Science.gov

Sample records for affect human activities

  1. Environmental layout complexity affects neural activity during navigation in humans.

    PubMed

    Slone, Edward; Burles, Ford; Iaria, Giuseppe

    2016-05-01

    Navigating large-scale surroundings is a fundamental ability. In humans, it is commonly assumed that navigational performance is affected by individual differences, such as age, sex, and cognitive strategies adopted for orientation. We recently showed that the layout of the environment itself also influences how well people are able to find their way within it, yet it remains unclear whether differences in environmental complexity are associated with changes in brain activity during navigation. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how the brain responds to a change in environmental complexity by asking participants to perform a navigation task in two large-scale virtual environments that differed solely in interconnection density, a measure of complexity defined as the average number of directional choices at decision points. The results showed that navigation in the simpler, less interconnected environment was faster and more accurate relative to the complex environment, and such performance was associated with increased activity in a number of brain areas (i.e. precuneus, retrosplenial cortex, and hippocampus) known to be involved in mental imagery, navigation, and memory. These findings provide novel evidence that environmental complexity not only affects navigational behaviour, but also modulates activity in brain regions that are important for successful orientation and navigation.

  2. Environmental layout complexity affects neural activity during navigation in humans.

    PubMed

    Slone, Edward; Burles, Ford; Iaria, Giuseppe

    2016-05-01

    Navigating large-scale surroundings is a fundamental ability. In humans, it is commonly assumed that navigational performance is affected by individual differences, such as age, sex, and cognitive strategies adopted for orientation. We recently showed that the layout of the environment itself also influences how well people are able to find their way within it, yet it remains unclear whether differences in environmental complexity are associated with changes in brain activity during navigation. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how the brain responds to a change in environmental complexity by asking participants to perform a navigation task in two large-scale virtual environments that differed solely in interconnection density, a measure of complexity defined as the average number of directional choices at decision points. The results showed that navigation in the simpler, less interconnected environment was faster and more accurate relative to the complex environment, and such performance was associated with increased activity in a number of brain areas (i.e. precuneus, retrosplenial cortex, and hippocampus) known to be involved in mental imagery, navigation, and memory. These findings provide novel evidence that environmental complexity not only affects navigational behaviour, but also modulates activity in brain regions that are important for successful orientation and navigation. PMID:26990572

  3. ANALYSIS OF DISCRIMINATING FACTORS IN HUMAN ACTIVITIES THAT AFFECT EXPOSURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Accurately modeling exposure to particulate matter (PM) and other pollutants ultimately involves the utilization of human location-activity databases to assist in understanding the potential variability of microenvironmental exposures. This paper critically considers and stati...

  4. Disturbances of electrodynamic activity affect abortion in human

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jandová, A.; Nedbalová, M.; Kobilková, J.; Čoček, A.; Dohnalová, A.; Cifra, M.; Pokorný, J.

    2011-12-01

    Biochemical research of biological systems is highly developed, and it has disclosed a spectrum of chemical reactions, genetic processes, and the pathological development of various diseases. The fundamental hypothesis of physical processes in biological systems, in particular of coherent electrically polar vibrations and electromagnetic activity, was formulated by H. Fröhlich he assumed connection of cancer process with degradation of coherent electromagnetic activity. But the questions of cellular structures capable of the coherent electrical polar oscillation, mechanisms of energy supply, and the specific role of the endogenous electromagnetic fields in transport, organisation, interactions, and information transfer remained open. The nature of physical disturbances caused by some diseases (including the recurrent abortion in humans and the cancer) was unknown. We have studied the reasons of recurrent abortions in humans by means of the cell mediated immunity (using immunologic active RNA prepared from blood of inbred laboratory mice strain C3H/H2K, infected with the lactate dehydrogenase elevating virus-LD V) and the cytogenetic examination from karyotype pictures. The recurrent abortion group contained women with dg. spontaneous abortion (n = 24) and the control group was composed of 30 healthy pregnant women. Our hypothesis was related to quality of endometrium in relation to nidation of the blastocyst. The energetic insufficiency (ATP) inhibits normal development of fetus and placenta. We hope that these ideas might have impact on further research, which could provide background for effective interdisciplinary cooperation of malignant and non-malignant diseases.

