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Sample records for 4-fold degenerate sites

  1. Degenerate target sites mediate rapid primed CRISPR adaptation.

    PubMed

    Fineran, Peter C; Gerritzen, Matthias J H; Suárez-Diez, María; Künne, Tim; Boekhorst, Jos; van Hijum, Sacha A F T; Staals, Raymond H J; Brouns, Stan J J

    2014-04-22

    Prokaryotes encode adaptive immune systems, called CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-CRISPR associated), to provide resistance against mobile invaders, such as viruses and plasmids. Host immunity is based on incorporation of invader DNA sequences in a memory locus (CRISPR), the formation of guide RNAs from this locus, and the degradation of cognate invader DNA (protospacer). Invaders can escape type I-E CRISPR-Cas immunity in Escherichia coli K12 by making point mutations in the seed region of the protospacer or its adjacent motif (PAM), but hosts quickly restore immunity by integrating new spacers in a positive-feedback process termed "priming." Here, by using a randomized protospacer and PAM library and high-throughput plasmid loss assays, we provide a systematic analysis of the constraints of both direct interference and subsequent priming in E. coli. We have defined a high-resolution genetic map of direct interference by Cascade and Cas3, which includes five positions of the protospacer at 6-nt intervals that readily tolerate mutations. Importantly, we show that priming is an extremely robust process capable of using degenerate target regions, with up to 13 mutations throughout the PAM and protospacer region. Priming is influenced by the number of mismatches, their position, and is nucleotide dependent. Our findings imply that even outdated spacers containing many mismatches can induce a rapid primed CRISPR response against diversified or related invaders, giving microbes an advantage in the coevolutionary arms race with their invaders.

  2. 4-fold photocurrent enhancement in ultrathin nanoplasmonic perovskite solar cells.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-30

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

  3. Gauge Theory and Calibrated Geometry for Calabi-Yau 4-folds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Yalong

    This thesis is devoted to the study of gauge theory and calibrated geometry for Calabi-Yau 4-folds. More specifically, our study is along the following five directions. 1. We develop Donaldson-Thomas type theory on Calabi-Yau 4-folds. Let X be a compact complex Calabi-Yau 4-fold. We define Donaldson-Thomas type deformation invariants (DT4 invariants) by studying moduli spaces of solutions to the Donaldson- Thomas equations on X. We also study sheaves counting problems on local Calabi-Yau 4-folds. We relate DT4 invariants of KY to the Donaldson-Thomas invariants of the associated Fano 3-fold Y. When the Calabi-Yau 4-fold is toric, we adapt the virtual localization formula to define the corresponding equivariant DT4 invariants. We also discuss the non-commutative version of DT4 invariants for quivers with relations. Finally, we compute DT4 invariants for certain Calabi-Yau 4-folds when moduli spaces are smooth and find a DT 4/GW correspondence for X. Examples of wall-crossing phenomenon in DT4 theory are also given. 2. Given a complex 4-fold X with an (Calabi-Yau 3-fold) anti-canonical divisor Y, we study relative Donaldson-Thomas invariants for this pair, which are elements in the Donaldson-Thomas cohomologies of Y. We also discuss gluing formulas which relate relative invariants and DT4 invariants for Calabi-Yau 4-folds. 3. We study orientability issues of moduli spaces from gauge theories on Calabi-Yau manifolds. Our results generalize and strengthen those for Donaldson-Thomas theory on Calabi-Yau manifolds of dimensions 3 and 4. We also prove a corresponding result in the relative situation which is relevant to the gluing formula in DT theory. 4. Motivated by Strominger-Yau-Zaslow's mirror symmetry proposal and Kontsevich's homological mirror symmetry conjecture, we study mirror phenomena (in A-model) of certain results from Donaldson-Thomas theory for Calabi-Yau 4-folds. More precisely, we study calibrated geometry in the sense of Harvey-Lawson and Lagrangian

  4. Striatonigral Degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    ... disease, striatonigral degeneration is not responsive to levodopa. Dopamine and anticholinergics provide some benefit. Generally, treatment is ... disease, striatonigral degeneration is not responsive to levodopa. Dopamine and anticholinergics provide some benefit. Generally, treatment is ...

  5. Macular degeneration

    MedlinePlus Videos and Cool Tools

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-26

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-12

    Molecular hydrocarbons are well-known to polymerize under pressure to form covalently bonded frameworks. Here we predict by ab initio calculations two distinct three-dimensional hydrocarbon crystalline structures composed of 3-fold and 4-fold helical CH chains in rhombohedral (R3) and tetragonal (I4₁/a) symmetry, respectively. Both structures with 1:1 stoichiometry are found to be energetically more favorable than solid acetylene and cubane, and even more stable than benzene II solid at high pressure. The calculations on vibrational, electronic, and optical properties reveal that the new chiral hydrocarbons are dynamically stable with large bulk moduli around 200 GPa, and exhibit a transparent insulating behavior with indirect band gaps of 5.9 ~ 6.7 eV and anisotropic adsorption spectra. Such forms of hydrocarbon, once synthesized, would have wide applications in mechanical, optoelectronic, and biological materials.

  8. CpG site degeneration triggered by the loss of functional constraint created a highly polymorphic macaque drug-metabolizing gene, CYP1A2

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Elucidating the pattern of evolutionary changes in drug-metabolizing genes is an important subject not only for evolutionary but for biomedical research. We investigated the pattern of divergence and polymorphisms of macaque CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 genes, which are major drug-metabolizing genes in humans. In humans, CYP1A2 is specifically expressed in livers while CYP1A1 has a wider gene expression pattern in extrahepatic tissues. In contrast, macaque CYP1A2 is expressed at a much lower level than CYP1A1 in livers. Interestingly, a previous study has shown that Macaca fascicularis CYP1A2 harbored unusually high genetic diversity within species. Genomic regions showing high genetic diversity within species is occasionally interpreted as a result of balancing selection, where natural selection maintains highly diverged alleles with different functions. Nevertheless many other forces could create such signatures. Results We found that the CYP1A1/2 gene copy number and orientation has been highly conserved among mammalian genomes. The signature of gene conversion between CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 was detected, but the last gene conversion event in the simian primate lineage occurred before the Catarrhini-Platyrrhini divergence. The high genetic diversity of macaque CYP1A2 therefore cannot be explained by gene conversion between CYP1A1 and CYP1A2. By surveying CYP1A2 polymorphisms in total 91 M. fascicularis and M. mulatta, we found several null alleles segregating in these species, indicating functional constraint on CYP1A2 in macaques may have weakened after the divergence between humans and macaques. We propose that the high genetic diversity in macaque CYP1A2 is partly due to the degeneration of CpG sites, which had been maintained at a high level by purifying selection, and the rapid degeneration process was initiated by the loss of functional constraint on macaque CYP1A2. Conclusions Our findings show that the highly polymorphic CYP1A2 gene in macaques has not been

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  10. The sigma-1 receptor binds to the Nav1.5 voltage-gated Na+ channel with 4-fold symmetry.

    PubMed

    Balasuriya, Dilshan; Stewart, Andrew P; Crottès, David; Borgese, Franck; Soriani, Olivier; Edwardson, J Michael

    2012-10-26

    The sigma-1 receptor (Sig1R) is up-regulated in many human tumors and plays a role in the control of cancer cell proliferation and invasiveness. At the molecular level, the Sig1R modulates the activity of various ion channels, apparently through a direct interaction. We have previously shown using atomic force microscopy imaging that the Sig1R binds to the trimeric acid-sensing ion channel 1A with 3-fold symmetry. Here, we investigated the interaction between the Sig1R and the Nav1.5 voltage-gated Na(+) channel, which has also been implicated in promoting the invasiveness of cancer cells. We show that the Sig1R and Nav1.5 can be co-isolated from co-transfected cells, consistent with an intimate association between the two proteins. Atomic force microscopy imaging of the co-isolated proteins revealed complexes in which Nav1.5 was decorated by Sig1Rs. Frequency distributions of angles between pairs of bound Sig1Rs had two peaks, at ∼90° and ∼180°, and the 90° peak was about twice the size of the 180° peak. These results demonstrate that the Sig1R binds to Nav1.5 with 4-fold symmetry. Hence, each set of six transmembrane regions in Nav1.5 likely constitutes a Sig1R binding site, suggesting that the Sig1R interacts with the transmembrane regions of its partners. Interestingly, two known Sig1R ligands, haloperidol and (+)-pentazocine, disrupted the Nav1.5/Sig1R interaction both in vitro and in living cells. Finally, we show that endogenously expressed Sig1R and Nav1.5 also functionally interact.

  11. Striatopallidonigral degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Bell, W. E.; McCormick, W. F.

    1971-01-01

    A 15-year-old girl is described with a sporadic, progressive illness manifested by unilateral limb rigidity and dystonia. Obvious dysarthria and some intellectual decline also were noted. Neuropathological findings included gross discoloration and shrinkage of the pallida and, microscopically, profound neuronal loss and gliosis of the caudata and putamena, with less severe neuronal loss from the pallida and substantia nigra. The disease bears some similarities to striatonigral degeneration, but certain clinical and morphological differences justify its consideration as a separate syndrome. ImagesFIG. 1FIG. 2FIG. 3FIG. 4FIG. 5 PMID:5565467

  12. Macular degeneration (image)

    MedlinePlus

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

  13. Wet Macular Degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    Wet macular degeneration Overview By Mayo Clinic Staff Wet macular degeneration is a chronic eye disease that causes blurred vision ... of the retina responsible for central vision. Wet macular degeneration is one of two types of age-related ...

  14. Dry Macular Degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    Dry macular degeneration Overview By Mayo Clinic Staff Dry macular degeneration is a common eye disorder among people over 65. ... vision in your direct line of sight. Dry macular degeneration may first develop in one eye and then ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-08

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

  16. Macular Degeneration Partnership

    MedlinePlus

    ... Age Related Macular Degeneration) Partnership Listen AMD Month Public Service Announcement To raise awareness of AMD, the Macular Degeneration Partnership (MDP) is distributing a public service announcement (PSA) nationwide. Seen through the eyes of a ...

  17. Macular Degeneration: An Overview.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chalifoux, L. M.

    1991-01-01

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

  18. Diabatic Molecular Orbitals, Potential Energies, and Potential Energy Surface Couplings by the 4-fold Way for Photodissociation of Phenol.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xuefei; Yang, Ke R; Truhlar, Donald G

    2013-08-13

    Complete-active-space self-consistent-field (CASSCF) calculations provide useful reference wave functions for configuration interaction or perturbation theory calculations of excited-state potential energy surfaces including dynamical electron correlation. However, the canonical molecular orbitals (MOs) of CASSCF calculations usually have mixed character in regions of strong interaction of two or more electronic states; therefore, they are unsuitable for diabatization using the configurational uniformity approach. Here, CASSCF diabatic MOs for phenol have been obtained by the 4-fold way, and comparison to the CASSCF canonical MOs shows that they are much smoother. Using these smooth CASSCF diabatic MOs, we performed direct diabatization calculations for the three low-lying states ((1)ππ, (1)ππ*, and (1)πσ*) and their diabatic (scalar) couplings at the dynamically correlated multiconfiguration quasidegenerate perturbation theory (MC-QDPT) level. We present calculations along the O-H stretching and C-C-O-H torsion coordinates for the nonadiabatic photodissociation of phenol to the phenoxyl radical and hydrogen atom. The seams of (1)ππ*/(1)πσ* and (1)ππ/(1)πσ* diabatic crossings are plotted as functions of these coordinates. We also present diabatization calculations for displacements along the out-of-plane ring distortion modes 16a and 16b of the phenyl group. The dominant coupling modes of the two conical intersections ((1)ππ*/(1)πσ* and (1)ππ/(1)πσ*) are discussed. The present diabatization method is confirmed to be valid even for significantly distorted ring structures by diabatization calculations along a reaction path connecting the planar equilibrium geometry of phenol to its strongly distorted prefulvenic form. The present work provides insight into the mode specificity of phenol photodissociation and shows that diabatization at the MC-QDPT level employing CASSCF diabatic MOs can be a good starting point for multidimensional dynamics

  19. Structure shows that a glycosaminoglycan and protein recognition site in factor H is perturbed by age-related macular degeneration-linked single nucleotide polymorphism.

    PubMed

    Herbert, Andrew P; Deakin, Jon A; Schmidt, Christoph Q; Blaum, Bärbel S; Egan, Claire; Ferreira, Viviana P; Pangburn, Michael K; Lyon, Malcolm; Uhrín, Dusan; Barlow, Paul N

    2007-06-29

    A common single nucleotide polymorphism in the factor H gene predisposes to age-related macular degeneration. Factor H blocks the alternative pathway of complement on self-surfaces bearing specific polyanions, including the glycosaminoglycan chains of proteoglycans. Factor H also binds C-reactive protein, potentially contributing to noninflammatory apoptotic processes. The at risk sequence contains His (rather than Tyr) at position 402 (384 in the mature protein), in the seventh of the 20 complement control protein (CCP) modules (CCP7) of factor H. We expressed both His(402) and Tyr(402) variants of CCP7, CCP7,8, and CCP6-8. We determined structures of His(402) and Tyr(402) CCP7 and showed them to be nearly identical. The side chains of His/Tyr(402) have similar, solvent-exposed orientations far from interfaces with CCP6 and -8. Tyr(402) CCP7 bound significantly more tightly than His(402) CCP7 to a heparin affinity column as well as to defined-length sulfated heparin oligosaccharides employed in gel mobility shift assays. This observation is consistent with the position of the 402 side chain on the edge of one of two glycosaminoglycan-binding surface patches on CCP7 that we inferred on the basis of chemical shift perturbation studies with a sulfated heparin tetrasaccharide. According to surface plasmon resonance measurements, Tyr(402) CCP6-8 binds significantly more tightly than His(402) CCP6-8 to immobilized C-reactive protein. The data support a causal link between H402Y and age-related macular degeneration in which variation at position 402 modulates the response of factor H to age-related changes in the glycosaminoglycan composition and apoptotic activity of the macula.

  20. Pellucid marginal corneal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Krachmer, J H

    1978-07-01

    Pellucid marginal degeneration of the cornea is a bilateral, clear, inferior, peripheral corneal-thinning disorder. Protrusion of the cornea occurs above a band of thinning, which is located 1 to 2 mm from the limbus and measures 1 to 2 mm in width. American ophthalmologists are generally not familiar with the condition because most of the literature concerning pellucid degeneration is European. Four cases are described. This condition is differentiated from other noninflammatory cornel-thinning disorders such as keratoconus, keratoglobus, keratotorus, and posterior keratoconus. It is also differentiated from peripheral corneal disorders associated with inflammation such as Terrien's peripheral corneal degeneration, Mooren's ulcers, and ulcers from connective tissue disease.

  1. Double Degenerate Binary Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Yakut, K.

    2011-09-21

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

  2. Biomechanics of Disc Degeneration

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Striatal degeneration in childhood.

    PubMed Central

    Erdohazi, M; Marshall, P

    1979-01-01

    The clinical features, and the radiological and neuropathological findings of 3 unrelated children with striatal degeneration are presented. In one case the father had recently developed choreiform movements while in the other two the family history was negative for neurological disorders. Two patients had juvenile onset of psychiatric symptoms, seizures, and rigidity. The 3rd child presented with focal seizures at 9 weeks of age. The neuropathological findings are virtually identical in all 3 cases. The classification of striatal degeneration in childhood is discussed. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7 Fig. 8 PMID:434899

  4. Kraepelin and degeneration theory.

    PubMed

    Hoff, Paul

    2008-06-01

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

  5. Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Josephs, Keith A.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2017-01-12

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

  7. Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Rabinovici, Gil D.; Miller, Bruce L.

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Cataracts and macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Shoch, D

    1979-09-01

    The intraocular lens restores general vision and some degree of independence and mobility to patients with dense cataracts and macular degeneration. The patient, however, must be repeatedly warned that fine central vision, particularly reading, will not be possible after the surgery. An aphakic spectacle leaves such patients a narrow band of vision when superimposed over the macular lesion, and contact lenses are too small for the patient to manage insertion without help.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-03-12

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

  10. Retinal remodeling triggered by photoreceptor degenerations.

    PubMed

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

    2003-09-08

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

  11. Two Ultracool Degenerate Companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farihi, J.

    2005-07-01

    In the course of an extensive survey for low mass stellar and substellar companions to nearby white dwarfs, two extrememly cool degenerate objects have been discovered. GD 392B is one of only a few known white dwarfs with Teff⪉4000 K and exhibits collision induced absorption in the near infrared tep{far04}. GD 1400B is the second known L dwarf companion to a white dwarf and a possible brown dwarf (Farihi & Christopher 2004). Interested readers should consult the references for a complete description of these two cool objects.

  12. Cell therapy for the degenerating intervertebral disc.

    PubMed

    Tong, Wei; Lu, Zhouyu; Qin, Ling; Mauck, Robert L; Smith, Harvey E; Smith, Lachlan J; Malhotra, Neil R; Heyworth, Martin F; Caldera, Franklin; Enomoto-Iwamoto, Motomi; Zhang, Yejia

    2017-03-01

    Spinal conditions related to intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration cost billions of dollars in the US annually. Despite the prevalence and soaring cost, there is no specific treatment that restores the physiological function of the diseased IVD. Thus, it is vital to develop new treatment strategies to repair the degenerating IVD. Persons with IVD degeneration without back pain or radicular leg pain often do not require any intervention. Only patients with severe back pain related to the IVD degeneration or biomechanical instability are likely candidates for cell therapy. The IVD progressively degenerates with age in humans, and strategies to repair the IVD depend on the stage of degeneration. Cell therapy and cell-based gene therapy aim to address moderate disc degeneration; advanced stage disease may require surgery. Studies involving autologous, allogeneic, and xenogeneic cells have all shown good survival of these cells in the IVD, confirming that the disc niche is an immunologically privileged site, permitting long-term survival of transplanted cells. All of the animal studies reviewed here reported some improvement in disc structure, and 2 studies showed attenuation of local inflammation. Among the 50 studies reviewed, 25 used some type of scaffold, and cell leakage is a consistently noted problem, though some studies showed reduced cell leakage. Hydrogel scaffolds may prevent cell leakage and provide biomechanical support until cells can become established matrix producers. However, these gels need to be optimized to prevent this leakage. Many animal models have been leveraged in this research space. Rabbit is the most frequently used model (28 of 50), followed by rat, pig, and dog. Sheep and goat IVDs resemble those of humans in size and in the absence of notochordal cells. Despite this advantage, there were only 2 sheep and 1 goat studies of 50 studies in this cohort. It is also unclear if a study in large animals is needed before clinical trials since

  13. What Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

    MedlinePlus

    ... of Low Vision Age-Related Macular Degeneration Vision Simulator AMD Pictures and Videos: What Does Macular Degeneration ... degeneration as part of the body's natural aging process. There are different kinds of macular problems, but ...

  14. Genetics Home Reference: Stargardt macular degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    ... Genetics Home Health Conditions Stargardt macular degeneration Stargardt macular degeneration Enable Javascript to view the expand/collapse boxes. Download PDF Open All Close All Description Stargardt macular degeneration is a genetic eye disorder that causes progressive ...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  17. [Age related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Sayen, Alexandra; Hubert, Isabelle; Berrod, Jean-Paul

    2011-02-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a multifactorial disease caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It is the first cause of blindness in patients over 50 in the western world. The disease has been traditionally classified into early and late stages with dry (atrophic) and wet (neovascular) forms: neovascular form is characterized by new blood vessels development under the macula (choroidal neovascularisation) which lead to a rapid decline of vision associated with metamorphopsia and requiring an urgent ophtalmological examination. Optical coherence tomography is now one of the most important part of the examination for diagnosis and treatment. Patient with age related maculopathy should consider taking a dietary supplement such that used in AREDS. The treatment of the wet ARMD has largely beneficied since year 2006 of anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) molecules such as ranibizumab or bevacizumab given as repeated intravitreal injections. A systematic follow up each 4 to 8 week in required for several years. There is no effective treatment at the moment for dry AMD. For patients with binocular visual acuity under 60/200 rehabilitation includes low vision specialist, vision aids and psychological support.

  18. Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    MedlinePlus

    ... version of this page please turn Javascript on. Age-related Macular Degeneration About AMD Click for more ... a leading cause of vision loss among people age 60 and older. It causes damage to the ...

  19. Frontotemporal lobar degeneration: current perspectives

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Lim, Laurence S; Mitchell, Paul; Seddon, Johanna M; Holz, Frank G; Wong, Tien Y

    2012-05-05

    Age-related macular degeneration is a major cause of blindness worldwide. With ageing populations in many countries, more than 20% might have the disorder. Advanced age-related macular degeneration, including neovascular age-related macular degeneration (wet) and geographic atrophy (late dry), is associated with substantial, progressive visual impairment. Major risk factors include cigarette smoking, nutritional factors, cardiovascular diseases, and genetic markers, including genes regulating complement, lipid, angiogenic, and extracellular matrix pathways. Some studies have suggested a declining prevalence of age-related macular degeneration, perhaps due to reduced exposure to modifiable risk factors. Accurate diagnosis combines clinical examination and investigations, including retinal photography, angiography, and optical coherence tomography. Dietary anti-oxidant supplementation slows progression of the disease. Treatment for neovascular age-related macular degeneration incorporates intraocular injections of anti-VEGF agents, occasionally combined with other modalities. Evidence suggests that two commonly used anti-VEGF therapies, ranibizumab and bevacizumab, have similar efficacy, but possible differences in systemic safety are difficult to assess. Future treatments include inhibition of other angiogenic factors, and regenerative and topical therapies.

  1. Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Mehta, Sonia

    2015-09-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly. AMD is diagnosed based on characteristic retinal findings in individuals older than 50. Early detection and treatment are critical in increasing the likelihood of retaining good and functional vision.

  2. General Pathophysiology in Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. [Age-related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Budzinskaia, M V

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Degeneration of a Nonrecombining Chromosome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, William R.

    1994-01-01

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

  6. Age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Querques, Giuseppe; Avellis, Fernando Onofrio; Querques, Lea; Bandello, Francesco; Souied, Eric H

    2011-01-01

    Clinical question: Is there any new knowledge about the pathogenesis and treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? Results: We now understand better the biochemical and pathological pathways involved in the genesis of AMD. Treatment of exudative AMD is based on intravitreal injection of new antivascular endothelial growth factor drugs for which there does not yet exist a unique recognized strategy of administration. No therapies are actually available for atrophic AMD, despite some experimental new pharmacological approaches. Implementation: strategy of administration, safety of intravitreal injection PMID:21654887

  7. Mathematical glimpse on the Y chromosome degeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobo, M. P.

    2006-04-01

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

  8. [Pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Kaarniranta, Kai; Seitsonen, Sanna; Paimela, Tuomas; Meri, Seppo; Immonen, Ilkka

    2009-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is a multiform disease of the macula, the region responsible for detailed central vision. In recent years, plenty of new knowledge of the pathogenesis of this disease has been obtained, and the treatment of exudative macular degeneration has greatly progressed. The number of patients with age-related macular degeneration will multiply in the following decades, because knowledge of mechanisms of development of macular degeneration that could be subject to therapeutic measures is insufficient. Central underlying factors are genetic inheritance, exposure of the retina to chronic oxidative stress and accumulation of inflammation-inducing harmful proteins into or outside of retinal cells.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Regularized degenerate multi-solitons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Correa, Francisco; Fring, Andreas

    2016-09-01

    We report complex {P}{T} -symmetric multi-soliton solutions to the Korteweg de-Vries equation that asymptotically contain one-soliton solutions, with each of them possessing the same amount of finite real energy. We demonstrate how these solutions originate from degenerate energy solutions of the Schrödinger equation. Technically this is achieved by the application of Darboux-Crum transformations involving Jordan states with suitable regularizing shifts. Alternatively they may be constructed from a limiting process within the context Hirota's direct method or on a nonlinear superposition obtained from multiple Bäcklund transformations. The proposed procedure is completely generic and also applicable to other types of nonlinear integrable systems.

  11. Degenerate doping of metallic anodes

    DOEpatents

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

    2015-05-12

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

  12. Neural reprogramming in retinal degenerations

    PubMed Central

    Marc, Robert E.; Jones, Bryan W.; Anderson, James R.; Kinard, Krista; Marshak, David W.; Wilson, John H.; Wensel, Theodore; Lucas, Robert J.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose Early visual defects in degenerative diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) may arise from phased remodeling of the neural retina. We sought to explore the functional expression of ionotropic (iGluR) and group III, type 6 metabotropic (mGluR6) glutamate receptors in late-stage photoreceptor degenerations. Methods Excitation mapping with organic cations and computational molecular phenotyping were used to determine whether retinal neurons displayed functional glutamate receptor signaling in rodent models of retinal degenerations and a sample of human RP. Results After photoreceptor loss in rodent models of RP, bipolar cells lose mGluR6 and iGluR glutamate-activated currents, while amacrine and ganglion cells retain iGluR-mediated responsivity. Paradoxically, amacrine and ganglion cells show spontaneous iGluR signals in vivo even though bipolar cells lack glutamate-coupled depolarization mechanisms. Cone survival can rescue iGluR expression by OFF bipolar cells. In a case of human RP with cone sparing, iGluR signaling appeared intact, but the numbers of bipolar cells expressing functional iGluRs was double that of normal retina. Conclusions RP triggers permanent loss of bipolar cell glutamate receptor expression, though spontaneous iGluR-mediated signaling by amacrine and ganglion cells implies that such truncated bipolar cells still release glutamate in response to some non-glutamatergic depolarization. Focal cone-sparing can preserve iGluR display by nearby bipolar cells, which may facilitate late-RP photoreceptor transplant attempts. An instance of human RP provides evidence that rod bipolar cell dendrite switching likely triggers new gene expression patterns and may impair cone pathway function. PMID:17591910

  13. Exact propagators for some degenerate hyperbolic operators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beals, Richard; Kannai, Yakar

    2006-10-01

    Exact propagators are obtained for the degenerate second order hyperbolic operators ∂2 t - t 2 l Δ x , l=1,2,..., by analytic continuation from the degenerate elliptic operators ∂2 t + t 2 l Δ x . The partial Fourier transforms are also obtained in closed form, leading to integral transform formulas for certain combinations of Bessel functions and modified Bessel functions.

  14. Structure formation through self-gravitational instability in degenerate and non-degenerate anisotropic magnetized plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Prerana

    2017-04-01

    The self-gravitational instability is examined for non-degenerate and degenerate magnetized plasma. In the case of non-degenerate collisionless magnetized plasma the pressure is considered as anisotropic while in the case of degenerate situations it is taken as isotropic. The effect of finite Larmor radius correction of non-degenerate ions and viscous dissipation is taken into account in both the cases. Firstly in non-degenerate anisotropic plasma the conventional magnetohydrodynamic model is used to construct basic set of equations within the framework of modified Chew-Goldberger and Low theory. Secondly, in the case of degenerate isotropic plasma, which is considered to be composed of degenerate electrons and non-degenerate ions, the model equations are constructed using quantum magneto hydrodynamic model. The dynamics of degenerate particles are governed by Bohm and exchange potentials. The general dispersion relations are derived for both degenerate and non-degenerate situations separately using linearized perturbation equations. The results are discussed analytically and numerically for various modes of propagation. In case of non degenerate strongly magnetized plasma the effects of stress tensor anisotropy dominate over the influence of FLR effects while the FLR effects prevail in the weak magnetic field region. In case of isotropic degenerate plasma the implications of exchange parameter on the Jeans mass have been estimated and it is found that the increase in exchange parameter increases the limit of Jeans mass. The Jeans length and Jeans mass have been estimated for the white dwarf stars as LJ ≈ 2.1 × 10^{11} m and MJ ≈ 5 × 10^{39} kg respectively assist the existence of super Chandrasekhar white dwarfs.

  15. Modified gravitational instability of degenerate and non-degenerate dusty plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Shweta; Sharma, Prerana

    2016-09-01

    The gravitational instability of strongly coupled dusty plasma (SCDP) is studied considering degenerate and non-degenerate dusty plasma situations. The SCDP system is assumed to be composed of the electrons, ions, neutrals, and strongly coupled dust grains. First, in the high density regime, due to small interparticle distance, the electrons are considered degenerate, whereas the neutrals, dust grains, and ions are treated non-degenerate. In this case, the dynamics of inertialess electrons are managed by Fermi pressure and Bohm potential, while the inertialess ions are by only thermal pressure. Second, in the non-degenerate regime, both the electrons and ions are governed by the thermal pressure. The generalized hydrodynamic model and the normal mode analysis technique are employed to examine the low frequency waves and gravitational instability in both degenerate and non-degenerate cases. The general dispersion relation is discussed for a characteristic timescale which provides two regimes of frequency, i.e., hydrodynamic regime and kinetic regime. Analytical solutions reveal that the collisions reduce the growth rate and have a strong impact on structure formation in both degenerate and non-degenerate circumstances. Numerical estimation on the basis of observed parameters for the degenerate and non-degenerate cases is presented to show the effects of dust-neutral collisions and dust effective velocity in the presence of polarization force. The values of Jeans length and Jeans mass have been estimated for degenerate white dwarfs as Jeans length L J = 1.3 × 10 5 cm and Jeans mass M J = 0.75 × 10 - 3 M⊙ and for non-degenerate laboratory plasma Jeans length L J = 6.86 × 10 16 cm and Jeans mass M J = 0.68 × 10 10 M⊙. The stability of the SCDP system is discussed using the Routh-Hurwitz criterion.

  16. Total absorption by degenerate critical coupling

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-06-23

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

  17. Molecular Therapy for Disk Degeneration and Pain

    PubMed Central

    Mwale, Fackson

    2013-01-01

    The nucleus pulposus of the intervertebral disk contains high amounts of the proteoglycan aggrecan, which confers the disk with a remarkable ability to resist compression. Other molecules such as collagens and noncollagenous proteins in the extracellular matrix are also essential for function. During disk degeneration, aggrecan and other molecules are lost due to proteolysis. This can result in loss of disk height, which can ultimately lead to pain. Biological therapy of intervertebral disk degeneration aims at preventing or restoring primarily aggrecan content and other molecules using therapeutic molecules. The purpose of the article is to review recent advances in biological repair of degenerate disks and pain. PMID:24436869

  18. Very Degenerate Higgsino Dark Matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chun, Eung Jin; Jung, Sunghoon; Park, Jong-Chul

    2017-01-01

    We present a study of the Very Degenerate Higgsino Dark Matter (DM), whose mass splitting between the lightest neutral and charged components is O(1) MeV, much smaller than radiative splitting of 355 MeV. The scenario is realized in the minimal supersymmetric standard model by small gaugino mixings. In contrast to the pure Higgsino DM with the radiative splitting only, various observable signatures with distinct features are induced. First of all, the very small mass splitting makes (a) sizable Sommerfeld enhancement and Ramsauer-Townsend (RT) suppression relevant to ˜1 TeV Higgsino DM, and (b) Sommerfeld-Ramsauer-Townsend effect saturate at lower velocities v/c ≲ 10-3. As a result, annihilation signals can be large enough to be observed from the galactic center and/or dwarf galaxies, while the relative signal sizes can vary depending on the locations of Sommerfeld peaks and RT dips. In addition, at collider experiments, stable chargino signatures can be searched for to probe the model in the future. DM direct detection signals, however, depend on the Wino mass; even no detectable signals can be induced if the Wino is heavier than about 10 TeV.

  19. Thermal Properties of Degenerate Relativistic Quantum Gases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Homorodean, Laurean

    We present the concentration-temperature phase diagram, characteristic functions, thermal equation of state and heat capacity at constant volume for degenerate ideal gases of relativistic fermions and bosons. The nonrelativistic and ultrarelativistic limits of these laws are also discussed.

  20. Macular Degeneration Prevention and Risk Factors

    MedlinePlus

    ... Degeneration Research National Glaucoma Research About Research Programs Leadership Partners Accountability Careers Grants Types of Grants Deadlines & ... Browse our A–Z index . About Research Programs Leadership Partners Accountability Careers Grants Types of Grants Deadlines & ...

  1. Hamiltonian structure for degenerate AKNS systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corona-Corona, Gulmaro

    1997-01-01

    There is a family of degenerate AKNS systems for which the full theory of generic AKNS systems does not directly extend. The linear space of potentials still has a natural Poisson structure, but the scattering method used by Beals and Sattinger to show complete integrability for the generic AKNS systems fails for the degenerate case. A Poisson structure is not induced on the scattering side as in the generic case. As a consequence, the problem of complete integrability for degenerate AKNS systems still is an open question. In addition, contrary to the generic case, the Lax pair gives flows for degenerate integrable systems that are nonlocal. In general, they do not exist, and they are no longer linear on the scattering side. Necessary conditions for their existence and for linear evolution in the scattering side are found.

  2. Hamiltonian Structure for Degenerate Akns Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corona-Corona, Gulmaro

    1995-01-01

    There is a family of degenerate AKNS systems for which the full theory of generic AKNS systems does not directly extend. The linear space of potentials still has a natural Poisson structure. This is studied by the scattering method used by Richard Beals and D.H. Sattinger (Commun. Math. Phys. 138, 409-436, 1991) to show complete integrability for the generic AKNS systems. This method fails for the degenerate case since a Poisson structure is not induced on the scattering side as in the generic case. As a consequence, the problem of complete integrability for degenerate AKNS systems still is an open question. In addition, contrary to the generic case, the Lax pair gives flows for degenerate integrable systems that are nonlocal. In general they do not exist, and they are no longer linear on the scattering side. Necessary conditions for their existence and for linear evolution of the scattering side are found.

  3. Neural remodeling in retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

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

    2003-09-01

    Mammalian retinal degenerations initiated by gene defects in rods, cones or the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) often trigger loss of the sensory retina, effectively leaving the neural retina deafferented. The neural retina responds to this challenge by remodeling, first by subtle changes in neuronal structure and later by large-scale reorganization. Retinal degenerations in the mammalian retina generally progress through three phases. Phase 1 initiates with expression of a primary insult, followed by phase 2 photoreceptor death that ablates the sensory retina via initial photoreceptor stress, phenotype deconstruction, irreversible stress and cell death, including bystander effects or loss of trophic support. The loss of cones heralds phase 3: a protracted period of global remodeling of the remnant neural retina. Remodeling resembles the responses of many CNS assemblies to deafferentation or trauma, and includes neuronal cell death, neuronal and glial migration, elaboration of new neurites and synapses, rewiring of retinal circuits, glial hypertrophy and the evolution of a fibrotic glial seal that isolates the remnant neural retina from the surviving RPE and choroid. In early phase 2, stressed photoreceptors sprout anomalous neurites that often reach the inner plexiform and ganglion cell layers. As death of rods and cones progresses, bipolar and horizontal cells are deafferented and retract most of their dendrites. Horizontal cells develop anomalous axonal processes and dendritic stalks that enter the inner plexiform layer. Dendrite truncation in rod bipolar cells is accompanied by revision of their macromolecular phenotype, including the loss of functioning mGluR6 transduction. After ablation of the sensory retina, Müller cells increase intermediate filament synthesis, forming a dense fibrotic layer in the remnant subretinal space. This layer invests the remnant retina and seals it from access via the choroidal route. Evidence of bipolar cell death begins in

  4. Age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Lily K; Eaton, Angie

    2013-08-01

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

  5. Cell transplantation in lumbar spine disc degeneration disease.

    PubMed

    Hohaus, C; Ganey, T M; Minkus, Y; Meisel, H J

    2008-12-01

    received cells demonstrated a significant difference as a group in the fluid content of their treated disc when compared to control. Autologous disc-derived cell transplantation is technically feasible and biologically relevant to repairing disc damage and retarding disc degeneration. Adipose tissue provides an alternative source of regenerative cells with little donor site morbidity. These regenerative cells are able to differentiate into a nucleus pulposus-like phenotype when exposed to environmental factors similar to disc, and offer the inherent advantage of availability without the need for transporting, culturing, and expanding the cells. In an effort to develop a clinical option for cell placement and assess the response of the cells to the post-surgical milieu, adipose-derived cells were collected, concentrated, and transplanted under fluoroscopic guidance directly into a surgically damaged disc using our dog model. This study provides evidence that cells harvested from adipose tissue might offer a reliable source of regenerative potential capable of bio-restitution.

  6. Prospectives for Gene Therapy of Retinal Degenerations

    PubMed Central

    Thumann, Gabriele

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Optic pathway degeneration in Japanese black cattle.

    PubMed

    Chiba, Shiori; Funato, Shingo; Horiuchi, Noriyuki; Matsumoto, Kotaro; Inokuma, Hisashi; Furuoka, Hidefumi; Kobayashi, Yoshiyasu

    2015-02-01

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

  8. Optic pathway degeneration in Japanese black cattle

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. The cell stress machinery and retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-27

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

  10. Potential Outcome Factors in Subacute Combined Degeneration

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  11. CT of sarcomatous degeneration in neurofibromatosis

    SciTech Connect

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

    1983-02-01

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

  12. Pathogenesis of tendinopathies: inflammation or degeneration?

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. [New aspects in age related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Turlea, C

    2012-01-01

    Being the leading cause of blindness in modern world Age Related Macular Degeneration has beneficiated in the last decade of important progress in diagnosis, classification and the discovery of diverse factors who contribute to the etiology of this disease. Treatments have arised who can postpone the irreversible evolution of the disease and thus preserve vision. Recent findings have identified predisposing genetic factors and also inflamatory and imunological parameters that can be modified trough a good and adequate prevention and therapy This articole reviews new aspects of patology of Age Related Macular Degeneration like the role of complement in maintaining inflamation and the role of oxidative stress on different structures of the retina.

  14. Differences in acoustic properties of intact and degenerated human patellar cartilage during compression.

    PubMed

    Kiviranta, Panu; Lammentausta, Eveliina; Töyräs, Juha; Nieminen, Heikki J; Julkunen, Petro; Kiviranta, Ilkka; Jurvelin, Jukka S

    2009-08-01

    Ultrasound indentation measurements have been shown to provide means to assess cartilage integrity and mechanical properties. To determine cartilage stiffness in the ultrasound indentation geometry, cartilage is compressed with an ultrasound transducer to determine the induced strain from the ultrasound signal using the time-of-flight principle. As the ultrasound speed in cartilage has been shown to vary during compression, the assumption of constant speed generates significant errors in the values of mechanical parameters. This variation in ultrasound speed has been investigated in intact cartilage, however, its existence and significance in degenerated tissue is unknown. In the present study, we investigate this issue with both intact and spontaneously degenerated human tissue. To accomplish this aim, we determined ultrasound speed and attenuation in human patellar cartilage (n=68) during mechanical loading. For reference, cartilage mechanical properties and proteoglycan, collagen and water contents were determined. The acoustic properties were related to the composition and mechanical properties of the samples. Ultrasound speed showed significant, site-dependent variation and it was significantly associated (r=0.79-0.81, p<0.01) with the mechanical properties of cartilage. The compression related decrease in ultrasound speed showed statistically significant variation between different stages of degeneration. Error simulations revealed that changes in ultrasound speed during 2% compression could generate errors up to 15% in the values of elastic moduli of samples with early degeneration, if determined with the ultrasound indentation technique. In samples with advanced degeneration, the error was significantly (p<0.05) smaller being 2% on average. As the compression related variation in ultrasound speed was lower in more degenerated samples, the mechanical parameters could be diagnosed more reliably in tissue showing advanced degeneration. The present results

  15. Central cornea involvement in Terrien's degeneration.

    PubMed

    Nirankari, V S; Kelman, S E; Richards, R D

    1983-03-01

    A 15-year-old female showed classical signs of Terrien's corneal degeneration including peripheral corneal thinning, vascularization, lipid deposition, and ectasia. She also showed episodes of conjunctival inflammation and perforation following minor trauma, all in the presence of an intact epithelium. She also showed progressive central corneal thinning and opacification, features not reported in the literature in the last 30 years.

  16. Retinal remodeling in inherited photoreceptor degenerations.

    PubMed

    Marc, Robert E; Jones, Bryan W

    2003-10-01

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

  17. Driving and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Owsley, Cynthia; McGwin, Gerald, Jr.

    2008-01-01

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

  18. Single Degenerate Progenitors of Type Ia Supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bours, Madelon; Toonen, Silvia; Nelemans, Gijs

    2013-01-01

    There is a general agreement that Type Ia supernovae correspond to the thermonuclear runaway of a white dwarf (WD) in a compact binary. The details of these progenitor systems are still unclear. Using the population synthesis code SeBa and several assumption for the WD retention efficiency, we estimate the delay times and supernova rates for the single degenerate scenario.

  19. Intervertebral disk degeneration and emerging biologic treatments.

    PubMed

    Kepler, Christopher K; Anderson, D Greg; Tannoury, Chadi; Ponnappan, Ravi K

    2011-09-01

    Although understanding of the biologic basis of intervertebral disk (IVD) degeneration is rapidly advancing, the unique IVD environment presents challenges to the development and delivery of biologic treatments. Acceleration of cellular senescence and apoptosis in degenerative IVDs and the depletion of matrix proteins have prompted the development of treatments based on replacing IVD cells using various cell sources. However, this strategy has not been tested in animal models. IVD degeneration and associated pain have led to interest in pathologic innervation of the IVD and ultimately to the development of percutaneous devices to ablate afferent nerve endings in the posterior annulus. Degeneration leads to changes in the expression of matrix protein, cytokines, and proteinases. Injection of growth factors and mitogens may help overcome these degenerative changes in IVD phenotype, and these potential treatments are being explored in animal studies. Gene therapy is an elegant method to address changes in protein expression, but efforts to apply this technology to IVD degeneration are still at early stages.

  20. Depression in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casten, Robin; Rovner, Barry

    2008-01-01

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

  1. Nonunital Spectral Triples Associated to Degenerate Metrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rennie, A.

    We show that one can define (p,∞)-summable spectral triples using degenerate metrics on smooth manifolds. Furthermore, these triples satisfy Connes-Moscovici's discrete and finite dimension spectrum hypothesis, allowing one to use the Local Index Theorem [1] to compute the pairing with K-theory. We demonstrate this with a concrete example.

  2. Ecological transition predictably associated with gene degeneration.

    PubMed

    Wessinger, Carolyn A; Rausher, Mark D

    2015-02-01

    Gene degeneration or loss can significantly contribute to phenotypic diversification, but may generate genetic constraints on future evolutionary trajectories, potentially restricting phenotypic reversal. Such constraints may manifest as directional evolutionary trends when parallel phenotypic shifts consistently involve gene degeneration or loss. Here, we demonstrate that widespread parallel evolution in Penstemon from blue to red flowers predictably involves the functional inactivation and degeneration of the enzyme flavonoid 3',5'-hydroxylase (F3'5'H), an anthocyanin pathway enzyme required for the production of blue floral pigments. Other types of genetic mutations do not consistently accompany this phenotypic shift. This pattern may be driven by the relatively large mutational target size of degenerative mutations to this locus and the apparent lack of associated pleiotropic effects. The consistent degeneration of F3'5'H may provide a mechanistic explanation for the observed asymmetry in the direction of flower color evolution in Penstemon: Blue to red transitions are common, but reverse transitions have not been observed. Although phenotypic shifts in this system are likely driven by natural selection, internal constraints may generate predictable genetic outcomes and may restrict future evolutionary trajectories.

  3. Cellular localization of cerebellar muscarinic receptors: an autoradiographic analysis of weaver, reeler, Purkinje cell degeneration and staggerer mice

    SciTech Connect

    Neustadt, A.; Frostholm, A.; Rotter, A.

    1988-02-01

    Light microscopic autoradiography of (/sup 3/H)quinuclidinyl benzilate binding sites was used to study the distribution of muscarinic cholinergic receptors in mouse mutants which have abnormalities affecting specific cerebellar cell types. In the normal C57BL/6J mouse, binding sites were distributed throughout the cerebellar cortex, with the highest levels in the granule cell layer and deep cerebellar nuclei. Normal binding site density was observed in the cerebellum of the weaver mutant in which the majority of granule cells had degenerated. The density of (/sup 3/H)quinuclidinyl benzilate binding sites was elevated in the cortex of the reeler, despite a reduction in the number of granule cells. The concentration of binding sites was also high over the Purkinje cell masses where granule cells were largely absent. No significant reduction in cortical (/sup 3/H)quinuclidinyl benzilate binding site density was detected in the Purkinje cell degeneration mutant, in which essentially all Purkinje cells had degenerated. In contrast, receptor binding in the deep cerebellar nuclei of this mutant was significantly increased. A substantial increase in labeling was observed in the cortex and deep nuclei of the staggerer cerebellum in which a large fraction of Golgi II cells, Purkinje cells, granule cells and mossy fibers have degenerated. We discuss the possibility that the persistence of (/sup 3/H)quinuclidinyl benzilate binding sites in all four mutants may imply a non-neuronal localization for a large proportion of muscarinic receptors in the mouse cerebellar cortex.

  4. NEUTRINO PROCESSES IN PARTIALLY DEGENERATE NEUTRON MATTER

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-10-10

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

  5. Inflammation in intervertebral disc degeneration and regeneration

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Dichromatic Langmuir waves in degenerate quantum plasma

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-06-15

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

  7. Recombination-generation currents in degenerate semiconductors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Von Roos, O.

    1978-01-01

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

  8. Patterns of striatal degeneration in frontotemporal dementia

    PubMed Central

    Halabi, Cathra; Halabi, Anasheh; Dean, David L.; Wang, Pei-Ning; Boxer, Adam L.; Trojanowski, John Q.; DeArmond, Stephen J.; Miller, Bruce L.; Kramer, Joel H.; Seeley, William W.

    2012-01-01

    Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and semantic dementia have been associated with striatal degeneration, but few studies have delineated striatal subregion volumes in vivo or related them to clinical phenotype. We traced caudate, putamen, and nucleus accumbens on MR images to quantify volumes of these structures in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia, semantic dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and healthy controls (n = 12 per group). We further related these striatal volumes to clinical deficits and neuropathological findings in a subset of patients. Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and semantic dementia showed significant overall striatal atrophy compared with controls. Moreover, behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia showed panstriatal degeneration whereas semantic dementia featured a more focal pattern involving putamen and accumbens. Right-sided striatal atrophy, especially in the putamen, correlated with overall behavioral symptom severity and with specific behavioral domains. At autopsy, patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and semantic dementia showed striking and severe tau or TAR DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa pathology, especially in ventral parts of the striatum. These results demonstrate that ventral striatum degeneration is a prominent shared feature in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and semantic dementia and may contribute to social-emotional deficits common to both disorders. PMID:22367382

  9. Hypertrophic olivary degeneration secondary to pontine haemorrhage.

    PubMed

    Wein, Sara; Yan, Bernard; Gaillard, Frank

    2015-07-01

    We report a 58-year-old man who developed hyptertrophic olivary degeneration (HOD) after haemorrhage of a cavernous malformation in the pons. Lesions of the triangle of Guillain and Mollaret (the dentatorubro-olivary pathway) may lead to HOD, a secondary transsynaptic degeneration of the inferior olivary nucleus. HOD is considered unique because the degenerating olive initially becomes hypertrophic rather than atrophic. The primary lesion causing pathway interruption is often haemorrhage, either due to hypertension, trauma, surgery or, as in our patient, a vascular malformation such as a cavernoma. Ischaemia and demyelination can also occasionally be the inciting events. The classic clinical presentation of HOD is palatal myoclonus, although not all patients with HOD develop this symptom. The imaging features of HOD evolve through characteristic phases. The clue to the diagnosis of HOD is recognition of the distinct imaging stages and identification of a remote primary lesion in the triangle of Guillain and Mollaret. Familiarity with the classic imaging findings of this rare phenomenon is necessary in order to avoid misdiagnosis and prevent unnecessary intervention.

