuO NPs when compared to their respective controls. However, significant decrease in GSSG was perceptible in CHSE-214 cells exposed to CuO NPs in a dose-dependent manner. Our data demonstrated that CuO NPs induced cytotoxicity in CHSE-214 cells through the mediation of oxidative stress. The current study provides a baseline for the CuO NPs-mediated cytotoxic assessment in CHSE-214 cells for the future studies. PMID:26115719

  10. Time Course of Morphological Alterations of Fungiform Papillae and Taste Buds Following Chorda Tympani Transection in Neonatal Rats

    PubMed Central

    Sollars, Suzanne I.; Smith, Peter C.; Hill, David L.

    2016-01-01

    The time course of structural changes in fungiform papillae was analyzed in rats that received unilateral chorda tympani nerve transection at 10 days of age. Morphological differences between intact and denervated sides of the tongue were first observed at 8 days postsection, with an increase in the number of fungiform papillae that did not have a pore. In addition, the first papilla with a filiform-like appearance was noted on the denervated side at 8 days postsectioning. By 11 days after surgery, the total number of papillae and the number of papillae with a pore were significantly lower on the transected side of the tongue as compared to the intact side. At 50 days postsection, there was an average of 70.5 fungiform papillae on the intact side and a mean of only 20.8 fungiform papillae the denervated side. Of those few remaining papillae on the cut side, an average of 13.5 papillae were categorized as filiform-like, while no filiform-like papillae occurred on the intact side. Significant reduction in taste bud volume was noted at 4 days posttransection and further decrements in taste bud volume were noted at 8 and 30 days postsection. Electron microscopy of the lingual branch of the trigeminal nerve from adult rats that received neonatal chorda tympani transection showed normal numbers of both myelinated and unmyelinated fibers. Thus, in addition to the well-characterized dependence of taste bud maintenance on the chorda tympani nerve, the present study shows an additional role of the chorda tympani nerve in papilla maintenance during early postnatal development. PMID:11984844

  11. Structure−Activity Relationships in Peptide Modulators of β-Amyloid Protein Aggregation: Variation in α,α-Disubstitution Results in Altered Aggregate Size and Morphology

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Neuronal cytotoxicity observed in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is linked to the aggregation of β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) into toxic forms. Increasing evidence points to oligomeric materials as the neurotoxic species, not Aβ fibrils; disruption or inhibition of Aβ self-assembly into oligomeric or fibrillar forms remains a viable therapeutic strategy to reduce Aβ neurotoxicity. We describe the synthesis and characterization of amyloid aggregation mitigating peptides (AAMPs) whose structure is based on the Aβ “hydrophobic core” Aβ17−20, with α,α-disubstituted amino acids (ααAAs) added into this core as potential disrupting agents of fibril self-assembly. The number, positional distribution, and side-chain functionality of ααAAs incorporated into the AAMP sequence were found to influence the resultant aggregate morphology as indicated by ex situ experiments using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). For instance, AAMP-5, incorporating a sterically hindered ααAA with a diisobutyl side chain in the core sequence, disrupted Aβ1−40 fibril formation. However, AAMP-6, with a less sterically hindered ααAA with a dipropyl side chain, altered fibril morphology, producing shorter and larger sized fibrils (compared with those of Aβ1−40). Remarkably, ααAA-AAMPs caused disassembly of existing Aβ fibrils to produce either spherical aggregates or protofibrillar structures, suggesting the existence of equilibrium between fibrils and prefibrillar structures. PMID:22778850

  12. Comparing selected morphological models of hydrated Nafion using large scale molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knox, Craig K.

    Experimental elucidation of the nanoscale structure of hydrated Nafion, the most popular polymer electrolyte or proton exchange membrane (PEM) to date, and its influence on macroscopic proton conductance is particularly challenging. While it is generally agreed that hydrated Nafion is organized into distinct hydrophilic domains or clusters within a hydrophobic matrix, the geometry and length scale of these domains continues to be debated. For example, at least half a dozen different domain shapes, ranging from spheres to cylinders, have been proposed based on experimental SAXS and SANS studies. Since the characteristic length scale of these domains is believed to be ˜2 to 5 nm, very large molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are needed to accurately probe the structure and morphology of these domains, especially their connectivity and percolation phenomena at varying water content. Using classical, all-atom MD with explicit hydronium ions, simulations have been performed to study the first-ever hydrated Nafion systems that are large enough (~2 million atoms in a ˜30 nm cell) to directly observe several hydrophilic domains at the molecular level. These systems consisted of six of the most significant and relevant morphological models of Nafion to-date: (1) the cluster-channel model of Gierke, (2) the parallel cylinder model of Schmidt-Rohr, (3) the local-order model of Dreyfus, (4) the lamellar model of Litt, (5) the rod network model of Kreuer, and (6) a 'random' model, commonly used in previous simulations, that does not directly assume any particular geometry, distribution, or morphology. These simulations revealed fast intercluster bridge formation and network percolation in all of the models. Sulfonates were found inside these bridges and played a significant role in percolation. Sulfonates also strongly aggregated around and inside clusters. Cluster surfaces were analyzed to study the hydrophilic-hydrophobic interface. Interfacial area and cluster volume

  13. Morphological abnormalities in gall-forming aphids in a radiation-contaminated area near Fukushima Daiichi: selective impact of fallout?

    PubMed

    Akimoto, Shin-Ichi

    2014-02-01

    To evaluate the impact of fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident on organisms, this study compared the morphology and viability of gall-forming aphids between the Fukushima population and control populations from noncontaminated areas. This study, in particular, focused on the morphology of first-instar gall formers derived from the first sexual reproduction after the accident. Of 164 first instars from Tetraneura sorini galls collected 32 km from Fukushima Daiichi in spring 2012, 13.2% exhibited morphological abnormalities, including four conspicuously malformed individuals (2.4%). In contrast, in seven control areas, first instars with abnormal morphology accounted for 0.0-5.1% (on average, 3.8%). The proportions of abnormalities and mortality were significantly higher in Fukushima than in the control areas. Similarly, of 134 first instars from T. nigriabdominalis galls, 5.9% exhibited morphological abnormalities, with one highly malformed individual. However, of 543 second-generation larvae produced in T. sorini galls, only 0.37% had abnormalities, suggesting that abnormalities found in the first generation were not inherited by the next generation. Although investigation is limited to one study site, this result suggests that radioactive contamination had deleterious effects on embryogenesis in eggs deposited on the bark surface, but a negligible influence on the second generation produced in closed galls. Furthermore, analysis of both species samples collected in spring 2013 indicated that the viability and healthiness of the aphids were significantly improved compared to those in the 2012 samples. Thus, the results of this study suggest the possibility that a reduced level of radiation and/or selection for radiation tolerance may have led to the improved viability and healthiness of the Fukushima population. PMID:24634721

  14. Morphological abnormalities in gall-forming aphids in a radiation-contaminated area near Fukushima Daiichi: selective impact of fallout?

    PubMed Central

    Akimoto, Shin-ichi

    2014-01-01

    To evaluate the impact of fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident on organisms, this study compared the morphology and viability of gall-forming aphids between the Fukushima population and control populations from noncontaminated areas. This study, in particular, focused on the morphology of first-instar gall formers derived from the first sexual reproduction after the accident. Of 164 first instars from Tetraneura sorini galls collected 32 km from Fukushima Daiichi in spring 2012, 13.2% exhibited morphological abnormalities, including four conspicuously malformed individuals (2.4%). In contrast, in seven control areas, first instars with abnormal morphology accounted for 0.0–5.1% (on average, 3.8%). The proportions of abnormalities and mortality were significantly higher in Fukushima than in the control areas. Similarly, of 134 first instars from T. nigriabdominalis galls, 5.9% exhibited morphological abnormalities, with one highly malformed individual. However, of 543 second-generation larvae produced in T. sorini galls, only 0.37% had abnormalities, suggesting that abnormalities found in the first generation were not inherited by the next generation. Although investigation is limited to one study site, this result suggests that radioactive contamination had deleterious effects on embryogenesis in eggs deposited on the bark surface, but a negligible influence on the second generation produced in closed galls. Furthermore, analysis of both species samples collected in spring 2013 indicated that the viability and healthiness of the aphids were significantly improved compared to those in the 2012 samples. Thus, the results of this study suggest the possibility that a reduced level of radiation and/or selection for radiation tolerance may have led to the improved viability and healthiness of the Fukushima population. PMID:24634721

  15. Social play in juvenile hamsters alters dendritic morphology in the medial prefrontal cortex and attenuates effects of social stress in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Burleson, Cody A; Pedersen, Robert W; Seddighi, Sahba; DeBusk, Lauren E; Burghardt, Gordon M; Cooper, Matthew A

    2016-08-01

    Social play is a fundamental aspect of behavioral development in many species. Social play deprivation in rats alters dendritic morphology in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and we have shown that this brain region regulates responses to social defeat stress in Syrian hamsters. In this study, we tested whether play deprivation during the juvenile period disrupts dendritic morphology in the prefrontal cortex and potentiates the effects of social defeat stress. At weaning, male hamsters were either group-housed with peers or pair-housed with their mother, with whom they do not play. In adulthood, animals received acute social defeat stress or no-defeat control treatment. The hamsters were then tested for a conditioned defeat response in a social interaction test with a novel intruder, and were also tested for social avoidance of a familiar opponent. Brains were collected for Golgi-Cox staining and analysis of dendritic morphology in the infralimbic (IL), prelimbic (PL), and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Play-deprived animals showed an increased conditioned defeat response and elevated avoidance of a familiar opponent compared with play-exposed animals. Furthermore, play-deprived animals showed increased total length and branch points in apical dendrites of pyramidal neurons in the IL and PL cortices, but not in the OFC. These findings suggest that social play deprivation in juvenile hamsters disrupts neuronal development in the vmPFC and increases vulnerability to the effects of social stress in adulthood. Overall, these results suggest that social play is necessary for the natural dendritic pruning process during adolescence and promotes coping with stress in adulthood. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27176563

  16. Mitochondrial Morphology and Fundamental Parameters of the Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain Are Altered in Caenorhabditis elegans Strains Deficient in Mitochondrial Dynamics and Homeostasis Processes

    PubMed Central

    Luz, Anthony L.; Rooney, John P.; Kubik, Laura L.; Gonzalez, Claudia P.; Song, Dong Hoon; Meyer, Joel N.

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction has been linked to myriad human diseases and toxicant exposures, highlighting the need for assays capable of rapidly assessing mitochondrial health in vivo. Here, using the Seahorse XFe24 Analyzer and the pharmacological inhibitors dicyclohexylcarbodiimide and oligomycin (ATP-synthase inhibitors), carbonyl cyanide 4-(trifluoromethoxy) phenylhydrazone (mitochondrial uncoupler) and sodium azide (cytochrome c oxidase inhibitor), we measured the fundamental parameters of mitochondrial respiratory chain function: basal oxygen consumption, ATP-linked respiration, maximal respiratory capacity, spare respiratory capacity and proton leak in the model organism Caenhorhabditis elegans. Since mutations in mitochondrial homeostasis genes cause mitochondrial dysfunction and have been linked to human disease, we measured mitochondrial respiratory function in mitochondrial fission (drp-1)-, fusion (fzo-1)-, mitophagy (pdr-1, pink-1)-, and electron transport chain complex III (isp-1)-deficient C. elegans. All showed altered function, but the nature of the alterations varied between the tested strains. We report increased basal oxygen consumption in drp-1; reduced maximal respiration in drp-1, fzo-1, and isp-1; reduced spare respiratory capacity in drp-1 and fzo-1; reduced proton leak in fzo-1 and isp-1; and increased proton leak in pink-1 nematodes. As mitochondrial morphology can play a role in mitochondrial energetics, we also quantified the mitochondrial aspect ratio for each mutant strain using a novel method, and for the first time report increased aspect ratios in pdr-1- and pink-1-deficient nematodes. PMID:26106885

  17. Brain morphological alterations and cellular metabolic changes in patients with generalized anxiety disorder: A combined DARTEL-based VBM and (1)H-MRS study.

    PubMed

    Moon, Chung-Man; Jeong, Gwang-Woo

    2016-05-01

    Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by emotional dysregulation and cognitive deficit in conjunction with brain morphometric and metabolic alterations. This study assessed the combined neural morphological deficits and metabolic abnormality in patients with GAD. Thirteen patients with GAD and 13 healthy controls matched for age, sex, and education level underwent high-resolution T1-weighted MRI and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) at 3Tesla. In this study, the combination of voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and (1)H-MRS was used to assess the brain morphometric and metabolic alterations in GAD. The patients showed significantly reduced white matter (WM) volumes in the midbrain (MB), precentral gyrus (PrG), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC) compared to the controls. In MRS study, the choline/creatine (Cho/Cr) and choline/N-acetylaspartate (Cho/NAA) ratios in the DLPFC were significantly lower in the patients. Particularly, the WM volume variation of the DLPFC was positively correlated with both of the Cho/Cr and Cho/NAA ratios in patients with GAD. This study provides an evidence for the association between the morphometric deficit and metabolic changes in GAD. This finding would be helpful to understand the neural dysfunction and pathogenesis in connection with cognitive impairments in GAD. PMID:26708039

  18. FGF-2 deficiency causes dysregulation of Arhgef6 and downstream targets in the cerebral cortex accompanied by altered neurite outgrowth and dendritic spine morphology.

    PubMed

    Baum, Philip; Vogt, Miriam A; Gass, Peter; Unsicker, Klaus; von Bohlen Und Halbach, Oliver

    2016-05-01

    Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) is an abundant growth factor in the brain and exerts multiple functions on neural cells ranging from cell division, cell fate determination to differentiation. However, many details of the molecular mechanisms underlying the diverse functions of FGF-2 are poorly understood. In a comparative microarray analysis of motor sensory cortex (MSC) tissue of adult knockout (FGF-2(-/-)) and control (FGF-2(+/+)) mice, we found a substantial number of regulated genes, which are implicated in cytoskeletal machinery dynamics. Specifically, we found a prominent downregulation of Arhgef6. Arhgef6 mRNA was significantly reduced in the FGF-2(-/-) cortex, and Arhgef6 protein virtually absent, while RhoA protein levels were massively increased and Cdc42 protein levels were reduced. Since Arhgef6 is localized to dendritic spines, we next analyzed dendritic spines of adult FGF2(-/-) and control mouse cortices. Spine densities were significantly increased, whereas mean length of spines on dendrites of layer V of MSC neurons in adult FGF-2(-/-) mice was significantly decreased as compared to respective controls. Furthermore, neurite length in dissociated cortical cultures from E18 FGF-2(-/-) mice was significantly reduced at DIV7 as compared to wildtype neurons. Despite the fact that altered neuronal morphology and alterations in dendritic spines were observed, FGF-2(-/-) mice behave relatively unsuspicious in several behavioral tasks. However, FGF-2(-/-) mice exhibited decreased thermal pain sensitivity in the hotplate-test. PMID:26970009

  19. Selective Dicer Suppression in the Kidney Alters GSK3β/β-Catenin Pathways Promoting a Glomerulocystic Disease

    PubMed Central

    Petrillo, Federica; Spagnuolo, Manuela; Scarfò, Marzia; Frezzetti, Daniela; De Vita, Gabriella; De Felice, Mario; Capasso, Giovambattista

    2015-01-01

    Dicer is a crucial enzyme for the maturation of miRNAs. Mutations in the Dicer gene are highly associated with Pleuro Pulmonary Blastoma-Family Dysplasia Syndrome (PPB-FDS, OMIM 601200), recently proposed to be renamed Dicer syndrome. Aside from the pulmonary phenotype (blastoma), renal nephroma and thyroid goiter are frequently part of Dicer syndrome. To investigate the renal phenotype, conditional knockout (cKO) mice for Dicer in Pax8 expressing cells were generated. Dicer cKO mice progressively develop a glomerulocystic phenotype coupled with urinary concentration impairment, proteinuria and severe renal failure. Higher cellular turnover of the parietal cells of Bowman’s capsule precedes the development of the cysts and the primary cilium progressively disappears with cyst-enlargement. Upregulation of GSK3β precedes the development of the glomerulocystic phenotype. Downregulation of β-catenin in the renal cortex and its cytosolic removal in the cells lining the cysts may be associated with observed accumulation of GSK3β. Alterations of β-catenin regulating pathways could promote cystic degeneration as in other models. Thus, miRNAs are fundamental in preserving renal morphology and function. Alteration of the GSK3β/β-catenin pathway could be a crucial mechanism linking miRNA dysregulation and the development of a glomerulocystic disease. PMID:25799508

  20. Morphological alterations and acetylcholinesterase and monoamine oxidase inhibition in liver of zebrafish exposed to Aphanizomenon flos-aquae DC-1 aphantoxins.

    PubMed

    Zhang, De Lu; Zhang, Jing; Hu, Chun Xiang; Wang, Gao Hong; Li, Dun Hai; Liu, Yong Ding

    2014-12-01

    Aphanizomenon flos-aquae is a cyanobacterium that produces neurotoxins or paralytic shellfish poisons (PSPs) called aphantoxins, which present threats to environmental safety and human health via eutrophication of water bodies worldwide. Although the molecular mechanisms of this neurotoxin have been studied, many questions remain unsolved, including those relating to in vivo hepatic neurotransmitter inactivation, physiological detoxification and histological and ultrastructural alterations. Aphantoxins extracted from the natural strain of A. flos-aquae DC-1 were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography. The main components were gonyautoxins 1 and 5 (GTX1, GTX5) and neosaxitoxin (neoSTX), which comprised 34.04%, 21.28%, and 12.77% respectively. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) were exposed intraperitoneally to 5.3 or 7.61 μg STX equivalents (eq)/kg (low and high doses, respectively) of A. flos-aquae DC-1 aphantoxins. Morphological alterations and changes in neurotransmitter conduction functions of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and monoamine oxidase (MAO) in zebrafish liver were detected at different time points 1-24h post-exposure. Aphantoxin significantly enhanced hepatic alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activities and histological and ultrastructural damage in zebrafish liver at 3-12 h post-exposure. Toxin exposure increased the reactive oxygen species content and reduced total antioxidative capacity in zebrafish liver, suggesting oxidative stress. AChE and MAO activities were significantly inhibited, suggesting neurotransmitter inactivation/conduction function abnormalities in zebrafish liver. All alterations were dose- and time-dependent. Overall, the results indicate that aphantoxins/PSPs induce oxidative stress through inhibition of AChE and MAO activities, leading to neurotoxicity in zebrafish liver. The above parameters may be useful as bioindicators for investigating aphantoxins/PSPs and cyanobacterial blooms in nature

  1. Selective alterations of neurons and circuits related to early memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Llorens-Martín, Maria; Blazquez-Llorca, Lidia; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth; Rabano, Alberto; Hernandez, Felix; Avila, Jesus; DeFelipe, Javier

    2014-01-01

    A progressive loss of episodic memory is a well-known clinical symptom that characterizes Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The beginning of this loss of memory has been associated with the very early, pathological accumulation of tau and neuronal degeneration observed in the entorhinal cortex (EC). Tau-related pathology is thought to then spread progressively to the hippocampal formation and other brain areas as the disease progresses. The major cortical afferent source of the hippocampus and dentate gyrus is the EC through the perforant pathway. At least two main circuits participate in the connection between EC and the hippocampus; one originating in layer II and the other in layer III of the EC giving rise to the classical trisynaptic (ECII → dentate gyrus → CA3 → CA1) and monosynaptic (ECIII → CA1) circuits. Thus, the study of the early pathological changes in these circuits is of great interest. In this review, we will discuss mainly the alterations of the granule cell neurons of the dentate gyrus and the atrophy of CA1 pyramidal neurons that occur in AD in relation to the possible differential alterations of these two main circuits. PMID:24904307

  2. Selection for divergent body size alters rates of embryonic skeletal muscle formation and muscle gene expression patterns.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yue; Bradley, Jennifer S; Siegel, Paul B; Yang, Ning; Johnson, Sally E

    2015-12-01

    The impact of divergent selection for body size on embryogenesis is poorly understood. The objective of this experiment was to document skeletal muscle development during embryogenesis in two lines of chickens that display divergent growth as adults. Results reveal that after 54 generations of opposing selection from a common founder population, the embryos from the low weight select (LWS) line develop more rapidly during early embryogenesis than those from the high weight select (HWS) line. Muscle formation during the late embryonic period is more rapid and extensive in the HWS embryo than in the LWS contemporary. Isolated muscle progenitors from embryonic day 10 HWS embryos proliferated more rapidly, forming fibers sooner with a larger size than the LWS cells. The limited myogenic capacity of the LWS progenitor cells is not attributed to altered patterns of expression of Pax7, Pax3 or the myogenic regulatory factor genes. Members of the fibroblast growth factor family are potent mitogens and inhibitors of myoblast differentiation. Transcript abundance of FGF2 and FGF4 was measured in cultures of HWS and LWS progenitors as a function of time. The pattern of expression of FGF4 was similar between HWS and LWS with a large increase between days 1 and 3 followed by a reduction at day 5 of culture. Expression of FGF2 in LWS muscle cells did not change while a significant reduction in FGF2 expression was observed by day 5 in the HWS. Our results indicate that divergent selection for postnatal growth has altered embryonic development. PMID:26660844

  3. Altered fibre types in gastrocnemius muscle of high wheel-running selected mice with mini-muscle phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Guderley, Helga; Joanisse, Denis R; Mokas, Sophie; Bilodeau, Geneviève M; Garland, Theodore

    2008-03-01

    Selective breeding of mice for high voluntary wheel running has favoured characteristics that facilitate sustained, aerobically supported activity, including a "mini-muscle" phenotype with markedly reduced hind limb muscle mass, increased mass-specific activities of oxidative enzymes, decreased % myosin heavy chain IIb, and, in the medial gastrocnemius, reduced twitch speed, reduced mass-specific isotonic power, and increased fatigue resistance. To evaluate whether selection has altered fibre type expression in mice with either "mini" or normal muscle phenotypes, we examined fibre types of red and white gastrocnemius. In both the medial and lateral gastrocnemius, the mini-phenotype increased activities of oxidative enzymes and decreased activities of glycolytic enzymes. In red muscle samples, the mini-phenotype markedly changed fibre types, with the % type I and type IIA fibres and the surface area of type IIA fibres increasing; in addition, mice from selected lines in general had an increased % type IIA fibres and larger type I fibres as compared with mice from control lines. White muscle samples from mini-mice showed dramatic structural alterations, with an atypical distribution of extremely small, unidentifiable fibres surrounded by larger, more oxidative fibres than normally present in white muscle. The increased proportion of oxidative fibres and these atypical small fibres together may explain the reduced mass and increased mitochondrial enzyme activities in mini-muscles. These and previous results demonstrate that extension of selective breeding beyond the time when the response of the selected trait (i.e. distance run) has levelled off can still modify the mechanistic underpinnings of this behaviour. PMID:18226573

  4. Neuropeptide Y response to alcohol is altered in nucleus accumbens of mice selectively bred for drinking to intoxication.

    PubMed

    Barkley-Levenson, Amanda M; Ryabinin, Andrey E; Crabbe, John C

    2016-04-01

    The High Drinking in the Dark (HDID) mice have been selectively bred for drinking to intoxicating blood alcohol levels and represent a genetic model of risk for binge-like drinking. Presently, little is known about the specific genetic factors that promote excessive intake in these mice. Previous studies have identified neuropeptide Y (NPY) as a potential target for modulating alcohol intake. NPY expression differs in some rodent lines that have been selected for high and low alcohol drinking phenotypes, as well as inbred mouse strains that differ in alcohol preference. Alcohol drinking and alcohol withdrawal also produce differential effects on NPY expression in the brain. Here, we assessed brain NPY protein levels in HDID mice of two replicates of selection and control heterogeneous stock (HS) mice at baseline (water drinking) and after binge-like alcohol drinking to determine whether selection is associated with differences in NPY expression and its sensitivity to alcohol. NPY levels did not differ between HDID and HS mice in any brain region in the water-drinking animals. HS mice showed a reduction in NPY levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) - especially in the shell - in ethanol-drinking animals vs. water-drinking controls. However, HDID mice showed a blunted NPY response to alcohol in the NAc core and shell compared to HS mice. These findings suggest that the NPY response to alcohol has been altered by selection for drinking to intoxication in a region-specific manner. Thus, the NPY system may represent a potential target for altering binge-like alcohol drinking in these mice. PMID:26779672

  5. Selection and geographic isolation influence hummingbird speciation: genetic, acoustic and morphological divergence in the wedge-tailed sabrewing (Campylopterus curvipennis)

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Mesoamerica is one of the most threatened biodiversity hotspots in the world, yet we are far from understanding the geologic history and the processes driving population divergence and speciation for most endemic taxa. In species with highly differentiated populations selective and/or neutral factors can induce rapid changes to traits involved in mate choice, promoting reproductive isolation between allopatric populations that can eventually lead to speciation. We present the results of genetic differentiation, and explore drift and selection effects in promoting acoustic and morphological divergence among populations of Campylopterus curvipennis, a lekking hummingbird with an extraordinary vocal variability across Mesoamerica. Results Analyses of two mitochondrial genes and ten microsatellite loci genotyped for 160 individuals revealed the presence of three lineages with no contemporary gene flow: C. c. curvipennis, C. c. excellens, and C. c. pampa disjunctly distributed in the Sierra Madre Oriental, the Tuxtlas region and the Yucatan Peninsula, respectively. Sequence mtDNA and microsatellite data were congruent with two diversification events: an old vicariance event at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (c. 1.4 Ma), and a more recent Pleistocene split, isolating populations in the Tuxtlas region. Hummingbirds of the excellens group were larger, and those of the pampa group had shorter bills, and lineages that have been isolated the longest shared fewer syllables and differed in spectral and temporal traits of a shared syllable. Coalescent simulations showed that fixation of song types has occurred faster than expected under neutrality but the null hypothesis that morphological divergence resulted from drift was not rejected. Conclusions Our phylogeographic analyses uncovered the presence of three Mesoamerican wedge-tailed sabrewing lineages, which diverged at different time scales. These results highlight the importance of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and more

  6. Genomic and physiological responses to strong selective pressure during late organogenesis: few gene expression changes found despite striking morphological differences

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Adaptations to a new environment, such as a polluted one, often involve large modifications of the existing phenotypes. Changes in gene expression and regulation during critical developmental stages may explain these phenotypic changes. Embryos from a population of the teleost fish, Fundulus heteroclitus, inhabiting a clean estuary do not survive when exposed to sediment extract from a site highly contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) while embryos derived from a population inhabiting a PAH polluted estuary are remarkably resistant to the polluted sediment extract. We exposed embryos from these two populations to surrogate model PAHs and analyzed changes in gene expression, morphology, and cardiac physiology in order to better understand sensitivity and adaptive resistance mechanisms mediating PAH exposure during development. Results The synergistic effects of two model PAHs, an aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) agonist (β-naphthoflavone) and a cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) inhibitor (α-naphthoflavone), caused significant developmental delays, impaired cardiac function, severe morphological alterations and failure to hatch, leading to the deaths of reference embryos; resistant embryos were mostly unaffected. Unexpectedly, patterns of gene expression among normal and moderately deformed embryos were similar, and only severely deformed embryos showed a contrasting pattern of gene expression. Given the drastic morphological differences between reference and resistant embryos, a surprisingly low percentage of genes, 2.24% of 6,754 analyzed, show statistically significant differences in transcript levels during late organogenesis between the two embryo populations. Conclusions Our study demonstrates important contrasts in responses between reference and resistant natural embryo populations to synergistic effects of surrogate model PAHs that may be important in adaptive mechanisms mediating PAH effects during fish embryo development. These

  7. Selective alteration of native, but not second language articulation in a patient with foreign accent syndrome.

    PubMed

    Avila, César; González, Julio; Parcet, Maria-Antònia; Belloch, Vicente

    2004-10-01

    The present study deals with a right-handed female polyglot suffering from a Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS) which affects her native language (L1), but not her other languages learnt since the age of 12. She had a small infarct in the left corona radiata as the result of a carotid occlusion. Her L1 was Spanish, but she also had a good command of French, English and Catalan (L2). Aphasia tests did not reveal any other significant alteration in any language. Analyses of pre-morbid and post-morbid voice recordings revealed that FAS affected Spanish dramatically, but no important changes were observed for French. Results were interpreted as showing that different brain areas control articulation of L1 and L2 learnt after a critical period. PMID:15371747

  8. Position-Related Differences in Selected Morphological Body Characteristics of Top-Level Female Handball Players.

    PubMed

    Bon, Marta; Pori, Primoz; Sibila, Marko

    2015-09-01

    The study aimed to establish the main morphological characteristics of Slovenian junior and senior female national handball team players. Morphological characteristics of various player subgroups (goalkeepers, wings, back players and pivots) were also determined so as to establish whether they had distinct profiles. The subjects were 87 handball players who were members of the Slovenian junior and senior female national teams in the period from 2003 to 2009. A standardised anthropometric protocol was used to assess the subjects' morphological characteristics. The measurements included 23 different anthropometric measures. First, basic statistical characteristics of anthropometric measures were obtained for all subjects together and then for each group separately. Somatotypes were determined using Heath-Carter's method. Endomorphic, mesomorphic and ectomorphic components were calculated by computer on the basis of formulas. In order to determine differences in the body composition and anthropometric data of the subjects playing in different positions, a one-way analysis of variance was employed. The results show that, on average, the wings differed the most from the other player groups in terms of their morphological body characteristics. The wings differed most prominently from the other player groups in terms of their morphological body parameters as they were significantly smaller and had a statistically significantly lower body mass than the other groups. In terms of transversal measures of the skeleton and the circumferences, the wings significantly differed mainly from the pivots and goalkeepers and less from the backs. The goalkeepers were the tallest, with high values of body mass and low values of transversal measures compared to P. Their skin folds were the most pronounced among all the groups on average and their share of subcutaneous fat in total body mass was the highest. Consequently, their endomorphic component of the somatotype was pronounced

  9. Age-dependent female responses to a male ejaculate signal alter demographic opportunities for selection

    PubMed Central

    Fricke, Claudia; Green, Darrell; Mills, Walter E.; Chapman, Tracey

    2013-01-01

    A central tenet of evolutionary explanations for ageing is that the strength of selection wanes with age. However, data on age-specific expression and benefits of sexually selected traits are lacking—particularly for traits subject to sexual conflict. We addressed this by using as a model the responses of Drosophila melanogaster females of different ages to receipt of sex peptide (SP), a seminal fluid protein transferred with sperm during mating. SP can mediate sexual conflict, benefitting males while causing fitness costs in females. Virgin and mated females of all ages showed significantly reduced receptivity in response to SP. However, only young virgin females also showed increased egg laying; hence, there was a narrow demographic window of maximal responses to SP. Males gained significant ‘per mating’ fitness benefits only when mating with young females. The pattern completely reversed in matings with older females, where SP transfer was costly. The overall benefits of SP transfer (hence opportunity for selection) therefore reversed with female age. The data reveal a new example of demographic variation in the strength of selection, with convergence and conflicts of interest between males and ageing females occurring over different facets of responses to a sexually antagonistic trait. PMID:23843383

  10. Evolutionary ecology of plant-microbe interactions: soil microbial structure alters selection on plant traits.

    PubMed

    Lau, Jennifer A; Lennon, Jay T

    2011-10-01

    • Below-ground microbial communities influence plant diversity, plant productivity, and plant community composition. Given these strong ecological effects, are interactions with below-ground microbes also important for understanding natural selection on plant traits? • Here, we manipulated below-ground microbial communities and the soil moisture environment on replicated populations of Brassica rapa to examine how microbial community structure influences selection on plant traits and mediates plant responses to abiotic environmental stress. • In soils with experimentally simplified microbial communities, plants were smaller, had reduced chlorophyll content, produced fewer flowers, and were less fecund when compared with plant populations grown in association with more complex soil microbial communities. Selection on plant growth and phenological traits also was stronger when plants were grown in simplified, less diverse soil microbial communities, and these effects typically were consistent across soil moisture treatments. • Our results suggest that microbial community structure affects patterns of natural selection on plant traits. Thus, the below-ground microbial community can influence evolutionary processes, just as recent studies have demonstrated that microbial diversity can influence plant community and ecosystem processes. PMID:21658184

  11. Binding among Select Episodic Elements Is Altered via Active Short-Term Retrieval

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bridge, Donna J.; Voss, Joel L.

    2015-01-01

    Of the many elements that comprise an episode, are any disproportionately bound to the others? We tested whether active short-term retrieval selectively increases binding. Individual objects from multiobject displays were retrieved after brief delays. Memory was later tested for the other objects. Cueing with actively retrieved objects facilitated…

  12. Effect of metal vaporization behavior on keyhole-mode surface morphology of selective laser melted composites using different protective atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dai, Donghua; Gu, Dongdong

    2015-11-01

    A selective laser melting (SLM) physical model of the change from heat conduction to keyhole-mode process is proposed, providing the transformation of the thermal behavior in the SLM process. Both thermo-capillary force and recoil pressure, which are the major driving forces for the molten flow, are incorporated in the formulation. The effect of the protective atmosphere on the thermal behavior, molten pool dynamics, velocity field of the evaporation material and resultant surface morphology has been investigated. It shows that the motion direction of the evaporation material plays a crucial role in the formation of the terminally solidified surface morphology of the SLM-processed part. For the application of N2 protective atmosphere, the evaporation material has a tendency to encounter in the frontier of the laser scan direction, resulting in the stack of molten material and the attendant formation of humps in the top surface. As Ar protective atmosphere is used, the vector direction of the evaporation material is typically upwards, leading to a uniform recoil pressure forced on the free surface and the formation of fine and flat melt pool surface. The surface quality and morphology are experimentally acquired, which are in a good agreement with the results predicted by simulation.

  13. Systematic study on the influence of the morphology of α-MoO3 in the selective oxidation of propylene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuh, Kirsten; Kleist, Wolfgang; Høj, Martin; Jensen, Anker Degn; Beato, Pablo; Patzke, Greta R.; Grunwaldt, Jan-Dierk

    2015-08-01

    A variety of morphologically different α-MoO3 samples were prepared by hydrothermal synthesis and applied in the selective oxidation of propylene. Their catalytic performance was compared to α-MoO3 prepared by flame spray pyrolysis (FSP) and a classical synthesis route. Hydrothermal synthesis from ammonium heptamolybdate (AHM) and nitric acid at pH 1-2 led to ammonium containing molybdenum oxide phases that were completely transformed into α-MoO3 after calcination at 550 °C. A one-step synthesis of α-MoO3 rods was possible starting from MoO3·2H2O with acetic acid or nitric acid and from AHM with nitric acid at 180 °C. Particularly, if nitric acid was used during synthesis, the rod-like morphology of the samples could be stabilized during calcination at 550 °C and the following catalytic activity tests, which was beneficial for the catalytic performance in propylene oxidation. Characterization studies using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Raman spectroscopy showed that those samples, which retained their rod-like morphology during the activity tests, yielded the highest propylene conversion.

  14. Chronic stress alters the density and morphology of microglia in a subset of stress-responsive brain regions.

    PubMed

    Tynan, Ross J; Naicker, Sundresan; Hinwood, Madeleine; Nalivaiko, Eugene; Buller, Kathryn M; Pow, David V; Day, Trevor A; Walker, Frederick R

    2010-10-01

    The current study, in parallel experiments, evaluated the impact of chronic psychological stress on physiological and behavioural measures, and on the activation status of microglia in 15 stress-responsive brain regions. Rats were subjected, for 14 days, to two 30 min sessions of restraint per day, applied at random times each day. In one experiment the effects of stress on sucrose preference, weight gain, core body temperature, and struggling behaviour during restraint, were determined. In the second experiment we used immunohistochemistry to investigate stress-induced changes in ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule-1 (Iba1), a marker constitutively expressed by microglia, and major histocompatibility complex-II (MHC-II), a marker often expressed on activated microglia, in a total of 15 stress-responsive nuclei. We also investigated cellular proliferation in these regions using Ki67 immunolabelling, to check for the possibility of microglial proliferation. Collectively, the results we obtained showed that chronic stress induced a significant increase in anhedonia, a decrease in weight gain across the entire observation period, a significant elevation in core body temperature during restraint, and a progressive decrease in struggling behaviour within and over sessions. With regard to microglial activation, chronic stress induced a significant increase in the density of Iba1 immunolabelling (nine of 15 regions) and the number of Iba1-positive cells (eight of 15 regions). Within the regions that exhibited an increased number of Iba1-positive cells after chronic stress, we found no evidence of a between group difference in the number of MHC-II or Ki67 positive cells. In summary, these results clearly demonstrate that chronic stress selectively increases the number of microglia in certain stress-sensitive brain regions, and also causes a marked transition of microglia from a ramified-resting state to a non-resting state. These findings are consistent with the view

  15. Morphology Control of Hot-Wall MOCVD Selective Area Grown Hexagonal GaN Pyramids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundskog, Anders; Forsberg, Urban; Holtz, Per Olof; Janzen, Erik

    2012-11-01

    Morphological variations of gallium polar (0001)-oriented hexagonal GaN pyramids grown by hot wall metal organic chemical vapor deposition under various growth conditions are investigated. The stability of the semipolar {1 (1) over bar 02} and nonpolar {1 (1) over bar 00} facets is particularly discussed. The presence of the {1 (1) over bar 02} facets near the apex of the pyramid was found to be controllable by tuning the absolute flow rate of ammonia during the growth Vertical nonpolar {1 (1) over bar 00} facets appeared in gallium rich conditions, which automatically were created when the growth time was prolonged beyond pyramid completion. The result was attributed to a gallium passivation of the {1 (1) over bar 00} surface.