  5. Diurnal Human Activity and Introduced Species Affect Occurrence of Carnivores in a Human-Dominated Landscape.

    PubMed

    Moreira-Arce, Dario; Vergara, Pablo M; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    Diurnal human activity and domestic dogs in agro-forestry mosaics should theoretically modify the diurnal habitat use patterns of native carnivores, with these effects being scale-dependent. We combined intensive camera trapping data with Bayesian occurrence probability models to evaluate both diurnal and nocturnal patterns of space use by carnivores in a mosaic of land-use types in southern Chile. A total of eight carnivores species were recorded, including human-introduced dogs. During the day the most frequently detected species were the culpeo fox and the cougar. Conversely, during the night, the kodkod and chilla fox were the most detected species. The best supported models showed that native carnivores responded differently to landscape attributes and dogs depending on both the time of day as well as the spatial scale of landscape attributes. The positive effect of native forest cover at 250 m and 500 m radius buffers was stronger during the night for the Darwin's fox and cougar. Road density at 250 m scale negatively affected the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s fox, whereas at 500 m scale roads had a stronger negative effect on the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s foxes and cougars. A positive effect of road density on dog occurrence was evidenced during both night and day. Patch size had a positive effect on cougar occurrence during night whereas it affected negatively the occurrence of culpeo foxes and skunks during day. Dog occurrence had a negative effect on Darwin's fox occurrence during day-time and night-time, whereas its negative effect on the occurrence of cougar was evidenced only during day-time. Carnivore occurrences were not influenced by the proximity to a conservation area. Our results provided support for the hypothesis that diurnal changes to carnivore occurrence were associated with human and dog activity. Landscape planning in our study area should be focused in reducing both the levels of diurnal human activity in native forest remnants

  6. Diurnal Human Activity and Introduced Species Affect Occurrence of Carnivores in a Human-Dominated Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Moreira-Arce, Dario; Vergara, Pablo M.; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    Diurnal human activity and domestic dogs in agro-forestry mosaics should theoretically modify the diurnal habitat use patterns of native carnivores, with these effects being scale-dependent. We combined intensive camera trapping data with Bayesian occurrence probability models to evaluate both diurnal and nocturnal patterns of space use by carnivores in a mosaic of land-use types in southern Chile. A total of eight carnivores species were recorded, including human-introduced dogs. During the day the most frequently detected species were the culpeo fox and the cougar. Conversely, during the night, the kodkod and chilla fox were the most detected species. The best supported models showed that native carnivores responded differently to landscape attributes and dogs depending on both the time of day as well as the spatial scale of landscape attributes. The positive effect of native forest cover at 250m and 500 m radius buffers was stronger during the night for the Darwin's fox and cougar. Road density at 250m scale negatively affected the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s fox, whereas at 500m scale roads had a stronger negative effect on the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s foxes and cougars. A positive effect of road density on dog occurrence was evidenced during both night and day. Patch size had a positive effect on cougar occurrence during night whereas it affected negatively the occurrence of culpeo foxes and skunks during day. Dog occurrence had a negative effect on Darwin's fox occurrence during day-time and night-time, whereas its negative effect on the occurrence of cougar was evidenced only during day-time. Carnivore occurrences were not influenced by the proximity to a conservation area. Our results provided support for the hypothesis that diurnal changes to carnivore occurrence were associated with human and dog activity. Landscape planning in our study area should be focused in reducing both the levels of diurnal human activity in native forest remnants and