  10. Protection of Retina by αB Crystallin in Sodium Iodate Induced Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Peng; Kannan, Ram; Spee, Christine; Sreekumar, Parameswaran G.; Dou, Guorui; Hinton, David R.

    2014-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness in the developed world. The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a critical site of pathology in AMD and αB crystallin expression is increased in RPE and associated drusen in AMD. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of αB crystallin in sodium iodate (NaIO3)-induced retinal degeneration, a model of AMD in which the primary site of pathology is the RPE. Dose dependent effects of intravenous NaIO3 (20-70 mg/kg) on development of retinal degeneration (fundus photography) and RPE and retinal neuronal loss (histology) were determined in wild type and αB crystallin knockout mice. Absence of αB crystallin augmented retinal degeneration in low dose (20 mg/kg) NaIO3-treated mice and increased retinal cell apoptosis which was mainly localized to the RPE layer. Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was observed with NaIO3 in mouse and human RPE which increased further after αB crystallin knockout or siRNA knockdown, respectively. NaIO3 upregulated AKT phosphorylation and peroxisome proliferator–activator receptor–γ (PPARγ) which was suppressed after αB crystallin siRNA knockdown. Further, PPARγ ligand inhibited NaIO3-induced ROS generation. Our data suggest that αB crystallin plays a critical role in protection of NaIO3-induced oxidative stress and retinal degeneration in part through upregulation of AKT phosphorylation and PPARγ expression. PMID:24874187

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Acute alloxan renal toxicity in the rat initially causes degeneration of thick ascending limbs of Henle

    PubMed Central

    Terayama, Yui; Kodama, Yasushi; Matsuura, Tetsuro; Ozaki, Kiyokazu

    2016-01-01

    Alloxan (AL) is a material well-known to induce diabetes. Prior to inducing a prolonged diabetic state, AL causes acute tubulointerstitial nephritis. However, the precise primary target site and mechanism of its nephrotoxicity remain unclear. The objective of this study was to evaluate the morphological characteristics relevant to acute renal toxicity following AL administration. Rats were intravenously treated with AL. Eight hours after AL treatment, aquaporin 1-negative and Na/K pump-positive thick ascending limbs of Henle (TAL) were degenerated in the outer medulla. These tubular lesions progressed from the outer medulla to the cortex. At day 2 after AL treatment, the lesions reached a peak, then both proximal and distal tubules also showed degeneration and necrosis, and tubular regeneration was seen in TAL. Immunohistochemically, damaged tubular epithelium included slightly enlarged prohibitin-positive granules, but it expressed no GLUT2, which is an AL transporter. Ultrastructurally, cytoplasmic and mitochondrial swelling was detected in degenerated cells of TAL. These findings suggest that AL initially causes degeneration of TAL, and induces mitochondrial and cellular damage in the tubular epithelium without involving GLUT2. PMID:28190920

  13. Depression in Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Casten, Robin; Rovner, Barry

    2008-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of disability in the elderly, substantially degrades the quality of their lives, and is a risk factor for depression. Rates of depression in AMD are substantially greater than those found in the general population of older people, and are on par with those of other chronic and disabling diseases. This article discusses the effect of depression on vision-related disability in patients with AMD, suggests methods for screening for depression, and summarizes interventions for preventing depression in this high-risk group.

  14. [Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)].

    PubMed

    Michels, Stephan; Kurz-Levin, Malaika

    2009-03-01

    Today age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most frequent cause for legal blindness in western industrialized countries. The prevalence of this disease rises with increasing age. A multifactorial pathogenesis of AMD is postulated including genetic predisposition and environmental risk factors. The most relevant modifiable risk factor is smoking. Up to today there is no cure of this chronic disease. Prophylaxis, including a healthy diet and antioxidants as nutrional supplements for selected patients, aims to slow down the disease progression. Significant progress has been made in the treatment of the neovascular form of the disease using inhibitors of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

  15. Target Positioning and Tracking in Degenerate Geometry

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-07-01

    estimation accuracy is to use the geometric dilution of precision ( GDOP ) [8]. In a poor geometry with not enough independent measurements and/or nearly...in GDOP may be significant, leading to degenerate cases. Indeed, when a target is close to or crosses the baseline, the 2D solution is no longer...7) is given by (8). The resulting position error is σx = √2/2σ, which is equivalent to having a GDOP of 0.707, the lowest of the 2D solution. A

  16. Can subretinal microphotodiodes successfully replace degenerated photoreceptors?

    PubMed

    Zrenner, E; Stett, A; Weiss, S; Aramant, R B; Guenther, E; Kohler, K; Miliczek, K D; Seiler, M J; Haemmerle, H

    1999-07-01

    The idea of implanting microphotodiode arrays as visual prostheses has aroused controversy on its feasibility from the moment it appeared in print. We now present results which basically support the concept of replacing damaged photoreceptors with subretinally implanted stimulation devices. Network activity in degenerated rat retinae could be modulated through local electrical stimulation in vitro. We also investigated the long term stability and biocompatibility of the subretinal implants and their impact on retinal physiology in rats. Ganzfeld electroretinograms and histology showed no significant side effect of subretinal implants on retinal function or the architecture of the inner retina.

  17. Mechanisms of secondary degeneration after partial optic nerve transection

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hong-Ying; Ruan, Yi-Wen; Ren, Chao-Ran; Cui, Qi; So, Kwok-Fai

    2014-01-01

    Secondary degeneration occurs commonly in the central nervous system after traumatic injuries and following acute and chronic diseases, including glaucoma. A constellation of mechanisms have been shown to be associated with secondary degeneration including apoptosis, necrosis, autophagy, oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, derangements in ionic homeostasis and calcium influx. Glial cells, such as microglia, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, have also been demonstrated to take part in the process of secondary injury. Partial optic nerve transection is a useful model which was established about 13 years ago. The merit of this model compared with other optic nerve injury models used for glaucoma study, including complete optic nerve transection model and optic nerve crush model, is the possibility to separate primary degeneration from secondary degeneration in location. Therefore, it provides a good tool for the study of secondary degeneration. This review will focus on the research progress of the mechanisms of secondary degeneration using partial optic nerve transection model. PMID:25206855

  18. Landscape of RNAs in human lumbar disc degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Pei, Yan-Jun; Wu, Zhi-Gang; Yu, Yang; Yang, Yong-Feng; Liu, Xu; Che, Lu; Ma, Chi-Jiao; Xie, Yan-Ke; Hu, Qing-Jie; Wan, Zhong-Yuan; Wang, Hai-Qiang

    2016-01-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) fine-tune gene expression with mysterious machinery. We conducted a combination of mRNA, miRNA, circRNA, LncRNA microarray analyses on 10 adults' lumbar discs. Moreover, we performed additional global exploration on RNA interacting machinery in terms of in silico computational pipeline. Here we show the landscape of RNAs in human lumbar discs. In general, the RNA-abundant landscape comprises 14,635 mRNAs (37.93%), 2,059 miRNAs (5.34%), 18,995 LncRNAs (49.23%) and 2,894 (7.5%) circRNAs. Chromosome 1 contributes for RNA transcription at most (10%). Bi-directional transcription contributes evenly for RNA biogenesis, in terms of 5′ to 3′ and 3′ to 5′. Despite the majority of circRNAs are exonic, antisense (1.49%), intergenic (0.035%), intragenic (1.69%), and intronic (6.29%) circRNAs should not be ignored. A single miRNA could interact with a multitude of circRNAs. Notably, CDR1as or ciRS-7 harbors 66 consecutive binding sites for miR-7-5p (previous miR-7), evidencing our pipeline. The majority of binding sites are perfect-matched (78.95%). Collectively, global landscape of RNAs sheds novel insights on RNA interacting mechanisms in human intervertebral disc degeneration. PMID:27542248

  19. Wallerian degeneration in ICAM-1-deficient mice.

    PubMed Central

    Vougioukas, V. I.; Roeske, S.; Michel, U.; Brück, W.

    1998-01-01

    Wallerian degeneration of the peripheral nervous system was studied in ICAM-1-deficient mice and compared with the phenomena observed in C57BL wild-type animals. There was a decrease in myelin density in both mice strains 4 and 6 days after transection of the sciatic nerve. The degenerating nerves were invaded by Mac-1-, LFA-1-, and F4/80-positive macrophages; significantly lower numbers of macrophages were present in ICAM-1-deficient nerves. Myelin loss decreased after nerve transection with a more prominent loss in ICAM-1-deficient animals. Schwann cells revealed a much higher myelin load in these animals when compared with wild-type nerves, and there was an increased proliferation of endoneurial cells in ICAM-1-deficient mice. These data indicate that ICAM-1 is involved in macrophage recruitment to injured peripheral nerves as well as in the proliferative and phagocytic response of Schwann cells after peripheral nerve transection. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 PMID:9422541

  20. Metabolic anatomy of paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-06-01

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

  1. Degenerate parametric oscillation in quantum membrane optomechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  2. Progressive retinal degeneration in ranch mink.

    PubMed

    Hadlow, W J

    1984-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Multimodal Delivery of Isogenic Mesenchymal Stem Cells Yields Synergistic Protection from Retinal Degeneration and Vision Loss.

    PubMed

    Bakondi, Benjamin; Girman, Sergey; Lu, Bin; Wang, Shaomei

    2017-02-01

    We previously demonstrated that subretinal injection (SRI) of isogenic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) reduced the severity of retinal degeneration in Royal College of Surgeons rats in a focal manner. In contrast, intravenous MSC infusion (MSC(IV) ) produced panoptic retinal rescue. By combining these treatments, we now show that MSC(IV) supplementation potentiates the MSC(SRI) -mediated rescue of photoreceptors and visual function. Electrophysiological recording from superior colliculi revealed 3.9-fold lower luminance threshold responses (LTRs) and 22% larger functional rescue area from combined treatment compared with MSC(SRI) alone. MSC(IV) supplementation of sham (saline) injection also improved LTRs 3.4-fold and enlarged rescue areas by 27% compared with saline alone. We confirmed the involvement of MSC chemotaxis for vision rescue by modulating C-X-C chemokine receptor 4 activity before MSC(IV) but without increased retinal homing. Rather, circulating platelets and lymphocytes were reduced 3 and 7 days after MSC(IV) , respectively. We demonstrated MSC(SRI) -mediated paracrine support of vision rescue by SRI of concentrated MSC-conditioned medium and assessed function by electroretinography and optokinetic response. MSC-secreted peptides increased retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) metabolic activity and clearance of photoreceptor outer segments ex vivo, which was partially abrogated by antibody blockade of trophic factors in concentrated MSC-conditioned medium, or their cognate receptors on RPE. These data support multimodal mechanisms for MSC-mediated retinal protection that differ by administration route and synergize when combined. Thus, using MSC(IV) as adjuvant therapy might improve cell therapies for retinal dystrophy and warrants further translational evaluation. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2017;6:444-457.

  5. Isolated generalised anhidrosis induced by postganglionic sympathetic skin nerve fibre degeneration: an incomplete Ross syndrome?

    PubMed

    Donadio, V; Cortelli, P; Falzone, F; Bugiardini, E; Giuliani, A; Misciali, C; Montagna, P; Calzà, L; Liguori, R

    2008-08-01

    Ross syndrome is characterised by tonic pupil, areflexia and anhidrosis, and the underlying lesion affects postganglionic skin sympathetic nerve fibres. We describe a 51-year-old man who had complained of anhidrosis since adolescence, at which time this problem was limited to the lower arms. The thermoregulatory sweating test disclosed generalised anhidrosis (GA) except for two small skin areas that were located in the right palm and left neck. Immunofluorescence analysis disclosed no cholinergic sudomotor fibres around the sweat glands of non-sweating skin areas, which were evident although sparse and deranged in the sweating site. In our patient, GA was induced by degeneration of postganglionic sympathetic skin nerve fibres, as found in Ross syndrome, although his clinical picture was incomplete as it lacked tonic pupil and areflexia. Isolated GA induced by degeneration of postganglionic sympathetic nerve fibers, directly evaluated by skin biopsy, has not previously been described.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Exonic SINE insertion in STK38L causes canine early retinal degeneration (erd).

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

  8. Prevention of age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Koo, Simon Chi Yan; Chan, Clement Wai Nang

    2010-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of blindness in the developed world. Although effective treatment modalities such as anti-VEGF treatment have been developed for neovascular AMD, there is still no effective treatment for geographical atrophy, and therefore the most cost-effective management of AMD is to start with prevention. This review looks at current evidence on preventive measures targeted at AMD. Modalities reviewed include (1) nutritional supplements such as the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formula, lutein and zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acid, and berry extracts, (2) lifestyle modifications, including smoking and body-mass-index, and (3) filtering sunlight, i.e. sunglasses and blue-blocking intraocular lenses. In summary, the only proven effective preventive measures are stopping smoking and the AREDS formula. PMID:20862519

  9. Odor identification in frontotemporal lobar degeneration subtypes.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. Generalized sheath criterion for arbitrary degenerate plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akbari-Moghanjoughi, M.

    2017-01-01

    In this research, we study the generalized sheath criterion for plasmas with an arbitrary degree of electron degeneracy and temperature, ranging from the classical dilute regime to the fully degenerate quantum plasmas. The latter may be relevant to warm dense matter and/or laboratory high energy density matter or even astrophysical stellar plasmas. The hydrostatic one dimensional model is used to establish the generalized Bohm's criterion for sheath entrance ion speed limits, and the small amplitude theory of the sheath problem, which accurately describes the sheath parameters for lower ion acoustic Mach numbers, is developed. Our results indicate that the sheath characteristic parameters such as electrostatic potential and density profiles, as well as the wall potential and the sheath length, are significantly affected by plasma parameters such as the ion and electron temperature and number densities in the plasma region. In particular, there are fundamental differences between sheath structures of the dilute classical plasmas and those of dense quantum ones.

  11. Degenerate R-S perturbation theory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1973-01-01

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

  12. Odour Identification in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Rami, Lorena; Loy, Clement T.; Hailstone, Julia; Warren, Jason D.

    2008-01-01

    Little information is available concerning olfactory processing in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). We undertook a case-control study of olfactory processing in three male patients fulfilling clinical criteria for FTLD. Odour identification (semantic analysis) and odour discrimination (perceptual analysis) were investigated using tests adapted from the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test. General neuropsychometry and structural volumetric brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were also performed. The three patients with FTLD exhibited a disorder of olfactory processing with the characteristics of a predominantly semantic (odour identification) deficit. This olfactory deficit was more prominent in patients with greater involvement of the temporal lobes on MRI. Central deficits of odour identification may be more common in FTLD than previously recognised, and these deficits may assist in clinical characterisation. PMID:17380245

  13. Degenerate polygonal tilings in simple animal tissues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hočevar, A.; Ziherl, P.

    2009-07-01

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

  14. Crystallization and collapse in relativistically degenerate matter

    SciTech Connect

    Akbari-Moghanjoughi, M.

    2013-04-15

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

  15. Retrograde Axonal Degeneration in Parkinson Disease

    PubMed Central

    Tagliaferro, Patricia; Burke, Robert E.

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Crystallization and collapse in relativistically degenerate matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akbari-Moghanjoughi, M.

    2013-04-01

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

  17. Early degeneration of the cerebellar cortex, particularly the granular cells.

    PubMed

    Bugiani, O; Berio, A; Di Stefano, A; Mangiante, G; Mancardi, G L; Leonardi, A

    1978-12-07

    An 8 month old infant, who died of severe gastroenteritis, presented a degeneration of the cerebellar cortex involving cells arising from the outer granular layer as well as Purkinje and Golgi II cells. Residual Purkinje cells showed vacuolar change of the cell body and dendritic abnormalities. Related lesions were atrophy of the inferior olives and degeneration of the mossy fibers.

  18. Involvement of lysosomes in the early stages of axon degeneration.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Jin; Yan, Tingting; Feng, Yan; Zhai, Qiwei

    2010-02-01

    Axon degeneration is a common hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases, and the underlying mechanism remains largely unknown. Lysosomes are involved in some neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Whether lysosomes are involved in axon degeneration is yet to be elucidated. In this study, we found only about 10% lysosomes remained in axons of cultured superior cervical ganglia (SCGs) after transection for 4h when stained with LysoTracker. Furthermore, we found that lysosomal disruption occurred earlier than morphological changes and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. In addition, the well-known axon-protective protein Wld(S) delayed injury-induced axon degeneration from both morphological changes and lysosomal disruption. Lysosomal inhibitors including chloroquine and ammonium chloride induced axon degeneration in cultured SCGs, and Wld(S) also slowed down the axon degeneration induced by lysosomal inhibitors. All these data suggest that lysosomal disruption is an early marker of axon degeneration, and inhibition of lysosome induces axon degeneration in a Wld(S)-protectable way. Thus, maintenance of normal lysosomal function might be an important approach to delay axon degeneration in neurodegenerative diseases.

  19. 9 CFR 311.35 - Muscular inflammation, degeneration, or infiltration.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Narváez, Yamile Reveiz; Gómez-Restrepo, Carlos

    2012-09-01

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

  1. Progranulin Knockout Accelerates Intervertebral Disc Degeneration in Aging Mice

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-09-15

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

  4. Fundus autofluorescence in exudative age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Peng, Q; Dong, Y; Zhao, P Q

    2013-12-02

    The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics of fundus autofluorescence (FAF) in patients with wet (exudative) age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Color fundus photographs, fundus fluorescein angiograms, indocyanine green angiograms, and FAF images were obtained from 61 patients (72 eyes) with exudative AMD. The FAF results for different patterns of exudative AMD were compared to those revealed by other fundus images. Of the 72 eyes evaluated, which were classified into three patterns based on the results of fundus fluorescein angiography, 68 had abnormal FAF. Forty-six eyes (63.9%) had classic wet AMD with abnormal FAF. Among these, 10 exhibited a slightly decreased FAF with near-normal or background FAF signal at the center of the lesion area; 36 demonstrated not only decreased FAF at the center of the lesion but also an increased FAF signal toward the lesion edge. Sixteen eyes (22.2%) had occult wet AMD, of which 12 exhibited heterogeneous fluorescence at the lesion site; 4 yielded normal FAF images. Ten eyes (13.9%) had a mixed pattern of wet AMD with abnormal FAF. FAF imaging suggested that the areas of blood and exudates decreased; however, fluorescence angiography revealed that lesions with hyperfluorescence had background or slightly increased FAF. These results showed that various patterns of wet AMD exhibit different autofluorescence characteristics. These represent the functional and metabolic features of retinal pigment epithelial cells. Therefore, FAF can be used to monitor disease development and evaluate the severity and prognosis of AMD.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Age related macular degeneration and visual disability.

    PubMed

    Christoforidis, John B; Tecce, Nicola; Dell'Omo, Roberto; Mastropasqua, Rodolfo; Verolino, Marco; Costagliola, Ciro

    2011-02-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of central blindness or low vision among the elderly in industrialized countries. AMD is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Among modifiable environmental risk factors, cigarette smoking has been associated with both the dry and wet forms of AMD and may increase the likelihood of worsening pre-existing AMD. Despite advances, the treatment of AMD has limitations and affected patients are often referred for low vision rehabilitation to help them cope with their remaining eyesight. The characteristic visual impairment for both forms of AMD is loss of central vision (central scotoma). This loss results in severe difficulties with reading that may be only partly compensated by magnifying glasses or screen-projection devices. The loss of central vision associated with the disease has a profound impact on patient quality of life. With progressive central visual loss, patients lose their ability to perform the more complex activities of daily living. Common vision aids include low vision filters, magnifiers, telescopes and electronic aids. Low vision rehabilitation (LVR) is a new subspecialty emerging from the traditional fields of ophthalmology, optometry, occupational therapy, and sociology, with an ever-increasing impact on the usual concepts of research, education, and services for visually impaired patients. Relatively few ophthalmologists practise LVR and fewer still routinely use prismatic image relocation (IR) in AMD patients. IR is a method of stabilizing oculomotor functions with the purpose of promoting better function of preferred retinal loci (PRLs). The aim of vision rehabilitation therapy consists in the achievement of techniques designed to improve PRL usage. The use of PRLs to compensate for diseased foveae has offered hope to these patients in regaining some function. However, in a recently published meta-analysis, prism spectacles were found to be unlikely to be of

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

    PubMed Central

    Wilkinson, Charles P

    2016-01-01

    Background Asymptomatic retinal breaks and lattice degeneration are visible lesions that are risk factors for later retinal detachment. Retinal detachments occur when fluid in the vitreous cavity passes through tears or holes in the retina and separates the retina from the underlying retinal pigment epithelium. Creation of an adhesion surrounding retinal breaks and lattice degeneration, with laser photocoagulation or cryotherapy, has been recommended as an effective means of preventing retinal detachment. This therapy is of value in the management of retinal tears associated with the symptoms of flashes and floaters and persistent vitreous traction upon the retina in the region of the retinal break, because such symptomatic retinal tears are associated with a high rate of progression to retinal detachment. Retinal tears and holes unassociated with acute symptoms and lattice degeneration are significantly less likely to be the sites of retinal breaks that are responsible for later retinal detachment. Nevertheless, treatment of these problems is frequently recommended, in spite of the fact that the effectiveness of this therapy is unproven. Objectives The purpose of this review was to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions for asymptomatic retinal breaks and lattice degeneration. Search methods We searched CENTRAL (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group Trials Register) (The Cochrane Library 2012, Issue 1), MEDLINE (January 1950 to January 2012), EMBASE (January 1980 to January 2012), the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) (www.controlled-trials.com), ClinicalTrials.gov (www.clinicaltrials.gov) and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (www.who.int/ictrp/search/en). There were no date or language restrictions in the electronic searches for trials. The electronic databases were last searched on 28 January 2012. Textbooks regarding retinal detachment and the reference lists of relevant reports were reviewed for additional

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Consensus-degenerate hybrid oligonucleotide primers for amplification of distantly related sequences.

    PubMed Central

    Rose, T M; Schultz, E R; Henikoff, J G; Pietrokovski, S; McCallum, C M; Henikoff, S

    1998-01-01

    We describe a new primer design strategy for PCR amplification of unknown targets that are related to multiply-aligned protein sequences. Each primer consists of a short 3' degenerate core region and a longer 5' consensus clamp region. Only 3-4 highly conserved amino acid residues are necessary for design of the core, which is stabilized by the clamp during annealing to template molecules. During later rounds of amplification, the non-degenerate clamp permits stable annealing to product molecules. We demonstrate the practical utility of this hybrid primer method by detection of diverse reverse transcriptase-like genes in a human genome, and by detection of C5DNA methyltransferase homologs in various plant DNAs. In each case, amplified products were sufficiently pure to be cloned without gel fractionation. This COnsensus-DEgenerate Hybrid Oligonucleotide Primer (CODEHOP) strategy has been implemented as a computer program that is accessible over the World Wide Web (http://blocks.fhcrc.org/codehop.html) and is directly linked from the BlockMaker multiple sequence alignment site for hybrid primer prediction beginning with a set of related protein sequences. PMID:9512532

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  11. Degenerate Fermi gas perturbations at standard background cosmology

    SciTech Connect

    Bernardini, A.E.; Perico, E.L.D. E-mail: elduarte@ifi.unicamp.br

    2011-01-01

    The hypothesis of a tiny fraction of the cosmic inventory evolving cosmologically as a degenerate Fermi gas test fluid at some dominant cosmological background is investigated. Our analytical results allow for performing preliminary computations to the evolution of perturbations for relativistic and non-relativistic test fluids. The density fluctuation, δ, the fluid velocity divergence, θ, and an explicit expression for the dynamics of the shear stress, σ, are obtained for a degenerate Fermi gas in the background regime of radiation. Extensions to the dominance of matter and to the ΛCDM cosmological background are also investigated and lessons concerning the formation of large structures of degenerate Fermi gas are depicted.

  12. Case report 872. "Ancient" schwannoma (degenerated neurilemoma).

    PubMed

    Schultz, E; Sapan, M R; McHeffey-Atkinson, B; Naidich, J B; Arlen, M

    1994-10-01

    A case of an ancient schwannoma was presented. The rare occurrence of this tumor has resulted in only a few reported cases with descriptions of its features on imaging. Our patient's tumor, like one previously reported case, demonstrated calcification on the plain film - a finding not associated with other histologic types of schwannomas. Angiography revealed the tumor to be hypervascular. Evaluation by MRI demonstrated a lobulated, encapsulated soft tissue mass containing several cystic areas that corresponded histologically to areas of necrosis. Hypertrophied blood vessels were seen in the periphery of the tumoral mass. Too few ancient schwannomas have been reported to conclude whether or not radiographic evidence of soft tissue calcification is characteristic of this histologically distinctive subtype of schwannoma. However, since calcification is seen histologically as part of the degenerating process, its presence on plain films could be a feature of this tumor. Furthermore, the presence of cystic areas on MRI is not surprising given the pathological changes that occur in this tumor. We suggest that a diagnosis of ancient schwannoma be considered when a patient presents with a hypervascular soft tissue mass containing amorphous calcification on plain films and cystic areas on MRI. Despite the nonspecificity of these imaging findings, this point is relevant because each of these features suggests the presence of a malignant mass. Awareness of the possibility of a benign ancient schwannoma could obviate unnecessary radical surgery.

  13. Quantum kinetic theories in degenerate plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brodin, Gert; Ekman, Robin; Zamanian, Jens

    2017-01-01

    In this review we give an overview of the recent work on quantum kinetic theories of plasmas. We focus, in particular, on the case where the electrons are fully degenerate. For such systems, perturbation methods using the distribution function can be problematic. Instead we present a model that considers the dynamics of the Fermi surface. The advantage of this model is that, even though the value of the distribution function can be greatly perturbed outside the equilibrium Fermi surface, deformation of the Fermi surface is small up to very large amplitudes. Next, we investigate the short-scale dynamics for which the Wigner-Moyal equation replaces the Vlasov equation. In particular, we study wave-particle interaction, and deduce that new types of wave damping can occur due to the simultaneous absorption (or emission) of multiple wave quanta. Finally, we consider exchange effects within a quantum kinetic formalism to find a model that is more accurate than those using exchange potentials from density functional theory. We deduce the exchange corrections to the dispersion relations for Langmuir and ion-acoustic waves. In comparison to results based on exchange potentials deduced from density functional theory we find that the latter models are reasonably accurate for Langmuir waves, but rather inaccurate for ion acoustic waves.

  14. An Interferometric Harvest of Double Degenerates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelan, Edmund

    2001-07-01

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

  15. Statistical physics of age related macular degeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  16. Neurophysiology of central retinal degeneration in cat.

    PubMed

    Levick, W R; Thibos, L N

    1993-01-01

    Receptive fields of ganglion cells have been studied in cats possessing a chronic, arrested lesion of central retinal degeneration. Lesions were characterized by an ophthalmoscopically sharp border separating apparently normal retina from the region of the lesion. Under direct ophthalmoscopic guidance, a succession of recordings was obtained from ganglion cells having cell bodies at various positions relative to the lesion. Cells located more than 1 deg outside the ophthalmoscopic border had normal visual sensitivity as assessed by area-threshold experiments. Inside the lesion cells within 1 deg of the border had reduced sensitivity which often precluded functional classification by the usual visual tests. Ganglion cells located more than 1 deg inside the border of large lesions were blind and some had abnormal patterns of maintained discharge of action potentials. Nevertheless, the antidromic latencies of these blind cells fell into the familiar conduction groups (T1/T2/T3). Receptive-field maps of cells near the border of the lesion often appeared truncated, with the missing portion of the field covered by the lesion. These observations were consistent with the abnormal form of area-threshold curves. Although the responsiveness of cells near the lesion was abnormally low for grating stimuli, cutoff spatial frequency and orientation bias of these cells were within normal limits.

  17. Genetic Factors in Intervertebral Disc Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Yi; Egan, Brian; Wang, Jinxi

    2016-01-01

    Low back pain (LBP) is a major cause of disability and imposes huge economic burdens on human society worldwide. Among many factors responsible for LBP, intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is the most common disorder and is a target for intervention. The etiology of IDD is complex and its mechanism is still not completely understood. Many factors such as aging, spine deformities and diseases, spine injuries, and genetic factors are involved in the pathogenesis of IDD. In this review, we will focus on the recent advances in studies on the most promising and extensively examined genetic factors associated with IDD in humans. A number of genetic defects have been correlated with structural and functional changes within the intervertebral disc (IVD), which may compromise the disc’s mechanical properties and metabolic activities. These genetic and proteomic studies have begun to shed light on the molecular basis of IDD, suggesting that genetic factors are important contributors to the onset and progression of IDD. By continuing to improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of IDD, specific early diagnosis and more effective treatments for this disabling disease will be possible in the future. PMID:27617275

  18. Physics of Age Related Macular Degeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Family, Fereydoon

    2009-11-01

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

  19. Linear stochastic degenerate Sobolev equations and applications†

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Animal models of age related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

  1. Disruption in dopaminergic innervation during photoreceptor degeneration.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

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

  2. Degenerate interfaces in antigen-antibody complexes.

    PubMed

    Decanniere, K; Transue, T R; Desmyter, A; Maes, D; Muyldermans, S; Wyns, L

    2001-10-26

    In most of the work dealing with the analysis of protein-protein interfaces, a single X-ray structure is available or selected, and implicitly it is assumed that this structure corresponds to the optimal complex for this pair of proteins. However, we have found a degenerate interface in a high-affinity antibody-antigen complex: the two independent complexes of the camel variable domain antibody fragment cAb-Lys3 and its antigen hen egg white lysozyme present in the asymmetric unit of our crystals show a difference in relative orientation between antibody and antigen, leading to important differences at the protein-protein interface. A third cAb-Lys3-hen lysozyme complex in a different crystal form adopts yet another relative orientation. Our results show that protein-protein interface characteristics can vary significantly between different specimens of the same high-affinity antibody-protein antigen complex. Consideration should be given to this type of observation when trying to establish general protein-protein interface characteristics.

  3. Animal models of age related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Producing Quantum Degenerate Gases of Strontium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camargo, Francisco; Ding, Roger; Whalen, Joseph; Woehl, Germano; Dunning, Barry; Killian, Thomas

    2015-05-01

    We present our progress towards producing quantum degenerate gases of all four stable isotopes of strontium (84Sr, 86Sr, 87Sr, 88Sr) and isotopic mixtures. We characterize the performance of our broad-line (461 nm, 30.5 MHz), narrow-line (689 nm, 7.5 kHz) magneto-optical traps, and examine evaporative cooling for all four isotopes. The new apparatus will be used to create and study tunable long-range interactions by dressing with strongly-interacting Rydberg states. The ability to trap the four different isotopes allows a measure of control of these interactions through access to a range of attractive and repulsive interactions. Simultaneous trapping of different isotopes provides opportunities for novel laser cooling schemes for studying Bose-Bose and Bose-Fermi mixtures. Research supported by the AFOSR under grant no. FA9550-12-1-0267, the NSF under grants nos. 1301773 and 1205946, and the Robert A. Welch Foundation under grant no. C-0734.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Quantum control of electronic fluxes during adiabatic attosecond charge migration in degenerate superposition states of benzene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Dongming; Manz, Jörn; Paulus, Beate; Pohl, Vincent; Tremblay, Jean Christophe; Yang, Yonggang

    2017-01-01

    We design four linearly x- and y-polarized as well as circularly right (+) and left (-) polarized, resonant π / 2 -laser pulses that prepare the model benzene molecule in four different degenerate superposition states. These consist of equal (0.5) populations of the electronic ground state S0 (1A1g) plus one of four degenerate excited states, all of them accessible by dipole-allowed transitions. Specifically, for the molecule aligned in the xy-plane, these excited states include different complex-valued linear combinations of the 1E1u,x and 1E1u,y degenerate states. As a consequence, the laser pulses induce four different types of periodic adiabatic attosecond (as) charge migrations (AACM) in benzene, all with the same period, 504 as, but with four different types of angular fluxes. One of the characteristic differences of these fluxes are the two angles for zero fluxes, which appear as the instantaneous angular positions of the "source" and "sink" of two equivalent, or nearly equivalent branches of the fluxes which flow in pincer-type patterns from one molecular site (the "source") to the opposite one (the "sink"). These angles of zero fluxes are either fixed at the positions of two opposite carbon nuclei in the yz-symmetry plane, or at the centers of two opposite carbon-carbon bonds in the xz-symmetry plane, or the angles of zero fluxes rotate in angular forward (+) or backward (-) directions, respectively. As a resume, our quantum model simulations demonstrate quantum control of the electronic fluxes during AACM in degenerate superposition states, in the attosecond time domain, with the laser polarization as the key knob for control.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-07-01

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

  9. Dynamically Manipulating Topological Physics and Edge Modes in a Single Degenerate Optical Cavity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Xiang-Fa; Luo, Xi-Wang; Wang, Su; Guo, Guang-Can; Zhou, Xingxiang; Pu, Han; Zhou, Zheng-Wei

    2017-02-01

    We propose a scheme to simulate topological physics within a single degenerate cavity, whose modes are mapped to lattice sites. A crucial ingredient of the scheme is to construct a sharp boundary so that the open boundary condition can be implemented for this effective lattice system. In doing so, the topological properties of the system can manifest themselves on the edge states, which can be probed from the spectrum of an output cavity field. We demonstrate this with two examples: a static Su-Schrieffer-Heeger chain and a periodically driven Floquet topological insulator. Our work opens up new avenues to explore exotic photonic topological phases inside a single optical cavity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  11. Intervertebral disc degeneration: evidence for two distinct phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Michael A; Dolan, Patricia

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Arbitrary electron acoustic waves in degenerate dense plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahman, Ata-ur; Mushtaq, A.; Qamar, A.; Neelam, S.

    2016-12-01

    A theoretical investigation is carried out of the nonlinear dynamics of electron-acoustic waves in a collisionless and unmagnetized plasma whose constituents are non-degenerate cold electrons, ultra-relativistic degenerate electrons, and stationary ions. A dispersion relation is derived for linear EAWs. An energy integral equation involving the Sagdeev potential is derived, and basic properties of the large amplitude solitary structures are investigated in such a degenerate dense plasma. It is shown that only negative large amplitude EA solitary waves can exist in such a plasma system. The present analysis may be important to understand the collective interactions in degenerate dense plasmas, occurring in dense astrophysical environments as well as in laser-solid density plasma interaction experiments.

  13. Neuronal degeneration in subacute necrotizing encephalomyelopathy (Leigh's disease). Case report.

    PubMed

    Lindboe, C F; Lie, A K; Aase, S T; Schjetne, O B; Haave, I

    1995-01-01

    We report clinical, radiological and pathological findings in a 5-year-old girl who died of subacute necrotizing encephalomyelopathy (SNE) after 4 weeks of illness. Autopsy revealed endothelial swelling and vacuolar degeneration of the neuropil in the brain, brain stem and cerebellum. In addition, the affected areas showed degeneration of the neurons which was different from anoxic nerve cell damage both with regard to morphological picture and topographical distribution. This neuronal degeneration was probably due to the underlying metabolic defect in SNE per se and resembled in several aspects the nerve cell changes seen in the thalami and inferior olives in active Wernicke's encephalopathy. It is our opinion that more attention should be paid to the nerve cell degeneration in SNE rather than focusing on the relative preservation of these cells.

  14. Construction of nonregular pointwise degenerate delay-differential systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choudhury, A. K.

    1978-01-01

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

  15. Purifying Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger states using degenerate quantum codes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ho, K. H.; Chau, H. F.

    2008-10-01

    Degenerate quantum codes are codes that do not reveal the complete error syndrome. Their ability to conceal the complete error syndrome makes them powerful resources in certain quantum-information processing tasks. In particular, the most error-tolerant way to purify depolarized Bell states using one-way communication known to date involves degenerate quantum codes. Here we study three closely related purification schemes for depolarized Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger states shared among m⩾3 players by means of degenerate quantum codes and one-way classical communications. We find that our schemes tolerate more noise than all other one-way schemes known to date, further demonstrating the effectiveness of degenerate quantum codes in quantum-information processing.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Langlois, David; Noui, Karim E-mail: karim.noui@lmpt.univ-tours.fr

    2016-02-01

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

  17. Age-related macular degeneration: current treatment and future options.

    PubMed

    Moutray, Tanya; Chakravarthy, Usha

    2011-09-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of visual impairment among older adults in the developed world. Epidemiological studies have revealed a number of genetic, ocular and environmental risk factors for this condition, which can be addressed by disease reduction strategies. We discuss the various treatment options for dry and exudative age-related macular degeneration available and explain how the recommended treatment depends on the exact type, location and extent of the degeneration. Currently, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibition therapy is the best available treatment for exudative age-related macular degeneration but is limited by the need for repeated intravitreal injections. The current treatment regime is being refined through research on optimal treatment frequency and duration and type of anti-VEGF drug. Different modes of drug delivery are being developed and in the future other methods of VEGF inhibition may be used.

  18. [Progress on the degeneration mechanism of cave fishes' eyes].

    PubMed

    Gu, Xian; Ning, Tiao; Xiao, Heng

    2012-08-01

    Attempts to understand the degeneration of the eyes in cave fish has largely been explained by either various extents of gradual degeneration, ranging from partial to total loss, observed in various species or by acceleration of loss caused by dark environments. However, neither the theory of biological evolution developed by Charles Darwin nor the neutral theory of molecular evolution formulated by Kimura Motoo adequately explains these phenomena. Recent trends in utilizing multidisciplinary research, however, have yielded better results, helping reveal a more complex picture of the mechanisms of degeneration. Here, we summarize the current progress of the research via morphology and anatomy, development biology, animal behavior science and molecular genetics, and offer some perspectives on the ongoing research into the development and degeneration of eyes in cave fish.

  19. Drosophila melanogaster as a Model of Muscle Degeneration Disorders.

    PubMed

    Kreipke, R E; Kwon, Y V; Shcherbata, H R; Ruohola-Baker, H

    2017-01-01

    Drosophila melanogaster provides a powerful platform with which researchers can dissect complex genetic questions and biochemical pathways relevant to a vast array of human diseases and disorders. Of particular interest, much work has been done with flies to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying muscle degeneration diseases. The fly is particularly useful for modeling muscle degeneration disorders because there are no identified satellite muscle cells to repair adult muscle following injury. This allows for the identification of endogenous processes of muscle degeneration as discrete events, distinguishable from phenotypes due to the lack of stem cell-based regeneration. In this review, we will discuss the ways in which the fruit fly provides a powerful platform with which to study human muscle degeneration disorders.

  20. Distributions of selectively constrained sites and deleterious mutation rates in the hominid and murid genomes.

    PubMed

    Eory, Lél; Halligan, Daniel L; Keightley, Peter D

    2010-01-01

    Protein-coding sequences make up only about 1% of the mammalian genome. Much of the remaining 99% has been long assumed to be junk DNA, with little or no functional significance. Here, we show that in hominids, a group with historically low effective population sizes, all classes of noncoding DNA evolve more slowly than ancestral transposable elements and so appear to be subject to significant evolutionary constraints. Under the nearly neutral theory, we expected to see lower levels of selective constraints on most sequence types in hominids than murids, a group that is thought to have a higher effective population size. We found that this is the case for many sequence types examined, the most extreme example being 5'UTRs, for which constraint in hominids is only about one-third that of murids. Surprisingly, however, we observed higher constraints for some sequence types in hominids, notably 4-fold sites, where constraint is more than twice as high as in murids. This implies that more than about one-fifth of mutations at 4-fold sites are effectively selected against in hominids. The higher constraint at 4-fold sites in hominids suggests a more complex protein-coding gene structure than murids and indicates that methods for detecting selection on protein-coding sequences (e.g., using the d(N)/d(S) ratio), with 4-fold sites as a neutral standard, may lead to biased estimates, particularly in hominids. Our constraint estimates imply that 5.4% of nucleotide sites in the human genome are subject to effective negative selection and that there are three times as many constrained sites within noncoding sequences as within protein-coding sequences. Including coding and noncoding sites, we estimate that the genomic deleterious mutation rate U = 4.2. The mutational load predicted under a multiplicative model is therefore about 99% in hominids.

  1. SINGLE-DEGENERATE TYPE Ia SUPERNOVAE ARE PREFERENTIALLY OVERLUMINOUS

    SciTech Connect

    Fisher, Robert; Jumper, Kevin

    2015-06-01

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

  2. Rehabilitation Approaches in Macular Degeneration Patients

    PubMed Central

    Maniglia, Marcello; Cottereau, Benoit R.; Soler, Vincent; Trotter, Yves

    2016-01-01

    Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a visual disease that affects elderly population. It entails a progressive loss of central vision whose consequences are dramatic for the patient’s quality of life. Current rehabilitation programs are restricted to technical aids based on visual devices. They only temporarily improve specific visual functions such as reading skills. Considering the rapid increase of the aging population worldwide, it is crucial to intensify clinical research on AMD in order to develop simple and efficient methods that improve the patient’s visual performances in many different contexts. One very promising approach to face this challenge is based on perceptual learning (PL). Through intensive practice, PL can induce neural plasticity in sensory cortices and result in long-lasting enhancements for various perceptual tasks in both normal and visually impaired populations. A growing number of studies showed how appropriate PL protocols improve visual functions in visual disorders, namely amblyopia, presbyopia or myopia. In order to successfully apply these approaches to more severe conditions such as AMD, numerous challenges have to be overcome. Indeed, the overall elderly age of patients and the reduced cortical surface that is devoted to peripheral vision potentially limit neural plasticity in this population. In addition, ocular fixation becomes much less stable because patients have to rely on peripheral fixation spots outside the scotoma whose size keeps on evolving. The aim of this review article is to discuss the recent literature on this topic and to offer a unified approach for developing new rehabilitation programs of AMD using PL. We argue that with an appropriate experimental and training protocol that is adapted to each patient needs, PL can offer fascinating opportunities for the development of simple, non-expensive rehabilitation approaches a large spectrum of visual functions in AMD patients. PMID:28082876

  3. Perceptual learning in patients with macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Plank, Tina; Rosengarth, Katharina; Schmalhofer, Carolin; Goldhacker, Markus; Brandl-Rühle, Sabine; Greenlee, Mark W

    2014-01-01

    Patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or hereditary macular dystrophies (JMD) rely on an efficient use of their peripheral visual field. We trained eight AMD and five JMD patients to perform a texture-discrimination task (TDT) at their preferred retinal locus (PRL) used for fixation. Six training sessions of approximately one hour duration were conducted over a period of approximately 3 weeks. Before, during and after training twelve patients and twelve age-matched controls (the data from two controls had to be discarded later) took part in three functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) sessions to assess training-related changes in the BOLD response in early visual cortex. Patients benefited from the training measurements as indexed by significant decrease (p = 0.001) in the stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between the presentation of the texture target on background and the visual mask, and in a significant location specific effect of the PRL with respect to hit rate (p = 0.014). The following trends were observed: (i) improvement in Vernier acuity for an eccentric line-bisection task; (ii) positive correlation between the development of BOLD signals in early visual cortex and initial fixation stability (r = 0.531); (iii) positive correlation between the increase in task performance and initial fixation stability (r = 0.730). The first two trends were non-significant, whereas the third trend was significant at p = 0.014, Bonferroni corrected. Consequently, our exploratory study suggests that training on the TDT can enhance eccentric vision in patients with central vision loss. This enhancement is accompanied by a modest alteration in the BOLD response in early visual cortex.

  4. Rehabilitation Approaches in Macular Degeneration Patients.

    PubMed

    Maniglia, Marcello; Cottereau, Benoit R; Soler, Vincent; Trotter, Yves

    2016-01-01

    Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a visual disease that affects elderly population. It entails a progressive loss of central vision whose consequences are dramatic for the patient's quality of life. Current rehabilitation programs are restricted to technical aids based on visual devices. They only temporarily improve specific visual functions such as reading skills. Considering the rapid increase of the aging population worldwide, it is crucial to intensify clinical research on AMD in order to develop simple and efficient methods that improve the patient's visual performances in many different contexts. One very promising approach to face this challenge is based on perceptual learning (PL). Through intensive practice, PL can induce neural plasticity in sensory cortices and result in long-lasting enhancements for various perceptual tasks in both normal and visually impaired populations. A growing number of studies showed how appropriate PL protocols improve visual functions in visual disorders, namely amblyopia, presbyopia or myopia. In order to successfully apply these approaches to more severe conditions such as AMD, numerous challenges have to be overcome. Indeed, the overall elderly age of patients and the reduced cortical surface that is devoted to peripheral vision potentially limit neural plasticity in this population. In addition, ocular fixation becomes much less stable because patients have to rely on peripheral fixation spots outside the scotoma whose size keeps on evolving. The aim of this review article is to discuss the recent literature on this topic and to offer a unified approach for developing new rehabilitation programs of AMD using PL. We argue that with an appropriate experimental and training protocol that is adapted to each patient needs, PL can offer fascinating opportunities for the development of simple, non-expensive rehabilitation approaches a large spectrum of visual functions in AMD patients.

  5. Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration and MicroRNAs

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Treatment of macular degeneration, according to Bangerter.

    PubMed

    Teichmann, K D

    1997-10-30

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of visual loss among elderly patients. Although some risk factors have been determined, the ultimate cause of the disease is not known. For a long time, therapeutic nihilism has been the rule among ophthalmologists confronted with such patients. Bangerter has not shared this attitude, especially since the time that he incidentally discovered, more than 40 years ago, the beneficial effects of radiotherapy, in discouraging the growth of new vessels at the posterior pole of the eye. A variety of approaches are combined and used by Bangerter in the treatment of the different types of AMD, including retrobulbar injections of either vasodilating medications (in the dry - or atrophic - type) or corticosteroids (in the wet - or exudative - type), general medical measures aimed at improving metabolic and vascular functions such as supplementation with trace elements, antioxidants, and vitamins; ozone therapy; advice to increase physical fitness, improve nutrition, and abstain from smoking; and protection from excessive light exposure. Being convinced of the usefulness of his type of combination treatment, he has always rejected undertaking controlled clinical trials, of only single aspects of the therapy, as unethical and invalid. For this reason, scientific journals have not proven cooperative in several attempts at publishing his results, as collected in retrospective surveys. Recently, however, some of the several approaches combined by Bangerter in treating AMD have been pronounced effective by other investigators. We present here an overview of his treatment approaches, as few people are aware of them, to clear up misconceptions and to set records straight.