  16. Selective directed self-assembly of coexisting morphologies using block copolymer blends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, A.; Wright, G.; Yager, K. G.; Doerk, G. S.; Black, C. T.

    2016-08-01

    Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers is an emergent technique for nano-lithography, but is limited in the range of structures possible in a single fabrication step. Here we expand on traditional DSA chemical patterning. A blend of lamellar- and cylinder-forming block copolymers assembles on specially designed surface chemical line gratings, leading to the simultaneous formation of coexisting ordered morphologies in separate areas of the substrate. The competing energetics of polymer chain distortions and chemical mismatch with the substrate grating bias the system towards either line/space or dot array patterns, depending on the pitch and linewidth of the prepattern. This is in contrast to the typical DSA, wherein assembly of a single-component block copolymer on chemical templates generates patterns of either lines/spaces (lamellar) or hexagonal dot arrays (cylinders). In our approach, the chemical template encodes desired local spatial arrangements of coexisting design motifs, self-assembled from a single, sophisticated resist.

  17. Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate alters pharmacological selectivity for epilepsy-causing KCNQ potassium channels

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Pingzheng; Yu, Haibo; Gu, Min; Nan, Fa-jun; Gao, Zhaobing; Li, Min

    2013-01-01

    Pharmacological augmentation of neuronal KCNQ muscarinic (M) currents by drugs such as retigabine (RTG) represents a first-in-class therapeutic to treat certain hyperexcitatory diseases by dampening neuronal firing. Whereas all five potassium channel subtypes (KCNQ1–KCNQ5) are found in the nervous system, KCNQ2 and KCNQ3 are the primary players that mediate M currents. We investigated the plasticity of subtype selectivity by two M current effective drugs, retigabine and zinc pyrithione (ZnPy). Retigabine is more effective on KCNQ3 than KCNQ2, whereas ZnPy is more effective on KCNQ2 with no detectable effect on KCNQ3. In neurons, activation of muscarinic receptor signaling desensitizes effects by retigabine but not ZnPy. Importantly, reduction of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) causes KCNQ3 to become sensitive to ZnPy but lose sensitivity to retigabine. The dynamic shift of pharmacological selectivity caused by PIP2 may be induced orthogonally by voltage-sensitive phosphatase, or conversely, abolished by mutating a PIP2 site within the S4–S5 linker of KCNQ3. Therefore, whereas drug-channel binding is a prerequisite, the drug selectivity on M current is dynamic and may be regulated by receptor signaling pathways via PIP2. PMID:23650395

  18. Archaerhodopsin Selectively and Reversibly Silences Synaptic Transmission through Altered pH.

    PubMed

    El-Gaby, Mohamady; Zhang, Yu; Wolf, Konstantin; Schwiening, Christof J; Paulsen, Ole; Shipton, Olivia A

    2016-08-23

    Tools that allow acute and selective silencing of synaptic transmission in vivo would be invaluable for understanding the synaptic basis of specific behaviors. Here, we show that presynaptic expression of the proton pump archaerhodopsin enables robust, selective, and reversible optogenetic synaptic silencing with rapid onset and offset. Two-photon fluorescence imaging revealed that this effect is accompanied by a transient increase in pH restricted to archaerhodopsin-expressing boutons. Crucially, clamping intracellular pH abolished synaptic silencing without affecting the archaerhodopsin-mediated hyperpolarizing current, indicating that changes in pH mediate the synaptic silencing effect. To verify the utility of this technique, we used trial-limited, archaerhodopsin-mediated silencing to uncover a requirement for CA3-CA1 synapses whose afferents originate from the left CA3, but not those from the right CA3, for performance on a long-term memory task. These results highlight optogenetic, pH-mediated silencing of synaptic transmission as a spatiotemporally selective approach to dissecting synaptic function in behaving animals. PMID:27524609

  19. Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate alters pharmacological selectivity for epilepsy-causing KCNQ potassium channels.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Pingzheng; Yu, Haibo; Gu, Min; Nan, Fa-jun; Gao, Zhaobing; Li, Min

    2013-05-21

    Pharmacological augmentation of neuronal KCNQ muscarinic (M) currents by drugs such as retigabine (RTG) represents a first-in-class therapeutic to treat certain hyperexcitatory diseases by dampening neuronal firing. Whereas all five potassium channel subtypes (KCNQ1-KCNQ5) are found in the nervous system, KCNQ2 and KCNQ3 are the primary players that mediate M currents. We investigated the plasticity of subtype selectivity by two M current effective drugs, retigabine and zinc pyrithione (ZnPy). Retigabine is more effective on KCNQ3 than KCNQ2, whereas ZnPy is more effective on KCNQ2 with no detectable effect on KCNQ3. In neurons, activation of muscarinic receptor signaling desensitizes effects by retigabine but not ZnPy. Importantly, reduction of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) causes KCNQ3 to become sensitive to ZnPy but lose sensitivity to retigabine. The dynamic shift of pharmacological selectivity caused by PIP2 may be induced orthogonally by voltage-sensitive phosphatase, or conversely, abolished by mutating a PIP2 site within the S4-S5 linker of KCNQ3. Therefore, whereas drug-channel binding is a prerequisite, the drug selectivity on M current is dynamic and may be regulated by receptor signaling pathways via PIP2. PMID:23650395

  20. Heritability and correlation among some selected morphological traits and their relationship with fall armyworm damage in sweet corn.

    PubMed

    Rea, Ramón A; Watson, Clarence E; Williams, William P; Davis, Frank M

    2002-01-01

    Fall armyworm [Spodoptera frugiperda J. E. Smith] (FAW) is a serious pest in field corn and sweet corn [Zea mays L.] in many parts of the world. Sweet corn germplasm with effective levels of resistance to damage by the fall armyworm is needed to transfer resistance to commercial hybrids. The objectives of this study were to estimate heritability and to estimate the correlation among some selected morphological traits and their relationship with FAW damage. Seven shrunken-2 (sh2) inbred lines and four commercial sh2 hybrids of sweet corn were crossed to Mp708, a FAW-resistant field corn line. The F2 populations were subdivided with one half being selected for the sh2 trait and the other half was left unselected. Parent, F2, and F3 populations were artificially infested with FAW and evaluated for leaf damage caused by FAW. Heritability estimates for FAW resistance ranged from 0.22 to 0.61 depending on method of estimation used. The highest correlations occurred between silk color and anther color (0.70) and silk color and glume color (0.49). There were no consistent correlations of most morphological traits with FAW damage. A linkage between white silk and shrunken-2 was observed. PMID:12658873

  1. Heritability and correlation among some selected morphological traits and their relationship with fall armyworm damage in sweet corn.

    PubMed

    Rea, Ramón A; Watson, Clarence E; Williams, William P; Davis, Frank M

    2002-01-01

    Fall armyworm [Spodoptera frugiperda J. E. Smith] (FAW) is a serious pest in field corn and sweet corn [Zea mays L.] in many parts of the world. Sweet corn germplasm with effective levels of resistance to damage by the fall armyworm is needed to transfer resistance to commercial hybrids. The objectives of this study were to estimate heritability and to estimate the correlation among some selected morphological traits and their relationship with FAW damage. Seven shrunken-2 (sh2) inbred lines and four commercial sh2 hybrids of sweet corn were crossed to Mp708, a FAW-resistant field corn line. The F2 populations were subdivided with one half being selected for the sh2 trait and the other half was left unselected. Parent, F2, and F3 populations were artificially infested with FAW and evaluated for leaf damage caused by FAW. Heritability estimates for FAW resistance ranged from 0.22 to 0.61 depending on method of estimation used. The highest correlations occurred between silk color and anther color (0.70) and silk color and glume color (0.49). There were no consistent correlations of most morphological traits with FAW damage. A linkage between white silk and shrunken-2 was observed. PMID:12216502

  2. Trait-based diet selection: prey behaviour and morphology predict vulnerability to predation in reef fish communities.

    PubMed

    Green, Stephanie J; Côté, Isabelle M

    2014-11-01

    Understanding how predators select their prey can provide important insights into community structure and dynamics. However, the suite of prey species available to a predator is often spatially and temporally variable. As a result, species-specific selectivity data are of limited use for predicting novel predator-prey interactions because they are assemblage specific. We present a method for predicting diet selection that is applicable across prey assemblages, based on identifying general morphological and behavioural traits of prey that confer vulnerability to predation independent of species identity. We apply this trait-based approach to examining prey selection by Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles), invasive predators that prey upon species-rich reef fish communities and are rapidly spreading across the western Atlantic. We first generate hypotheses about morphological and behavioural traits recurring across fish species that could facilitate or deter predation by lionfish. Constructing generalized linear mixed-effects models that account for relatedness among prey taxa, we test whether these traits predict patterns of diet selection by lionfish within two independent data sets collected at different spatial scales: (i) in situ visual observations of prey consumption and availability for individual lionfish and (ii) comparisons of prey abundance in lionfish stomach contents to availability on invaded reefs at large. Both analyses reveal that a number of traits predicted to affect vulnerability to predation, including body size, body shape, position in the water column and aggregation behaviour, are important determinants of diet selection by lionfish. Small, shallow-bodied, solitary fishes found resting on or just above reefs are the most vulnerable. Fishes that exhibit parasite cleaning behaviour experience a significantly lower risk of predation than non-cleaning fishes, and fishes that are nocturnally active are at significantly

  3. Lysosomotropic agents selectively target chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells due to altered sphingolipid metabolism.

    PubMed

    Dielschneider, R F; Eisenstat, H; Mi, S; Curtis, J M; Xiao, W; Johnston, J B; Gibson, S B

    2016-06-01

    Lysosome membrane permeabilization (LMP) mediates cell death in a variety of cancer cells. However, little is known about lysosomes and LMP in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Owing to drug resistance and toxicity in CLL patients, better treatment strategies are required. Our results show that CLL cells were sensitive to the lysosomotropic agent siramesine. Furthermore, this drug was more effective in CLL cells, regardless of prognostic factors, compared with normal B cells. Siramesine caused LMP, lipid peroxidation and transcription factor EB nuclear translocation followed by mitochondrial membrane potential loss and reactive oxygen species release. Siramesine-induced cell death was blocked by lipid antioxidants, but not by soluble antioxidants or protease inhibitors. To determine whether CLL cells had altered lysosomes, we investigated sphingolipid metabolism as the lysosome is a hub for lipid metabolism. We found that CLL cells had more lysosomes, increased sphingosine-1-phosphate phosphatase 1 (SPP1) expression, and increased levels of sphingosine compared with normal B cells. Raising sphingosine levels increased LMP and cell death in CLL cells, but not in normal B cells. Together, these results show that excess sphingosine in CLL cells could contribute to their sensitivity toward LMP. Thus, targeting the lysosome could be a novel therapeutic strategy in CLL. PMID:26859075

  4. Alteration of select gene expression patterns in individuals infected with HIV-1.

    PubMed

    Serrao, Erik; Wang, Chia-Hao; Frederick, Toinette; Lee, Chi-Lin; Anthony, Patricia; Arribas-Layton, David; Baker, Kerry; Millstein, Joshua; Kovacs, Andrea; Neamati, Nouri

    2014-04-01

    Multiple human proteins have been shown to both support and restrict viral replication, and confirmation of virus-associated changes in the expression of these genes is relevant for future therapeutic efforts. In this study a well-characterized panel of 49 individuals either infected with HIV-1 or uninfected was compiled and analyzed for the effect of HIV infection status, viral load, and antiretroviral treatment on specific gene expression. mRNA was extracted and reverse transcribed from purified CD4+ cells, and quantitative real-time PCR was utilized to scrutinize differences in the expression of four host genes that have been demonstrated to either stimulate (HSP90 and LEDGF/p75) or restrict (p21/WAF1 and APOBEC3G) proviral integration. HIV infection status was associated with slight to moderate alterations in the expression of all four genes. After adjusting for age, mRNA expression levels of HSP90, LEDGF/p75 and APOBEC3G were found to all be decreased in infected patients compared to healthy controls by 1.43-, 1.26-, and 4.71-fold, respectively, while p21/WAF1 expression was increased 2.35-fold. Furthermore, individuals receiving raltegravir exhibited a 1.28-fold reduction in LEDGF/p75 compared to those on non-raltegravir antiretroviral treatment. Identification of these and similar HIV-induced changes in gene expression may be valuable for delineating the extent of host cell molecular mechanisms stimulating viral replication. PMID:24482297

  5. Does Anticoagulant Medication Alter Fracture-Healing? A Morphological and Biomechanical Evaluation of the Possible Effects of Rivaroxaban and Enoxaparin Using a Rat Closed Fracture Model

    PubMed Central

    Prodinger, Peter Michael; Burgkart, Rainer; Kreutzer, Kilian; Liska, Franz; Pilge, Hakan; Schmitt, Andreas; Knödler, Martina; Holzapfel, Boris Michael; Hapfelmeier, Alexander; Tischer, Thomas; Bissinger, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) is routinely used to prevent thromboembolism in orthopaedic surgery, especially in the treatment of fractures or after joint-replacement. Impairment of fracture-healing due to increased bone-desorption, delayed remodelling and lower calcification caused by direct osteoclast stimulation is a well-known side effect of unfractioned heparin. However, the effect of LMWH is unclear and controversial. Recent studies strongly suggest impairment of bone-healing in-vitro and in animal models, characterized by a significant decrease in volume and quality of new-formed callus. Since October 2008, Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) is available for prophylactic use in elective knee- and hip-arthroplasty. Recently, some evidence has been found indicating an in vitro dose independent reduction of osteoblast function after Rivaroxaban treatment. In this study, the possible influence of Rivaroxaban and Enoxaparin on bone-healing in vivo was studied using a standardized, closed rodent fracture-model. 70 male Wistar-rats were randomized to Rivaroxaban, Enoxaparin or control groups. After pinning the right femur, a closed, transverse fracture was produced. 21 days later, the animals were sacrificed and both femora harvested. Analysis was done by biomechanical testing (three-point bending) and micro CT. Both investigated substances showed histomorphometric alterations of the newly formed callus assessed by micro CT analysis. In detail the bone (callus) volume was enhanced (sign. for Rivaroxaban) and the density reduced. The bone mineral content was enhanced accordingly (sign. for Rivaroxaban). Trabecular thickness was reduced (sign. for Rivaroxaban). Furthermore, both drugs showed significant enlarged bone (callus) surface and degree of anisotropy. In contrast, the biomechanical properties of the treated bones were equal to controls. To summarize, the morphological alterations of the fracture-callus did not result in functionally relevant deficits. PMID:27455072

  6. Protective effect of systemic L-kynurenine and probenecid administration on behavioural and morphological alterations induced by toxic soluble amyloid beta (25-35) in rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Carrillo-Mora, Paul; Méndez-Cuesta, Luis A; Pérez-De La Cruz, Verónica; Fortoul-van Der Goes, Teresa I; Santamaría, Abel

    2010-07-11

    Amyloid beta (Abeta) peptide exerts different toxic effects at a cellular level, including over-activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) and excitotoxicity, synaptic dysfunction and neuronal death. Kynurenic acid (KYNA) is an endogenous antagonist of NMDAr and alpha7 nicotinic receptors. Systemic administrations of both the immediate metabolic precursor of KYNA, L-kynurenine (L-KYN), and a proved inhibitor of KYNA's brain transport, probenecid (PROB), have shown to produce neuroprotective effects in a considerable number of experimental toxic conditions; however, this strategy has not been tested in the toxic model Abeta peptide so far. In this study we evaluated the effects of systemic administration of PROB (50 mg/kg/day for 7 days), L-KYN (75 mg/kg/day for 7 days) and their combination, on behavioural (locomotor activity and spatial memory) and morphological alterations induced by an intrahippocampal infusion of Abeta 25-35 to rats. An additional group was administered with the potent NMDAr antagonist dizocilpine (MK-801, 0.8 mg/kg/day for 7 days) for comparative purposes. A significant improvement of spatial memory was evident in Abeta-lesioned rats since post-lesion day 21 with all treatments tested and this effect was correlated with a reduction of cell damage and a decrease in reactive gliosis in hippocampal CA1 area. Neither L-KYN, nor PROB, or their combination, produced major alterations in motor function when given alone to rats. These results suggest that modulation of NMDAr activity by mean of therapeutic strategies designed to enhance KYNA in the brain may help to counteract neurodegenerative events coursing with Abeta toxicity and excitotoxic patterns. PMID:20219555

  7. Does Anticoagulant Medication Alter Fracture-Healing? A Morphological and Biomechanical Evaluation of the Possible Effects of Rivaroxaban and Enoxaparin Using a Rat Closed Fracture Model.

    PubMed

    Prodinger, Peter Michael; Burgkart, Rainer; Kreutzer, Kilian; Liska, Franz; Pilge, Hakan; Schmitt, Andreas; Knödler, Martina; Holzapfel, Boris Michael; Hapfelmeier, Alexander; Tischer, Thomas; Bissinger, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) is routinely used to prevent thromboembolism in orthopaedic surgery, especially in the treatment of fractures or after joint-replacement. Impairment of fracture-healing due to increased bone-desorption, delayed remodelling and lower calcification caused by direct osteoclast stimulation is a well-known side effect of unfractioned heparin. However, the effect of LMWH is unclear and controversial. Recent studies strongly suggest impairment of bone-healing in-vitro and in animal models, characterized by a significant decrease in volume and quality of new-formed callus. Since October 2008, Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) is available for prophylactic use in elective knee- and hip-arthroplasty. Recently, some evidence has been found indicating an in vitro dose independent reduction of osteoblast function after Rivaroxaban treatment. In this study, the possible influence of Rivaroxaban and Enoxaparin on bone-healing in vivo was studied using a standardized, closed rodent fracture-model. 70 male Wistar-rats were randomized to Rivaroxaban, Enoxaparin or control groups. After pinning the right femur, a closed, transverse fracture was produced. 21 days later, the animals were sacrificed and both femora harvested. Analysis was done by biomechanical testing (three-point bending) and micro CT. Both investigated substances showed histomorphometric alterations of the newly formed callus assessed by micro CT analysis. In detail the bone (callus) volume was enhanced (sign. for Rivaroxaban) and the density reduced. The bone mineral content was enhanced accordingly (sign. for Rivaroxaban). Trabecular thickness was reduced (sign. for Rivaroxaban). Furthermore, both drugs showed significant enlarged bone (callus) surface and degree of anisotropy. In contrast, the biomechanical properties of the treated bones were equal to controls. To summarize, the morphological alterations of the fracture-callus did not result in functionally relevant deficits. PMID:27455072

  8. Ultraviolet B radiation alters movement and thermal selection of zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Seebacher, Frank; Kazerouni, Ensiyeh Ghanizadeh; Franklin, Craig E

    2016-08-01

    Temperature and ultraviolet B (UV-B) interact in causing cellular damage and impairing locomotor performance. Here, we test the hypothesis that movement and thermal selection of zebrafish (Danio rerio) change in the presence of UV-B, and in particular, that fish which were chronically exposed to UV-B avoid high and low temperature extremes to maximize activities of antioxidant enzymes. Fish chronically (two to three weeks) exposed to UV-B had increased reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced damage to proteins and membranes, and reduced swimming performance at high (more than 26°C) temperatures. In an open field arena with a thermal gradient, chronically exposed fish avoided high and low temperature extremes compared with control fish. Additionally, both control and chronically exposed fish showed slower voluntary swimming speeds in the presence of UV-B. We suggest that in the presence of UV-B fish may reduce muscular activity to minimize intrinsic ROS production. Our data show that the interaction between UV-B and temperature determines movement and microhabitat selection of fish, which is therefore of ecological importance particularly in anthropogenically modified environments. PMID:27531156

  9. Estrogen alters the diurnal rhythm of alpha 1-adrenergic receptor densities in selected brain regions

    SciTech Connect

    Weiland, N.G.; Wise, P.M.

    1987-11-01

    Norepinephrine regulates the proestrous and estradiol-induced LH surge by binding to alpha 1-adrenergic receptors. The density of alpha 1-receptors may be regulated by estradiol, photoperiod, and noradrenergic neuronal activity. We wished to determine whether alpha 1-receptors exhibit a diurnal rhythm in ovariectomized and/or estradiol-treated female rats, whether estradiol regulates alpha 1-receptors in those areas of brain involved with LH secretion and/or sexual behavior, and whether the concentrations of alpha-receptors vary inversely relative to previously reported norepinephrine turnover patterns. Young female rats, maintained on a 14:10 light-dark cycle were ovariectomized. One week later, half of them were outfitted sc with Silastic capsules containing estradiol. Groups of animals were decapitated 2 days later at 0300, 1000, 1300, 1500, 1800, and 2300 h. Brains were removed, frozen, and sectioned at 20 micron. Sections were incubated with (/sup 3/H)prazosin in Tris-HCl buffer, washed, dried, and exposed to LKB Ultrofilm. The densities of alpha 1-receptors were quantitated using a computerized image analysis system. In ovariectomized rats, the density of alpha 1-receptors exhibited a diurnal rhythm in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), medial preoptic nucleus (MPN), and pineal gland. In SCN and MPN, receptor concentrations were lowest during the middle of the day and rose to peak levels at 1800 h. In the pineal gland, the density of alpha 1-receptors was lowest at middark phase, rose to peak levels before lights on, and remained elevated during the day. Estradiol suppressed the density of alpha 1 binding sites in the SCN, MPN, median eminence, ventromedial nucleus, and the pineal gland but had no effect on the lateral septum. Estrogen treatment altered the rhythm of receptor densities in MPN, median eminence, and the pineal gland.

  10. Influence of Selective Biochemical and Morphological Agents on Natural History of Aneurysm of Abdominal Aorta Development.

    PubMed

    Wołoszko, Tomasz; Skórski, Maciej; Kwasiborski, Przemysław; Kmin, Ewelina; Gałązka, Zbigniew; Pogorzelski, Ryszard

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND The development of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is probably influenced by many factors. The role of some of these factors, such as intraluminal thrombus (ILT) or cystatin C serum levels, remains controversial. Proving their influence could have therapeutic implications for some patients with AAA. Associations between the rate of increase in diameter of an aneurysm and ILT, as well as other factors, including biochemical factors (C-Reactive Protein - CRP, cystatin C), age, sex, and comorbidities, could predict disease progression in individual patients. MATERIAL AND METHODS Seventy patients with small AAA were included into the study. The patients were followed using ultrasound and CT imaging. We evaluated aneurysm dimensions and aneurysm wall thickness, as well as ILT and its dimensions, aneurysm wall morphology, CRP, and cystatin C. RESULTS We observed significant growth of AAA and thinning of aneurysmal wall. Aneurysms over 4 cm grew significantly faster in the second year of observation. ILT grew together with AAA size. Age, sex, smoking, dyslipidemias, or controlled arterial hypertension had no influence on aneurysm progression rate. Changes in serum of CRP concentration did not reach statistical significance, but cystatin C levels did. CONCLUSIONS Presence and size of ILT, wall thickness, and cystatin C levels may be considered in prediction of AAA progression. ILT might exert a protective influence on the risk of aneurysm rupture. However, larger aneurysms containing larger thrombi grow faster and their walls undergo more rapid degradation, which in turn increases the risk of rupture. This matter requires further studies. PMID:26859744

  11. Selective directed self-assembly of coexisting morphologies using block copolymer blends

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Stein, A.; Wright, G.; Yager, K. G.; Doerk, G. S.; Black, C. T.

    2016-08-02

    Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers is an emergent technique for nano-lithography, but is limited in the range of structures possible in a single fabrication step. We expand on traditional DSA chemical patterning. Moreover, a blend of lamellar- and cylinder-forming block copolymers assembles on specially designed surface chemical line gratings, leading to the simultaneous formation of coexisting ordered morphologies in separate areas of the substrate. The competing energetics of polymer chain distortions and chemical mismatch with the substrate grating bias the system towards either line/space or dot array patterns, depending on the pitch and linewidth of the prepattern. This contrastsmore » with typical DSA, wherein assembly of a single-component block copolymer on chemical templates generates patterns of either lines/spaces (lamellar) or hexagonal dot arrays (cylinders). In our approach, the chemical template encodes desired local spatial arrangements of coexisting design motifs, self-assembled from a single, sophisticated resist.« less

  12. Selective directed self-assembly of coexisting morphologies using block copolymer blends

    PubMed Central

    Stein, A.; Wright, G.; Yager, K. G.; Doerk, G. S.; Black, C. T.

    2016-01-01

    Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers is an emergent technique for nano-lithography, but is limited in the range of structures possible in a single fabrication step. Here we expand on traditional DSA chemical patterning. A blend of lamellar- and cylinder-forming block copolymers assembles on specially designed surface chemical line gratings, leading to the simultaneous formation of coexisting ordered morphologies in separate areas of the substrate. The competing energetics of polymer chain distortions and chemical mismatch with the substrate grating bias the system towards either line/space or dot array patterns, depending on the pitch and linewidth of the prepattern. This is in contrast to the typical DSA, wherein assembly of a single-component block copolymer on chemical templates generates patterns of either lines/spaces (lamellar) or hexagonal dot arrays (cylinders). In our approach, the chemical template encodes desired local spatial arrangements of coexisting design motifs, self-assembled from a single, sophisticated resist. PMID:27480327

  13. Antioxidant activity and total phenolics in selected cereal grains and their different morphological fractions.

    PubMed

    Zieliński, H; Kozłowska, H

    2000-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the antioxidant properties of water and 80% methanolic extracts of cereal grains and their different morphological fractions. Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cv. Almari and cv. Henika, barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) cv. Gregor and cv. Mobek, rye (Secale cereale L.) cv. Dańkowskie Zlote, oat (Avena sativa L.) cv. Slawko and buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) cv. Kora were used. PC (L-alpha-phosphatidylcholine) liposome system and spectrophotometric assay of total antioxidant activity (TAA) were used to evaluate the antioxidative activity of extracts. Among the water extracts, only the one prepared from buckwheat exhibited antioxidant activity at the concentration analyzed. The following hierarchy of antioxidant activity was provided for 80% methanolic extracts originated from whole grain: buckwheat > barley > oat > wheat congruent with rye. The antioxidant activity was observed in extract prepared from separated parts of buckwheat and barley. In respect to hulls, the antioxidant hierarchy was as follows: buckwheat > oat > barley. The correlation coefficient between total phenolic compounds and total antioxidative activity of the extracts was -0.35 for water extracts and 0.96, 0.99, 0.80, and 0.99 for 80% methanolic extracts originated from whole grains, hulls, pericarb with testa fractions and endosperm with embryo fractions, respectively. PMID:10888490

  14. Physiological and morphological indicators of yield in selected forage grasses - a few case studies and a confession

    SciTech Connect

    Wullschleger, S.D.

    1995-04-01

    Crop scientists have long sought to identify traits associated with superior plant-growth performance and dependable productivity. This search has been founded upon the belief that once identified, these physiological or morphological traits could then be used as indicators in the selection of higher yielding genotypes through plant breeding. Such an incorporation of indicator traits into a crop-improvement program would presumably help focus more conventional breeding activities where the emphasis has often been placed on eliminating yield reductions due to insects or disease, or on selecting for increased yield without fully understanding why productivity increased. For indicators to be used effectively in a crop-improvement program, however, there must be a strong dialogue between crop physiologists and breeders, and the unique needs of each discipline must be recognized. Only then will it be possible to gain a better understanding for how process-level traits affect yield and how these traits can be used to improve crop yields. As a prelude to introducing the use of indicators in crop-improvement programs, we first briefly review the concept of a model plant (i.e., the crop ideotype) and discuss how such a framework has influenced the use of indicators in breeding warm- and cool-season grasses for increased yields. Several case studies are then presented to illustrate how forage yields have been affected through incorporating physiological and morphological indicators of yield into the selection process. The interaction between the crop physiologist and the breeder is emphasized, and the authors speculate how each of these two disciplines might view the outcome of specific research efforts.

  15. Altered ion channel conductance and ionic selectivity induced by large imposed membrane potential pulse.

    PubMed Central

    Chen, W; Lee, R C

    1994-01-01

    The effects of large magnitude transmembrane potential pulses on voltage-gated Na and K channel behavior in frog skeletal muscle membrane were studied using a modified double vaseline-gap voltage clamp. The effects of electroconformational damage to ionic channels were separated from damage to lipid bilayer (electroporation). A 4 ms transmembrane potential pulse of -600 mV resulted in a reduction of both Na and K channel conductivities. The supraphysiologic pulses also reduced ionic selectivity of the K channels against Na+ ions, resulting in a depolarization of the membrane resting potential. However, TTX and TEA binding effects were unaltered. The kinetics of spontaneous reversal of the electroconformational damage of channel proteins was found to be dependent on the magnitude of imposed membrane potential pulse. These results suggest that muscle and nerve dysfunction after electrical shock may be in part caused by electroconformational damage to voltage-gated ion channels. PMID:7948676

  16. Acoustic Noise Alters Selective Attention Processes as Indicated by Direct Current (DC) Brain Potential Changes

    PubMed Central

    Trimmel, Karin; Schätzer, Julia; Trimmel, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Acoustic environmental noise, even of low to moderate intensity, is known to adversely affect information processing in animals and humans via attention mechanisms. In particular, facilitation and inhibition of information processing are basic functions of selective attention. Such mechanisms can be investigated by analyzing brain potentials under conditions of externally directed attention (intake of environmental information) versus internally directed attention (rejection of environmental stimuli and focusing on memory/planning processes). This study investigated brain direct current (DC) potential shifts—which are discussed to represent different states of cortical activation—of tasks that require intake and rejection of environmental information under noise. It was hypothesized that without background noise rejection tasks would show more positive DC potential changes compared to intake tasks and that under noise both kinds of tasks would show positive DC shifts as an expression of cortical inhibition caused by noise. DC potential shifts during intake and rejection tasks were analyzed at 16 standard locations in 45 persons during irrelevant speech or white noise vs. control condition. Without noise, rejection tasks were associated with more positive DC potential changes compared to intake tasks. During background noise, however, this difference disappeared and both kinds of tasks led to positive DC shifts. Results suggest—besides some limitations—that noise modulates selective attention mechanisms by switching to an environmental information processing and noise rejection mode, which could represent a suggested “attention shift”. Implications for fMRI studies as well as for public health in learning and performance environments including susceptible persons are discussed. PMID:25264675

  17. The selective role of ECM components on cell adhesion, morphology, proliferation and communication in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Schlie-Wolter, Sabrina; Ngezahayo, Anaclet; Chichkov, Boris N.

    2013-06-10

    Cell binding to the extracellular matrix (ECM) is essential for cell and tissue functions. In this context, each tissue consists of a unique ECM composition, which may be responsible for tissue-specific cell responses. Due to the complexity of ECM-cell interactions—which depend on the interplay of inside-out and outside-in signaling cascades, cell and tissue specificity of ECM-guidance is poorly understood. In this paper, we investigate the role of different ECM components like laminin, fibronectin, and collagen type I with respect to the essential cell behaviour patterns: attachment dynamics such as adhesion kinetic and force, formation of focal adhesion complexes, morphology, proliferation, and intercellular communication. A detailed in vitro comparison of fibroblasts, endothelial cells, osteoblasts, smooth muscle cells, and chondrocytes reveals significant differences in their cell responses to the ECM: cell behaviour follows a cell specific ligand priority ranking, which was independent of the cell type origin. Fibroblasts responded best to fibronectin, chondrocytes best to collagen I, the other cell types best to laminin. This knowledge is essential for optimization of tissue-biomaterial interfaces in all tissue engineering applications and gives insight into tissue-specific cell guidance. -- Highlights: • We analyse the impact of ECM components on cell behaviour in vitro. • We compare five different cell types, using the same culture conditions. • The ECM significantly guides all cell responses. • Cell behaviour follows a cell specific ligand-priority ranking. • This gives insight in tissue formation and is essential for biomedical applications.

  18. The telomerase template antagonist GRN163L alters MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell morphology, inhibits growth, and augments the effects of paclitaxel.

    PubMed

    Goldblatt, Erin M; Gentry, Erin R; Fox, Melanie J; Gryaznov, Sergei M; Shen, Changyu; Herbert, Brittney-Shea

    2009-07-01

    Telomeres are repetitive (TTAGGG)(n) DNA sequences found at the end of chromosomes that protect the ends from recombination, end to end fusions, and recognition as damaged DNA. Telomerase activity can be detected in 85% to 90% of human tumors, which stabilizes telomeres to prevent apoptosis or cellular senescence. Previous reports showed the efficacy of the novel telomerase template antagonist, GRN163L, as a potential anticancer agent. The objective of the present study was to elucidate the molecular effects of GRN163L in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and to determine whether GRN163L could be used in mechanism-based combination therapy for breast cancer. We observed that GRN163L reduced MDA-MB-231 growth rates without a significant effect on breast cancer cell viability within the first 14 days in vitro. In addition, GRN163L altered cell morphology, actin filament organization, and focal adhesion formation in MDA-MB-231 cells. Importantly, the cellular response to GRN163L significantly augmented the effects of the microtubule stabilizer paclitaxel in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo compared with paclitaxel alone or a mismatch control oligonucleotide plus paclitaxel. Furthermore, in vitro MDA-MB-231 invasive potential was significantly inhibited with GRN163L and paclitaxel. These data support a rationale for potentially combining GRN163L with paclitaxel for the treatment of breast cancer in the clinical setting. PMID:19509275

  19. Chronic ethanol exposure during adolescence through early adulthood in female rats induces emotional and memory deficits associated with morphological and molecular alterations in hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Ana Ca; Pereira, Maria Cs; Santana, Luana N da Silva; Fernandes, Rafael M; Teixeira, Francisco B; Oliveira, Gedeão B; Fernandes, Luanna Mp; Fontes-Júnior, Enéas A; Prediger, Rui D; Crespo-López, Maria E; Gomes-Leal, Walace; Lima, Rafael R; Maia, Cristiane do Socorro Ferraz

    2015-06-01

    There is increasing evidence that heavy ethanol exposure in early life may produce long-lasting neurobehavioral consequences, since brain structural maturation continues until adolescence. It is well established that females are more susceptible to alcohol-induced neurotoxicity and that ethanol consumption is increasing among women, especially during adolescence. In the present study, we investigated whether chronic ethanol exposure during adolescence through early adulthood in female rats may induce hippocampal histological damage and neurobehavioral impairments. Female rats were treated with distilled water or ethanol (6.5 g/kg/day, 22.5% w/v) by gavage from the 35(th)-90(th) day of life. Ethanol-exposed animals displayed reduced exploration of the central area and increased number of fecal boluses in the open field test indicative of anxiogenic responses. Moreover, chronic high ethanol exposure during adolescence induced marked impairments on short-term memory of female rats addressed on social recognition and step-down inhibitory avoidance tasks. These neurobehavioral deficits induced by ethanol exposure during adolescence through early adulthood were accompanied by the reduction of hippocampal formation volume as well as the loss of neurons, astrocytes and microglia cells in the hippocampus. These results indicate that chronic high ethanol exposure during adolescence through early adulthood in female rats induces long-lasting emotional and memory deficits associated with morphological and molecular alterations in the hippocampus. PMID:25922423

  20. Maternal separation and early stress cause long-lasting effects on dopaminergic and endocannabinergic systems and alters dendritic morphology in the nucleus accumbens and frontal cortex in rats.