  7. Diurnal Human Activity and Introduced Species Affect Occurrence of Carnivores in a Human-Dominated Landscape.

    PubMed

    Moreira-Arce, Dario; Vergara, Pablo M; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    Diurnal human activity and domestic dogs in agro-forestry mosaics should theoretically modify the diurnal habitat use patterns of native carnivores, with these effects being scale-dependent. We combined intensive camera trapping data with Bayesian occurrence probability models to evaluate both diurnal and nocturnal patterns of space use by carnivores in a mosaic of land-use types in southern Chile. A total of eight carnivores species were recorded, including human-introduced dogs. During the day the most frequently detected species were the culpeo fox and the cougar. Conversely, during the night, the kodkod and chilla fox were the most detected species. The best supported models showed that native carnivores responded differently to landscape attributes and dogs depending on both the time of day as well as the spatial scale of landscape attributes. The positive effect of native forest cover at 250 m and 500 m radius buffers was stronger during the night for the Darwin's fox and cougar. Road density at 250 m scale negatively affected the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s fox, whereas at 500 m scale roads had a stronger negative effect on the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s foxes and cougars. A positive effect of road density on dog occurrence was evidenced during both night and day. Patch size had a positive effect on cougar occurrence during night whereas it affected negatively the occurrence of culpeo foxes and skunks during day. Dog occurrence had a negative effect on Darwin's fox occurrence during day-time and night-time, whereas its negative effect on the occurrence of cougar was evidenced only during day-time. Carnivore occurrences were not influenced by the proximity to a conservation area. Our results provided support for the hypothesis that diurnal changes to carnivore occurrence were associated with human and dog activity. Landscape planning in our study area should be focused in reducing both the levels of diurnal human activity in native forest remnants

  8. Do human activities affect the picoplankton structure of the Ahe atoll lagoon (Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia)?

    PubMed

    Bouvy, Marc; Dupuy, Christine; Pagano, Marc; Barani, Aude; Charpy, Loic

    2012-01-01

    The spatial variations of the picoplankton (photoautotrophic and heterotrophic microorganisms) in the Ahe atoll lagoon were studied in May and October 2008 to assess whether they were affected by human activities along the atoll. Spatial patterns were studied using 10 sampling stations chosen according to the location of the anthropogenic activities (pearl farming, harbor). Experiments were also carried out to determine whether bacterial growth, with or without predators, was limited by inorganic (N and P) substrates. The results showed that heterotrophic bacterioplankton abundance was superior to the photoautotrophic organisms, especially in May. Significant increases in bacterial abundance were observed in May after 24 h incubation with +P and +N (but not in October). All samples complied with the quality levels for fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) defined by the European Union and there was no evidence that human sewage had any impact on picoplankton over the whole atoll. PMID:22306310

  9. Do human activities affect the picoplankton structure of the Ahe atoll lagoon (Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia)?

    PubMed

    Bouvy, Marc; Dupuy, Christine; Pagano, Marc; Barani, Aude; Charpy, Loic

    2012-01-01

    The spatial variations of the picoplankton (photoautotrophic and heterotrophic microorganisms) in the Ahe atoll lagoon were studied in May and October 2008 to assess whether they were affected by human activities along the atoll. Spatial patterns were studied using 10 sampling stations chosen according to the location of the anthropogenic activities (pearl farming, harbor). Experiments were also carried out to determine whether bacterial growth, with or without predators, was limited by inorganic (N and P) substrates. The results showed that heterotrophic bacterioplankton abundance was superior to the photoautotrophic organisms, especially in May. Significant increases in bacterial abundance were observed in May after 24 h incubation with +P and +N (but not in October). All samples complied with the quality levels for fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) defined by the European Union and there was no evidence that human sewage had any impact on picoplankton over the whole atoll.

  10. Do different degrees of human activity affect the diet of Brazilian silverside Atherinella brasiliensis?

    PubMed

    Alves, V E N; Patrício, J; Dolbeth, M; Pessanha, A; Palma, A R T; Dantas, E W; Vendel, A L

    2016-08-01

    The aim of the present study was to test whether different degrees of human activity affect the diet of the Brazilian silverside Atherinella brasiliensis in two tropical estuaries. Fish were collected along the salinity gradient of two Brazilian estuaries, the heavily impacted Paraiba Estuary and the less impacted Mamanguape Estuary, in the dry and wet seasons. The findings confirm that A. brasiliensis has generalist feeding habits and is able to change its diet under different environmental conditions. The results indicate clear spatial (i.e. along the estuarine gradient) changes in diet composition in both estuaries, but diet was also influenced by the degree of anthropogenic disturbance. During the wet season in the nutrient enriched Paraiba Estuary, when human activity was higher, the diet of A. brasiliensis was poorer and dominated by few dietary items, reflecting the potential impoverishment of prey items in this heavily disturbed system. The specimens collected in the most affected estuary also had a greater frequency of micro-plastics and parasites in their stomachs, reflecting the greater degree of human disturbance in the estuary. The present findings suggest that the diet of A. brasiliensis could be a useful indicator of changes in the ecological quality of these and other tropical estuaries of the western Atlantic Ocean. PMID:27328827