  7. Prolonged Prevention of Retinal Degeneration with Retinylamine Loaded Nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Puntel, Anthony; Maeda, Akiko; Golczak, Marcin; Gao, Song-Qi; Yu, Guanping; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Lu, Zheng-Rong

    2015-01-01

    Retinal degeneration impairs the vision of millions in all age groups worldwide. Increasing evidence suggests that the etiology of many retinal degenerative diseases is associated with impairment in biochemical reactions involved in the visual cycle, a metabolic pathway responsible for regeneration of the visual chromophore (11-cis-retinal). Inefficient clearance of toxic retinoid metabolites, especially all-trans-retinal, is considered responsible for photoreceptor cytotoxicity. Primary amines, including retinylamine, are effective in lowing the concentration of all-trans-retinal within the retina and thus prevent retina degeneration in mouse models of human retinopathies. Here we achieved prolonged prevention of retinal degeneration by controlled delivery of retinylamine to the eye from polylactic acid nanoparticles in Abca4−/−Rdh8−/− (DKO) mice, an animal model of Stargardt disease/age-related macular degeneration. Subcutaneous administration of the nanoparticles containing retinylamine provided a constant supply of the drug to the eye for about a week and resulted in effective prolonged prevention of light-induced retinal degeneration in DKO mice. Retinylamine nanoparticles hold promise for prolonged prophylactic treatment of human retinal degenerative diseases, including Stargardt disease and age-related macular degeneration. PMID:25617130

  8. Axons degenerate in the absence of mitochondria in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Rawson, Randi L; Yam, Lung; Weimer, Robby M; Bend, Eric G; Hartwieg, Erika; Horvitz, H Robert; Clark, Scott G; Jorgensen, Erik M

    2014-03-31

    Many neurodegenerative disorders are associated with mitochondrial defects [1-3]. Mitochondria can play an active role in degeneration by releasing reactive oxygen species and apoptotic factors [4-7]. Alternatively, mitochondria can protect axons from stress and insults, for example by buffering calcium [8]. Recent studies manipulating mitochondria lend support to both of these models [9-13]. Here, we identify a C. elegans mutant, ric-7, in which mitochondria are unable to exit the neuron cell bodies, similar to the kinesin-1/unc-116 mutant. When axons lacking mitochondria are cut with a laser, they rapidly degenerate. Some neurons even spontaneously degenerate in ric-7 mutants. Degeneration can be suppressed by forcing mitochondria into the axons of the mutants. The protective effect of mitochondria is also observed in the wild-type: a majority of axon fragments containing a mitochondrion survive axotomy, whereas those lacking mitochondria degenerate. Thus, mitochondria are not required for axon degeneration and serve a protective role in C. elegans axons.

  9. Axonal Degeneration Is Mediated by the Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore

    PubMed Central

    Barrientos, Sebastian A.; Martinez, Nicolas W.; Yoo, Soonmoon; Jara, Juan S.; Zamorano, Sebastian; Hetz, Claudio; Twiss, Jeffery L.; Alvarez, Jaime; Court, Felipe A.

    2011-01-01

    Axonal degeneration is an active process that has been associated with neurodegenerative conditions triggered by mechanical, metabolic, infectious, toxic, hereditary and inflammatory stimuli. This degenerative process can cause permanent loss of function, so it represents a focus for neuroprotective strategies. Several signaling pathways are implicated in axonal degeneration, but identification of an integrative mechanism for this self-destructive process has remained elusive. Here, we show that rapid axonal degeneration triggered by distinct mechanical and toxic insults is dependent on the activation of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP). Both pharmacological and genetic targeting of cyclophilin D, a functional component of the mPTP, protects severed axons and vincristine-treated neurons from axonal degeneration in ex vivo and in vitro mouse and rat model systems. These effects were observed in axons from both the peripheral and central nervous system. Our results suggest that the mPTP is a key effector of axonal degeneration, upon which several independent signaling pathways converge. Since axonal and synapse degeneration are increasingly considered early pathological events in neurodegeneration, our work identifies a potential target for therapeutic intervention in a wide variety of conditions that lead to loss of axons and subsequent functional impairment. PMID:21248121

  10. Development of Animal Models of Local Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Spatially coordinated kinase signaling regulates local axon degeneration.

    PubMed

    Chen, Mark; Maloney, Janice A; Kallop, Dara Y; Atwal, Jasvinder K; Tam, Stephen J; Baer, Kristin; Kissel, Holger; Kaminker, Joshua S; Lewcock, Joseph W; Weimer, Robby M; Watts, Ryan J

    2012-09-26

    In addition to being a hallmark of neurodegenerative disease, axon degeneration is used during development of the nervous system to prune unwanted connections. In development, axon degeneration is tightly regulated both temporally and spatially. Here, we provide evidence that degeneration cues are transduced through various kinase pathways functioning in spatially distinct compartments to regulate axon degeneration. Intriguingly, glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) acts centrally, likely modulating gene expression in the cell body to regulate distally restricted axon degeneration. Through a combination of genetic and pharmacological manipulations, including the generation of an analog-sensitive kinase allele mutant mouse for GSK3β, we show that the β isoform of GSK3, not the α isoform, is essential for developmental axon pruning in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, we identify the dleu2/mir15a/16-1 cluster, previously characterized as a regulator of B-cell proliferation, and the transcription factor tbx6, as likely downstream effectors of GSK3β in axon degeneration.

  12. Tyro3 Modulates Mertk-Associated Retinal Degeneration.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. Statins for age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Gehlbach, Peter; Li, Tianjing; Hatef, Elham

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Mechanisms of Distal Axonal Degeneration in Peripheral Neuropathies

    PubMed Central

    Cashman, Christopher R.; Höke, Ahmet

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Notochord Cells in Intervertebral Disc Development and Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    McCann, Matthew R.; Séguin, Cheryle A.

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Transplantation and Stem Cell Therapy for Cerebellar Degenerations.

    PubMed

    Cendelin, Jan

    2016-02-01

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

  17. Radiologic Evaluation of Degeneration in Isthmic and Degenerative Spondylolisthesis

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Hyun-Yoon; Sohn, Hong-Moon; Park, Sang-Ha

    2013-01-01

    Study Design A cross-sectional imaging study. Purpose The objective was to assess the degree of degeneration and the associated factors through imaging studies of the lesion segment and the adjacent superior and inferior segments of isthmic and degenerative spondylolisthesis. Overview of Literature Few articles existed for degeneration and related factors in isthmic and degenerative spondylolisthesis. Methods The subjects were 95 patients diagnosed with spondylolisthesis. Simple plain radiographs including flexion and extension and magnetic resonance imaging were used to investigate the degree of translation, disc degeneration, high intensity zone (HIZ) lesion, Schmorl's node (SN) and Modic changes. Results Advanced disc degeneration, grade 5, was shown to be significant in the index segment of the isthmic type (p=0.034). Overall, type 2 Modic change was most common in both groups and also, it was observed more in the isthmus group, specifically, the index segment compared to the degenerative group (p=0.03). For the SN, compared to the degenerative type, the isthmus type had a significantly high occurrence in the index segment (p=0.04). For the HIZ lesions, the isthmus type had a higher occurrence than the degenerative type, especially in the upper segment (p=0.03). Conclusions Most advanced disc degeneration, fifth degree, SN and Modic change occurred more frequently in the lesions of the isthmus type. HIZ lesions were observed more in the isthmus type, especially in the segment superior to the lesion. PMID:23508359

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-20

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

  19. RADIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF EXPERIMENTAL DISC DEGENERATION IN RABBITS

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Review: Retinal degeneration: Focus on the unfolded protein response

    PubMed Central

    Gorbatyuk, Oleg

    2013-01-01

    Recently published literature has provided evidence that the unfolded protein response (UPR) is involved in the development of retinal degeneration. The scope of these studies encompassed diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, glaucoma, retinal detachment, light-induced retinal degeneration, age-related macular degeneration, and inherited retinal degeneration. Subsequent studies investigating the role of individual UPR markers in retinal pathogenesis and examining the therapeutic potential of reprogramming the UPR as a method for modulating the rate of retinal degeneration have been initiated. Manipulation of UPR markers has been made possible by the use of knockout mice, pharmacological agents, and viral vector-mediated augmentation of gene expression. Future research will aim at identifying specific inhibitors and/or inducers of UPR regulatory markers as well as expand the list of UPR-related animal models. Additionally, adeno-associated virus-mediated gene delivery is a safe and effective method for modulating gene expression, and thus is a useful research tool for manipulating individual UPR markers in affected retinas and a promising delivery vector for gene therapy in retinal degenerative disorders. PMID:24068865

  1. Developments in age-related macular degeneration: Diagnosis and treatment.

    PubMed

    Kaufman, Steven R

    2009-03-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of legal blindness of Americans over age 65 years. Severe loss of vision is usually due to exudative ARMD, of which there are about 200,000 new cases in the United States annually. Until recently, only a small fraction of patients benefited from treatment, but advances in the early diagnosis of the disease and major developments in therapy have substantially improved the prognosis of patients with ARMD. Because visual loss substantially reduces quality of life, effective management of ARMD will have increasing public health importance as the population ages. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that people over age 65 years should have a comprehensive eye examination every 1 to 2 years to check for cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other conditions. Those who complain of difficulty reading, driving at night, or adapting from sunlight to indoor lighting might have macular degeneration.

  2. Electromagnetic wave equations for relativistically degenerate quantum magnetoplasmas

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-06-15

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

  3. Electromagnetic wave equations for relativistically degenerate quantum magnetoplasmas.

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. CKD increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Liew, Gerald; Mitchell, Paul; Wong, Tien Yin; Iyengar, Sudha K; Wang, Jie Jin

    2008-04-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the United States and often coexists with chronic kidney disease. Both conditions share common genetic and environmental risk factors. A total of 1183 participants aged 54+ were examined in the population-based, prospective cohort Blue Mountains Eye Study (Australia) to determine if chronic kidney disease increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Moderate chronic kidney disease (estimated glomerular filtration rate < 60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) based on the Cockcroft-Gault equation) was present in 24% of the population (286 of 1183). The 5-yr incidence of early age-related macular degeneration was 3.9% in participants with no/mild chronic kidney disease (35 of 897) and 17.5% in those with moderate chronic kidney disease (50 of 286). After adjusting for age, sex, cigarette smoking, hypertension, complement factor H polymorphism, and other risk factors, persons with moderate chronic kidney disease were 3 times more likely to develop early age-related macular degeneration than persons with no/mild chronic kidney disease (odds ratio = 3.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.8 to 5.7, P < 0.0001). Each SD (14.8 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)) decrease in Cockcroft-Gault estimated glomerular filtration rate was associated with a doubling of the adjusted risk for early age-related macular degeneration (odds ratio = 2.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.5 to 2.8, P < 0.0001). In conclusion, persons with chronic kidney disease have a higher risk of early age-related macular degeneration, suggesting the possibility of shared pathophysiologic mechanisms between the two conditions.

  6. Mouse models for studies of retinal degeneration and diseases

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Bo

    2013-01-01

    Summary Mouse models, with their well-developed genetics and similarity to human physiology and anatomy, serve as powerful tools with which to investigate the etiology of human retinal degeneration. Mutant mice also provide reproducible, experimental systems for elucidating pathways of normal development and function. Here, I describe the tools used in the discoveries of many retinal degeneration models, including indirect ophthalmoscopy (to look at the fundus appearance), fundus photography and fluorescein angiography (to document the fundus appearance), electroretinography (to check retinal function) as well as the heritability test (for genetic characterization). PMID:23150358

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

    PubMed

    Josephs, Keith A

    2015-03-01

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

  8. Automated imaging dark adaptometer for investigating hereditary retinal degenerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azevedo, Dario F. G.; Cideciyan, Artur V.; Regunath, Gopalakrishnan; Jacobson, Samuel G.

    1995-05-01

    We designed and built an automated imaging dark adaptometer (AIDA) to increase accuracy, reliability, versatility and speed of dark adaptation testing in patients with hereditary retinal degenerations. AIDA increases test accuracy by imaging the ocular fundus for precise positioning of bleaching and stimulus lights. It improves test reliability by permitting continuous monitoring of patient fixation. Software control of stimulus presentation provides broad testing versatility without sacrificing speed. AIDA promises to facilitate the measurement of dark adaptation in studies of the pathophysiology of retinal degenerations and in future treatment trials of these diseases.

  9. PHOTORECEPTOR DEGENERATION IN A MOUNTAIN LION CUB (PUMA CONCOLOR).

    PubMed

    DiSalvo, Andrew R; Reilly, Christopher M; Wiggans, K Tomo; Woods, Leslie W; Wack, Ray F; Clifford, Deana L

    2016-12-01

    An orphaned 4-mo-old female mountain lion cub ( Puma concolor ) was captured along the coastline in Montaña de Oro State Park in Los Osos, California, USA. Following suspicion that the cub was visually impaired, ophthalmic examination revealed diffuse bilateral retinal atrophy. Due to a poor prognosis, humane euthanasia was elected. Necropsy and histopathological findings were consistent with photoreceptor degeneration. Based on the cub's signalment, history, and histopathology, a genetic or nutritional etiology was suspected, with the former etiology more strongly supported. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of photoreceptor degeneration in a wild felid and should be considered in cases of blindness.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Selective rod degeneration and partial cone inactivation characterize an iodoacetic acid model of Swine retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei; Fernandez de Castro, Juan; Vukmanic, Eric; Zhou, Liang; Emery, Douglas; Demarco, Paul J; Kaplan, Henry J; Dean, Douglas C

    2011-10-07

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Nerlich, Andreas G.; Boos, Norbert

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2017-03-01

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

  15. Gestural Imitation and Limb Apraxia in Corticobasal Degeneration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

  16. Nutritional modulation of age-related macular degeneration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. Global existence for a degenerate haptotaxis model of cancer invasion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhigun, Anna; Surulescu, Christina; Uatay, Aydar

    2016-12-01

    We propose and study a strongly coupled PDE-ODE system with tissue-dependent degenerate diffusion and haptotaxis that can serve as a model prototype for cancer cell invasion through the extracellular matrix. We prove the global existence of weak solutions and illustrate the model behavior by numerical simulations for a two-dimensional setting.

  18. A geometrical approach to degenerate scalar-tensor theories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chagoya, Javier; Tasinato, Gianmassimo

    2017-02-01

    Degenerate scalar-tensor theories are recently proposed covariant theories of gravity coupled with a scalar field. Despite being characterised by higher order equations of motion, they do not propagate more than three degrees of freedom, thanks to the existence of constraints. We discuss a geometrical approach to degenerate scalar-tensor systems, and analyse its consequences. We show that some of these theories emerge as a certain limit of DBI Galileons. In absence of dynamical gravity, these systems correspond to scalar theories enjoying a symmetry which is different from Galileon invariance. The scalar theories have however problems concerning the propagation of fluctuations around a time dependent background. These issues can be tamed by breaking the symmetry by hand, or by minimally coupling the scalar with dynamical gravity in a way that leads to degenerate scalar-tensor systems. We show that distinct theories can be connected by a relation which generalizes Galileon duality, in certain cases also when gravity is dynamical. We discuss some implications of our results in concrete examples. Our findings can be helpful for assessing stability properties and understanding the non-perturbative structure of systems based on degenerate scalar-tensor systems.

  19. Speech and Language Findings Associated with Paraneoplastic Cerebellar Degeneration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Fedorov, Vladimir E; Shklyar, Benzion

    2012-12-31

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

  1. Anisotropic uniqueness classes for a degenerate parabolic equation

    SciTech Connect

    Vil'danova, V F; Mukminov, F Kh

    2013-11-30

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

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

    PubMed

    Mazzarello, Paolo

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Cesare Lombroso: an anthropologist between evolution and degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Mazzarello, Paolo

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

  4. The Experience of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chen, Mei; Xu, Heping

    2015-11-01

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

  7. Quantum degenerate exciton-polaritons in thermal equilibrium.

    PubMed

    Deng, Hui; Press, David; Götzinger, Stephan; Solomon, Glenn S; Hey, Rudolf; Ploog, Klaus H; Yamamoto, Yoshihisa

    2006-10-06

    We study the momentum distribution and relaxation dynamics of semiconductor microcavity polaritons by angle-resolved and time-resolved spectroscopy. Above a critical pump level, the thermalization time of polaritons at positive detunings becomes shorter than their lifetime, and the polaritons form a quantum degenerate Bose-Einstein distribution in thermal equilibrium with the lattice.

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

    PubMed Central

    Cuevas, P; Outeiriño, L A; Angulo, J; Giménez-Gallego, G

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Apical dendrite degeneration, a novel cellular pathology for Betz cells in ALS

    PubMed Central

    Genç, Barış; Jara, Javier H.; Lagrimas, Amiko K. B.; Pytel, Peter; Roos, Raymond P.; Mesulam, M. Marsel; Geula, Changiz; Bigio, Eileen H.; Özdinler, P. Hande

    2017-01-01

    Apical dendrites of Betz cells are important sites for the integration of cortical input, however their health has not been fully assessed in ALS patients. We investigated the primary motor cortices isolated from post-mortem normal control subjects, patients with familial ALS (fALS), sporadic ALS (sALS), ALS with frontotemporal dementia (FTD-ALS), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and found profound apical dendrite degeneration of Betz cells in both fALS and sALS, as well as FTD-ALS patients. In contrast, Betz cells of AD patients and normal controls retain cellular integrity in the motor cortex, and CA1 pyramidal neurons show abnormalities predominantly within their soma, rather than the apical dendrite. In line with extensive vacuolation and cytoarchitectural disintegration, the numbers of synapses were also significantly reduced only in ALS patients. Our findings indicate apical dendrite degeneration as a novel cellular pathology that distinguishes ALS and further support the importance of cortical dysfunction for disease pathology. PMID:28165465

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-14

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

  12. Apical dendrite degeneration, a novel cellular pathology for Betz cells in ALS.

    PubMed

    Genç, Barış; Jara, Javier H; Lagrimas, Amiko K B; Pytel, Peter; Roos, Raymond P; Mesulam, M Marsel; Geula, Changiz; Bigio, Eileen H; Özdinler, P Hande

    2017-02-06

    Apical dendrites of Betz cells are important sites for the integration of cortical input, however their health has not been fully assessed in ALS patients. We investigated the primary motor cortices isolated from post-mortem normal control subjects, patients with familial ALS (fALS), sporadic ALS (sALS), ALS with frontotemporal dementia (FTD-ALS), and Alzheimer's disease (AD), and found profound apical dendrite degeneration of Betz cells in both fALS and sALS, as well as FTD-ALS patients. In contrast, Betz cells of AD patients and normal controls retain cellular integrity in the motor cortex, and CA1 pyramidal neurons show abnormalities predominantly within their soma, rather than the apical dendrite. In line with extensive vacuolation and cytoarchitectural disintegration, the numbers of synapses were also significantly reduced only in ALS patients. Our findings indicate apical dendrite degeneration as a novel cellular pathology that distinguishes ALS and further support the importance of cortical dysfunction for disease pathology.

  13. Role of macrophages in Wallerian degeneration and axonal regeneration after peripheral nerve injury.

    PubMed

    Chen, Peiwen; Piao, Xianhua; Bonaldo, Paolo

    2015-11-01

    The peripheral nervous system (PNS) has remarkable regenerative abilities after injury. Successful PNS regeneration relies on both injured axons and non-neuronal cells, including Schwann cells and immune cells. Macrophages are the most notable immune cells that play key roles in PNS injury and repair. Upon peripheral nerve injury, a large number of macrophages are accumulated at the injury sites, where they not only contribute to Wallerian degeneration, but also are educated by the local microenvironment and polarized to an anti-inflammatory phenotype (M2), thus contributing to axonal regeneration. Significant progress has been made in understanding how macrophages are educated and polarized in the injured microenvironment as well as how they contribute to axonal regeneration. Following the discussion on the main properties of macrophages and their phenotypes, in this review, we will summarize the current knowledge regarding the mechanisms of macrophage infiltration after PNS injury. Moreover, we will discuss the recent findings elucidating how macrophages are polarized to M2 phenotype in the injured PNS microenvironment, as well as the role and underlying mechanisms of macrophages in peripheral nerve injury, Wallerian degeneration and regeneration. Furthermore, we will highlight the potential application by targeting macrophages in treating peripheral nerve injury and peripheral neuropathies.

  14. Repair of the degenerate retina by photoreceptor transplantation.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-02

    Despite different aetiologies, age-related macular degeneration and most inherited retinal disorders culminate in the same final common pathway, the loss of photoreceptors. There are few treatments and none reverse the loss of vision. Photoreceptor replacement by transplantation is proposed as a broad treatment strategy applicable to all degenerations. Recently, we demonstrated restoration of vision following rod-photoreceptor transplantation into a mouse model of stationary night-blindness, raising the critical question of whether photoreceptor replacement is equally effective in different types and stages of degeneration. We present a comprehensive assessment of rod-photoreceptor transplantation across six murine models of inherited photoreceptor degeneration. Transplantation is feasible in all models examined but disease type has a major impact on outcome, as assessed both by the morphology and number of integrated rod-photoreceptors. Integration can increase (Prph2(+/Δ307)), decrease (Crb1(rd8/rd8), Gnat1(-/-), Rho(-/-)), or remain constant (PDE6β(rd1/rd1), Prph2(rd2/rd2)) with disease progression, depending upon the gene defect, with no correlation with severity. Robust integration is possible even in late-stage disease. Glial scarring and outer limiting membrane integrity, features that change with degeneration, significantly affect transplanted photoreceptor integration. Combined breakdown of these barriers markedly increases integration in a model with an intact outer limiting membrane, strong gliotic response, and otherwise poor transplantation outcome (Rho(-/-)), leading to an eightfold increase in integration and restoration of visual function. Thus, it is possible to achieve robust integration across a broad range of inherited retinopathies. Moreover, transplantation outcome can be improved by administering appropriate, tailored manipulations of the recipient environment.

  15. Vitamin E supplementation and macular degeneration: randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Hugh R; Tikellis, Gabriella; Robman, Luba D; McCarty, Catherine A; McNeil, John J

    2002-01-01

    Objective To determine whether vitamin E supplementation influences the incidence or rate of progression of age related maculopathy (AMD). Design Prospective randomised placebo controlled clinical trial. Setting An urban study centre in a residential area supervised by university research staff. Participants 1193 healthy volunteers aged between 55 and 80 years; 73% completed the trial on full protocol. Interventions Vitamin E 500 IU or placebo daily for four years. Main outcome measures Primary outcome: development of early age related macular degeneration in retinal photographs. Other measures included alternative definitions of age related macular degeneration, progression, changes in component features, visual acuity, and visual function Results The incidence of early age related macular degeneration (early AMD 3) was 8.6% in those receiving vitamin E versus 8.1% in those on placebo (relative risk 1.05, 95% confidence interval 0.69 to 1.61). For late disease the incidence was 0.8% versus 0.6% (1.36, 0.67 to 2.77). Further analysis showed no consistent differences in secondary outcomes. Conclusion Daily supplement with vitamin E supplement does not prevent the development or progression of early or later stages of age related macular degeneration. What is already known on this topicAge related macular degeneration is the leading cause of loss of vision and blindness in elderly people; for people aged ⩾90 years, two out of every three will be affected and one in four will become blindCurrently, there are no methods of prevention or treatment in most cases, though a third of cases are due to cigarette smokingAntioxidant vitamins have been suggested as a possible preventionWhat this study addsDaily supplementation with 500 mg vitamin E for four years did not alter the incidence or progression of AMD PMID:12098721

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

    PubMed Central

    Chintala, Shravan; Cheng, Mei; Zhang, Xiao

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chintala, Shravan; Cheng, Mei; Zhang, Xiao

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Subretinal transplantation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells delays retinal degeneration in the RCS rat model of retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Yuji; Iriyama, Aya; Ueno, Shuji; Takahashi, Hidenori; Kondo, Mineo; Tamaki, Yasuhiro; Araie, Makoto; Yanagi, Yasuo

    2007-08-01

    Because there is no effective treatment for this retinal degeneration, potential application of cell-based therapy has attracted considerable attention. Several investigations support that bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be used for a broad spectrum of indications. Bone marrow MSCs exert their therapeutic effect in part by secreting trophic factors to promote cell survival. The current study investigates whether bone marrow MSCs secrete factor(s) to promote photoreceptor cell survival and whether subretinal transplantation of bone marrow MSCs promotes photoreceptor survival in a retinal degeneration model using Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats. In vitro, using mouse retinal cell culture, it was demonstrated that the conditioned medium of the MSCs delays photoreceptor cell apoptosis, suggesting that the secreted factor(s) from the MSCs promote photoreceptor cell survival. In vivo, the MSCs were injected into the subretinal space of the RCS rats and histological analysis, real-time RT-PCR and electrophysiological analysis demonstrated that the subretinal transplantation of MSCs delays retinal degeneration and preserves retinal function in the RCS rats. These results suggest that MSC is a useful cell source for cell-replacement therapy for some forms of retinal degeneration.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-07-26

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

  20. Endoplasmic reticulum stress as a primary pathogenic mechanism leading to age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Libby, Richard T; Gould, Douglas B

    2010-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a multi-factorial disease and a leading cause of blindness. Proteomic and genetic data suggest that activation or de-repression of the alternate complement cascade of innate immunity is involved in end-stage disease. Several lines of evidence suggest that production of reactive oxygen species and chronic oxidative stress lead to protein and lipid modifications that initiate the complement cascade. Understanding the triggers of these pathogenic pathways and the site of the primary insult will be important for development of targeted therapeutics. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress from misfolded mutant proteins and other sources are an important potential tributary mechanism. We propose that misfolded-protein-induced ER stress in the retinal-pigmented epithelium and/or choroid could lead to chronic oxidative stress, complement deregulation and AMD. Small molecules targeted to ER stress and oxidative stress could allow for a shift from disease treatment to disease prevention.

  1. Oral and silent reading performance with macular degeneration.

    PubMed

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

    2000-09-01

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

  2. On reductibility of degenerate optimization problems to regular operator equations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bednarczuk, E. M.; Tretyakov, A. A.

    2016-12-01

    We present an application of the p-regularity theory to the analysis of non-regular (irregular, degenerate) nonlinear optimization problems. The p-regularity theory, also known as the p-factor analysis of nonlinear mappings, was developed during last thirty years. The p-factor analysis is based on the construction of the p-factor operator which allows us to analyze optimization problems in the degenerate case. We investigate reducibility of a non-regular optimization problem to a regular system of equations which do not depend on the objective function. As an illustration we consider applications of our results to non-regular complementarity problems of mathematical programming and to linear programming problems.

  3. Chlorogenic acid and coffee prevent hypoxia-induced retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Jang, Holim; Ahn, Hong Ryul; Jo, Hyoung; Kim, Kyung-A; Lee, Eun Ha; Lee, Ki Won; Jung, Sang Hoon; Lee, Chang Y

    2014-01-08

    This study explored whether chlorogenic acid (CGA) and coffee have protective effects against retinal degeneration. Under hypoxic conditions, the viability of transformed retinal ganglion (RGC-5) cells was significantly reduced by treatment with the nitric oxide (NO) donor S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP). However, pretreatment with CGA attenuated cell death in a concentration-dependent manner. In addition, CGA prevented the up-regulation of apoptotic proteins such as Bad and cleaved caspase-3. Similar beneficial effects of both CGA and coffee extracts were observed in mice that had undergone an optic nerve crush (ONC) procedure. CGA and coffee extract reduced cell death by preventing the down-regulation of Thy-1. Our in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that coffee and its major component, CGA, significantly reduce apoptosis of retinal cells induced by hypoxia and NO, and that coffee consumption may help in preventing retinal degeneration.

  4. Juvenile-Onset Macular Degeneration and Allied Disorders

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Molecular pathology of age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Iron in hereditary retinal degeneration: PIXE microanalysis. Preliminary results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sergeant, C.; Gouget, B.; Llabador, Y.; Simonoff, M.; Yefimova, M.; Courtois, Y.; Jeanny, J. C.

    1999-10-01

    Several types of hereditary retinal degeneration with progressive alteration of photoreceptors exist in men and animals. Recent immunohistochemical results have shown strong degradation of transferrin, the protein responsible for iron transport, in retinas of rats with hereditary retinal degeneration. Freeze-dried thin sections of rat retinas from different stages of the disease, and respective coeval control sections, have been analyzed using nuclear microprobe. In this first part of the study, the rat retinas at post-natal stages of 35 and 45 days have been analyzed. The sample preparation and the post-irradiation staining to determine precisely the retinal layers involved are described. Preliminary results of element distributions (K, Ca, Fe) in the rat retina layers are discussed. A very high content of calcium in the choriocapillaris of dystrophic rat retinas was observed. Preliminary results on iron distribution in the rat retina layers are presented.

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

    PubMed Central

    RASCOVSKY, KATYA; GROSSMAN, MURRAY

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Nonlinear Electromagnetic Waves in a Degenerate Electron-Positron Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Labany, S. K.; El-Taibany, W. F.; El-Samahy, A. E.; Hafez, A. M.; Atteya, A.

    2015-08-01

    Using the reductive perturbation technique (RPT), the nonlinear propagation of magnetosonic solitary waves in an ultracold, degenerate (extremely dense) electron-positron (EP) plasma (containing ultracold, degenerate electron, and positron fluids) is investigated. The set of basic equations is reduced to a Korteweg-de Vries (KdV) equation for the lowest-order perturbed magnetic field and to a KdV type equation for the higher-order perturbed magnetic field. The solutions of these evolution equations are obtained. For better accuracy and searching on new features, the new solutions are analyzed numerically based on compact objects (white dwarf) parameters. It is found that including the higher-order corrections results as a reduction (increment) of the fast (slow) electromagnetic wave amplitude but the wave width is increased in both cases. The ranges where the RPT can describe adequately the total magnetic field including different conditions are discussed.

  9. Current-Drive Efficiency in a Degenerate Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    S. Son and N.J. Fisch

    2005-11-01

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

  10. C1,1 regularity for degenerate elliptic obstacle problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daskalopoulos, Panagiota; Feehan, Paul M. N.

    2016-03-01

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

  11. Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Intracrine Biology: An Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Re, Richard N.

    2016-01-01

    This laboratory has studied the intracellular actions of angiotensin II and other signaling proteins that can act in the intracellular space—peptides/proteins we have called intracrines. Moreover, we have suggested that general principles of intracrine action exist and can help explain the progression of some chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetic nephropathy and congestive heart failure. Here, a similar analysis is carried out in the case of age-related macular degeneration. We propose that intracrine mechanisms are operative in this disorder. In particular, we hypothesize that intracrine loops involving renin, angiotensin II, transforming growth factor-beta, vascular endothelial growth factor, bone morphogenetic protein-4, and p53, among other factors, are involved. If this analysis is correct, it suggests a commonality of mechanism linking chronic progressive renal diseases, congestive heart failure, and macular degeneration. PMID:27999510

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 without retinal degeneration: a case report.

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Byeong-Chae; Kim, Myeong-Kyu; Cho, Ki-Hyun; Jeon, Beom S.

    2002-01-01

    A 60-yr-old man developed progressive gait disturbance and limb ataxia at the age of 52. Family history was absent for neurological disorders. Examinations showed pure cerebellar syndrome. There was no retinal degeneration for 7 yr. A brain MRI done at the age of 56 showed atrophy of the cerebellar hemispheres and vermis. Genetic test confirmed the spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 with CAG repeat number of 42. PMID:12172062

  14. Ultrafast Degenerate Transient Lens Spectroscopy in Semiconductor Nanosctructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-07-23

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

  16. Complement pathway biomarkers and age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Gemenetzi, M; Lotery, A J

    2016-01-01

    In the age-related macular degeneration (AMD) ‘inflammation model', local inflammation plus complement activation contributes to the pathogenesis and progression of the disease. Multiple genetic associations have now been established correlating the risk of development or progression of AMD. Stratifying patients by their AMD genetic profile may facilitate future AMD therapeutic trials resulting in meaningful clinical trial end points with smaller sample sizes and study duration. PMID:26493033

  17. Cartilage Degeneration and Alignment in Severe Varus Knee Osteoarthritis

    PubMed Central

    Mukai, Shogo; Yabumoto, Hiromitsu; Tarumi, Eri; Nakamura, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    Objectives The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between cartilage, ligament, and meniscus degeneration and radiographic alignment in severe varus knee osteoarthritis in order to understand the development of varus knee osteoarthritis. Design Fifty-three patients (71 knees) with primary varus knee osteoarthritis and who underwent total knee arthroplasty were selected for this study. There were 6 men and 47 women, with 40 right knees and 31 left knees studied; their mean age at operation was 73.5 years. The ligament, meniscus, degeneration of joint cartilage, and radiographic alignments were examined visually. Results The tibial plateau–tibial shaft angle was larger if the condition of the cartilage in the lateral femoral condyle was worse. The femorotibial angle and tibial plateau–tibial shaft angle were larger if the conditions of the lateral meniscus or the cartilage in the lateral tibial plateau were worse. Conclusion Based on the results of this study, progression of varus knee osteoarthritis may occur in the following manner: medial knee osteoarthritis starts in the central portion of the medial tibial plateau, and accompanied by medial meniscal extrusion and anterior cruciate ligament rupture, cartilage degeneration expands from the anterior to the posterior in the medial tibial plateau. Bone attrition occurs in the medial tibial plateau, and the femoro-tibial angle and tibial plateau–tibial shaft angle increase. Therefore, the lateral intercondylar eminence injures the cartilage of the lateral femoral condyle in the longitudinal fissure type. Thereafter, the cartilage degeneration expands in the whole of the knee joints. PMID:26425258

  18. Vitreomacular traction and age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Green-Simms, Amy E; Bakri, Sophie J

    2011-05-01

    The interaction between the vitreous and the internal limiting membrane of the retina is important in the pathoetiology of numerous ocular disease processes. Recent studies have focused on the vitreo-retinal interface in the context of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), linking vitreo-retinal adhesion to exudative AMD in particular. This review summarizes our knowledge of vitreous anatomy and recent investigations regarding vitreomacular adhesion and AMD.

  19. Degeneration and regeneration of perivascular innervation in arterial grafts.

    PubMed

    Heikki, Penttilä; Timo, Waris; Nureddin, Ashammakhi; Sampsa, Vanhatalo

    2004-07-01

    Because the understanding of postoperative changes in arterial graft innervation is limited, this study was performed to characterize neuronal degeneration and regeneration events immunohistochemically in femoral arterial grafts transplanted to carotid arteries in rats. Specimens taken 1 day, 3 days, 7 days, 1 month, 3 months, and 5 months after surgery were assessed for vasoactive intestinal peptide, neurofilaments, growth-associated protein 43, tyrosine hydroxylase, and nitric oxide synthase isoenzymes. During neuronal degeneration, vasoactive intestinal peptide disappeared within 1 day, transmitter-synthesizing enzymes (nitric oxide synthase and tyrosine hydroxylase) had vanished by day 7, and neurofilaments (cytoskeletal markers) had essentially disappeared after 1 week. In the regeneration phase, the most robust axonal growth, as visualized by growth-associated protein 43, was observed at 1 month, followed by a gradual increase in neurotransmitter markers at 1 and 3 months, whereas the neurofilaments increased gradually up to the end of the 5-month observation period. Reinnervation proceeded from the proximal carotid (host) trunk distally to the graft. Axonal re-growth occurred mainly in arterial adventitia. Innervation density, as visually assessed, was denser in the graft than in the host. These findings suggest that 1) the main sequence of degeneration and regeneration follows that reported in other models of neuronal degeneration; 2) reinnervation of the arterial grafts comes mainly from the host arteries; and 3) the innervation density in the graft may differ from that in the host, which may suggest target-derived regulation of innervation. The latter finding may have clinical implications. It suggests that for a good outcome it would be beneficial to choose a sparsely innervated graft rather than a densely innervated one.

  20. Assessment of retinal degeneration in outbred albino mice.

    PubMed

    Serfilippi, Laurie M; Pallman, Danielle R Stackhouse; Gruebbel, Margarita M; Kern, Thomas J; Spainhour, Charles B

    2004-02-01

    Evaluation of a pharmaceutical's safety includes assessment of the potential for ophthalmologic toxicity. These nonclinical studies commonly use various outbred stocks of mice. Pretest indirect ophthalmoscopic examinations in the commonly used outbred stock Hsd:ICR(CD-1) indicated that retinal degeneration was a problem in this particular outbred stock of mice. This prompted the authors to examine other stocks of outbred mice routinely used in the performance of nonclinical safety studies. Groups of mice were observed over a 13-week period to determine the progression and changing incidence of retinal degeneration. Light intensity in the room and caging was measured during the study, and it was determined that light did not play a direct role in the progression of the retinal degeneration observed during the study. Histomorphologic examination of the mouse eyes was performed at the end of the study to confirm the presence of retinal degeneration observed after ophthalmoscopic examination. The incidence of retinal atrophy in the various outbred stocks of mice was: Crl:CFW(SW)BR (98.3%), Tac(SW)fBR (80%), Tac:Icr:Ha(ICR)fBR (75%), Hsd:ICR(CD-1) (43.3%), and Crl:CF-1BR (3.0%). Retinal atrophy was not observed in the following outbred mice stocks: Crl:CD-1(ICR)BR, HsdWin:CFW1, and Hsd:NSA(CF-1). On the basis of these findings, it is highly recommended that pretest ophthalmologic screening be performed on mice to obviate pre-existing conditions from confounding or invalidating nonclinical study results.

  1. Arginase 2 promotes neurovascular degeneration during ischemia/reperfusion injury

    PubMed Central

    Shosha, Esraa; Xu, Zhimin; Yokota, Harumasa; Saul, Alan; Rojas, Modesto; Caldwell, R William; Caldwell, Ruth B; Narayanan, S Priya

    2016-01-01

    Retinal ischemia is a major cause of visual impairment and blindness and is involved in various disorders including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, optic neuropathies and retinopathy of prematurity. Neurovascular degeneration is a common feature of these pathologies. Our lab has previously reported that the ureahydrolase arginase 2 (A2) is involved in ischemic retinopathies. Here, we are introducing A2 as a therapeutic target to prevent neurovascular injury after retinal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) insult. Studies were performed with mice lacking both copies of A2 (A2−/−) and wild-type (WT) controls (C57BL6J). I/R insult was conducted on the right eye and the left eye was used as control. Retinas were collected for analysis at different times (3 h–4 week after injury). Neuronal and microvascular degeneration were evaluated using NeuN staining and vascular digests, respectively. Glial activation was evaluated by glial fibrillary acidic protein expression. Necrotic cell death was studied by propidium iodide labeling and western blot for RIP-3. Arginase expression was determined by western blot and quantitative RT-PCR. Retinal function was determined by electroretinography (ERG). A2 mRNA and protein levels were increased in WT I/R. A2 deletion significantly reduced ganglion cell loss and microvascular degeneration and preserved retinal morphology after I/R. Glial activation, reactive oxygen species formation and cell death by necroptosis were significantly reduced by A2 deletion. ERG showed improved positive scotopic threshold response with A2 deletion. This study shows for the first time that neurovascular injury after retinal I/R is mediated through increased expression of A2. Deletion of A2 was found to be beneficial in reducing neurovascular degeneration after I/R. PMID:27882947

  2. Smoking and age-related macular degeneration: review and update.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Early detection of age related macular degeneration: current status.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Roy; Loewenstein, Anat

    2015-01-01

    Early diagnosis and treatment of choroidal neovascularization (CNV), a main cause of severe vision loss in age related macular degeneration (AMD), is crucial in order to preserve vision and the quality of life of patients. This review summarizes current literature on the subject of early detection of CNV, both in the clinic setting and mainly in the patient's home. New technologies are evolving to allow for earlier detection and thus vision preservation in AMD patients.

  5. Geriatric vision loss due to cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

    PubMed

    Eichenbaum, Joseph W

    2012-01-01

    The major causes of impaired vision in the elderly population of the United States are cataracts, macular degeneration, and open-angle glaucoma. Cataracts and macular degeneration usually reduce central vision, especially reading and near activities, whereas chronic glaucoma characteristically attacks peripheral vision in a silent way, impacting balance, walking, and driving. Untreated, these visual problems lead to issues with regard to taking medications, keeping track of finances and personal information, walking, watching television, and attending the theater, and often create social isolation. Thus, visually impaired individuals enter nursing homes 3 years earlier, have twice the risk of falling, and have 4× the risk of hip fracture. Consequently, many elderly with low vision exercise greater demands on community services. With the prospect of little improvement and sustained visual loss, in the face of poor tolerance of low-vision services and not accepting magnification as the only way to read, clinical depression is common. In many instances, however, early and accurate diagnosis can result in timely treatment and can preserve quality of life. This review will look at current diagnostic and therapeutic considerations. Currently, about 20.5 million people in the United States have cataracts. The number will reach 30 million by 2020. About 1.75 million Americans currently have some form of macular degeneration, and the number is estimated to increase to 2.95 million in 2020. Approximately 2.2 million Americans have glaucoma, and by 2020 that number is estimated to be close to 3.4 million people. It is projected that by 2030 there will be 72.1 million seniors. With some overlap of the above 3 groups conservatively estimated (if you add the 2030 cataract group to the macular degeneration and glaucoma groups), then about 1 in 2 senior individuals by 2030 may have some significant ocular disease, which could account for about 50% of the healthcare budget for the

  6. Ignition Regime for Fusion in a Degenerate Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Son, S.; Fisch, N.J.

    2005-12-01

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

  7. Electrostatic rogue-waves in relativistically degenerate plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Akbari-Moghanjoughi, M.

    2014-10-15

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

  8. GLUT1 reductions exacerbate Alzheimer's disease vasculoneuronal dysfunction and degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Rege, Sanket V.; Bell, Robert D.; Perlmutter, David; Sengillo, Jesse D.; Hillman, Sara; Kong, Pan; Nelson, Amy R.; Sullivan, John S.; Zhao, Zhen; Meiselman, Herbert J.; Wendy, Rosalinda B.; Soto, Jamie; Abel, E. Dale; Makshanoff, Jacob; Zuniga, Edward; De Vivo, Darryl C.; Zlokovic, Berislav V.

    2015-01-01

    The glucose transporter GLUT1 at the blood-brain barrier (BBB) mediates glucose transport into the brain. Alzheimer's disease is characterized by early reductions in glucose transport associated with diminished GLUT1 expression at the BBB. Whether GLUT1 reduction influences disease pathogenesis remains, however, elusive. Here, we show that GLUT1 deficiency in mice overexpressing amyloid β-petpide (Aβ) precursor protein leads to: 1) early cerebral microvascular degeneration, blood flow reductions and dysregulation, and BBB breakdown; and (2) accelerated amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) pathology, reduced Aβ clearance, diminished neuronal activity, behavioral deficits, and progressive neuronal loss and neurodegeneration that develop after initial cerebrovascular degenerative changes. We also show that GLUT1 deficiency in endothelium, but not in astrocytes, initiates the vascular phenotype as shown by BBB breakdown. Thus, reduced BBB GLUT1 expression worsens Alzheimer's disease cerebrovascular degeneration, neuropathology and cognitive function suggesting that GLUT1 may represent a novel therapeutic target for Alzheimer's disease vasculo-neuronal dysfunction and degeneration. PMID:25730668

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Kappa opioid receptor signaling protects cartilage tissue against posttraumatic degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shu; Shkhyan, Ruzanna; Lee, Siyoung; Gullo, Francesca; Petrigliano, Frank A.; Ba, Kai; Wang, Jing

    2017-01-01

    Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and pain relief with opioid-like drugs is a commonly used therapeutic for osteoarthritic patients. Recent studies published by our group showed that the kappa opioid receptor (KOR) is highly expressed during human development in joint-forming cells. However, the precise role of this receptor in the skeletal system remains elusive. The main aim of the current study was to investigate the role of KOR signaling in synovial and cartilaginous tissues in pathological conditions. Our data demonstrate that KOR null mice exhibit accelerated cartilage degeneration after injury when compared with WT mice. Activation of KOR signaling increased the expression of anabolic enzymes and inhibited cartilage catabolism and degeneration in response to proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α. In addition, selective KOR agonists increased joint lubrication via the activation of cAMP/CREB signaling in chondrocytes and synovial cells. Taken together, these results demonstrate direct effects of KOR agonists on cartilage and synovial cells and reveals a protective effect of KOR signaling against cartilage degeneration after injury. In addition to pain control, local administration of dynorphin or other KOR agonist represents an attractive therapeutic approach in patients with early stages of osteoarthritis. PMID:28097228

  11. Degeneration of the Y chromosome in evolutionary aging models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-06-01

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

  12. Humor and laughter in patients with cerebellar degeneration.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  13. Inpatient Rehabilitation Performance of Patients with Paraneoplastic Cerebellar Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Jack B.; Raj, Vishwa S.; Asher, Arash; Lee, Jay; Guo, Ying; Konzen, Benedict S.; Bruera, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the functional improvement of rehabilitation inpatients with paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration. Design Retrospective Review Setting Three tertiary referral based hospitals. Interventions Medical records were retrospectively analyzed for demographic, laboratory, medical and functional data. Main Outcome Measure Functional Independence Measure (FIM) Participants Cancer rehabilitation inpatients admitted to three different cancer centers with a diagnosis of paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (n=7). Results All 7 patients were white females. Median age was 62. Primary cancers included ovarian carcinoma (2), small cell lung cancer (2), uterine carcinoma (2), and invasive ductal breast carcinoma. Mean admission total FIM score was 61.0 (SD=23.97). Mean discharge total FIM score was 73.6 (SD=29.35). The mean change in total FIM score was 12.6 (p=.0018). The mean length of rehabilitation stay was 17.1 days. The mean total FIM efficiency was 0.73. 5/7 (71%) patients were discharged home. 1/7 (14%) was discharged to a nursing home. 1/7 (14%) transferred to the primary acute care service. Conclusions This is the first study to demonstrate the functional performance of a group of rehabilitation inpatients with paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration. Despite the poor neurologic prognosis associated with this syndrome, these patients made significant functional improvements on inpatient rehabilitation. When appropriate, inpatient rehabilitation should be considered. Further studies with larger sample sizes are needed. PMID:25051460

  14. Exact nonlinear excitations in double-degenerate plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Akbari-Moghanjoughi, M.

    2012-06-15

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

  15. [Vision rehabilitation of patients with old-age macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Hoyng, C B; Verezen, C A; de Jong, P T

    1998-01-24

    Age-related degeneration of the macula retinae occurs in two forms: the serious form with invasion of blood vessels and leakage, and the atrophic form. Both forms ultimately lead to a central scotoma. The prevalence of the terminal stage of age-related macular degeneration varies from 1% in the age group 65-74 years to 11% in those 85 years or over. A total of 58,500 persons in the Netherlands have age-related macular degeneration and an estimated 22,000 persons depend on visual or optic aids. Aids for close vision are good illumination, magnification (reading glasses, magnifying glasses, telescopic lenses, television reading lenses (with possibility of changing contrast), large-letter books, playing cards with large symbols) and auditory aids. Aids for distant vision reduce troublesome light (sunglasses, filter) or enlarge the image (telescopic aids). Future new aids derive from modern computer technology (personal computer, integrated braille reader and speech synthesizer) or are based on opto-electronic image processing and presentation (mini-cameras with mini-VDUs in a sort of helmet). Effective use of aids depends on attention for the patient's desires and possibilities and on counselling in handling aids. Ophthalmological checkups remain useful for the prevention and (or) treatment of accessory disorders.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-02-15

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

  17. Quantum degenerate mixture of ytterbium and lithium atoms

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Hegstrom, C D; Truman, J W

    1996-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagnotta, Ashley; Schaefer, B. E.

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Structural Basis for Degenerate Recognition of Natural HIV Peptide Variants by Cytotoxic Lymphocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Martinez-Hackert,E.; Anikeeva, N.; Kalams, S.; Walker, B.; Hendrickson, W.; Sykulev, Y.

    2006-01-01

    It is well established that even small changes in amino acid side chains of antigenic peptide bound to MHC protein may completely abrogate recognition of the peptide-MHC (pMHC) complex by the T-cell receptor (TCR). Often, however, several non-conservative substitutions in the peptide antigen are accommodated and do not impair its recognition by TCR. For example, a preponderance of natural sequence variants of the HIV p17 Gag-derived peptide SLYNTVATL (SL9) are recognized by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL), which implies that interactions with SL9 variants are degenerate both with respect to the class I MHC molecule and with respect to TCR. Here we study the molecular basis for this degenerate recognition of SL9 variants. We show that several SL9 variants bind comparably well to soluble HLA-A2 and to a particular soluble TCR and that these variants are active in the cognate cytotoxicity assay. Natural SL9 variation is restricted by its context in the HIV p17 matrix protein, and we have used synthetic variants to explore the wider spectrum of recognition. High-resolution crystal structures of seven selected SL9 variants bound to HLA-A2 all have remarkably similar peptide conformations and side-chain dispositions outside sites of substitution. This preservation of the peptide conformation despite epitope variations suggests a mechanism for the observed degeneracy in pMHC recognition by TCR, and may contribute to the persistence of SL9-mediated immune responses in chronically infected individuals.