    PubMed

    Romano-López, Antonio; Méndez-Díaz, Mónica; García, Fabio García; Regalado-Santiago, Citlalli; Ruiz-Contreras, Alejandra E; Prospéro-García, Oscar

    2016-08-01

    A considerable amount experimental studies have shown that maternal separation (MS) is associated with adult offspring abnormal behavior and cognition disorder. Accordingly, this experimental procedure has been proposed as a predictor for alcohol and drug dependence based on the neurodevelopmental soon after birth. Endocannabinoid system (eCBs) has been implicated in reward processes, including drug abuse and dependence. MS and associated stress causes changes in the eCBs that seem to facilitate alcohol consumption. In this study, we seek to evaluate potential morphological changes in neurons of the frontal cortex (FCx) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc), in the expression of receptors and enzymes of the endocannabinoid and dopamine systems and in second messengers, such as Akt, in adult rats subjected to MS and early stress (MS + ES; 2 × 180 min daily) vs. nonseparated rats (NMS). Results showed that MS + ES induces higher D2R expression and lower D3R, FAAH, and MAGL expression compared with NMS rats. Alterations in total dendritic length were also detected and were characterized by increases in the NAcc while there were decreases in the FCx. We believe MS + ES-induced changes in the dopaminergic and endocannabinergic systems and in the neuronal microstructure might be contributing to alcohol seeking behavior and, potential vulnerability to other drugs in rats. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 819-831, 2016. PMID:26539755

  1. Influence of sexual selection and feeding functional morphology on diversification rate of parrotfishes (Scaridae).

    PubMed

    Kazancioglu, Erem; Near, Thomas J; Hanel, Reinhold; Wainwright, Peter C

    2009-10-01

    Scaridae (parrotfishes) is a prominent clade of 96 species that shape coral reef communities worldwide through their actions as grazing herbivores. Phylogenetically nested within Labridae, the profound ecological impact and high species richness of parrotfishes suggest that their diversification and ecological success may be linked. Here, we ask whether parrotfish evolution is characterized by a significant burst of lineage diversification and whether parrotfish diversity is shaped more strongly by sexual selection or modifications of the feeding mechanism. We first examined scarid diversification within the greater context of labrid diversity. We used a supermatrix approach for 252 species to propose the most extensive phylogenetic hypothesis of Labridae to date, and time-calibrated the phylogeny with fossil and biogeographical data. Using divergence date estimates, we find that several parrotfish clades exhibit the highest diversification rates among all labrid lineages. Furthermore, we pinpoint a rate shift at the shared ancestor of Scarus and Chlorurus, a scarid subclade characterized by territorial behaviour and strong sexual dichromatism, suggesting that sexual selection was a major factor in parrotfish diversification. Modifications of the pharyngeal and oral jaws that happened earlier in parrotfish evolution may have contributed to this diversity by establishing parrotfishes as uniquely capable reef herbivores. PMID:19586949

  2. Influence of sexual selection and feeding functional morphology on diversification rate of parrotfishes (Scaridae)

    PubMed Central

    Kazancıoğlu, Erem; Near, Thomas J.; Hanel, Reinhold; Wainwright, Peter C.

    2009-01-01

    Scaridae (parrotfishes) is a prominent clade of 96 species that shape coral reef communities worldwide through their actions as grazing herbivores. Phylogenetically nested within Labridae, the profound ecological impact and high species richness of parrotfishes suggest that their diversification and ecological success may be linked. Here, we ask whether parrotfish evolution is characterized by a significant burst of lineage diversification and whether parrotfish diversity is shaped more strongly by sexual selection or modifications of the feeding mechanism. We first examined scarid diversification within the greater context of labrid diversity. We used a supermatrix approach for 252 species to propose the most extensive phylogenetic hypothesis of Labridae to date, and time-calibrated the phylogeny with fossil and biogeographical data. Using divergence date estimates, we find that several parrotfish clades exhibit the highest diversification rates among all labrid lineages. Furthermore, we pinpoint a rate shift at the shared ancestor of Scarus and Chlorurus, a scarid subclade characterized by territorial behaviour and strong sexual dichromatism, suggesting that sexual selection was a major factor in parrotfish diversification. Modifications of the pharyngeal and oral jaws that happened earlier in parrotfish evolution may have contributed to this diversity by establishing parrotfishes as uniquely capable reef herbivores. PMID:19586949

  3. IgH sequences in common variable immune deficiency reveal altered B cell development and selection**

    PubMed Central

    Roskin, Krishna M.; Simchoni, Noa; Liu, Yi; Lee, Ji-Yeun; Seo, Katie; Hoh, Ramona A.; Pham, Tho; Park, Joon H.; Furman, David; Dekker, Cornelia L.; Davis, Mark M.; James, Judith A.; Nadeau, Kari C.; Cunningham-Rundles, Charlotte; Boyd, Scott D.

    2015-01-01

    Common variable immune deficiency (CVID) is the most common symptomatic primary immune deficiency, affecting ∼1 in 25,000 persons. These patients suffer from impaired antibody responses, autoimmunity, and susceptibility to lymphoid cancers. To explore the cellular basis for these clinical phenotypes, we conducted high-throughput DNA sequencing of immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangements from 93 CVID patients and 105 control subjects and sorted naïve and memory B cells from 13 of the CVID patients and 10 of the control subjects. CVID patients showed abnormal VDJ rearrangement and abnormal formation of complementarity determining region 3 (CDR3). We observed decreased selection against antibodies with long CDR3 regions in memory repertoires and decreased V gene replacement, offering possible mechanisms for increased patient autoreactivity. Our data indicate that patient immunodeficiency might derive both from decreased diversity of the naïve B cell pool and decreased somatic hypermutation in memory repertoires. CVID patients also exhibited abnormal clonal expansion of unmutated B cells relative to controls. Although impaired B cell germinal center activation is commonly viewed as causative in CVID, these data indicate that CVID B cells diverge from controls as early as the pro-B cell stage and suggest possible explanations for the increased incidence of autoimmunity, immunodeficiency, and lymphoma CVID patients. PMID:26311730

  4. Reef fishes can recognize bleached habitat during settlement: sea anemone bleaching alters anemonefish host selection.

    PubMed

    Scott, Anna; Dixson, Danielle L

    2016-05-25

    Understanding how bleaching impacts the settlement of symbiotic habitat specialists and whether there is flexibility in settlement choices with regard to habitat quality is essential given our changing climate. We used five anemonefishes (Amphiprion clarkii, Amphiprion latezonatus, Amphiprion ocellaris, Amphiprion percula and Premnas biaculeatus) and three host sea anemones (Entacmaea quadricolor, Heteractis crispa and Heteractis magnifica) in paired-choice flume experiments to determine whether habitat naive juveniles have the olfactory capabilities to distinguish between unbleached and bleached hosts, and how this may affect settlement decisions. All anemonefishes were able to distinguish between bleached and unbleached hosts, and responded only to chemical cues from species-specific host anemones irrespective of health status, indicating a lack of flexibility in host use. While bleached hosts were selected as habitat, this occurred only when unbleached options were unavailable, with the exception of A. latezonatus, which showed strong preferences for H. crispa regardless of health. This study highlights the potential deleterious indirect impacts of declining habitat quality during larval settlement in habitat specialists, which could be important in the field, given that bleaching events are becoming increasingly common. PMID:27226472

  5. Altering small and medium alcohol selectivity in the wax ester synthase.

    PubMed

    Barney, Brett M; Ohlert, Janet M; Timler, Jacobe G; Lijewski, Amelia M

    2015-11-01

    The bifunctional wax ester synthase/acyl-coenzyme A:diacylglycerol acyltransferase (WS/DGAT or wax ester synthase) catalyzes the terminal reaction in the bacterial wax ester biosynthetic pathway, utilizing a range of alcohols and fatty acyl-CoAs to synthesize the corresponding wax ester. The wild-type wax ester synthase Maqu_0168 from Marinobacter aquaeolei VT8 exhibits a preference for longer fatty alcohols, while applications with smaller alcohols would yield products with desired biotechnological properties. Small and medium chain length alcohol substrates are much poorer substrates for the native enzyme, which may hinder broad application of the wax ester synthase in many proposed biosynthetic schemes. Developing approaches to improve enzyme activity toward specific smaller alcohol substrates first requires a clear understanding of which amino acids of the primary sequences of these enzymes contribute to substrate specificity in the native enzyme. In this report, we surveyed a range of potential residues and identified the leucine at position 356 and methionine at position 405 in Maqu_0168 as residues that affected selectivity toward small, branched, and aromatic alcohols when substituted with different amino acids. This analysis provides evidence of residues that line the binding site for wax ester synthase, which will aid rational approaches to improve this enzyme with specific substrates. PMID:26205519

  6. IgH sequences in common variable immune deficiency reveal altered B cell development and selection.

    PubMed

    Roskin, Krishna M; Simchoni, Noa; Liu, Yi; Lee, Ji-Yeun; Seo, Katie; Hoh, Ramona A; Pham, Tho; Park, Joon H; Furman, David; Dekker, Cornelia L; Davis, Mark M; James, Judith A; Nadeau, Kari C; Cunningham-Rundles, Charlotte; Boyd, Scott D

    2015-08-26

    Common variable immune deficiency (CVID) is the most common symptomatic primary immune deficiency, affecting ~1 in 25,000 persons. These patients suffer from impaired antibody responses, autoimmunity, and susceptibility to lymphoid cancers. To explore the cellular basis for these clinical phenotypes, we conducted high-throughput DNA sequencing of immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangements from 93 CVID patients and 105 control subjects and sorted naïve and memory B cells from 13 of the CVID patients and 10 of the control subjects. The CVID patients showed abnormal VDJ rearrangement and abnormal formation of complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3). We observed a decreased selection against antibodies with long CDR3s in memory repertoires and decreased variable gene replacement, offering possible mechanisms for increased patient autoreactivity. Our data indicate that patient immunodeficiency might derive from both decreased diversity of the naïve B cell pool and decreased somatic hypermutation in memory repertoires. The CVID patients also exhibited an abnormal clonal expansion of unmutated B cells relative to the controls. Although impaired B cell germinal center activation is commonly viewed as causative in CVID, these data indicate that CVID B cells diverge from controls as early as the pro-B stage, cell and suggest possible explanations for the increased incidence of autoimmunity, immunodeficiency, and lymphoma CVID patients. PMID:26311730

  7. Selective lesions of the cholinergic neurons within the posterior pedunculopontine do not alter operant learning or nicotine sensitization.

    PubMed

    MacLaren, Duncan A A; Wilson, David I G; Winn, Philip

    2016-04-01

    Cholinergic neurons within the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus have been implicated in a range of functions, including behavioral state control, attention, and modulation of midbrain and basal ganglia systems. Previous experiments with excitotoxic lesions have found persistent learning impairment and altered response to nicotine following lesion of the posterior component of the PPTg (pPPTg). These effects have been attributed to disrupted input to midbrain dopamine systems, particularly the ventral tegmental area. The pPPTg contains a dense collection of cholinergic neurons and also large numbers of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. Because these interdigitated populations of neurons are all susceptible to excitotoxins, the effects of such lesions cannot be attributed to one neuronal population. We wished to assess whether the learning impairments and altered responses to nicotine in excitotoxic PPTg-lesioned rats were due to loss of cholinergic neurons within the pPPTg. Selective depletion of cholinergic pPPTg neurons is achievable with the fusion toxin Dtx-UII, which targets UII receptors expressed only by cholinergic neurons in this region. Rats bearing bilateral lesions of cholinergic pPPTg neurons (>90 % ChAT+ neuronal loss) displayed no deficits in the learning or performance of fixed and variable ratio schedules of reinforcement for pellet reward. Separate rats with the same lesions had a normal locomotor response to nicotine and furthermore sensitized to repeated administration of nicotine at the same rate as sham controls. Previously seen changes in these behaviors following excitotoxic pPPTg lesions cannot be attributed solely to loss of cholinergic neurons. These findings indicate that non-cholinergic neurons within the pPPTg are responsible for the learning deficits and altered responses to nicotine seen after excitotoxic lesions. The functions of cholinergic neurons may be related to behavioral state control and attention rather than learning

  8. Selective alterations in cerebral metabolism within the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic system produced by acute cocaine administration in rats

    SciTech Connect

    Porrino, L.J.; Domer, F.R.; Crane, A.M.; Sokoloff, L.

    1988-05-01

    The 2-(/sup 14/C)deoxyglucose method was used to examine the effects of acute intravenous administration of cocaine on local cerebral glucose utilization in rats. These effects were correlated with the effects of cocaine on locomotor activity assessed simultaneously in the same animals. At the lowest dose of cocaine, 0.5 mg/kg (1.47 mumol/kg), alterations in glucose utilization were restricted to the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. Metabolic activity at 1.0 mg/kg (2.9 mumol/kg) was altered in these structures, but in the substantia nigra reticulata and lateral habenula as well. The selectivity of cocaine's effects at low doses demonstrates the particular sensitivity of these structures to cocaine's actions in the brain. In contrast, 5.0 mg/kg (14.7 mumol/kg) produced widespread changes in glucose utilization, particularly in the extrapyramidal system. Only this dose significantly increased locomotor activity above levels in vehicle-treated controls. Rates of glucose utilization were positively correlated with locomotor activity in the globus pallidus, substantia nigra reticulata, and subthalamic nucleus, and negatively correlated in the lateral habenula.

  9. Selection of an actinobacteria mixed culture for chlordane remediation. Pesticide effects on microbial morphology and bioemulsifier production.

    PubMed

    Fuentes, María S; Colin, Verónica L; Amoroso, María J; Benimeli, Claudia S

    2016-02-01

    Chlordane bioremediation using actinobacteria mixed culture is an attractive clean-up technique. Their ability to produce bioemulsifiers could increase the bioavailability of this pesticide. In order to select a defined actinobacteria mixed culture for chlordane remediation, compatibility assays were performed among six Streptomyces strains. The strains did not show growth inhibition, and they were assayed for chlordane removal, either as pure or as mixed cultures. In pure cultures, all of the strains showed specific dechlorination activity (1.42-24.20 EU mg(-1)) and chlordane removal abilities (91.3-95.5%). The specific dechlorination activity was mainly improved with cultures of three or four microorganisms. The mixed culture consisting of Streptomyces sp. A2-A5-A13 was selected. Their ability to produce bioemulsifiers in the presence of glucose or chlordane was tested, but no significant differences were observed (p > 0.05). However, the stability of the emulsions formed was linked to the carbon source used. Only in chlordane presence the emulsions retained 100% of their initial height. Finally, the selected consortium showed a high degree of sporulation in the pesticide presence. This is the first study on the effects that chlordane exerts on microbe morphology and emulsifier production for a defined mixed culture of Streptomyces with ability to remediate the pesticide. PMID:26554742

  10. Serine 574 phosphorylation alters transcriptional programming of FOXO3 by selectively enhancing apoptotic gene expression.

    PubMed

    Li, Z; Zhao, J; Tikhanovich, I; Kuravi, S; Helzberg, J; Dorko, K; Roberts, B; Kumer, S; Weinman, S A

    2016-04-01

    Forkhead box O3 (FOXO3) is a multispecific transcription factor that is responsible for multiple and conflicting transcriptional programs such as cell survival and apoptosis. The protein is heavily post-translationally modified and there is considerable evidence that post-transcriptional modifications (PTMs) regulate protein stability and nuclear-cytosolic translocation. Much less is known about how FOXO3 PTMs determine the specificity of its transcriptional program. In this study we demonstrate that exposure of hepatocytes to ethanol or exposure of macrophages to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induces the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)-dependent phosphorylation of FOXO3 at serine-574. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), mRNA and protein measurements demonstrate that p-574-FOXO3 selectively binds to promoters of pro-apoptotic genes but not to other well-described FOXO3 targets. Both unphosphorylated and p-574-FOXO3 bound to the B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) promoter, but the unphosphorylated form was a transcriptional activator, whereas p-574-FOXO3 was a transcriptional repressor. The combination of increased TRAIL (TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) and decreased Bcl-2 was both necessary and sufficient to induce apoptosis. LPS treatment of a human monocyte cell line (THP-1) induced FOXO3 S-574 phosphorylation and apoptosis. LPS-induced apoptosis was prevented by knockdown of FOXO3. It was restored by overexpressing wild-type FOXO3 but not by overexpressing a nonphosphorylatable S-574A FOXO3. Expression of an S-574D phosphomimetic form of FOXO3 induced apoptosis even in the absence of LPS. A similar result was obtained with mouse peritoneal macrophages where LPS treatment increased TRAIL, decreased Bcl-2 and induced apoptosis in wild-type but not FOXO3(-/-) cells. This work thus demonstrates that S-574 phosphorylation generates a specifically apoptotic form of FOXO3 with decreased transcriptional activity for other well-described FOXO3 functions. PMID:26470730

  11. Acute Stress Induces Selective Alterations in Cost/Benefit Decision-Making

    PubMed Central

    Shafiei, Naghmeh; Gray, Megan; Viau, Victor; Floresco, Stan B

    2012-01-01

    Acute stress can exert beneficial or detrimental effects on different forms of cognition. In the present study, we assessed the effects of acute restraint stress on different forms of cost/benefit decision-making, and some of the hormonal and neurochemical mechanisms that may underlie these effects. Effort-based decision-making was assessed where rats chose between a low effort/reward (1 press=2 pellets) or high effort/reward option (4 pellets), with the effort requirement increasing over 4 blocks of trials (2, 5, 10, and 20 lever presses). Restraint stress for 1 h decreased preference for the more costly reward and induced longer choice latencies. Control experiments revealed that the effects on decision-making were not mediated by general reductions in motivation or preference for larger rewards. In contrast, acute stress did not affect delay-discounting, when rats chose between a small/immediate vs larger/delayed reward. The effects of stress on decision-making were not mimicked by treatment with physiological doses of corticosterone (1–3 mg/kg). Blockade of dopamine receptors with flupenthixol (0.25 mg/kg) before restraint did not attenuate stress-induced effects on effort-related choice, but abolished effects on choice latencies. These data suggest that acute stress interferes somewhat selectively with cost/benefit evaluations concerning effort costs. These effects do not appear to be mediated solely by enhanced glucocorticoid activity, whereas dopaminergic activation may contribute to increased deliberation times induced by stress. These findings may provide insight into impairments in decision-making and anergia associated with stress-related disorders, such as depression. PMID:22569506

  12. Postmating sexual selection: allopatric evolution of sperm competition mechanisms and genital morphology in calopterygid damselflies (Insecta: Odonata).

    PubMed

    Cordero Rivera, A; Andrés, J A; Córdoba-Aguilar, A; Utzeri, C

    2004-02-01

    Postmating sexual selection theory predicts that in allopatry reproductive traits diverge rapidly and that the resulting differentiation in these traits may lead to restrictions to gene flow between populations and, eventually, reproductive isolation. In this paper we explore the potential for this premise in a group of damselflies of the family Calopterygidae, in which postmating sexual mechanisms are especially well understood. Particularly, we tested if in allopatric populations the sperm competition mechanisms and genitalic traits involved in these mechanisms have indeed diverged as sexual selection theory predicts. We did so in two different steps. First, we compared the sperm competition mechanisms of two allopatric populations of Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis (one Italian population studied here and one Spanish population previously studied). Our results indicate that in both populations males are able to displace spermathecal sperm, but the mechanism used for sperm removal between both populations is strikingly different. In the Spanish population males seem to empty the spermathecae by stimulating females, whereas in the Italian population males physically remove sperm from the spermathecae. Both populations also exhibit differences in genital morphometry that explain the use of different mechanisms: the male lateral processes are narrower than the spermathecal ducts in the Italian population, which is the reverse in the Spanish population. The estimated degree of phenotypic differentiation between these populations based on the genitalic traits involved in sperm removal was much greater than the differentiation based on a set of other seven morphological variables, suggesting that strong directional postmating sexual selection is indeed the main evolutionary force behind the reproductive differentiation between the studied populations. In a second step, we examined if a similar pattern in genital morphometry emerge in allopatric populations of this and other

  13. Changes in lagoonal marsh morphology at selected northeastern Atlantic coast sites of significance to migratory waterbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.; Sanders, G.M.; Prosser, D.J.

    2004-01-01

    Five lagoonal salt marsh areas, ranging from 220 ha to 3,670 ha, were selected from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to the southern DelMarVa peninsula, Virginia, USA to examine the degree to which Spartina marsh area and microhabitats had changed from the early or mid- 1900s to recent periods. We chose areas based on their importance to migratory bird populations, agency concerns about marsh loss and sea-level rise, and availability of historic imagery. We georeferenced and processed aerial photographs from a variety of sources ranging from 1932 to 1994. Of particular interest were changes in total salt marsh area, tidal creeks, tidal flats, tidal and non-tidal ponds, and open water habitats. Nauset Marsh, within Cape Cod National Seashore, experienced an annual marsh loss of 0.40% (19% from 1947 to 1994) with most loss attributed to sand overwash and conversion to open water. At Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in southern New Jersey, annual loss was 0.27% (17% from 1932 to 1995), with nearly equal attribution of loss to open water and tidal pond expansion. At Curlew Bay, Virginia, annual loss was 0.20% (9% from 1949 to 1994) and almost entirely due to perimeter erosion to open water. At Gull Marsh, Virginia, a site chosen because of known erosional losses, we recorded the highest annual loss rate, 0.67% per annum, again almost entirely due to erosional, perimeter loss. In contrast, at the southernmost site, Mockhorn Island Wildlife Management Area, Virginia, there was a net gain of 0.09% per annum (4% from 1949 to 1994), with tidal flats becoming increasingly vegetated. Habitat. implications for waterbirds are considerable; salt marsh specialists such as laughing gulls (Larus atricilla), Forster's terns (Sterna forsteri), black rail, (Laterallus jamaicensis), seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus), and saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrow (Ammodramus caudacutus) are particularly at risk if these trends continue, and all but the laughing gull are species of concern to state

  14. Expression of ZmGA20ox cDNA alters plant morphology and increases biomass production of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.).

    PubMed

    Do, Phat T; De Tar, Joann R; Lee, Hyeyoung; Folta, Michelle K; Zhang, Zhanyuan J

    2016-07-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is considered a model herbaceous energy crop for the USA, for its adaptation to marginal land, low rainfall and nutrient-deficient soils; however, its low biomass yield is one of several constraints, and this might be rectified by modulating plant growth regulator levels. In this study, we have determined whether the expression of the Zea mays gibberellin 20-oxidase (ZmGA20ox) cDNA in switchgrass will improve biomass production. The ZmGA20ox gene was placed under the control of constitutive CaMV35S promoter with a strong TMV omega enhancer, and introduced into switchgrass via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The transgene integration and expression levels of ZmGA20ox in T0 plants were analysed using Southern blot and qRT-PCR. Under glasshouse conditions, selected transgenic plants exhibited longer leaves, internodes and tillers, which resulted in twofold increased biomass. These phenotypic alterations correlated with the levels of transgene expression and the particular gibberellin content. Expression of ZmGA20ox also affected the expression of genes coding for key enzymes in lignin biosynthesis. Our results suggest that the employment of ectopic ZmGA20ox and selection for natural variants with high level expression of endogenous GA20ox are appropriate approaches to increase biomass production of switchgrass and other monocot biofuel crops. PMID:26801525

  15. Hydrogen Peroxide Alters Splicing of Soluble Guanylyl Cyclase and Selectively Modulates Expression of Splicing Regulators in Human Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Cote, Gilbert J.; Zhu, Wen; Thomas, Anthony; Martin, Emil; Murad, Ferid; Sharina, Iraida G.

    2012-01-01

    Background Soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) plays a central role in nitric oxide (NO)-mediated signal transduction in the cardiovascular, nervous and gastrointestinal systems. Alternative RNA splicing has emerged as a potential mechanism to modulate sGC expression and activity. C-α1 sGC is an alternative splice form that is resistant to oxidation-induced protein degradation and demonstrates preferential subcellular distribution to the oxidized environment of endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Methodology/Principal Findings Here we report that splicing of C-α1 sGC can be modulated by H2O2 treatment in BE2 neuroblastoma and MDA-MD-468 adenocarcinoma human cells. In addition, we show that the H2O2 treatment of MDA-MD-468 cells selectively decreases protein levels of PTBP1 and hnRNP A2/B1 splice factors identified as potential α1 gene splicing regulators by in silico analysis. We further demonstrate that down-regulation of PTBP1 by H2O2 occurs at the protein level with variable regulation observed in different breast cancer cells. Conclusions/Significance Our data demonstrate that H2O2 regulates RNA splicing to induce expression of the oxidation-resistant C-α1 sGC subunit. We also report that H2O2 treatment selectively alters the expression of key splicing regulators. This process might play an important role in regulation of cellular adaptation to conditions of oxidative stress. PMID:22911749

  16. Breeding biology and nest-site selection of red-tailed hawks in an altered desert grassland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hobbs, R.J.; DeStefano, S.; Halvorson, W.L.

    2006-01-01

    Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) have expanded their range as trees have invaded formerly-open grasslands. Desert grasslands of southern Arizona have been invaded by mesquite trees (Prosopis velutina) since Anglo-American settlement and now support a large population of Red-tailed Hawks. We studied a population of Red-tailed Hawks in an altered desert grassland in southern Arizona. Our objectives were to determine what environmental characteristics influence Red-tailed Hawk habitat selection in mesquite-invaded desert grasslands and to evaluate the habitat quality of these grasslands for Red-tailed Hawks based on nesting density, nest success, and productivity. Red-tailed Hawks had 86% (95% C.I. = 73-99) nest success and 1.82 young per breeding pair (95% C.I. = 1.41-2.23). Nesting density was 0.15 (95% CI = 0.08-0.21) breeding pairs/km2 and the mean nearest-neighbor distance was 1.95 km (95% C.I. = 1.74-2.16). Red-tailed Hawks selected nest-sites with taller nest-trees and greater tree height and cover than were available at random. Mesquite trees in desert grasslands provide abundant potential nesting structures for Red-tailed Hawks. ?? 2006 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  17. STRUCTURE AND MORPHOLOGY OF X-RAY-SELECTED ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEUS HOSTS AT 1 < z < 3 IN THE CANDELS-COSMOS FIELD

    SciTech Connect

    Fan, Lulu; Chen, Yang; Li, Jinrong; Lv, Xuanyi; Kong, Xu; Fang, Guanwen; Knudsen, Kirsten K.

    2014-03-20

    We analyze morphologies of the host galaxies of 35 X-ray-selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at z ∼ 2 in the Cosmic Evolution Survey field using Hubble Space Telescope/WFC3 imaging taken from the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey. We build a control sample of 350 galaxies in total by selecting 10 non-active galaxies drawn from the same field with a similar stellar mass and redshift for each AGN host. By performing two-dimensional fitting with GALFIT on the surface brightness profile, we find that the distribution of the Sérsic index (n) of AGN hosts does not show a statistical difference from that of the control sample. We measure the nonparametric morphological parameters (the asymmetry index A, the Gini coefficient G, the concentration index C, and the M {sub 20} index) based on point-source-subtracted images. All the distributions of these morphological parameters of AGN hosts are consistent with those of the control sample. We finally investigate the fraction of distorted morphologies in both samples by visual classification. Only ∼15% of the AGN hosts have highly distorted morphologies, possibly due to a major merger or interaction. We find there is no significant difference in the distortion fractions between the AGN host sample and control sample. We conclude that the morphologies of X-ray-selected AGN hosts are similar to those of non-active galaxies and most AGN activity is not triggered by a major merger.

  18. On the Thermus thermophilus HB8 potential pathogenicity triggered from rhamnolipids secretion: morphological alterations and cytotoxicity induced on fibroblastic cell line.

    PubMed

    Pantazaki, A A; Choli-Papadopoulou, T

    2012-05-01

    A limited number of bacterial strains usually grown under nutrient limitation secrete rhamnolipids (RLs), which are recorded as virulence factors that are implicated in the pathogenicity of a microorganism. The non-pathogenic T. thermophilus HB8 produces extracellular rhamnolipids (TthRLs) under defined cultivation conditions using sunflower seed oil and sodium gluconate as carbon sources. In particular, the secreted TthRLs have been isolated, purified and identified with ATR-FTIR. Their effects on the cells' viability were examined when they were supplemented in a culture of human skin fibroblasts. Purified TthRLs triggered a sequence of rapid and pronounced morphological alterations characterized by transformation of fibroblast shape from polygonal to fusiform; retraction with cytoplasm condensation, rounding up, distortion of nuclei and loss of lamellar processes, and finally disruption of membrane. The addition of TthRLs in the cultured fibroblasts caused cytotoxicity, in contrast to that of rhamnose that stimulated viability, as it was assessed by MTT test. These results revealed that among the constituents of RLs that are implicated in the cytotoxicity, it has to be attributed to the lipidic chain variation and not to the carbohydrate part. TthRLs cytotoxicity on fibroblasts is comparable, and provoked similar effects, to that caused by saponin white, a known surfactant. TthRLs secretion might be a crucial point for the transformation of a non-pathogenic bacterium to a pathogenic one under certain environmental conditions favoring their secretion. RLs secretion in the microorganism's world might be a general route for the passage in the pathogenicity to ensure their survival under nutrient limitation conditions. PMID:21611776

  19. Rats selectively bred for low levels of 50 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations exhibit alterations in early social motivation.

    PubMed

    Harmon, K M; Cromwell, H C; Burgdorf, J; Moskal, J R; Brudzynski, S M; Kroes, R A; Panksepp, J

    2008-05-01

    In rats, the rates of 50 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) can be used as a selective breeding phenotype and variations in this phenotype can be an indicator of affective states. The 50 kHz USV is elicited by rewarding stimuli (e.g., food, sexual behavior) and therefore can express a positive affective state. Conversely, the 22 kHz USV is elicited by aversive stimuli (e.g., presence of a predator, social defeat) indicating a negative affective state. In the present study, we tested the effect of selectively breeding for 50 kHz USVs on a variety of maternal social/emotional behaviors in young rat pups (PND 10-12). These measures consisted of an assessment of isolation calls and conditioned odor preference paradigm. Results indicate that animals selected for low levels of 50 kHz USVs show the greatest alterations in social behaviors compared to the control animals. The low line animals had an increase in isolation calls tested during place preference conditioning and a decrease in 50 kHz ultrasonic calls in all conditions. These same low line animals failed to show a typical preference for a maternally-associated odor during the place preference test. The different social behaviors of the high line animals did not consistently vary from those of the control group. These results have important implications for the study of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying emotional states, and possibly contribute to the research underlying the emotional changes in developmental disorders such as autistic spectrum disorder by providing a novel animal model that displays communication deficits that are interdependent with significant social behavioral impairments. PMID:18393285

  20. Bottles as models: predicting the effects of varying swimming speed and morphology on size selectivity and filtering efficiency in fishes.

    PubMed

    Paig-Tran, E W Misty; Bizzarro, Joseph J; Strother, James A; Summers, Adam P

    2011-05-15

    We created physical models based on the morphology of ram suspension-feeding fishes to better understand the roles morphology and swimming speed play in particle retention, size selectivity and filtration efficiency during feeding events. We varied the buccal length, flow speed and architecture of the gills slits, including the number, size, orientation and pore size/permeability, in our models. Models were placed in a recirculating flow tank with slightly negatively buoyant plankton-like particles (~20-2000 μm) collected at the simulated esophagus and gill rakers to locate the highest density of particle accumulation. Particles were captured through sieve filtration, direct interception and inertial impaction. Changing the number of gill slits resulted in a change in the filtration mechanism of particles from a bimodal filter, with very small (≤ 50 μm) and very large (>1000 μm) particles collected, to a filter that captured medium-sized particles (101-1000 μm). The number of particles collected on the gill rakers increased with flow speed and skewed the size distribution towards smaller particles (51-500 μm). Small pore sizes (105 and 200 μm mesh size) had the highest filtration efficiencies, presumably because sieve filtration played a significant role. We used our model to make predictions about the filtering capacity and efficiency of neonatal whale sharks. These results suggest that the filtration mechanics of suspension feeding are closely linked to an animal's swimming speed and the structural design of the buccal cavity and gill slits. PMID:21525310

  1. Morphological and genetic analyses reveal a cryptic species complex in the echinoid Echinocardium cordatum and rule out a stabilizing selection explanation.

    PubMed

    Egea, E; David, B; Choné, T; Laurin, B; Féral, J P; Chenuil, A

    2016-01-01

    Preliminary analyses revealed the presence of at least five mitochondrial clades within the widespread sea urchin Echinocardium cordatum (Spatangoida). In this study, we analyzed the genetic (two mitochondrial and two nuclear sequence loci) and morphological characteristics (20 indices) from worldwide samples of this taxon to establish the species limits, morphological diversity and differentiation. Co-occurring spatangoid species were also analyzed with mitochondrial DNA. The nuclear sequences confirm that mitochondrial lineages correspond to true genetic entities and reveal that two clades (named A and B1) hybridize in their sympatry area, although a more closely related pair of clades (B1 and B2), whose distributions widely overlap, does not display hybridization. The morphology of all E. cordatum clade pairs was significantly differentiated, but no morphological diagnostic character was evidenced. By contrast, other spatangoid species pairs that diverged more recently than the E. cordatum clades display clear diagnostic characters. Morphological diversity thus appears responsible for the absence of diagnostic characters, ruling out stabilizing selection, a classical explanation for cryptic species. Alternative classical explanations are (i) environmental plasticity or (ii) a high diversity of genes determining morphology, maintained by varying environmental conditions. We suggest a new hypothesis that the observed morphological diversity is selectively neutral and reflects high effective population sizes in the E. cordatum complex. It is supported by the higher abundance of this taxon compared with other taxa, a trend for the genetic and morphological diversity to be correlated in Europe, and the higher genetic and morphological diversities found in clades of E cordatum (except B1) than in other spatangoid samples in Europe. However, the Pacific clades do not confirm these trends. PMID:26265259

  2. 2-Cyclopropylimino-3-methyl-1,3-thiazoline hydrochloride alters lipopolysaccharide-induced proinflammatory cytokines and neuronal morphology in mouse fetal brain.

    PubMed

    Kim, Eun-A; Cho, Chang Hun; Choi, Soo Young; Ahn, Jee-Yin; Yang, Seung-Ju; Cho, Sung-Woo

    2016-03-01

    It is well documented that a maternal immune response to infection during pregnancy can cause neurodevelopmental damage. We demonstrate in our current study that maternally administered 2-cyclopropylimino-3-methyl-1,3-thiazoline hydrochloride (KHG26377), a novel thiazole derivative, prevents fetal malformations and neurodevelopmental deficits in offspring by blocking lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation. Administration of KHG26377 effectively regulated LPS-induced inflammatory markers and mediators such as soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, se-Selectin, macrophage chemoattractant protein-1, and cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant-1 in the maternal serum. Furthermore, maternally administered KHG26377 showed an inhibitory effect on the LPS-induced developmental toxicity by selectively suppressing the TNF-α level in maternal serum, amniotic fluid, placenta, fetal liver, and fetal brain as well as by suppression of LPS-induced nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), and myelin basic protein (MBP) levels in the fetal brain. In addition, pretreatment of neuronal cells with KHG26377 effectively reestablished the cell body morphology and microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) staining compared to the LPS-treated group in cortex primary neuronal cultures. Although the clinical relevance of our findings remains to be determined, our results provide novel insights into KHG26377 as a possible therapeutic agent to protect fetuses against various inflammatory responses. PMID:26522435

  3. Relationships between locomotor activation and alterations in brain temperature during selective blockade and stimulation of dopamine transmission.

    PubMed

    Brown, P L; Bae, D; Kiyatkin, E A

    2007-03-01

    It is well known that the dopamine (DA) system plays an essential role in the organization and regulation of brain activational processes. Various environmental stimuli that induce locomotor activation also increase DA transmission, while DA antagonists decrease spontaneous locomotion. Our previous work supports close relationships between locomotor activation and brain and body temperature increases induced by salient environmental challenges or occurring during motivated behavior. While this correlation was also true for psychomotor stimulant drugs such as methamphetamine and MDMA, more complex relationships or even inverted correlations were found for other drugs that are known to increase DA transmission (i.e. heroin and cocaine). In the present study we examined brain, muscle and skin temperatures together with conventional locomotion during selective interruption of DA transmission induced by a mixture of D1 and D2 antagonists (SCH-23390 and eticlopride at 0.2 mg/kg, s.c.) and its selective activation by apomorphine (APO; 0.05 and 0.25 mg/kg, i.v.) in rats. While full DA receptor blockade decreased spontaneous locomotion, it significantly increased brain, muscle and skin temperatures, suggesting metabolic brain activation under conditions of vasodilatation (or weakening of normal vascular tone). In contrast, APO strongly decreased skin temperature but tended to decrease brain and muscle temperatures despite strong hyperlocomotion and stereotypy. The brain temperature response to APO was strongly dependent on basal brain temperature, with hypothermia at high basal temperatures and weak hyperthermia at low temperatures. While supporting the role of DA in locomotor activation, these data suggest more complex relationships between drug-induced alterations in DA transmission, behavioral activation and metabolic brain activation. PMID:17196751

  4. Attenuating GABAA Receptor Signaling in Dopamine Neurons Selectively Enhances Reward Learning and Alters Risk Preference in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Jones G.; Wanat, Matthew J.; Soden, Marta E.; Ahmad, Kinza; Zweifel, Larry S.; Bamford, Nigel S.; Palmiter, Richard D.

    2011-01-01

    Phasic dopamine transmission encodes the value of reward-predictive stimuli and influences both learning and decision-making. Altered dopamine signaling is associated with psychiatric conditions characterized by risky choices such as pathological gambling. These observations highlight the importance of understanding how dopamine neuron activity is modulated. While excitatory drive onto dopamine neurons is critical for generating phasic dopamine responses, emerging evidence suggests that inhibitory signaling also modulates these responses. To address the functional importance of inhibitory signaling in dopamine neurons, we generated mice lacking the β3 subunit of the GABAA receptor specifically in dopamine neurons (β3-KO mice) and examined their behavior in tasks that assessed appetitive learning, aversive learning, and risk preference. Dopamine neurons in midbrain slices from β3-KO mice exhibited attenuated GABA-evoked inhibitory post-synaptic currents. Furthermore, electrical stimulation of excitatory afferents to dopamine neurons elicited more dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens of β3-KO mice as measured by fast-scan cyclic voltammetry. β3-KO mice were more active than controls when given morphine, which correlated with potential compensatory upregulation of GABAergic tone onto dopamine neurons. β3-KO mice learned faster in two food-reinforced learning paradigms, but extinguished their learned behavior normally. Enhanced learning was specific for appetitive tasks, as aversive learning was unaffected in β3-KO mice. Finally, we found that β3-KO mice had enhanced risk preference in a probabilistic selection task that required mice to choose between a small certain reward and a larger uncertain reward. Collectively, these findings identify a selective role for GABAA signaling in dopamine neurons in appetitive learning and decision-making. PMID:22114279

  5. Self-accommodation of B19' martensite in Ti-Ni shape memory alloys - Part I. Morphological and crystallographic studies of the variant selection rule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishida, M.; Nishiura, T.; Kawano, H.; Inamura, T.