  11. Low-frequency sound affects active micromechanics in the human inner ear

    PubMed Central

    Kugler, Kathrin; Wiegrebe, Lutz; Grothe, Benedikt; Kössl, Manfred; Gürkov, Robert; Krause, Eike; Drexl, Markus

    2014-01-01

    Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common auditory pathologies, resulting from overstimulation of the human cochlea, an exquisitely sensitive micromechanical device. At very low frequencies (less than 250 Hz), however, the sensitivity of human hearing, and therefore the perceived loudness is poor. The perceived loudness is mediated by the inner hair cells of the cochlea which are driven very inadequately at low frequencies. To assess the impact of low-frequency (LF) sound, we exploited a by-product of the active amplification of sound outer hair cells (OHCs) perform, so-called spontaneous otoacoustic emissions. These are faint sounds produced by the inner ear that can be used to detect changes of cochlear physiology. We show that a short exposure to perceptually unobtrusive, LF sounds significantly affects OHCs: a 90 s, 80 dB(A) LF sound induced slow, concordant and positively correlated frequency and level oscillations of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions that lasted for about 2 min after LF sound offset. LF sounds, contrary to their unobtrusive perception, strongly stimulate the human cochlea and affect amplification processes in the most sensitive and important frequency range of human hearing. PMID:26064536

  12. 4-Methylthiobutyl isothiocyanate (Erucin) from rocket plant dichotomously affects the activity of human immunocompetent cells.

    PubMed

    Gründemann, Carsten; Garcia-Käufer, Manuel; Lamy, Evelyn; Hanschen, Franziska S; Huber, Roman

    2015-03-15

    Isothiocyanates (ITC) from the Brassicaceae plant family are regarded as promising for prevention and treatment of cancer. However, experimental settings consider their therapeutic action without taking into account the risk of unwanted effects on healthy tissues. In the present study we investigated the effects of Eruca sativa seed extract containing MTBITC (Erucin) and pure Erucin from rocket plant on healthy cells of the human immune system in vitro. Hereby, high doses of the plant extract as well as of Erucin inhibited cell viability of human lymphocytes via induction of apoptosis to comparable amounts. Non-toxic low concentrations of the plant extract and pure Erucin altered the expression of the interleukin (IL)-2 receptor but did not affect further T cell activation, proliferation and the release of the effector molecules interferon (IFN)-gamma and IL-2 of T-lymphocytes. However, the activity of NK-cells was significantly reduced by non-toxic concentrations of the plant extract and pure Erucin. These results indicate that the plant extract and pure Erucin interfere with the function of human T lymphocytes and decreases the activity of NK-cells in comparable concentrations. Long-term clinical studies with ITC-enriched plant extracts from Brassicaceae should take this into account.

  13. PMCA activity and membrane tubulin affect deformability of erythrocytes from normal and hypertensive human subjects.

    PubMed

    Monesterolo, Noelia E; Nigra, Ayelen D; Campetelli, Alexis N; Santander, Verónica S; Rivelli, Juan F; Arce, Carlos A; Casale, Cesar H

    2015-11-01

    Our previous studies demonstrated formation of a complex between acetylated tubulin and brain plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPase (PMCA), and the effect of the lipid environment on structure of this complex and on PMCA activity. Deformability of erythrocytes from hypertensive human subjects was reduced by an increase in membrane tubulin content. In the present study, we examined the regulation of PMCA activity by tubulin in normotensive and hypertensive erythrocytes, and the effect of exogenously added diacylglycerol (DAG) and phosphatidic acid (PA) on erythrocyte deformability. Some of the key findings were that: (i) PMCA was associated with tubulin in normotensive and hypertensive erythrocytes, (ii) PMCA enzyme activity was directly correlated with erythrocyte deformability, and (iii) when tubulin was present in the erythrocyte membrane, treatment with DAG or PA led to increased deformability and associated PMCA activity. Taken together, our findings indicate that PMCA activity is involved in deformability of both normotensive and hypertensive erythrocytes. This rheological property of erythrocytes is affected by acetylated tubulin and its lipid environment because both regulate PMCA activity.