  2. Lack of neurogenesis in the adult rat cerebellum after Purkinje cell degeneration and growth factor infusion.

    PubMed

    Grimaldi, Piercesare; Rossi, Ferdinando

    2006-05-01

    Although constitutive neurogenesis exclusively occurs in restricted regions of the adult mammalian brain, resident progenitors can be isolated from many different CNS sites, and neuronal neogeneration can be stimulated in vivo by injury or infusion of growth factors. To ask whether latent compensatory mechanisms, which may be exploited to promote repair processes, are present throughout the CNS, we examined the neurogenic potentialities of the adult rat cerebellum in normal conditions, following injury, and after infusion of growth factors. Degeneration of Purkinje cells was induced by intracerebroventricular administration of the toxin saporin, conjugated to anti-p75 antibodies. In addition, epidermal growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor, or FGF8, were infused for 2 weeks to either intact or injured animals. In all conditions, proliferating cells were identified from bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation. In the unmanipulated cerebellum there were rare dividing cells, mainly represented by NG2-positive presumptive oligodendrocyte precursors. Mitotic activity was strongly enhanced in cortical areas with Purkinje cell degeneration, being mostly sustained by microglia, plus minor fractions of NG2-expressing cells, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. In contrast, growth factor infusion had a weak effect on both intact and injured cerebella. In all experimental conditions, we never found any BrdU-positive cells coexpressing distinctive markers for immature or differentiated cerebellar neurons. Therefore, although some progenitor cells reside in the adult cerebellum, the local environment, either intact or injured, does not provide efficient cues to direct their differentiation towards neuronal phenotypes. In addition, neurogenic potentialities cannot be induced or boosted by the application of growth factors which are effective in other CNS regions.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gemenetzi, M; Lotery, A J

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Taurine provides neuroprotection against retinal ganglion cell degeneration.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Striatal degeneration impairs language learning: evidence from Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    De Diego-Balaguer, R; Couette, M; Dolbeau, G; Dürr, A; Youssov, K; Bachoud-Lévi, A-C

    2008-11-01

    Although the role of the striatum in language processing is still largely unclear, a number of recent proposals have outlined its specific contribution. Different studies report evidence converging to a picture where the striatum may be involved in those aspects of rule-application requiring non-automatized behaviour. This is the main characteristic of the earliest phases of language acquisition that require the online detection of distant dependencies and the creation of syntactic categories by means of rule learning. Learning of sequences and categorization processes in non-language domains has been known to require striatal recruitment. Thus, we hypothesized that the striatum should play a prominent role in the extraction of rules in learning a language. We studied 13 pre-symptomatic gene-carriers and 22 early stage patients of Huntington's disease (pre-HD), both characterized by a progressive degeneration of the striatum and 21 late stage patients Huntington's disease (18 stage II, two stage III and one stage IV) where cortical degeneration accompanies striatal degeneration. When presented with a simplified artificial language where words and rules could be extracted, early stage Huntington's disease patients (stage I) were impaired in the learning test, demonstrating a greater impairment in rule than word learning compared to the 20 age- and education-matched controls. Huntington's disease patients at later stages were impaired both on word and rule learning. While spared in their overall performance, gene-carriers having learned a set of abstract artificial language rules were then impaired in the transfer of those rules to similar artificial language structures. The correlation analyses among several neuropsychological tests assessing executive function showed that rule learning correlated with tests requiring working memory and attentional control, while word learning correlated with a test involving episodic memory. These learning impairments significantly

  7. Taurine Provides Neuroprotection against Retinal Ganglion Cell Degeneration

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Natural history of seminiferous tubule degeneration in Klinefelter syndrome.

    PubMed

    Aksglaede, Lise; Wikström, Anne M; Rajpert-De Meyts, Ewa; Dunkel, Leo; Skakkebaek, Niels E; Juul, Anders

    2006-01-01

    Klinefelter syndrome (47,XXY) is characterized by small, firm testis, gynaecomastia, azoospermia and hypergonadotropic hypogonadism. Degeneration of the seminiferous tubules in 47,XXY males is a well-described phenomenon. It begins in the fetus, progresses through infancy and accelerates dramatically at the time of puberty with complete hyalinization of the seminiferous tubules, although a few tubules with spermatogenesis may be present in adult life. Activation of the pituitary-gonadal axis at 3 months of age is seen in Klinefelter boys similar to healthy boys. However, the level of testosterone in Klinefelter boys is significantly lower than in controls. After this 'minipuberty', the hormone levels decline to normal prepubertal levels until puberty. In puberty, an initial rise in testosterone, inhibin B, LH and FSH occurs in Klinefelter boys. However, the rise in testosterone levels off and ends at a low-normal level in young adults. Likewise, serum concentration of inhibin B exhibits a dramatic decline to a low, often undetectable level, concomitantly with a rise in FSH, reflecting the degeneration of the seminiferous tubules. Many hypotheses about the underlying mechanism of the depletion of the germ cells in Klinefelter males have been reported and include insufficient supranumerary X-chromosome inactivation, Leydig cell insufficiency and disturbed regulation of apoptosis of Sertoli and Leydig cells. However, at present, the exact mechanism remains unclear. In this article, we summarize current knowledge on the development of the classical endocrinological and histological features of 47,XXY males from fetus to adulthood and review the literature concerning the degeneration of the seminiferous tubules in this syndrome.

  9. CREB1/ATF1 Activation in Photoreceptor Degeneration and Protection

    PubMed Central

    Beltran, William A.; Allore, Heather G.; Johnson, Elizabeth; Towle, Virginia; Tao, Weng; Acland, Gregory M.; Aguirre, Gustavo D.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose. The cAMP response element binding protein 1 (CREB1) and activating transcription factor 1 (ATF1) are closely related members of the bZIP superfamily of transcription factors. Both are activated in response to a wide array of stimuli, including cellular stress. This study was conducted to assess the CREB1/ATF1 pathway in photoreceptor disease and protection. Methods. The expression levels of p-CREB1, CREB1, and ATF1 were examined by immunoblot and immunohistochemistry in normal canine retina and retinas of several canine models of retinal degeneration (rcd1, rcd2, erd, prcd, XLPRA1, XLPRA2, T4R RHO). Humans retinas affected with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) were also examined. p-CREB1/ATF1 immunolabeling was assessed in normal and rcd1 dogs treated with ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), to examine the effect of a neuroprotective stimulus on activation of CREB1/ATF1. Results. Native CREB1 and ATF1 as well as phosphorylated CREB1/ATF1 was examined in normal canine retina by immunoblot. The p-CREB1 antibody identified phosphorylated CREB1 and ATF1 and labeled the inner retina only in normal dogs. In degenerate canine and human retinas, strong immunolabeling appeared in rod and cone photoreceptors, indicating increased expression of native CREB1 and ATF1, as well as increased phosphorylation of these proteins. Retinal protection by CNTF in rcd1 dogs was accompanied by a significant increase in the number of p-CREB1/ATF1-labeled photoreceptor nuclei. Conclusions. Positive association of CREB1/ATF1 phosphorylation with photoreceptor protection suggests that it may contribute to an innate protective response. These data identify a signaling mechanism in rods and cones of potential importance for therapies of RP and AMD. PMID:19643965

  10. Neurochondrin is a neuronal target antigen in autoimmune cerebellar degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Miske, Ramona; Gross, Catharina C.; Scharf, Madeleine; Golombeck, Kristin S.; Hartwig, Marvin; Bhatia, Urvashi; Schulte-Mecklenbeck, Andreas; Bönte, Kathrin; Strippel, Christine; Schöls, Ludger; Synofzik, Matthis; Lohmann, Hubertus; Dettmann, Inga Madeleine; Deppe, Michael; Mindorf, Swantje; Warnecke, Tobias; Denno, Yvonne; Teegen, Bianca; Probst, Christian; Brakopp, Stefanie; Wandinger, Klaus-Peter; Wiendl, Heinz; Stöcker, Winfried; Meuth, Sven G.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To report on a novel neuronal target antigen in 3 patients with autoimmune cerebellar degeneration. Methods: Three patients with subacute to chronic cerebellar ataxia and controls underwent detailed clinical and neuropsychological assessment together with quantitative high-resolution structural MRI. Sera and CSF were subjected to comprehensive autoantibody screening by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and immunoblot. Immunoprecipitation with lysates of hippocampus and cerebellum combined with mass spectrometric analysis was used to identify the autoantigen, which was verified by recombinant expression in HEK293 cells and use in several immunoassays. Multiparameter flow cytometry was performed on peripheral blood and CSF, and peripheral blood was subjected to T-cell receptor spectratyping. Results: Patients presented with a subacute to chronic cerebellar and brainstem syndrome. MRI was consistent with cortical and cerebellar gray matter atrophy associated with subsequent neuroaxonal degeneration. IFA screening revealed strong immunoglobulin G1 reactivity in sera and CSF with hippocampal and cerebellar molecular and granular layers, but not with a panel of 30 recombinantly expressed established neural autoantigens. Neurochondrin was subsequently identified as the target antigen, verified by IFA and immunoblot with HEK293 cells expressing human neurochondrin as well as the ability of recombinant neurochondrin to neutralize the autoantibodies' tissue reaction. Immune phenotyping revealed intrathecal accumulation and activation of B and T cells during the acute but not chronic phase of the disease. T-cell receptor spectratyping suggested an antigen-specific T-cell response accompanying the formation of antineurochondrin autoantibodies. No such neurochondrin reactivity was found in control cohorts of various neural autoantibody-associated neurologic syndromes, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, cerebellar type of multiple system atrophy, hereditary

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

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Eui Chun; Koh, Hyoung Jun

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Hereditary ectodermal dysplasia, olivopontocerebellar degeneration, short stature, and hypogonadism.

    PubMed Central

    Rushton, A R; Genel, M

    1981-01-01

    Two teenaged children born of normal parents in a consanguineous family had evidence of abnormal neurological, endocrine, and ectodermal development. They had mental retardation, hearing loss, ocular dysmetria, hyperreflexia, and ataxia consistent with olivopontocerebellar degeneration. They had hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism and extremely short stature despite normal serum growth hormone and somatomedin-C. There was also hypodontia with peg shaped teeth and mid-face hypoplasia. This syndrome of hypoplasia of mid-lind structures appeared to be inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. Images PMID:7328612

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  14. Lhermitte's sign in subacute combined degeneration of the cord

    PubMed Central

    Gautier-Smith, P. C.

    1973-01-01

    Lhermitte's sign is a common early symptom of subacute combined degeneration of the cord occurring in 11 out of 44 patients admitted to the National Hospitals for Nervous Diseases during the decade 1962-71 with this diagnosis. Two patients, in both of whom it was the presenting complaint, are described in detail. It is concluded that, in these cases, Lhermitte's sign is due to stretching of demyelinated fibres in the posterior columns in the cervical cord, produced by neck flexion. The symptoms disappear after treatment with vitamin B12. The clinical importance of this symptom is emphasized. PMID:4753883

  15. Degenerate nonlinear programming with a quadratic growth condition.

    SciTech Connect

    Anitescu, M.; Mathematics and Computer Science

    2000-01-01

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

  16. Hydrodynamics in a Degenerate, Strongly Attractive Fermi Gas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  17. Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration as a marker of endometrial cancer recurrence.

    PubMed

    Lie, Geoffrey; Morley, Thomas; Chowdhury, Muhammad

    2016-05-18

    An 84-year-old woman developed a cerebellar syndrome having undergone a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy for endometrial cancer 1 year previously. She was found to be anti-Yo antibody positive and was diagnosed with paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD). A subsequent positron emission tomography scan and lymph node biopsy identified recurrence of her endometrial cancer. This case illustrates how PCD can be an indicator of cancer recurrence, underlines the significance of PCD as a prompt to search for underlying malignancy, and highlights the difficulties PCD poses to the clinician in terms of diagnosis and management.

  18. A Coherent Ising Machine Based On Degenerate Optical Parametric Oscillators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhe; Marandi, Alireza; Wen, Kai; Byer, Robert L.; Yamamoto, Yoshihisa

    2014-03-01

    A degenerate optical parametric oscillator network is proposed to solve the NP-hard problem of finding a ground state of the Ising model. The underlying operating mechanism originates from the bistable output phase of each oscillator and the inherent preference of the network in selecting oscillation modes with the minimum photon decay rate. Computational experiments are performed on all instances reducible to the NP-hard MAX-CUT problems on cubic graphs of order up to 20. The numerical results reasonably suggest the effectiveness of the proposed network. This project is supported by the FIRST program of Japanese Government. Zhe Wang is also grateful for the support from Stanford Graduate Fellowship.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Gardner, S. N.

    2013-08-08

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

  20. Tissue engineering strategies to study cartilage development, degeneration and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharjee, Maumita; Coburn, Jeannine; Centola, Matteo; Murab, Sumit; Barbero, Andrea; Kaplan, David L; Martin, Ivan; Ghosh, Sourabh

    2015-04-01

    Cartilage tissue engineering has primarily focused on the generation of grafts to repair cartilage defects due to traumatic injury and disease. However engineered cartilage tissues have also a strong scientific value as advanced 3D culture models. Here we first describe key aspects of embryonic chondrogenesis and possible cell sources/culture systems for in vitro cartilage generation. We then review how a tissue engineering approach has been and could be further exploited to investigate different aspects of cartilage development and degeneration. The generated knowledge is expected to inform new cartilage regeneration strategies, beyond a classical tissue engineering paradigm.

  1. Acoustoelectric effect in graphene with degenerate energy dispersion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dompreh, K. A.; Mensah, N. G.; Mensah, S. Y.

    2017-01-01

    Acoustoelectric current (jac) in Free-Standing Graphene (FSG) having degenerate energy dispersion at low temperatures T ≪TBG (TBG is the Block-Gruneisen temperature) was studied theoretically. We considered electron interaction with in-plain acoustic phonons in the hypersound regime (sound vibration in the range 109 -1012 Hz). The obtained expression for jac was numerically analyzed for various temperatures (T) and frequencies (ωq) and graphically presented. The non-linear dependence of jac on ωq varied with temperature. This qualitatively agreed with an experimentally obtained result which deals with temperature dependent acoustoelectric current in graphene [21].

  2. Biomarkers to identify the pathological basis for frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

    PubMed

    Grossman, Murray

    2011-11-01

    Recent findings assessing the utility of biomarkers are reviewed that help identify the basis for disease in patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) spectrum pathology. Biofluid studies identify about 15% of patients with FTLD due to a genetic mutation that is associated with the specific histopathologic features of TDP-43 or a tauopathy. Other genetically based risk factors and targeted proteomic searches of plasma and cerebrospinal fluid have suggested additional markers that may be useful in sporadic cases of FTLD. While progress has been made in developing biomarkers for FTLD, additional work is needed to extend these advances so that the histopathologic abnormality causing FTLD can be specified in an individual patient.

  3. Imaging geographic atrophy in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Göbel, Arno P; Fleckenstein, Monika; Schmitz-Valckenberg, Steffen; Brinkmann, Christian K; Holz, Frank G

    2011-01-01

    Advances in retinal imaging technology have largely contributed to the understanding of the natural history, prognostic markers and disease mechanisms of geographic atrophy (GA) due to age-related macular degeneration. There is still no therapy available to halt or slow the disease process. In order to evaluate potential therapeutic effects in interventional trials, there is a need for precise quantification of the GA progression rate. Fundus autofluorescence imaging allows for accurate identification and segmentation of atrophic areas and currently represents the gold standard for evaluating progressive GA enlargement. By means of high-resolution spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, distinct microstructural alterations related to GA can be visualized.

  4. Propagation analysis of forward degenerate four-wave mixing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maruani, A.

    1980-05-01

    The problem of forward degenerate four-wave mixing in one- and two-photon absorbing media is shown to be analytically solvable for all current experimental conditions. The resonant interaction is studied in detail, and optical Kerr effect, auto and induced two-photon absorption, and nonlinear gain are taken explicitly into account. It is demonstrated how the Kerr effect limits the efficiency of the process. Around a two-photon resonance, the problem of the nearly parallel propagation of two beams undergoing auto and induced two-photon absorption is solved. The solutions are obtained in a form simple enough to allow numerical computations on a programmable calculator.

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

    PubMed

    Campos, Isaac

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Subacute combined degeneration mimicking traumatic spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Paul, Ian; Reichard, R Ross

    2009-03-01

    Subacute combined degeneration (SCD) of the spinal cord is the most common neurologic manifestation of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency and is usually secondary to autoimmune gastritis, but may also be seen in malnutrition syndromes such as chronic alcoholism, strict vegetarianism, gastrectomy, and also in nitrous oxide abuse. Although traumatic spinal cord injury is routinely encountered in the medical examiner's office, medical causes of spinal cord abnormalities such as SCD should be considered in the appropriate clinical setting. We report a case of alcohol-associated SCD mimicking traumatic spinal cord injury.

  7. Delayed treatment of secondary degeneration following acute optic nerve transection using a combination of ion channel inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Yates, Nathanael J.; Giacci, Marcus K.; O’Hare Doig, Ryan L.; Chiha, Wissam; Ashworth, Bethany E.; Kenna, Jade; Bartlett, Carole A.; Fitzgerald, Melinda

    2017-01-01

    Studies have shown that a combined application of several ion channel inhibitors immediately after central nervous system injury can inhibit secondary degeneration. However, for clinical use, it is necessary to determine how long after injury the combined treatment of several ion channel inhibitors can be delayed and efficacy maintained. In this study, we delivered Ca2+ entry-inhibiting P2X7 receptor antagonist oxidized-ATP and AMPA receptor antagonist YM872 to the optic nerve injury site via an iPRECIO@ pump immediately, 6 hours, 24 hours and 7 days after partial optic nerve transection surgery. In addition, all of the ion channel inhibitor treated rats were administered with calcium channel antagonist lomerizine hydrochloride. It is important to note that as a result of implantation of the particular pumps required for programmable delivery of therapeutics directly to the injury site, seromas occurred in a significant proportion of animals, indicating infection around the pumps in these animals. Improvements in visual function were observed only when treatment was delayed by 6 hours; phosphorylated Tau was reduced when treatment was delayed by 24 hours or 7 days. Improvements in structure of node/paranode of Ranvier and reductions in oxidative stress indicators were also only observed when treatment was delayed for 6 hours, 24 hours, or 7 days. Benefits of ion channel inhibitors were only observed with time-delayed treatment, suggesting that delayed therapy of Ca2+ ion channel inhibitors produces better neuroprotective effects on secondary degeneration, at least in the presence of seromas.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  9. Wallerian degeneration demonstrated by magnetic resonance: spectroscopic measurements on peripheral nerve. [Rats

    SciTech Connect

    Jolesz, F.A.; Polak, J.F.; Ruenzel, P.W.; Adams, D.F.

    1984-07-01

    Wallerian degeneration of rat sciatic nerves was induced by nerve section. Fifteen days later the degenerated nerves were compared with the intact contralteral nerves from the same animal. Histological sections showed the changes typical of wallerian degeneration: axonal degeneration and secondary demyelination. The freshly dissected nerves were analyzed by magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy at 10 MHz, and the water content was determined by dehydration. In the degenerated nerves there was a marked prolongation of both T1 and T2 relaxation times, accompanied by an increase of water content. These results suggest that it should be possible to detect wallerian degeneration in MR images; this will have an important impact on neuropathological diagnosis of central and peripheral nervous system lesions.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Peter

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-25

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

  12. Structural basis for complement factor H–linked age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Prosser, Beverly E.; Johnson, Steven; Roversi, Pietro; Herbert, Andrew P.; Blaum, Bärbel S.; Tyrrell, Jess; Jowitt, Thomas A.; Clark, Simon J.; Tarelli, Edward; Uhrín, Dušan; Barlow, Paul N.; Sim, Robert B.; Day, Anthony J.; Lea, Susan M.

    2007-01-01

    Nearly 50 million people worldwide suffer from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which causes severe loss of central vision. A single-nucleotide polymorphism in the gene for the complement regulator factor H (FH), which causes a Tyr-to-His substitution at position 402, is linked to ∼50% of attributable risks for AMD. We present the crystal structure of the region of FH containing the polymorphic amino acid His402 in complex with an analogue of the glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) that localize the complement regulator on the cell surface. The structure demonstrates direct coordination of ligand by the disease-associated polymorphic residue, providing a molecular explanation of the genetic observation. This glycan-binding site occupies the center of an extended interaction groove on the regulator's surface, implying multivalent binding of sulfated GAGs. This finding is confirmed by structure-based site-directed mutagenesis, nuclear magnetic resonance–monitored binding experiments performed for both H402 and Y402 variants with this and another model GAG, and analysis of an extended GAG–FH complex. PMID:17893204

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

  14. Managing abnormal eating behaviours in frontotemporal lobar degeneration patients with topiramate.

    PubMed

    Shinagawa, Shunichiro; Tsuno, Norifumi; Nakayama, Kazuhiko

    2013-03-01

    Abnormal eating behaviours are specific to frontotemporal lobar degeneration and increase caregiver burden. Topiramate, an anticonvulsant, suppresses cravings for alcohol and other substances and is a potential treatment for binge eating. However, there are few reports on topiramate efficacy for abnormal eating behaviours in frontotemporal lobar degeneration patients. We present three Japanese frontotemporal lobar degeneration patients with abnormal eating behaviours. Topiramate was effective, especially for compulsive eating, in cases with distinct lobar atrophy, but not for all abnormal eating behaviours.

  15. Flying Blind: Aeromedical Certification and Undiagnosed Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-01

    Final Report Flying Blind: Aeromedical Certification and Undiagnosed Age-Related Macular Degeneration DOT/FAA/AM-11/14 Office of Aerospace Medicine...Certification and Undiagnosed Age-Related Macular Degeneration 6. Performing Organization Code 7. Author(s) 8. Performing Organization Report...resulted in an inadvertent stall.” The report also stated that “either the pilot’s macular degeneration or his unrecognized coronary artery disease

  16. Genetic contributors to frontotemporal lobar degeneration: beyond monogenic disease.

    PubMed

    Borroni, B; Pilotto, A; Bianchi, M; Gilberti, N; Padovani, A

    2011-10-01

    Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD) is a genetically and pathologically heterogeneous disorder characterized by behavioral change, executive dysfunction and language impairment associated with frontal and temporal lobe degeneration. Three major clinical subtypes have been identified so far, namely behaviour variant Frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), Semantic Dementia (SD) and Progressive Non-Fluent Aphasia (PNFA). FTLD might also overlap with atypical parkinsonisms or motor neuron disease. Several pathogenetic mutations have been associated with specific pathological and clinical correlates. FTLD associated with either Microtuble Associated Protein Tau (MAPT) or Progranulin (PGRN) mutations is recognised as the most common form of autosomal dominant inherited disorder. However, monogenic mutations account for only about one third of all FTLD cases. Several studies have evaluated the contribution of genetic background in non-monogenic forms of FTLD, with the attempt to establish its role in increasing disease risk and in modulating clinical phenotypes. Specific MAPT and PGRN polymorphisms have been demonstrated to affect disease onset, clinical features and prognosis of FTLD, and genetic variations within other genes appear to play a role in influencing disease risk and clinical expression of FTLD. The aim of the present review is to discuss the impact and the role of genetic background in non-monogenic forms of FTLD, to highlight new potential pathogenetic and therapeutic targets.

  17. Large Polyglutamine Repeats Cause Muscle Degeneration in SCA17 Mice

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Shanshan; Yang, Su; Guo, Jifeng; Yan, Sen; Gaertig, Marta A.; Li, Shihua; Li, Xiao-Jiang

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY In polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases, large polyQ repeats cause juvenile cases with different symptoms than adult-onset patients, who carry smaller expanded polyQ repeats. The mechanisms behind the differential pathology mediated by different polyQ repeat lengths remain unknown. By studying knock-in mouse models of spinal cerebellar ataxia-17 (SCA17), we found that a large polyQ (105 glutamines) in the TATA box-binding protein (TBP) preferentially causes muscle degeneration and reduces the expression of muscle-specific genes. Direct expression of TBP with different polyQ repeats in mouse muscle revealed that muscle degeneration is mediated only by the large polyQ repeats. Different polyQ repeats differentially alter TBP’s interaction with neuronal and muscle-specific transcription factors. As a result, the large polyQ repeat decreases the association of MyoD with TBP and DNA promoters. Our findings suggest that specific alterations in protein interactions by large polyQ repeats may account for the unique pathology in juvenile polyQ diseases. PMID:26387956

  18. When degenerate stars collide: Understanding A New Explosion Phenomena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bloom, Joshua

    2007-07-01

    Explosive events seen at extragalactic distances mark the end-state of violent and catastrophic physical processes. Most supernovae and gamma-ray bursts {GRBs}, in particular, are thought to herald the death of massive stars and the birth of solar-mass black holes. A minority fraction of GRBs, however, have been circumstantially associated with the merger of degenerate systems {such as black holes and neutron stars}. These short-duration bursts are rare and difficult to localize, with only about 2 dozen studied to any degree of detail to date. We believe that we have finally discovered, in the last few days, one of the tell-tale signatures of degenerate merger products -- a "mini-supernova" from the non-relativistic ejecta left over after merger. If true, this long-theorized phenomenon would be an entirely new sort of explosion in the universe. In several rapidly executed visits, HST, coupled with a recently approved Chandra DD proposal to search for underlying afterglow, could make a substantial contribution to our understanding of this phenomena by honing the physical parameters of the event and helping to rule out alternatives. If we are correct in our hypothesis, we have found the first clear cut observational signature in the electromagnetic spectrum of what are expected to the be the dominant sources of gravitational waves for advanced LIGO.

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Testing the single degenerate channel for supernova Ia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsons, Steven

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Histological Identification of Propionibacterium acnes in Nonpyogenic Degenerated Intervertebral Discs

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Ye; Zhou, Zezhu; Jiao, Yucheng; Zheng, Yuehuan; Lin, Yazhou; Xiao, Jiaqi

    2017-01-01

    Purpose. Low-virulence anaerobic bacteria, especially the Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), have been thought to be a new pathogeny for a series of disc diseases. However, until now, there has been no histological evidence to confirm this link. The purpose of this study was to confirm the presence of P. acnes in nonpyogenic intervertebral discs via histological observation. Method. Degenerated intervertebral discs were harvested from 76 patients with low back pain and/or sciatica but without any symptoms of discitis or spondylodiscitis. The samples were cultured under anaerobic conditions and then examined using 16S rDNA PCR to screen for P. acnes. Samples found to be positive for P. acnes were stained with hematoxylin-eosin (HE) and modified Brown-Brenn staining and observed under a microscope. Results. Here, 16 intervertebral discs were found to be positive for P. acnes via 16S rDNA PCR and the prevalence was 21.05% (16/76). Among them, 7 samples had visible microbes stained with HE and modified Brown-Brenn staining. Morphological examination showed the bacteria to be Gram-positive and rod-shaped, so they were considered P. acnes. Conclusion. P. acnes is capable of colonizing some degenerated intervertebral discs without causing discitis, and its presence could be further confirmed by histological evidence. Targeting these bacteria may be a promising therapy method for some disc diseases.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Venkatraman, Anand; Opal, Puneet

    2016-08-01

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

  5. Voltage-gated calcium channel autoimmune cerebellar degeneration

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-11-01

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

  7. Low Starting Electron Beam Current in Degenerate Band Edge Oscillators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Othman, Mohamed A. K.; Veysi, Mehdi; Figotin, Alexander; Capolino, Filippo

    2016-06-01

    We propose a new principle of operation in vacuum electron-beam-based oscillators that leads to a low beam current for starting oscillations. The principle is based on super synchronous operation of an electron beam interacting with four degenerate electromagnetic modes in a slow-wave structure (SWS). The four mode super synchronous regime is associated with a very special degeneracy condition in the dispersion diagram of a cold periodic SWS called degenerate band edge (DBE). This regime features a giant group delay in the finitelength SWS and low starting-oscillation beam current. The starting beam current is at least an order of magnitude smaller compared to a conventional backward wave oscillator (BWO) of the same length. As a representative example we consider a SWS conceived by a periodically-loaded metallic waveguide supporting a DBE, and investigate starting-oscillation conditions using Pierce theory generalized to coupled transmission lines (CTL). The proposed super synchronism regime can be straightforwardly adapted to waveguide geometries others than the periodically-loaded waveguide considered here since DBE is a general property that can be realized in a variety of structures.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Dwarf spheroidal galaxies as degenerate gas of free fermions

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lee, Kyeong-Seok

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Quasi-degenerate perturbation theory using matrix product states

    SciTech Connect

    Sharma, Sandeep Jeanmairet, Guillaume; Alavi, Ali

    2016-01-21

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

  12. Skeletal muscle degeneration and regeneration in mice and flies.

    PubMed

    Rai, Mamta; Nongthomba, Upendra; Grounds, Miranda D

    2014-01-01

    Many aspects of skeletal muscle biology are remarkably similar between mammals and tiny insects, and experimental models of mice and flies (Drosophila) provide powerful tools to understand factors controlling the growth, maintenance, degeneration (atrophy and necrosis), and regeneration of normal and diseased muscles, with potential applications to the human condition. This review compares the limb muscles of mice and the indirect flight muscles of flies, with respect to the mechanisms of adult myofiber formation, homeostasis, atrophy, hypertrophy, and the response to muscle degeneration, with some comment on myogenic precursor cells and common gene regulatory pathways. There is a striking similarity between the species for events related to muscle atrophy and hypertrophy, without contribution of any myoblast fusion. Since the flight muscles of adult flies lack a population of reserve myogenic cells (equivalent to satellite cells), this indicates that such cells are not required for maintenance of normal muscle function. However, since satellite cells are essential in postnatal mammals for myogenesis and regeneration in response to myofiber necrosis, the extent to which such regeneration might be possible in flight muscles of adult flies remains unclear. Common cellular and molecular pathways for both species are outlined related to neuromuscular disorders and to age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and function (sarcopenia). The commonality of events related to skeletal muscles in these disparate species (with vast differences in size, growth duration, longevity, and muscle activities) emphasizes the combined value and power of these experimental animal models.

  13. Reprogramming metabolism by targeting sirtuin 6 attenuates retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lijuan; Du, Jianhai; Justus, Sally; Hsu, Chun-Wei; Bonet-Ponce, Luis; Wu, Wen-Hsuan; Tsai, Yi-Ting; Wu, Wei-Pu; Jia, Yading; Duong, Jimmy K.; Mahajan, Vinit B.; Lin, Chyuan-Sheng; Wang, Shuang; Hurley, James B.

    2016-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) encompasses a diverse group of Mendelian disorders leading to progressive degeneration of rods and then cones. For reasons that remain unclear, diseased RP photoreceptors begin to deteriorate, eventually leading to cell death and, consequently, loss of vision. Here, we have hypothesized that RP associated with mutations in phosphodiesterase-6 (PDE6) provokes a metabolic aberration in rod cells that promotes the pathological consequences of elevated cGMP and Ca2+, which are induced by the Pde6 mutation. Inhibition of sirtuin 6 (SIRT6), a histone deacetylase repressor of glycolytic flux, reprogrammed rods into perpetual glycolysis, thereby driving the accumulation of biosynthetic intermediates, improving outer segment (OS) length, enhancing photoreceptor survival, and preserving vision. In mouse retinae lacking Sirt6, effectors of glycolytic flux were dramatically increased, leading to upregulation of key intermediates in glycolysis, TCA cycle, and glutaminolysis. Both transgenic and AAV2/8 gene therapy–mediated ablation of Sirt6 in rods provided electrophysiological and anatomic rescue of both rod and cone photoreceptors in a preclinical model of RP. Due to the extensive network of downstream effectors of Sirt6, this study motivates further research into the role that these pathways play in retinal degeneration. Because reprogramming metabolism by enhancing glycolysis is not gene specific, this strategy may be applicable to a wide range of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:27841758

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

    Degeneration of intervertebral discs and facet joints is one of the most frequently encountered spinal disorders. In order to describe and quantify degeneration and evaluate a possible relationship between degeneration and biomechanical parameters, e.g., the intervertebral range of motion and intradiscal pressure, a scoring system for degeneration is mandatory. However, few scoring systems for the assessment of degeneration of the cervical spine exist. Therefore, two separate objective scoring systems to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the degree of cervical intervertebral disc and facet joint degeneration were developed and validated. The scoring system for cervical disc degeneration consists of three variables which are individually scored on neutral lateral radiographs: "height loss" (0-4 points), "anterior osteophytes" (0-3 points) and "endplate sclerosis" (0-2 points). The scoring system for facet joint degeneration consists of four variables which are individually scored on neutral computed tomography scans: "hypertrophy" (0-2 points), "osteophytes" (0-1 point), "irregularity" on the articular surface (0-1 point) and "joint space narrowing" (0-1 point). Each variable contributes with varying importance to the overall degeneration score (max 9 points for the scoring system of cervical disc degeneration and max 5 points for facet joint degeneration). Degeneration of 20 discs and facet joints of 20 patients was blindly assessed by four raters: two neurosurgeons (one senior and one junior) and two radiologists (one senior and one junior), firstly based on first subjective impression and secondly using the scoring systems. Measurement errors and inter- and intra-rater agreement were determined. The measurement error of the scoring system for cervical disc degeneration was 11.1 versus 17.9% of the subjective impression results. This scoring system showed excellent intra-rater agreement (ICC = 0.86, 0.75-0.93) and excellent inter-rater agreement (ICC = 0

  15. Nonlinear Optical Studies of Rydberg Atoms Using Degenerate Four-Wave Mixing.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-08-01

    AD-Ai46 827 NONLINEAR OPTICAL STUDIES OF RYDBERG ATOMS USING 1/2 DEGENERATE FOUR -WAVE MIXING(U) HUGHES RESEARCH LABS MALIBU CA J F LAM ET AL. AUG 84...146 827 NONLINEAR OPTICAL STUDIES OF RYDBERG ATOMS USING DEGENERATE FOUR -WAVE MIXING J.F. Lam, R.A. McFarlane, and D.G. StMel Hughes Research...techniques were developed nearly degenerate four -wave mixing, polarization nearly degenerate four -wave mixing, fre- quency domain three-state

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  17. Site selection

    SciTech Connect

    Olsen, C.W.

    1983-07-01

    The conditions and criteria for selecting a site for a nuclear weapons test at the Nevada Test Site are summarized. Factors considered are: (1) scheduling of drill rigs, (2) scheduling of site preparation (dirt work, auger hole, surface casing, cementing), (3) schedule of event (when are drill hole data needed), (4) depth range of proposed W.P., (5) geologic structure (faults, Pz contact, etc.), (6) stratigraphy (alluvium, location of Grouse Canyon Tuff, etc.), (7) material properties (particularly montmorillonite and CO/sub 2/ content), (8) water table depth, (9) potential drilling problems (caving), (10) adjacent collapse craters and chimneys, (11) adjacent expended but uncollapsed sites, (12) adjacent post-shot or other small diameter holes, (13) adjacent stockpile emplacement holes, (14) adjacent planned events (including LANL), (15) projected needs of Test Program for various DOB's and operational separations, and (16) optimal use of NTS real estate.

  18. Cannabinoid CB2 receptor (CB2R) stimulation delays rubrospinal mitochondrial-dependent degeneration and improves functional recovery after spinal cord hemisection by ERK1/2 inactivation.

    PubMed

    Latini, L; Bisicchia, E; Sasso, V; Chiurchiù, V; Cavallucci, V; Molinari, M; Maccarrone, M; Viscomi, M T

    2014-09-04

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating condition of CNS that often results in severe functional impairments for which there are no restorative therapies. As in other CNS injuries, in addition to the effects that are related to the primary site of damage, these impairments are caused by degeneration of distal regions that are connected functionally to the primary lesion site. Modulation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) counteracts this neurodegeneration, and pharmacological modulation of type-2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2R) is a promising therapeutic target for several CNS pathologies, including SCI. This study examined the effects of CB2R modulation on the fate of axotomized rubrospinal neurons (RSNs) and functional recovery in a model of spinal cord dorsal hemisection (SCH) at the cervical level in rats. SCH induced CB2R expression, severe atrophy, and cell death in contralateral RSNs. Furthermore, SCH affected molecular changes in the apoptotic cascade in RSNs - increased cytochrome c release, apoptosome formation, and caspase-3 activity. CB2R stimulation by its selective agonist JWH-015 significantly increased the bcl-2/bax ratio, reduced cytochrome c release, delayed atrophy and degeneration, and improved spontaneous functional recovery through ERK1/2 inactivation. These findings implicate the ECS, particularly CB2R, as part of the endogenous neuroprotective response that is triggered after SCI. Thus, CB2R modulation might represent a promising therapeutic target that lacks psychotropic effects and can be used to exploit ECS-based approaches to counteract neuronal degeneration.

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

    PubMed Central

    Gemenetzi, M; Lotery, A J

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Characterisation of a C1qtnf5 Ser163Arg Knock-In Mouse Model of Late-Onset Retinal Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Shu, Xinhua; Luhmann, Ulrich F. O.; Aleman, Tomas S.; Barker, Susan E.; Lennon, Alan; Tulloch, Brian; Chen, Mei; Xu, Heping; Jacobson, Samuel G.; Ali, Robin; Wright, Alan F.

    2011-01-01

    A single founder mutation resulting in a Ser163Arg substitution in the C1QTNF5 gene product causes autosomal dominant late-onset retinal macular degeneration (L-ORMD) in humans, which has clinical and pathological features resembling age-related macular degeneration. We generated and characterised a mouse “knock-in” model carrying the Ser163Arg mutation in the orthologous murine C1qtnf5 gene by site-directed mutagenesis and homologous recombination into mouse embryonic stem cells. Biochemical, immunological, electron microscopic, fundus autofluorescence, electroretinography and laser photocoagulation analyses were used to characterise the mouse model. Heterozygous and homozygous knock-in mice showed no significant abnormality in any of the above measures at time points up to 2 years. This result contrasts with another C1qtnf5 Ser163Arg knock-in mouse which showed most of the features of L-ORMD but differed in genetic background and targeting construct. PMID:22110650

  1. Characterisation of a C1qtnf5 Ser163Arg knock-in mouse model of late-onset retinal macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Shu, Xinhua; Luhmann, Ulrich F O; Aleman, Tomas S; Barker, Susan E; Lennon, Alan; Tulloch, Brian; Chen, Mei; Xu, Heping; Jacobson, Samuel G; Ali, Robin; Wright, Alan F

    2011-01-01

    A single founder mutation resulting in a Ser163Arg substitution in the C1QTNF5 gene product causes autosomal dominant late-onset retinal macular degeneration (L-ORMD) in humans, which has clinical and pathological features resembling age-related macular degeneration. We generated and characterised a mouse "knock-in" model carrying the Ser163Arg mutation in the orthologous murine C1qtnf5 gene by site-directed mutagenesis and homologous recombination into mouse embryonic stem cells. Biochemical, immunological, electron microscopic, fundus autofluorescence, electroretinography and laser photocoagulation analyses were used to characterise the mouse model. Heterozygous and homozygous knock-in mice showed no significant abnormality in any of the above measures at time points up to 2 years. This result contrasts with another C1qtnf5 Ser163Arg knock-in mouse which showed most of the features of L-ORMD but differed in genetic background and targeting construct.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashiwase, Shoichi; Suematsu, Daijiro

    2016-03-01

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

  3. Diagram theory for the twofold-degenerate Anderson impurity model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moskalenko, V. A.; Dohotaru, L. A.; Digor, D. F.; Cebotari, I. D.

    2014-02-01

    We develop a diagram technique for investigating the twofold-degenerate Anderson impurity model in the normal state with the strong electronic correlations of d electrons of the impurity ion taken into account. We discuss the properties of the Slater-Kanamori model of d electrons. After finding the eigenfunctions and eigenvalues of all 16 local states, we determine the local one-particle propagator. We construct the perturbation theory around the atomic limit of the impurity ion and obtain a Dyson-type equation establishing the relation between the impurity electron propagator and the normal correlation function. As a result of summing infinite series of ladder diagrams, we obtain an approximation for the correlation function.

  4. The genetics of age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Guymer, Robyn

    2001-07-01

    AIM: To review the genetics of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The pathogenesis of AMD, the leading cause of severe visual disability and blindness in our community, remains unknown. However, AMD is regarded as a genetic disease where family history of AMD is a significant risk factor for the disease. Understanding the genetic factors associated with AMD offers the greatest chance for understanding the underlying disease processes. METHODS: Through a review of the literature and the use of original research findings, the current knowledge of the genetics of AMD is explored. CONCLUSION: AMD is increasing in prevalence and remains a major challenge for eye heath providers. Finding the genes that are associated with AMD offers the greatest chance for the development of preventative strategies and treatments.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Mechanisms of age-related macular degeneration and therapeutic opportunities.

    PubMed

    van Lookeren Campagne, Menno; LeCouter, Jennifer; Yaspan, Brian L; Ye, Weilan

    2014-01-01

    As the age of the population increases in many nations, age-related degenerative diseases pose significant socioeconomic challenges. One of the key degenerative diseases that compromise quality of life is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a multi-faceted condition that affects the central retina, which ultimately leads to blindness in millions of people worldwide. The pathophysiology and risk factors for AMD are complex, and the symptoms manifest in multiple related but distinct forms. The ability to develop effective treatments for AMD will depend on a thorough understanding of the underlying pathophysiology, risk factors, and driver molecular pathways, as well as the ability to develop useful animal models. This review provides an overview of the aforementioned aspects in AMD.

  7. Progress Towards a Quantum Degenerate Mixture with Extreme Mass Imbalance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desalvo, B. J.; Johansen, Jacob; Chin, Cheng

    2016-05-01

    We report experimental progress towards a quantum degenerate Bose-Fermi mixture of 133 Cs and 6 Li. Beyond providing the largest mass imbalance of any bi-alkali mixture, this system exhibits multiple interspecies Feshbach resonances allowing wide tuning of the interaction strength and Efimov resonances potentially inducing three-body interactions. The use of a dual-color optical dipole trap in our experiment overcomes the large differential gravitational sag due to the mass imbalance and facilitates mixing the species nano-Kelvin temperatures allowing precision studies of interspecies interactions. Turning from few-body physics to many-body, we will present our efforts to reach simultaneous quantum degeneracy as well as discuss prospects of high resolution imaging of both species.

  8. Type C botulinum toxin causes degeneration of motoneurons in vivo.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Li-Chun; Yang, Bo; Wang, Rengang; Lipton, Stuart A; Zhang, Dongxian

    2010-01-06

    All botulinum toxins (BoNTs, types A-G) inhibit synaptic transmitter release from motoneurons, and thus result in respiratory arrest and death. Rapid treatment with anti-BoNT antibodies can prevent progression, but recovery still requires weeks on a ventilator. Even after recovery, there is a potential for persistent fatigue in some cases of botulism even years after the insult, possibly because of motoneuron dropout for previously unknown reasons. Unique among BoNTs, the C-type (BoNT/C) cleaves two proteins involved in neurotransmitter release, syntaxin and SNAP-25, and induces apoptotic cell death in cultured cerebellar neurons. It is not clear, however, whether BoNT/C also affects neurons that encounter toxin in vivo, namely motoneurons. Here, we provide experimental evidence that BoNT/C causes a slow degeneration of motoneurons both in vitro and in vivo. This novel form of BoNT/C-induced cell death may require new treatment strategies.

  9. DPPrimer – A Degenerate PCR Primer Design Tool

    PubMed Central

    Gahoi, Shachi; Arya, L; Anil, Rai; Marla, ss

    2013-01-01

    Designed degenerate primers unlike conventional primers are superior in matching and amplification of large number of genes, from related gene families. DPPrimer tool was designed to predict primers for PCR amplification of homologous gene from related or diverse plant species. The key features of this tool include platform independence and user friendliness in primer design. Embedded features such as search for functional domains, similarity score selection and phylogebetic tree further enhance the user friendliness of DPPrimer tool. Performance of DPPrimer tool was evaluated by successful PCR amplification of ADP-glucose phosphorylase genes from wheat, barley and rice. Availability DPPrimer is freely accessible at http://202.141.12.147/DGEN_tool/index.html PMID:24307773

  10. Energy estimate and fundamental solution for degenerate hyperbolic Cauchy problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ascanelli, Alessia; Cicognani, Massimo

    The aim of this paper is to give an uniform approach to different kinds of degenerate hyperbolic Cauchy problems. We prove that a weakly hyperbolic equation, satisfying an intermediate condition between effective hyperbolicity and the C∞ Levi condition, and a strictly hyperbolic equation with non-regular coefficients with respect to the time variable can be reduced to first-order systems of the same type. For such a kind of systems, we prove an energy estimate in Sobolev spaces (with a loss of derivatives) which gives the well-posedness of the Cauchy problem in C∞. In the strictly hyperbolic case, we also construct the fundamental solution and we describe the propagation of the space singularities of the solution which is influenced by the non-regularity of the coefficients with respect to the time variable.

  11. Light and macular degeneration: a biophysical and clinical perspective.

    PubMed

    Mainster, M A

    1987-01-01

    The evidence linking photic retinopathy to ageing macular degeneration (AMD) is compelling but circumstantial. The biophysical foundations of ageing theory are presented, in addition to an analysis of retinal senescence and the potential contributory role of photochemical retinal damage. Although there is pressure to implement clinical therapy for AMD based on laboratory studies of photic retinopathy, there is no evidence at this time that any such therapy is effective. Nonetheless, until the relationship between photic retinopathy and AMD is better understood, it is appropriate for individuals to use ultraviolet and deep blue protective sunglasses in bright environments, particularly if they have reduced ocular pigmentation or if they are aphakes or pseudophakes without an ultraviolet-protective intraocular lens.

  12. Early Motor Fluctuations in a Patient with Striatonigral Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Yoshii, Fumihito; Moriya, Yusuke; Ohnuki, Tomohide; Takahashi, Wakoh; Ryo, Masafuchi

    2016-01-01

    We report a 44-year-old female with striatonigral degeneration (SND) who showed wearing-off oscillations after 4 months of levodopa treatment. The patient presented with asymmetric left-side dominant rigidity, and levodopa was effective at first. However, she began to show wearing-off oscillations of motor symptoms, which gradually worsened thereafter. Fluid-attenuated inversion recovery sequence magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed linear lateral putamen hyperintensities, and positron emission tomography (PET) studies using 18F-fluorodopa (FD) and 11C-N-methylspiperon (NMSP) showed a marked decrease of radioactivity in the right putamen, especially in the posterior putamen. The results of MRI and 2 PET studies with FD and NMSP were well consistent with the diagnosis of SND. PMID:28101035

  13. Lattice-cavity solitons in a degenerate optical parametric oscillator

    SciTech Connect

    Egorov, O. A.; Lederer, F.

    2007-11-15

    We predict the existence of lattice-cavity solitons for a quadratic nonlinear cavity, where the linear losses are compensated for by the optical pump at second harmonic (degenerate optical parametric oscillator), and which is endowed with a one-dimensional photonic lattice. In the limit of strong discreteness (weak coupling) this kind of soliton solution contains as the subclass the quadratic discrete cavity solitons. The nonlinear coupling between the Bloch waves of different photonics bands allows for the formation of a reach variety of localized solutions. In particular, different types of multiband lattice-cavity solitons can be identified. Most types of lattice-cavity solitons do not have counterparts, neither in conventional planar microresonators nor in genuine discrete systems as an array of weakly coupled cavities. We show that these solitons may destabilize as a consequence of the competition between Bloch waves of different photonic bands.