    2012-06-01

    The self-accommodation morphologies of B19‧ martensite in Ti-Ni alloys have been investigated by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Twelve pairs of minimum units consisting of two habit plane variants (HPVs) with V-shaped morphology connected to a ? B19‧ type I variant accommodation twin were observed. Three types of self-accommodation morphologies, based on the V-shaped minimum unit, developed around one of the {111}B2 traces, which were triangular, rhombic and hexangular and consisted of three, four and six HPVs, respectively. In addition, the variant selection rule and the number of possible HPV combinations in each of these self-accommodation morphologies are discussed.

  6. Evaluation of a morphological marker selection and excision system to generate marker-free transgenic cassava plants.

    PubMed

    Saelim, Laddawan; Phansiri, Salak; Suksangpanomrung, Malinee; Netrphan, Supatcharee; Narangajavana, Jarunya

    2009-03-01

    The efficacy of the ipt-type Multi-Auto-Transformation (MAT) vector system to transform the extensively grown cassava cultivar "KU50" was evaluated. This system utilizes the isopentenyltransferase (ipt) gene as morphological marker for visual selection of transgenic lines. The extreme shooty phenotype (ESP) of transgenic lines is lost due to the removal of ipt gene mediated by the yeast Rint/RS system. As a result, phenotypically normal shoots, considered marker-free transgenic plants, could be obtained. When transforming KU50 cassava cultivar with two different ipt-type MAT vectors, transformation frequency at 19-21% was observed. Among the total number of ESP explants, 32-38% regained normal extended shoot phenotype and 88-96% of which were confirmed to represent the marker-free transgenic plants. This is the first demonstration of the efficacy of Rint/RS system in promoting excision of ipt marker gene in cassava specie, with the consequent rapid production of marker-free transgenic plants. The high efficiency of this system should facilitate pyramiding a number of transgenes by repeated transformation without having to undergo through laborious, expensive and time-consuming processes of sexual crossing and seed production. The generation of marker-free, thus environmentally safe, genetically modified cassava clones should also ease the public concerns regarding the use of transgenic cassava in both food and nonfood industries. PMID:19093119

  7. Morphology, structural properties and reducibility of size-selected CeO2− x nanoparticle films

    PubMed Central

    D’Addato, Sergio; Gasperi, Gabriele; Benedetti, Francesco; Luches, Paola; Grillo, Vincenzo; Bertoni, Giovanni; Valeri, Sergio

    2015-01-01

    Summary Non-stoichiometric ceria nanoparticles (NPs) were obtained by a gas aggregation source with a magnetron and were mass-selected with a quadrupole mass filter. By varying magnetron power, Ar gas flow, and the length of the aggregation tube, NPs with an average diameter of 6, 9, and 14 nm were synthesized and deposited onto a substrate, thus obtaining NP films. The morphology of the films was studied with scanning electron microscopy, while high resolution transmission electron microscopy was used to gain a deeper insight into the atomic structure of individual NPs. By using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy we analyzed the degree of reduction of the NPs of different diameters, before and after thermal treatments in vacuum (reduction cycle) and in O2 atmosphere (oxidation cycle) at different temperatures. From this analysis we inferred that the size is an important parameter only at intermediate temperatures. As a comparison, we evaluated the reducibility of an ultra-thin ceria film with the same surface to volume ratio as the 9 nm diameter NPs film, observing that NPs are more reducible than the ceria film. PMID:25671152

  8. Solvent Annealing in Selective Solvents: A Novel Method to Tune the Morphology of Low Band Gap Polymer:Bis-Fullerene Heterojunctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dadmun, Mark; Chen, Huipeng; Hsiao, Yu-Che; Hu, Bin

    2014-03-01

    One of the most important challenges facing our society is the development of technologies for renewable energy conversion. Polymeric bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) photovoltaics, based on conjugated polymers and fullerenes, are an economically viable option for low cost renewable power generation. The most promising conjugated polymer:fullerene active layers in organic photovoltaics now utilize low band-gap (LBG) copolymers. Unfortunately, for most of these LBG devices, the as-cast film is not usually optimal, and there are few further treatment available after film deposition to optimize the morphology. To address this problem, we have exploited the selective solubility of the LBG:fullerene nanocomposite components to direct the assembly of these mixtures by annealing in the vapor of a selective solvent. Our recent work demonstrates that annealing in a solvent that is selective to the fullerene forms a sample with fullerene aggregation, while annealing in a solvent vapor that is selective to the polymer forms a thin film with polymer precipitation. There is also a direct correlation between the resultant morphology and OPV performance, increasing PCE by 190%. These results indicate that solvent annealing and solvent choice provides a unique tool to precisely tune the morphology of CP:Fullerene BHJ systems, optimizing the morphology and performance of the active layer.

  9. A demographic transition altered the strength of selection for fitness and age-specific survival and fertility in a 19th century American population

    PubMed Central

    Moorad, Jacob A.

    2012-01-01

    Modernization has increased longevity and decreased fertility in many human populations, but it is not well understood how or to what extent these demographic transitions have altered patterns of natural selection. I integrate individual-based multivariate phenotypic selection approaches with evolutionary demographic methods to demonstrate how a demographic transition in 19th century female populations of Utah altered relationships between fitness and age-specific survival and fertility. Coincident with this demographic transition, natural selection for fitness, as measured by the opportunity for selection, increased by 13–20% over 65 years. Proportional contributions of age-specific survival to total selection (the complement to age-specific fertility) diminished from approximately 1/3 to 1/7 following a marked increase in infant survival. Despite dramatic reductions in age-specific fertility variance at all ages, the absolute magnitude of selection for fitness explained by age-specific fertility increased by approximately 45%. I show that increases in the adaptive potential of fertility traits followed directly from decreased population growth rates. These results suggest that this demographic transition has increased the adaptive potential of the Utah population, intensified selection on reproductive traits, and de-emphasized selection on survival-related traits. PMID:23730757

  10. Relationship between allozymes, heterozygosity and morphological characters in red deer (Cervus elaphus), and the influence of selective hunting on allele frequency distribution.

    PubMed

    Hartl, G B; Lang, G; Klein, F; Willing, R

    1991-06-01

    Morphological characters in red deer (Cervus elaphus), which serve as criteria for selective hunting, were examined in relation to electrophoretic variation in three populations from the Vosges in eastern France. From the polymorphic loci examined, certain alleles at Idh-2, Me-1 and Acp-1 showed significant associations with a special development of body and antler characters selected for by hunters. Idh-2(125) was associated with larger hind foot length in females and a higher number of antler points in males. Me-1(90) and Acp-1(100) were associated with small spikes. The populations studied differed from one another in the duration and intensity of selective hunting and the increase or decrease in the respective allele frequencies could be explained by selection for large body size, a high number of antler points and against small spikes in yearlings, rather than by genetic drift. Among other morphological characters examined, the length of the main beam was significantly associated with the allele Acp-2(100). In contrast, no associations could be detected between overall heterozygosity and the development or the degree of asymmetry (in paired structures) of any of the morphological traits in question. Although no obvious differences in the overall values of polymorphism or heterozygosity were found between the populations, selective hunting leads towards a change in allele frequencies and eventually to the loss of one or the other rare allele. PMID:1880046

  11. Blood morphology and the levels of selected cytokines related to hematopoiesis in occupational short-term exposure to lead.

    PubMed

    Dobrakowski, Michał; Boroń, Marta; Czuba, Zenon P; Birkner, Ewa; Chwalba, Artur; Hudziec, Edyta; Kasperczyk, Sławomir

    2016-08-15

    The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of a short-term exposure to lead on the blood morphology and the levels of selected cytokines related to hematopoiesis in occupationally exposed workers. The study population included 37 males occupationally exposed to lead for 36 to 44days. Their blood lead level raised from 10.7±7.67μg/dl at baseline to the level of 49.1±14.1μg/dl at the end of the study. The level of hemoglobin and values of MCH and MCHC were decreased due to a short-term exposure to lead by 2%, 2%, and 1%, respectively. The counts of WBC, LYM, and MXD increased significantly by 5%, 7%, and 35%. Similarly, the count of PLT increased by 7%, while PDW, MPV, and P-LCR decreased by 6%, 3%, and 9%, respectively. The levels of IL-7, G-CSF, HGF, PDGF AB/BB, SCF, and PECAM-1, decreased significantly by 30%, 33%, 8%, 30%, 25%, and 20%, respectively. A short-term occupational exposure to lead results in a decreased hemoglobin level and increased counts of WBC and PLT. Changes in counts and proportions of different types of leukocytes and decreased values of PLT indices, such as PDW, MPV, and P-LCR, due to the subacute lead-exposure may be associated with lead-induced decreased levels of cytokines related to hematopoiesis, including SCF, G-CSF, IL-7, and PDGF. PMID:27298078

  12. Genetic alterations in uncommon low-grade neuroepithelial tumors: BRAF, FGFR1, and MYB mutations occur at high frequency and align with morphology.

    PubMed

    Qaddoumi, Ibrahim; Orisme, Wilda; Wen, Ji; Santiago, Teresa; Gupta, Kirti; Dalton, James D; Tang, Bo; Haupfear, Kelly; Punchihewa, Chandanamali; Easton, John; Mulder, Heather; Boggs, Kristy; Shao, Ying; Rusch, Michael; Becksfort, Jared; Gupta, Pankaj; Wang, Shuoguo; Lee, Ryan P; Brat, Daniel; Peter Collins, V; Dahiya, Sonika; George, David; Konomos, William; Kurian, Kathreena M; McFadden, Kathryn; Serafini, Luciano Neder; Nickols, Hilary; Perry, Arie; Shurtleff, Sheila; Gajjar, Amar; Boop, Fredrick A; Klimo, Paul D; Mardis, Elaine R; Wilson, Richard K; Baker, Suzanne J; Zhang, Jinghui; Wu, Gang; Downing, James R; Tatevossian, Ruth G; Ellison, David W

    2016-06-01

    Low-grade neuroepithelial tumors (LGNTs) are diverse CNS tumors presenting in children and young adults, often with a history of epilepsy. While the genetic profiles of common LGNTs, such as the pilocytic astrocytoma and 'adult-type' diffuse gliomas, are largely established, those of uncommon LGNTs remain to be defined. In this study, we have used massively parallel sequencing and various targeted molecular genetic approaches to study alterations in 91 LGNTs, mostly from children but including young adult patients. These tumors comprise dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumors (DNETs; n = 22), diffuse oligodendroglial tumors (d-OTs; n = 20), diffuse astrocytomas (DAs; n = 17), angiocentric gliomas (n = 15), and gangliogliomas (n = 17). Most LGNTs (84 %) analyzed by whole-genome sequencing (WGS) were characterized by a single driver genetic alteration. Alterations of FGFR1 occurred frequently in LGNTs composed of oligodendrocyte-like cells, being present in 82 % of DNETs and 40 % of d-OTs. In contrast, a MYB-QKI fusion characterized almost all angiocentric gliomas (87 %), and MYB fusion genes were the most common genetic alteration in DAs (41 %). A BRAF:p.V600E mutation was present in 35 % of gangliogliomas and 18 % of DAs. Pathogenic alterations in FGFR1/2/3, BRAF, or MYB/MYBL1 occurred in 78 % of the series. Adult-type d-OTs with an IDH1/2 mutation occurred in four adolescents, the youngest aged 15 years at biopsy. Despite a detailed analysis, novel genetic alterations were limited to two fusion genes, EWSR1-PATZ1 and SLMAP-NTRK2, both in gangliogliomas. Alterations in BRAF, FGFR1, or MYB account for most pathogenic alterations in LGNTs, including pilocytic astrocytomas, and alignment of these genetic alterations and cytologic features across LGNTs has diagnostic implications. Additionally, therapeutic options based upon targeting the effects of these alterations are already in clinical trials. PMID:26810070

  13. Wettability alteration: A comprehensive review of materials/methods and testing the selected ones on heavy-oil containing oil-wet systems.

    PubMed

    Mohammed, Mohammedalmojtaba; Babadagli, Tayfun

    2015-06-01

    Changing the wetting state of materials is a growing field of research in many areas of engineering and science. In the oil industry, the term wettability alteration usually refers to the process of making the reservoir rock more water-wet. This is of particular importance in naturally hydrophobic carbonates, fractured formations, and heavy-oil systems. This shift in wettability enhances oil recovery in oil-wet and weakly water-wet reservoirs and eventually increases the ultimate oil recovery. For wettability alteration, two methods have been traditionally used: Thermal and chemical. Although many attempts have been made on reviewing the advancement of research in certain aspects of wettability, a comprehensive review of these techniques, especially in terms of the classification of the chemicals used, has been ignored. In this paper, we begin with this review and provide the past experience of wettability alteration in sandstone and carbonate reservoirs. More than 100 papers were reviewed extensively with an in-depth analysis of different methods suggested in literature. The areas of controversy and contradicted observations are discussed. The limitations and the applicability of each method were analyzed. Concerns on up-scaling laboratory findings to field scale are also addressed. The most promising potential methods are identified and their critical conditions highlighted. At the end, a selection of reviewed methods is validated experimentally for one of the most challenging cases: Extra heavy-oil and bitumen recovery from fractured-strongly-oil-wet carbonates. Berea sandstone (aged to be oil-wet) and Indiana limestone samples were saturated with heavy oil (3600cp). Next, the process was initiated by soaking the cores into solvent (heptane or diluent oil) and the oil recovery was estimated using refractive index measurements. Note that solvent was selected to dilute the oil and recover a considerable amount of oil as any chemical or thermal methods yielded

  14. Effect of Infection Duration on Habitat Selection and Morphology of Adult Echinostoma caproni (Digenea: Echinostomatidae) in ICR Mice.

    PubMed

    Platt, Thomas R; Zelmer, Derek A

    2016-02-01

    The course of infection of Echinostoma caproni was followed in female ICR mice, a permissive laboratory host, from infection to natural termination. Twenty-one mice were infected with 20 metacercariae via oral intubation and housed 3 per cage. Three mice from a randomly selected cage were necropsied at 1 mo intervals. A second group of 15 mice was infected approximately 1 yr later to replace mice negative at necropsy in the first group. Mice in the second group were examined weekly for the presence of eggs in the feces. Mice negative for eggs on consecutive days were killed and necropsied. The location of individual worms and worm clusters were located in 20 segments of the small intestine. Adult worms were killed and fixed in hot formalin, stained, and prepared as whole mounts. Standard measurements were taken using a compound microscope fitted with an ocular micrometer. The infection spontaneously resolved in 10 mice from 7 to 32 wk PI, indicating the host response is highly variable and extending the maximum recorded length of E. caproni infections in ICR mice to 31 wk. A moribund worm was found in the feces of an animal that continued to pass eggs for an additional 2 mo indicating individual variation in worm responses. Worms located preferentially in the ileum (segments 11-13) during the first 3 mo of the infection but shifted to the jejunum (segments 8-9) during weeks 4-6. Morphologically, worms of different ages clustered together in multivariate space, with substantial overlap between the 3- and 4-mo-old infrapopulations and between the 5- and 6-mo-old infrapopulations. Muscular structures increased in size throughout the experiment, while the gonads increased in size for the first 3 mo and then declined during the last 3 mo. The relationship between E. caproni and ICR mice is more nuanced than previously reported. The reduction in gonad size and the shift from the ileum to the jejunum in the last 3 mo likely are related. These changes might be attributable

  15. Nutritional Omega-3 Deficiency Alters Glucocorticoid Receptor-Signaling Pathway and Neuronal Morphology in Regionally Distinct Brain Structures Associated with Emotional Deficits.

    PubMed

    Larrieu, Thomas; Hilal, Muna L; De Smedt-Peyrusse, Véronique; Sans, Nathalie; Layé, Sophie

    2016-01-01

    Extensive evidence suggests that long term dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) deficiency results in altered emotional behaviour. We have recently demonstrated that n-3 PUFAs deficiency induces emotional alterations through abnormal corticosterone secretion which leads to altered dendritic arborisation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Here we show that hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis feedback inhibition was not compromised in n-3 deficient mice. Rather, glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling pathway was inactivated in the PFC but not in the hippocampus of n-3 deficient mice. Consequently, only dendritic arborisation in PFC was affected by dietary n-3 PUFAs deficiency. In addition, occlusion experiment with GR blockade altered GR signaling in the PFC of control mice, with no further alterations in n-3 deficient mice. In conclusion, n-3 PUFAs deficiency compromised PFC, leading to dendritic atrophy, but did not change hippocampal GR function and dendritic arborisation. We argue that this GR sensitivity contributes to n-3 PUFAs deficiency-related emotional behaviour deficits. PMID:27057368

  16. Nutritional Omega-3 Deficiency Alters Glucocorticoid Receptor-Signaling Pathway and Neuronal Morphology in Regionally Distinct Brain Structures Associated with Emotional Deficits

    PubMed Central

    Larrieu, Thomas; Hilal, Muna L.; De Smedt-Peyrusse, Véronique; Sans, Nathalie; Layé, Sophie

    2016-01-01

    Extensive evidence suggests that long term dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) deficiency results in altered emotional behaviour. We have recently demonstrated that n-3 PUFAs deficiency induces emotional alterations through abnormal corticosterone secretion which leads to altered dendritic arborisation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Here we show that hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis feedback inhibition was not compromised in n-3 deficient mice. Rather, glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling pathway was inactivated in the PFC but not in the hippocampus of n-3 deficient mice. Consequently, only dendritic arborisation in PFC was affected by dietary n-3 PUFAs deficiency. In addition, occlusion experiment with GR blockade altered GR signaling in the PFC of control mice, with no further alterations in n-3 deficient mice. In conclusion, n-3 PUFAs deficiency compromised PFC, leading to dendritic atrophy, but did not change hippocampal GR function and dendritic arborisation. We argue that this GR sensitivity contributes to n-3 PUFAs deficiency-related emotional behaviour deficits. PMID:27057368

  17. Morphological selection and the evaluation of potential tradeoffs between escape from predators and the climbing of waterfalls in the Hawaiian stream goby Sicyopterus stimpsoni.

    PubMed

    Blob, Richard W; Kawano, Sandy M; Moody, Kristine N; Bridges, William C; Maie, Takashi; Ptacek, Margaret B; Julius, Matthew L; Schoenfuss, Heiko L

    2010-12-01

    Environmental pressures may vary over the geographic range of a species, exposing subpopulations to divergent functional demands. How does exposure to competing demands shape the morphology of species and influence the divergence of populations? We explored these questions by performing selection experiments on juveniles of the Hawaiian goby Sicyopterus stimpsoni, an amphidromous fish that exhibits morphological differences across portions of its geographic range where different environmental pressures predominate. Juvenile S. stimpsoni face two primary and potentially opposing selective pressures on body shape as they return from the ocean to freshwater streams on islands: (1) avoiding predators in the lower reaches of a stream; and (2) climbing waterfalls to reach the habitats occupied by adults. These pressures differ in importance across the Hawaiian Islands. On the youngest island, Hawai'i, waterfalls are close to shore, thereby minimizing exposure to predators and placing a premium on climbing performance. In contrast, on the oldest major island, Kaua'i, waterfalls have eroded further inland, lengthening the exposure of juveniles to predators before migrating juveniles begin climbing. Both juvenile and adult fish show differences in body shape between these islands that would be predicted to improve evasion of predators by fish from Kaua'i (e.g., taller bodies that improve thrust) and climbing performance for fish from Hawai'i (e.g., narrower bodies that reduce drag), matching the prevailing environmental demand on each island. To evaluate how competing selection pressures and functional tradeoffs contribute to the divergence in body shape observed in S. stimpsoni, we compared selection imposed on juvenile body shape by (1) predation by the native fish Eleotris sandwicensis versus (2) climbing an artificial waterfall (∼100 body lengths). Some variables showed opposing patterns of selection that matched predictions: for example, survivors of predation had

  18. Multiple behavioural, morphological and cognitive developmental changes arise from a single alteration to early life spatial environment, resulting in fitness consequences for released pheasants

    PubMed Central

    Whiteside, Mark A.; Sage, Rufus; Madden, Joah R.

    2016-01-01

    Subtle variations in early rearing environment influence morphological, cognitive and behavioural processes that together impact on adult fitness. We manipulated habitat complexity experienced by young pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) in their first seven weeks, adding a third accessible dimension by placing elevated perches in their rearing pens mimicking natural variation in habitat complexity. This simple manipulation provoked an interrelated suite of morphological, cognitive and behavioural changes, culminating in decreased wild mortality of birds from complex habitats compared with controls. Three mechanisms contribute to this: Pheasants reared with perches had a morphology which could enable them to fly to the higher branches and cope with prolonged roosting. They had a higher propensity to roost off the ground at night in the wild. More generally, these birds had more accurate spatial memory. Consequently, birds were at a reduced risk of terrestrial predation. The fitness consequences of variation in early rearing on behavioural development are rarely studied in the wild but we show that this is necessary because the effects can be broad ranging and not simple, depending on a complex interplay of behavioural, cognitive and morphological elements, even when effects that the treatments provoke are relatively short term and plastic. PMID:27069666

  19. Altered microglia morphology and higher resilience to stress-induced depression-like behavior in CX3CR1-deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Hellwig, Sabine; Brioschi, Simone; Dieni, Sandra; Frings, Lars; Masuch, Annette; Blank, Thomas; Biber, Knut

    2016-07-01

    Microglia are suggested to be involved in several neuropsychiatric diseases. Indeed changes in microglia morphology have been reported in different mouse models of depression. A crucial regulatory system for microglia function is the well-defined CX3C axis. Thus, we aimed to clarify the role of microglia and CX3CR1 in depressive behavior by subjecting CX3CR1-deficient mice to a particular chronic despair model (CDM) paradigm known to exhibit face validity to major depressive disorder. In wild-type mice we observed the development of chronic depressive-like behavior after 5days of repetitive swim stress. 3D-reconstructions of Iba-1-labeled microglia in the dentate molecular layer revealed that behavioral effects were associated with changes in microglia morphology towards a state of hyper-ramification. Chronic treatment with the anti-depressant venlafaxine ameliorated depression-like behavior and restored microglia morphology. In contrast, CX3CR1 deficient mice showed a clear resistance to either (i) stress-induced depressive-like behavior, (ii) changes in microglia morphology and (iii) antidepressant treatment. Our data point towards a role of hyper-ramified microglia in the etiology of chronic depression. The lack of effects in CX3CR1 deficient mice suggests that microglia hyper-ramification is controlled by neuron-microglia signaling via the CX3C axis. However, it remains to be elucidated how hyper-ramified microglia contribute to depressive-like behavior. PMID:26576722

  20. Multiple behavioural, morphological and cognitive developmental changes arise from a single alteration to early life spatial environment, resulting in fitness consequences for released pheasants.

    PubMed

    Whiteside, Mark A; Sage, Rufus; Madden, Joah R

    2016-03-01

    Subtle variations in early rearing environment influence morphological, cognitive and behavioural processes that together impact on adult fitness. We manipulated habitat complexity experienced by young pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) in their first seven weeks, adding a third accessible dimension by placing elevated perches in their rearing pens mimicking natural variation in habitat complexity. This simple manipulation provoked an interrelated suite of morphological, cognitive and behavioural changes, culminating in decreased wild mortality of birds from complex habitats compared with controls. Three mechanisms contribute to this: Pheasants reared with perches had a morphology which could enable them to fly to the higher branches and cope with prolonged roosting. They had a higher propensity to roost off the ground at night in the wild. More generally, these birds had more accurate spatial memory. Consequently, birds were at a reduced risk of terrestrial predation. The fitness consequences of variation in early rearing on behavioural development are rarely studied in the wild but we show that this is necessary because the effects can be broad ranging and not simple, depending on a complex interplay of behavioural, cognitive and morphological elements, even when effects that the treatments provoke are relatively short term and plastic. PMID:27069666

  1. TERMINAL ARBORS OF AXONS PROJECTING TO THE SOMATOSENSORY CORTEX OF THE ADULT RAT. 2. THE ALTERED MORPHOLOGY OF THALAMOCORTICAL AFFERENTS FOLLOWING NEONATAL INFRAORBITAL NERVE CUT (JOURNAL VERSION)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The organization of the whisker representation within the neocortex of the rat is dependent on an intact periphery during development. To further investigate how alterations in the cortical map arise the authors examined the organization of thalamocortical afferents to the whiske...

  2. Control of morphology and function of low band gap polymer bis-fullerene mixed heterojunctions in organic photovoltaics with selective solvent vapor annealing.

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Huipeng; Hsiao, Yu-Che; Dadmun, Mark D

    2014-01-01

    Replacing PCBM with a bis-adduct fullerene (i.e. ICBA) has been reported to significantly improve the open circuit voltage (VOC) and power conversion efficiency (PCE) in P3HT bulk heterojunctions. However, for the most promising low band-gap polymer (LBP) systems, replacing PCBM with ICBA results in very poor shortcircuit current (JSC) and PCE although the VOC is significantly improved. Therefore, in this work, we have completed small angle neutron scattering and neutron reflectometry experiments to study the impact of post-deposition solvent annealing (SA) with control of solvent quality on the morphology and performance of LBP bis-fullerene BHJ photovoltaics. The results show that SA in a solvent that is selective for the LBP results in a depletion of bis-fullerene near the air surface, which limits device performance. SA in a solvent vapor which has similar solubility for polymer and bis-fullerene results in a higher degree of polymer ordering, bis-fullerene phase separation, and segregation of the bis-fullerene to the air surface, which facilitates charge transport and increases power conversion efficiency (PCE) by 100%. The highest degree of polymer ordering combined with significant bis-fullerene phase separation and segregation of bis-fullerene to the air surface is obtained by SA in a solvent vapor that is selective for the bis-fullerene. The resultant morphology increases PCE by 190%. These results indicate that solvent annealing with judicious solvent choice provides a unique tool to tune the morphology of LBP bisfullerene BHJ system, providing sufficient polymer ordering, formation of a bis-fullerene pure phase, and segregation of bis-fullerene to the air surface to optimize the morphology of the active layer. Moreover, this process is broadly applicable to improving current disappointing LBP bis-fullerene systems to optimize their morphology and OPV performance post-deposition, including higher VOC and power conversion efficiency.

  3. Control of morphology and function of low band gap polymer-bis-fullerene mixed heterojunctions in organic photovoltaics with selection solvent vapor annealing

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Huipeng; Hsiao, Yu-Che; Hu, Bin; Dadmun, Mark D

    2014-01-01

    Replacing PCBM with a bis-adduct fullerene (i.e. ICBA) has been reported to significantly improve the open circuit voltage (VOC) and power conversion efficiency (PCE) in P3HT bulk heterojunctions. However, for the most promising low band-gap polymer (LBP) systems, replacing PCBM with ICBA results in very poor shortcircuit current (JSC) and PCE although the VOC is significantly improved. Therefore, in this work, we have completed small angle neutron scattering and neutron reflectometry experiments to study the impact of post-deposition solvent annealing (SA) with control of solvent quality on the morphology and performance of LBP bis-fullerene BHJ photovoltaics. The results show that SA in a solvent that is selective for the LBP results in a depletion of bis-fullerene near the air surface, which limits device performance. SA in a solvent vapor which has similar solubility for polymer and bis-fullerene results in a higher degree of polymer ordering, bis-fullerene phase separation, and segregation of the bis-fullerene to the air surface, which facilitates charge transport and increases power conversion efficiency (PCE) by 100%. The highest degree of polymer ordering combined with significant bis-fullerene phase separation and segregation of bis-fullerene to the air surface is obtained by SA in a solvent vapor that is selective for the bis-fullerene. The resultant morphology increases PCE by 190%. These results indicate that solvent annealing with judicious solvent choice provides a unique tool to tune the morphology of LBP bisfullerene BHJ system, providing sufficient polymer ordering, formation of a bis-fullerene pure phase, and segregation of bis-fullerene to the air surface to optimize the morphology of the active layer. Moreover, this process is broadly applicable to improving current disappointing LBP bis-fullerene systems to optimize their morphology and OPV performance post-deposition, including higher VOC and power conversion efficiency.

  4. Morphological selection in an extreme flow environment: body shape and waterfall-climbing success in the Hawaiian stream fish Sicyopterus stimpsoni.

    PubMed

    Blob, Richard W; Bridges, William C; Ptacek, Margaret B; Maie, Takashi; Cediel, Roberto A; Bertolas, Morgan M; Julius, Matthew L; Schoenfuss, Heiko L

    2008-12-01

    Flow characteristics are a prominent factor determining body shapes in aquatic organisms, and correlations between body shape and ambient flow regimes have been established for many fish species. In this study, we investigated the potential for a brief period of extreme flow to exert selection on the body shape of juvenile climbing Hawaiian gobiid fishes. Because of an amphidromous life history, juvenile gobies that complete an oceanic larval phase return to freshwater habitats, where they become adults. Returning juveniles often must scale waterfalls (typically with the use of a ventral sucker) in order to reach the habitats they will use as adults, thereby exposing these animals to brief periods of extreme velocities of flow. Hydrodynamic theory predicts that bodies with larger suckers and with lower heights that reduce drag would have improved climbing success and, thus, be well suited to meet the demands of the flows in waterfalls. To test the potential for the flow environment of waterfalls to impose selection that could contribute to differences in body shape between islands, we subjected juvenile Sicyopterus stimpsoni to climbing trials up artificial waterfalls (∼100 body lengths) and measured differences in body shape between successful and unsuccessful climbers. Waterfalls appear to represent a significant selective barrier to these fishes, as nearly 30% failed our climbing test. However, the effects of selection on morphology were not straightforward, as significant differences in shape between successful and unsuccessful climbers did not always match hydrodynamic predictions. In both selection experiments and in adult fish collected from habitats with different prevailing conditions of flow (the islands of Hawai'i versus Kaua'i), lower head heights were associated with exposure to high-flow regimes, as predicted by hydrodynamic theory. Thus, a premium appears to be placed on the reduction of drag via head morphology throughout the ontogeny of this

  5. Morphology and activity of vanadium-containing catalysts for the selective oxidation of benzene to maleic anhydride

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dosumov, K.; Ergazieva, G. E.

    2012-11-01

    The morphology and activity of vanadium catalysts are studied using a number of physicochemical methods: electron microscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance, and infrared spectroscopy. It is found that the active agent of the conversion of benzene to maleic anhydride over modified vanadium catalysts is the V4+ ion in the vanadyl configuration.

  6. Silencing the hydroxyproline-rich glycopeptide systemin precursor in two accessions of Nicotiana attenuata alters flower morphology and rates of self-pollination.

    PubMed

    Berger, Beatrice; Baldwin, Ian T

    2009-04-01

    Systemins and their hydroxyproline-rich glycopeptide systemin (ppHS) subfamily members are known to mediate antiherbivore defenses in some solanaceous taxa but not others; functions other than in defense remain largely unexplored. Nicotiana attenuata's ppHS is known not to function in herbivore defense. NappHS transcripts are abundant in flowers, particularly in pistils, and when two N. attenuata accessions from Utah and Arizona were transformed to silence NappHS by RNAi (IRsys), seed capsule production and seed number per capsule were reduced in both accessions. These reductions in reproductive performance could not be attributed to impaired pollen or ovule viability; hand-pollination of all IRsys lines of both accessions restored seed production per capsule to levels found in wild-type plants. Rather, changes in flower morphology that decreased the efficiency of self-pollination are likely responsible: IRsys plants of both accessions have flowers with pistils that protrude beyond their anthers. Because these changes in flower morphology are reminiscent of CORONATINE-INSENSITIVE1-silenced N. attenuata plants, we measured jasmonates (JAs) and their biosynthetic transcripts in different floral developmental stages, and found levels of JA-isoleucine (Ile)/leucine and threonine deaminase transcripts, which are abundant in wild-type pistils, to be significantly reduced in IRsys buds and flowers. Threonine deaminase supplies Ile for JA-Ile biosynthesis, and we propose that ppHS mediates JA signaling during flower development and thereby changes flower morphology. These results suggest that the function of ppHS family members in N. attenuata may have diversified to modulate flower morphology and thereby outcrossing rates in response to biotic or abiotic stresses. PMID:19211701

  7. Rac1 Participates in Thermally Induced Alterations of the Cytoskeleton, Cell Morphology and Lipid Rafts, and Regulates the Expression of Heat Shock Proteins in B16F10 Melanoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gungor, Burcin; Gombos, Imre; Crul, Tim; Ayaydin, Ferhan; Szabó, László; Török, Zsolt; Mátés, Lajos; Vígh, László; Horváth, Ibolya

    2014-01-01

    Eukaryotic cells exhibit a characteristic response to hyperthermic treatment, involving morphological and cytoskeletal alterations and the induction of heat shock protein synthesis. Small GTPases of the Ras superfamily are known to serve as molecular switches which mediate responses to extracellular stimuli. We addressed here how small GTPase Rac1 integrates signals from heat stress and simultaneously induces various cellular changes in mammalian cells. As evidence that Rac1 is implicated in the heat shock response, we first demonstrated that both mild (41.5°C) and severe (43°C) heat shock induced membrane translocation of Rac1. Following inhibition of the activation or palmitoylation of Rac1, the size of its plasma membrane-bound pool was significantly decreased while the heat shock-induced alterations in the cytoskeleton and cell morphology were prevented. We earlier documented that the size distribution pattern of cholesterol-rich rafts is temperature dependent and hypothesized that this is coupled to the triggering mechanism of stress sensing and signaling. Interestingly, when plasma membrane localization of Rac1 was inhibited, a different and temperature independent average domain size was detected. In addition, inhibition of the activation or palmitoylation of Rac1 resulted in a strongly decreased expression of the genes of major heat shock proteins hsp25 and hsp70 under both mild and severe heat stress conditions. PMID:24586549

  8. The Most Luminous Heavily Obscured Quasars Have a High Merger Fraction: Morphological Study of WISE-selected Hot Dust-obscured Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Lulu; Han, Yunkun; Fang, Guanwen; Gao, Ying; Zhang, Dandan; Jiang, Xiaoming; Wu, Qiaoqian; Yang, Jun; Li, Zhao

    2016-05-01

    Previous studies have shown that Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer-selected hyperluminous, hot dust-obscured galaxies (Hot DOGs) are powered by highly dust-obscured, possibly Compton-thick active galactic nuclei (AGNs). High obscuration provides us a good chance to study the host morphology of the most luminous AGNs directly. We analyze the host morphology of 18 Hot DOGs at z ˜ 3 using Hubble Space Telescope/WFC3 imaging. We find that Hot DOGs have a high merger fraction (62 ± 14%). By fitting the surface brightness profiles, we find that the distribution of Sérsic indices in our Hot DOG sample peaks around 2, which suggests that most Hot DOGs have transforming morphologies. We also derive the AGN bolometric luminosity (˜1014 L ⊙) of our Hot DOG sample by using IR spectral energy distributions decomposition. The derived merger fraction and AGN bolometric luminosity relation is well consistent with the variability-based model prediction. Both the high merger fraction in an IR-luminous AGN sample and relatively low merger fraction in a UV/optical-selected, unobscured AGN sample can be expected in the merger-driven evolutionary model. Finally, we conclude that Hot DOGs are merger-driven and may represent a transit phase during the evolution of massive galaxies, transforming from the dusty starburst-dominated phase to the unobscured QSO phase.

  9. The Most Luminous Heavily Obscured Quasars Have a High Merger Fraction: Morphological Study of WISE-selected Hot Dust-obscured Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Lulu; Han, Yunkun; Fang, Guanwen; Gao, Ying; Zhang, Dandan; Jiang, Xiaoming; Wu, Qiaoqian; Yang, Jun; Li, Zhao

    2016-05-01

    Previous studies have shown that Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer-selected hyperluminous, hot dust-obscured galaxies (Hot DOGs) are powered by highly dust-obscured, possibly Compton-thick active galactic nuclei (AGNs). High obscuration provides us a good chance to study the host morphology of the most luminous AGNs directly. We analyze the host morphology of 18 Hot DOGs at z ∼ 3 using Hubble Space Telescope/WFC3 imaging. We find that Hot DOGs have a high merger fraction (62 ± 14%). By fitting the surface brightness profiles, we find that the distribution of Sérsic indices in our Hot DOG sample peaks around 2, which suggests that most Hot DOGs have transforming morphologies. We also derive the AGN bolometric luminosity (∼1014 L ⊙) of our Hot DOG sample by using IR spectral energy distributions decomposition. The derived merger fraction and AGN bolometric luminosity relation is well consistent with the variability-based model prediction. Both the high merger fraction in an IR-luminous AGN sample and relatively low merger fraction in a UV/optical-selected, unobscured AGN sample can be expected in the merger-driven evolutionary model. Finally, we conclude that Hot DOGs are merger-driven and may represent a transit phase during the evolution of massive galaxies, transforming from the dusty starburst-dominated phase to the unobscured QSO phase.