  14. 50 Hz sinusoidal magnetic fields do not affect human lymphocyte activation and proliferation in vitro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capri, Miriam; Mesirca, Pietro; Remondini, Daniel; Carosella, Simona; Pasi, Sara; Castellani, Gastone; Franceschi, Claudio; Bersani, Ferdinando

    2004-12-01

    In the last 30 years, an increasing public concern about the possible harmful effects of electromagnetic fields generated by power lines and domestic appliances has pushed the scientific community to search for a correct and comprehensive answer to this problem. In this work the effects of exposure to 50 Hz sinusoidal magnetic fields, with a magnetic flux density of 0.05 mT and 2.5 mT (peak values), were studied on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected from healthy young and elderly donors. Cell activation and proliferation were investigated by using flow cytometry techniques and 3H-TdR incorporation assays, respectively. The results obtained indicated that exposure to the fields altered neither DNA synthesis nor the capacity of lymphocytes to enter the activation phase and progress into the cell cycle. Thus, the conclusions are that two important functional phases of human lymphocytes, such as activation and proliferation, are not affected by exposures to 50 Hz magnetic fields similar to those found under power lines.

  15. Anthocyanidins modulate the activity of human DNA topoisomerases I and II and affect cellular DNA integrity.

    PubMed

    Habermeyer, Michael; Fritz, Jessica; Barthelmes, Hans U; Christensen, Morten O; Larsen, Morten K; Boege, Fritz; Marko, Doris

    2005-09-01

    In the present study, we investigated the effect of anthocyanidins on human topoisomerases I and II and its relevance for DNA integrity within human cells. Anthocyanidins bearing vicinal hydroxy groups at the B-ring (delphinidin, DEL; cyanidin, CY) were found to potently inhibit the catalytic activity of human topoisomerases I and II, without discriminating between the IIalpha and the IIbeta isoforms. However, in contrast to topoisomerase poisons, DEL and CY did not stabilize the covalent DNA-topoisomerase intermediates (cleavable complex) of topoisomerase I or II. Using recombinant topoisomerase I, the presence of CY or DEL (> or = 1 microM) effectively prohibited the stabilization of the cleavable complex by the topoisomerase I poison camptothecin. We furthermore investigated whether the potential protective effect vs topoisomerase I poisons is reflected also on the cellular level, affecting the DNA damaging properties of camptothecin. Indeed, in HT29 cells, low micromolar concentrations of DEL (1-10 microM) significantly diminished the DNA strand breaking effect of camptothecin (100 microM). However, at concentrations > or = 50 microM, all anthocyanidins tested (delphinidin, cyanidin, malvidin, pelargonidin, and paeonidin), including those not interfering with topoisomerases, were found to induce DNA strand breaks in the comet assay. All of these analogues were able to compete with ethidium bromide for the intercalation into calf thymus DNA and to replace the minor groove binder Hoechst 33258. These data indicate substantial affinity to double-stranded DNA, which might contribute at least to the DNA strand breaking effect of anthocyanidins at higher concentrations (> or = 50 microM).

  16. Trace metals in sediments of a Mediterranean estuary affected by human activities (Acheloos river estuary, Greece).

    PubMed

    Dassenakis, M; Degaita, A; Scoullos, M

    1995-05-19

    Trace metals were studied in the sediments of the ecologically, economically and scientifically important estuary of the Acheloos river, in western Greece. Human activities (dams, agriculture, traffic, etc.) influence the estuarine system of Acheloos and in combination with the hydrological, mineralogical and morphological characteristics of the estuary affect the chemical behaviour and the distribution patterns of trace metals in its sediments. The large scale disturbance of the system is imminent in the near future as it is planned to divert approximately 50% of the river water. A study of the distribution patterns of trace metals revealed that in the estuary there are zones with different metal levels. The concentrations of most metals (Al, Fe, Cu, Ni, Zn) are elevated in three of these zones (upstream, sill, seawards). A different behaviour was observed for Mn due to its association with carbonates that were observed in significant concentrations throughout the estuarine zone. A sequential extraction procedure, applied to the sediments, indicated low percentages of easily exchangeable metals, increased mobility of Cu and Zn and increased association of Ni, Cr and Fe with the aluminosilicate lattice. Although the river is not considered to be heavily polluted, some metals have shown an enrichment in the surface sediments as a result of general anthropogenic activities not derived from point sources.