  14. Quantum fluctuation of nonlinear degenerate optical parametric amplification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, C. Y.; Tan, W. H.

    An analytical solution of the Fokker Planck equation for the nonlinear degenerate optical parametric amplifier (DOPA) is presented, taking into account the influence of pump depletion on the generation of squeezed light. Results conform to those obtained using perturbation series expansion theory near threshold, and also apply to the whole region far away from threshold. When the nonlinear term(η → 0) is neglected, the solution transitions naturally to the linear approximation solution; when the nonlinear term is retained (∞ η), in the case μ → 0, the quantum fluctuations are close to vacuum fluctuations; in the case μ ≫ 1, squeezing increases, and tends to the result obtained using linear theory, 1/(1 + μ).

  15. Late onset cerebellar cortical degeneration in a koala.

    PubMed

    Kuwamura, M; Murai, F; Nishioka, S; Aoki, M; Ohashi, F; Yamate, J; Kotani, T; Summers, B A

    2009-08-01

    A 10-year-old male koala started to fall from the tree while sleeping. Subsequently, the koala often fell down while walking and showed a gait abnormality, abnormal nystagmus and hypersalivation. At 12 years of age, the koala became ataxic and seemed blind. At 13 years of age, the koala exhibited signs of dysstasia and was euthanased. Necropsy revealed marked symmetrical atrophy of the cerebellum. Histopathologically, a severe loss of Purkinje and granule cells was evident in the cerebellum, while the molecular layer was more cellular than normal with cells resembling small neurons, which were positively stained with parvalbumin immunohistochemistry. Reactive Bergmann glial cells (astrocytes) were present adjacent to the depleted Purkinje cell zone. The very late onset and slow progression of the cerebellar cortical degeneration in this case is particularly interesting and appears to be the first report in the koala.

  16. [Molecular genetic basis of age-related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Boĭko, É V; Churashov, S V; Kamilova, T A

    2013-01-01

    Visual loss due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is caused by one or both forms of advanced disease: "wet" (neovascular) or "dry" (geographic atrophy). Immune system plays a central role in pathogenesis and progression of both AMD forms. Main genetic polymorphisms associated with risk of AMD development and progression were found to be genes that regulate inflammation especially in complement factor H gen (1q31 locus) and 10q26 locus (PLEKHAI/ARMS2/HTRA1). Association of response to treatment and genotype was shown in patients with AMD. Complete characterization of both common and rare alleles that influence AMD risk is necessary for accurate determination of individual genetic risk as well as identification of new targets for therapeutic intervention.

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

    PubMed

    Pechan, Peter; Wadsworth, Samuel; Scaria, Abraham

    2014-12-18

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

  18. Highly penetrant alleles in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    den Hollander, Anneke I; de Jong, Eiko K

    2014-11-06

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex disease caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Genome-wide association studies have identified several common genetic variants associated with AMD, which together account for 15%-65% of the heritability of AMD. Multiple hypotheses to clarify the unexplained portion of genetic variance have been proposed, such as gene-gene interactions, gene-environment interactions, structural variations, epigenetics, and rare variants. Several studies support a role for rare variants with large effect sizes in the pathogenesis of AMD. In this work, we review the methods that can be used to detect rare variants in common diseases, as well as the recent progress that has been made in the identification of rare variants in AMD. In addition, the relevance of these rare variants for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of AMD is highlighted.

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

    PubMed

    Rowan, Sheldon; Taylor, Allen

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Wearable diagnostic system for age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Mohaghegh, N; Zadeh, E Ghafar; Magierowski, S

    2016-08-01

    This paper presents a novel head-mounted point-of-care diagnostic system for detection and continuous monitoring of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). This wearable embedded open-source platform enables accurate monitoring of AMD by taking advantage of multiple standard graphical interface techniques such as Amsler Grid, Threshold Amsler Grid, Macular Computerized Psychophysical Test and Preferential Hyperacuity Perimeter (PHP). Here, we describe the proposed multi-Grid or so-called NGRID software and elaborate on the hardware prototype. This prototype includes a commercially available Oculus HMD incorporated with a single board computer. As the first step towards a fully integrated wearable system, this paper successfully proves the functionality of head-mounted graphical interface device ready for a live demonstration. Participants can experience this device and take a 10-minute AMD eye-exam. Furthermore, NGRID has been approved and permitted for an in-hospital clinical trial.

  1. A novel noise optimization technique for inductively degenerated CMOS LNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhiqing, Geng; Haiyong, Wang; Nanjian, Wu

    2009-10-01

    This paper proposes a novel noise optimization technique. The technique gives analytical formulae for the noise performance of inductively degenerated CMOS low noise amplifier (LNA) circuits with an ideal gate inductor for a fixed bias voltage and nonideal gate inductor for a fixed power dissipation, respectively, by mathematical analysis and reasonable approximation methods. LNA circuits with required noise figure can be designed effectively and rapidly just by using hand calculations of the proposed formulae. We design a 1.8 GHz LNA in a TSMC 0.25 μm CMOS process. The measured results show a noise figure of 1.6 dB with a forward gain of 14.4 dB at a power consumption of 5 mW, demonstrating that the designed LNA circuits can achieve low noise figure levels at low power dissipation.

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

    PubMed Central

    Welch, R B

    1977-01-01

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

  3. [Management of age-related macular degeneration. An update].

    PubMed

    García Lozano, Isabel; López García, Santiago; Elosua de Juán, Isabel

    2012-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness in people over 50 in developed countries. It is a multifactorial disease resulting from the interaction of genetic and environmental factors, and the age is the only worldwide admitted risk factor. The socioeconomic impact of the disease reaches enormous proportions, if we take into account the high cost of the available antiangiogenic therapy, the strict schedule of medical visits that it requires, and the impairment that it gives rise to. The response to treatment and the visual outcomes improve with early management of the retinal lesions, thus the early diagnosis of the disease in its initial phases, based on self-control with an Amsler grid and with regular ophthalmologic assessments, is essential.

  4. Update on geographic atrophy in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Biarnés, Marc; Monés, Jordi; Alonso, Jordi; Arias, Luis

    2011-07-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the main cause of legal blindness in older patients in developed countries, and geographic atrophy (GA) represents the advanced form of dry AMD. Although it accounts for one third of the cases of late AMD and is responsible for 20% of the cases of severe visual loss due to the disorder. GA currently lacks effective treatment, whereas antiangiogenic therapies have been shown to be successful in managing choroidal neovascularization, the other form of late AMD. Recent advances in GA epidemiology, etiology, genetics, and imaging techniques have renewed the interest in this entity, which is a cause of progressive visual loss even in treated patients with neovascular AMD. This knowledge has triggered many clinical trials targeting different molecules shown to be associated with the disease, and it is hoped that this research will translate into effective drugs for GA in the near future.

  5. Corneal Hydrops in Pellucid Marginal Degeneration: A Case Series

    PubMed Central

    Bhandari, Vipul; Ganesh, Sri

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To report an unusual presentation of pellucid marginal degeneration (PMD) and its management by using air injection and tension sutures. Case Report We report 2 cases with a history of acute pain and loss of vision. Examination revealed hydrops at the 6–9 o'clock meridian with Descemet's membrane detachment and tear at the same area and advanced PMD in the other eye. Discussion Air injection with suturing to treat the hydrops in PMD and crescentic excision with lamellar grafting instead of lamellar keratoplasty lead to better results than conservative management. Conclusion Corneal hydrops and perforation in patients with PMD is a rare presentation and can be managed by tension sutures and air injection. PMID:26265904

  6. Degenerate four-wave mixing in equilibrium argon arc plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musiol, K.; Dzierzega, K.; Pawelec, E.; Pokrzywka, B.; Pellerin, S.; Labuz, S.

    1997-12-01

    The non-intrusive degenerate four-wave mixing (DFWM) method was used to study the local thermal equilibrium atmospheric-pressure argon arc plasma. The laser wavelength was in resonance with the 0022-3727/30/24/013/img10 - 0022-3727/30/24/013/img11 ArI transition, corresponding to the 696.5 nm emission line. The Abrams - Lind theory was verified and proved to be valid under the conditions of our plasma. In the high-laser-intensity limit, the DFWM signals were shown to be exclusively dependent on the population difference between the relevant argon states. Well resolved axial and radial profiles of the plasma temperature and the electron density were determined.

  7. Targeting MAPK Signaling in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Kyosseva, Svetlana V.

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Experiments with Ultracold Quantum-degenerate Fermionic Lithium Atoms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ketterle, Wolfgang

    2003-01-01

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

  9. Mediated-reality magnification for macular degeneration rehabilitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  10. Radiation Therapy for Neovascular Age-related Macular Degeneration

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-03-01

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

  11. Sodium Channels, Mitochondria, and Axonal Degeneration in Peripheral Neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Persson, Anna-Karin; Hoeijmakers, Janneke G J; Estacion, Mark; Black, Joel A; Waxman, Stephen G

    2016-05-01

    Peripheral neuropathy results from damage to peripheral nerves and is often accompanied by pain in affected limbs. Treatment represents an unmet medical need and a thorough understanding of the mechanisms underlying axonal injury is needed. Longer nerve fibers tend to degenerate first (length-dependence), and patients carrying pathogenic mutations throughout life usually become symptomatic in mid- or late-life (time-dependence). The activity of voltage-gated sodium channels can contribute to axonal injury and sodium channel gain-of-function mutations have been linked to peripheral neuropathy. Recent studies have implicated sodium channel activity, mitochondrial compromise, and reverse-mode Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchange in time- and length-dependent axonal injury. Elucidation of molecular mechanisms underlying axonal injury in peripheral neuropathy may provide new therapeutic strategies for this painful and debilitating condition.

  12. Realization of unidirectional transmission under accidental degenerated Dirac point

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lou, Qun; Zhang, Yichi; Poo, Yin; Ma, HuiFeng; Wu, Ruixin

    2017-04-01

    We demonstrated a good unidirectional transmission (UT) with high transmission efficiency without breaking time-reversal symmetry both theoretically and experimentally. By adjusting the topological structure and designing the component of all-dielectric photonic crystal, an accidental degenerated Dirac point is built at Γ point. We obtained simultaneous zero permittivity and zero permeability. Truncating the PC into a bow-tie shape, we observed a total reflection in one direction but a total transmission in the opposite direction. The good agreement between the theoretical and experimental data verifies such model supports a good UT even considering the material's loss. Due to the PC's scale invariance, this kind of UT can be conveniently exploited into terahertz or optical frequency, providing a great promising application to optical communication and optical circuit.

  13. The genetics of age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Gorin, M B; Breitner, J C; De Jong, P T; Hageman, G S; Klaver, C C; Kuehn, M H; Seddon, J M

    1999-11-03

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is increasingly recognized as a complex genetic disorder in which one or more genes contribute to an individual's susceptibility for developing the condition. Twin and family studies as well as population-based genetic epidemiologic methods have convincingly demonstrated the importance of genetics in AMD, though the extent of heritability, the number of genes involved, and the phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity of the condition remain unresolved. The extent to which other hereditary macular dystrophies such as Stargardts disease, familial radial drusen (malattia leventinese), Best's disease, and peripherin/RDS-related dystrophy are related to AMD remains unclear. Alzheimer's disease, another late onset, heterogeneous degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, offers a valuable model for identifying the issues that confront AMD genetics.

  14. Highly Penetrant Alleles in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    den Hollander, Anneke I.; de Jong, Eiko K.

    2015-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex disease caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Genome-wide association studies have identified several common genetic variants associated with AMD, which together account for 15%–65% of the heritability of AMD. Multiple hypotheses to clarify the unexplained portion of genetic variance have been proposed, such as gene–gene interactions, gene–environment interactions, structural variations, epigenetics, and rare variants. Several studies support a role for rare variants with large effect sizes in the pathogenesis of AMD. In this work, we review the methods that can be used to detect rare variants in common diseases, as well as the recent progress that has been made in the identification of rare variants in AMD. In addition, the relevance of these rare variants for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of AMD is highlighted. PMID:25377141

  15. Diagnostic criteria for primary neuronal degeneration of the Alzheimer's type.

    PubMed

    Eisdorfer, C; Cohen, D

    1980-10-01

    The diagnosis of patients presenting with memory or attentional deficits characteristic of dementia is a growing problem. Dementia may be symptomatic of a range of reversible medical and psychiatric conditions which appear to be indistinguishable from primary neuronal degeneration of the Alzheimer's type. While Alzheimer's disease is a neuropathological diagnosis, the importance of establishing a presumptive diagnosis which can be employed for investigational as well as clinical use is underscored. This paper proposes a diagnostic schema which reflects the current understanding of this disorder. There must be evidence of gradual progressive mental deterioration in attention, learning, memory, cognitive style, motivation, and higher order thinking. A comprehensive medical and psychiatric evaluation is obligatory to eliminate reversible physical illness, psychiatric disorder, or cerebrovascular condition as underlying causes of cognitive dysfunction.

  16. New Approaches for Producing Quantum Degenerate Gases of Strontium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Roger; Woehl, Germano, Jr.; Camargo, Francisco; Whalen, Joseph; Dunning, F. Barry; Killian, Thomas

    2015-05-01

    We investigate two novel methods for laser cooling strontium to quantum degeneracy. The first takes advantage of the isotope shifts and the narrow 1S0 -3P1 intercombination line (7.5 kHz at 689 nm) to produce an isotope selective optical dipole trap (ODT). We demonstrate this technique by sympathetically cooling 88Sr or 87Sr using 86Sr to produce quantum degenerate gases. The second uses an acousto-optic modulator driven with multiple RF frequencies to dynamically shape a far-off resonance ODT. This is easy to implement in existing traps and allows for optimized loading and evaporation tailored for each isotope. The simple setup has been applied in various atomic physics experiments, and we describe its application in strontium. Research supported by the AFOSR under grant no. FA9550-12-1-0267, the NSF under grants nos. 1301773 and 1205946, and the Robert A. Welch Foundation under grant no. C-0734.

  17. Lipids, Lipoproteins, and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ebrahimi, Katayoon B.; Handa, James T.

    2011-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among the elderly. While excellent treatment has emerged for neovascular disease, treatment for early AMD is lacking due to an incomplete understanding of the early molecular events. A prominent age-related change is the accumulation of neutral lipid in normal Bruch's membrane (BrM) throughout adulthood and also disease-related BrM accumulations called basal deposits and drusen. AMD lesion formation has thus been conceptualized as sharing mechanisms with atherosclerotic plaque formation, where low-density lipoprotein (LDL) retention within the arterial wall initiates a cascade of pathologic events. However, we do not yet understand how lipoproteins contribute to AMD. This paper explores how systemic and local production of lipoproteins might contribute to the pathogenesis of AMD. PMID:21822496

  18. Scalable arrays of rf Paul traps in degenerate Si

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Britton, J.; Leibfried, D.; Beall, J. A.; Blakestad, R. B.; Wesenberg, J. H.; Wineland, D. J.

    2009-10-01

    We report techniques for the fabrication of multizone linear radio frequency Paul traps that exploit the machinability and electrical conductivity of degenerate silicon. The approach was tested by trapping and laser cooling M24g+ ions in the two following trap geometries: a single-zone two-layer trap and a multizone surface-electrode trap. From the measured ion motional heating rate we determine an electric field spectral density at the ion's position of approximately 1×10-10 (V/m)2ṡHz-1 at ωz/2π=1.125 MHz when the ion lies 40 μm above the trap surface. One application of these devices is controlled manipulation of atomic ion qubits, the basis of one form of quantum information processing.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kato, K.; Fukuda, H.

    1985-07-22

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

  20. Capsaicin Induces Degeneration of Cutaneous Autonomic Nerve Fibers

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. 670-nm light treatment reduces complement propagation following retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Arap1 Deficiency Causes Photoreceptor Degeneration in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Moshiri, Ala; Humpal, Devin; Leonard, Brian C.; Imai, Denise M.; Tham, Addy; Bower, Lynette; Clary, Dave; Glaser, Thomas M.; Lloyd, K. C. Kent; Murphy, Christopher J.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose Small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) ADP-ribosylation factors (Arfs) regulate membrane traffic and actin reorganization under the control of GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs). Arap1 is an Arf-directed GAP that inhibits the trafficking of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) to the early endosome, but the diversity of its functions is incompletely understood. The aim of this study was to determine the role of Arap1 in the mammalian retina. Methods Genetically engineered Arap1 knockout mice were screened for ocular abnormalities in the National Institutes of Health Knockout Mouse Production and Phenotyping (KOMP2) Project. Arap1 knockout and wild-type eyes were imaged using optical coherence tomography and fundus photography, and analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Results Arap1−/− mice develop a normal appearing retina, but undergo photoreceptor degeneration starting at 4 weeks postnatal age. The fundus appearance of mutants is notable for pigmentary changes, optic nerve pallor, vascular attenuation, and outer retinal thinning, reminiscent of retinitis pigmentosa in humans. Immunohistochemical studies suggest the cell death is predominantly in the outer nuclear layer. Functional evaluation of the retina by electroretinography reveals amplitudes are reduced. Arap1 is detected most notably in Müller glia, and not in photoreceptors, implicating a role for Müller glia in photoreceptor survival. Conclusions Arap1 is necessary for normal photoreceptor survival in mice, and may be a novel gene relevant to human retinal degenerative processes, although its mechanism is unknown. Further studies in this mouse model of retinal degeneration will give insights into the cellular functions and signaling pathways in which Arap1 participates. PMID:28324111

  3. Blood-Flow Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yingxia; Cheng, Haiying; Shen, Qiang; Kim, Moon; Thule, Peter M; Olson, Darin E; Pardue, Machelle T; Duong, Timothy Q

    2009-01-01

    Purpose To investigate quantitative basal blood flow, hypercapnia- and hyperoxia-induced blood-flow changes in the retinas of the Royal-College-of-Surgeons (RCS) rats with spontaneous retinal degeneration and to compare with those of normal rat retinas. Methods Experiments were performed on male RCS rats at post-natal day P90 (n=4), P220 (n=5) and age-matched controls at P90 (n=7) and P220 (n=6). Hyperoxic (100% O2) and hypercapnic (5% CO2, 21% O2, balance N2) challenges were used to modulate blood flow. Quantitative baseline blood flow, hypercapnia- and hyperoxia-induced blood-flow changes in the retinas were imaged using continuous arterial-spin-labeling magnetic resonance imaging at 90×90×1500 μm. Results In the normal rat retinas, basal blood flow was 5.5ml/gram/min, significantly higher than those reported in the brain (∼1ml/gram/min). Hyperoxia decreased blood flow due to vasoconstriction and hypercapnia increased blood flow due to vasodilation in the normal retinas. In the RCS rat retinas, basal blood flow was diminished significantly (P<0.05). Interestingly, absolute hyperoxia- and hypercapnia-induced blood-flow changes in the RCS retinas were not statistically different from those in the normal retinas (P>0.05). However, percent changes in blood-flow were significantly larger than in normal retinas due to lower basal blood flow. Conclusion Retinal degeneration markedly reduces basal blood-flow but does not appear to impair vascular reactivity. These data also suggest caution when interpreting the relative stimulus-evoked functional MRI changes in diseased states where basal parameters are significantly perturbed. Quantitative blood-flow MRI may serve as a valuable tool to study the retina without depth limitation. PMID:18952917

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

    PubMed

    Lee, Yun-Sil; Lehar, Adam; Sebald, Suzanne; Liu, Min; Swaggart, Kayleigh A; Talbot, C Conover; Pytel, Peter; Barton, Elisabeth R; McNally, Elizabeth M; Lee, Se-Jin

    2015-10-15

    Myostatin is a secreted signaling molecule that normally acts to limit muscle growth. As a result, there is extensive effort directed at developing drugs capable of targeting myostatin to treat patients with muscle loss. One potential concern with this therapeutic approach in patients with muscle degenerative diseases like muscular dystrophy is that inducing hypertrophy may increase stress on dystrophic fibers, thereby accelerating disease progression. To investigate this possibility, we examined the effect of blocking the myostatin pathway in dysferlin-deficient (Dysf(-/-)) mice, in which membrane repair is compromised, either by transgenic expression of follistatin in skeletal muscle or by systemic administration of the soluble form of the activin type IIB receptor (ACVR2B/Fc). Here, we show that myostatin inhibition by follistatin transgene expression in Dysf(-/-) mice results in early improvement in histopathology but ultimately exacerbates muscle degeneration; this effect was not observed in dystrophin-deficient (mdx) mice, suggesting that accelerated degeneration induced by follistatin transgene expression is specific to mice lacking dysferlin. Dysf(-/-) mice injected with ACVR2B/Fc showed significant increases in muscle mass and amelioration of fibrotic changes normally seen in 8-month-old Dysf(-/-) mice. Despite these potentially beneficial effects, ACVR2B/Fc treatment caused increases in serum CK levels in some Dysf(-/-) mice, indicating possible muscle damage induced by hypertrophy. These findings suggest that depending on the disease context, inducing muscle hypertrophy by myostatin blockade may have detrimental effects, which need to be weighed against the potential gains in muscle growth and decreased fibrosis.

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

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yun-Sil; Lehar, Adam; Sebald, Suzanne; Liu, Min; Swaggart, Kayleigh A.; Talbot, C. Conover; Pytel, Peter; Barton, Elisabeth R.; McNally, Elizabeth M.; Lee, Se-Jin

    2015-01-01

    Myostatin is a secreted signaling molecule that normally acts to limit muscle growth. As a result, there is extensive effort directed at developing drugs capable of targeting myostatin to treat patients with muscle loss. One potential concern with this therapeutic approach in patients with muscle degenerative diseases like muscular dystrophy is that inducing hypertrophy may increase stress on dystrophic fibers, thereby accelerating disease progression. To investigate this possibility, we examined the effect of blocking the myostatin pathway in dysferlin-deficient (Dysf−/−) mice, in which membrane repair is compromised, either by transgenic expression of follistatin in skeletal muscle or by systemic administration of the soluble form of the activin type IIB receptor (ACVR2B/Fc). Here, we show that myostatin inhibition by follistatin transgene expression in Dysf−/− mice results in early improvement in histopathology but ultimately exacerbates muscle degeneration; this effect was not observed in dystrophin-deficient (mdx) mice, suggesting that accelerated degeneration induced by follistatin transgene expression is specific to mice lacking dysferlin. Dysf−/− mice injected with ACVR2B/Fc showed significant increases in muscle mass and amelioration of fibrotic changes normally seen in 8-month-old Dysf−/− mice. Despite these potentially beneficial effects, ACVR2B/Fc treatment caused increases in serum CK levels in some Dysf−/− mice, indicating possible muscle damage induced by hypertrophy. These findings suggest that depending on the disease context, inducing muscle hypertrophy by myostatin blockade may have detrimental effects, which need to be weighed against the potential gains in muscle growth and decreased fibrosis. PMID:26206886

  6. Inflammation and its role in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Kauppinen, Anu; Paterno, Jussi J; Blasiak, Janusz; Salminen, Antero; Kaarniranta, Kai

    2016-05-01

    Inflammation is a cellular response to factors that challenge the homeostasis of cells and tissues. Cell-associated and soluble pattern-recognition receptors, e.g. Toll-like receptors, inflammasome receptors, and complement components initiate complex cellular cascades by recognizing or sensing different pathogen and damage-associated molecular patterns, respectively. Cytokines and chemokines represent alarm messages for leukocytes and once activated, these cells travel long distances to targeted inflamed tissues. Although it is a crucial survival mechanism, prolonged inflammation is detrimental and participates in numerous chronic age-related diseases. This article will review the onset of inflammation and link its functions to the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of severe vision loss in aged individuals in the developed countries. In this progressive disease, degeneration of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) results in the death of photoreceptors, leading to a loss of central vision. The RPE is prone to oxidative stress, a factor that together with deteriorating functionality, e.g. decreased intracellular recycling and degradation due to attenuated heterophagy/autophagy, induces inflammation. In the early phases, accumulation of intracellular lipofuscin in the RPE and extracellular drusen between RPE cells and Bruch's membrane can be clinically detected. Subsequently, in dry (atrophic) AMD there is geographic atrophy with discrete areas of RPE loss whereas in the wet (exudative) form there is neovascularization penetrating from the choroid to retinal layers. Elevations in levels of local and systemic biomarkers indicate that chronic inflammation is involved in the pathogenesis of both disease forms.

  7. Age-related macular degeneration: Evidence of a major gene

    SciTech Connect

    Bhatt, S.; Warren, C.; Yang, H.

    1994-09-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is a major cause of blindness in developing countries. It remains a very poorly understood disorder. Although environmental and genetic factors have been implicated in its pathogenesis, none have been firmly implicated. The purpose of this study was to use pedigree analysis to evaluate the possible role of a major gene as a determinant of familial aggregation. Information was collected regarding occupation, smoking, sun exposure, associated medical problems and family history. 50 probands with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and 39 age, race and sex-matched controls were included in the study. In the ARMD group 15/50 (30%) of probands reported a positive family history; 22 out of 222 first degree relatives over age 60 were reported to be affected. In the control groups, none of the 138 first degree relatives over age 50 had a history of ARMD. This difference is statistically significant (p = 0.0003), indicating that genetic factors may play an important role in the pathogenesis of ARMD. In the ARMD group more siblings as compared to parents (16/127 vs. 5/82) were affected. 5/50 (10%) of the ARMD probands also gave a history of a second degree relative affected with ARMD, compared to none known among the relatives of controls. Data from 50 pedigrees were analyzed by complex segregation analysis under a class A regressive logistic model using the REGD program implemented in the SAGE package. Preliminary results allow rejection of a polygenic model and suggest there is a major gene for ARMD in these families. The inheritance model most compatible with the observed familial aggregation is autosomal recessive. In conclusion, these results are suggestive of a major gene effect in the etiology of ARMD. Identification of a major gene effect is a first step to further pursue linkage analysis and to search for the gene(s) involved in the causation of ARMD.

  8. Menopause causes vertebral endplate degeneration and decrease in nutrient diffusion to the intervertebral discs.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi-Xiang J; Griffith, James F

    2011-07-01

    The vasculature in the outer annulus supplies only the periphery of the disc so that nutrition to the bulk of the disc, including all the inner annulus and nucleus pulposus, is derived from the vertebral epiphyseal end arteries where nutrients diffuse across the cartilaginous endplate to reach the disc. In this regard the vertebral endplate plays an important role in disc nutrition. Compromise of diffusion of nutrients to the disc cells may play a large part in the progression or even initiation of disc degeneration. Increasing evidence suggests that estrogen deficiency also influence the severity of disc degeneration in post-menopausal females. Structural disorganization of the vertebral endplate occurs with disc degeneration, with the most common endplate changes observed clinically being Schmorl's node. Schmorl's node is more commonly seen in post-menopausal women than younger women. Osteosclerosis, osteonecrosis and fibrosis associated with Schmorl's nodes can impede nutrient diffusion into the disc as well as removal of metabolites from the disc. We hypothesize that menopause negatively affects vertebral endplate quality and induces endplate degeneration. This endplate degeneration decreases nutrients diffusion from vertebral body into discs, and also impedes removal of metabolites, leads to further disc degeneration. To confirm our hypothesis, a cross-sectional post-contrast MRI study can be performed in pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women. If the hypothesis is confirmed, then low dose hormone replacement treatment may retard disc degeneration in post menopausal women and thereby limit the consequences associated with disc degeneration such as low back pain.

  9. A young man with intimomedial mucoid degeneration of the brachial artery.

    PubMed

    Raber, Menno H; Meerwaldt, Robbert; van Det, Rob J

    2011-03-01

    Intimomedial mucoid degeneration is a rare disorder and has been described as a distinctly different entity from Erdheim's cystic medial necrosis. Most studies show a strong predominance in African American females with hypertension. In our case report, we describe the presence of a large brachial aneurysm in a young white male with intimomedial mucoid degeneration.

  10. Activation of Bone Marrow-Derived Microglia Promotes Photoreceptor Survival in Inherited Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Sasahara, Manabu; Otani, Atsushi; Oishi, Akio; Kojima, Hiroshi; Yodoi, Yuko; Kameda, Takanori; Nakamura, Hajime; Yoshimura, Nagahisa

    2008-01-01

    The role of microglia in neurodegeneration is controversial, although microglial activation in the retina has been shown to provide an early response against infection, injury, ischemia, and degeneration. Here we show that endogenous bone marrow (BM)-derived microglia play a protective role in vascular and neural degeneration in the retinitis pigmentosa model of inherited retinal degeneration. BM-derived cells were recruited to the degenerating retina where they differentiated into microglia and subsequently localized to the degenerating vessels and neurons. Inhibition of stromal-derived factor-1 in the retina reduced the number of BM-derived microglia and accelerated the rate of neurovascular degeneration. Systemic depletion of myeloid progenitors also accelerated the degenerative process. Conversely, activation of BM-derived myeloid progenitors by systemic administration of both granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and erythropoietin resulted in the deceleration of retinal degeneration and the promotion of cone cell survival. These data indicate that BM-derived microglia may play a protective role in retinitis pigmentosa. Functional activation of BM-derived myeloid progenitors by cytokine therapy may provide a novel strategy for the treatment of inherited retinal degeneration and other neurodegenerative diseases, regardless of the underlying genetic defect. PMID:18483210

  11. Protective effect of ligustrazine on lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration of rats induced by prolonged upright posture.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. The bacterial toxin CNF1 as a tool to induce retinal degeneration reminiscent of retinitis pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Guadagni, Viviana; Cerri, Chiara; Piano, Ilaria; Novelli, Elena; Gargini, Claudia; Fiorentini, Carla; Caleo, Matteo; Strettoi, Enrica

    2016-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) comprises a group of inherited pathologies characterized by progressive photoreceptor degeneration. In rodent models of RP, expression of defective genes and retinal degeneration usually manifest during the first weeks of postnatal life, making it difficult to distinguish consequences of primary genetic defects from abnormalities in retinal development. Moreover, mouse eyes are small and not always adequate to test pharmacological and surgical treatments. An inducible paradigm of retinal degeneration potentially extensible to large animals is therefore desirable. Starting from the serendipitous observation that intraocular injections of a Rho GTPase activator, the bacterial toxin Cytotoxic Necrotizing Factor 1 (CNF1), lead to retinal degeneration, we implemented an inducible model recapitulating most of the key features of Retinitis Pigmentosa. The model also unmasks an intrinsic vulnerability of photoreceptors to the mechanism of CNF1 action, indicating still unexplored molecular pathways potentially leading to the death of these cells in inherited forms of retinal degeneration. PMID:27775019

  13. Reactive oxygen species induce neurite degeneration before induction of cell death

    PubMed Central

    Fukui, Koji

    2016-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) induce neuronal cell death in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Treatment of cultured cells with a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide induces neurite degeneration, but not cell death. Neurites (axons and dendrites) are vulnerable to ROS. Neurite degeneration (shrinkage, accumulation, and fragmentation) has been found in neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. However, the mechanism of ROS-related neurite degeneration is not fully understood. Many studies have demonstrated the relationship between mitochondrial dysfunction and microtubule destabilization. These dysfunctions are deeply related to changes in calcium homeostasis and ROS production in neurites. Treatment with antioxidant substances, such as vitamin E, prevents neurite degeneration in cultured cells. This review describes the possibility that ROS induces neurite degeneration before the induction of cell death. PMID:27895381

  14. Electromagnetic modes and gravitational instability of spin-1/2 magneto degenerate plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Prerana; Rimza, Tripti

    2017-03-01

    We have studied self-gravitational instability using the two fluid model in which the important role of spin effect (due to spin quantum force and spin magnetization current) is established in highly magnetized and degenerate astrophysical environment of pulsar magnetosphere. Along with this; low frequency, high frequency modes of magnetosonic and magnetohydrodynamic waves were carried out discovering its utility in highly magnetized and degenerate astrophysical environments. The plasma is considered to be composed of degenerate electrons and non-degenerate ions and the quantum effects are incorporated via spin and diffraction effects along with the thermal effect of ions. The spin and quantum dominance are discussed analytically and numerically using the dispersion relation in parallel, perpendicular and oblique mode of propagation. The present study can be implemented on highly magnetized white dwarfs, neutron stars and pulsar magnetosphere (with strong magnetic field B0 ≤ 10^{10} T) and to degenerate laboratory environments.

  15. Aflibercept for neovascular age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Sarwar, Salman; Clearfield, Elizabeth; Soliman, Mohamed Kamel; Sadiq, Mohammad Ali; Baldwin, Andrew J; Hanout, Mostafa; Agarwal, Aniruddha; Sepah, Yasir J; Do, Diana V; Nguyen, Quan Dong

    2016-01-01

    Background Central vision loss caused by age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among the elderly in developed countries. Neovascular AMD is characterized by choroidal neovascularization (CNV). Growth of new blood vessels in patients with neovascular AMD is driven by a complex process that involves a signal protein called vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A). Anti-VEGF drugs that block this protein include ranibizumab, bevacizumab, and aflibercept. Objectives To assess and compare the effectiveness and safety of intravitreal injections of aflibercept versus ranibizumab, bevacizumab, or sham for treatment of patients with neovascular AMD. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Trials Register) (Issue 11, 2015), Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE Daily, Ovid OLDMEDLINE (January 1946 to November 2015), EMBASE (January 1980 to November 2015), PubMed (1948 to November 2015), Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature Database (LILACS) (1982 to November 2015), the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) (www.controlled-trials.com) (last searched December 4, 2014), ClinicalTrials.gov (www.clinicaltrials.gov), and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (www.who.int/ictrp/search/en). We did not use any date or language restrictions in the electronic search for trials. We last searched the electronic databases on November 30, 2015. Selection criteria We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in which aflibercept monotherapy was compared with ranibizumab, bevacizumab, or sham for participants with neovascular AMD who were treatment-naive. Data collection and analysis We used standard methodological procedures of The Cochrane Collaboration for screening, data abstraction, and study assessment. Two review authors

  16. Clinical Impact of Sagittal Spinopelvic Parameters on Disc Degeneration in Young Adults.

    PubMed

    Oh, Young-Min; Eun, Jong-Pil

    2015-10-01

    The sagittal balance plays an important role in the determination of shear and compressive forces applied on the anterior (vertebral bodies and intervertebral discs) and posterior (facet joints) elements of the lumbar vertebral column. Many studies have also examined the effect of structural changes in the disc on the biomechanical characteristics of the spinal segment. Nevertheless, the relationship between sagittal balance and the degree of disc degeneration has not been extensively explored. Thus, here we investigated the relationships between various sagittal spinopelvic parameters and the degree of disc degeneration in young adults.A total of 278 young adult male patients were included in this study (age range: 18-24 years old). Multiple sagittal spinopelvic parameters, including pelvic incidence (PI), sacral slope (SS), pelvic tilt (PT), lumbar lordosis (LL), sacral inclination (SI), lumbosacral angle (LSA), and sacral table angle (STA), were measured from standing lateral lumbosacral radiographs. The degree of intervertebral disc degeneration was classified using a modified Pfirrmann scale. To assess the pain intensity of each patient, the visual analogue scale (VAS) score for low back pain (LBP) was obtained from all the patients. Finally, the relationships between these spinopelvic parameters and the degree of disc degeneration in young adults were analyzed. Also, we performed multiple logistic regression study.Out of all the spinopelvic parameters measured in this study, a low STA and a low SI were the only significant risk factors that were associated with disc degeneration in young adults. It means that patients with disc degeneration tend to have more severe sacral kyphosis and vertical sacrum.We found that patients with disc degeneration showed a lower SI and lower STA compared with patients without disc degeneration in young adults. Therefore, we suggest that the patients with disc degeneration tend to have more vertical sacrum, more sacral kyphosis

  17. Tamoxifen Provides Structural and Functional Rescue in Murine Models of Photoreceptor Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xu; Zhao, Lian; Zhang, Yikui; Ma, Wenxin; Gonzalez, Shaimar R; Fan, Jianguo; Kretschmer, Friedrich; Badea, Tudor C; Qian, Hao-Hua; Wong, Wai T

    2017-03-22

    Photoreceptor degeneration is a cause of irreversible vision loss in incurable blinding retinal diseases including retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and atrophic age-related macular degeneration. We found in two separate mouse models of photoreceptor degeneration that tamoxifen, a selective estrogen receptor modulator and a drug previously linked with retinal toxicity, paradoxically provided potent neuroprotective effects. In a light-induced degeneration model, tamoxifen prevented onset of photoreceptor apoptosis and atrophy and maintained near-normal levels of electroretinographic responses. Rescue effects were correlated with decreased microglial activation and inflammatory cytokine production in the retina in vivo and a reduction of microglia-mediated toxicity to photoreceptors in vitro, indicating a microglia-mediated mechanism of rescue. Tamoxifen also rescued degeneration in a genetic (Pde6b(rd10)) model of RP, significantly improving retinal structure, electrophysiological responses, and visual behavior. These prominent neuroprotective effects warrant the consideration of tamoxifen as a drug suitable for being repurposed to treat photoreceptor degenerative disease.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Photoreceptor degeneration is a cause of irreversible blindness in a number of retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and atrophic age-related macular degeneration. Tamoxifen, a selective estrogen receptor modulator approved for the treatment of breast cancer and previously linked to a low incidence of retinal toxicity, was unexpectedly found to exert marked protective effects against photoreceptor degeneration. Structural and functional protective effects were found for an acute model of light-induced photoreceptor injury and for a genetic model for RP. The mechanism of protection involved the modulation of microglial activation and the production of inflammatory cytokines, highlighting the role of inflammatory mechanisms in photoreceptor degeneration. Tamoxifen may be

  18. Stem Cell Therapies for Intervertebral Disc Degeneration: Immune Privilege Reinforcement by Fas/FasL Regulating Machinery.

    PubMed

    Ma, Chi-Jiao; Liu, Xu; Che, Lu; Liu, Zhi-Heng; Samartzis, Dino; Wang, Hai-Qiang

    2015-01-01

    As a main contributing factor to low back pain, intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is the fundamental basis for various debilitating spinal diseases. The pros and cons of current treatment modalities necessitate biological treatment strategies targeting for reversing or altering the degeneration process in terms of molecules or genes. The advances in stem cell research facilitate the studies aiming for possible clinical application of stem cell therapies for IDD. Human NP cells are versatile with cell morphology full of variety, capable of synthesizing extracellular matrix components, engulfing substances by autophagy and phagocytosis, mitochondrial vacuolization indicating dysfunction, expressing Fas and FasL as significant omens of immune privileged sites. Human discs belong to immune privilege organs with functional FasL expression, which can interact with invasive immune cells by Fas-FasL regulatory machinery. IDD is characterized by decreased expression level of FasL with dysfunctional FasL, which in turn unbalances the interaction between NP cells and immune cells. Certain modulation factors might play a role in the process, such as miR-155. Accumulating evidence indicates that Fas-FasL network expresses in a variety of stem cells. Given the expression of functional FasL and insensitive Fas in stem cells (we term as FasL privilege), transplantation of stem cells into the disc may regenerate the degenerative disc by not only differentiating into NP-like cells, increasing extracellular matrix, but also reinforce immune privilege via interaction with immune cells by Fas-FasL network.

  19. Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2): identification of early brain degeneration in one monozygous twin in the initial disease stage.

    PubMed

    Hoche, Franziska; Balikó, Laszlo; den Dunnen, Wilfred; Steinecker, Katalin; Bartos, Laszlo; Sáfrány, Eniko; Auburger, Georg; Deller, Thomas; Korf, Horst-Werner; Klockgether, Thomas; Rüb, Udo; Melegh, Bela

    2011-06-01

    Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) is a progressive autosomal dominantly inherited cerebellar ataxia and is assigned to the CAG repeat or polyglutamine diseases. Recent morphological studies characterized the pathoanatomical features in heterozygous SCA2 patients and revealed severe neuronal loss in a large variety of cerebellar and extra-cerebellar brain sites. In the present study, we examined the brain pathoanatomy of a monozygous twin of a large Hungarian SCA2 family with pathologically extended CAG repeats in both SCA2 alleles. This unique patient was in the initial clinical stage of SCA2 and died almost 3 years after SCA2 onset. Upon pathoanatomical investigation, we observed loss of giant Betz pyramidal cells in the primary motor cortex, degeneration of sensory thalamic nuclei, the Purkinje cell layer, and deep cerebellar nuclei, as well as select brainstem nuclei (i.e., substantia nigra, oculomotor nucleus, reticulotegmental nucleus of the pons, facial, lateral vestibular, and raphe interpositus nuclei, inferior olive). All of these degenerated brain gray matter structures are known as consistent targets of the underlying pathological process in heterozygous SCA2 patients. Since they were already involved in our patient within 3 years after disease onset, we think that we were for the first time able to identify the early brain targets of the pathological process of SCA2.

  20. Aberrant accumulation of EFEMP1 underlies drusen formation in Malattia Leventinese and age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Marmorstein, Lihua Y; Munier, Francis L; Arsenijevic, Yvan; Schorderet, Daniel F; McLaughlin, Precious J; Chung, Daniel; Traboulsi, Elias; Marmorstein, Alan D

    2002-10-01

    Malattia Leventinese (ML), an inherited macular degenerative disease, is closely reminiscent of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of incurable blindness. Both ML and AMD are characterized by extracellular deposits known as drusen between the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and Bruch's membrane. The mechanism underlying drusen formation is unknown. An Arg to Trp mutation in a gene of unknown function, EFEMP1, is responsible for ML, indicating EFEMP1 may be important in drusen formation. Here, we show that wild-type EFEMP1 is a secreted protein whereas mutant EFEMP1 is misfolded, secreted inefficiently, and retained within cells. In normal eyes, EFEMP1 is not present at the site of drusen formation. However, in ML eyes, EFEMP1 accumulates within the RPE cells and between the RPE and drusen, but does not appear to be a major component of drusen. Furthermore, in AMD eyes, EFEMP1 is found to accumulate beneath the RPE immediately overlaying drusen, but not in the region where there is no apparent retinal pathology observed. These data present evidence that misfolding and aberrant accumulation of EFEMP1 may cause drusen formation and cellular degeneration and play an important role in the etiology of both ML and AMD.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  2. Cellular and Molecular Pathology of Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Potential Role for Proteoglycans

    PubMed Central

    Thach, Lyna; Zheng, Wenhua; Osman, Narin

    2016-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a retinal disease evident after the age of 50 that damages the macula in the centre of retina. It leads to a loss of central vision with retained peripheral vision but eventual blindness occurs in many cases. The initiation site of AMD development is Bruch's membrane (BM) where multiple changes occur including the deposition of plasma derived lipids, accumulation of extracellular debris, changes in cell morphology, and viability and the formation of drusen. AMD manifests as early and late stage; the latter involves cell proliferation and neovascularization in wet AMD. Current therapies target the later hyperproliferative and invasive wet stage whilst none target early developmental stages of AMD. In the lipid deposition disease atherosclerosis modified proteoglycans bind and retain apolipoproteins in the artery wall. Chemically modified trapped lipids are immunogenic and can initiate a chronic inflammatory process manifesting as atherosclerotic plaques and subsequent artery blockages, heart attacks, or strokes. As plasma derived lipoprotein deposits are found in BM in early AMD, it is possible that they arise by a similar process within the macula. In this review we consider aspects of the pathological processes underlying AMD with a focus on the potential role of modifications to secreted proteoglycans being a cause and therefore a target for the treatment of early AMD. PMID:27563459

  3. A genetic approach to stratification of risk for age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Zanke, Brent; Hawken, Steven; Carter, Ronald; Chow, David

    2010-02-01

    The genetic determinants of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are reviewed and a novel approach to risk determination based upon inherited genetic polymorphisms and smoking history is presented. Although AMD was long thought to have primarily an environmental etiology, genetic variation is now known to account for the majority of the disease risk, with variations in the genes of the complement pathways playing a prominent role. Independent and validated clinical studies have implicated the C3 gene and its regulator, complement factor H (1q31.1), complement component 2 (6q21.33), and complement factor B (6q21.33). Subtle variations in complement activity increase the risk of symptomatic macular inflammation with age. A second group of AMD-associated genetic markers may aggravate complement-mediated inflammation by permitting retinal oxidative damage. Variation within the chromosomal site (10q26) coding a mitochondrial-associated protein (age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2) and an independent variation within the mitochondrial genome itself (A4917G) suggest a contributing pathophysiological role of retinal oxidative stress. A genetic panel of disease-susceptibility markers and smoking history can identify a group of individuals with greater than 65% lifetime risk of AMD. The introduction of genetic marker testing into clinical practice may identify patients with early disease who may be aided by presymptomatic monitoring or inclusion into trials of newer prophylactic agents.

  4. Regulation of age-related macular degeneration-like pathology by complement factor H.

    PubMed

    Toomey, Christopher B; Kelly, Una; Saban, Daniel R; Bowes Rickman, Catherine

    2015-06-09

    Complement factor H (CFH) is a major susceptibility gene for age-related macular degeneration (AMD); however, its impact on AMD pathobiology is unresolved. Here, the role of CFH in the development of AMD pathology in vivo was interrogated by analyzing aged Cfh(+/-) and Cfh(-/-) mice fed a high-fat, cholesterol-enriched diet. Strikingly, decreased levels of CFH led to increased sub-retinal pigmented epithelium (sub-RPE) deposit formation, specifically basal laminar deposits, following high-fat diet. Mechanistically, our data show that deposits are due to CFH competition for lipoprotein binding sites in Bruch's membrane. Interestingly and despite sub-RPE deposit formation occurring in both Cfh(+/-) and Cfh(-/-) mice, RPE damage accompanied by loss of vision occurred only in old Cfh(+/-) mice. We demonstrate that such pathology is a function of excess complement activation in Cfh(+/-) mice versus complement deficiency in Cfh(-/-) animals. Due to the CFH-dependent increase in sub-RPE deposit height, we interrogated the potential of CFH as a previously unidentified regulator of Bruch's membrane lipoprotein binding and show, using human Bruch's membrane explants, that CFH removes endogenous human lipoproteins in aged donors. Thus, advanced age, high-fat diet, and decreased CFH induce sub-RPE deposit formation leading to complement activation, which contributes to RPE damage and visual function impairment. This new understanding of the complicated interactions of CFH in AMD-like pathology provides an improved foundation for the development of targeted therapies for AMD.

  5. Recent Patents on Emerging Therapeutics for the Treatment of Glaucoma, Age Related Macular Degeneration and Uveitis

    PubMed Central

    Vadlapudi, Aswani Dutt; Patel, Ashaben; Cholkar, Kishore; Mitra, Ashim K.