  10. Modification of the carboxy-terminal flanking region of a universal influenza epitope alters CD4+ T-cell repertoire selection

    PubMed Central

    Cole, David K.; Gallagher, Kathleen; Lemercier, Brigitte; Holland, Christopher J.; Junaid, Sayed; Hindley, James P.; Wynn, Katherine K.; Gostick, Emma; Sewell, Andrew K.; Gallimore, Awen M.; Ladell, Kristin; Price, David A.; Gougeon, Marie-Lise; Godkin, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    Human CD4+ αβ T cells are activated via T-cell receptor recognition of peptide epitopes presented by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II (MHC-II). The open ends of the MHC-II binding groove allow peptide epitopes to extend beyond a central nonamer core region at both the amino- and carboxy-terminus. We have previously found that these non-bound C-terminal residues can alter T cell activation in an MHC allele-transcending fashion, although the mechanism for this effect remained unclear. Here we show that modification of the C-terminal peptide-flanking region of an influenza hemagglutinin (HA305−320) epitope can alter T-cell receptor binding affinity, T-cell activation and repertoire selection of influenza-specific CD4+ T cells expanded from peripheral blood. These data provide the first demonstration that changes in the C-terminus of the peptide-flanking region can substantially alter T-cell receptor binding affinity, and indicate a mechanism through which peptide flanking residues could influence repertoire selection. PMID:22314361

  11. Diethylstilbestrol alters positive and negative selection of T cells in the thymus and modulates T-cell repertoire in the periphery

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Nicole; Nagarkatti, Mitzi; Nagarkatti, Prakash S. . E-mail: pnagark@hsc.vcu.edu

    2006-04-15

    Prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) is known to cause altered immune functions and increased susceptibility to autoimmune disease in humans. In the current study, we investigated the effects of DES on T-cell differentiation in the thymus using the HY-TCR transgenic (Tg) mouse model in which the female mice exhibit positive selection of T cells bearing the Tg TCR, while the male mice show negative selection of such T cells. In female HY-TCR-Tg mice, exposure to DES showed more pronounced decrease in thymic cellularity when compared to male mice. Additionally, female mice also showed a significant decrease in the proportion of double-positive (DP) T cells in the thymus and HY-TCR-specific CD8{sup +} T cells in the periphery. Male mice exhibiting negative selection also showed decreased thymic cellularity following DES exposure. Moreover, the male mice showed increased proportion of double-negative (DN) T cells in the thymus and decreased proportion of CD8{sup +} T cells. The density of expression of HY-TCR on CD8{sup +} cells was increased following DES exposure in both females and males. Finally, the proliferative response of thymocytes to mitogens and peripheral lymph node T cells to male H-Y antigen was significantly altered in female and male mice following DES treatment. Taken together, these data suggest that DES alters T-cell differentiation in the thymus by interfering with positive and negative selection processes, which in turn modulates the T-cell repertoire in the periphery.

  12. The effect of meter-scale lateral oxygen gradients at the sediment-water interface on selected organic matter based alteration, productivity and temperature proxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogus, K. A.; Zonneveld, K. A. F.; Fischer, D.; Kasten, S.; Bohrmann, G.; Versteegh, G. J. M.

    2011-11-01

    A valid assessment of selective aerobic degradation on organic matter (OM) and its impact on OM-based proxies is vital to produce accurate environmental reconstructions. However, most studies investigating these effects suffer from inherent environmental heterogeneities. This includes differences in the initial OM composition, as a result of variable upper water column conditions, or from those induced by selective aerobic degradation. In this study, we used surface samples collected along two meter-scale transects and one longer transect in the northeastern Arabian Sea to constrain initial OM heterogeneity, in order to evaluate selective aerobic degradation on temperature, productivity and alteration indices at the sediment-water interface. All of the alteration indices, the higher plant alkane index, alcohol preservation index, and diol oxidation index, demonstrated that they are sensitive indicators for changes in oxygen content at the sediment-water interface. The export production indices, a cholesterol-based stanol/stenol and dinoflagellate lipid- and cyst-based ratios, showed significant (more than 20%) change over the lateral oxygen gradients. Therefore, they do not exclusively reflect surface water productivity, but can be altered after deposition with varying oxygen content at the sediment-water interface. Two of the investigated proxies, the glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGT) based TEX86 sea surface temperature indices and a productivity index based on phytol, phytane and pristane, did not show any trends related to oxygen concentration at the sediment-water interface. Nevertheless, unrealistic sea surface temperatures were obtained after application of the TEX86, TEX86L, and TEX86H proxies. The phytol-based ratios were likely modified by the sedimentary production of pristane. Our results demonstrate the rapid and selective impact of aerobic organic matter degradation on the lipid and palynomorph composition of surface sediments on a

  13. Next-century ocean acidification and warming both reduce calcification rate, but only acidification alters skeletal morphology of reef-building coral Siderastrea siderea.

    PubMed

    Horvath, Kimmaree M; Castillo, Karl D; Armstrong, Pualani; Westfield, Isaac T; Courtney, Travis; Ries, Justin B

    2016-01-01

    Atmospheric pCO2 is predicted to rise from 400 to 900 ppm by year 2100, causing seawater temperature to increase by 1-4 °C and pH to decrease by 0.1-0.3. Sixty-day experiments were conducted to investigate the independent and combined impacts of acidification (pCO2 = 424-426, 888-940 ppm-v) and warming (T = 28, 32 °C) on calcification rate and skeletal morphology of the abundant and widespread Caribbean reef-building scleractinian coral Siderastrea siderea. Hierarchical linear mixed-effects modelling reveals that coral calcification rate was negatively impacted by both warming and acidification, with their combined effects yielding the most deleterious impact. Negative effects of warming (32 °C/424 ppm-v) and high-temperature acidification (32 °C/940 ppm-v) on calcification rate were apparent across both 30-day intervals of the experiment, while effects of low-temperature acidification (28 °C/888 ppm-v) were not apparent until the second 30-day interval-indicating delayed onset of acidification effects at lower temperatures. Notably, two measures of coral skeletal morphology-corallite height and corallite infilling-were negatively impacted by next-century acidification, but not by next-century warming. Therefore, while next-century ocean acidification and warming will reduce the rate at which corals build their skeletons, next-century acidification will also modify the morphology and, potentially, function of coral skeletons. PMID:27470426

  14. Mutation of the maize sbe1a and ae genes alters morphology and physical behavior of wx-type endosperm starch granules.

    PubMed

    Li, Ji-Hong; Guiltinan, Mark J; Thompson, Donald B

    2007-12-10

    In maize, three isoforms of starch-branching enzyme, SBEI, SBEIIa, and SBEIIb, are encoded by the Sbe1a, Sbe2a, and Amylose extender (Ae) genes, respectively. The objective of this research was to explore the effects of null mutations in the Sbe1a and Ae genes alone and in combination in wx background on kernel characteristics and on the morphology and physical behavior of endosperm starch granules. Differences in kernel morphology and weight, starch accumulation, starch granule size and size distribution, starch microstructure, and thermal properties were observed between the ae wx and sbe1a ae wx plants but not between the sbe1a wx mutants when compared to wx. Starch from sbe1a ae wx plants exhibited a larger granule size with a wider gelatinization temperature range and a lower endotherm enthalpy than ae wx. Microscopy shows weaker iodine staining in sbe1a ae wx starch granules. X-ray diffraction revealed A-type crystallinity in wx and sbe1a wx starches and B-type in sbe1a ae wx and ae wx. This study suggests that, while the SBEIIb isoform plays a dominant role in maize endosperm starch synthesis, SBEI also plays a role, which is only observable in the presence of the ae mutation. PMID:17765880

  15. Prolonged Consumption of Sucrose in a Binge-Like Manner, Alters the Morphology of Medium Spiny Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens Shell

    PubMed Central

    Klenowski, Paul M.; Shariff, Masroor R.; Belmer, Arnauld; Fogarty, Matthew J.; Mu, Erica W. H.; Bellingham, Mark C.; Bartlett, Selena E.

    2016-01-01

    The modern diet has become highly sweetened, resulting in unprecedented levels of sugar consumption, particularly among adolescents. While chronic long-term sugar intake is known to contribute to the development of metabolic disorders including obesity and type II diabetes, little is known regarding the direct consequences of long-term, binge-like sugar consumption on the brain. Because sugar can cause the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) similarly to drugs of abuse, we investigated changes in the morphology of neurons in this brain region following short- (4 weeks) and long-term (12 weeks) binge-like sucrose consumption using an intermittent two-bottle choice paradigm. We used Golgi-Cox staining to impregnate medium spiny neurons (MSNs) from the NAc core and shell of short- and long-term sucrose consuming rats and compared these to age-matched water controls. We show that prolonged binge-like sucrose consumption significantly decreased the total dendritic length of NAc shell MSNs compared to age-matched control rats. We also found that the restructuring of these neurons resulted primarily from reduced distal dendritic complexity. Conversely, we observed increased spine densities at the distal branch orders of NAc shell MSNs from long-term sucrose consuming rats. Combined, these results highlight the neuronal effects of prolonged binge-like intake of sucrose on NAc shell MSN morphology. PMID:27047355

  16. Interactive effects of ocean acidification and rising sea temperatures alter predation rate and predator selectivity in reef fish communities.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Maud C O; Munday, Philip L; Rummer, Jodie L; McCormick, Mark I; Corkill, Katherine; Watson, Sue-Ann; Allan, Bridie J M; Meekan, Mark G; Chivers, Douglas P

    2015-05-01

    Ocean warming and acidification are serious threats to marine life. While each stressor alone has been studied in detail, their combined effects on the outcome of ecological interactions are poorly understood. We measured predation rates and predator selectivity of two closely related species of damselfish exposed to a predatory dottyback. We found temperature and CO2 interacted synergistically on overall predation rate, but antagonistically on predator selectivity. Notably, elevated CO2 or temperature alone reversed predator selectivity, but the interaction between the two stressors cancelled selectivity. Routine metabolic rates of the two prey showed strong species differences in tolerance to CO2 and not temperature, but these differences did not correlate with recorded mortality. This highlights the difficulty of linking species-level physiological tolerance to resulting ecological outcomes. This study is the first to document both synergistic and antagonistic effects of elevated CO2 and temperature on a crucial ecological process like predator-prey dynamics. PMID:25430991

  17. Chemical Engineering of Enzymes: Altered Catalytic Activity, Predictable Selectivity and Exceptional Stability of the Semisynthetic Peroxidase Seleno-Subtilisin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Häring, Dietmar; Schreier, Peter

    The increasing demand for enzymes as highly selective, mild, and environmentally benign catalysts is often limited by the lack of an enzyme with the desired catalytic activity or substrate selectivity and by their instability in biotechnological processes. The previous answers to these problems comprised genetically engineered enzymes and several classes of enzyme mimics. Here we describe the potential of chemical enzyme engineering: native enzymes can be modified by merely chemical means and basic equipment yielding so-called semisynthetic enzymes. Thus, the high substrate selectivity of the enzymatic peptide framework is combined with the catalytic versatility of a synthetic active site. We illustrate the potential of chemically engineered enzymes with the conception of the semisynthetic peroxidase seleno-subtilisin. First, the serine endoprotease subtilisin was crystallized and cross-linked with glutaraldehyde to give cross-linked enzyme crystals which were found to be insoluble in water or organic solvents and highly stable. Second, serine 221 in the active site (Enz-OH) was chemically converted into an oxidized derivative of selenocystein (Enz-SeO2H). As a consequence, the former proteolytic enzyme gained peroxidase activity and catalyzed the selective reduction of hydroperoxides. Due to the identical binding sites of the semisynthetic peroxidase and the protease, the substrate selectivity of seleno-subtilisin was predictable in view of the well-known selectivity of subtilisin.

  18. Selective alteration of human value decisions with medial frontal tDCS is predicted by changes in attractor dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Hämmerer, D.; Bonaiuto, J.; Klein-Flügge, M.; Bikson, M.; Bestmann, S.

    2016-01-01

    During value-based decision making, ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is thought to support choices by tracking the expected gain from different outcomes via a competition-based process. Using a computational neurostimulation approach we asked how perturbing this region might alter this competition and resulting value decisions. We simulated a perturbation of neural dynamics in a biophysically informed model of decision-making through in silico depolarization at the level of neuronal ensembles. Simulated depolarization increased baseline firing rates of pyramidal neurons, which altered their susceptibility to background noise, and thereby increased choice stochasticity. These behavioural predictions were compared to choice behaviour in healthy participants performing similar value decisions during transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a non-invasive brain stimulation technique. We placed the soma depolarizing electrode over medial frontal PFC. In line with model predictions, this intervention resulted in more random choices. By contrast, no such effect was observed when placing the depolarizing electrode over lateral PFC. Using a causal manipulation of ventromedial and lateral prefrontal function, these results provide support for competition-based choice dynamics in human vmPFC, and introduce computational neurostimulation as a mechanistic assay for neurostimulation studies of cognition. PMID:27146700

  19. Selective alteration of human value decisions with medial frontal tDCS is predicted by changes in attractor dynamics.

    PubMed

    Hämmerer, D; Bonaiuto, J; Klein-Flügge, M; Bikson, M; Bestmann, S

    2016-01-01

    During value-based decision making, ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is thought to support choices by tracking the expected gain from different outcomes via a competition-based process. Using a computational neurostimulation approach we asked how perturbing this region might alter this competition and resulting value decisions. We simulated a perturbation of neural dynamics in a biophysically informed model of decision-making through in silico depolarization at the level of neuronal ensembles. Simulated depolarization increased baseline firing rates of pyramidal neurons, which altered their susceptibility to background noise, and thereby increased choice stochasticity. These behavioural predictions were compared to choice behaviour in healthy participants performing similar value decisions during transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a non-invasive brain stimulation technique. We placed the soma depolarizing electrode over medial frontal PFC. In line with model predictions, this intervention resulted in more random choices. By contrast, no such effect was observed when placing the depolarizing electrode over lateral PFC. Using a causal manipulation of ventromedial and lateral prefrontal function, these results provide support for competition-based choice dynamics in human vmPFC, and introduce computational neurostimulation as a mechanistic assay for neurostimulation studies of cognition. PMID:27146700

  20. The effect of meter-scale lateral oxygen gradients at the sediment-water interface on selected organic matter based alteration, productivity and temperature proxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogus, K. A.; Zonneveld, K. A. F.; Fischer, D.; Kasten, S.; Bohrmann, G.; Versteegh, G. J. M.

    2012-04-01

    A valid assessment of selective aerobic degradation on organic matter (OM) and its impact on OM-based proxies is vital to produce accurate environmental reconstructions. However, most studies investigating these effects suffer from inherent environmental heterogeneities. In this study, we used surface samples collected along two meter-scale transects and one longer transect in the northeastern Arabian Sea to constrain initial OM heterogeneity, in order to evaluate selective aerobic degradation on temperature, productivity and alteration indices at the sediment-water interface. All of the studied alteration indices, the higher plant alkane index, alcohol preservation index, and diol oxidation index, demonstrated that they are sensitive indicators for changes in the oxygen regime. Several export production indices, a cholesterol-based stanol/stenol index and dinoflagellate lipid- and cyst-based ratios, showed significant (more than 20%) change only over the lateral oxygen gradients. Therefore, these compounds do not exclusively reflect surface water productivity, but are significantly altered after deposition. Two of the proxies, glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraether-based TEX86 sea surface temperature indices and indices based on phytol, phytane and pristane, did not show any trends related to oxygen. Nevertheless, unrealistic sea surface temperatures were obtained after application of the TEX86, TEX86L, and TEX86H proxies. The phytol-based ratios were likely affected by the sedimentary production of pristane. Our results demonstrate the selective impact of aerobic organic matter degradation on the lipid and palynomorph composition of surface sediments along a short lateral oxygen gradient and suggest that some of the investigated proxies may be useful tracers of changing redox conditions at the sediment-water interface.

  1. Next-century ocean acidification and warming both reduce calcification rate, but only acidification alters skeletal morphology of reef-building coral Siderastrea siderea

    PubMed Central

    Horvath, Kimmaree M.; Castillo, Karl D.; Armstrong, Pualani; Westfield, Isaac T.; Courtney, Travis; Ries, Justin B.

    2016-01-01

    Atmospheric pCO2 is predicted to rise from 400 to 900 ppm by year 2100, causing seawater temperature to increase by 1–4 °C and pH to decrease by 0.1–0.3. Sixty-day experiments were conducted to investigate the independent and combined impacts of acidification (pCO2 = 424–426, 888–940 ppm-v) and warming (T = 28, 32 °C) on calcification rate and skeletal morphology of the abundant and widespread Caribbean reef-building scleractinian coral Siderastrea siderea. Hierarchical linear mixed-effects modelling reveals that coral calcification rate was negatively impacted by both warming and acidification, with their combined effects yielding the most deleterious impact. Negative effects of warming (32 °C/424 ppm-v) and high-temperature acidification (32 °C/940 ppm-v) on calcification rate were apparent across both 30-day intervals of the experiment, while effects of low-temperature acidification (28 °C/888 ppm-v) were not apparent until the second 30-day interval—indicating delayed onset of acidification effects at lower temperatures. Notably, two measures of coral skeletal morphology–corallite height and corallite infilling–were negatively impacted by next-century acidification, but not by next-century warming. Therefore, while next-century ocean acidification and warming will reduce the rate at which corals build their skeletons, next-century acidification will also modify the morphology and, potentially, function of coral skeletons. PMID:27470426

  2. Selection of single blastocysts for fresh transfer via standard morphology assessment alone and with array CGH for good prognosis IVF patients: results from a randomized pilot study

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Single embryo transfer (SET) remains underutilized as a strategy to reduce multiple gestation risk in IVF, and its overall lower pregnancy rate underscores the need for improved techniques to select one embryo for fresh transfer. This study explored use of comprehensive chromosomal screening by array CGH (aCGH) to provide this advantage and improve pregnancy rate from SET. Methods First-time IVF patients with a good prognosis (age <35, no prior miscarriage) and normal karyotype seeking elective SET were prospectively randomized into two groups: In Group A, embryos were selected on the basis of morphology and comprehensive chromosomal screening via aCGH (from d5 trophectoderm biopsy) while Group B embryos were assessed by morphology only. All patients had a single fresh blastocyst transferred on d6. Laboratory parameters and clinical pregnancy rates were compared between the two groups. Results For patients in Group A (n = 55), 425 blastocysts were biopsied and analyzed via aCGH (7.7 blastocysts/patient). Aneuploidy was detected in 191/425 (44.9%) of blastocysts in this group. For patients in Group B (n = 48), 389 blastocysts were microscopically examined (8.1 blastocysts/patient). Clinical pregnancy rate was significantly higher in the morphology + aCGH group compared to the morphology-only group (70.9 and 45.8%, respectively; p = 0.017); ongoing pregnancy rate for Groups A and B were 69.1 vs. 41.7%, respectively (p = 0.009). There were no twin pregnancies. Conclusion Although aCGH followed by frozen embryo transfer has been used to screen at risk embryos (e.g., known parental chromosomal translocation or history of recurrent pregnancy loss), this is the first description of aCGH fully integrated with a clinical IVF program to select single blastocysts for fresh SET in good prognosis patients. The observed aneuploidy rate (44.9%) among biopsied blastocysts highlights the inherent imprecision of SET when conventional morphology is used

  3. Highly sensitive and selective colorimetric sensing of Hg2+ based on the morphology transition of silver nanoprisms.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ling; Fu, Xiuli; Lu, Wenhui; Chen, Lingxin

    2013-01-23

    A simple colorimetric approach for mercury ion (Hg(2+)) sensing was developed that was based on the Hg(2+)-induced deprotection and morphology transition of 1-dodecanethiol (C(12)H(25)SH)-capped silver nanoprisms (Ag NPRs) upon the presence of iodides at room temperature. The abstraction of C(12)H(25)SH from the surface of Ag NPRs by Hg(2+) led to their deprotection of Ag NPRs and the formation of complexation between silver ions and excess iodide ions. Also, the silver atoms were consumed and moved from the surface of Ag NPRs, accompanying the changes in the particle morphology that resulted in a change of color and UV-vis absorption spectra of the colloidal solution. With increasing concentrations of Hg(2+) from 10 to 500 nM, the surface plasma resonance spectral band of Ag NPRs emerged as a blue shift and exhibited a good linear relationship, and the limit of detection was 3.3 nM. Furthermore, the developed method was applied for detecting Hg(2+) in different real water samples with satisfying recoveries over 92%. PMID:23237272

  4. The Relationships between Morphological Characteristics and Foraging Behavior in Four Selected Species of Shorebirds and Water Birds Utilizing Tropical Mudflats

    PubMed Central

    Norazlimi, Nor Atiqah; Ramli, Rosli

    2015-01-01

    A study was conducted to investigate the relationship between the physical morphology of shorebirds and water birds (i.e., Lesser adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus), Common redshank (Tringa totanus), Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), and Little heron (Butorides striata)) and their foraging behavior in the mudflats area of Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia, from August 2013 to July 2014 by using direct observation techniques (using binoculars and a video recorder). The actively foraging bird species were watched, and their foraging activities were recorded for at least 30 seconds for up to a maximum of five minutes. A Spearman Rank Correlation highlighted a significant relationship between bill size and foraging time (R = 0.443, p < 0.05), bill size and prey size (R = −0.052, p < 0.05), bill size and probing depth (R = 0.42, p = 0.003), and leg length and water/mud depth (R = 0.706, p < 0.005). A Kruskal-Wallis Analysis showed a significant difference between average estimates of real probing depth of the birds (mm) and species (H = 15.96, p = 0.0012). Three foraging techniques were recorded: pause-travel, visual-feeding, and tactile-hunting. Thus, morphological characteristics of bird do influence their foraging behavior and strategies used when foraging. PMID:26345324

  5. The Relationships between Morphological Characteristics and Foraging Behavior in Four Selected Species of Shorebirds and Water Birds Utilizing Tropical Mudflats.

    PubMed

    Norazlimi, Nor Atiqah; Ramli, Rosli

    2015-01-01

    A study was conducted to investigate the relationship between the physical morphology of shorebirds and water birds (i.e., Lesser adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus), Common redshank (Tringa totanus), Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), and Little heron (Butorides striata)) and their foraging behavior in the mudflats area of Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia, from August 2013 to July 2014 by using direct observation techniques (using binoculars and a video recorder). The actively foraging bird species were watched, and their foraging activities were recorded for at least 30 seconds for up to a maximum of five minutes. A Spearman Rank Correlation highlighted a significant relationship between bill size and foraging time (R = 0.443, p < 0.05), bill size and prey size (R = -0.052, p < 0.05), bill size and probing depth (R = 0.42, p = 0.003), and leg length and water/mud depth (R = 0.706, p < 0.005). A Kruskal-Wallis Analysis showed a significant difference between average estimates of real probing depth of the birds (mm) and species (H = 15.96, p = 0.0012). Three foraging techniques were recorded: pause-travel, visual-feeding, and tactile-hunting. Thus, morphological characteristics of bird do influence their foraging behavior and strategies used when foraging. PMID:26345324

  6. The Morphology and Characteristics of the Planck ESZ Detected Clusters of Galaxies Compared to X-ray and Optically Selected Cluster Samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Christine; Forman, William R.; Andrade-Santos, Felipe; Murray, Stephen S.; Churazov, Eugene; Chandra-Planck XVP Cluster Consortium

    2015-01-01

    We examine samples of galaxy clusters selected through their SZ decrements, through the presence of a hot intracluster medium or by their galaxy overdensities to determine the impact of biases in cluster selection. In particular, for each cluster sample, we use X-ray observations to determine cluster morphologies and we use X-ray luminosities as a mass proxy. For each cluster sample, we determine the fractions of merging and regular clusters, as well as the number of cool core clusters and the number of clusters with cavities in their X-ray gas, likely produced by AGN outbursts. For the SZ cluster sample, we use Chandra observations of 169 Planck detected ESZ clusters with redshifts < 0.35. We compare the fractions of merging, regular and cool core clusters found in the Planck ESZ sample with the populations of these clusters in the X-ray selected HIFLUGCS and B55 cluster catalogs and in the optically selected Abell clusters. We do not find significant differences in the percentages of merging and regular clusters based on the different selection methods. However we do find a higher fraction of cool core clusters, and thus a higher fraction of clusters with X-ray cavities, in the X-ray selected cluster samples compared to the Planck SZ selected cluster sample. Since the X-ray emission in cool core clusters is centrally peaked, a higher fraction of these clusters is to be expected in X-ray-selected samples. This work was supported in part by a Chandra Observatory grant and by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

  7. Drug Metabolism within the Brain Changes Drug Response: Selective Manipulation of Brain CYP2B Alters Propofol Effects

    PubMed Central

    Khokhar, Jibran Y; Tyndale, Rachel F

    2011-01-01

    Drug-metabolizing cytochrome P450 (CYPs) enzymes are expressed in the liver, as well as in extrahepatic tissues such as the brain. Here we show for the first time that drug metabolism by a CYP within the brain, illustrated using CYP2B and the anesthetic propofol (2, 6-diisopropylphenol, Diprivan), can meaningfully alter the pharmacological response to a CNS acting drug. CYP2B is expressed in the brains of animals and humans, and this CYP isoform is able to metabolize centrally acting substrates such as propofol, ecstasy, and serotonin. Rats were given intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) injections of vehicle, C8-xanthate, or 8-methoxypsoralen (CYP2B mechanism-based inhibitors) and then tested for sleep time following propofol (80 mg/kg intraperitoneally). Both inhibitors significantly increased sleep-time (1.8- to 2-fold) and brain propofol levels, while having no effect on plasma propofol levels. Seven days of nicotine treatment can induce the expression of brain, but not hepatic, CYP2B, and this induction reduced propofol sleep times by 2.5-fold. This reduction was reversed in a dose-dependent manner by i.c.v. injections of inhibitor. Sleep times correlated with brain (r=0.76, P=0.0009), but not plasma (r=0.24, P=0.39) propofol concentrations. Inhibitor treatments increased brain, but not plasma, propofol levels, and had no effect on hepatic enzyme activity. These data indicate that brain CYP2B can metabolize neuroactive substrates (eg, propofol) and can alter their pharmacological response. This has wider implications for localized CYP-mediated metabolism of drugs, neurotransmitters, and neurotoxins within the brain by this highly variable enzyme family and other CYP subfamilies expressed in the brain. PMID:21107310

  8. The Synaptic and Morphological Basis of Orientation Selectivity in a Polyaxonal Amacrine Cell of the Rabbit Retina.

    PubMed

    Murphy-Baum, Benjamin L; Taylor, W Rowland

    2015-09-30

    Much of the computational power of the retina derives from the activity of amacrine cells, a large and diverse group of GABAergic and glycinergic inhibitory interneurons. Here, we identify an ON-type orientation-selective, wide-field, polyaxonal amacrine cell (PAC) in the rabbit retina and demonstrate how its orientation selectivity arises from the structure of the dendritic arbor and the pattern of excitatory and inhibitory inputs. Excitation from ON bipolar cells and inhibition arising from the OFF pathway converge to generate a quasi-linear integration of visual signals in the receptive field center. This serves to suppress responses to high spatial frequencies, thereby improving sensitivity to larger objects and enhancing orientation selectivity. Inhibition also regulates the magnitude and time course of excitatory inputs to this PAC through serial inhibitory connections onto the presynaptic terminals of ON bipolar cells. This presynaptic inhibition is driven by graded potentials within local microcircuits, similar in extent to the size of single bipolar cell receptive fields. Additional presynaptic inhibition is generated by spiking amacrine cells on a larger spatial scale covering several hundred microns. The orientation selectivity of this PAC may be a substrate for the inhibition that mediates orientation selectivity in some types of ganglion cells. Significance statement: The retina comprises numerous excitatory and inhibitory circuits that encode specific features in the visual scene, such as orientation, contrast, or motion. Here, we identify a wide-field inhibitory neuron that responds to visual stimuli of a particular orientation, a feature selectivity that is primarily due to the elongated shape of the dendritic arbor. Integration of convergent excitatory and inhibitory inputs from the ON and OFF visual pathways suppress responses to small objects and fine textures, thus enhancing selectivity for larger objects. Feedback inhibition regulates the

  9. The Synaptic and Morphological Basis of Orientation Selectivity in a Polyaxonal Amacrine Cell of the Rabbit Retina

    PubMed Central

    Murphy-Baum, Benjamin L.

    2015-01-01

    Much of the computational power of the retina derives from the activity of amacrine cells, a large and diverse group of GABAergic and glycinergic inhibitory interneurons. Here, we identify an ON-type orientation-selective, wide-field, polyaxonal amacrine cell (PAC) in the rabbit retina and demonstrate how its orientation selectivity arises from the structure of the dendritic arbor and the pattern of excitatory and inhibitory inputs. Excitation from ON bipolar cells and inhibition arising from the OFF pathway converge to generate a quasi-linear integration of visual signals in the receptive field center. This serves to suppress responses to high spatial frequencies, thereby improving sensitivity to larger objects and enhancing orientation selectivity. Inhibition also regulates the magnitude and time course of excitatory inputs to this PAC through serial inhibitory connections onto the presynaptic terminals of ON bipolar cells. This presynaptic inhibition is driven by graded potentials within local microcircuits, similar in extent to the size of single bipolar cell receptive fields. Additional presynaptic inhibition is generated by spiking amacrine cells on a larger spatial scale covering several hundred microns. The orientation selectivity of this PAC may be a substrate for the inhibition that mediates orientation selectivity in some types of ganglion cells. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The retina comprises numerous excitatory and inhibitory circuits that encode specific features in the visual scene, such as orientation, contrast, or motion. Here, we identify a wide-field inhibitory neuron that responds to visual stimuli of a particular orientation, a feature selectivity that is primarily due to the elongated shape of the dendritic arbor. Integration of convergent excitatory and inhibitory inputs from the ON and OFF visual pathways suppress responses to small objects and fine textures, thus enhancing selectivity for larger objects. Feedback inhibition regulates the

  10. Diet complexity in early life affects survival in released pheasants by altering foraging efficiency, food choice, handling skills and gut morphology.

    PubMed

    Whiteside, Mark A; Sage, Rufus; Madden, Joah R

    2015-11-01

    Behavioural and physiological deficiencies are major reasons why reintroduction programmes suffer from high mortality when captive animals are used. Mitigation of these deficiencies is essential for successful reintroduction programmes. Our study manipulated early developmental diet to better replicate foraging behaviour in the wild. Over 2 years, we hand-reared 1800 pheasants (Phasianus colchicus), from 1 day old, for 7 weeks under different dietary conditions. In year one, 900 pheasants were divided into three groups and reared with (i) commercial chick crumb, (ii) crumb plus 1% live mealworm or (iii) crumb plus 5% mixed seed and fruit. In year two, a further 900 pheasants were divided into two groups and reared with (i) commercial chick crumb or (ii) crumb plus a combination of 1% mealworm and 5% mixed seed and fruit. In both years, the commercial chick crumb acted as a control treatment, whilst those with live prey and mixed seeds and fruits mimicking a more naturalistic diet. After 7 weeks reared on these diets, pheasants were released into the wild. Postrelease survival was improved with exposure to more naturalistic diets prior to release. We identified four mechanisms to explain this. Pheasants reared with more naturalistic diets (i) foraged for less time and had a higher likelihood of performing vigilance behaviours, (ii) were quicker at handling live prey items, (iii) were less reliant on supplementary feed which could be withdrawn and (iv) developed different gut morphologies. These mechanisms allowed the pheasants to (i) reduce the risk of predation by reducing exposure time whilst foraging and allowing more time to be vigilant; (ii) be better at handling and discriminating natural food items and not be solely reliant on supplementary feed; and (iii) have a better gut system to cope with the natural forage after the cessation of supplementary feeding in the spring. Learning food discrimination, preference and handling skills by the provision of a more

  11. The application of rules in morphology, syntax and number processing: a case of selective deficit of procedural or executive mechanisms?

    PubMed Central

    Macoir, Joël; Fossard, Marion; Nespoulous, Jean-Luc; Demonet, Jean-François; Bachoud-Lévi, Anne-Catherine

    2010-01-01

    Declarative memory is a long-term store for facts, concepts and words. Procedural memory subserves the learning and control of sensorimotor and cognitive skills, including the mental grammar. In this study, we report a single-case study of a mild aphasic patient who showed procedural deficits in the presence of preserved declarative memory abilities. We administered several experiments to explore rule application in morphology, syntax and number processing. Results partly support the differentiation between declarative and procedural memory. Moreover, the patient’s performance varied according to the domain in which rules were to be applied, which underlines the need for more fine-grained distinctions in cognition between procedural rules. PMID:20446168

  12. Effect of the size-selective silver clusters on lithium peroxide morphology in lithium-oxygen batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Jun; Cheng, Lei; Lau, Kah Chun; Tyo, Eric; Luo, Xiangyi; Wen, Jianguo; Miller, Dean; Assary, Rajeev S.; Wang, Hsien-Hau; Redfern, Paul; Wu, Huiming; Park, Jin-Bum; Sun, Yang-Kook; Vajda, Stefan; Amine, Khalil; Curtiss, Larry A.

    2014-09-01

    Lithium-oxygen batteries have the potential needed for long-range electric vehicles, but the charge and discharge chemistries are complex and not well understood. The active sites on cathode surfaces and their role in electrochemical reactions in aprotic lithium-oxygen cells are difficult to ascertain because the exact nature of the sites is unknown. Here we report the deposition of subnanometre silver clusters of exact size and number of atoms on passivated carbon to study the discharge process in lithium-oxygen cells. The results reveal dramatically different morphologies of the electrochemically grown lithium peroxide dependent on the size of the clusters. This dependence is found to be due to the influence of the cluster size on the formation mechanism, which also affects the charge process. The results of this study suggest that precise control of subnanometre surface structure on cathodes can be used as a means to improve the performance of lithium-oxygen cells.

  13. Languages of shape feature description and syntactic methods for recognition of morphological changes in organs in analysis of selected x-ray images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogiela, Marek R.

    1998-06-01

    The presented paper treats a subject of elaboration of new algorithms for recognition of lesions and analysis of shape features of selected abdominal cavity organs visible on radiograms or tomograms. The aim of the methods is to determine and examine morphological shapes of the analyzed anatomical structures in order to diagnose cancerous lesions and inflammatory processes. The formulated target was accomplished in the case of the diagnosis of cancer and chronic inflammation of the pancreas made on the base of X- ray images obtained during the ERCP examinations. For this purpose an effective algorithm for thresholding of the ERCP images was employed. Hence it was possible to extract the pancreas duct together with morphological changes which could occur. Then, thanks to determination and application of special sequence of geometric operations (skeletonizing and rotations of contour points about a skeleton), a linear graph representing the width of pancreas duct and showing morphological changes was obtained. In order to find these changes the context-free attributed grammars, enabling description of all searched morphological changes were used. These attributes contained an additional information (height and width of the discovered change) used for recognition of ambiguous cases. For proper description and recognition of symptoms, for which the 2D analysis is required (i.e. e.g. large cavernous bulges), the language of shape features description with a special multidirectional sinquad distribution were employed. Research on usefulness of the proposed methods, performed so far, justified the application of syntactic methods to recognition of medical images, especially to support medical diagnostics.

  14. Round and large: morphological and genetic consequences of artificial selection on the gourd tree Crescentia cujete by the Maya of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Aguirre-Dugua, Xitlali; Eguiarte, Luis E.; González-Rodríguez, Antonio; Casas, Alejandro

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Artificial selection, the main driving force of domestication, depends on human perception of intraspecific variation and operates through management practices that drive morphological and genetic divergences with respect to wild populations. This study analysed the recognition of varieties of Crescentia cujete by Maya people in relation to preferred plant characters and documents ongoing processes of artificial selection influencing differential chloroplast DNA haplotype distribution in sympatric wild and home-garden populations. Methods Fifty-three home gardens in seven villages (93 trees) and two putative wild populations (43 trees) were sampled. Through semi-structured interviews we documented the nomenclature of varieties, their distinctive characters, provenance, frequency and management. Phenotypic divergence of fruits was assessed with morphometric analyses. Genetic analyses were performed through five cpDNA microsatellites. Key Results The Maya recognize two generic (wild/domesticated) and two specific domesticated (white/green) varieties of Crescentia cujete. In home gardens, most trees (68 %) were from domesticated varieties while some wild individuals (32 %) were tolerated. Cultivation involves mainly vegetative propagation (76 %). Domesticated fruits were significantly rounder, larger and with thicker pericarp than wild fruits. Haplotype A was dominant in home gardens (76 %) but absent in wild populations. Haplotypes B–F were found common in the wild but at low frequency (24 %) in home gardens. Conclusions The gourd tree is managed through clonal and sexual propagules, fruit form and size being the main targets of artificial selection. Domesticated varieties belong to a lineage preserved by vegetative propagation but propagation by seeds and tolerance of spontaneous trees favour gene flow from wild populations. Five mutational steps between haplotypes A and D suggest that domesticated germplasm has been introduced to the region

  15. Leaf proteome alterations in the context of physiological and morphological responses to drought and heat stress in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.).