  17. Cell culture density affects the proliferation activity of human adipose tissue stem cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Dae Seong; Lee, Myoung Woo; Ko, Young Jong; Chun, Yong Hoon; Kim, Hyung Joon; Sung, Ki Woong; Koo, Hong Hoe; Yoo, Keon Hee

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we investigated the effect of cell density on the proliferation activity of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from adipose tissue (AT-MSCs) over time in culture. Passage #4 (P4) and #12 (P12) AT-MSCs from two donors were plated at a density of 200 (culture condition 1, CC1) or 5000 (culture condition 2, CC2) cells cm(-2) . After 7 days of incubation, P4 and P12 AT-MSCs cultured in CC1 were thin and spindle-shaped, whereas those cultured in CC2 had extensive cell-to-cell contacts and an expanded cell volume. In addition, P4 and P12 AT-MSCs in CC1 divided more than three times, while those in CC2 divided less than once on average. Flow cytometric analysis using 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein diacetate N-succinimidyl ester dye showed that the fluorescence intensity of AT-MSCs was lower in CC1 than in CC2. Furthermore, expression of proliferation-associated genes, such as CDC45L, CDC20A and KIF20A, in P4 AT-MSCs was higher in CC1 than in CC2, and this difference was also observed in P12 AT-MSCs. These data demonstrated that cell culture density affects the proliferation activity of MSCs, suggesting that it is feasible to design a strategy to prepare suitable MSCs using specific culture conditions.

  18. Genetic factors affecting gene transcription and catalytic activity of UDP-glucuronosyltransferases in human liver.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wanqing; Ramírez, Jacqueline; Gamazon, Eric R; Mirkov, Snezana; Chen, Peixian; Wu, Kehua; Sun, Chang; Cox, Nancy J; Cook, Edwin; Das, Soma; Ratain, Mark J

    2014-10-15

    The aim of this study was to discover cis- and trans-acting factors significantly affecting mRNA expression and catalytic activity of human hepatic UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs). Transcription levels of five major hepatic UGT1A (UGT1A1, UGT1A3, UGT1A4, UGT1A6 and UGT1A9) and five UGT2B (UGT2B4, UGT2B7, UGT2B10, UGT2B15 and UGT2B17) genes were quantified in human liver tissue samples (n = 125) using real-time PCR. Glucuronidation activities of 14 substrates were measured in 47 livers. We genotyped 167 tagSNPs (single-nucleotide polymorphisms) in UGT1A (n = 43) and UGT2B (n = 124), as well as the known functional UGT1A1*28 and UGT2B17 CNV (copy number variation) polymorphisms. Transcription levels of 15 transcription factors (TFs) known to regulate these UGTs were quantified. We found that UGT expression and activity were highly variable among the livers (median and range of coefficient of variations: 135%, 74-217% and 52%, 39-105%, respectively). CAR, PXR and ESR1 were found to be the most important trans-regulators of UGT transcription (median and range of correlation coefficients: 46%, 6-58%; 47%, 9-58%; and 52%, 24-75%, respectively). Hepatic UGT activities were mainly determined by UGT gene transcription levels. Twenty-one polymorphisms were significantly (FDR-adjusted P < 0.05) associated with mRNA expression and/or activities of UGT1A1, UGT1A3 and UGT2B17. We found novel SNPs in the UGT2B17 CNV region accounting for variability in UGT2B17 gene transcription and testosterone glucuronidation rate, in addition to that attributable to the UGT2B17 CNV. Our study discovered novel pharmacogenetic markers and provided detailed insight into the genetic network regulating hepatic UGTs.