    2014-01-01

    Advancements in the field and rising interest among pharmaceutical researchers have led to the development of new molecules with enhanced therapeutic activity. Design of new drugs which can target a particular pathway and/or explore novel targets is of immense interest to ocular pharmacologists worldwide. Delivery of suitable pharmacologically active agents at proper dose (within the therapeutic window) to the target tissues without any toxicity to the healthy ocular tissues still remain an elusive task. Moreover, the presence of static and dynamic barriers to drug absorption including the corneal epithelium (lipophilic), corneal and scleral stroma (hydrophilic), conjunctival lymphatics, choroidal vasculature and the blood-ocular barriers also pose a significant challenge for achieving therapeutic drug concentrations at the target site. Although many agents are currently available, new compounds are being introduced for treating various ocular diseases. Deeper understanding of the etiology and complex mechanisms associated with the disease condition would aid in the development of potential therapeutic candidates. Novel small molecules as well as complex biotechnology derived macromolecules with superior efficacy, safety and tolerability are being developed. Therefore, this review article provides an overview of existing drugs, treatment options, advances in emerging therapeutics and related recent patents for the treatment of ocular disorders such as glaucoma, age related macular degeneration (AMD) and uveitis. PMID:25414810

  6. Genome surgery using Cas9 ribonucleoproteins for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kyoungmi; Park, Sung Wook; Kim, Jin Hyoung; Lee, Seung Hwan; Kim, Daesik; Koo, Taeyoung; Kim, Kwang-eun; Kim, Jeong Hun; Kim, Jin-Soo

    2017-01-01

    RNA-guided genome surgery using CRISPR-Cas9 nucleases has shown promise for the treatment of diverse genetic diseases. Yet, the potential of such nucleases for therapeutic applications in nongenetic diseases is largely unexplored. Here, we focus on age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in adults, which is associated with retinal overexpression of, rather than mutations in, the VEGFA gene. Subretinal injection of preassembled, Vegfa gene–specific Cas9 ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) into the adult mouse eye gave rise to mutagenesis at the target site in the retinal pigment epithelium. Furthermore, Cas9 RNPs effectively reduced the area of laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in a mouse model of AMD. Genome-wide profiling of Cas9 off-target effects via Digenome-seq showed that off-target mutations were rarely induced in the human genome. Because Cas9 RNPs can function immediately after in vivo delivery and are rapidly degraded by endogenous proteases, their activities are unlikely to be hampered by antibody- and cell-mediated adaptive immune systems. Our results demonstrate that in vivo genome editing with Cas9 RNPs has the potential for the local treatment for nongenetic degenerative diseases, expanding the scope of RNA-guided genome surgery to a new dimension. PMID:28209587

  7. Investigating mitochondria as a target for treating age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Terluk, Marcia R; Kapphahn, Rebecca J; Soukup, Lauren M; Gong, Hwee; Gallardo, Christopher; Montezuma, Sandra R; Ferrington, Deborah A

    2015-05-06

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the developed world. Although the pathological mechanisms have not been definitively elucidated, evidence suggests a key role for mitochondrial (mt) dysfunction. The current study used our unique collection of human retinal samples graded for the donor's stage of AMD to address fundamental questions about mtDNA damage in the retina. To evaluate the distribution of mtDNA damage in the diseased retina, damage in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and neural retina from individual donors were compared. To directly test a long-held belief that the macula is selectively damaged with AMD, RPE mtDNA damage was measured in the macula and peripheral sections from individual donors. Small segments of the entire mt genome were examined to determine whether specific regions are preferentially damaged. Our results show that mtDNA damage is limited to the RPE, equivalent mtDNA damage is found in the macular and peripheral RPE, and sites of damage are localized to regions of the mt genome that may impact mt function. These results provide a scientific basis for targeting the RPE mitochondria with therapies that protect and enhance mt function as a strategy for combating AMD.

  8. Cellular and Molecular Pathology of Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Potential Role for Proteoglycans.

    PubMed

    Al Gwairi, Othman; Thach, Lyna; Zheng, Wenhua; Osman, Narin; Little, Peter J

    2016-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a retinal disease evident after the age of 50 that damages the macula in the centre of retina. It leads to a loss of central vision with retained peripheral vision but eventual blindness occurs in many cases. The initiation site of AMD development is Bruch's membrane (BM) where multiple changes occur including the deposition of plasma derived lipids, accumulation of extracellular debris, changes in cell morphology, and viability and the formation of drusen. AMD manifests as early and late stage; the latter involves cell proliferation and neovascularization in wet AMD. Current therapies target the later hyperproliferative and invasive wet stage whilst none target early developmental stages of AMD. In the lipid deposition disease atherosclerosis modified proteoglycans bind and retain apolipoproteins in the artery wall. Chemically modified trapped lipids are immunogenic and can initiate a chronic inflammatory process manifesting as atherosclerotic plaques and subsequent artery blockages, heart attacks, or strokes. As plasma derived lipoprotein deposits are found in BM in early AMD, it is possible that they arise by a similar process within the macula. In this review we consider aspects of the pathological processes underlying AMD with a focus on the potential role of modifications to secreted proteoglycans being a cause and therefore a target for the treatment of early AMD.

  9. [The genetic variability of complement system in pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Kubicka-Trząska, Agnieszka; Karska-Basta, Izabella; Dziedzina, Sylwia; Sanak, Marek

    2015-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of irreversible central vision impairment in people aged over 50 in developed countries. Age-related macular degeneration is a complex disease derived from environmental, immune and genetic factors. The complement pathway has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many diseases. Recently, variants in several genes, such as complement H (CFH), complement factor B (CFB), complement 2 (C2), and complement 3 (C3), encoding complement pathway proteins, have been identified as associated with age-related macular degeneration. However, the associations between these genes and age-related macular degeneration varied due to genetic variation within populations and various ethnics groups. The strongest association was found between the age-related macular degeneration and SNP Y402H rs 1061170 variant of CFH gene, which is present in 30% to 50% of age-related macular degeneration patients in Caucasian population and which is a risk factor for the development of age-related macular degeneration. Cohort studies showed that polymorphism Arg102Gly (SNP rs 2230199) of C3 protein could serve as a high-risk genetic marker for the development of age-related macular degeneration. Other rare variants of C3 (Lys155Gln, Lys65Gln, Arg735Trp, Ser1619Arg), may also be associated with a high incidence of age-related macular degeneration in some ethnic groups. A protective haplotype of variants E318D and IVS10 in the C2 gene as well as L9H and R320 in the BF were associated with age-related macular degeneration but only in Caucasians. The genetic findings in age-related macular degeneration patients stress the importance of detailed phenotyping to identify age-related macular degeneration subtypes, which may be associated with the presence of different polymorphisms and various environmental risk factors in any population. Further studies may be helpful to improve the effectiveness of prophylaxis and therapeutic options in age

  10. CX3CL1 (Fractalkine) Protein Expression in Normal and Degenerating Mouse Retina: In Vivo Studies

    PubMed Central

    Zieger, Marina; Ahnelt, Peter K.; Uhrin, Pavel

    2014-01-01

    We aimed to investigate fractalkine (CX3CL1) protein expression in wild type (wt) retina and its alterations during retinal degeneration in mouse model (rd10) of retinitis pigmentosa. Forms of retinal protein CX3CL1, total protein and mRNA levels of CX3CL1 were analyzed at postnatal days (P) 5, 10, 14, 22, 30, 45, and 60 by Western blotting and real-time PCR. Cellular sources of CX3CL1 were investigated by in situ hybridization histochemistry (ISH) and using transgenic (CX3CL1cherry) mice. The immunoblots revealed that in both, wt and rd10 retinas, a membrane integrated ∼100 kDa CX3CL1 form and a cleaved ∼85 kDa CX3CL1 form were present at P5. At P10, accumulation of another presumably intra-neuronal ∼95 kDa form and a decrease in the ∼85-kDa form were observed. From P14, a ∼95 kDa form became principal in wt retina, while in rd10 retinas a soluble ∼85 kDa form increased at P45 and P60. In comparison, retinas of rd10 mice had significantly lower levels of total CX3CL1 protein (from P10 onwards) and lower CX3CL1 mRNA levels (from P14), even before the onset of primary rod degeneration. ISH and mCherry reporter fluorescence showed neurons in the inner retina layers as principal sites of CX3CL1 synthesis both in wt and rd10 retinas. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that CX3CL1 has a distinctive course of expression and functional regulation in rd10 retina starting at P10. The biological activity of CX3CL1 is regulated by conversion of a membrane integrated to a soluble form during neurogenesis and in response to pathologic changes in the adult retinal milieu. Viable mature neurons in the inner retina likely exhibit a dynamic intracellular storage depot of CX3CL1. PMID:25191897

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-02-01

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

  12. Anterograde Degeneration along the Visual Pathway after Optic Nerve Injury

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Stuart L.; Klistorner, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Purpose To investigate anterograde degenerative changes along the visual pathway in a rat model of optic nerve axotomy. Methods Optic nerve transection was performed in adult Sprague-Dawley rats. Animals were sacrificed at regular time intervals and tissues harvested. Immunoblotting followed by densitometric analysis was used to determine the phosphorylation profile of Akt in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) and the primary visual cortex (V1). The neuronal cell size and cell density were measured in the dLGN and the V1 using Nissl staining. The prevalence of apoptosis was characterized by terminal deoxynucleotidyl-transferase-mediated biotin-dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL) histochemistry. Caspase-3 antibodies were also used to identify apoptotic cells. Neurons and astrocytes were detected using NeuN and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), respectively. Results An early and sustained loss of Akt phosphorylation was observed after optic nerve transection in both dLGN and V1. At week one, a decrease in the neuronal cell size (50.5±4.9 vs 60.3±5.0 µm2, P = 0.042) and an increase of TUNEL positive cells (7.9±0.6 vs 1.4±0.5 ×102 cells/mm2, P<0.001) were evident in the dLGN but not in V1. A significant decline in neuronal cell number (14.5±0.1 vs 17.4±1.3 ×102 cells/mm2, P = 0.048), cell size (42.5±4.3 vs 62.1±4.7 µm2, P = 0.001) and an increase in apoptotic cells (5.6±0.5 vs 2.0±0.4 ×102 cells/mm2, P<0.001) appeared in V1 initially at one month post-transection. The changes in the visual pathway continued through two months. Both neuronal cells and GFAP-positive glial cells were affected in this anterograde degeneration along the visual pathway. Conclusions Anterograde degeneration along the visual pathway takes place in target relay (LGN) and visual cortex following the optic nerve injury. Apoptosis was observed in both neural and adjacent glial cells. Reduction of Akt phosphorylation preceded cellular and apoptotic changes

  13. Age-related macular degeneration: beyond anti-angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Kent, David L

    2014-01-06

    Recently, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapies for neovascular age-related macular degeneration have been developed. These agents, originally developed for their anti-angiogenic mechanism of action, probably also work through an anti-permeability effect in preventing or reducing the amount of leakage from submacular neovascular tissue. Other treatment modalities include laser photocoagulation, photodynamic therapy with verteporfin, and submacular surgery. In reality, these latter treatments can be similarly categorized as anti-angiogenic because their sole aim is destroying or removing choroidal neovascularization (CNV). At the cellular level, CNV resembles stereotypical tissue repair that consists of several matricellular components in addition to neovascularization. In the retina, the clinical term CNV is a misnomer since the term may more appropriately be referred to as aberrant submacular repair. Furthermore, CNV raises a therapeutic conundrum: To complete or correct any reparative process in the body, angiogenesis becomes an essential component. Anti-angiogenic therapy, in all its guises, arrests repair and causes the hypoxic environment to persist, thus fueling pro-angiogenesis and further development of CNV as a component of aberrant repair. However, we realize that anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy preserves vision in patients with age-related macular degeneration, albeit temporarily and therefore, repeated treatment is needed. More importantly, however, anti-angiogenic therapy demonstrates that we can at the very least tolerate neovascular tissue beneath the macula and preserve vision in contrast to our historical approach of total vascular destruction. In this clinical scenario, it may be possible to look beyond anti-angiogenesis if our goal is facilitating submacular repair without destroying the neurosensory retina. Thus, in this situation of neovascular tolerance, it may be timely to consider treatments that facilitate

  14. Safety and Tolerability Study of AAV2-sFLT01 in Patients With Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2016-10-20

    Macular Degeneration; Age-Related Maculopathies; Age-Related Maculopathy; Maculopathies, Age-Related; Maculopathy, Age-Related; Retinal Degeneration; Retinal Neovascularization; Gene Therapy; Therapy, Gene; Eye Diseases

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Roles of NAD in Protection of Axon against Degeneration via SIRT1 Pathways.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Guo, Wei-Hua; Qi, Xiao-Xia; Li, Gui-Bao; Hu, Yan-Lai; Wu, Qi; Ding, Zhao-Xi; Li, Hong-Yu; Hao, Jing; Sun, Jin-Hao

    2016-04-30

    Axonal degeneration is a common pathological change of neurogenical disease which often arises before the neuron death. But it had not found any effective method to protect axon from degeneration. In this study we intended to confirm the protective effect of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), investigate the optimal administration dosage and time of NAD, and identify the relationship between silence signal regulating factor 1 (SIRT1) and axonal degeneration. An axonal degeneration model was established using dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons injured by vincristine to observe the protective effects of NAD to the injured axons. In addition, the potential contribution of the SIRT1 in axonal degeneration was also investigated. Through the 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, immunochemistry staining, axons counting and length measuring, transmission electron microscope (TEM) observation, we demonstrated that NAD played an important role in preventing axonal degeneration. Further study revealed that the expression of SIRT1 and phosphorylated Akt1 (p-Akt1) was up-regulated when NAD was added into the culturing medium. Taking together, our results demonstrated that NAD might delay the axonal degeneration through SIRT1/Akt1 pathways.

  17. Association between apparent diffusion coefficient and intervertebral disc degeneration in patients with ankylosing spondylitis

    PubMed Central

    Resorlu, Mustafa; Gokmen, Ferhat; Resorlu, Hatice; Adam, Gurhan; Akbal, Ayla; Cevizci, Sibel; Sariyildirim, Abdullah; Savas, Yilmaz; Guven, Mustafa; Aras, Adem Bozkurt

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: To assess the relation between ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and degenerative disc disease emerging in association with various intrinsic and extrinsic factors and to evaluate the correlation between degree of degeneration in intervertebral discs and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values. Methods: Thirty-five patients with AS and a control group of 35 patients were included in the study. Three hundred fifty intervertebral discs were assessed in terms of degeneration by analyzing signal intensities and morphologies on T2 weighted series of a 1.5 Tesla magnetic resonance scanner. ADC values were determined in diffusion weighted images (DWI) using a “b value of 500 s/mm2”. Patients in the AS and control groups were compared in terms of intervertebral disc degeneration, and association between degree of degeneration and ADC values was analyzed. Results: The mean of total degeneration degrees for five lumbar intervertebral discs was significantly higher in the patients with AS compared to the control group (16.77±4.67 vs 13.00±4.08, respectively; P=0.001). When intervertebral discs were analyzed separately, disc degeneration was again significantly higher in patients with AS compared to the control group, with the exception of L5-S1. Age, cholesterol level, triglyceride level, duration of disease and BASFI index were significantly associated with degree of degeneration in patients with AS. A negative correlation was determined between disc degeneration and ADC value. Conclusion: AS is a risk factor for degenerative disc disease due to its systemic effects, the fact it leads to posture impairment and its inflammatory effects on the vertebrae. A decrease in ADC values is observed as degeneration worsens in degenerative disc disease. PMID:25785119

  18. Atomic Charges and the Electrostatic Potential Are Ill-Defined in Degenerate Ground States.

    PubMed

    Bultinck, Patrick; Cardenas, Carlos; Fuentealba, Patricio; Johnson, Paul A; Ayers, Paul W

    2013-11-12

    A system in a spatially degenerate ground state responds in a qualitatively different way to positive and negative point charges. This means that the molecular electrostatic potential is ill-defined for degenerate ground states due to the ill-defined nature of the electron density. It also means that it is impossible, in practice, to define fixed atomic charges for molecular mechanics simulations of molecules with (quasi-)degenerate ground states. Atomic-polarizability-based models and electronegativity-equalization-type models for molecular polarization also fail to capture this effect. We demonstrate the ambiguity in the electrostatic potential using several molecules of different degree of degeneracy, quasi-degeneracy, and symmetry.

  19. Stereotactic radiotherapy in neovascular age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ranjbar, Mahdy; Kurz, Maximilian; Holzhey, Annekatrin; Melchert, Corinna; Rades, Dirk; Grisanti, Salvatore

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) is a new approach to treat neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD). The INTREPID trial suggested that SRT could reduce the frequency of regular intravitreal injections (IVIs) with antivascular endothelial growth factor drugs, which are necessary to control disease activity. However, the efficacy of SRT in nAMD and resulting morphological changes have not been validated under real-life circumstances, an issue, which we would like to address in this retrospective analysis. Patients who met the INTREPID criteria for best responders were eligible for SRT. A total of 32 eyes of 32 patients were treated. Thereafter, patients were examined monthly for 12 months and received pro re nata IVI of aflibercept or ranibizumab. Outcome measures were: mean number of injections, best-corrected visual acuity, and morphological changes of the outer retina-choroid complex as well as patient safety. Mean number of IVI decreased by almost 50% during the 12 months after SRT compared to the year before, whereas visual acuity increased by one line (logMAR). Morphological evaluation showed that most changes affect outer retinal layers. Stereotactic radiotherapy significantly reduced IVI retreatment in nAMD patients under real-life circumstances. Therefore, SRT might be the first step to stop visual loss as a result of IVI undertreatment, which is a major risk. PMID:28033280

  20. Anterior temporal lobe degeneration produces widespread network-driven dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Guo, Christine C; Gorno-Tempini, Maria Luisa; Gesierich, Benno; Henry, Maya; Trujillo, Andrew; Shany-Ur, Tal; Jovicich, Jorge; Robinson, Simon D; Kramer, Joel H; Rankin, Katherine P; Miller, Bruce L; Seeley, William W

    2013-10-01

    The neural organization of semantic memory remains much debated. A 'distributed-only' view contends that semantic knowledge is represented within spatially distant, modality-selective primary and association cortices. Observations in semantic variant primary progressive aphasia have inspired an alternative model featuring the anterior temporal lobe as an amodal hub that supports semantic knowledge by linking distributed modality-selective regions. Direct evidence has been lacking, however, to support intrinsic functional interactions between an anterior temporal lobe hub and upstream sensory regions in humans. Here, we examined the neural networks supporting semantic knowledge by performing a multimodal brain imaging study in healthy subjects and patients with semantic variant primary progressive aphasia. In healthy subjects, the anterior temporal lobe showed intrinsic connectivity to an array of modality-selective primary and association cortices. Patients showed focal anterior temporal lobe degeneration but also reduced physiological integrity throughout distributed modality-selective regions connected with the anterior temporal lobe in healthy controls. Physiological deficits outside the anterior temporal lobe correlated with scores on semantic tasks and with anterior temporal subregion atrophy, following domain-specific and connectivity-based predictions. The findings provide a neurophysiological basis for the theory that semantic processing is orchestrated through interactions between a critical anterior temporal lobe hub and modality-selective processing nodes.

  1. Nitroxide pharmaceutical development for age-related degeneration and disease

    PubMed Central

    Zarling, Jacob A.; Brunt, Vienna E.; Vallerga, Anne K.; Li, Weixing; Tao, Albert; Zarling, David A.; Minson, Christopher T.

    2015-01-01

    Nitroxide small molecule agents are in development as preventative or therapeutic pharmaceutical drugs for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cardiovascular disease, which are two major diseases of aging. These aging diseases are associated with patient genetics, smoking, diet, oxidative stress, and chronic inflammation. Nitroxide drugs preventing aging-, smoking-, high sugar or high fat diet-, or radiation- and other environmental-induced pathophysiological conditions in aging disease are reviewed. Tempol (TP), Tempol Hydroxylamine (TP-H), and TP-H prodrug (OT-551) are evaluated in (1) non-smokers versus smokers with cutaneous microvascular dysfunction, rapidly reversed by cutaneous TP; (2) elderly cancer patients at risk for radiation-induced skin burns or hair loss, prevented by topical TP; and (3) elderly smoker or non-smoker AMD patients at risk for vision loss, prevented by daily eye drops of OT-551. The human data indicates safety and efficacy for these nitroxide drugs. Both TP and TP-H topically penetrate and function in skin or mucosa, protecting and treating radiation burns and hair loss or smoking-induced cutaneous vascular dysfunction. TP and TP-H do not penetrate the cornea, while OT-551 does effectively penetrate and travels to the back of the eye, preserving visual acuity and preserving normal and low light luminance in dry AMD smokers and non-smoker patients. Topical, oral, or injectable drug formulations are discussed. PMID:26594225

  2. ROS: Crucial Intermediators in the Pathogenesis of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Minghui; Lan, Minghong; Liu, Chang; Zhang, Yang; Huang, Bo

    2017-01-01

    Excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in degenerative intervertebral disc (IVD) indicates the contribution of oxidative stress to IVD degeneration (IDD), giving a novel insight into the pathogenesis of IDD. ROS are crucial intermediators in the signaling network of disc cells. They regulate the matrix metabolism, proinflammatory phenotype, apoptosis, autophagy, and senescence of disc cells. Oxidative stress not only reinforces matrix degradation and inflammation, but also promotes the decrease in the number of viable and functional cells in the microenvironment of IVDs. Moreover, ROS modify matrix proteins in IVDs to cause oxidative damage of disc extracellular matrix, impairing the mechanical function of IVDs. Consequently, the progression of IDD is accelerated. Therefore, a therapeutic strategy targeting oxidative stress would provide a novel perspective for IDD treatment. Various antioxidants have been proposed as effective drugs for IDD treatment. Antioxidant supplementation suppresses ROS production in disc cells to promote the matrix synthesis of disc cells and to prevent disc cells from death and senescence in vitro. However, there is not enough in vivo evidence to support the efficiency of antioxidant supplementation to retard the process of IDD. Further investigations based on in vivo and clinical studies will be required to develop effective antioxidative therapies for IDD. PMID:28392887

  3. Activity loss and depression in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Rovner, Barry W; Casten, Robin J

    2002-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most frequent cause of severe vision loss in older persons and is associated with high rates of disability and depression. The authors evaluated 51 patients with bilateral AMD to investigate the interrelationships of disease severity, disability, and depression and focused on loss of valued activities as an emblematic disabling consequence of AMD. They characterized depression by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) score, a syndromal state based on the CES-D, and as a level of distress (Index of Affective Suffering; IAS). Thirty subjects (58.8%) had loss of a valued, discretionary activity. They had worse visual acuity and more depressive symptoms and were represented in higher IAS levels than other subjects. Visual acuity was significantly correlated with IAS levels, but not with CES-D scores or syndromal depression. A regression model demonstrated that activity loss mediated the relationship between visual acuity and IAS level. Affective distress occurs in AMD, largely to the extent that valued activities are relinquished because of vision loss. IAS levels best illuminated this relationship, suggesting the value of this dimension of affective functioning in studies of the consequences of chronic disease.

  4. Experimental study on fulminant angitis with fibrinoid-like degeneration.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, H; Morisada, M

    1985-01-01

    Administration of high doses of Na2EDTA or feeding animals a low calcium diet leads to angiolytic changes of the mesenteric arteries as reported in previous papers. Slight inflammatory reactions in the arterial wall including leucocytic infiltration and exudation could be demonstrated. The reason is thought to be the lack of morphological changes of the endothelium. As far as the endothelium was concerned a lift up phenomenon of the endothelial cells and the formation of subendothelial vacuoles was observed, but no endothelial gap formation or desquamation. Administration of Na2EDTA resulted in rapid removal of calcium ions from living animals, but injurious effects on the morphology of the cells did not occur except of changes of the cellular shape, both of endothelial and smooth muscle cells. Without any morpho-functional alterations of the endothelial lining cells, severe exudation and leucocytic trapping could not be induced. The morphological changes of the vascular wall following the above procedures are said to be angiolytic and not angitic. In this experiment, dysproteinemia was provoked in Na2EDTA treated animals by repeated administration of bovine serum albumin (BSA). As a result, angitis-like lesions with severe exudation, similar to those of fibrinoid degeneration and leucocytic reaction against it, were demonstrated. These facts showed that angitis is not merely due to exogenous factors and hostal predisposition.

  5. Heavy-fermion instability in double-degenerate plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Akbari-Moghanjoughi, M.

    2012-07-15

    In this work, we study the propagations of normal frequency modes for quantum hydrodynamic waves in the linear limit and introduce a new kind of instability in a double-degenerate plasma. Three different regimes, namely, low, intermediate, and high magnetic field strengths are considered which span the applicability of the work to a wide variety of environments. Distinct behavior is observed for different regimes, for instance, in the laboratory-scale field regime no frequency-mode instability occurs unlike those of intermediate and high magnetic-field strength regimes. It is also found that the instability of this kind is due to the heavy-fermions which appear below a critical effective-mass parameter ({mu}{sub cr}={radical}(3)) and that the responses of the two (lower and upper frequency) modes to fractional effective-mass change in different effective-mass parameter ranges (below and above the critical value) are quite opposite to each other. It is shown that the heavy-fermion instability due to extremely high magnetic field such as that encountered for a neutron-star crust can lead to confinement of stable propagations in both lower and upper frequency modes to the magnetic poles. Current study can have important implications for linear wave dynamics in both laboratory and astrophysical environments possessing high magnetic fields.

  6. Fundus Autofluorescence in Age-related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ly, Angelica; Nivison-Smith, Lisa; Assaad, Nagi; Kalloniatis, Michael

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Fundus autofluorescence (FAF) provides detailed insight into the health of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). This is highly valuable in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as RPE damage is a hallmark of the disease. The purpose of this paper is to critically appraise current clinical descriptions regarding the appearance of AMD using FAF and to integrate these findings into a chair-side reference. A wide variety of FAF patterns have been described in AMD, which is consistent with the clinical heterogeneity of the disease. In particular, FAF imaging in early to intermediate AMD has the capacity to reveal RPE alterations in areas that appear normal on funduscopy, which aids in the stratification of cases and may have visually significant prognostic implications. It can assist in differential diagnoses and also represents a reliable, sensitive method for distinguishing reticular pseudodrusen. FAF is especially valuable in the detection, evaluation, and monitoring of geographic atrophy and has been used as an endpoint in clinical trials. In neovascular AMD, FAF reveals distinct patterns of classic choroidal neovascularization noninvasively and may be especially useful for determining which eyes are likely to benefit from therapeutic intervention. FAF represents a rapid, effective, noninvasive imaging method that has been underutilized, and incorporation into the routine assessment of AMD cases should be considered. However, the practicing clinician should also be aware of the limitations of the modality, such as in the detection of foveal involvement and in the distinction of phenotypes (hypo-autofluorescent drusen from small areas of geographic atrophy). PMID:27668639

  7. Ocular surface temperature in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Sodi, Andrea; Matteoli, Sara; Giacomelli, Giovanni; Finocchio, Lucia; Corvi, Andrea; Menchini, Ugo

    2014-01-01

    Background. The aim of this study is to investigate the ocular thermographic profiles in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) eyes and age-matched controls to detect possible hemodynamic abnormalities, which could be involved in the pathogenesis of the disease. Methods. 32 eyes with early AMD, 37 eyes with atrophic AMD, 30 eyes affected by untreated neovascular AMD, and 43 eyes with fibrotic AMD were included. The control group consisted of 44 healthy eyes. Exclusion criteria were represented by any other ocular diseases other than AMD, tear film abnormalities, systemic cardiovascular abnormalities, diabetes mellitus, and a body temperature higher than 37.5°C. A total of 186 eyes without pupil dilation were investigated by infrared thermography (FLIR A320). The ocular surface temperature (OST) of three ocular points was calculated by means of an image processing technique from the infrared images. Two-sample t-test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) test were used for statistical analyses. Results. ANOVA analyses showed no significant differences among AMD groups (P value >0.272). OST in AMD patients was significantly lower than in controls (P > 0.05). Conclusions. Considering the possible relationship between ocular blood flow and OST, these findings might support the central role of ischemia in the pathogenesis of AMD.

  8. Congenital scalp defects and vitreoretinal degeneration: redefining the Knobloch syndrome.

    PubMed

    Seaver, L H; Joffe, L; Spark, R P; Smith, B L; Hoyme, H E

    1993-04-15

    An apparently autosomal recessive syndrome of hereditary vitreoretinal degeneration (VRD) with retinal detachment, high myopia, and congenital encephalocele was described in 1971 by Knobloch and Layer [J Pediatr Ophthalmol 8:181-184]. Clinical confirmation of the presence of encephaloceles was lacking, and no neuropathologic studies were reported. We have evaluated a similarly affected family with 2 sibs with high myopia, VRD, and occipital scalp defects. Histologic examination of the scalp defects showed heterotopic neuronal tissue in both instances. The older girl has had a unilateral retinal detachment. Her other eye and both eyes of the younger sib have so far been treated successfully with prophylactic retinal cryotherapy. Both children have normal to above normal intelligence. The family reported by Knobloch and Layer [1971] and the sibship herein described appear to represent a distinct autosomal recessive trait. Analysis of the associated defects suggests an underlying defect in early cephalic neuroectodermal morphogenesis. Data from these families imply that congenital occipital scalp defects rather than true encephaloceles may, as is true in some cases of Meckel syndrome, accompany Knobloch syndrome. The presence of a congenital midline scalp defect should alert the clinician to possible underlying central nervous system and/or ocular pathology and should lead to consideration of further diagnostic evaluations and prophylactic measures.

  9. Smooth pursuit eye movements in patients with macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Shanidze, Natela; Fusco, Giovanni; Potapchuk, Elena; Heinen, Stephen; Verghese, Preeti

    2016-01-01

    Currently, there are no quantitative studies of smooth pursuit, a behavior attributed to the fovea, in individuals with macular degeneration (MD). We hypothesize that pursuit in MD patients depends on the relative positions of the scotoma and target trajectory. We tested this hypothesis with a scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO), which allows for direct visualization of the target on the damaged retina. Monocular microperimetry and eye movements were assessed in eleven individuals with differing degrees of MD. Observers were asked to visually track a 1.7° target that moved in one of eight radial directions at 5°/s–6°/s. Consistent with our hypothesis, pursuit metrics depended on whether the target moved into or out of scotoma. Pursuit gains decreased with increasing scotoma extent in the target's heading direction (p = 0.017). Latencies were higher when the scotoma was present along the target trajectory (in either starting or heading directions, p < 0.001). Furthermore, an analysis of retinal position shows that targets fell on the fixational locus nearly 50% of the time. The results suggest that MD patients are capable of smooth pursuit eye movements, but are limited by target trajectory and scotoma characteristics. PMID:26830707

  10. Cellular models and therapies for age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Forest, David L.; Johnson, Lincoln V.; Clegg, Dennis O.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex neurodegenerative visual disorder that causes profound physical and psychosocial effects. Visual impairment in AMD is caused by the loss of retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) cells and the light-sensitive photoreceptor cells that they support. There is currently no effective treatment for the most common form of this disease (dry AMD). A new approach to treating AMD involves the transplantation of RPE cells derived from either human embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells. Multiple clinical trials are being initiated using a variety of cell therapies. Although many animal models are available for AMD research, most do not recapitulate all aspects of the disease, hampering progress. However, the use of cultured RPE cells in AMD research is well established and, indeed, some of the more recently described RPE-based models show promise for investigating the molecular mechanisms of AMD and for screening drug candidates. Here, we discuss innovative cell-culture models of AMD and emerging stem-cell-based therapies for the treatment of this vision-robbing disease. PMID:26035859

  11. The ELM Survey. VI. Eleven New Double Degenerates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gianninas, A.; Kilic, Mukremin; Brown, Warren R.; Canton, Paul; Kenyon, Scott J.

    2015-10-01

    We present the discovery of 11 new double degenerate systems containing extremely low-mass white dwarfs (ELM WDs). Our radial velocity observations confirm that all of the targets have orbital periods ≤slant 1 day. We perform spectroscopic fits and provide a complete set of physical and binary parameters. We review and compare recent evolutionary calculations and estimate that the systematic uncertainty in our mass determinations due to differences in the evolutionary models is small (≈ 0.01 M⊙). Five of the new systems will merge due to gravitational wave radiation within a Hubble time, bringing the total number of merger systems found in the ELM Survey to 38. We examine the ensemble properties of the current sample of ELM WD binaries, including the period distribution as a function of effective temperature, and the implications for the future evolution of these systems. We also revisit the empirical boundaries of instability strip of ELM WDs and identify new pulsating ELM WD candidates. Finally, we consider the kinematic properties of our sample of ELM WDs and estimate that a significant fraction of the WDs from the ELM Survey are members of the Galactic halo. Based on observations obtained at the MMT Observatory, a joint facility of the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona.

  12. Therapeutic Modalities of Exudative Age-related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Mavija, Milka; Alimanovic, Emina; Jaksic, Vesna; Kasumovic, Sanja Sefic; Cekic, Sonja; Stamenkovic, Miroslav

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of irreversible serious vision damage in persons over 50 years of age. In treating AMD many medicaments are applied such as inhibitors of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), have been very carefully included over the last few years after a series of study research. Aims: To analyze the past methods of treatment, discuss emerging therapies which could advance the treatment of exudative AMD. The past anti-VEGF therapies require frequent repetitions of administration, with uncertain visual acuity recovery, as not all patients react to anti-VEGF therapy. Consequently, there is a need to find out additional therapies which could improve the treatment of exudative AMD. The real aim in the treating of AMD is to prevent CNV development. Methods: A survey of the current clinical research and results in the field of the present and future treatments of exudative AMD. Results: There are many areas of research into new methods of the exudative AMD treatment. Conclusion: The future therapies for exudative AMD treatment have a potential not only to reduce the frequency of administration and follow-up visits, but also to improve effects of treatment by targeting additional ways of CNV development, increasing the aptitude of target binding and extending durability of treatment. PMID:25568535

  13. Pathogenesis of progressive rod-cone degeneration in miniature poodles

    SciTech Connect

    Aguirre, G.; Alligood, J.; O'Brien, P.; Buyukmihci, N.

    1982-11-01

    Visual cell pathologic changes and outer segment renewal were investigated in miniature poodles with progressive rod-cone degeneration. Early in this disease, visual cells in the posterior pole and equatorial regions show outer segment lamellar disorientation and vesicular profiles. Visual cells are normal in the periphery. Outer segment renewal determined after intravitreal injection of /sup 3/H-leucine was abnormally slower in affected animals than in controls. This renewal abnormality was similar in structurally normal and diseased photoreceptors, suggesting that the renewal defect is the earliest recognizable abnormality in the disease. The pigment epithelium was normal; the presence and density of pigment did not appear to affect the extent and severity of the disease or modify the abnormal renewal rate. As the disease progressed, photoreceptor outer segments were lost, and the remaining diminutive photoreceptors accumulated label in the inner segment and perinuclear zones. Sodium dodecyl sulfate gel electrophoresis of crude rod outer segment preparations showed no differences in opsin synthesis between normal and affected retinas early in the disease, but opsin synthesis decreased in the late stage of the disease.

  14. Occupational attainment influences survival in autopsy-confirmed frontotemporal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Zee, Jarcy; Xie, Sharon X.; McMillan, Corey T.; Rascovsky, Katya; Irwin, David J.; Kolanowski, Ann; Grossman, Murray

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To examine the influence of occupational attainment and education on survival in autopsy-confirmed cases of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and Alzheimer disease (AD). Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of 83 demographically matched, autopsy-confirmed FTLD (n = 34) and AD (n = 49) cases. Each patient's primary occupation was classified and ranked. Level of education was recorded in years. Survival was defined as time from symptom onset until death. Linear regression was used to test for associations among occupational attainment, education, and patient survival. Results: Median survival was 81 months for FTLD and 95 months for AD. Years of education and occupational attainment were similar for both groups. We found that higher occupational attainment was associated with longer survival in FTLD but not AD. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that higher occupational attainment is associated with longer survival in autopsy-confirmed FTLD. The identification of protective factors associated with FTLD survival has important implications for estimates of prognosis and longitudinal studies such as treatment trials. PMID:25904687

  15. Late degeneration in rabbit tissues after irradiation by heavy ions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lett, J. T.; Cox, A. B.; Keng, P. C.; Lee, A. C.; Su, C. M.; Bergtold, D. S.

    1980-01-01

    Results are presented for investigations of the late effects of heavy-ion irradiation on rabbit tissues which were undertaken to assess the hazards associated with the long-term exposure of humans to heavy ions in space during such activities as the construction of solar power stations or voyages to Mars. White rabbits approximately six weeks old were exposed to various doses of collimated beams of 400-MeV/n Ne ions, 570 MeV/n Ar ions and Co-60 gamma rays directed through both eyes, and the responses of the various tissues (hair follicles, skin, cornea, lens, retina, Harderian glands, bone and forebrain) were examined. Proliferating tissues are found to exhibit high damage levels in the early and late periods following irradiation, while terminally differentiating tissues repond to radiation most intensely in the late period, years after irradiation, with no intermediate recovery. The results obtained from rabbits are used to predict the occurrence of late tissue degeneration in the central nervous system, terminally differentiating systems and stem cells of humans one or more decades following exposure to radiation levels anticipated during long-duration space flights. The studies also indicate that tissues may be prematurely aged in the sense that tissue life spans may be shortened without the development of malignancies.

  16. Seven New Loci Associated with Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of blindness in older individuals. To accelerate understanding of AMD biology and help design new therapies, we executed a collaborative genomewide association study, examining >17,100 advanced AMD cases and >60,000 controls of European and Asian ancestry. We identified 19 genomic loci associated with AMD with p<5×10−8 and enriched for genes involved in regulation of complement activity, lipid metabolism, extracellular matrix remodeling and angiogenesis. Our results include 7 loci reaching p<5×10−8 for the first time, near the genes COL8A1/FILIP1L, IER3/DDR1, SLC16A8, TGFBR1, RAD51B, ADAMTS9/MIR548A2, and B3GALTL. A genetic risk score combining SNPs from all loci displayed similar good ability to distinguish cases and controls in all samples examined. Our findings provide new directions for biological, genetic and therapeutic studies of AMD. PMID:23455636

  17. Biomarkers in Frontotemporal Lobar Degenerations – Progress and Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Hu, William T.; Trojanowski, John Q.; Shaw, Leslie M.

    2011-01-01

    Neuronal and glial changes associated with tau, TAR DNA binding protein of ~43 kD (TDP-43), and fused in sarcoma (FUS) together constitute the pathologic spectrum of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Most patients with FTLD present with prominent behavior or language changes, sometimes accompanied by extrapyramidal symptoms or motor neuron disease. Identification of FTLD patients with mutations in genes for tau, TDP-43, and FUS lends strong support for their pathogenic roles in FTLD, and elucidation of their dysfunction will pave the way for development of substrate specific therapy. However, there remains no reliable biomarker for early detection of FTLD or prediction of underlying FTLD pathologic change. Clinical syndromes usually reflects the earliest affected brain regions where atrophy can be visualized on structural MRI, but neither clinical nor structural imaging-based biomarkers has been accurately correlated with underlying pathology on the individual patient level. Biochemical markers in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) have also been investigated in FTLD and related disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). However, their accuracy and pathologic significance need to be confirmed in future multi-center studies. Here we review the progress made in FTLD biomarkers, including clinical phenotype/feature characterization, neuropsychological analysis, CSF and plasma analytes, and patterns of brain atrophy and network dysfunction detectable on brain imaging. Given the pathologic overlap of FTLD with ALS and PSP, collaboration with specialists in those fields will be essential in the translation of promising FTLD biomarkers into clinical practice. PMID:21554923

  18. [The Nomenclature and Classification of Sporadic Spinocerebellar Degeneration].

    PubMed

    Koga, Shunsuke

    2016-12-01

    Spinocerebellar degeneration (SCD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive cerebellar ataxia. SCD has a wide range of clinical, pathological, and genetic features, including whether the disease is sporadic or hereditary, and whether it manifests as purely cerebellar or affects multiple systems. Therefore, the classification of SCD has been complicated and has changed over time. Recent advances in genetic testing have shed light on the classification of hereditary SCD. In contrast, the classification of sporadic SCD remains chaotic and there exist nomenclature discrepancies in sporadic SCD between Japanese and English literature. Sporadic SCD is usually divided into multiple system atrophy and cortical cerebellar atrophy in Japanese literature, but the latter nomenclature seems to be uncommon in English literature. The aim of this review is to reconsider the nomenclature and classification of sporadic SCD. At this time, sporadic adult-onset ataxia of unknown etiology is an acceptable term to describe a case of sporadic SCD that does not fit the multiple system atrophy classification.

  19. Gene therapy of inherited retinal degenerations: prospects and challenges.

    PubMed

    Trapani, Ivana; Banfi, Sandro; Simonelli, Francesca; Surace, Enrico M; Auricchio, Alberto

    2015-04-01

    Because of its favorable anatomical and immunological characteristics, the eye has been at the forefront of translational gene therapy. Dozens of promising proofs of concept have been obtained in animal models of inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs), and some of them have been relayed to the clinic. The results from the first clinical trials for a congenital form of blindness have generated great interest and have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of intraocular administrations of viral vectors in humans. However, this progress has also generated new questions and posed challenges that need to be addressed to further expand the applicability of gene therapy in the eye, including safe delivery of viral vectors to the outer retina, treatment of dominant IRDs as well as of IRDs caused by mutations in large genes, and, finally, selection of the appropriate IRDs and patients to maximize the efficacy of gene transfer. This review summarizes the strategies that are currently being exploited to overcome these challenges and drive the clinical development of retinal gene therapy.

  20. White matter degeneration in schizophrenia: a comparative diffusion tensor analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingalhalikar, Madhura A.; Andreasen, Nancy C.; Kim, Jinsuh; Alexander, Andrew L.; Magnotta, Vincent A.

    2010-03-01

    Schizophrenia is a serious and disabling mental disorder. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies performed on schizophrenia have demonstrated white matter degeneration either due to loss of myelination or deterioration of fiber tracts although the areas where the changes occur are variable across studies. Most of the population based studies analyze the changes in schizophrenia using scalar indices computed from the diffusion tensor such as fractional anisotropy (FA) and relative anisotropy (RA). The scalar measures may not capture the complete information from the diffusion tensor. In this paper we have applied the RADTI method on a group of 9 controls and 9 patients with schizophrenia. The RADTI method converts the tensors to log-Euclidean space where a linear regression model is applied and hypothesis testing is performed between the control and patient groups. Results show that there is a significant difference in the anisotropy between patients and controls especially in the parts of forceps minor, superior corona radiata, anterior limb of internal capsule and genu of corpus callosum. To check if the tensor analysis gives a better idea of the changes in anisotropy, we compared the results with voxelwise FA analysis as well as voxelwise geodesic anisotropy (GA) analysis.

  1. Ultrasound attenuation in normal and spontaneously degenerated articular cartilage.

    PubMed

    Nieminen, Heikki J; Saarakkala, Simo; Laasanen, Mikko S; Hirvonen, Jani; Jurvelin, Jukka S; Töyräs, Juha

    2004-04-01

    High-frequency ultrasound (US) measurements may provide means for the quantification of articular cartilage quality. Bovine patellar cartilage samples (n = 32) at various degenerative stages were studied using US attenuation measurements in the 5- to 9-MHz frequency range. The results were compared with the histologic, biochemical and mechanical parameters obtained for the same samples, to identify which structural or functional factors could be related to the attenuation and its variations. Attenuation, as calculated in the frequency or time domain, correlated significantly with the histologic tissue integrity (i.e., Mankin score, Spearman r = -0.576 or -0.571, p < 0.01), but the slope of attenuation vs. frequency was not related to Mankin score. Ultrasound speed was, however, the most sensitive indicator of Mankin score (r = -0.755, p < 0.01). Cartilage quality index (CQI), a combination of structural and functional parameters, correlated significantly with the attenuation or speed (r = -0.655 or -0.872, p < 0.01). Our results suggest that US attenuation and speed may be suited for the diagnostics of cartilage degeneration. (E-mail: )

  2. Glutathione peroxidase 4 and vitamin E cooperatively prevent hepatocellular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Bradley A; Tobe, Ryuta; Yefremova, Elena; Tsuji, Petra A; Hoffmann, Victoria J; Schweizer, Ulrich; Gladyshev, Vadim N; Hatfield, Dolph L; Conrad, Marcus

    2016-10-01

    The selenoenzyme glutathione peroxidase 4 (Gpx4) is an essential mammalian glutathione peroxidase, which protects cells against detrimental lipid peroxidation and governs a novel form of regulated necrotic cell death, called ferroptosis. To study the relevance of Gpx4 and of another vitally important selenoprotein, cytosolic thioredoxin reductase (Txnrd1), for liver function, mice with conditional deletion of Gpx4 in hepatocytes were studied, along with those lacking Txnrd1 and selenocysteine (Sec) tRNA (Trsp) in hepatocytes. Unlike Txnrd1- and Trsp-deficient mice, Gpx4(-/-) mice died shortly after birth and presented extensive hepatocyte degeneration. Similar to Txnrd1-deficient livers, Gpx4(-/-) livers manifested upregulation of nuclear factor (erythroid-derived)-like 2 (Nrf2) response genes. Remarkably, Gpx4(-/-) pups born from mothers fed a vitamin E-enriched diet survived, yet this protection was reversible as subsequent vitamin E deprivation caused death of Gpx4-deficient mice ~4 weeks thereafter. Abrogation of selenoprotein expression in Gpx4(-/-) mice did not result in viable mice, indicating that the combined deficiency aggravated the loss of Gpx4 in liver. By contrast, combined Trsp/Txnrd1-deficient mice were born, but had significantly shorter lifespans than either single knockout, suggesting that Txnrd1 plays an important role in supporting liver function of mice lacking Trsp. In sum our study demonstrates that the ferroptosis regulator Gpx4 is critical for hepatocyte survival and proper liver function, and that vitamin E can compensate for its loss by protecting cells against deleterious lipid peroxidation.

  3. New Approaches to the Treatment of Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Vossel, Keith A.; Miller, Bruce L

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Gene transfer for neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Campochiaro, Peter A

    2011-05-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex disease that has two phases: a degenerative phase often referred to as nonneovascular AMD (non-NVAMD) or dry AMD and a phase dominated by growth of new blood vessels in the subretinal space, referred to as NVAMD or wet AMD. Advances in the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of NVAMD have led to new drug therapies that have provided major benefits to patients. However, those treatments require frequent intraocular injections that in many patients must be continued indefinitely to maintain visual benefits. Gene transfer to augment expression of endogenous antiangiogenic proteins is an alternative approach that has the potential to provide long-term stability in patients with NVAMD. Studies in animal models that mimic aspects of NVAMD have identified several possible transgenes, and a clinical trial in patients with advanced NVAMD has suggested that the approach may be feasible. Many important questions remain, but the rationale and preliminary data are compelling. The results of two ongoing clinical trials may answer several of the questions and help direct future research.

  5. Stimulated degenerate four-wave mixing in Si nanocrystal waveguides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manna, Santanu; Bernard, Martino; Biasi, Stefano; Ramiro Manzano, Fernando; Mancinelli, Mattia; Ghulinyan, Mher; Pucker, George; Pavesi, Lorenzo

    2016-07-01

    Parametric frequency conversion via four-wave mixing (FWM) in silicon nanocrystal (Si NC) waveguides is observed at 1550 nm. To investigate the role of Si NC, different types of waveguides containing Si NC in a SiO2 matrix were fabricated. Owing to the increase of the dipole oscillator strength mediated by the quantum confinement effect, the non-linear refractive index ({n}2) of Si NCs is found to be more than one order of magnitude larger than the one of bulk Si. Coupled differential equations for the degenerate FWM process taking into account the role of Si NC were numerically solved to model the experimental data. The modeling yields an effective {n}2 for Si NCs in SiO2 waveguides which is similar to the one of Si waveguides. We also measured a large signal to idler conversion bandwidth of ∼22 nm. The large non-linear refractive index is joined with a large two photon absorption coefficient which makes the use of Si NC in non-linear optical devices mostly suitable for mid-infrared applications.

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

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Mei; Xu, Heping

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Double layers and double wells in arbitrary degenerate plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akbari-Moghanjoughi, M.