    PubMed

    Rollins, J A; Habte, E; Templer, S E; Colby, T; Schmidt, J; von Korff, M

    2013-08-01

    The objective of this study was to identify barley leaf proteins differentially regulated in response to drought and heat and the combined stresses in context of the morphological and physiological changes that also occur. The Syrian landrace Arta and the Australian cultivar Keel were subjected to drought, high temperature, or a combination of both treatments starting at heading. Changes in the leaf proteome were identified using differential gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. The drought treatment caused strong reductions of biomass and yield, while photosynthetic performance and the proteome were not significantly changed. In contrast, the heat treatment and the combination of heat and drought reduced photosynthetic performance and caused changes of the leaf proteome. The proteomic analysis identified 99 protein spots differentially regulated in response to heat treatment, 14 of which were regulated in a genotype-specific manner. Differentially regulated proteins predominantly had functions in photosynthesis, but also in detoxification, energy metabolism, and protein biosynthesis. The analysis indicated that de novo protein biosynthesis, protein quality control mediated by chaperones and proteases, and the use of alternative energy resources, i.e. glycolysis, play important roles in adaptation to heat stress. In addition, genetic variation identified in the proteome, in plant growth and photosynthetic performance in response to drought and heat represent stress adaption mechanisms to be exploited in future crop breeding efforts. PMID:23918963

  16. Leaf proteome alterations in the context of physiological and morphological responses to drought and heat stress in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.)

    PubMed Central

    von Korff, M.

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to identify barley leaf proteins differentially regulated in response to drought and heat and the combined stresses in context of the morphological and physiological changes that also occur. The Syrian landrace Arta and the Australian cultivar Keel were subjected to drought, high temperature, or a combination of both treatments starting at heading. Changes in the leaf proteome were identified using differential gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. The drought treatment caused strong reductions of biomass and yield, while photosynthetic performance and the proteome were not significantly changed. In contrast, the heat treatment and the combination of heat and drought reduced photosynthetic performance and caused changes of the leaf proteome. The proteomic analysis identified 99 protein spots differentially regulated in response to heat treatment, 14 of which were regulated in a genotype-specific manner. Differentially regulated proteins predominantly had functions in photosynthesis, but also in detoxification, energy metabolism, and protein biosynthesis. The analysis indicated that de novo protein biosynthesis, protein quality control mediated by chaperones and proteases, and the use of alternative energy resources, i.e. glycolysis, play important roles in adaptation to heat stress. In addition, genetic variation identified in the proteome, in plant growth and photosynthetic performance in response to drought and heat represent stress adaption mechanisms to be exploited in future crop breeding efforts. PMID:23918963

  17. Candidate gene selection and detailed morphological evaluations of fs8.1, a quantitative trait locus controlling tomato fruit shape

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Liang; Rodriguez, Gustavo R.; Clevenger, Josh P.; Illa-Berenguer, Eudald; Lin, Jinshan; Blakeslee, Joshua J.; Liu, Wenli; Fei, Zhangjun; Wijeratne, Asela; Meulia, Tea; van der Knaap, Esther

    2015-01-01

    fs8.1 is a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) that controls the elongated shape of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit. In this study, we fine-mapped the locus from a 47Mb to a 3.03Mb interval on the long arm of chromosome 8. Of the 122 annotated genes found in the fs8.1 region, 51 were expressed during floral development and six were differentially expressed in anthesis-stage ovaries in fs8.1 and wild-type (WT) lines. To identify possible nucleotide polymorphisms that may underlie the fruit shape phenotype, genome sequence analyses between tomato cultivars carrying the mutant and WT allele were conducted. This led to the identification of 158 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and five small indels in the fs8.1 interval, including 31 that could be associated with changes in gene expression or function. Morphological and histological analyses showed that the effects of fs8.1 were mainly on reproductive organ elongation by increasing cell number in the proximal–distal direction. Fruit weight was also increased in fs8.1 compared with WT, which was predominantly attributed to the increased fruit length. By combining the findings from the different analyses, we consider 12 likely candidate genes to underlie fs8.1, including Solyc08g062580 encoding a pentatricopeptide repeat protein, Solyc08g061560 encoding a putative orthologue of ERECTA, which is known to control fruit morphology and inflorescence architecture in Arabidopsis, Solyc08g061910 encoding a GTL2-like trihelix transcription factor, Solyc08g061930 encoding a protein that regulates cytokinin degradation, and two genes, Solyc08g062340 and Solyc08g062450, encoding 17.6kDa class II small heat-shock proteins. PMID:26175354

  18. The Autoimmunity-Associated Gene CLEC16A Modulates Thymic Epithelial Cell Autophagy and Alters T Cell Selection.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Cornelia; Gerold, Kay D; Schober, Kilian; Probst, Lilli; Boerner, Kevin; Kim, Mi-Jeong; Ruckdeschel, Anna; Serwold, Thomas; Kissler, Stephan

    2015-05-19

    CLEC16A variation has been associated with multiple immune-mediated diseases, including type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, celiac disease, Crohn's disease, Addison's disease, primary biliary cirrhosis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and alopecia areata. Despite strong genetic evidence implicating CLEC16A in autoimmunity, this gene's broad association with disease remains unexplained. We generated Clec16a knock-down (KD) mice in the nonobese diabetic (NOD) model for type 1 diabetes and found that Clec16a silencing protected against autoimmunity. Disease protection was attributable to T cell hyporeactivity, which was secondary to changes in thymic epithelial cell (TEC) stimuli that drive thymocyte selection. Our data indicate that T cell selection and reactivity were impacted by Clec16a variation in thymic epithelium owing to Clec16a's role in TEC autophagy. These findings provide a functional link between human CLEC16A variation and the immune dysregulation that underlies the risk of autoimmunity. PMID:25979422

  19. Distribution of Zonula Occludens-1 and Occludin and alterations of testicular morphology after in utero radiation and postnatal hyperthermia in rats

    PubMed Central

    Erkanlı Şentürk, Gozde; Ersoy Canillioĝlu, Yasemin; Umay, Cenk; Demiralp-Eksioglu, Emel; Ercan, Feriha

    2012-01-01

    In utero irradiation (IR) and postnatal hyperthermia (HT) exposure cause infertility by decreasing spermatogenic colony growth and the number of sperm in rats. Four groups were used: (i) Control group, (ii) HT group (rats exposed to hyperthermia on the 10th postnatal day), (iii) IR group (rats exposed to IR on the 17th gestational day) and (iv) IR + HT group. Three and six months after the procedures testes were examined by light and electron microscopy. Some degenerated tubules in the HT group, many vacuoles in spermatogenic cells and degenerated tight junctions in the IR group, atrophic tubules and severe degeneration of tight junctions in the IR + HT group were observed. ZO-1 and occludin immunoreactivity were decreased and disorganized in the HT and IR groups and absent in the IR + HT group. The increase in the number of apoptotic cells was accompanied by a time-dependent decrease in haploid, diploid and tetraploid cells in all groups. Degenerative findings were severe after 6 months in all groups. The double-hit model may represent a Sertoli cell only model of infertility due to a decrease in spermatogenic cell and alterated blood-testis barrier proteins in rat. PMID:23136996

  20. Astrocyte-Secreted Factors Selectively Alter Neural Stem and Progenitor Cell Proliferation in the Fragile X Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Sourial, Mary; Doering, Laurie C.

    2016-01-01

    An increasing body of evidence indicates that astrocytes contribute to the governance and fine tuning of stem and progenitor cell production during brain development. The effect of astrocyte function in cell production in neurodevelopmental disorders is unknown. We used the Neural Colony Forming Cell assay to determine the effect of astrocyte conditioned media (ACM) on the generation of neurospheres originating from either progenitor cells or functional stem cells in the knock out (KO) Fragile X mouse model. ACM from both normal and Fmr1-KO mice generated higher percentages of smaller neurospheres indicative of restricted proliferation of the progenitor cell population in Fmr1-KO brains. Wild type (WT) neurospheres, but not KO neurospheres, showed enhanced responses to ACM from the Fmr1-KO mice. In particular, Fmr1-KO ACM increased the percentage of large neurospheres generated, representative of spheres produced from neural stem cells. We also used 2D DIGE to initiate identification of the astrocyte-secreted proteins with differential expression between Fmr1-KO and WT cortices and hippocampi. The results further support the critical role of astrocytes in governing neural cell production in brain development and point to significant alterations in neural cell proliferation due to astrocyte secreted factors from the Fragile X brain. Highlights: • We studied the proliferation of neural stem and progenitor cells in Fragile X. • We examined the role of astrocyte-secreted factors in neural precursor cell biology. • Astrocyte-secreted factors with differential expression in Fragile X identified. PMID:27242437

  1. Maternal use of flaxseed oil during pregnancy and lactation prevents morphological alterations in pancreas of female offspring from rat dams with experimental diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Correia-Santos, André Manoel; Vicente, Gabriela C; Suzuki, Akemi; Pereira, Aline D; dos Anjos, Juliana S; Lenzi-Almeida, Kátia C; Boaventura, Gilson T

    2015-01-01

    Nutritional recommendations have promoted the increased need to consume n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Flaxseed is the richest dietary source of n-3 fatty acids among plant sources and is widely used for its edible oil. This study aimed to investigate whether maternal use of flaxseed oil has effects on pancreas morphology in the female offspring of diabetic mothers. Female Wistar rats (n = 12) were induced into diabetes by a high-fat diet and low dose of streptozotocin. After confirmation of the diabetes, rats were mated, and once pregnancy was confirmed, they were allocated into three groups (n = 6): high-fat group (HG); flaxseed oil group (FOG); and control group (CG) (non-diabetic rats). At weaning, female offspring (n = 6/group) received standard chow diet. The animals were euthanized at 180 days. Pancreas was collected for histomorphometric and immunohistochemistry analysis. HG showed hypertrophy of pancreatic islets (P < 0.0001), whereas FOG offspring had islets with smaller diameters compared to HG (P < 0.0001). HG offspring showed higher percentage of larger (P = 0.0061) and lower percentage of smaller islets (P = 0.0036). HG showed lower islet insulin immunodensity at 180 days (P < 0.0001), whereas FOG was similar to CG (P < 0.0001). Flaxseed oil reduced the damage caused by maternal hyperglycaemia, promoting normal pancreas histomorphometry and β-cell mass in female offspring. PMID:25808815

  2. Prenatal and Lactational Exposure to Bisphenol A in Mice Alters Expression of Genes Involved in Cortical Barrel Development without Morphological Changes

    PubMed Central

    Han, Longzhe; Itoh, Kyoko; Yaoi, Takeshi; Moriwaki, Sanzo; Kato, Shingo; Nakamura, Keiko; Fushiki, Shinji

    2011-01-01

    It has been reported that premature infants in neonatal intensive care units are exposed to a high rate of bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine disrupting chemical. Our previous studies demonstrated that corticothalamic projection was disrupted by prenatal exposure to BPA, which persisted even in adult mice. We therefore analyzed whether prenatal and lactational exposure to low doses of BPA affected the formation of the cortical barrel, the barreloid of the thalamus, and the barrelette of the brainstem in terms of the histology and the expression of genes involved in the barrel development. Pregnant mice were injected subcutaneously with 20 µg/kg of BPA daily from embryonic day 0 (E0) to postnatal 3 weeks (P3W), while the control mice received a vehicle alone. The barrel, barreloid and barrelette of the adult mice were examined by cytochrome C oxidase (COX) staining. There were no significant differences in the total and septal areas and the patterning of the posterior medial barrel subfield (PMBSF), barreloid and barrelette, between the BPA-exposure and control groups in the adult mice. The developmental study at postnatal day 1 (PD1), PD4 and PD8 revealed that the cortical barrel vaguely appeared at PD4 and completely formed at PD8 in both groups. The expression pattern of some genes was spatiotemporally altered depending on the sex and the treatment. These results suggest that the trigeminal projection and the thalamic relay to the cortical barrel were spared after prenatal and lactational exposure to low doses of BPA, although prenatal exposure to BPA was previously shown to disrupt the corticothalamic projection. PMID:21448315

  3. Prenatal and Lactational Exposure to Bisphenol A in Mice Alters Expression of Genes Involved in Cortical Barrel Development without Morphological Changes.

    PubMed

    Han, Longzhe; Itoh, Kyoko; Yaoi, Takeshi; Moriwaki, Sanzo; Kato, Shingo; Nakamura, Keiko; Fushiki, Shinji

    2011-02-26

    It has been reported that premature infants in neonatal intensive care units are exposed to a high rate of bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine disrupting chemical. Our previous studies demonstrated that corticothalamic projection was disrupted by prenatal exposure to BPA, which persisted even in adult mice. We therefore analyzed whether prenatal and lactational exposure to low doses of BPA affected the formation of the cortical barrel, the barreloid of the thalamus, and the barrelette of the brainstem in terms of the histology and the expression of genes involved in the barrel development. Pregnant mice were injected subcutaneously with 20 µg/kg of BPA daily from embryonic day 0 (E0) to postnatal 3 weeks (P3W), while the control mice received a vehicle alone. The barrel, barreloid and barrelette of the adult mice were examined by cytochrome C oxidase (COX) staining. There were no significant differences in the total and septal areas and the patterning of the posterior medial barrel subfield (PMBSF), barreloid and barrelette, between the BPA-exposure and control groups in the adult mice. The developmental study at postnatal day 1 (PD1), PD4 and PD8 revealed that the cortical barrel vaguely appeared at PD4 and completely formed at PD8 in both groups. The expression pattern of some genes was spatiotemporally altered depending on the sex and the treatment. These results suggest that the trigeminal projection and the thalamic relay to the cortical barrel were spared after prenatal and lactational exposure to low doses of BPA, although prenatal exposure to BPA was previously shown to disrupt the corticothalamic projection. PMID:21448315

  4. Retinoid- and sodium-butyrate-induced decrease in heat shock protein 70 membrane-positive tumor cells is associated with reduced sensitivity to natural killer cell lysis, growth delay, and altered growth morphology.

    PubMed

    Gehrmann, Mathias; Schönberger, Johann; Zilch, Tanja; Rossbacher, Lydia; Thonigs, Gerald; Eilles, Christoph; Multhoff, Gabriele

    2005-01-01

    Human tumors frequently present heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) on their cell membranes, whereas corresponding normal tissues fail to do so. Therefore, an Hsp70 membrane-positive phenotype provided a tumor-specific marker. Moreover, membrane-bound Hsp70 provides a target structure for the cytolytic attack mediated by natural killer (NK) cells. Vitamin A derivatives 13-cis retinoic acid (13-RA) and all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and sodium-butyrate (SBU) are known for their redifferentiating capacity. Therefore, we asked the question whether loss in tumorigenicity might be associated with a reduced Hsp70 membrane expression. For our studies we used epithelial colon (CX+/CX-) and thyroid (ML-1) cancer cells, with initially different Hsp70 cell surface expression pattern. After treatment up to 7 weeks with freshly prepared 13-RA, ATRA, and SBU at nonlethal concentrations of 10 microM, 1 microM, and 0.5 mM, respectively, growth morphology, Hsp70 levels, and sensitivity toward Hsp70-specific NK cells were compared with that of untreated tumor cells. Significant growth delay was determined in CX+ tumor cells after 6 weeks treatment with 13-RA. Concomitantly, growth morphology changed from spheroid cell clusters to monolayers. Despite a weak increase in cytosolic Hsp70, the percentage of Hsp70 membrane-positive cells dropped significantly after repeated treatments with 13-RA and ATRA in CX+ and ML-1 but not in CX- tumor cells. Similar results were observed with SBU. Functionally, the decrease in Hsp70 membrane-positive CX+ and ML-1 cells correlated with a reduced sensitivity to lysis mediated by NK cells. In summary, redifferentiating agents predominantly affected Hsp70 membrane-positive tumors. The decrease in Hsp70 membrane positivity correlated with a lower sensitivity to NK lysis, growth delay, and altered growth morphology. PMID:16038410

  5. Retinoid- and sodium-butyrate– induced decrease in heat shock protein 70 membrane-positive tumor cells is associated with reduced sensitivity to natural killer cell lysis, growth delay, and altered growth morphology

    PubMed Central

    Gehrmann, Mathias; Schönberger, Johann; Zilch, Tanja; Rossbacher, Lydia; Thonigs, Gerald; Eilles, Christoph; Multhoff, Gabriele

    2005-01-01

    Human tumors frequently present heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) on their cell membranes, whereas corresponding normal tissues fail to do so. Therefore, an Hsp70 membrane-positive phenotype provided a tumor-specific marker. Moreover, membrane-bound Hsp70 provides a target structure for the cytolytic attack mediated by natural killer (NK) cells. Vitamin A derivatives 13-cis retinoic acid (13-RA) and all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and sodium-butyrate (SBU) are known for their redifferentiating capacity. Therefore, we asked the question whether loss in tumorigenicity might be associated with a reduced Hsp70 membrane expression. For our studies we used epithelial colon (CX+/CX−) and thyroid (ML-1) cancer cells, with initially different Hsp70 cell surface expression pattern. After treatment up to 7 weeks with freshly prepared 13-RA, ATRA, and SBU at nonlethal concentrations of 10 μM, 1 μM, and 0.5 mM, respectively, growth morphology, Hsp70 levels, and sensitivity toward Hsp70-specific NK cells were compared with that of untreated tumor cells. Significant growth delay was determined in CX+ tumor cells after 6 weeks treatment with 13-RA. Concomitantly, growth morphology changed from spheroid cell clusters to monolayers. Despite a weak increase in cytosolic Hsp70, the percentage of Hsp70 membrane-positive cells dropped significantly after repeated treatments with 13-RA and ATRA in CX+ and ML-1 but not in CX− tumor cells. Similar results were observed with SBU. Functionally, the decrease in Hsp70 membrane-positive CX+ and ML-1 cells correlated with a reduced sensitivity to lysis mediated by NK cells. In summary, redifferentiating agents predominantly affected Hsp70 membrane-positive tumors. The decrease in Hsp70 membrane positivity correlated with a lower sensitivity to NK lysis, growth delay, and altered growth morphology. PMID:16038410

  6. Ethanol alters angiotensin II stimulated mitogen activated protein kinase in hepatocytes: agonist selectivity and ethanol metabolic independence.

    PubMed

    Weng, Y; Shukla, S D

    2000-06-23

    Angiotensin II activated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) (p42 and p44) in rat hepatocytes exposed to ethanol and the relevance of ethanol metabolism on this activation was investigated. Hepatocytes, isolated from rat liver, were treated with or without ethanol for 24 h. Angiotensin II, vasopressin, insulin, serum and epinephrine significantly increased hepatocyte MAPK activity. Platelet activating factor (PAF), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) had little effect on MAPK activation. Interestingly, among the above agonists, which activated hepatocyte MAPK, ethanol exposure potentiated only angiotensin II and epinephrine-stimulated MAPK. Thus, potentiation of MAPK by ethanol exhibited agonist selectivity. In contrast to several other cells, there was prevalence of p42 over p44 MAPK band in hepatocytes. Angiotensin II treatment caused a rapid activation (peak 5 min) of MAPK followed by a decrease to basal levels in 30 min. Exposure with 100 mM ethanol potentiated the angiotensin II stimulated MAPK activity. This potentiation was partially blocked by pertussis toxin suggesting it to be a G-protein-dependent event. Treatment of the hepatocytes with pyrazole (an inhibitor of ethanol metabolism) or acetaldehyde (an ethanol metabolite) had no effect on potentiation. Thus, ethanol potentiation of hepatocyte MAPK is agonist-selective and independent of ethanol metabolism. PMID:10862821

  7. Functional Connectivity Estimated from Resting-State fMRI Reveals Selective Alterations in Male Adolescents with Pure Conduct Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Feng-Mei; Zhou, Jian-Song; Zhang, Jiang; Xiang, Yu-Tao; Zhang, Jian; Liu, Qi; Wang, Xiao-Ping; Yuan, Zhen

    2015-01-01

    Conduct disorder (CD) is characterized by a persistent pattern of antisocial behavior and aggression in childhood and adolescence. Previous task-based and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have revealed widespread brain regional abnormalities in adolescents with CD. However, whether the resting-state networks (RSNs) are altered in adolescents with CD remains unknown. In this study, resting-state fMRI data were first acquired from eighteen male adolescents with pure CD and eighteen age- and gender-matched typically developing (TD) individuals. Independent component analysis (ICA) was implemented to extract nine representative RSNs, and the generated RSNs were then compared to show the differences between the CD and TD groups. Interestingly, it was observed from the brain mapping results that compared with the TD group, the CD group manifested decreased functional connectivity in four representative RSNs: the anterior default mode network (left middle frontal gyrus), which is considered to be correlated with impaired social cognition, the somatosensory network (bilateral supplementary motor area and right postcentral gyrus), the lateral visual network (left superior occipital gyrus), and the medial visual network (right fusiform, left lingual gyrus and right calcarine), which are expected to be relevant to the perceptual systems responsible for perceptual dysfunction in male adolescents with CD. Importantly, the novel findings suggested that male adolescents with pure CD were identified to have dysfunctions in both low-level perceptual networks (the somatosensory network and visual network) and a high-order cognitive network (the default mode network). Revealing the changes in the functional connectivity of these RSNs enhances our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying the modulation of emotion and social cognition and the regulation of perception in adolescents with CD. PMID:26713867

  8. Alteration of splice site selection in the LMNA gene and inhibition of progerin production via AMPK activation.

    PubMed

    Finley, Jahahreeh

    2014-11-01

    Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS) is a rare genetic condition characterized by an accelerated aging phenotype and an average life span of 13years. Patients typically exhibit extensive pathophysiological vascular alterations, eventually resulting in death from stroke or myocardial infarction. A silent point mutation at position 1824 (C1824T) of the LMNA gene, generating a truncated form of lamin A (progerin), has been shown to be the cause of most cases of HGPS. Interestingly, this mutation induces the use of an internal 5' cryptic splice site within exon 11 of the LMNA pre-mRNA, leading to the generation of progerin via aberrant alternative splicing. The serine-arginine rich splicing factor 1 (SRSF1 or ASF/SF2) has been shown to function as an oncoprotein and is upregulated in many cancers and other age-related disorders. Indeed, SRSF1 inhibition results in a splicing ratio in the LMNA pre-mRNA favoring lamin A production over that of progerin. It is our hypothesis that activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a master regulator of cellular metabolism, may lead to a reduction in SRSF1 and thus a decrease in the use of the LMNA 5' cryptic splice site in exon 11 through upregulation of p32, a splicing factor-associated protein and putative mitochondrial chaperone that has been shown to inhibit SRSF1 and enhance mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication and oxidative phosphorylation. AMPK activation by currently available compounds such as metformin, resveratrol, and berberine may thus have wide-ranging implications for disorders associated with increased production and accumulation of progerin. PMID:25216752

  9. Charged anaesthetics alter LM-fibroblast plasma-membrane enzymes by selective fluidization of inner or outer membrane leaflets.

    PubMed Central

    Sweet, W D; Schroeder, F

    1986-01-01

    The functional consequences of the differences in lipid composition and structure between the two leaflets of the plasma membrane were investigated. Fluorescence of 1,6-diphenylhexa-1,3,5-triene(DPH), quenching, and differential polarized phase fluorimetry demonstrated selective fluidization by local anaesthetics of individual leaflets in isolated LM-cell plasma membranes. As measured by decreased limiting anisotropy of DPH fluorescence, cationic (prilocaine) and anionic (phenobarbital and pentobarbital) amphipaths preferentially fluidized the cytofacial and exofacial leaflets respectively. Unlike prilocaine, procaine, also a cation, fluidized both leaflets of these membranes equally. Pentobarbital stimulated 5'-nucleotidase between 0.1 and 5 mM and inhibited at higher concentrations, whereas phenobarbital only inhibited, at higher concentrations. Cationic drugs were ineffective. Two maxima of (Na+ + K+)-ATPase activation were obtained with both anionic drugs. Only one activation maximum was obtained with both cationic drugs. The maximum in activity below 1 mM for all four drugs clustered about a single limiting anisotropy value in the cytofacial leaflet, whereas there was no correlation between activity and limiting anisotropy in the exofacial leaflets. Therefore, although phenobarbital and pentobarbital below 1 mM fluidized the exofacial leaflet more than the cytofacial leaflet, the smaller fluidization in the cytofacial leaflet was functionally significant for (Na+ + K+)-ATPase. Mg2+-ATPase was stimulated at 1 mM-phenobarbital, unaffected by pentobarbital and slightly stimulated by both cationic drugs at concentrations fluidizing both leaflets. Thus the activity of (Na+ + K+)-ATPase was highly sensitive to selective fluidization of the leaflet containing its active site, whereas the other enzymes examined were little affected by fluidization of either leaflet. PMID:3028369

  10. Ultrasound assessment of the jugular and vertebral veins in healthy individuals: selected physiological aspects and morphological parameters

    PubMed Central

    Krysiuk, Kamil; Dobrzycki, Konrad; Ustymowicz, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    Aim Ultrasound assessment of morphological parameters of the internal jugular veins and vertebral veins in healthy individuals as well as their dependence on the patient's position. Material The examinations were conducted in 185 healthy individuals (101 females and 84 males) aged 18–89. Ultrasound examinations were conducted with the use of a linear probe with the frequency of 5–9 MHz in the supine (0°) and sitting position (90°). Results In 154 cases (83.2%) on the left side and in 150 cases (81.1%) on the right side, the jugular veins were completely closed in the sitting position. In 31 cases (16.8%) on the left side and in 35 cases (18.9%) on the right side, they were merely narrowed. By contrast with the jugular veins, the cross-sectional area (CSA) of the vertebral veins was greater in the sitting position than in the supine position in a statistically significant way. The CSA values of the jugular veins in the supine position ranged from 0 cm2 to 4.3 cm2. There were no statistically significant differences in the CSA between men and women. The cross-sectional area of the right jugular vein in the supine position was greater in a statistically significant way than that of the left jugular vein. In this study population, the ratio of the cross-sectional areas of the jugular veins on both sides amounted to 8.5:1. Conclusions The width of the jugular and vertebral veins significantly varies depending on the patient's position. The range of the CSA values for the jugular veins is broad, which should be taken into account when interpreting imaging findings. The internal jugular veins can show considerable asymmetry. PMID:26674467

  11. Alterations in locomotor activity after microinjections of GBR-12909, selective dopamine antagonists or neurotensin into the medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Radcliffe, R A; Erwin, V G

    1996-06-01

    It has been postulated that increased dopamine (DA) activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) exerts an inhibitory influence over DA release in the nucleus accumbens and, thus, also over locomotor activity. Experiments were designed to examine the role of mPFC DA and neurotensin (NT), a neuropeptide which interacts with DA, in spontaneous locomotor activity. LS/IBG mice were injected bilaterally with either GBR-12909, a selective DA uptake blocker, the DA D1 receptor antagonist R-(+)-SCH-23390, the DA D2 receptor antagonist epidepride, NT or a combination of drugs. GBR-12909 produced a U-shaped dose-response curve with a maximum inhibition of 47% of control. Postmortem tissue levels of DA, 5-hydroxytryptamine, norepinephrine and their major metabolites were determined after microinjections of GBR-12909. Tissue levels of these compounds were not significantly affected by GBR-12909. However, the ratios of homovanilic acid/DA and homovanilic acid + 3,4-dihyroxyphenylacetic acid/DA were significantly decreased, whereas the 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid/5-hydroxytryptamine ratio was not affected by GBR-12909, suggesting a selective effect on DAergic processes. By itself, R-(+)-SCH-23390 had no effect on locomotor activity except at a very high dose which caused locomotor inhibition (49% of control). Epidepride caused a dose-dependent inhibition of locomotor activity with a maximum inhibition of 49% of control. When coinjected with an inhibitory dose of GBR-12909, both epidepride and R-(+)-SCH-23390 attenuated the GBR-12909 effect in a dose-dependent manner. A broad range of doses of NT was found to have no consistent effect on locomotor activity. However, when coinjected with an inhibitory dose of GBR-12909, NT attenuated the GBR-12909-induced inhibition in a dose-dependent manner. The results suggest that stimulation of DA receptors in the mPFC, both DA D1 and DA D2 receptors mediates locomotor inhibition. Furthermore, stimulation of NT receptors appears to

  12. Colonic mucin composition in primates. Selective alterations associated with spontaneous colitis in the cotton-top tamarin.

    PubMed

    Podolsky, D K; Madara, J L; King, N; Sehgal, P; Moore, R; Winter, H S

    1985-01-01

    Heterogeneity of colonic mucin glycoprotein was examined in rectal mucosal biopsy specimens from a variety of primate species (Saguinus oedipus, n = 18; Macaca mulatta, n = 2; Macaca fascicularis, n = 2; Aotus trivirgatus, n = 2; Saimiri sciureus, n = 2; and Callithrix jacchus, n = 2). After initial separation of radiolabeled mucin and nonmucin glycoproteins solubilized from mucosal biopsy specimens, at least five labeled mucin components were found in monkey rectal mucosa in contrast to the six mucin fractions observed in the human colon. Although primates consistently lacked the earliest eluting component present in human colonic mucin, other mucin components cochromatographed with comparable fractions previously identified in human colonic biopsy specimens. The relative proportions of each fraction were consistent throughout all species except the cotton-top tamarin (S. oedipus), an animal that develops a chronic colitis. The cotton-top tamarin was found to have a markedly reduced amount of one mucin component (IV) in a manner analogous to the reduction in a human mucin fraction previously noted in patients with ulcerative colitis. Sequential evaluation of mucin profiles in cotton-top tamarins (n = 12) treated with sulfasalazine (50 mg/kg X day) or placebo in a 10-wk double-blind crossover study demonstrated the persistence of the selective reduction in tamarin species IV unrelated to disease activity. In contrast, the relative amount of tamarin mucin III was greater in association with increased disease activity than that observed in association with reduced disease activity (46% +/- 11% total mucin vs. 19% +/- 7% total mucin posttreatment). PMID:3917260

  13. Assessment of IgE and IgG4 Binding Capacities of Cow's Milk Proteins Selectively Altered by Proteases.

    PubMed

    Charcosset, Alexandre; Adel-Patient, Karine; Dupont, Christophe; Bernard, Hervé

    2016-05-01

    Specific IgE and IgG4 have been reported to play key roles in the context of IgE-mediated cow's milk allergy (CMA), but the persistence of their epitopes in milk hydrolysates has not been evaluated. Using sera from 32 CMA patients, 6 CMA patients treated by epicutaneous therapy (CM-treated), and 4 CM-tolerant peanut allergic patients, we analyzed the IgE and IgG4 binding capacities related to major milk allergens in processed milk. Different proteases (plasmin, chymosin, α-chymotrypsin, or pepsin) were used progressively and selectively to hydrolyze β-lactoglobulin (β-LG) and casein (CN) in milk. We then showed that proteases differentially affect IgE or IgG4 immunoreactivities of CN and β-LG and also that we could not relate IgE and/or IgG4 levels or specificities to milk hydrolysates to the clinical status of the patients. PMID:27015440

  14. Mice with selective elimination of striatal acetylcholine release are lean, show altered energy homeostasis and changed sleep/wake cycle.

    PubMed

    Guzman, Monica S; De Jaeger, Xavier; Drangova, Maria; Prado, Marco A M; Gros, Robert; Prado, Vania F

    2013-03-01

    Cholinergic neurons are known to regulate striatal circuits; however, striatal-dependent physiological outcomes influenced by acetylcholine (ACh) are still poorly under;?>stood. Here, we used vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT)(D2-Cre-flox/flox) mice, in which we selectively ablated the vesicular acetylcholine transporter in the striatum to dissect the specific roles of striatal ACh in metabolic homeostasis. We report that VAChT(D) (2-Cre-flox/flox) mice are lean at a young age and maintain this lean phenotype with time. The reduced body weight observed in these mutant mice is not attributable to reduced food intake or to a decrease in growth rate. In addition, changed activity could not completely explain the lean phenotype, as only young VAChT(D) (2-Cre-flox/flox) mice showed increased physical activity. Interestingly, VAChT(D) (2-Cre-flox/flox) mice show several metabolic changes, including increased plasma levels of insulin and leptin. They also show increased periods of wakefulness when compared with littermate controls. Taken together, our data suggest that striatal ACh has an important role in the modulation of metabolism and highlight the importance of striatum cholinergic tone in the regulation of energy expenditure. These new insights on how cholinergic neurons influence homeostasis open new avenues for the search of drug targets to treat obesity. PMID:23240572

  15. Altered Tnnt3 characterizes selective weakness of fast fibers in mice overexpressing FSHD region gene 1 (FRG1)

    PubMed Central

    Sancisi, Valentina; Germinario, Elena; Esposito, Alessandra; Morini, Elisabetta; Peron, Samantha; Moggio, Maurizio; Tomelleri, Giuliano; Danieli-Betto, Daniela

    2013-01-01

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), a common hereditary myopathy, is characterized by atrophy and weakness of selective muscle groups. FSHD is considered an autosomal dominant disease with incomplete penetrance and unpredictable variability of clinical expression within families. Mice overexpressing FRG1 (FSHD region gene 1), a candidate gene for this disease, develop a progressive myopathy with features of the human disorder. Here, we show that in FRG1-overexpressing mice, fast muscles, which are the most affected by the dystrophic process, display anomalous fast skeletal troponin T (fTnT) isoform, resulting from the aberrant splicing of the Tnnt3 mRNA that precedes the appearance of dystrophic signs. We determine that muscles of FRG1 mice develop less strength due to impaired contractile properties of fast-twitch fibers associated with an anomalous MyHC-actin ratio and a reduced sensitivity to Ca2+. We demonstrate that the decrease of Ca2+ sensitivity of fast-twitch fibers depends on the anomalous troponin complex and can be rescued by the substitution with the wild-type proteins. Finally, we find that the presence of aberrant splicing isoforms of TNNT3 characterizes dystrophic muscles in FSHD patients. Collectively, our results suggest that anomalous TNNT3 profile correlates with the muscle impairment in both humans and mice. On the basis of these results, we propose that aberrant fTnT represents a biological marker of muscle phenotype severity and disease progression. PMID:24305066

  16. Positively selected FimH residues enhance virulence during urinary tract infection by altering FimH conformation

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Drew J.; Kalas, Vasilios; Pinkner, Jerome S.; Chen, Swaine L.; Spaulding, Caitlin N.; Dodson, Karen W.; Hultgren, Scott J.

    2013-01-01

    Chaperone–usher pathway pili are a widespread family of extracellular, Gram-negative bacterial fibers with important roles in bacterial pathogenesis. Type 1 pili are important virulence factors in uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), which cause the majority of urinary tract infections (UTI). FimH, the type 1 adhesin, binds mannosylated glycoproteins on the surface of human and murine bladder cells, facilitating bacterial colonization, invasion, and formation of biofilm-like intracellular bacterial communities. The mannose-binding pocket of FimH is invariant among UPEC. We discovered that pathoadaptive alleles of FimH with variant residues outside the binding pocket affect FimH-mediated acute and chronic pathogenesis of two commonly studied UPEC strains, UTI89 and CFT073. In vitro binding studies revealed that, whereas all pathoadaptive variants tested displayed the same high affinity for mannose when bound by the chaperone FimC, affinities varied when FimH was incorporated into pilus tip-like, FimCGH complexes. Structural studies have shown that FimH adopts an elongated conformation when complexed with FimC, but, when incorporated into the pilus tip, FimH can adopt a compact conformation. We hypothesize that the propensity of FimH to adopt the elongated conformation in the tip corresponds to its mannose binding affinity. Interestingly, FimH variants, which maintain a high-affinity conformation in the FimCGH tip-like structure, were attenuated during chronic bladder infection, implying that FimH’s ability to switch between conformations is important in pathogenesis. Our studies argue that positively selected residues modulate fitness during UTI by affecting FimH conformation and function, providing an example of evolutionary tuning of structural dynamics impacting in vivo survival. PMID:24003161

  17. Relative Fluid Novelty Differentially Alters the Time Course of Limited-Access Ethanol and Water Intake in Selectively Bred High Alcohol Preferring Mice

    PubMed Central

    Linsenbardt, David N.; Boehm, Stephen L.