  19. Genetic factors affecting gene transcription and catalytic activity of UDP-glucuronosyltransferases in human liver.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wanqing; Ramírez, Jacqueline; Gamazon, Eric R; Mirkov, Snezana; Chen, Peixian; Wu, Kehua; Sun, Chang; Cox, Nancy J; Cook, Edwin; Das, Soma; Ratain, Mark J

    2014-10-15

    The aim of this study was to discover cis- and trans-acting factors significantly affecting mRNA expression and catalytic activity of human hepatic UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs). Transcription levels of five major hepatic UGT1A (UGT1A1, UGT1A3, UGT1A4, UGT1A6 and UGT1A9) and five UGT2B (UGT2B4, UGT2B7, UGT2B10, UGT2B15 and UGT2B17) genes were quantified in human liver tissue samples (n = 125) using real-time PCR. Glucuronidation activities of 14 substrates were measured in 47 livers. We genotyped 167 tagSNPs (single-nucleotide polymorphisms) in UGT1A (n = 43) and UGT2B (n = 124), as well as the known functional UGT1A1*28 and UGT2B17 CNV (copy number variation) polymorphisms. Transcription levels of 15 transcription factors (TFs) known to regulate these UGTs were quantified. We found that UGT expression and activity were highly variable among the livers (median and range of coefficient of variations: 135%, 74-217% and 52%, 39-105%, respectively). CAR, PXR and ESR1 were found to be the most important trans-regulators of UGT transcription (median and range of correlation coefficients: 46%, 6-58%; 47%, 9-58%; and 52%, 24-75%, respectively). Hepatic UGT activities were mainly determined by UGT gene transcription levels. Twenty-one polymorphisms were significantly (FDR-adjusted P < 0.05) associated with mRNA expression and/or activities of UGT1A1, UGT1A3 and UGT2B17. We found novel SNPs in the UGT2B17 CNV region accounting for variability in UGT2B17 gene transcription and testosterone glucuronidation rate, in addition to that attributable to the UGT2B17 CNV. Our study discovered novel pharmacogenetic markers and provided detailed insight into the genetic network regulating hepatic UGTs. PMID:24879639

  20. Food Affects Human Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kolata, Gina

    1982-01-01

    A conference on whether food and nutrients affect human behavior was held on November 9, 1982 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Various research studies on this topic are reviewed, including the effects of food on brain biochemistry (particularly sleep) and effects of tryptophane as a pain reducer. (JN)

  1. Cdx2 Polymorphism Affects the Activities of Vitamin D Receptor in Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines and Human Breast Carcinomas

    PubMed Central

    Di Benedetto, Anna; Korita, Etleva; Goeman, Frauke; Sacconi, Andrea; Biagioni, Francesca; Blandino, Giovanni; Strano, Sabrina; Muti, Paola; Mottolese, Marcella; Falvo, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    Vitamin D plays a role in cancer development and acts through the vitamin D receptor (VDR). It regulates the action of hormone responsive genes and is involved in cell cycle regulation, differentiation and apoptosis. VDR is a critical component of the vitamin D pathway and different common single nucleotide polymorphisms have been identified. Cdx2 VDR polymorphism can play an important role in breast cancer, modulating the activity of VDR. The objective of this study is to assess the relationship between the Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and the activities of VDR in human breast cancer cell lines and carcinomas breast patients. Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and antiproliferative effects of vitamin D treatment were investigated in a panel of estrogen receptor-positive (MCF7 and T-47D) and estrogen receptor-negative (MDA-MB-231, SUM 159PT, SK-BR-3, BT549, MDA-MB-468, HCC1143, BT20 and HCC1954) human breast cancer cell lines. Furthermore, the potential relationship among Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and a number of biomarkers used in clinical management of breast cancer was assessed in an ad hoc set of breast cancer cases. Vitamin D treatment efficacy was found to be strongly dependent on the Cdx2 VDR status in ER-negative breast cancer cell lines tested. In our series of breast cancer cases, the results indicated that patients with variant homozygote AA were associated with bio-pathological characteristics typical of more aggressive tumours, such as ER negative, HER2 positive and G3. Our results may suggest a potential effect of Cdx2 VDR polymorphism on the efficacy of vitamin D treatment in aggressive breast cancer cells (estrogen receptor negative). These results suggest that Cdx2 polymorphism may be a potential biomarker for vitamin D treatment in breast cancer, independently of the VDR receptor expression. PMID:25849303

  2. Cdx2 polymorphism affects the activities of vitamin D receptor in human breast cancer cell lines and human breast carcinomas.