    2016-06-01

    Using the generalized hydrodynamic model, the possibility of variety of large amplitude nonlinear excitations is examined in electron-ion plasma with arbitrary electron degeneracy considering also the ion temperature effect. A new energy-density relation is proposed for plasmas with arbitrary electron degeneracy which reduces to the classical Boltzmann and quantum Thomas-Fermi counterparts in the extreme limits. The pseudopotential method is employed to find the criteria for existence of nonlinear structures such as solitons, periodic nonlinear structures, and double-layers for different cases of adiabatic and isothermal ion fluids for a whole range of normalized electron chemical potential, η0, ranging from dilute classical to completely degenerate electron fluids. It is observed that there is a Mach-speed gap in which no large amplitude localized or periodic nonlinear excitations can propagate in the plasma under consideration. It is further revealed that the plasma under investigation supports propagation of double-wells and double-layers the chemical potential and Mach number ranges of which are studied in terms of other plasma parameters. The Mach number criteria for nonlinear waves are shown to significantly differ for cases of classical with η0 < 0 and quantum with η0 > 0 regimes. It is also shown that the localized structure propagation criteria possess significant dissimilarities for plasmas with adiabatic and isothermal ions. Current research may be generalized to study the nonlinear structures in plasma containing positrons, multiple ions with different charge states, and charged dust grains.

  8. Reticular pseudodrusen in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Hogg, Ruth Esther

    2014-08-01

    Historically, drusen, which are recognized as the hallmark of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), have been described in terms of size, margins, and texture, and several studies have emphasized the importance of large soft drusen particularly when combined with focal pigmentary irregularities in determining the risk of progression to neovascular AMD. However, recent developments in imaging over the past decade have revealed a further distinct phenotype strongly associated with the development of late AMD, namely, reticular pseudodrusen (RPD) or reticular drusen. Reticular pseudodrusen appear as yellowish interlacing networks in the fundus and, although visible on color photography, are better visualized using infrared imaging or spectral domain optical coherence tomography. Studies correlating spectral domain optical coherence tomography and confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy have shown that RPD are subretinal deposits located internal to the retinal pigment epithelium in contrast to traditional drusen, which are located external to the retinal pigment epithelium. As multiple longitudinal studies have revealed RPD are strong predictors for progression to both neovascular AMD and geographic atrophy, the interest in understanding the role that RPD play in the pathogenesis of AMD has grown. This review focuses on the current literature concerning RPD and considers what is currently known regarding their epidemiology, risk factors, appearance in both retinal imaging and histology, impact on visual function, relationship to other AMD lesions, and association with the development of late AMD.

  9. Pseudotumoral encapsulated fat necrosis with diffuse pseudomembranous degeneration.

    PubMed

    Felipo, F; Vaquero, M; del Agua, C

    2004-09-01

    An extraordinary case of encapsulated fat necrosis characterized by its large size, diffuse formation of pseudomembranes, and tendency to recur after excision is reported. A 67-year-old Caucasian woman suffering from morbid obesity was admitted for diagnosis and surgical treatment of a soft tissue mass showing a longest diameter of 14 cm and lying adjacently to the scar from previous appendicectomy. Histopathologic features were consistent with a nodular-cystic encapsulated fat necrosis with diffuse pseudomembranous transformation. Eight months after surgery, a new larger mass (longest diameter of 18 cm) sharing identical histopathologic features appeared in the same location. Encapsulated fat necrosis is a well-defined entity even though several names have been proposed for this condition, including mobile encapsulated lipoma, encapsulated necrosis, or nodular-cystic fat necrosis. Its pathogenesis seems to be related to ischemic changes secondary to previous trauma. It may occasionally show degenerative changes, including dystrophic calcifications and presence of pseudomembranes. To our knowledge, these are the first reported cases of encapsulated fat necrosis presenting as lesions of such size and showing diffuse formation of pseudomembranes; these particular features made diagnosis difficult and led to consideration of a wide range of potential diagnostic possibilities. This case expands the clinico-pathologic spectrum of membranocystic fat necrosis, including the potential ability of this subcutaneous fatty tissue abnormality to recur after surgical excision. Felipo F, Vaquero M, del Agua C. Pseudotumoral encapsulated fat necrosis with diffuse pseudomembranous degeneration.

  10. Mechanism of Inflammation in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Parmeggiani, Francesco; Romano, Mario R.; Costagliola, Ciro; Semeraro, Francesco; Incorvaia, Carlo; D'Angelo, Sergio; Perri, Paolo; De Palma, Paolo; De Nadai, Katia; Sebastiani, Adolfo

    2012-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a multifactorial disease that represents the most common cause of irreversible visual impairment among people over the age of 50 in Europe, the United States, and Australia, accounting for up to 50% of all cases of central blindness. Risk factors of AMD are heterogeneous, mainly including increasing age and different genetic predispositions, together with several environmental/epigenetic factors, that is, cigarette smoking, dietary habits, and phototoxic exposure. In the aging retina, free radicals and oxidized lipoproteins are considered to be major causes of tissue stress resulting in local triggers for parainflammation, a chronic status which contributes to initiation and/or progression of many human neurodegenerative diseases such as AMD. Experimental and clinical evidences strongly indicate the pathogenetic role of immunologic processes in AMD occurrence, consisting of production of inflammatory related molecules, recruitment of macrophages, complement activation, microglial activation and accumulation within those structures that compose an essential area of the retina known as macula lutea. This paper reviews some attractive aspects of the literature about the mechanisms of inflammation in AMD, especially focusing on those findings or arguments more directly translatable to improve the clinical management of patients with AMD and to prevent the severe vision loss caused by this disease. PMID:23209345

  11. Mechanism of inflammation in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Parmeggiani, Francesco; Romano, Mario R; Costagliola, Ciro; Semeraro, Francesco; Incorvaia, Carlo; D'Angelo, Sergio; Perri, Paolo; De Palma, Paolo; De Nadai, Katia; Sebastiani, Adolfo

    2012-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a multifactorial disease that represents the most common cause of irreversible visual impairment among people over the age of 50 in Europe, the United States, and Australia, accounting for up to 50% of all cases of central blindness. Risk factors of AMD are heterogeneous, mainly including increasing age and different genetic predispositions, together with several environmental/epigenetic factors, that is, cigarette smoking, dietary habits, and phototoxic exposure. In the aging retina, free radicals and oxidized lipoproteins are considered to be major causes of tissue stress resulting in local triggers for parainflammation, a chronic status which contributes to initiation and/or progression of many human neurodegenerative diseases such as AMD. Experimental and clinical evidences strongly indicate the pathogenetic role of immunologic processes in AMD occurrence, consisting of production of inflammatory related molecules, recruitment of macrophages, complement activation, microglial activation and accumulation within those structures that compose an essential area of the retina known as macula lutea. This paper reviews some attractive aspects of the literature about the mechanisms of inflammation in AMD, especially focusing on those findings or arguments more directly translatable to improve the clinical management of patients with AMD and to prevent the severe vision loss caused by this disease.

  12. Nitroxide pharmaceutical development for age-related degeneration and disease.

    PubMed

    Zarling, Jacob A; Brunt, Vienna E; Vallerga, Anne K; Li, Weixing; Tao, Albert; Zarling, David A; Minson, Christopher T

    2015-01-01

    Nitroxide small molecule agents are in development as preventative or therapeutic pharmaceutical drugs for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cardiovascular disease, which are two major diseases of aging. These aging diseases are associated with patient genetics, smoking, diet, oxidative stress, and chronic inflammation. Nitroxide drugs preventing aging-, smoking-, high sugar or high fat diet-, or radiation- and other environmental-induced pathophysiological conditions in aging disease are reviewed. Tempol (TP), Tempol Hydroxylamine (TP-H), and TP-H prodrug (OT-551) are evaluated in (1) non-smokers versus smokers with cutaneous microvascular dysfunction, rapidly reversed by cutaneous TP; (2) elderly cancer patients at risk for radiation-induced skin burns or hair loss, prevented by topical TP; and (3) elderly smoker or non-smoker AMD patients at risk for vision loss, prevented by daily eye drops of OT-551. The human data indicates safety and efficacy for these nitroxide drugs. Both TP and TP-H topically penetrate and function in skin or mucosa, protecting and treating radiation burns and hair loss or smoking-induced cutaneous vascular dysfunction. TP and TP-H do not penetrate the cornea, while OT-551 does effectively penetrate and travels to the back of the eye, preserving visual acuity and preserving normal and low light luminance in dry AMD smokers and non-smoker patients. Topical, oral, or injectable drug formulations are discussed.

  13. Degenerate four-wave mixing in triply resonant Kerr cavities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, David M.; Rodriguez, Alejandro W.; Hashemi, Hila; Joannopoulos, J. D.; Soljačić, Marin; Johnson, Steven G.

    2011-03-01

    We demonstrate theoretical conditions for highly efficient degenerate four-wave mixing in triply resonant nonlinear (Kerr) cavities. We employ a general and accurate temporal coupled-mode analysis in which the interaction of light in arbitrary microcavities is expressed in terms of a set of coupling coefficients that we rigorously derive from the full Maxwell equations. Using the coupled-mode theory, we show that light consisting of an input signal of frequency ω0-Δω can, in the presence of pump light at ω0, be converted with quantum-limited efficiency into an output shifted signal of frequency ω0+Δω, and we derive expressions for the critical input powers at which this occurs. We find the critical powers in the order of 10 mW, assuming very conservative cavity parameters (modal volumes ~10 cubic wavelengths and quality factors ~1000). The standard Manley-Rowe efficiency limits are obtained from the solution of the classical coupled-mode equations, although we also derive them from simple photon-counting “quantum” arguments. Finally, using a linear stability analysis, we demonstrate that maximal conversion efficiency can be retained even in the presence of self- and cross-phase modulation effects that generally act to disrupt the resonance condition.

  14. Axonal Degeneration in Dental Pulp Precedes Human Primary Teeth Exfoliation.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, K; Lovera, M; Schmachtenberg, O; Couve, E

    2015-10-01

    The dental pulp in human primary teeth is densely innervated by a plethora of nerve endings at the coronal pulp-dentin interface. This study analyzed how the physiological root resorption (PRR) process affects dental pulp innervation before exfoliation of primary teeth. Forty-four primary canine teeth, classified into 3 defined PRR stages (early, middle, and advanced) were fixed and demineralized. Longitudinal cryosections of each tooth were stained for immunohistochemical and quantitative analysis of dental pulp nerve fibers and associated components with confocal and electron microscopy. During PRR, axonal degeneration was prominent and progressive in a Wallerian-like scheme, comprising nerve fiber bundles and nerve endings within the coronal and root pulp. Neurofilament fragmentation increased significantly during PRR progression and was accompanied by myelin degradation and a progressive loss of myelinated axons. Myelin sheath degradation involved activation of autophagic activity by Schwann cells to remove myelin debris. These cells expressed a sequence of responses comprising dedifferentiation, proliferative activity, GAP-43 overexpression, and Büngner band formation. During the advanced PRR stage, increased immune cell recruitment within the dental pulp and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II upregulation by Schwann cells characterized an inflammatory condition associated with the denervation process in preexfoliative primary teeth. The ensuing loss of dental pulp axons is likely to be responsible for the progressive reduction of sensory function of the dental pulp during preexfoliative stages.

  15. Clinical Characteristics and Current Therapies for Inherited Retinal Degenerations

    PubMed Central

    Sahel, José-Alain; Marazova, Katia; Audo, Isabelle

    2015-01-01

    Inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs) encompass a large group of clinically and genetically heterogeneous diseases that affect approximately 1 in 3000 people (>2 million people worldwide) (Bessant DA, Ali RR, Bhattacharya SS. 2001. Molecular genetics and prospects for therapy of the inherited retinal dystrophies. Curr Opin Genet Dev 11: 307–316.). IRDs may be inherited as Mendelian traits or through mitochondrial DNA, and may affect the entire retina (e.g., rod–cone dystrophy, also known as retinitis pigmentosa, cone dystrophy, cone–rod dystrophy, choroideremia, Usher syndrome, and Bardet-Bidel syndrome) or be restricted to the macula (e.g., Stargardt disease, Best disease, and Sorsby fundus dystrophy), ultimately leading to blindness. IRDs are a major cause of severe vision loss, with profound impact on patients and society. Although IRDs remain untreatable today, significant progress toward therapeutic strategies for IRDs has marked the past two decades. This progress has been based on better understanding of the pathophysiological pathways of these diseases and on technological advances. PMID:25324231

  16. Sortilin Participates in Light-dependent Photoreceptor Degeneration in Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Martín-Oliva, David; de la Villa, Pedro; Cuadros, Miguel A.; Frade, José M.

    2012-01-01

    Both proNGF and the neurotrophin receptor p75 (p75NTR) are known to regulate photoreceptor cell death caused by exposure of albino mice to intense illumination. ProNGF-induced apoptosis requires the participation of sortilin as a necessary p75NTR co-receptor, suggesting that sortilin may participate in the photoreceptor degeneration triggered by intense lighting. We report here that light-exposed albino mice showed sortilin, p75NTR, and proNGF expression in the outer nuclear layer, the retinal layer where photoreceptor cell bodies are located. In addition, cone progenitor-derived 661W cells subjected to intense illumination expressed sortilin and p75NTR and released proNGF into the culture medium. Pharmacological blockade of sortilin with either neurotensin or the “pro” domain of proNGF (pro-peptide) favored the survival of 661W cells subjected to intense light. In vivo, the pro-peptide attenuated retinal cell death in light-exposed albino mice. We propose that an auto/paracrine proapoptotic mechanism based on the interaction of proNGF with the receptor complex p75NTR/sortilin participates in intense light-dependent photoreceptor cell death. We therefore propose sortilin as a putative target for intervention in hereditary retinal dystrophies. PMID:22558402

  17. Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Scientometric Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Ramin, Shahrokh; Soheilian, Masoud; Habibi, Gholamreza; Ghazavi, Roghayeh; Gharebaghi, Reza; Heidary, Fatemeh

    2015-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a major cause of central blindness among working aged adults across the world. Systematic research planning on any subject, including ARMD is in need of solid data regarding previous efforts in this field and to identify the gaps in the research. This study aimed to elucidate the most important trends, directions, and gap in this subject. The data extracted from the Institute for Scientific Information were used to perform a bibliometric analysis of the scientific productions (1993–2013) about ARMD. Specific parameters related to ARMD were analyzed to obtain a view of the topic’s structure, history, and document relationships. Additionally, the trends and authors in the most influential publications were analyzed. The number of articles in this field was found constantly increasing. Most highly cited articles addressed genetic epidemiology and clinical research topics in this field. During the past 3 years, there has been a trend toward biomarker research. Through performing the first scientometric survey on ARMD research, we analyzed the characteristics of papers and the trends in scientific production. We also identified some of the critical gaps in the current research efforts that would help in large-scale research strategic planning. PMID:26060829

  18. Detecting superlight dark matter with Fermi-degenerate materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hochberg, Yonit; Pyle, Matt; Zhao, Yue; Zurek, Kathryn M.

    2016-08-01

    We examine in greater detail the recent proposal of using superconductors for detecting dark matter as light as the warm dark matter limit of O (keV). Detection of suc light dark matter is possible if the entire kinetic energy of the dark matter is extracted in the scattering, and if the experiment is sensitive to O (meV) energy depositions. This is the case for Fermi-degenerate materials in which the Fermi velocity exceeds the dark matter velocity dispersion in the Milky Way of ˜ 10-3. We focus on a concrete experimental proposal using a superconducting target with a transition edge sensor in order to detect the small energy deposits from the dark matter scatterings. Considering a wide variety of constraints, from dark matter self-interactions to the cosmic microwave background, we show that models consistent with cosmological/astrophysical and terrestrial constraints are observable with such detectors. A wider range of viable models with dark matter mass below an MeV is available if dark matter or mediator properties (such as couplings or masses) differ at BBN epoch or in stellar interiors from those in superconductors. We also show that metal targets pay a strong in-medium suppression for kinetically mixed mediators; this suppression is alleviated with insulating targets.

  19. Temporomandibular Joint Fibrocartilage Degeneration from Unilateral Dental Splints

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, Sarah E.; Lowe, Jesse R.; Tudares, Mauro A.; Gold, Michael S.; Almarza, Alejandro J.

    2014-01-01

    Objective The objective of this study was to determine the extent to which altered loading in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), as might be associated with a maloclussion, drives degeneration of articulating surfaces in the TMJ. We therefore sought to quantify the effects of altered joint loading on the mechanical properties and biochemical content and distribution of TMJ fibrocartilage in the rabbit. Design Altered TMJ loading was induced with a 1 mm splint placed unilaterally over the maxillary and mandibular molars for six weeks. At that time, TMJ fibrocartilage was assessed by compression testing, biochemical content (collagen, glycosaminoglycan (GAG), DNA) and distribution (histology), for both the TMJ disc and the condylar fibrocartilage. Results There were no changes in the TMJ disc for any of the parameters tested. The condylar fibrocartilage from the splinted animals was significantly stiffer and the DNA content was significantly lower than that in control animals. There was significant remodeling in the condylar fibrocartilage layers as manifested by a change in GAG and collagen II distribution and a loss of defined cell layers. Conclusions A connection between the compressive properties of TMJ condylar fibrocartilage after 6 weeks of splinting and the changes in histology was observed. These results suggest a change in joint loading, leads to condylar damage, which may contribute to pain associated with at least some forms of TMJ disease. PMID:25247778

  20. Effects of Age-Related Macular Degeneration on Postural Sway

    PubMed Central

    Chatard, Hortense; Tepenier, Laure; Jankowski, Olivier; Aussems, Antoine; Allieta, Alain; Beydoun, Talal; Salah, Sawsen; Bucci, Maria P.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: To compare the impact of unilateral vs. bilateral age-related macular degeneration (AMD) on postural sway, and the influence of different visual conditions. The hypothesis of our study was that the impact of AMD will be different between unilateral and bilateral AMD subjects compared to age-matched healthy elderly. Methods: Postural stability was measured with a platform (TechnoConcept®) in 10 elderly unilateral AMD subjects (mean age: 71.1 ± 4.6 years), 10 elderly bilateral AMD subjects (mean age: 70.8 ± 6.1 years), and 10 healthy age-matched control subjects (mean age: 69.8 ± 6.3 years). Four visual conditions were tested: both eyes viewing condition (BEV), dominant eye viewing (DEV), non-dominant eye viewing (NDEV), and eyes closed (EC). We analyzed the surface area, the length, the mean speed, the anteroposterior (AP), and mediolateral (ML) displacement of the center of pressure (CoP). Results: Bilateral AMD subjects had a surface area (p < 0.05) and AP displacement of the CoP (p < 0.01) higher than healthy elderly. Unilateral AMD subjects had more AP displacement of the CoP (p < 0.05) than healthy elderly. Conclusions: We suggest that ADM subjects could have poor postural adaptive mechanisms leading to increase their postural instability. Further studies will aim to improve knowledge on such issue and to develop reeducation techniques in these patients.

  1. Exploring age-related brain degeneration in meditation practitioners.

    PubMed

    Luders, Eileen

    2014-01-01

    A growing body of research suggests that meditation practices are associated with substantial psychological as well as physiological benefits. In searching for the biological mechanisms underlying the beneficial impact of meditation, studies have revealed practice-induced alterations of neurotransmitters, brain activity, and cognitive abilities, just to name a few. These findings not only imply a close link between meditation and brain structure, but also suggest possible modulating effects of meditation on age-related brain atrophy. Given that normal aging is associated with significant loss of brain tissue, meditation-induced growth and/or preservation might manifest as a seemingly reduced brain age in meditators (i.e., cerebral measures characteristic of younger brains). Surprisingly, there are only three published studies that have addressed the question of whether meditation diminishes age-related brain degeneration. This paper reviews these three studies with respect to the brain attributes studied, the analytical strategies applied, and the findings revealed. The review concludes with an elaborate discussion on the significance of existing studies, implications and directions for future studies, as well as the overall relevance of this field of research.

  2. Linear Electrostatic Waves in Unmagnetized Arbitrarily Degenerate Quantum Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rightley, Shane; Uzdensky, Dmitri

    2012-10-01

    Plasmas in which the inter-particle spacing approaches the thermal de Broglie wavelength are subject to quantum statistical effects due to Pauli exclusion, and many familiar plasma phenomena are modified on such length scales because of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. The question of how to model these quantum plasmas is a naturally interesting one, as it pushes the envelope of our knowledge of plasma physics and applies the well-established principles of quantum mechanics in a novel context. Such models are important for microelectronic systems, dense laser-produced plasmas, and some extreme astrophysical environments. For completely degenerate plasmas, both kinetic and fluid theories have already been developed. In this presentation, unmagnetized Fermi-Dirac equilibrium plasmas with finite temperature and arbitrary degree of degeneracy are considered. Linear dispersion relations for electrostatic waves and oscillations, including Landau damping, are derived and analyzed. The analysis is carried out using a self-consistent mean-field quantum kinetic model (the Wigner-Poisson system). Growth of waves due to kinetic instabilities, such as the Buneman and bump-on-tail instabilities, is also considered.

  3. Topographic analysis in pellucid marginal corneal degeneration and keratoglobus.

    PubMed

    Karabatsas, C H; Cook, S D

    1996-01-01

    Pellucid marginal corneal degeneration (PMCD) is an uncommon cause of inferior peripheral corneal ectasia, affecting patients between the ages of 20 and 40 years. Although histopathologically it is considered a variant of keratoconus, it differs in that the marked corneal steepening occurs more inferiorly, above a narrow band of corneal stromal thinning concentric to the inferior limbus. Here we present two cases. The first case is a clinically typical bilateral PMCD with a characteristic pattern of irregular against-the-rule astigmatism on corneal topography. The second case had an uncommon presentation of hydrops in a clinically keratoglobic eye which showed a marked steepening of the inferior corneal periphery on corneal topography. The other eye showed both clinically and topographically the features of PMCD. Corneal topography suggested that in the second patient, PMCD may have preceded the development of keratoglobus. Keratoconus, PMCD and keratoglobus are considered to be associated as part of the spectrum of non-inflammatory corneal thinning disorders. However, although the finding of PMCD and keratoconus in fellow eyes has been reported, to the best of our knowledge progression from PMCD to keratoglobus has not previously been shown.

  4. Object crowding in age-related macular degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Wallace, Julian M.; Chung, Susana T. L.; Tjan, Bosco S.

    2017-01-01

    Crowding, the phenomenon of impeded object identification due to clutter, is believed to be a key limiting factor of form vision in the peripheral visual field. The present study provides a characterization of object crowding in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) measured at the participants' respective preferred retinal loci with binocular viewing. Crowding was also measured in young and age-matched controls at the same retinal locations, using a fixation-contingent display paradigm to allow unlimited stimulus duration. With objects, the critical spacing of crowding for AMD participants was not substantially different from controls. However, baseline contrast energy thresholds in the noncrowded condition were four times that of the controls. Crowding further exacerbated deficits in contrast sensitivity to three times the normal crowding-induced contrast energy threshold elevation. These findings indicate that contrast-sensitivity deficit is a major limiting factor of object recognition for individuals with AMD, in addition to crowding. Focusing on this more tractable deficit of AMD may lead to more effective remediation and technological assistance. PMID:28129416

  5. Nearly degenerate electron distributions and superluminal radiation densities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomaschitz, Roman

    2010-02-01

    Polylogarithmic fugacity expansions of the partition function, the caloric and thermal equations of state, and the specific heat of fermionic power-law distributions are derived in the nearly degenerate low-temperature/high-density quantum regime. The spectral functions of an ultra-relativistic electron plasma are obtained by averaging the tachyonic radiation densities of inertial electrons with Fermi power-laws, whose entropy is shown to be extensive and stable. The averaged radiation densities are put to test by performing tachyonic cascade fits to the γ-ray spectrum of the TeV blazar Markarian 421 in a low and high emission state. Estimates of the thermal electron plasma in this active galactic nucleus are extracted from the spectral fits, such as temperature, number count, and internal energy. The tachyonic cascades reproduce the quiescent as well as a burst spectrum of the blazar obtained with imaging atmospheric Cherenkov detectors. Double-logarithmic plots of the differential tachyon flux exhibit intrinsic spectral curvature, caused by the Boltzmann factor of the electron gas.

  6. Automatic age-related macular degeneration detection and staging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Grinsven, Mark J. J. P.; Lechanteur, Yara T. E.; van de Ven, Johannes P. H.; van Ginneken, Bram; Theelen, Thomas; Sánchez, Clara I.

    2013-03-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative disorder of the central part of the retina, which mainly affects older people and leads to permanent loss of vision in advanced stages of the disease. AMD grading of non-advanced AMD patients allows risk assessment for the development of advanced AMD and enables timely treatment of patients, to prevent vision loss. AMD grading is currently performed manually on color fundus images, which is time consuming and expensive. In this paper, we propose a supervised classification method to distinguish patients at high risk to develop advanced AMD from low risk patients and provide an exact AMD stage determination. The method is based on the analysis of the number and size of drusen on color fundus images, as drusen are the early characteristics of AMD. An automatic drusen detection algorithm is used to detect all drusen. A weighted histogram of the detected drusen is constructed to summarize the drusen extension and size and fed into a random forest classifier in order to separate low risk from high risk patients and to allow exact AMD stage determination. Experiments showed that the proposed method achieved similar performance as human observers in distinguishing low risk from high risk AMD patients, obtaining areas under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve of 0.929 and 0.934. A weighted kappa agreement of 0.641 and 0.622 versus two observers were obtained for AMD stage evaluation. Our method allows for quick and reliable AMD staging at low costs.

  7. Impact of age related macular degeneration on quality of life

    PubMed Central

    Hassell, J B; Lamoureux, E L; Keeffe, J E

    2006-01-01

    Aims To describe the impact of age related macular degeneration (AMD) on quality of life and explore the association with vision, health, and demographic variables. Methods Adult participants diagnosed with AMD and with impaired vision (visual acuity <6/12) were assessed with the Impact of Vision Impairment (IVI) questionnaire. Participants rated the extent that vision restricted participation in activities affecting quality of life and completed the Short Form General Health Survey (SF‐12) and a sociodemographic questionnaire. Results The mean age of the 106 participants (66% female) was 83.6 years (range 64–98). One quarter had mild vision impairment, (VA<6/12–6/18) and 75% had moderate or severely impaired vision. Participants reported from at least “a little” concern on 23 of the 32 IVI items including reading, emotional health, mobility, and participation in relevant activities. Those with mild and moderate vision impairment were similarly affected but significantly different from those with severe vision loss (p<0.05). Distance vision was associated with IVI scores but not age, sex, or duration of vision loss. Conclusion AMD affects many quality of life related activities and not just those related to reading. Referral to low vision care services should be considered for people with mild vision loss and worse. PMID:16622089

  8. Seven new loci associated with age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Fritsche, Lars G; Chen, Wei; Schu, Matthew; Yaspan, Brian L; Yu, Yi; Thorleifsson, Gudmar; Zack, Donald J; Arakawa, Satoshi; Cipriani, Valentina; Ripke, Stephan; Igo, Robert P; Buitendijk, Gabriëlle H S; Sim, Xueling; Weeks, Daniel E; Guymer, Robyn H; Merriam, Joanna E; Francis, Peter J; Hannum, Gregory; Agarwal, Anita; Armbrecht, Ana Maria; Audo, Isabelle; Aung, Tin; Barile, Gaetano R; Benchaboune, Mustapha; Bird, Alan C; Bishop, Paul N; Branham, Kari E; Brooks, Matthew; Brucker, Alexander J; Cade, William H; Cain, Melinda S; Campochiaro, Peter A; Chan, Chi-Chao; Cheng, Ching-Yu; Chew, Emily Y; Chin, Kimberly A; Chowers, Itay; Clayton, David G; Cojocaru, Radu; Conley, Yvette P; Cornes, Belinda K; Daly, Mark J; Dhillon, Baljean; Edwards, Albert O; Evangelou, Evangelos; Fagerness, Jesen; Ferreyra, Henry A; Friedman, James S; Geirsdottir, Asbjorg; George, Ronnie J; Gieger, Christian; Gupta, Neel; Hagstrom, Stephanie A; Harding, Simon P; Haritoglou, Christos; Heckenlively, John R; Holz, Frank G; Hughes, Guy; Ioannidis, John P A; Ishibashi, Tatsuro; Joseph, Peronne; Jun, Gyungah; Kamatani, Yoichiro; Katsanis, Nicholas; N Keilhauer, Claudia; Khan, Jane C; Kim, Ivana K; Kiyohara, Yutaka; Klein, Barbara E K; Klein, Ronald; Kovach, Jaclyn L; Kozak, Igor; Lee, Clara J; Lee, Kristine E; Lichtner, Peter; Lotery, Andrew J; Meitinger, Thomas; Mitchell, Paul; Mohand-Saïd, Saddek; Moore, Anthony T; Morgan, Denise J; Morrison, Margaux A; Myers, Chelsea E; Naj, Adam C; Nakamura, Yusuke; Okada, Yukinori; Orlin, Anton; Ortube, M Carolina; Othman, Mohammad I; Pappas, Chris; Park, Kyu Hyung; Pauer, Gayle J T; Peachey, Neal S; Poch, Olivier; Priya, Rinki Ratna; Reynolds, Robyn; Richardson, Andrea J; Ripp, Raymond; Rudolph, Guenther; Ryu, Euijung; Sahel, José-Alain; Schaumberg, Debra A; Scholl, Hendrik P N; Schwartz, Stephen G; Scott, William K; Shahid, Humma; Sigurdsson, Haraldur; Silvestri, Giuliana; Sivakumaran, Theru A; Smith, R Theodore; Sobrin, Lucia; Souied, Eric H; Stambolian, Dwight E; Stefansson, Hreinn; Sturgill-Short, Gwen M; Takahashi, Atsushi; Tosakulwong, Nirubol; Truitt, Barbara J; Tsironi, Evangelia E; Uitterlinden, André G; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Vijaya, Lingam; Vingerling, Johannes R; Vithana, Eranga N; Webster, Andrew R; Wichmann, H-Erich; Winkler, Thomas W; Wong, Tien Y; Wright, Alan F; Zelenika, Diana; Zhang, Ming; Zhao, Ling; Zhang, Kang; Klein, Michael L; Hageman, Gregory S; Lathrop, G Mark; Stefansson, Kari; Allikmets, Rando; Baird, Paul N; Gorin, Michael B; Wang, Jie Jin; Klaver, Caroline C W; Seddon, Johanna M; Pericak-Vance, Margaret A; Iyengar, Sudha K; Yates, John R W; Swaroop, Anand; Weber, Bernhard H F; Kubo, Michiaki; Deangelis, Margaret M; Léveillard, Thierry; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur; Haines, Jonathan L; Farrer, Lindsay A; Heid, Iris M; Abecasis, Gonçalo R

    2013-04-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of blindness in older individuals. To accelerate the understanding of AMD biology and help design new therapies, we executed a collaborative genome-wide association study, including >17,100 advanced AMD cases and >60,000 controls of European and Asian ancestry. We identified 19 loci associated at P < 5 × 10(-8). These loci show enrichment for genes involved in the regulation of complement activity, lipid metabolism, extracellular matrix remodeling and angiogenesis. Our results include seven loci with associations reaching P < 5 × 10(-8) for the first time, near the genes COL8A1-FILIP1L, IER3-DDR1, SLC16A8, TGFBR1, RAD51B, ADAMTS9 and B3GALTL. A genetic risk score combining SNP genotypes from all loci showed similar ability to distinguish cases and controls in all samples examined. Our findings provide new directions for biological, genetic and therapeutic studies of AMD.

  9. Shifted peak: Resolving nearly degenerate particles at the LHC

    SciTech Connect

    Feng, Jonathan L.; French, Sky T.; Lester, Christopher G.; Nir, Yosef; Shadmi, Yael

    2009-12-01

    We propose a method for determining the mass difference between two particles, l-tilde{sub 1} and l-tilde{sub 2}, that are nearly degenerate, with {delta}m{identical_to}m{sub 2}-m{sub 1}<

  10. Angiogenesis in the degeneration of the lumbar intervertebral disc

    PubMed Central

    David, Gh; Iencean, SM; Mohan, A

    2010-01-01

    The goal of the study is to show the histological and biochemical changes that indicate the angiogenesis of the intervertebral disc in lumbar intervertebral disc hernia and the existence of epidemiological correlations between these changes and the risk factors of lumbar intervertebral disc hernia, as well as the patient's quality of life (QOL). We have studied 50 patients aged between 18 and 73 years old, who have undergone lumbar intervertebral disc hernia surgery, making fibroblast growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor level measurements, as elements in the process of appreciating the disc angiogenesis. Also, pre–surgery and post–surgery QOL has been measured, as well as the intensity of the pain syndrome. We have identified factors capable of stimulating vascular endothelial growth (VEGF, FGF–2) for the examined disc material, but histological examination did not show angiogenesis. The process of angiogenesis at the degenerated intervertebral disc level affects the patient's quality of life both pre and postoperatively, and may be a predictive factor for the post–operative results. Patients can prevent the appearance of angiogenesis type degenerative processes of the intervertebral disc by avoiding angiogenesis correlated factors (weight control, physical effort, and smoking). PMID:20968201

  11. SINGLE-DEGENERATE TYPE Ia SUPERNOVAE WITHOUT HYDROGEN CONTAMINATION

    SciTech Connect

    Justham, Stephen

    2011-04-01

    The lack of hydrogen in spectra of type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) is often seen as troublesome for single-degenerate (SD) progenitor models. We argue that, since continued accretion of angular momentum can prevent explosion of the white dwarf, it may be natural for the donor stars in SD progenitors of SNe Ia to exhaust their envelopes and shrink rapidly before the explosion. This outcome seems most likely for SD SN Ia progenitors where mass transfer begins from a giant donor star and might extend to other SD systems. Not only is the amount of hydrogen left in such a system below the current detection limit, but the donor star is typically orders of magnitude smaller than its Roche lobe by the point when an SD SN Ia occurs, in which case attempts to observe collisions between SN shocks and giant donor stars seem unlikely to succeed. We consider the constraints on this model from the circumstellar structures seen in spectra of SN 2006X and suggest a novel explanation for the origin of this material.

  12. Ocular Surface Temperature in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Sodi, Andrea; Giacomelli, Giovanni; Corvi, Andrea; Menchini, Ugo

    2014-01-01

    Background. The aim of this study is to investigate the ocular thermographic profiles in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) eyes and age-matched controls to detect possible hemodynamic abnormalities, which could be involved in the pathogenesis of the disease. Methods. 32 eyes with early AMD, 37 eyes with atrophic AMD, 30 eyes affected by untreated neovascular AMD, and 43 eyes with fibrotic AMD were included. The control group consisted of 44 healthy eyes. Exclusion criteria were represented by any other ocular diseases other than AMD, tear film abnormalities, systemic cardiovascular abnormalities, diabetes mellitus, and a body temperature higher than 37.5°C. A total of 186 eyes without pupil dilation were investigated by infrared thermography (FLIR A320). The ocular surface temperature (OST) of three ocular points was calculated by means of an image processing technique from the infrared images. Two-sample t-test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) test were used for statistical analyses. Results. ANOVA analyses showed no significant differences among AMD groups (P value >0.272). OST in AMD patients was significantly lower than in controls (P > 0.05). Conclusions. Considering the possible relationship between ocular blood flow and OST, these findings might support the central role of ischemia in the pathogenesis of AMD. PMID:25436140

  13. Regional distribution of 5-HT transporters in the brain of wild type and 'Purkinje cell degeneration' mutant mice: a quantitative autoradiographic study with [3H]citalopram.

    PubMed

    Le Marec, N; Hébert, C; Amdiss, F; Botez, M I; Reader, T A

    1998-09-01

    The neurological mutant 'Purkinje cell degeneration' (pcd) is characterized by a primary degeneration of Purkinje cells, as well as by retrograde and secondary partial degeneration of cerebellar granule cells and inferior olivary neurons, and can be considered as an animal model of human degenerative ataxias. The serotonin (5-HT) innervation was examined in wild type and pcd mice, by quantifying 5-HT uptake sites, or transporters, using [3H]citalopram binding autoradiography. In both wild type and pcd mutants, the highest densities of 5-HT transporters were in mesencephalic and rostral pontine regions, in limbic structures, in hypothalamus and in discrete thalamic divisions, while the lowest labelling was found in cerebellum and brainstem reticular formation. In pcd mice, although [3H]citalopram labelling was higher in cerebellar cortex and deep cerebellar nuclei, when binding densities were corrected for surface area, the up-regulation of 5-HT transporters was present only in deep cerebellar nuclei. Also, higher labelling was found in nuclei raphe dorsalis and medialis, in ventral divisions of rostral neostriatum, caudal neostriatum, rostral globus pallidus, posteromedial amygdaloid nucleus, septum, olfactory tubercles, vertical limb of Broca's diagonal band, periventricular, latero-ventral and medio-ventral thalamic nuclei, medial geniculate nucleus, anterior hypothalamus and entorhinal cortex. The results indicate a relative integrity of the 5-HT innervation, but with a reorganization of serotoninergic terminals in the cerebellum, in particular in the deep cerebellar nuclei. This suggests that in progressive cerebellar degeneration, as found in the pcd mutant, the modified 5-HT system may still participate in motor functions by exerting an overall modulation of excitatory amino acid neurotransmission, but the availability of 5-HT may be altered in defined brain targets, as is the case for other spontaneous cerebellar mutants, in particular for the 'Lurcher

  14. Mesenchymal stem cells regulate mechanical properties of human degenerated nucleus pulposus cells through SDF-1/CXCR4/AKT axis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ming-Han; Bian, Bai-Shi-Jiao; Cui, Xiang; Liu, Lan-Tao; Liu, Huan; Huang, Bo; Cui, You-Hong; Bian, Xiu-Wu; Zhou, Yue

    2016-08-01

    Transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into the degenerated intervertebral disc (IVD) has shown promise for decelerating or arresting IVD degeneration. Cellular mechanical properties play crucial roles in regulating cell-matrix interactions, potentially reflecting specific changes that occur based on cellular phenotype and behavior. However, the effect of co-culturing of MSCs with nucleus pulposus cells (NPCs) on the mechanical properties of NPCs remains unknown. In our study, we demonstrated that co-culture of degenerated NPCs with MSCs resulted in significantly decreased mechanical moduli (elastic modulus, relaxed modulus, and instantaneous modulus) and increased biological activity (proliferation and expression of matrix genes) in degenerated NPCs, but not normal NPCs. SDF-1, CXCR4 ligand, was highly expressed in MSCs when co-cultured with degenerated NPCs. Inhibition of SDF-1 using CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100 or knocking-down CXCR4 in degenerated NPCs abolished the MSCs-induced decrease in the mechanical moduli and increased biological activity of degenerated NPCs, suggesting a crucial role for SDF-1/CXCR4 signaling. AKT and FAK inhibition attenuated the MSCs- or SDF-1-induced decrease in the mechanical moduli of degenerated NPCs. In conclusion, it was demonstrated in vitro that MSCs regulate the mechanical properties of degenerated NPCs through SDF-1/CXCR4/AKT signaling. These findings highlight a possible mechanical mechanism for MSCs-induced modulation with degenerated NPCs, which may be applicable to MSCs-based therapy for disc degeneration.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Basal forebrain degeneration precedes and predicts the cortical spread of Alzheimer's pathology

    PubMed Central

    Schmitz, Taylor W.; Nathan Spreng, R.; Weiner, Michael W.; Aisen, Paul; Petersen, Ronald; Jack, Clifford R.; Jagust, William; Trojanowki, John Q.; Toga, Arthur W.; Beckett, Laurel; Green, Robert C.; Saykin, Andrew J.; Morris, John; Shaw, Leslie M.; Khachaturian, Zaven; Sorensen, Greg; Kuller, Lew; Raichle, Marc; Paul, Steven; Davies, Peter; Fillit, Howard; Hefti, Franz; Holtzman, Davie; Mesulam, M Marcel; Potter, William; Snyder, Peter; Schwartz, Adam; Montine, Tom; Thomas, Ronald G.; Donohue, Michael; Walter, Sarah; Gessert, Devon; Sather, Tamie; Jiminez, Gus; Harvey, Danielle; Bernstein, Matthew; Fox, Nick; Thompson, Paul; Schuff, Norbert; Borowski, Bret; Gunter, Jeff; Senjem, Matt; Vemuri, Prashanthi; Jones, David; Kantarci, Kejal; Ward, Chad; Koeppe, Robert A.; Foster, Norm; Reiman, Eric M.; Chen, Kewei; Mathis, Chet; Landau, Susan; Cairns, Nigel J.; Householder, Erin; Taylor-Reinwald, Lisa; Lee, Virginia; Korecka, Magdalena; Figurski, Michal; Crawford, Karen; Neu, Scott; Foroud, Tatiana M.; Potkin, Steven; Shen, Li; Faber, Kelley; Kim, Sungeun; Nho, Kwangsik; Thal, Leon; Buckholtz, Neil; Albert, Marylyn; Frank, Richard; Hsiao, John; Kaye, Jeffrey; Quinn, Joseph; Lind, Betty; Carter, Raina; Dolen, Sara; Schneider, Lon S.; Pawluczyk, Sonia; Beccera, Mauricio; Teodoro, Liberty; Spann, Bryan M.; Brewer, James; Vanderswag, Helen; Fleisher, Adam; Heidebrink, Judith L.; Lord, Joanne L.; Mason, Sara S.; Albers, Colleen S.; Knopman, David; Johnson, Kris; Doody, Rachelle S.; Villanueva-Meyer, Javier; Chowdhury, Munir; Rountree, Susan; Dang, Mimi; Stern, Yaakov; Honig, Lawrence S.; Bell, Karen L.; Ances, Beau; Carroll, Maria; Leon, Sue; Mintun, Mark A.; Schneider, Stacy; Oliver, Angela; Marson, Daniel; Griffith, Randall; Clark, David; Geldmacher, David; Brockington, John; Roberson, Erik; Grossman, Hillel; Mitsis, Effie; de Toledo-Morrell, Leyla; Shah, Raj C.; Duara, Ranjan; Varon, Daniel; Greig, Maria T.; Roberts, Peggy; Albert, Marilyn; Onyike, Chiadi; D'Agostino, Daniel; Kielb, Stephanie; Galvin, James E.; Cerbone, Brittany; Michel, Christina A.; Rusinek, Henry; de Leon, Mony J.; Glodzik, Lidia; De Santi, Susan; Doraiswamy, P. Murali; Petrella, Jeffrey R.; Wong, Terence Z.; Arnold, Steven E.; Karlawish, Jason H.; Wolk, David; Smith, Charles D.; Jicha, Greg; Hardy, Peter; Sinha, Partha; Oates, Elizabeth; Conrad, Gary; Lopez, Oscar L.; Oakley, MaryAnn; Simpson, Donna M.; Porsteinsson, Anton P.; Goldstein, Bonnie S.; Martin, Kim; Makino, Kelly M.; Ismail, M. Saleem; Brand, Connie; Mulnard, Ruth A.; Thai, Gaby; Mc-Adams-Ortiz, Catherine; Womack, Kyle; Mathews, Dana; Quiceno, Mary; Diaz-Arrastia, Ramon; King, Richard; Weiner, Myron; Martin-Cook, Kristen; DeVous, Michael; Levey, Allan I.; Lah, James J.; Cellar, Janet S.; Burns, Jeffrey M.; Anderson, Heather S.; Swerdlow, Russell H.; Apostolova, Liana; Tingus, Kathleen; Woo, Ellen; Silverman, Daniel H. S.; Lu, Po H.; Bartzokis, George; Graff-Radford, Neill R.; Parfitt, Francine; Kendall, Tracy; Johnson, Heather; Farlow, Martin R.; Hake, AnnMarie; Matthews, Brandy R.; Herring, Scott; Hunt, Cynthia; van Dyck, Christopher H.; Carson, Richard E.; MacAvoy, Martha G.; Chertkow, Howard; Bergman, Howard; Hosein, Chris; Black, Sandra; Stefanovic, Bojana; Caldwell, Curtis; Robin Hsiung, Ging-Yuek; Feldman, Howard; Mudge, Benita; Assaly, Michele; Kertesz, Andrew; Rogers, John; Bernick, Charles; Munic, Donna; Kerwin, Diana; Mesulam, Marek-Marsel; Lipowski, Kristine; Wu, Chuang-Kuo; Johnson, Nancy; Sadowsky, Carl; Martinez, Walter; Villena, Teresa; Turner, Raymond Scott; Johnson, Kathleen; Reynolds, Brigid; Sperling, Reisa A.; Johnson, Keith A.; Marshall, Gad; Frey, Meghan; Lane, Barton; Rosen, Allyson; Tinklenberg, Jared; Sabbagh, Marwan N.; Belden, Christine M.; Jacobson, Sandra A.; Sirrel, Sherye A.; Kowall, Neil; Killiany, Ronald; Budson, Andrew E.; Norbash, Alexander; Johnson, Patricia Lynn; Allard, Joanne; Lerner, Alan; Ogrocki, Paula; Hudson, Leon; Fletcher, Evan; Carmichael, Owen; Olichney, John; DeCarli, Charles; Kittur, Smita; Borrie, Michael; Lee, T.-Y.; Bartha, Rob; Johnson, Sterling; Asthana, Sanjay; Carlsson, Cynthia M.; Potkin, Steven G.; Preda, Adrian; Nguyen, Dana; Tariot, Pierre; Reeder, Stephanie; Bates, Vernice; Capote, Horacio; Rainka, Michelle; Scharre, Douglas W.; Kataki, Maria; Adeli, Anahita; Zimmerman, Earl A.; Celmins, Dzintra; Brown, Alice D.; Pearlson, Godfrey D.; Blank, Karen; Anderson, Karen; Santulli, Robert B.; Kitzmiller, Tamar J.; Schwartz, Eben S.; Sink, Kaycee M.; Williamson, Jeff D.; Garg, Pradeep; Watkins, Franklin; Ott, Brian R.; Querfurth, Henry; Tremont, Geoffrey; Salloway, Stephen; Malloy, Paul; Correia, Stephen; Rosen, Howard J.; Miller, Bruce L.; Mintzer, Jacobo; Spicer, Kenneth; Bachman, David; Finger, Elizabether; Pasternak, Stephen; Rachinsky, Irina; Drost, Dick; Pomara, Nunzio; Hernando, Raymundo; Sarrael, Antero; Schultz, Susan K.; Boles Ponto, Laura L.; Shim, Hyungsub; Smith, Karen Elizabeth; Relkin, Norman; Chaing, Gloria; Raudin, Lisa; Smith, Amanda; Fargher, Kristin; Raj, Balebail Ashok; Neylan, Thomas; Grafman, Jordan; Davis, Melissa; Morrison, Rosemary; Hayes, Jacqueline; Finley, Shannon; Friedl, Karl; Fleischman, Debra; Arfanakis, Konstantinos; James, Olga; Massoglia, Dino; Fruehling, J. Jay; Harding, Sandra; Peskind, Elaine R.; Petrie, Eric C.; Li, Gail; Yesavage, Jerome A.; Taylor, Joy L.; Furst, Ansgar J.