    2015-01-01

    Background The influence of previous alcohol (ethanol) drinking experience on increasing the rate and amount of future ethanol consumption might be a genetically-regulated phenomenon critical to the development and maintenance of repeated excessive ethanol abuse. We have recently found evidence supporting this view, wherein inbred C57BL/6J (B6) mice develop progressive increases in the rate of binge-ethanol consumption over repeated Drinking-in-the-Dark (DID) ethanol access sessions (i.e. ‘front-loading’). The primary goal of the present study was to evaluate identical parameters in High Alcohol Preferring (HAP) mice to determine if similar temporal alterations in limited-access ethanol drinking develop in a population selected for high ethanol preference/intake under continuous (24hr) access conditions. Methods Using specialized volumetric drinking devices, HAP mice received 14 daily 2 hour DID ethanol or water access sessions. A subset of these mice was then given one day access to the opposite assigned fluid on day 15. Home cage locomotor activity was recorded concomitantly on each day of these studies. The possibility of behavioral/metabolic tolerance was evaluated on day 16 using experimenter administered ethanol. Results The amount of ethanol consumed within the first 15 minutes of access increased markedly over days. However, in contrast to previous observations in B6 mice, ethanol front-loading was also observed on day 15 in mice that only had previous DID experience with water. Furthermore, a decrease in the amount of water consumed within the first 15 minutes of access compared to animals given repeated water access was observed on day 15 in mice with 14 previous days of ethanol access. Conclusions These data further illustrate the complexity and importance of the temporal aspects of limited-access ethanol consumption, and suggest that previous procedural/fluid experience in HAP mice selectively alters the time course of ethanol and water consumption

  18. Neurochemical and electrophysiological deficits in the ventral hippocampus and selective behavioral alterations caused by high-fat diet in female C57BL/6 mice.

    PubMed

    Krishna, S; Keralapurath, M M; Lin, Z; Wagner, J J; de La Serre, C B; Harn, D A; Filipov, N M

    2015-06-25

    Mounting experimental evidence, predominantly from male rodents, demonstrates that high-fat diet (HFD) consumption and ensuing obesity are detrimental to the brain. To shed additional light on the neurological consequences of HFD consumption in female rodents and to determine the relatively early impact of HFD in the likely continuum of neurological dysfunction in the context of chronic HFD intake, this study investigated effects of HFD feeding for up to 12weeks on selected behavioral, neurochemical, and electrophysiological parameters in adult female C57BL/6 mice; particular focus was placed on the ventral hippocampus (vHIP). Selected locomotor, emotional and cognitive functions were evaluated using behavioral tests after 5weeks on HFD or control (low-fat diet) diets. One week later, mice were sacrificed and brain regional neurochemical (monoamine) analysis was performed. Behaviorally naïve mice were maintained on their respective diets for an additional 5-6weeks at which time synaptic plasticity was determined in ex vivo slices from the vHIP. HFD-fed female mice exhibited increased: (i) locomotor activity in the open field testing, (ii) mean turn time on the pole test, (iii) swimming time in the forced swim test, and (iv) number of marbles buried in the marble burying test. In contrast, the novel object recognition memory was unaffected. Mice on HFD also had decreased norepinephrine and dopamine turnover, respectively, in the prefrontal cortex and the vHIP. HFD consumption for a total of 11-12weeks altered vHIP synaptic plasticity, evidenced by significant reductions in the paired-pulse ratio and long-term potentiation (LTP) magnitude. In summary, in female mice, HFD intake for several weeks induced multiple behavioral alterations of mainly anxiety-like nature and impaired monoamine pathways in a brain region-specific manner, suggesting that in the female, certain behavioral domains (anxiety) and associated brain regions, i.e., the vHIP, are preferentially

  19. Thermal and adsorbate effects on the activity and morphology of size-selected Pdn/TiO2 model catalysts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaden, William E.; Kunkel, William A.; Roberts, F. Sloan; Kane, Matthew; Anderson, Scott L.

    2014-03-01

    Model catalysts containing size-selected Pdn (n = 1,2,4,7,10,16,20,25) deposited on rutile TiO2(110) deactivate during repeated CO oxidation temperature-programmed reaction (TPR) cycles, and the deactivation process has been probed using a combination of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS), low-energy ion scattering (ISS), temperature-dependent ion scattering (TD-ISS), annealing experiments, and temperature-programmed desorption following exposure to CO and O2 reactants. Results from such experiments suggest the cluster deactivation proceeds via an alloy-like, strong metal-support interaction (SMSI) effect that chemically modifies the clusters via electronic interactions between the supported metal atoms and Ti from the support. Threshold measurements show that this effect detrimentally affects CO-oxidation activity prior to the formation of an encapsulating overlayer by severely weakening the COPd bond strengths for binding configurations on top of the clusters. Oxidation appears to provide means of partially restoring the clusters to their initial state, but after sufficient exposure to reducing environments and elevated temperatures, all Pdn become covered by an overlayer and begin to electronically and chemically resemble freshly deposited atoms, which are completely inactive towards the probe reaction. In addition, we find evidence of oxygen spillover induced by co-adsorbed CO during TPRs for all active Pdn clusters.

  20. The gastric isthmus from D+ and D− broiler lines divergently selected for digestion efficiency shows histological and morphological differences1

    PubMed Central

    Rideau, N.; Godet, E.; Combémorel, C.; Chaudeau, M.; Carré, B.; Mignon-Grasteau, S.

    2014-01-01

    Previous results suggested that the gastric function plays a paramount role in digestive efficiency differences between D+ and D− broiler lines divergently selected for AMEn (more feed efficient and less feed efficient, respectively). In this paper we show an histological analysis of the gastric isthmus located between the proventriculus and the gizzard in the D+ and D− lines. Cross-sections were performed using a cryostat (Leica CM30505) and stained with a routine procedure using Mayer’s Hematoxylin and Eosin Stain. The surface and shape of the constitutive gastric isthmus tissues were quantified using the image analysis software Image J. The lumen occupied 11% of the whole D− isthmus cross-sectional area against 24% for D+ (P < 0.01). The mucosa relative area (cm2/total cross-sectional area) was higher in D− than in D+ [47% (D−) and 39% (D+), P < 0.01]. It was significantly more oval and more folded on the lumen side in D− than in D+ chickens; the muscle layer (muscularis mucosae) of the mucosa was relatively more developed in D− than in D+ (16 and 11% of the section, respectively; P < 0.01). A relationship between these observations and increased gastric motility reported in D− compared with D+ is discussed. PMID:24795318

  1. Controlled surface morphology and hydrophilicity of polycaprolactone toward selective differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells to neural like cells.

    PubMed

    Jahani, Hoda; Jalilian, Farid Azizi; Wu, Chia-Yu; Kaviani, Saeid; Soleimani, Masoud; Abassi, Naghmeh; Ou, Keng-Liang; Hosseinkhani, Hossein

    2015-05-01

    Differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into neuron cells has great potential in therapy of damaged nerve tissue. It has been shown that three-dimensional biomaterials have great ability to up regulate the expression of neuronal proteins. In this study, O2 plasma technology was used to enhance hydrophilicity of poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL) toward selective differentiation of MSCs into neural cells. Random and aligned PCL nanofibers scaffolds were fabricated by electrospinning method and their physicochemical and mechanical properties were carried out by scanning electron microscope (SEM), contact angle, and tensile measurements. Contact angle studies of PCL and plasma treated PCL (p-PCL) nanofibers revealed significant change on the surface properties PCL nanofibers from the view point of hydrophilicity. Physiochemical studies revealed that p-PCL nanofibers were extremely hydrophilic compared with untreated PCL nanofibers which were highly hydrophobic and nonabsorbent to water. Differentiation of MSCs were carried out by inducing growth factors including basic fibroblast growth factor, nerve growth factor, and brain derived growth factor, NT3, 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium/F12 media. Differentiated MSCs on nanofibrous scaffold were examined by immunofluorescence assay and was found to express the neuronal proteins; β-tubulin III and Map2, on day 15 after cell culture. The real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis showed that p-PCL nanofibrous scaffold could upregulate expression of Map-2 and downregulate expression of Nestin genes in nerve cells differentiated from MSCs. This study indicates that mesenchymal stem cell cultured on nanofibrous scaffold have potential differentiation to neuronal cells on and could apply in nerve tissue repair. PMID:25203786

  2. Pyroptosis is driven by non-selective gasdermin-D pore and its morphology is different from MLKL channel-mediated necroptosis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xin; He, Wan-Ting; Hu, Lichen; Li, Jingxian; Fang, Yuan; Wang, Xin; Xu, Xiaozheng; Wang, Zhuo; Huang, Kai; Han, Jiahuai

    2016-09-01

    Necroptosis and pyroptosis are two forms of programmed cell death with a common feature of plasma membrane rupture. Here we studied the morphology and mechanism of pyroptosis in comparison with necroptosis. Different from necroptosis, pyroptosis undergoes membrane blebbing and produces apoptotic body-like cell protrusions (termed pyroptotic bodies) prior to plasma membrane rupture. The rupture in necroptosis is explosion-like, whereas in pyroptosis it leads to flattening of cells. It is known that the execution of necroptosis is mediated by mixed lineage kinase domain-like (MLKL) oligomers in the plasma membrane, whereas gasdermin-D (GSDMD) mediates pyroptosis after its cleavage by caspase-1 or caspase-11. We show that N-terminal fragment of GSDMD (GSDMD-N) generated by caspase cleavage also forms oligomer and migrates to the plasma membrane to kill cells. Both MLKL and GSDMD-N are lipophilic and the N-terminal sequences of both proteins are important for their oligomerization and plasma membrane translocation. Unlike MLKL which forms channels on the plasma membrane that induces influx of selected ions which osmotically swell the cells to burst, GSDMD-N forms non-selective pores and does not rely on increased osmolarity to disrupt cells. Our study reveals the pore-forming activity of GSDMD and channel-forming activity of MLKL determine different ways of plasma membrane rupture in pyroptosis and necroptosis. PMID:27573174

  3. Selection for Growth on 3-Nitrotoluene by 2-Nitrotoluene-Utilizing Acidovorax sp. Strain JS42 Identifies Nitroarene Dioxygenases with Altered Specificities

    PubMed Central

    Mahan, Kristina M.; Penrod, Joseph T.; Ju, Kou-San; Al Kass, Natascia; Tan, Watumesa A.; Truong, Richard; Parales, Juanito V.

    2014-01-01

    Acidovorax sp. strain JS42 uses 2-nitrotoluene as a sole source of carbon and energy. The first enzyme of the degradation pathway, 2-nitrotoluene 2,3-dioxygenase, adds both atoms of molecular oxygen to 2-nitrotoluene, forming nitrite and 3-methylcatechol. All three mononitrotoluene isomers serve as substrates for 2-nitrotoluene dioxygenase, but strain JS42 is unable to grow on 3- or 4-nitrotoluene. Using both long- and short-term selections, we obtained spontaneous mutants of strain JS42 that grew on 3-nitrotoluene. All of the strains obtained by short-term selection had mutations in the gene encoding the α subunit of 2-nitrotoluene dioxygenase that changed isoleucine 204 at the active site to valine. Those strains obtained by long-term selections had mutations that changed the same residue to valine, alanine, or threonine or changed the alanine at position 405, which is just outside the active site, to glycine. All of these changes altered the regiospecificity of the enzymes with 3-nitrotoluene such that 4-methylcatechol was the primary product rather than 3-methylcatechol. Kinetic analyses indicated that the evolved enzymes had enhanced affinities for 3-nitrotoluene and were more catalytically efficient with 3-nitrotoluene than the wild-type enzyme. In contrast, the corresponding amino acid substitutions in the closely related enzyme nitrobenzene 1,2-dioxygenase were detrimental to enzyme activity. When cloned genes encoding the evolved dioxygenases were introduced into a JS42 mutant lacking a functional dioxygenase, the strains acquired the ability to grow on 3-nitrotoluene but with significantly longer doubling times than the evolved strains, suggesting that additional beneficial mutations occurred elsewhere in the genome. PMID:25344236

  4. Human T lymphotropic virus type-1 p30II alters cellular gene expression to selectively enhance signaling pathways that activate T lymphocytes

    PubMed Central

    Michael, Bindhu; Nair, Amrithraj M; Hiraragi, Hajime; Shen, Lei; Feuer, Gerold; Boris-Lawrie, Kathleen; Lairmore, Michael D

    2004-01-01

    Background Human T-lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1) is a deltaretrovirus that causes adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma and is implicated in a variety of lymphocyte-mediated disorders. HTLV-1 contains both regulatory and accessory genes in four pX open reading frames. pX ORF-II encodes two proteins, p13II and p30II, which are incompletely defined in the virus life cycle or HTLV-1 pathogenesis. Proviral clones of the virus with pX ORF-II mutations diminish the ability of the virus to maintain viral loads in vivo. Exogenous expression of p30II differentially modulates CREB and Tax-responsive element-mediated transcription through its interaction with CREB-binding protein/p300 and represses tax/rex RNA nuclear export. Results Herein, we further characterized the role of p30II in regulation of cellular gene expression, using stable p30II expression system employing lentiviral vectors to test cellular gene expression with Affymetrix U133A arrays, representing ~33,000 human genes. Reporter assays in Jurkat T cells and RT-PCR in Jurkat and primary CD4+ T-lymphocytes were used to confirm selected gene expression patterns. Our data reveals alterations of interrelated pathways of cell proliferation, T-cell signaling, apoptosis and cell cycle in p30II expressing Jurkat T cells. In all categories, p30II appeared to be an overall repressor of cellular gene expression, while selectively increasing the expression of certain key regulatory genes. Conclusions We are the first to demonstrate that p30II, while repressing the expression of many genes, selectively activates key gene pathways involved in T-cell signaling/activation. Collectively, our data suggests that this complex retrovirus, associated with lymphoproliferative diseases, relies upon accessory gene products to modify cellular environment to promote clonal expansion of the virus genome and thus maintain proviral loads in vivo. PMID:15560845

  5. Hydrolysed inulin alleviates the azoxymethane-induced preneoplastic aberrant crypt foci by altering selected intestinal microbiota in Sprague-Dawley rats.

    PubMed

    Pattananandecha, Thanawat; Sirilun, Sasithorn; Duangjitcharoen, Yodsawee; Sivamaruthi, Bhagavathi Sundaram; Suwannalert, Prasit; Peerajan, Sartjin; Chaiyasut, Chaiyavat

    2016-09-01

    Context Inulin, a non-digestible carbohydrate isolated from Helianthus tuberosus L. (Asteraceae), has been shown to alter the gut beneficial bacteria including Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacteria. Inulin also influences the activities of intestinal microbiota that could prevent the colon cancer development. Objective This study determines the effect of hydrolysed inulin with different degrees of polymerisation on alteration of intestinal microbiota and their activities on azoxymethane (AOM)-induced preneoplastic aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in rats. Materials and methods Seventy-two male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into six groups (three control and three AOM-treated groups) and the animal were fed with either a normal diet or diet containing 10% of long-chain inulin (InuL) or short-chain inulin (InuS), respectively, for 17 weeks. Colon cancer was induced in rats by injecting AOM subcutaneously at the 8th and 9th week of the study period. At the end of the experiment, cecal contents of rats were examined for selected microbiota, organic acids, putrefactive compounds and microbial enzymes. ACF formation was microscopically examined. Results The inulin diets significantly increased the weight and decreased the pH of the caecal content. The rats fed with InuL-supplemented diet showed approximately 2.9- and 6.8-fold increases in the biomass of Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacteria, respectively. Naive and AOM-treated rats fed with inulin-supplemented diet showed ∼1.3- and ∼2.2-fold decreases in the biomass of Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, respectively. Inulins significantly decreased the colonic concentration of phenol, p-cresol and indole. Reduction in the activity of microbial enzymes such as β-glucuronidase, azoreductase and nitroreductase were observed in inulin-treated animals. Reduction in the ACF formation has been observed in inulin-treated groups. Discussion and conclusion The present study demonstrates that dietary

  6. Systematic study on the influence of the morphology of α-MoO{sub 3} in the selective oxidation of propylene

    SciTech Connect

    Schuh, Kirsten; Kleist, Wolfgang; Høj, Martin; Jensen, Anker Degn; Beato, Pablo; Grunwaldt, Jan-Dierk

    2015-08-15

    A variety of morphologically different α-MoO{sub 3} samples were prepared by hydrothermal synthesis and applied in the selective oxidation of propylene. Their catalytic performance was compared to α-MoO{sub 3} prepared by flame spray pyrolysis (FSP) and a classical synthesis route. Hydrothermal synthesis from ammonium heptamolybdate (AHM) and nitric acid at pH 1–2 led to ammonium containing molybdenum oxide phases that were completely transformed into α-MoO{sub 3} after calcination at 550 °C. A one-step synthesis of α-MoO{sub 3} rods was possible starting from MoO{sub 3}·2H{sub 2}O with acetic acid or nitric acid and from AHM with nitric acid at 180 °C. Particularly, if nitric acid was used during synthesis, the rod-like morphology of the samples could be stabilized during calcination at 550 °C and the following catalytic activity tests, which was beneficial for the catalytic performance in propylene oxidation. Characterization studies using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Raman spectroscopy showed that those samples, which retained their rod-like morphology during the activity tests, yielded the highest propylene conversion. - Graphical abstract: Hydrothermal synthesis from MoO{sub 3}·2H{sub 2}O in the presence of HNO{sub 3} led to rod-shaped particles which mainly expose (1 0 0) facets which are the most active surfaces. - Highlights: • Hydrothermal synthesis of MoO3 resulted in either rod or slab shaped particles depending on pH. • At pH<0 rods stable towards calcination and catalytic activity testing were formed. • Rod shaped particles had significantly higher activity than slab shaped ones. • The rod shaped particles mainly expose the (1 0 0) facets which are the most active surfaces. • Total surface area is not main determining factor for catalytic activity.

  7. Chandra X-Ray and Hubble Space Telescope Imaging of Optically Selected Kiloparsec-scale Binary Active Galactic Nuclei. II. Host Galaxy Morphology and AGN Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shangguan, Jinyi; Liu, Xin; Ho, Luis C.; Shen, Yue; Peng, Chien Y.; Greene, Jenny E.; Strauss, Michael A.

    2016-05-01

    Binary active galactic nuclei (AGNs) provide clues to how gas-rich mergers trigger and fuel AGNs and how supermassive black hole (SMBH) pairs evolve in a gas-rich environment. While significant effort has been invested in their identification, the detailed properties of binary AGNs and their host galaxies are still poorly constrained. In a companion paper, we examined the nature of ionizing sources in the double nuclei of four kiloparsec-scale binary AGNs with redshifts between 0.1 and 0.2. Here, we present their host galaxy morphology based on F336W (U-band) and F105W (Y-band) images taken by the Wide Field Camera 3 on board the Hubble Space Telescope. Our targets have double-peaked narrow emission lines and were confirmed to host binary AGNs with follow-up observations. We find that kiloparsec-scale binary AGNs occur in galaxy mergers with diverse morphological types. There are three major mergers with intermediate morphologies and a minor merger with a dominant disk component. We estimate the masses of the SMBHs from their host bulge stellar masses and obtain Eddington ratios for each AGN. Compared with a representative control sample drawn at the same redshift and stellar mass, the AGN luminosities and Eddington ratios of our binary AGNs are similar to those of single AGNs. The U ‑ Y color maps indicate that clumpy star-forming regions could significantly affect the X-ray detection of binary AGNs, e.g., the hardness ratio. Considering the weak X-ray emission in AGNs triggered in merger systems, we suggest that samples of X-ray-selected AGNs may be biased against gas-rich mergers. Based, in part, on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated with program number GO 12363.

  8. Value of videoroscopy in the detection of alterations of  Actinic Cheilitis and the selection of biopsy areas

    PubMed Central

    Miranda, Ana-Maria; Ferrari, Thiago; Domingos, Tabata; Cunha, Karin; Dias, Eliane

    2015-01-01

    Background To demonstrate the value of videoroscopy in identifying lesions and alterations not seen by oroscopy and to select the area for biopsy. Material and Methods Eighty patients were subjected to anamnesis, physical exam, videoroscopy exam, toluidine blue test and biopsy. A diagram of the lips was created to record the exact location where the lesion was found. Results Physical exam identified 287 lesions, and videoroscopy identified 587 lesions; erythema and white lesions were the most common lesions associated with actinic cheilitis. Of the 59 performed biopsies, 32 (52.4%) cases were identified by videoroscopy that showed lesions that were not detected during physical examination. Conclusions The establishment of a diagram of the lip permitted registration of the precise location of the lesion. Videoroscopy was effective in locating lesions not seen by oroscopy. Both videoroscopy and the diagram of the lips allowed for better and earlier diagnosis and better patient follow-up for those with actinic cheilitis. Key words: Actinic cheilitis, potentially malignant disorder, videoroscopy, dermatoscopy, lip. oroscopy, diagram of lip. PMID:25662549

  9. Assessing the morphology of selective laser melted NiTi-scaffolds for a three-dimensional quantification of the one-way shape memory effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bormann, Therese; de Wild, Michael; Beckmann, Felix; Müller, Bert

    2013-04-01

    NiTi is promising for the use as bone scaffold, because the pseudoelasticity or the one- and two-way shape memory effect in the physiological window can mechanically stimulate the adherent cells. Such stimuli can enhance osseointegration and might reduce stress shielding associated with load bearing implants. The present study is based on the additive manufacturing technique of selective laser melting (SLM) to fabricate three-dimensional NiTi scaffolds. We demonstrate that the morphology of the scaffolds can be quantified using synchrotron radiation-based micro computed tomography (SRμCT) and sophisticated registration software. Comparing the CAD file with the SLM scaffolds, quality factors are derived. With respect to the CAD file, the overlap corresponds to (92.5 +/- 0.6) %. (7.4 +/- 0.42) % of material was missing and (48.9 +/- 2.3) % of excess material found. This means that the actual scaffold is less porous than expected, a fact that has to be considered for the scaffold design. In order to quantify the shape memory effect during the shape recovery process, we acquired radiographs rotating an initially deformed scaffold in angular steps of 0.2 degree during controlled heating. The continuously acquired radiographs were combined to tomography data, showing that the quality factors evolved with temperature as the scaffold height, measured by conventional thermo-mechanical analysis. Furthermore, the data comprise the presence of compressive and tensile local strains in the three-dimensional scaffolds to be compared with the physiological situation.

  10. Importance of Classical Morphology in the Diagnosis of Myelodysplastic Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Invernizzi, Rosangela; Quaglia, Federica; Porta, Matteo Giovanni Della

    2015-01-01

    Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are hematopoietic stem cell disorders characterized by dysplastic, ineffective, clonal and neoplastic hematopoiesis. MDS represent a complex hematological problem: differences in disease presentation, progression and outcome have necessitated the use of classification systems to improve diagnosis, prognostication, and treatment selection. However, since a single biological or genetic reliable diagnostic marker has not yet been discovered for MDS, quantitative and qualitative dysplastic morphological alterations of bone marrow precursors and peripheral blood cells are still fundamental for diagnostic classification. In this paper, World Health Organization (WHO) classification refinements and current minimal diagnostic criteria proposed by expert panels are highlighted, and related problematic issues are discussed. The recommendations should facilitate diagnostic and prognostic evaluations in MDS and selection of patients for new effective targeted therapies. Although, in the future, morphology should be supplemented with new molecular techniques, the morphological approach, at least for the moment, is still the cornerstone for the diagnosis and classification of these disorders. PMID:25960863

  11. Progressive accumulation of amyloid-β oligomers in Alzheimer’s disease and APP transgenic mice is accompanied by selective alterations in synaptic scaffold proteins

    PubMed Central

    Pham, Emiley; Crews, Leslie; Ubhi, Kiren; Hansen, Lawrence; Adame, Anthony; Cartier, Anna; Salmon, David; Galasko, Douglas; Michael, Sarah; Savas, Jeffrey N.; Yates, John R.; Glabe, Charles; Masliah, Eliezer

    2010-01-01

    The cognitive impairment in patients with Alzheimer’s disease is closely associated with synaptic loss in the neocortex and limbic system. Although the neurotoxic effects of aggregated amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers in Alzheimer’s disease have been widely studied in experimental models, less is known about the characteristics of these aggregates across the spectrum of Alzheimer’s disease. Here, postmortem frontal cortex samples from control and Alzheimer’s disease patients were fractioned and analyzed for levels of oligomers and synaptic proteins. We found that levels of oligomers correlated with the severity of cognitive impairment (Blessed score and Mini-Mental), and with the loss of synaptic markers. Reduced levels of the synaptic vesicle protein vesicle-associated membrane protein-2 and the postsynaptic protein post-synaptic density-95 (PSD95) correlated with levels of oligomers in the various fractions analyzed. The strongest associations were found with Aβ dimers and pentamers. Co-immunoprecipitation and double-labeling experiments support the possibility that Aβ and PSD95 interact at the synaptic sites. Similarly, in transgenic mice expressing high levels of neuronal amyloid precursor protein (APP), Aβ co-immunoprecipitated with PSD95. This was accompanied by a reduction in the levels of the post-synaptic proteins Shank1 and 3 in Alzheimer’s disease patients and in the brains of APP transgenic mice. In conclusion, this study suggests that the presence of a subpopulation of Aβ oligomers in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease might be related to alterations in selected synaptic proteins and cognitive impairment. PMID:20573181

  12. Resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis CryIA delta-endotoxins in a laboratory-selected Heliothis virescens strain is related to receptor alteration.

    PubMed

    Lee, M K; Rajamohan, F; Gould, F; Dean, D H

    1995-11-01

    The Bacillus thuringiensis toxin-binding properties of midgut epithelial cells from two strains of Heliothis virescens were compared. One H. virescens strains (YHD2) which was selected against CryIAc toxin had over 10,000-fold resistance to CryIAc toxin relative to the susceptible strain and was cross-resistant to CryIAa and CryIAb. The second H. virescens strain (YDK) was susceptible to these toxins in the order CryIAc > CryIAb > CryIAa. Receptor-binding properties of CryIAa, CryIAb, and CryIAc toxins were compared between the susceptible and resistant strains. Saturation and competition-binding experiments were performed with brush border membrane vesicles prepared from midguts of the susceptible and resistant insects and 125I-labeled toxins. In the susceptible strain, saturable, specific, and high-affinity binding of all three toxins was observed. The relative binding-site concentration was directly correlated with toxicity (CryIAc > CryIAb > CryIAa). In the resistant strains, the binding affinities of CryIAb and CryIAc were similar to that observed with the susceptible strain and ony minor differences in binding-site concentration (Bmax) were observed. The major difference between the two strains was the total lack of binding of CryIAa toxin to the brush border membrane vesicles of the resistant strain. Heterologous competition-binding experiments and ligand blot analysis supported the hypothesis that there were multiple binding sites for the toxins. On the basis of results of the present study, we propose that alterations in binding proteins shared by all three toxins are a major factor in resistance. This suggests that not all receptors of CryIAc might be involved in toxic function. PMID:8526494

  13. The role of galaxy interaction in the SFR-M {sub *} relation: characterizing morphological properties of Herschel-selected galaxies at 0.2 < z < 1.5

    SciTech Connect

    Hung, Chao-Ling; Sanders, D. B.; Casey, C. M.; Lee, N.; Barnes, J. E.; Koss, M.; Larson, K. L.; Lockhart, K.; Man, A. W. S.; Mann, A. W.; Capak, P.; Kartaltepe, J. S.; Le Floc'h, E.; Riguccini, L.; Scoville, N.; Symeonidis, M.

    2013-12-01

    Galaxy interactions/mergers have been shown to dominate the population of IR-luminous galaxies (L {sub IR} ≳ 10{sup 11.6} L {sub ☉}) in the local universe (z ≲ 0.25). Recent studies based on the relation between galaxies' star formation rates and stellar mass (the SFR-M {sub *} relation or the {sup g}alaxy main sequence{sup )} have suggested that galaxy interaction/mergers may only become significant when galaxies fall well above the galaxy main sequence. Since the typical SFR at a given M {sub *} increases with redshift, the existence of the galaxy main sequence implies that massive, IR-luminous galaxies at high z may not necessarily be driven by galaxy interactions. We examine the role of galaxy interactions in the SFR-M {sub *} relation by carrying out a morphological analysis of 2084 Herschel-selected galaxies at 0.2 < z < 1.5 in the COSMOS field. Using a detailed visual classification scheme, we show that the fraction of 'disk galaxies' decreases and the fraction of 'irregular' galaxies increases systematically with increasing L {sub IR} out to z ≲ 1.5 and z ≲ 1.0, respectively. At L {sub IR} >10{sup 11.5} L {sub ☉}, ≳ 50% of the objects show evident features of strongly interacting/merger systems, where this percentage is similar to the studies of local IR-luminous galaxies. The fraction of interacting/merger systems also systematically increases with the deviation from the SFR-M {sub *} relation, supporting the view that galaxies falling above the main sequence are more dominated by mergers than the main-sequence galaxies. Meanwhile, we find that ≳ 18% of massive IR-luminous 'main-sequence galaxies' are classified as interacting systems, where this population may not evolve through the evolutionary track predicted by a simple gas exhaustion model.

  14. Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection results in improved clinical outcomes in couples with previous ICSI failures or male factor infertility: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Setti, Amanda S; Braga, Daniela P A F; Figueira, Rita C S; Iaconelli, Assumpto; Borges, Edson

    2014-12-01

    The objective of this study was to perform the first meta-analysis to compare conventional intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) outcomes and intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI) outcomes in couples with previous ICSI failures (IF) or male factor infertility (MF). A systematic review was performed by searching Medline database to identify articles reporting on the comparison between ICSI and IMSI outcomes in couples with IF or MF. The main outcome measures were the implantation, pregnancy and miscarriage rates. Thirteen studies fulfilled our predetermined criteria. The overall results of meta-analysis for implantation (OR: 2.88; CI: 2.13-3.89), pregnancy (OR: 2.07; CI: 1.22-3.50) and miscarriage rates (OR: 0.31; CI: 0.14-0.67) were in favor of IMSI in couples with IF. Additionally, the overall result of meta-analysis for implantation (OR: 1.56; CI: 1.11-2.18) and pregnancy rate (OR: 1.61; CI: 1.17-2.23) were in favor of IMSI in couples with MF. IMSI increases the odds of implantation by 50% and pregnancy by 60% in couples with MF. In light of improved clinical outcomes, we recommend promoting the IMSI method in couples with MF. Moreover, IMSI results in a 3-fold increase in implantation rate, a 2-fold increase in pregnancy rate and a 70% decrease in miscarriage rate as compared to ICSI in couples with IF, however, as no randomized evidence exists, randomized studies are needed to confirm the IMSI benefits in couples with IF. PMID:25461360

  15. Selection of carcinogen-altered rat tracheal epithelial cells preexposed to 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene by their loss of a need for pyruvate to survive in culture

    SciTech Connect

    Marchok, A.C.; Huang, S.F.; Martin, D.H.

    1984-01-01

    Normal rat tracheal epithelial cells require exogenous pyruvate to survive in culture while carcinogen-altered cells do not. The aims of our study were, (i) to utilize this loss of requirement for pyruvate by carcinogen-altered cells as a way of selecting out and quantitating the numbers of altered cell populations induced in tracheas exposed to 200 ..mu..g 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)-anthracene (DMBA)-beeswax pellets for different lengths of time, (ii) to determine the constancy of these numbers at increasing time intervals after the exposure, (iii) to look for distinctive growth properties in cell populations that may be related to the exposure conditions. Results show that there were 1.8/altered or selected cell populations (SPC) trachea 2 months after the 2 weeks exposure, while 5.0 and 7.2 SPC were obtained from the 4 weeks and continuously exposed tracheas, respectively, at this time. The numbers of SPC did not increase with time after exposure indicating that the maximal number of initiation sites was fixed. Between 2 and 9 months the number of subculturable SPC increased from 67 to 88% in the 2 week exposed group, while 93-100% of the SPC were subculturable after the longer DMBA exposures. Only the SPC from the 2 week DMBA-2 month group were distinguished by smaller numbers of cells surviving the selection medium and by a slower average growth rate compared to all the other experimental conditions. 29 references, 3 figures, 2 tables.

  16. Influence Of Sterilization On Bulk And Surface Morphologies Of Copolyether-Urethane-Ureas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knutson, K.; Lyman, D. J.

    1981-10-01

    The influence of sterilization on the bulk and surface morphologies of a copolyether-urethane-urea was studied. The bulk morphology was altered due to annealing by autoclaving and ethylene oxide sterilization. Radiation sterilization did not significantly alter the morphology. Surface morphology was not significantly altered by any of the sterilization procedures. Changes in chemical structure as the result of sterilization were not observed.

  17. Diabetes aggravates nanoparticles induced breakdown of the blood-brain barrier permeability, brain edema formation, alterations in cerebral blood flow and neuronal injury. An experimental study using physiological and morphological investigations in the rat.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Hari Shanker; Patnaik, Ranjana; Sharma, Aruna

    2010-12-01

    The possibility that diabetes aggravates nanoparticles induced blood-brain barrier (BBB) breakdown, edema formation and brain pathology was examined in a rat model. Engineered nanoparticles from metals Ag and Cu (50-60 mn) were administered (50 mg/kg, i.p.) once daily for 7 days in normal and streptozotocine induced diabetic rats. On the 8th day, BBB permeability to Evans blue and radioactive iodine (131I-sodium) was examined in 16 brain regions. In these brain regions alterations in regional CBF was also evaluated using radiolabelled (125I) carbonized microspheres (o.d. 15 +/- 6 microm). Regional brain edema and Na+, K+ and Cl- ion analysis were done in 8 selected brain regions. Histopathology was used to detect neuronal damage employing Nissl staining. Nanoparticles treatment in diabetic rats showed much more profound disruption of the BBB to Evans blue albumin (EBA) and radioiodine in almost all the 16 regions examined as compared to the normal animals. In these diabetic animals reduction in regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) was more pronounced than in normal rats. Edema development as seen using water content and increase in Na+ and a decrease in K+ ion were most marked in diabetic rats as compared to normal rats after nanoparticles treatment. Cell changes in the regions of BBB disruptions were also exacerbated in diabetic rats compared to normal group after nanoparticles treatment. Taken together, these observations are the first to show that diabetic rats are more susceptible to nanoparticles induced cerebrovascular reactions in the brain and neuronal damage. The possible mechanisms and significance of the present findings are discussed. PMID:21121280

  18. Cox4i2, Ifit2, and Prdm11 Mutant Mice: Effective Selection of Genes Predisposing to an Altered Airway Inflammatory Response from a Large Compendium of Mutant Mouse Lines

    PubMed Central

    Bönisch, Clemens; Côme, Christophe; Kolster-Fog, Cathrine; Jensen, Klaus T.; Lund, Anders H.; Lee, Icksoo; Grossman, Lawrence I.; Sinkler, Christopher; Hüttemann, Maik; Bohn, Erwin; Fuchs, Helmut; Ollert, Markus; Gailus-Durner, Valérie; Hrabĕ de Angelis, Martin; Beckers, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    We established a selection strategy to identify new models for an altered airway inflammatory response from a large compendium of mutant mouse lines that were systemically phenotyped in the German Mouse Clinic (GMC). As selection criteria we included published gene functional data, as well as immunological and transcriptome data from GMC phenotyping screens under standard conditions. Applying these criteria we identified a few from several hundred mutant mouse lines and further characterized the Cox4i2tm1Hutt, Ifit2tm1.1Ebsb, and Prdm11tm1.1ahl lines following ovalbumin (OVA) sensitization and repeated OVA airway challenge. Challenged Prdm11tm1.1ahl mice exhibited changes in B cell counts, CD4+ T cell counts, and in the number of neutrophils in bronchoalveolar lavages, whereas challenged Ifit2tm1.1Ebsb mice displayed alterations in plasma IgE, IgG1, IgG3, and IgM levels compared to the challenged wild type littermates. In contrast, challenged Cox4i2tm1Hutt mutant mice did not show alterations in the humoral or cellular immune response compared to challenged wild type mice. Transcriptome analyses from lungs of the challenged mutant mouse lines showed extensive changes in gene expression in Prdm11tm1.1ahl mice. Functional annotations of regulated genes of all three mutant mouse lines were primarily related to inflammation and airway smooth muscle (ASM) remodeling. We were thus able to define an effective selection strategy to identify new candidate genes for the predisposition to an altered airway inflammatory response under OVA challenge conditions. Similar selection strategies may be used for the analysis of additional genotype – envirotype interactions for other diseases. PMID:26263558

  19. Musical morphology.

    PubMed

    Chakravarty, M Mallar; Vuust, Peter

    2009-07-01

    Morphologic measures have long been used to determine the patho-anatomical signature of different neurologic disorders. However, these measures can also be used to determine effects of specific learning tasks and quantifiable human abilities on cerebral structure. Musicians provide interesting opportunities for this type of analysis as their various skills, such as rhythmic ability and pitch and harmony discrimination (acquired through years of practicing and playing) can be quantified and compared using distinct morphologic analyses. Here, we review magnetic resonance imaging-based morphologic analyses in the music and neuroscience literature and provide some results from our own analysis of rhythmic ability in a cohort of musicians. PMID:19673757

  20. An acoustic microscopy technique reveals hidden morphological defenses in Daphnia.

    PubMed

    Laforsch, Christian; Ngwa, Wilfred; Grill, Wolfgang; Tollrian, Ralph

    2004-11-01

    Inducible defenses are common strategies for coping with the selective force of predation in heterogeneous environments. In recent years the conspicuous and often dramatic morphological plasticity of several waterflea species of the genus Daphnia have been found to be inducible defenses activated by chemical cues released by predators. However, the exact defensive mechanisms remained mysterious. Because even some minute morphological alterations proved to be protective against predatory invertebrates, it has been suggested that the visible morphological changes are only the tip of the iceberg of the entire protective mechanisms. Here we applied a method of ultrasonic microscopy with vector contrast at 1.2 GHz to probe hidden morphological defenses. We found that induction with predator kairomones increases the stability of the carapace in two Daphnia species up to 350%. This morphological plasticity provides a major advantage for the induced morphs during predation because predatory invertebrates need to crush or puncture the carapace of their prey to consume them. Our ultrastructural analyses revealed that the internal architecture of the carapace ensures maximal rigidity with minimal material investment. Our results uncover hidden morphological plasticity and suggest a reconsideration of former classification systems in defended and undefended genotypes in Daphnia and possibly in other prey organisms as well. PMID:15520396

  1. Selected sperm traits are simultaneously altered after scrotal heat stress and play specific roles in in vitro fertilization and embryonic development.