    2016-01-01

    There is considerable debate whether Alzheimer's disease (AD) originates in basal forebrain or entorhinal cortex. Here we examined whether longitudinal decreases in basal forebrain and entorhinal cortex grey matter volume were interdependent and sequential. In a large cohort of age-matched older adults ranging from cognitively normal to AD, we demonstrate that basal forebrain volume predicts longitudinal entorhinal degeneration. Models of parallel degeneration or entorhinal origin received negligible support. We then integrated volumetric measures with an amyloid biomarker sensitive to pre-symptomatic AD pathology. Comparison between cognitively matched normal adult subgroups, delineated according to the amyloid biomarker, revealed abnormal degeneration in basal forebrain, but not entorhinal cortex. Abnormal degeneration in both basal forebrain and entorhinal cortex was only observed among prodromal (mildly amnestic) individuals. We provide evidence that basal forebrain pathology precedes and predicts both entorhinal pathology and memory impairment, challenging the widely held belief that AD has a cortical origin. PMID:27811848

  17. Postnatal onset of retinal degeneration by loss of embryonic Ezh2 repression of Six1

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Naihong; Cheng, Lin; Cho, Kinsang; Malik, Muhammad Taimur A.; Xiao, Lirong; Guo, Chenying; Yu, Honghua; Zhu, Ruilin; Rao, Rajesh C.; Chen, Dong Feng

    2016-01-01

    Some adult-onset disorders may be linked to dysregulated embryonic development, yet the mechanisms underlying this association remain poorly understood. Congenital retinal degenerative diseases are blinding disorders characterized by postnatal degeneration of photoreceptors, and affect nearly 2 million individuals worldwide, but ∼50% do not have a known mutation, implicating contributions of epigenetic factors. We found that embryonic deletion of the histone methyltransferase (HMT) Ezh2 from all retinal progenitors resulted in progressive photoreceptor degeneration throughout postnatal life, via derepression of fetal expression of Six1 and its targets. Forced expression of Six1 in the postnatal retina was sufficient to induce photoreceptor degeneration. Ezh2, although enriched in the embryonic retina, was not present in the mature retina; these data reveal an Ezh2-mediated feed-forward pathway that is required for maintaining photoreceptor homeostasis in the adult and suggest novel targets for retinal degeneration therapy. PMID:27677711

  18. Quantal Density Functional Theory(Q-DFT) of Degenerate Ground and Excited States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahni, Viraht; Pan, Xiaoyin

    2002-03-01

    We present here Q-DFT (V.Sahni et al, PRL 87), 113002 (2001), and references therein. of degenerate states with degeneracy g. We describe : (a) The transformation from a degenerate ground or excited pure state of the interacting system to an S (single Slater determinant) system of noninteracting Fermions with equivalent density, total energy, and ionization potential; (b) The construction of g S systems to reproduce a subspace ensemble density and energy. The density and energy are defined via the ensemble density matrix formed from the degenerate ground or excited pure states of the interacting system; (c) The construction of an S system with a g-fold degenerate highest occupied level, (which leads to g Slater determinants (C.A. Ullrich and W. Kohn, PRL 87), 093001(2001).), to reproduce the ground or excited state ensemble density and energy.

  19. Loss of MEC-17 Leads to Microtubule Instability and Axonal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Neumann, Brent; Hilliard, Massimo A.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Axonal degeneration arises as a consequence of neuronal injury and is a common hallmark of a number of neurodegenerative diseases. However, the genetic causes and the cellular mechanisms that trigger this process are still largely unknown. Based on forward genetic screening in C. elegans, we have identified the α-tubulin acetyltransferase gene mec-17 as causing spontaneous, adult-onset, and progressive axonal degeneration. Loss of MEC-17 leads to microtubule instability, a reduction in mitochondrial number, and disrupted axonal transport, with altered distribution of both mitochondria and synaptic components. Furthermore, mec-17-mediated axonal degeneration occurs independently from its acetyltransferase domain; is enhanced by mutation of coel-1, a tubulin-associated molecule; and correlates with the animal’s body length. This study therefore identifies a critical role for the conserved microtubule-associated protein MEC-17 in preserving axon integrity and preventing axonal degeneration. PMID:24373971

  20. Hydropic degeneration of the anterior pituitary gland (adenohypophysis) in uremic rats.

    PubMed

    Levine, Seymour; Saltzman, Arthur

    2004-03-01

    We observed hydropic degeneration of the anterior pituitary in rats made uremic by nephrotoxic chemicals, especially when the uremic rats were given a pure carbohydrate diet beforehand. The hydropic degeneration caused loss of nuclear and cytoplasmic content of many or most anterior pituitary cells. It was readily visible in paraffin sections by light microscopy. It was exaggerated when water was injected after the nephrotoxin and it was greatly reduced if saline was injected after the nephrotoxin. Low serum sodium levels in affected rats and the response to saline injection suggested that the mechanism for development of hydropic degeneration of the anterior pituitary gland involved hyponatremia. Depletion of total body sodium probably accounts for the enhancement of hydropic degeneration by the pure carbohydrate diet. Morphologic lesions of the anterior pituitary related to hyponatremia and uremia have not been described previously.

  1. Calcium release from intra-axonal endoplasmic reticulum leads to axon degeneration through mitochondrial dysfunction.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-21

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

  2. New Treatment Greatly Improves Prognosis for Patients with AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration)

    MedlinePlus

    ... turn JavaScript on. Feature: Age-related Macular Degeneration New Treatment Greatly Improves Prognosis for Patients with AMD ... Eye Institute Photo Courtesy of: NEI In a new study of nearly 650 people with age-related ...

  3. Enhanced visibility of two-mode thermal squeezed states via degenerate parametric amplification and resonance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahboob, I.; Okamoto, H.; Yamaguchi, H.

    2016-08-01

    Two-mode squeezed states, generated via non-degenerate parametric down-conversion, are invariably revealed via their entangled vacuum or correlated thermal fluctuations. Here, two-mode thermal squeezed states, generated in an electromechanical system, are made bright by means of degenerate parametric amplification of their constituent modes to the point where they are almost perfect, even when seeded from low intensity non-degenerate parametric down-conversion. More dramatically, activating the degenerate parametric resonances of the underlying modes yields perfect correlations which can be resolved via the coordinated switching of their phase bi-stable vibrations, without recourse to monitoring their thermal fluctuations. This ability to enhance the two-mode squeezed states and to decipher them without needing to observe their intrinsic noise is supported by both analytical and numerical modelling and it suggests that the technical constraints to making this phenomenon more widely available can be dramatically relaxed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

  5. New approaches and potential treatments for dry age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Damico, Francisco Max; Gasparin, Fabio; Scolari, Mariana Ramos; Pedral, Lycia Sampaio; Takahashi, Beatriz Sayuri

    2012-01-01

    Emerging treatments for dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and geographic atrophy focus on two strategies that target components involved in physiopathological pathways: prevention of photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium loss (neuroprotection induction, oxidative damage prevention, and visual cycle modification) and suppression of inflammation. Neuroprotective drugs, such as ciliary neurotrophic factor, brimonidine tartrate, tandospirone, and anti-amyloid β antibodies, aim to prevent apoptosis of retinal cells. Oxidative stress and depletion of essential micronutrients are targeted by the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formulation. Visual cycle modulators reduce the activity of the photoreceptors and retinal accumulation of toxic fluorophores and lipofuscin. Eyes with dry age-related macular degeneration present chronic inflammation and potential treatments include corticosteroid and complement inhibition. We review the current concepts and rationale of dry age-related macular degeneration treatment that will most likely include a combination of drugs targeting different pathways involved in the development and progression of age-related macular degeneration.

  6. Monitoring peripheral nerve degeneration in ALS by label-free stimulated Raman scattering imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Feng; Yang, Wenlong; Mordes, Daniel A.; Wang, Jin-Yuan; Salameh, Johnny S.; Mok, Joanie; Chew, Jeannie; Sharma, Aarti; Leno-Duran, Ester; Suzuki-Uematsu, Satomi; Suzuki, Naoki; Han, Steve S.; Lu, Fa-Ke; Ji, Minbiao; Zhang, Rosanna; Liu, Yue; Strominger, Jack; Shneider, Neil A.; Petrucelli, Leonard; Xie, X. Sunney; Eggan, Kevin

    2016-10-01

    The study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and potential interventions would be facilitated if motor axon degeneration could be more readily visualized. Here we demonstrate that stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy could be used to sensitively monitor peripheral nerve degeneration in ALS mouse models and ALS autopsy materials. Three-dimensional imaging of pre-symptomatic SOD1 mouse models and data processing by a correlation-based algorithm revealed that significant degeneration of peripheral nerves could be detected coincidentally with the earliest detectable signs of muscle denervation and preceded physiologically measurable motor function decline. We also found that peripheral degeneration was an early event in FUS as well as C9ORF72 repeat expansion models of ALS, and that serial imaging allowed long-term observation of disease progression and drug effects in living animals. Our study demonstrates that SRS imaging is a sensitive and quantitative means of measuring disease progression, greatly facilitating future studies of disease mechanisms and candidate therapeutics.

  7. Suspensory ligament degeneration associated with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction in horses.

    PubMed

    Hofberger, Sina; Gauff, Felicia; Licka, Theresia

    2015-03-01

    In older horses, pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) and suspensory ligament (SL) degeneration are common. The aim of the present study was to identify histopathological changes in the SL in horses with PPID. SLs of four horses with clinical signs of PPID (17-26 years of age) were compared with SLs from four old horses (18-31 years of age) and three young horses (4-9 years of age). In horses with PPID, there was reduced longitudinal arrangement of collagen fibres in SLs, along with inclusions of cartilage, extracellular matrix and haemorrhage, as well as significant proteoglycan accumulations between SL fibres. These changes are similar to the degeneration of connective tissues in Peruvian Paso horses with SL degeneration and in humans with Cushing's disease or after long term high dose corticosteroid treatments. These findings indicate an association between degeneration of the SL and PPID.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    Corticobasal degeneration is an uncommon parkinsonian variant condition that is diagnosed mainly on clinical examination. To facilitate the differential diagnosis of this disorder, we used metabolic brain imaging to characterize a specific network that can be used to discriminate corticobasal degeneration from other atypical parkinsonian syndromes. Ten non-demented patients (eight females/two males; age 73.9 ± 5.7 years) underwent metabolic brain imaging with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography for atypical parkinsonism. These individuals were diagnosed clinically with probable corticobasal degeneration. This diagnosis was confirmed in the three subjects who additionally underwent post-mortem examination. Ten age-matched healthy subjects (five females/five males; age 71.7 ± 6.7 years) served as controls for the imaging studies. Spatial covariance analysis was applied to scan data from the combined group to identify a significant corticobasal degeneration-related metabolic pattern that discriminated (P < 0.001) the patients from the healthy control group. This pattern was characterized by bilateral, asymmetric metabolic reductions involving frontal and parietal cortex, thalamus, and caudate nucleus. These pattern-related changes were greater in magnitude in the cerebral hemisphere opposite the more clinically affected body side. The presence of this corticobasal degeneration-related metabolic topography was confirmed in two independent testing sets of patient and control scans, with elevated pattern expression (P < 0.001) in both disease groups relative to corresponding normal values. We next determined whether prospectively computed expression values for this pattern accurately discriminated corticobasal degeneration from multiple system atrophy and progressive supranuclear palsy (the two most common atypical parkinsonian syndromes) on a single case basis. Based upon this measure, corticobasal degeneration was successfully distinguished from

  10. Comparison of surgical techniques in the treatment of laryngeal polypoid degeneration.

    PubMed

    Lumpkin, S M; Bishop, S G; Bennett, S

    1987-01-01

    Surgical excision has been the accepted treatment of laryngeal polypoid degeneration, or chronic polypoid corditis. We report on 29 women with polypoid degeneration who received one of three surgical treatments: vocal fold stripping, carbon dioxide laser obliteration, or the Hirano technique. The duration of postoperative dysphonia was longest with the laser removal and shortest with the Hirano technique. A combination of vocal hygiene management and the Hirano technique of removal provided the most efficacious treatment.

  11. Degeneration of auditory nerve fibers in guinea pigs with severe sensorineural hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Kroon, Steven; Ramekers, Dyan; Smeets, Emma M; Hendriksen, Ferry G J; Klis, Sjaak F L; Versnel, Huib

    2017-03-01

    Damage to and loss of the organ of Corti leads to secondary degeneration of the spiral ganglion cell (SGC) somata of the auditory nerve. Extensively examined in animal models, this degeneration process of SGC somata following deafening is well known. However, degeneration of auditory nerve axons, which conduct auditory information towards the brainstem, and its relation to SGC soma degeneration are largely unknown. The consequences of degeneration of the axons are relevant for cochlear implantation, which is applied to a deafened system but depends on the condition of the auditory nerve. We investigated the time sequence of degeneration of myelinated type I axons in deafened guinea pigs. Auditory nerves in six normal-hearing and twelve deafened animals, two, six and fourteen weeks (for each group four) after deafening were histologically analyzed. We developed a semi-automated method for axon counting, which allowed for a relatively large sample size (20% of the total cross-sectional area of the auditory nerve). We observed a substantial loss of auditory nerve area (29%), reduction in axon number (59%) and decrease in axoplasm area (41%) fourteen weeks after deafening compared to normal-hearing controls. The correlation between axonal degeneration and that of the SGC somata in the same cochleas was high, although axonal structures appeared to persist longer than the somata, suggesting a slower degeneration process. In the first two weeks after induction of deafness, the axonal cross-sectional area decreased but the axon number did not. In conclusion, the data strongly suggest that each surviving SGC possesses an axon.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balagović, Martina

    2015-03-01

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

  13. Degenerate Four-Wave Mixing Measurements of High Order Nonlinearities in Semiconductors

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-10-01

    2274 IEEE JOURNAL OF QUANTUM ELECTRONICS. VOL. 27, NO. IO. OCTOBER 1991 Degenerate Four -Wave Mixing Measurements of High Order Nonlinearities in... four -wave mixing experi- ments on ZnSe and CdTe semiconductor samples with pico- second laser pulses at wavelengths below the bandgap. Nonlin- earities...three-photon absorption. I. INTRODUCTION WE repo~ ~ series of picose~ond degenerate four -wave mixmg (DFWM) studies conducted in ZnSe and CdTe at

  14. A gene affecting Wallerian nerve degeneration maps distally on mouse chromosome 4.

    PubMed Central

    Lyon, M F; Ogunkolade, B W; Brown, M C; Atherton, D J; Perry, V H

    1993-01-01

    When a nerve axon is cut or crushed, the nerve fibers in the distal part of the axon, separated from the cell body, undergo a form of spontaneous degeneration, known as Wallerian degeneration. A substrain of the mouse inbred strain C57BL, known as C57BL/Ola, carries a mutant form of a gene involved in Wallerian degeneration in the peripheral and central nervous systems, and in retrograde degeneration of retinal ganglion cells. Wallerian degeneration in this substrain is abnormally slow. Previously the defect had been shown to be due to an autosomal dominant gene. The locus has been given the name and symbol Wallerian degeneration Wld, with the mutant allele Wlds (Wallerian degeneration-slow). The Wld locus has now been mapped, by using conventional and molecular markers, to the distal end of chromosome 4, near the locus of pronatriodilatin (Pnd). The order of loci (with recombination distances in centimorgans, cM) is cen-D4Mit11-8.9 +/- 1.7 cM-Fuca-2.5 +/- 0.93 cM-Akp-2-3.2 +/- 1.1 cM-D4Mit48-3.5 +/- 1.1 cM-(Wld, Pnd, D4Mit49)-0.71 +/- 0.50 cM-(Eno-1, D4Mit33)-1.4 +/- 0.70 cM-D4Mit42-2.5 +/- 0.93 cM-D4Smh6b. The information on the position of the Wld locus should be valuable in further characterization of this gene involved in nerve degeneration and regeneration. PMID:8415768

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Fear conditioning in frontotemporal lobar degeneration and Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Hoefer, M.; Allison, S. C.; Schauer, G. F.; Neuhaus, J. M.; Hall, J.; Dang, J. N.; Weiner, M. W.; Miller, B. L.; Rosen, H. J.

    2008-01-01

    Emotional blunting and abnormal processing of rewards and punishments represent early features of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Better understanding of the physiological underpinnings of these emotional changes can be facilitated by the use of classical psychology approaches. Fear conditioning (FC) is an extensively used paradigm for studying emotional processing that has rarely been applied to the study of dementia.We studied FC in controls (n = 25), Alzheimer's disease (n =25) and FTLD (n = 25). A neutral stimulus (coloured square on a computer screen) was repeatedly paired with a 1s burst of 100 db white noise. Change in skin conductance response to the neutral stimulus was used to measure conditioning. Physiological–anatomical correlations were examined using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Both patient groups showed impaired acquisition of conditioned responses. However, the basis for this deficit appeared to differ between groups. In Alzheimer's disease, impaired FC occurred despite normal electrodermal responses to the aversive stimulus. In contrast, FTLD patients showed reduced skin conductance responses to the aversive stimulus, which contributed significantly to their FC deficit.VBM identified correlations with physiological reactivity in the amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, orbitofrontal cortex and insula. These data indicate that Alzheimer's disease and FTLD both show abnormalities in emotional learning, but they suggest that in FTLD this is associated with a deficit in basic electrodermal response to aversive stimuli, consistent with the emotional blunting described with this disorder. Deficits in responses to aversive stimuli could contribute to both the behavioural and cognitive features of FTLD and Alzheimer's disease. Further study of FC in humans and animal models of dementia could provide a valuable window into these symptoms. PMID:18492729

  17. OBSERVATIONAL CONSTRAINTS ON THE DEGENERATE MASS-RADIUS RELATION

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-03-15

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

  18. Functional Connectivity’s Degenerate View of Brain Computation

    PubMed Central

    Giron, Alain; Rudrauf, David

    2016-01-01

    Brain computation relies on effective interactions between ensembles of neurons. In neuroimaging, measures of functional connectivity (FC) aim at statistically quantifying such interactions, often to study normal or pathological cognition. Their capacity to reflect a meaningful variety of patterns as expected from neural computation in relation to cognitive processes remains debated. The relative weights of time-varying local neurophysiological dynamics versus static structural connectivity (SC) in the generation of FC as measured remains unsettled. Empirical evidence features mixed results: from little to significant FC variability and correlation with cognitive functions, within and between participants. We used a unified approach combining multivariate analysis, bootstrap and computational modeling to characterize the potential variety of patterns of FC and SC both qualitatively and quantitatively. Empirical data and simulations from generative models with different dynamical behaviors demonstrated, largely irrespective of FC metrics, that a linear subspace with dimension one or two could explain much of the variability across patterns of FC. On the contrary, the variability across BOLD time-courses could not be reduced to such a small subspace. FC appeared to strongly reflect SC and to be partly governed by a Gaussian process. The main differences between simulated and empirical data related to limitations of DWI-based SC estimation (and SC itself could then be estimated from FC). Above and beyond the limited dynamical range of the BOLD signal itself, measures of FC may offer a degenerate representation of brain interactions, with limited access to the underlying complexity. They feature an invariant common core, reflecting the channel capacity of the network as conditioned by SC, with a limited, though perhaps meaningful residual variability. PMID:27736900

  19. The burden of age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Schmier, Jordana K; Jones, Mechelle L; Halpern, Michael T

    2006-01-01

    As age-related macular degeneration (AMD) becomes more prevalent as a result of longer life expectancy and the number of elderly people worldwide, it will become increasingly important to understand its potential health and economic impact for appropriate healthcare planning. This review identified published literature on costs and resource use associated with AMD. Despite the increasing prevalence of AMD, the worldwide burden of illness is unknown. Several studies of direct medical costs, both those associated with ophthalmic care and those associated with other care, have been conducted and have identified increased medical care associated with AMD. Direct non-medical costs include the cost for vision aids; while these costs may be substantial, they are difficult to quantify as no comprehensive sources track the distribution or use of vision aids. Because AMD is uncommon among people of working age, there is less concern regarding the impact of indirect (workplace) costs among AMD patients. However, indirect costs are incurred by caregivers who leave the workforce early or change their work patterns in order to provide assistance to AMD patients; the magnitude of caregiver-related costs is unknown. The cost effectiveness of some interventions for AMD has been explored. Supplementation with zinc and antioxidants for non-exudative (dry) AMD has been shown to result in an acceptable cost per QALY and is considered cost effective. Studies suggest that laser photocoagulation is cost effective but that photodynamic therapy with verteporfin appears to be cost effective only among patients with good visual acuity at baseline or when models extend longer than 5 years. Further research is needed to integrate the information on various components of AMD-related costs into a comprehensive burden of illness estimate and to evaluate basic utility assumptions in existing models.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Fear conditioning in frontotemporal lobar degeneration and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Hoefer, M; Allison, S C; Schauer, G F; Neuhaus, J M; Hall, J; Dang, J N; Weiner, M W; Miller, B L; Rosen, H J

    2008-06-01

    Emotional blunting and abnormal processing of rewards and punishments represent early features of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Better understanding of the physiological underpinnings of these emotional changes can be facilitated by the use of classical psychology approaches. Fear conditioning (FC) is an extensively used paradigm for studying emotional processing that has rarely been applied to the study of dementia. We studied FC in controls (n = 25), Alzheimer's disease (n = 25) and FTLD (n = 25). A neutral stimulus (coloured square on a computer screen) was repeatedly paired with a 1 s burst of 100 db white noise. Change in skin conductance response to the neutral stimulus was used to measure conditioning. Physiological-anatomical correlations were examined using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Both patient groups showed impaired acquisition of conditioned responses. However, the basis for this deficit appeared to differ between groups. In Alzheimer's disease, impaired FC occurred despite normal electrodermal responses to the aversive stimulus. In contrast, FTLD patients showed reduced skin conductance responses to the aversive stimulus, which contributed significantly to their FC deficit. VBM identified correlations with physiological reactivity in the amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, orbitofrontal cortex and insula. These data indicate that Alzheimer's disease and FTLD both show abnormalities in emotional learning, but they suggest that in FTLD this is associated with a deficit in basic electrodermal response to aversive stimuli, consistent with the emotional blunting described with this disorder. Deficits in responses to aversive stimuli could contribute to both the behavioural and cognitive features of FTLD and Alzheimer's disease. Further study of FC in humans and animal models of dementia could provide a valuable window into these symptoms.

  2. Progesterone neuroprotection in traumatic CNS injury and motoneuron degeneration.

    PubMed

    De Nicola, Alejandro F; Labombarda, Florencia; Gonzalez Deniselle, Maria Claudia; Gonzalez, Susana L; Garay, Laura; Meyer, Maria; Gargiulo, Gisella; Guennoun, Rachida; Schumacher, Michael

    2009-07-01

    Studies on the neuroprotective and promyelinating effects of progesterone in the nervous system are of great interest due to their potential clinical connotations. In peripheral neuropathies, progesterone and reduced derivatives promote remyelination, axonal regeneration and the recovery of function. In traumatic brain injury (TBI), progesterone has the ability to reduce edema and inflammatory cytokines, prevent neuronal loss and improve functional outcomes. Clinical trials have shown that short-and long-term progesterone treatment induces a significant improvement in the level of disability among patients with brain injury. In experimental spinal cord injury (SCI), molecular markers of functional motoneurons become impaired, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA, Na,K-ATPase mRNA, microtubule-associated protein 2 and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). SCI also produces motoneuron chromatolysis. Progesterone treatment restores the expression of these molecules while chromatolysis subsided. SCI also causes oligodendrocyte loss and demyelination. In this case, a short progesterone treatment enhances proliferation and differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitors into mature myelin-producing cells, whereas prolonged treatment increases a transcription factor (Olig1) needed to repair injury-induced demyelination. Progesterone neuroprotection has also been shown in motoneuron neurodegeneration. In Wobbler mice spinal cord, progesterone reverses the impaired expression of BDNF, ChAT and Na,K-ATPase, prevents vacuolar motoneuron degeneration and the development of mitochondrial abnormalities, while functionally increases muscle strength and the survival of Wobbler mice. Multiple mechanisms contribute to these progesterone effects, and the role played by classical nuclear receptors, extra nuclear receptors, membrane receptors, and the reduced metabolites of progesterone in neuroprotection and myelin formation remain an exciting field worth of exploration.

  3. Small-Fiber Degeneration in Alcohol-Related Peripheral Neuropathy

    PubMed Central

    Mellion, Michelle L.; Silbermann, Elizabeth; Gilchrist, James M.; Machan, Jason T.; Leggio, Lorenzo; de la Monte, Suzanne

    2016-01-01

    Background Alcohol-related peripheral neuropathy (ALN) is generally characterized as an axonal large-fiber polyneuropathy caused by thiamine deficiency. We hypothesized, based on clinical observations, that ALN is associated with a small-fiber polyneuropathy that can be diagnosed with skin biopsy in heavy alcohol drinking subjects with normal thiamine status. Methods Eighteen individuals (9 heavy alcohol drinking subjects and 9 healthy control subjects) were assessed for the potential utility of skin biopsies in detecting ALN-associated small nerve fiber degeneration. Heavy drinking was defined as greater than 4 drinks/d and 5 drinks/d in women and men, respectively, as determined by the Timeline Follow-Back and lifetime drinking history. All subjects underwent neurological examination, nerve conduction studies, and skin biopsies to quantify end nerve fiber densities (ENFD). Other causes of neuropathy were excluded and thiamine status was assessed. Results Average ENFD were significantly decreased at the calf in the alcohol group as compared with control group (p < 0.0001). Histological sections demonstrated striking attrition and architectural simplification of intraepidermal nerve fibers in the heavy alcohol drinking subjects. There were no significant intergroup differences with respect to clinical assessments of neuropathy or thiamine status. Conclusions ALN is associated with a small-fiber neuropathy that can be detected with skin biopsy in heavy alcohol drinking individuals with normal thiamine status. Skin biopsy is a useful, minimally invasive biomarker that could extend studies to understand the effect of alcohol on the peripheral nerves and to evaluate potential therapeutic agents in larger clinical trials. PMID:24961481

  4. Nutritional Modulation of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Weikel, Karen A; Taylor, Allen

    2012-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly worldwide. It affects 30–50 million individuals and clinical hallmarks of AMD are observed in at least one third of persons over the age of 75 in industrialized countries (Gehrs et al., 2006). Costs associated with AMD are in excess of $340 billion US (American-Health-Assistance-Foundation, 2012). The majority of AMD patients in the United States are not eligible for clinical treatments (Biarnes et al., 2011; Klein et al., 2011). Preventive interventions through dietary modulation are attractive strategies because many studies suggest a benefit of micro and macronutrients with respect to AMD, as well as other age-related debilities, and with few, if any, adverse effects (Chiu, 2011). Preservation of vision would enhance quality of life for millions of elderly people, and alleviate the personal and public health financial burden of AMD (Frick et al., 2007; Wood et al., 2011). Observational studies indicate that maintaining adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids (i.e. with 2 servings/wk of fish) or a low glycemic index diet may be particularly beneficial for early AMD and that higher levels of carotenoids may be protective, most probably, against neovascular AMD. Intervention trials are needed to better understand the full effect of these nutrients and/or combinations of nutrients on retinal health. Analyses that describe effects of a nutrient on onset and/or progress of AMD are valuable because they indicate the value of a nutrient to arrest AMD at the early stages. This comprehensive summary provides essential information about the value of nutrients with regard to diminishing risk for onset or progress of AMD and can serve as a guide until data from ongoing intervention trials are available. PMID:22503690

  5. The Texas Deep Sky Survey: Spectroscopy of Cool Degenerate Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claver, C. F.; Winget, D. E.; Nather, R. E.; MacQueen, P. J.

    1998-12-01

    The Texas Deep Sky Survey (TDSS) is a deep multi-color photometric survey in the direction of the North Galactic Pole. The purpose of the TDSS is to study large scale structure in the Universe and the stellar content of the Galaxy, specifically the cool end of the white dwarf luminosity function (WDLF). The TDSS will ultimately cover 100 square degrees in broadband U, B, V, R_C, and I_C plus two intermediate width filters centered on MgH and CaH to a depth of V=22. At present we have covered 100 square degrees in B and R_C and a 2.12x2.12 degree area in all seven bandpasses. Our aim of the white dwarf survey within the TDSS project is to increase, by an order of magnitude over present estimates, the number of objects used to define the WDLF below log(L/L_sun) ~ -3.0. The WDLF contains important information about the Galaxy, namely its age and star formation history, and the physics of condensed matter. However, because of their intrinsic faintness the number of cool white dwarfs presently used to define the low luminosity end of the WDLF is small, hence does not provide a meaningful constraint on theoretical models. Here we report on our initial WIYN multi-object spectroscopy of cool white dwarf candidates from a single TDSS field using a new photometric selection technique developed for finding cool degenerate stars. We describe the process of using MgH and CaH filters for selecting cool white dwarfs in the field and show its success with the discovery of 5 new spectroscopically confirmed cool white dwarfs stars.

  6. Processing emotion from abstract art in frontotemporal lobar degeneration

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Gene Therapy for Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Constable, Ian Jeffery; Blumenkranz, Mark Scott; Schwartz, Steven D; Barone, Sam; Lai, Chooi-May; Rakoczy, Elizabeth Piroska

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this article was to evaluate safety and signals of efficacy of gene therapy with subretinal rAAV.sFlt-1 for wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD). A phase 1 dose-escalating single-center controlled unmasked human clinical trial was followed up by extension of the protocol to a phase 2A single-center trial. rAAV.sFlt-1 vector was used to deliver a naturally occurring anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agent, sFlt-1, into the subretinal space. In phase 1, step 1 randomized 3 subjects to low-dose rAAV.sFlt-1 (1 × 10 vector genomes) and 1 subject to the control arm; step 2 randomized an additional 3 subjects to treatment with high-dose rAAV.sFlt-1 (1 × 10 vector genomes) and 1 subject to the control arm. Follow-up studies demonstrated that rAAV.sFlt-1 was well tolerated with a favorable safety profile in these elderly subjects with wet AMD. Subretinal injection was highly reproducible, and no drug-related adverse events were reported. Procedure-related adverse events were mild and self-resolving. Two phakic patients developed cataract and underwent cataract surgery. Four of the 6 patients responded better than the small control group in this study and historical controls in terms of maintaining vision and a relatively dry retina with zero ranibizumab retreatments per annum. Two patients required 1 ranibizumab injection over the 52-week follow-up period. rAAV.sFlt-1 gene therapy may prove to be a potential adjunct or alternative to conventional intravitreal injection for patients with wet AMD by providing extended delivery of a naturally occurring antiangiogenic protein.

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

    PubMed Central

    Mousavi, Maryam; Armstrong, Richard A.

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Systemic complement activation in age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Scholl, Hendrik P N; Charbel Issa, Peter; Walier, Maja; Janzer, Stefanie; Pollok-Kopp, Beatrix; Börncke, Florian; Fritsche, Lars G; Chong, Ngaihang V; Fimmers, Rolf; Wienker, Thomas; Holz, Frank G; Weber, Bernhard H F; Oppermann, Martin

    2008-07-02

    Dysregulation of the alternative pathway (AP) of complement cascade has been implicated in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. To further test the hypothesis that defective control of complement activation underlies AMD, parameters of complement activation in blood plasma were determined together with disease-associated genetic markers in AMD patients. Plasma concentrations of activation products C3d, Ba, C3a, C5a, SC5b-9, substrate proteins C3, C4, factor B and regulators factor H and factor D were quantified in patients (n = 112) and controls (n = 67). Subjects were analyzed for single nucleotide polymorphisms in factor H (CFH), factor B-C2 (BF-C2) and complement C3 (C3) genes which were previously found to be associated with AMD. All activation products, especially markers of chronic complement activation Ba and C3d (p<0.001), were significantly elevated in AMD patients compared to controls. Similar alterations were observed in factor D, but not in C3, C4 or factor H. Logistic regression analysis revealed better discriminative accuracy of a model that is based only on complement activation markers Ba, C3d and factor D compared to a model based on genetic markers of the complement system within our study population. In both the controls' and AMD patients' group, the protein markers of complement activation were correlated with CFH haplotypes.This study is the first to show systemic complement activation in AMD patients. This suggests that AMD is a systemic disease with local disease manifestation at the ageing macula. Furthermore, the data provide evidence for an association of systemic activation of the alternative complement pathway with genetic variants of CFH that were previously linked to AMD susceptibility.

  10. Processing emotion from abstract art in frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-29

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

  11. Deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty for pellucid marginal degeneration***

    PubMed Central

    Al-Torbak, Abdullah A.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose To present the surgical outcomes of deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK) for pellucid marginal degeneration (PMD). Methods A retrospective review was performed in 16 eyes of 16 patients who underwent DALK at the King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between January 1, 2006 and December 30, 2009. Baring of Descemet’s membrane (DM) during DALK was achieved in 8 (50%) eyes; residual stroma was left intraoperatively in the remaining 8 (50%) eyes. The big bubble technique was performed in 10 (62.5%) eyes and manual dissection was performed in the remaining 6 (37.5%) eyes. Visual acuity (LogMAR notation), intraocular pressure, intraoperative complications and postoperative graft status were assessed. Results The mean follow up was 14.6 ± 8.2 months (range 6–35 months). The mean overall age was 31.4 ± 9.6 years (range, 19–50 years). Visual acuity increased statistically significantly from 0.9 ± 0.3 (range 0.5–1.6) preoperatively to 0.4 ± 0.2 (range 0.0–0.7) at last follow-up (p < 0.0001). There was a statistically significant improvement in postoperative sphere, cylinder, and spherical equivalent (p < 0.035, p < 0.001, and p < 0.02, respectively) compared to preoperative. Postoperative visual acuity was not statistically significantly related to gender, type of surgical technique, and baring or perforation of DM. The main graft-related complication was graft–host vascularization (2/16 eyes). Conclusion DALK reduces severe corneal astigmatism and results in good visual and refractive outcomes and is an effective alternative for patients with PMD. PMID:23964180

  12. Wet age related macular degeneration management and follow-up.

    PubMed

    Alexandru, Malciolu Radu; Alexandra, Nica Maria

    2016-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is referred to as the leading cause of irreversible visual loss in developed countries, with a profound effect on the quality of life. The neovascular form of AMD is characterized by the formation of subretinal choroidal neovascularization, leading to sudden and severe visual loss. Research has identified the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as an important pathophysiological component in neovascular AMD and its intraocular inhibition as one of the most efficient therapies in medicine. The introduction of anti-VEGF as a standard treatment in wet AMD has led to a great improvement in the prognosis of patients, allowing recovery and maintenance of visual function in the vast majority of cases. However, the therapeutic benefit is accompanied by a difficulty in maintaining the treatment schedule due to the increase in the amount of patients, stress of monthly assessments, as well as the associated economic burden. Therefore, treatment strategies have evolved from fixed monthly dosing, to individualized regimens, aiming for comparable results, with fewer injections. One such protocol is called "pro re nata", or "treat and observe". Patients are given a loading dose of 3 monthly injections, followed by an as-needed decision to treat, based on the worsening of visual acuity, clinical evidence of the disease activity on fundoscopy, or OCT evidence of retinal thickening in the presence of intra or subretinal fluid. A different regimen is called "treat and extend", in which the interval between injections is gradually increased, once the disease stabilization is achieved. This paper aims to review the currently available anti-VEGF agents--bevacizumab, ranibizumab, aflibercept, and the aforementioned treatment strategies.

  13. Nutritional modulation of age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Weikel, Karen A; Chiu, Chung-Jung; Taylor, Allen

    2012-08-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly worldwide. It affects 30-50 million individuals and clinical hallmarks of AMD are observed in at least one third of persons over the age of 75 in industrialized countries (Gehrs et al., 2006). Costs associated with AMD are in excess of $340 billion US (American-Health-Assistance-Foundation, 2012). The majority of AMD patients in the United States are not eligible for clinical treatments (Biarnes et al., 2011; Klein et al., 2011). Preventive interventions through dietary modulation are attractive strategies because many studies suggest a benefit of micro- and macronutrients with respect to AMD, as well as other age-related debilities, and with few, if any, adverse effects (Chiu, 2011). Preservation of vision would enhance quality of life for millions of elderly people, and alleviate the personal and public health financial burden of AMD (Frick et al., 2007; Wood et al., 2011). Observational studies indicate that maintaining adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids (i.e. with 2 servings/week of fish) or a low glycemic index diet may be particularly beneficial for early AMD and that higher levels of carotenoids may be protective, most probably, against neovascular AMD. Intervention trials are needed to better understand the full effect of these nutrients and/or combinations of nutrients on retinal health. Analyses that describe effects of a nutrient on onset and/or progress of AMD are valuable because they indicate the value of a nutrient to arrest AMD at the early stages. This comprehensive summary provides essential information about the value of nutrients with regard to diminishing risk for onset or progress of AMD and can serve as a guide until data from ongoing intervention trials are available.

  14. Fenpropathrin, a Widely Used Pesticide, Causes Dopaminergic Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Jing; Zhang, Xiaowei; Huang, Jinsha; Chen, Chunnuan; Chen, Zhenzhen; Liu, Ling; Zhang, Guoxin; Yang, Jiaolong; Zhang, Zhentao; Zhang, Zhaohui; Lin, Zhicheng

    2017-01-01

    Fenpropathrin is one of the widely used pyrethroids in agriculture and household and also reported to have neurotoxic effects in rodent models. In our Parkinson’s disease (PD) clinic, there was a unique patient with a history of daily exposure to fenpropathrin for 6 months prior to developing Parkinsonian symptoms progressively. Since whether fenpropathrin is related to any dopaminergic degeneration was unknown, we aimed in this study to evaluate the neurotoxic effects of fenpropathrin on the dopaminergic system and associated mechanisms in vitro and in vivo. In cultured SH-SY5Y cells, fenpropathrin caused cell death, reactive oxygen species generation, Lewy body-associated proteins aggregation, and Lewy body-like intracytoplasmic inclusions formation. In rodent animals, two different injections of fenpropathrin were used for administrations, intraperitoneal (i.p), or stereotaxical (ST). The rats exhibited lower number of pokes 60 days after first i.p injection, while the rats in ST group showed a significant upregulation of apomorphine-evoked rotations 60 days after first injection. Dcreased tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) immunoreactivity, while increased dopamine transporter (DAT) immunoreactivity were observed in rats of either i.p or ST group 60 days after the last exposure to fenpropathrin. However, the number of TH-positive cells in the substantia nigra was more reduced 120 days after the first i.p injection than those of 60 days. Our data demonstrated that exposure to fenpropathrin could mimic the pathologic and pathogenetic features of PD especially in late onset cases. These results imply fenpropathrin as a DA neurotoxin and a possible environmental risk factor for PD. PMID:25575680

  15. Experimental model of intervertebral disc degeneration by needle puncture in Wistar rats

    PubMed Central

    Issy, A.C.; Castania, V.; Castania, M.; Salmon, C.E.G.; Nogueira-Barbosa, M.H.; Bel, E. Del; Defino, H.L.A.

    2013-01-01

    Animal models of intervertebral disc degeneration play an important role in clarifying the physiopathological mechanisms and testing novel therapeutic strategies. The objective of the present study is to describe a simple animal model of disc degeneration involving Wistar rats to be used for research studies. Disc degeneration was confirmed and classified by radiography, magnetic resonance and histological evaluation. Adult male Wistar rats were anesthetized and submitted to percutaneous disc puncture with a 20-gauge needle on levels 6-7 and 8-9 of the coccygeal vertebrae. The needle was inserted into the discs guided by fluoroscopy and its tip was positioned crossing the nucleus pulposus up to the contralateral annulus fibrosus, rotated 360° twice, and held for 30 s. To grade the severity of intervertebral disc degeneration, we measured the intervertebral disc height from radiographic images 7 and 30 days after the injury, and the signal intensity T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Histological analysis was performed with hematoxylin-eosin and collagen fiber orientation using picrosirius red staining and polarized light microscopy. Imaging and histological score analyses revealed significant disc degeneration both 7 and 30 days after the lesion, without deaths or systemic complications. Interobserver histological evaluation showed significant agreement. There was a significant positive correlation between histological score and intervertebral disc height 7 and 30 days after the lesion. We conclude that the tail disc puncture method using Wistar rats is a simple, cost-effective and reproducible model for inducing disc degeneration. PMID:23532265

  16. Microarray and qPCR Analyses of Wallerian Degeneration in Rat Sciatic Nerves

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Sheng; Tang, Xin; Yu, Jun; Liu, Jie; Ding, Fei; Gu, Xiaosong

    2017-01-01

    Wallerian degeneration occurs immediately following injury to mammal peripheral nerves. To better understand the molecular events occurring during Wallerian degeneration, a rat model of sciatic nerve transection was used to assess differentially expressed genes at 0.5, 1, 6, 12, 24 h, 4 days, 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks post nerve injury (PNI). Hierarchical clustering, Euclidean distance matrix, and principal component analysis (PCA) collectively suggested three distinct phases within the post-injury period of 4 weeks. Gene ontology (GO) analysis suggested that phase I (0–6 h PNI), phase II (6–24 h PNI), and phase III (4 days to 4 weeks) were associated with acute response to injury, preformation of Wallerian degeneration, and complete execution of Wallerian degeneration, respectively. Critical signaling pathways and transcriptional factor networks responsible for the regulation of Wallerian degeneration were further identified and integrated using Kyoto Enrichment of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA), respectively. Our results may help to elucidate some molecular mechanisms of gene regulation associated with Wallerian degeneration that occurs after traumatic injury to peripheral nerve axons in mammals. PMID:28239339

  17. Cartilage Degeneration, Subchondral Mineral and Meniscal Mineral Densities in Hartley and Strain 13 Guinea Pigs

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yubo; Scannell, Brian P; Honeycutt, Patrick R; Mauerhan, David R; H, James Norton; Hanley Jr, Edward N

    2015-01-01

    Osteoarthritis is a joint disease involved in articular cartilage, subchondral bone, meniscus and synovial membrane. This study sought to examine cartilage degeneration, subchondral bone mineral density (BMD) and meniscal mineral density (MD) in male Hartley, female Hartley and female strain 13 guinea pigs to determine the association of cartilage degeneration with subchondral BMD and meniscal MD. Cartilage degeneration, subchondral BMD and meniscal MD in 12 months old guinea pigs were examined with histochemistry, X-ray densitometry and calcium analysis. We found that male Hartley guinea pigs had more severe cartilage degeneration, subchondral BMD and meniscal MD than female Hartley guinea pigs, but not female strain 13 guinea pigs. Female strain 13 guinea pigs had more severe cartilage degeneration and higher subchondral BMD, but not meniscal MD, than female Hartley guinea pigs. These findings indicate that higher subchondral BMD, not meniscal MD, is associated with more severe cartilage degeneration in the guinea pigs and suggest that abnormal subchondral BMD may be a therapeutic target for OA treatment. These findings also indicate that the pathogenesis of OA in the male guinea pigs and female guinea pigs are different. Female strain 13 guinea pig may be used to study female gender-specific pathogenesis of OA. PMID:26401159

  18. Rate of climbing fiber degeneration in rabbit cerebellum following parafloccular stalk and medullopontine lesions.

    PubMed

    Mejia, H

    1976-02-15

    To resolve inconsistencies in experimental studies which use reduced silver methods to detect cerebellar climbing fiber sources within the brain stem, an evaluation of the temporal course of degeneration was undertaken. The paraflocculus of the rabbit is uniquely situated within the temporal bone and connects with the corpus cerebelli via a stalk passing through a bony foramen. A unilateral electrolytic lesion deafferented the paraflocculus without disturbing blood supply or causing damage (18 animals). Comparatively, another group of unilateral lesions was placed at the dorsolateral pontomedullary junction, adding significantly to the cortical area deafferented (12 animals). Animals of each group were killed at successively longer intervals commencing at 18 hours, and a modified Fink-Heimer impregnation process was applied to the cerebellar cortex and opposite-sided controls. In parafloccular lesions, degeneration was detected at 24 hours in the climbing fibers of the molecular layer. At successively longer intervals, degeneration became increasingly evident in granule layer and white matter. Subsequent to dorsolateral pontomedullary lesions, climbing fiber degeneration was first observed in the molecular layer at 24 hours and was clearly evident there at 36 hours. By 72 hours degeneration had reached the white matter, meanwhile disappearing in the molecular layer where it was first seen. Using techniques of Nauta-Fink-Heimer to display secondary climbing fiber degeneration in cerebellar cortex, it was found that too long post-operative intervals could preclude its detection, since in both groups of animals it commenced earlier and disappeared sooner in the molecular layer.

  19. Characterization of an Early-Onset, Autosomal Recessive, Progressive Retinal Degeneration in Bengal Cats

    PubMed Central

    Ofri, Ron; Reilly, Christopher M.; Maggs, David J.; Fitzgerald, Paul G.; Shilo-Benjamini, Yael; Good, Kathryn L.; Grahn, Robert A.; Splawski, Danielle D.; Lyons, Leslie A.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose A form of retinal degeneration suspected to be hereditary was discovered in a family of Bengal cats. A breeding colony was established to characterize disease progression clinically, electrophysiologically, and morphologically, and to investigate the mode of inheritance. Methods Affected and related cats were donated by owners for breeding trials and pedigree analysis. Kittens from test and complementation breedings underwent ophthalmic and neuro-ophthalmic examinations and ERG, and globes were evaluated using light microscopy. Results Pedigree analysis, along with test and complementation breedings, indicated autosomal recessive inheritance and suggested that this disease is nonallelic to a retinal degeneration found in Persian cats. Mutation analysis confirmed the disease is not caused by CEP290 or CRX variants found predominantly in Abyssinian and Siamese cats. Ophthalmoscopic signs of retinal degeneration were noted at 9 weeks of age and became more noticeable over the next 4 months. Visual deficits were behaviorally evident by 1 year of age. Electroretinogram demonstrated reduced rod and cone function at 7 and 9 weeks of age, respectively. Rod responses were mostly extinguished at 14 weeks of age; cone responses were minimal by 26 weeks. Histologic degeneration was first observed at 8 weeks, evidenced by reduced photoreceptor numbers, then rapid deterioration of the photoreceptor layer and, subsequently, severe outer retinal degeneration. Conclusions A recessively inherited primary photoreceptor degeneration was characterized in the Bengal cat. The disease is characterized by early onset, with histologic, ophthalmoscopic, and electrophysiological signs evident by 2 months of age, and rapid progression to blindness. PMID:26258614

  20. The Involvement of Protease Nexin-1 (PN1) in the Pathogenesis of Intervertebral Disc (IVD) Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xinghuo; Liu, Wei; Duan, Zhenfeng; Gao, Yong; Li, Shuai; Wang, Kun; Song, Yu; Shao, Zengwu; Yang, Shuhua; Yang, Cao

    2016-01-01

    Protease nexin-1 (PN-1) is a serine protease inhibitor belonging to the serpin superfamily. This study was undertaken to investigate the regulatory role of PN-1 in the pathogenesis of intervertebral disk (IVD) degeneration. Expression of PN-1 was detected in human IVD tissue of varying grades. Expression of both PN-1 mRNA and protein was significantly decreased in degenerated IVD, and the expression levels of PN-1 were correlated with the grade of disc degeneration. Moreover, a decrease in PN-1 expression in primary NP cells was confirmed. On induction by IL-1β, the expression of PN-1 in NP cells was decreased at day 7, 14, and 21, as shown by western blot analysis and immunofluorescence staining. PN-1 administration decreased IL-1β-induced MMPs and ADAMTS production and the loss of Agg and Col II in NP cell cultures through the ERK1/2/NF-kB signaling pathway. The changes in PN-1 expression are involved in the pathogenesis of IVD degeneration. Our findings indicate that PN-1 administration could antagonize IL-1β-induced MMPs and ADAMTS, potentially preventing degeneration of IVD tissue. This study also revealed new insights into the regulation of PN-1 expression via the ERK1/2/NF-kB signaling pathway and the role of PN-1 in the pathogenesis of IVD degeneration. PMID:27460424