    PubMed

    Lucio, Aline C; Alves, Benner G; Alves, Kele A; Martins, Muller C; Braga, Lucas S; Miglio, Luisa; Alves, Bruna G; Silva, Thiago H; Jacomini, José O; Beletti, Marcelo E

    2016-09-01

    Improvements in the estimation of male fertility indicators require advances in laboratory tests for sperm assessment. The aims of the present work were (1) to apply a multivariate analysis to examine sperm set of alterations and interactions and (2) to evaluate the importance of sperm parameters on the outcome of standard IVF and embryonic development. Bulls (n = 3) were subjected to scrotal insulation, and ejaculates were collected before (preinsulation = Day 0) and through 56 days (Days 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, 49, and 56) of the experimental period. Sperm head morphometry and chromatin variables were assessed by a computational image analysis, and IVF was performed. Scrotal heat stress induced alterations in all evaluated sperm head features, as well as cleavage and blastocyst rates. A principal component analysis revealed three main components (factors) that represented almost 89% of the cumulative variance. In addition, an association of factor scores with cleavage (factor 1) and blastocyst (factor 3) rates was observed. In conclusion, several sperm traits were simultaneously altered as a result of a thermal insult. These sperm traits likely play specific roles in IVF and embryonic development. PMID:27087533

  2. Raman-Mössbauer-XRD studies of selected samples from "Los Azulejos" outcrop: A possible analogue for assessing the alteration processes on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lalla, E. A.; Sanz-Arranz, A.; Lopez-Reyes, G.; Sansano, A.; Medina, J.; Schmanke, D.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Rodríguez-Losada, J. A.; Martínez-Frías, J.; Rull, F.

    2016-06-01

    The outcrop of "Los Azulejos" is visible at the interior of the Cañadas Caldera in Tenerife Island (Spain). It exhibits a great variety of alteration processes that could be considered as terrestrial analogue for several geological processes on Mars. This outcrop is particularly interesting due to the content of clays, zeolite, iron oxides, and sulfates corresponding to a hydrothermal alteration catalogued as "Azulejos" type alteration. A detailed analysis by portable and laboratory Raman systems as well as other different techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Mössbauer spectroscopy has been carried out (using twin-instruments from Martian lander missions: Mössbauer spectrometer MIMOS-II from the NASA-MER mission of 2001 and the XRD diffractometer from the NASA-MSL Curiosity mission of 2012). The mineral identification presents the following mineral species: magnetite, goethite, hematite, anatase, rutile, quartz, gregoryite, sulfate (thenardite and hexahydrite), diopside, feldspar, analcime, kaolinite and muscovite. Moreover, the in-situ Raman and Micro-Raman measurements have been performed in order to compare the capabilities of the portable system specially focused for the next ESA Exo-Mars mission. The mineral detection confirms the sub-aerial alteration on the surface and the hydrothermal processes by the volcanic fluid circulations in the fresh part. Therefore, the secondary more abundant mineralization acts as the color agent of the rocks. Thus, the zeolite-illite group is the responsible for the bluish coloration, as well as the feldspars and carbonates for the whitish and the iron oxide for the redish parts. The XRD system was capable to detect a minor proportion of pyroxene, which is not visible by Raman and Mössbauer spectroscopy due to the "Azulejos" alteration of the parent material on the outcrop. On the other hand, Mössbauer spectroscopy was capable of detecting different types of iron-oxides (Fe3+/2+-oxide phases). These analyses

  3. DNA ALTERATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The exposure of an organism to genotoxic chemicals may induce a cascade of genetic events. nitially, structural alterations to DNA are formed. ext, the DNA damage is processed and subsequently expressed in mutant gene products. inally, diseases result from the genetic damage. he ...

  4. Micro-morphological alterations in young rosette leaves of Dipsacus laciniatus L. (Dipsacaceae) caused by infestation of the eriophyid mite Leipotrix dipsacivagus Petanovic et Rector (Acari: Eriophyoidea) under laboratory con

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The present study describes micro-morphological and hystological changes to the native Eurasian plant species Dipsacus laciniatus (Dipsacaceae) provoked by infestation of the eriophyid mite, Leipothrix dipsacivagus Petanovic et Rector. Conspicuous injuries to the leaf tissue were induced by mites f...

  5. Ecology of Meimuna mongolica (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) Nymphs: Instars, Morphological Variation, Vertical Distribution and Population Density, Host-Plant Selection, and Emergence Phenology

    PubMed Central

    Li, Qinglong; Yang, Mingsheng; Liu, Yunxiang; Wei, Cong

    2015-01-01

    The cicada Meimuna mongolica (Distant) (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) is one of the most important pests of economic forest in Guanzhong Plain of Shaanxi Province, China. Information about ecological characteristics and some sustainable control measures of this species is urgently required for its control. In this study, nymphal instars, morphological variation, vertical distribution, and population density in soil, and emergence phenology of nymphs of M. mongolica on three main host plants (Pinus tabuliformis Carr., Populus tomentosa Carr., and Pyrus xerophila Yü) were studied, based on combined morphological and molecular identification, investigation of the first-instar nymphs hatched from eggs and others excavated from soil, and investigation of exuviae in the adult emergence period. Five nymphal instars of M. mongolica were redetermined according to the distribution plots of the head capsule widths of the nymphs. Nymphs of third and fourth instars showed morphological variation, which is closely related to host-plant association. The mean densities of nymphs in soil under the three host plants were significantly different, indicating a distinct host preference. The nymphs could extend their distribution from the 0–10 cm soil layer to the 51–60 cm soil layer underground but not beyond 60 cm soil layer under all the three host plants. The 21–30 cm soil layer under all the three host plants has the highest nymphal population density. The sex ratio of the entire population was nearly 50:50, but males dominated in the early half of the duration of the emergence. These ecological characteristics of M. mongolica could provide important information for sustainable control measures.

  6. Selected Morphological Characteristics, Lead Uptake and Phytochelatin Synthesis by Coffeeweed (Sesbania exaltata Raf.) Grown in Elevated Levels of Lead-Contaminated Soil

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Gloria; Begonia, Gregorio; Begonia, Maria F. T.

    2011-01-01

    Remediation of lead-contaminated soil is significant due to the inherent toxicity of lead (Pb), and the quantity of Pb discharged into the soil. One of the most cost-effective and environmentally sound technologies for the cleanup of metal-contaminated soils is through the use of plants. While much is known about the ecological evolution of metal tolerance in plants, the physiological, biochemical, and genetic mechanisms of tolerance is not well understood in the majority of resistant ecotypes such as the legume, Sesbania exaltata Raf. This study was therefore conducted to determine the morphological and physiological characteristics of Sesbania that had been grown in Pb-contaminated soil, and to assess phytochelatin synthesis as a way of elucidating its relative Pb tolerance. Sesbania plants were grown in the greenhouse and exposed to various levels of Pb: 0, 1000, and 2000 mg Pb/kg soil. Plants were harvested after 6, 8, and 10 weeks of growth and morphological characteristics (e.g., root and shoot biomass, root length, number of root nodules, shoot height, number of leaves, number of flowers, number and length of pods) were recorded. Generally, there were no statistical differences in morphological characteristics among the treatments. Further, no discernible phytotoxic symptoms, such as chlorosis, wilting, or necrotic lesions, in neither roots nor shoots were observed. We concluded that while Sesbania did not fit the model of a hyperaccumulator, the plant was, nonetheless, tolerant to elevated Pb levels. Our assessment for phytochelatin synthesis as a tolerance mechanism was inconclusive and further investigations of tolerance mechanisms are warranted. PMID:21776237

  7. Selective alterations of brain dopamine D(2) receptor binding in cirrhotic patients: results of a (11)C-N-methylspiperone PET study.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Yuki; Kato, Akinobu; Sawara, Kei; Butterworth, Roger F; Sasaki, Toshiaki; Terasaki, Kazunori; Sera, Koichiro; Suzuki, Kazuyuki

    2008-09-01

    Alterations of the brain dopamine system have been implicated in the neurological complications of chronic liver failure. The present study was aimed at the measurement of dopamine D(2) binding sites in cirrhotic patients by positron emission tomography (PET) using (11)C-N-methylspiperone as ligand. The regions of interest (ROI) were designated on a three-dimensional stereotaxic ROI template (3DSRT). The pixel values of twelve ROIs corrected by the pixel value of the cerebellum after 80 min static scanning were used to quantitate changes in binding. D(2) binding sites were significantly decreased in the hippocampus and thalamus of cirrhotic patients and were positively correlated with serum bilirubin levels and Child-Pugh scores and were negatively correlated with prothrombin times (thalamus). Loss of D(2) sites was greater in thalamus and hippocampus of alcoholic cirrhotics compared to non-alcoholics. Statistically significant correlations were also observed between D(2) binding sites in hippocampus, thalamus and lenticular nuclei and history of overt encephalopathy. These findings suggest that D(2) receptor binding in some regions of brain in cirrhotic patients is influenced by factors such as the severity of liver damage and history of alcohol dependency or overt encephalopathy. Alterations of D(2) receptor sites indicative of dopaminergic synaptic dysfunction could play an important role in the pathogenesis of the cognitive and motor disturbances associated with chronic liver failure. PMID:18686022

  8. Fluoxetine, a selective inhibitor of serotonin uptake, potentiates morphine analgesia without altering its discriminative stimulus properties or affinity for opioid receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Hynes, M.D.; Lochner, M.A.; Bemis, K.G.; Hymson, D.L.

    1985-06-17

    The analgesic effect of morphine in the rat tail jerk assay was enhanced by the serotonin uptake inhibitor, fluoxetine. Tail jerk latency was not affected by fluoxetine alone. Morphine's affinity for opioid receptors labeled in vitro with /sup 3/H-naloxone or /sup 3/H-D-Ala/sup 2/-D-Leu/sup 5/-enkephalin was not altered by fluoxetine, which has no affinity for these sites at concentrations as high as 1000 nM. In rats trained to discriminate morphine from saline, fluoxetine at doses of 5 or 10 mg/kg were recognized as saline. Increasing the fluoxetine dose to 20 mg/kg did not result in generalization to either saline or morphine. The dose response curve for morphine generalization was not significantly altered by fluoxetine doses of 5 or 10 mg/kg. Those rats treated with the combination of morphine and 20 mg/kg of fluoxetine did not exhibit saline or morphine appropriate responding. Fluoxetine potentiates the analgesic properties of morphine without enhancing its affinity for opioid receptors or its discriminative stimulus properties. 30 references, 2 figures, 2 tables.

  9. Selective, pulsed CVD of platinum on microfilament gas sensors

    SciTech Connect

    Manginell, R.P.; Smith, J.H.; Ricco, A.J.; Moreno, D.J.; Hughes, R.C.; Huber, R.J.; Senturia, S.D.

    1996-05-01

    A post-processing, selective micro-chemical vapor deposition (``micro-CVD``) technology for the deposition of catalytic films on surface-micromachined, nitride-passivated polysilicon filaments has been investigated. Atmospheric pressure deposition of Pt on microfilaments was accomplished by thermal decomposition of Pt acetylacetonate; deposition occurs selectively only on those filaments which are electrically heated. Catalyst morphology, characterized by SEM, can be controlled by altering deposition time, filament temperature, and through the use of pulsed heating of the filament during deposition. Morphology plays an important role in determining the sensitivity of these devices when used as combustible gas sensors.

  10. Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Microanalysis for Chemical and Morphological Characterisation of the Inorganic Component of Gunshot Residue: Selected Problems

    PubMed Central

    Brożek-Mucha, Zuzanna

    2014-01-01

    Chosen aspects of examinations of inorganic gunshot particles by means of scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry technique are presented. The research methodology of particles was worked out, which included a precise and repeatable procedure of the automatic detection and identification of particles as well as the representation of the obtained analytical data in the form of the frequencies of occurrence of particles of certain chemical or morphological class within the whole population of particles revealed in a specimen. On this basis, there were established relationships between the chemical and morphological properties of populations of particles and factors, such as the type of ammunition, the distance from the gun muzzle to the target, the type of a substrate the particles sediment on, and the time between shooting and collecting the specimens. Each of these aspects of examinations of particles revealed a great potential of being utilised in casework, while establishing various circumstances of shooting incidents leads to the reconstruction of the course of the studied incident. PMID:25025050

  11. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray microanalysis for chemical and morphological characterisation of the inorganic component of gunshot residue: selected problems.

    PubMed

    Brożek-Mucha, Zuzanna

    2014-01-01

    Chosen aspects of examinations of inorganic gunshot particles by means of scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry technique are presented. The research methodology of particles was worked out, which included a precise and repeatable procedure of the automatic detection and identification of particles as well as the representation of the obtained analytical data in the form of the frequencies of occurrence of particles of certain chemical or morphological class within the whole population of particles revealed in a specimen. On this basis, there were established relationships between the chemical and morphological properties of populations of particles and factors, such as the type of ammunition, the distance from the gun muzzle to the target, the type of a substrate the particles sediment on, and the time between shooting and collecting the specimens. Each of these aspects of examinations of particles revealed a great potential of being utilised in casework, while establishing various circumstances of shooting incidents leads to the reconstruction of the course of the studied incident. PMID:25025050

  12. The Utility of Impulsive Bias and Altered Decision Making as Predictors of Drug Efficacy and Target Selection: Rethinking Behavioral Screening for Antidepressant Drugs.

    PubMed

    Marek, Gerard J; Day, Mark; Hudzik, Thomas J

    2016-03-01

    Cognitive dysfunction may be a core feature of major depressive disorder, including affective processing bias, abnormal response to negative feedback, changes in decision making, and increased impulsivity. Accordingly, a translational medicine paradigm predicts clinical action of novel antidepressants by examining drug-induced changes in affective processing bias. With some exceptions, these concepts have not been systematically applied to preclinical models to test new chemical entities. The purpose of this review is to examine whether an empirically derived behavioral screen for antidepressant drugs may screen for compounds, at least in part, by modulating an impulsive biasing of responding and altered decision making. The differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate (DRL) 72-second schedule is an operant schedule with a documented fidelity for discriminating antidepressant drugs from nonantidepressant drugs. However, a theoretical basis for this empirical relationship has been lacking. Therefore, this review will discuss whether response bias toward impulsive behavior may be a critical screening characteristic of DRL behavior requiring long inter-response times to obtain rewards. This review will compare and contrast DRL behavior with the five-choice serial reaction time task, a test specifically designed for assessing motoric impulsivity, with respect to psychopharmacological testing and the neural basis of distributed macrocircuits underlying these tasks. This comparison suggests that the existing empirical basis for the DRL 72-second schedule as a pharmacological screen for antidepressant drugs is complemented by a novel hypothesis that altering impulsive response bias for rodents trained on this operant schedule is a previously unrecognized theoretical cornerstone for this screening paradigm. PMID:26699144

  13. Pregnane X Receptor Represses HNF4α Gene to Induce Insulin-Like Growth Factor–Binding Protein IGFBP1 that Alters Morphology of and Migrates HepG2 Cells

    PubMed Central

    Kodama, Susumu; Yamazaki, Yuichi

    2015-01-01

    Upon treatment with the pregnane X receptor (PXR) activator rifampicin (RIF), human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2-derived ShP51 cells that stably express PXR showed epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)–like morphological changes and migration. Our recent DNA microarrays have identified hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF) 4α and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein (IGFBP) 1 mRNAs to be downregulated and upregulated, respectively, in RIF-treated ShP51 cells, and these regulations were confirmed by the subsequent real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analyses. Using this cell system, we demonstrated here that the PXR-HNF4α-IGFBP1 pathway is an essential signal for PXR-induced morphological changes and migration. First, we characterized the molecular mechanism underlying the PXR-mediated repression of the HNF4α gene. Chromatin conformation capture and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays revealed that PXR activation by RIF disrupted enhancer-promoter communication and prompted deacetylation of histone H3 in the HNF4α P1 promoter. Cell-based reporter and ChIP assays showed that PXR targeted the distal enhancer of the HNF4α P1 promoter and stimulated dissociation of HNF3β from the distal enhancer. Subsequently, small interfering RNA knockdown of HNF4α connected PXR-mediated gene regulation with the PXR-induced cellular responses, showing that the knockdown resulted in the upregulation of IGFBP1 and EMT-like morphological changes without RIF treatment. Moreover, recombinant IGFBP1 augmented migration, whereas an anti-IGFBP1 antibody attenuated both PXR-induced morphological changes and migration in ShP51 cells. PXR indirectly activated the IGFBP1 gene by repressing the HNF4α gene, thus enabling upregulation of IGFBP1 to change the morphology of ShP51 cells and cause migration. These results provide new insights into PXR-mediated cellular responses toward xenobiotics including therapeutics. PMID:26232425

  14. Pregnane X Receptor Represses HNF4α Gene to Induce Insulin-Like Growth Factor-Binding Protein IGFBP1 that Alters Morphology of and Migrates HepG2 Cells.

    PubMed

    Kodama, Susumu; Yamazaki, Yuichi; Negishi, Masahiko

    2015-10-01

    Upon treatment with the pregnane X receptor (PXR) activator rifampicin (RIF), human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2-derived ShP51 cells that stably express PXR showed epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-like morphological changes and migration. Our recent DNA microarrays have identified hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF) 4α and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein (IGFBP) 1 mRNAs to be downregulated and upregulated, respectively, in RIF-treated ShP51 cells, and these regulations were confirmed by the subsequent real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analyses. Using this cell system, we demonstrated here that the PXR-HNF4α-IGFBP1 pathway is an essential signal for PXR-induced morphological changes and migration. First, we characterized the molecular mechanism underlying the PXR-mediated repression of the HNF4α gene. Chromatin conformation capture and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays revealed that PXR activation by RIF disrupted enhancer-promoter communication and prompted deacetylation of histone H3 in the HNF4α P1 promoter. Cell-based reporter and ChIP assays showed that PXR targeted the distal enhancer of the HNF4α P1 promoter and stimulated dissociation of HNF3β from the distal enhancer. Subsequently, small interfering RNA knockdown of HNF4α connected PXR-mediated gene regulation with the PXR-induced cellular responses, showing that the knockdown resulted in the upregulation of IGFBP1 and EMT-like morphological changes without RIF treatment. Moreover, recombinant IGFBP1 augmented migration, whereas an anti-IGFBP1 antibody attenuated both PXR-induced morphological changes and migration in ShP51 cells. PXR indirectly activated the IGFBP1 gene by repressing the HNF4α gene, thus enabling upregulation of IGFBP1 to change the morphology of ShP51 cells and cause migration. These results provide new insights into PXR-mediated cellular responses toward xenobiotics including therapeutics. PMID:26232425

  15. Temporal Alterations in the Secretome of the Selective Ligninolytic Fungus Ceriporiopsis subvermispora during Growth on Aspen Wood Reveal This Organism's Strategy for Degrading Lignocellulose

    PubMed Central

    Hori, Chiaki; Gaskell, Jill; Igarashi, Kiyohiko; Kersten, Phil; Mozuch, Michael; Samejima, Masahiro

    2014-01-01

    The white-rot basidiomycetes efficiently degrade all wood cell wall polymers. Generally, these fungi simultaneously degrade cellulose and lignin, but certain organisms, such as Ceriporiopsis subvermispora, selectively remove lignin in advance of cellulose degradation. However, relatively little is known about the mechanism of selective ligninolysis. To address this issue, C. subvermispora was grown in liquid medium containing ball-milled aspen, and nano-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was used to identify and estimate extracellular protein abundance over time. Several manganese peroxidases and an aryl alcohol oxidase, both associated with lignin degradation, were identified after 3 days of incubation. A glycoside hydrolase (GH) family 51 arabinofuranosidase was also identified after 3 days but then successively decreased in later samples. Several enzymes related to cellulose and xylan degradation, such as GH10 endoxylanase, GH5_5 endoglucanase, and GH7 cellobiohydrolase, were detected after 5 days. Peptides corresponding to potential cellulose-degrading enzymes GH12, GH45, lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase, and cellobiose dehydrogenase were most abundant after 7 days. This sequential production of enzymes provides a mechanism consistent with selective ligninolysis by C. subvermispora. PMID:24441164

  16. Temporal alterations in the secretome of the selective ligninolytic fungus Ceriporiopsis subvermispora during growth on aspen wood reveal this organism's strategy for degrading lignocellulose.

    PubMed

    Hori, Chiaki; Gaskell, Jill; Igarashi, Kiyohiko; Kersten, Phil; Mozuch, Michael; Samejima, Masahiro; Cullen, Dan

    2014-04-01

    The white-rot basidiomycetes efficiently degrade all wood cell wall polymers. Generally, these fungi simultaneously degrade cellulose and lignin, but certain organisms, such as Ceriporiopsis subvermispora, selectively remove lignin in advance of cellulose degradation. However, relatively little is known about the mechanism of selective ligninolysis. To address this issue, C. subvermispora was grown in liquid medium containing ball-milled aspen, and nano-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was used to identify and estimate extracellular protein abundance over time. Several manganese peroxidases and an aryl alcohol oxidase, both associated with lignin degradation, were identified after 3 days of incubation. A glycoside hydrolase (GH) family 51 arabinofuranosidase was also identified after 3 days but then successively decreased in later samples. Several enzymes related to cellulose and xylan degradation, such as GH10 endoxylanase, GH5_5 endoglucanase, and GH7 cellobiohydrolase, were detected after 5 days. Peptides corresponding to potential cellulose-degrading enzymes GH12, GH45, lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase, and cellobiose dehydrogenase were most abundant after 7 days. This sequential production of enzymes provides a mechanism consistent with selective ligninolysis by C. subvermispora. PMID:24441164

  17. Distinct Escape Pathway by Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 1a from a Dominant CD8+ T Cell Response by Selection of Altered Epitope Processing

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Andreas; Skibbe, Kathrin; Steinmann, Eike; Pfaender, Stephanie; Kuntzen, Thomas; Megger, Dominik A.; Groten, Svenja; Sitek, Barbara; Lauer, Georg M.; Kim, Arthur Y.; Pietschmann, Thomas; Allen, Todd M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Antiviral CD8+ T cells are a key component of the adaptive immune response against HCV, but their impact on viral control is influenced by preexisting viral variants in important target epitopes and the development of viral escape mutations. Immunodominant epitopes highly conserved across genotypes therefore are attractive for T cell based prophylactic vaccines. Here, we characterized the CD8+ T cell response against the highly conserved HLA-B*51-restricted epitope IPFYGKAI1373–1380 located in the helicase domain of NS3 in people who inject drugs (PWID) exposed predominantly to HCV genotypes 1a and 3a. Despite this epitope being conserved in both genotypes, the corresponding CD8+ T cell response was detected only in PWID infected with genotype 3a and HCV-RNA negative PWID, but not in PWID infected with genotype 1a. In genotype 3a, the detection of strong CD8+ T cell responses was associated with epitope variants in the autologous virus consistent with immune escape. Analysis of viral sequences from multiple cohorts confirmed HLA-B*51-associated escape mutations inside the epitope in genotype 3a, but not in genotype 1a. Here, a distinct substitution in the N-terminal flanking region located 5 residues upstream of the epitope (S1368P; P = 0.00002) was selected in HLA-B*51-positive individuals. Functional assays revealed that the S1368P substitution impaired recognition of target cells presenting the endogenously processed epitope. The results highlight that, despite an epitope being highly conserved between two genotypes, there are major differences in the selected viral escape pathways and the corresponding T cell responses. IMPORTANCE HCV is able to evolutionary adapt to CD8+ T cell immune pressure in multiple ways. Beyond selection of mutations inside targeted epitopes, this study demonstrates that HCV inhibits epitope processing by modification of the epitope flanking region under T cell immune pressure. Selection of a substitution five amino acids

  18. In Vitro Resistance Selections for Plasmodium falciparum Dihydroorotate Dehydrogenase Inhibitors Give Mutants with Multiple Point Mutations in the Drug-binding Site and Altered Growth*

    PubMed Central

    Ross, Leila S.; Gamo, Francisco Javier; Lafuente-Monasterio, Maria José; Singh, Onkar M. P.; Rowland, Paul; Wiegand, Roger C.; Wirth, Dyann F.

    2014-01-01

    Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease; yet half of the world's population lives at risk of infection, and an estimated 660,000 people die of malaria-related causes every year. Rising drug resistance threatens to make malaria untreatable, necessitating both the discovery of new antimalarial agents and the development of strategies to identify and suppress the emergence and spread of drug resistance. We focused on in-development dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) inhibitors. Characterizing resistance pathways for antimalarial agents not yet in clinical use will increase our understanding of the potential for resistance. We identified resistance mechanisms of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) DHODH inhibitors via in vitro resistance selections. We found 11 point mutations in the PfDHODH target. Target gene amplification and unknown mechanisms also contributed to resistance, albeit to a lesser extent. These mutant parasites were often hypersensitive to other PfDHODH inhibitors, which immediately suggested a novel combination therapy approach to preventing resistance. Indeed, a combination of wild-type and mutant-type selective inhibitors led to resistance far less often than either drug alone. The effects of point mutations in PfDHODH were corroborated with purified recombinant wild-type and mutant-type PfDHODH proteins, which showed the same trends in drug response as the cognate cell lines. Comparative growth assays demonstrated that two mutant parasites grew less robustly than their wild-type parent, and the purified protein of those mutants showed a decrease in catalytic efficiency, thereby suggesting a reason for the diminished growth rate. Co-crystallography of PfDHODH with three inhibitors suggested that hydrophobic interactions are important for drug binding and selectivity. PMID:24782313

  19. Hepatitis A Virus Adaptation to Cellular Shutoff Is Driven by Dynamic Adjustments of Codon Usage and Results in the Selection of Populations with Altered Capsids

    PubMed Central

    Costafreda, M. Isabel; Pérez-Rodriguez, Francisco J.; D'Andrea, Lucía; Guix, Susana; Ribes, Enric; Bosch, Albert

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Hepatitis A virus (HAV) has a highly biased and deoptimized codon usage compared to the host cell and fails to inhibit host protein synthesis. It has been proposed that an optimal combination of abundant and rare codons controls the translation speed required for the correct capsid folding. The artificial shutoff host protein synthesis results in the selection of variants containing mutations in the HAV capsid coding region critical for folding, stability, and function. Here, we show that these capsid mutations resulted in changes in their antigenicity; in a reduced stability to high temperature, low pH, and biliary salts; and in an increased efficacy of cell entry. In conclusion, the adaptation to cellular shutoff resulted in the selection of large-plaque-producing virus populations. IMPORTANCE HAV has a naturally deoptimized codon usage with respect to that of its cell host and is unable to shut down the cellular translation. This fact contributes to the low replication rate of the virus, in addition to other factors such as the highly inefficient internal ribosome entry site (IRES), and explains the outstanding physical stability of this pathogen in the environment mediated by a folding-dependent highly cohesive capsid. Adaptation to artificially induced cellular transcription shutoff resulted in a redeoptimization of its capsid codon usage, instead of an optimization. These genomic changes are related to an overall change of capsid folding, which in turn induces changes in the cell entry process. Remarkably, the adaptation to cellular shutoff allowed the virus to significantly increase its RNA uncoating efficiency, resulting in the selection of large-plaque-producing populations. However, these populations produced much-debilitated virions. PMID:24554668

  20. Estrogen receptor is not primarily responsible for altered responsiveness of ovalbumin mRNA induction in the oviduct from genetically selected high- and low-albumen chicken lines.

    PubMed

    Muramatsu, T; Hiramatsu, H; Park, H M; Okumura, J; Kawashima, M; Miyoshi, S

    1997-04-01

    The role of estrogen receptor on ovalbumin mRNA induction by steroid hormones was investigated in primary cultures of oviduct cells from estrogen-stimulated immature chicks of genetically selected high- and low-albumen egg laying lines (H- and L-lines). In experiment 1, the extent of ovalbumin mRNA induction and changes in estrogen and progesterone receptors were compared between the oviduct cells from H- and L-lines with or without steroid hormones in the culture medium. In experiment 2, the effect of estrogen receptor gene transfection on the induction of ovalbumin mRNA was studied in the oviduct cells from the L-line chicks. The results showed a close correlation of the changes in ovalbumin mRNA with the numbers of nuclear and total estrogen receptors in the oviduct cells but not with the numbers of nuclear and total progesterone receptors. Estrogen receptor gene transfection induced ovalbumin mRNA to a moderate extent in the absence of the steroid hormones. To our surprise, however, estrogen receptor gene transfection apparently suppressed the ovalbumin mRNA responsiveness to estrogen to a considerable extent. It was concluded, therefore, that the extent of estrogen receptor expression might not be primarily responsible for the differences in responsiveness to steroid hormones of oviduct cells from genetically selected H- and L-line chickens. PMID:9149392

  1. Cardamom Bushy Dwarf Virus Infection in Large Cardamom Alters Plant Selection Preference, Life Stages, and Fecundity of Aphid Vector, Micromyzus kalimpongensis (Hemiptera: Aphididae).

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Amalendu; Das, Amrita; Vijayanandraj, S; Mandal, Bikash

    2016-02-01

    Cardamom bushy dwarf virus (CBDV) causes foorkey disease of large cardamom (Ammomum subulatum Roxburgh) in the eastern sub-Himalayan mountains. Although the aphid Micromyzus kalimpongensis Basu (Hemiptera: Aphididae) is known as a vector of CBDV, its behavior in dissemination of CBDV has not been investigated. In the present study, M. kalimpongensis was observed to colonize in higher number on CBDV-infected large cardamom plants compared with the healthy plants in the several plantations in Sikkim and Darjeeling hills. The affinity of M. kalimpongensis to the diseased large cardamom plants was further confirmed in a contained field experiment with intact plant as well as in a laboratory bioassay with the plant extract, where significantly higher number of aphids settled on the diseased plants or extracts compared with the healthy counterparts. Aphids grown on CBDV-infected large cardamom plants had shortened nymphal period and increased longevity and fecundity compared with those grown on the healthy plants. In the contained field experiment, M. kalimpongensis migrated to the CBDV-infected plants, colonized there, acquired CBDV, and once the diseased plants withered, migrated to healthy plants, which eventually became diseased. Our results suggest a general pattern of spread of CBDV by M. kalimpongensis where CBDV-infected plants attract or arrest and stimulate emergence and migration of viruliferous aphids that otherwise are sedentary in the underground plant parts of large cardamom. To our knowledge, this is the first study that shows the influence of a plant virus from the family Nanoviridae in altering behavior of its insect vector that favors its dissemination. PMID:26518036

  2. Hippocampal Injections of Oligomeric Amyloid β-peptide (1–42) Induce Selective Working Memory Deficits and Long-lasting Alterations of ERK Signaling Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Faucher, Pierre; Mons, Nicole; Micheau, Jacques; Louis, Caroline; Beracochea, Daniel J.

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that abnormal brain accumulation of soluble rather than aggregated amyloid-β1–42 oligomers (Aβo(1–42)) plays a causal role in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, as yet, animal’s models of AD based on oligomeric amyloid-β1–42 injections in the brain have not investigated their long-lasting impacts on molecular and cognitive functions. In addition, the injections have been most often performed in ventricles, but not in the hippocampus, in spite of the fact that the hippocampus is importantly involved in memory processes and is strongly and precociously affected during the early stages of AD. Thus, in the present study, we investigated the long-lasting impacts of intra-hippocampal injections of oligomeric forms of Aβo(1–42) on working and spatial memory and on the related activation of ERK1/2. Indeed, the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) which is involved in memory function had been found to be activated by amyloid peptides. We found that repeated bilateral injections (1injection/day over 4 successive days) of oligomeric forms of Aβo(1–42) into the dorsal hippocampus lead to long-lasting impairments in two working memory tasks, these deficits being observed 7 days after the last injection, while spatial memory remained unaffected. Moreover, the working memory deficits were correlated with sustained impairments of ERK1/2 activation in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the septum, two brain areas tightly connected with the hippocampus and involved in working memory. Thus, our study is first to evidence that sub-chronic injections of oligomeric forms of Aβo(1–42) into the dorsal hippocampus produces the main sign of cognitive impairments corresponding to the early stages of AD, via long-lasting alterations of an ERK/MAPK pathway in an interconnected brain networks. PMID:26793098

  3. Naturally-occurring compensated insulin resistance selectively alters glucose transporters in visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue without change in AS160 activation

    PubMed Central

    Waller, AP; Kohler, K; Burns, TA; Mudge, MC; Belknap, JK; Lacombe, VA

    2011-01-01

    Although the importance of adipose tissue (AT) glucose transport in regulating whole-body insulin sensitivity is becoming increasingly evident and insulin resistance (IR) has been widely recognized, the underlying mechanisms of IR are still not well understood. The purpose of the present study was to determine the early pathological changes in glucose transport by characterizing the alterations in glucose transporters (GLUT) in multiple visceral and subcutaneous adipose depots in a large animal model of naturally-occurring compensated IR. AT biopsies were collected from horses, which were classified as insulin-sensitive (IS) or compensated IR based on the results of an insulin-modified frequently-sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test. Protein expression of GLUT4 (major isoform) and GLUT12 (one of the most recently discovered isoforms) were measured by Western blotting in multiple AT depots, as well as AS160 (a potential key player in GLUT trafficking pathway). Using a biotinylated bis-mannose photolabeled technique, active cell surface GLUT content was quantified. Omental AT had the highest total GLUT content compared to other sites during the IS state. IR was associated with a significantly reduced total GLUT4 content in omental AT, without a change in content in other visceral or subcutaneous adipose sites. In addition, active cell surface GLUT-4, but not -12, was significantly lower in AT of IR compared to IS horses, without change in AS160 phosphorylation between groups. Our data suggest that GLUT4, but not GLUT12, is a pathogenic factor in AT during naturally-occurring compensated IR, despite normal AS160 activation. PMID:21352908

  4. Altered Ca2+ Kinetics Associated with α-Actinin-3 Deficiency May Explain Positive Selection for ACTN3 Null Allele in Human Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Houweling, Peter J.; Quinlan, Kate G. R.; Murphy, Robyn; Wagner, Sören; Friedrich, Oliver; North, Kathryn N.

    2015-01-01

    Over 1.5 billion people lack the skeletal muscle fast-twitch fibre protein α-actinin-3 due to homozygosity for a common null polymorphism (R577X) in the ACTN3 gene. α-Actinin-3 deficiency is detrimental to sprint performance in elite athletes and beneficial to endurance activities. In the human genome, it is very difficult to find single-gene loss-of-function variants that bear signatures of positive selection, yet intriguingly, the ACTN3 null variant has undergone strong positive selection during recent evolution, appearing to provide a survival advantage where food resources are scarce and climate is cold. We have previously demonstrated that α-actinin-3 deficiency in the Actn3 KO mouse results in a shift in fast-twitch fibres towards oxidative metabolism, which would be more “energy efficient” in famine, and beneficial to endurance performance. Prolonged exposure to cold can also induce changes in skeletal muscle similar to those observed with endurance training, and changes in Ca2+ handling by the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) are a key factor underlying these adaptations. On this basis, we explored the effects of α-actinin-3 deficiency on Ca2+ kinetics in single flexor digitorum brevis muscle fibres from Actn3 KO mice, using the Ca2+-sensitive dye fura-2. Compared to wild-type, fibres of Actn3 KO mice showed: (i) an increased rate of decay of the twitch transient; (ii) a fourfold increase in the rate of SR Ca2+ leak; (iii) a threefold increase in the rate of SR Ca2+ pumping; and (iv) enhanced maintenance of tetanic Ca2+ during fatigue. The SR Ca2+ pump, SERCA1, and the Ca2+-binding proteins, calsequestrin and sarcalumenin, showed markedly increased expression in muscles of KO mice. Together, these changes in Ca2+ handling in the absence of α-actinin-3 are consistent with cold acclimatisation and thermogenesis, and offer an additional explanation for the positive selection of the ACTN3 577X null allele in populations living in cold environments during

  5. Altered Ca2+ kinetics associated with α-actinin-3 deficiency may explain positive selection for ACTN3 null allele in