    PubMed

    Pulito, Claudio; Terrenato, Irene; Di Benedetto, Anna; Korita, Etleva; Goeman, Frauke; Sacconi, Andrea; Biagioni, Francesca; Blandino, Giovanni; Strano, Sabrina; Muti, Paola; Mottolese, Marcella; Falvo, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    Vitamin D plays a role in cancer development and acts through the vitamin D receptor (VDR). It regulates the action of hormone responsive genes and is involved in cell cycle regulation, differentiation and apoptosis. VDR is a critical component of the vitamin D pathway and different common single nucleotide polymorphisms have been identified. Cdx2 VDR polymorphism can play an important role in breast cancer, modulating the activity of VDR. The objective of this study is to assess the relationship between the Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and the activities of VDR in human breast cancer cell lines and carcinomas breast patients. Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and antiproliferative effects of vitamin D treatment were investigated in a panel of estrogen receptor-positive (MCF7 and T-47D) and estrogen receptor-negative (MDA-MB-231, SUM 159PT, SK-BR-3, BT549, MDA-MB-468, HCC1143, BT20 and HCC1954) human breast cancer cell lines. Furthermore, the potential relationship among Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and a number of biomarkers used in clinical management of breast cancer was assessed in an ad hoc set of breast cancer cases. Vitamin D treatment efficacy was found to be strongly dependent on the Cdx2 VDR status in ER-negative breast cancer cell lines tested. In our series of breast cancer cases, the results indicated that patients with variant homozygote AA were associated with bio-pathological characteristics typical of more aggressive tumours, such as ER negative, HER2 positive and G3. Our results may suggest a potential effect of Cdx2 VDR polymorphism on the efficacy of vitamin D treatment in aggressive breast cancer cells (estrogen receptor negative). These results suggest that Cdx2 polymorphism may be a potential biomarker for vitamin D treatment in breast cancer, independently of the VDR receptor expression. PMID:25849303

  3. Cdx2 polymorphism affects the activities of vitamin D receptor in human breast cancer cell lines and human breast carcinomas.

    PubMed

    Pulito, Claudio; Terrenato, Irene; Di Benedetto, Anna; Korita, Etleva; Goeman, Frauke; Sacconi, Andrea; Biagioni, Francesca; Blandino, Giovanni; Strano, Sabrina; Muti, Paola; Mottolese, Marcella; Falvo, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    Vitamin D plays a role in cancer development and acts through the vitamin D receptor (VDR). It regulates the action of hormone responsive genes and is involved in cell cycle regulation, differentiation and apoptosis. VDR is a critical component of the vitamin D pathway and different common single nucleotide polymorphisms have been identified. Cdx2 VDR polymorphism can play an important role in breast cancer, modulating the activity of VDR. The objective of this study is to assess the relationship between the Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and the activities of VDR in human breast cancer cell lines and carcinomas breast patients. Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and antiproliferative effects of vitamin D treatment were investigated in a panel of estrogen receptor-positive (MCF7 and T-47D) and estrogen receptor-negative (MDA-MB-231, SUM 159PT, SK-BR-3, BT549, MDA-MB-468, HCC1143, BT20 and HCC1954) human breast cancer cell lines. Furthermore, the potential relationship among Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and a number of biomarkers used in clinical management of breast cancer was assessed in an ad hoc set of breast cancer cases. Vitamin D treatment efficacy was found to be strongly dependent on the Cdx2 VDR status in ER-negative breast cancer cell lines tested. In our series of breast cancer cases, the results indicated that patients with variant homozygote AA were associated with bio-pathological characteristics typical of more aggressive tumours, such as ER negative, HER2 positive and G3. Our results may suggest a potential effect of Cdx2 VDR polymorphism on the efficacy of vitamin D treatment in aggressive breast cancer cells (estrogen receptor negative). These results suggest that Cdx2 polymorphism may be a potential biomarker for vitamin D treatment in breast cancer, independently of the VDR receptor expression.

  4. Metals affect the structure and activity of human plasminogen activator inhibitor-1. II. Binding affinity and conformational changes

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Lawrence C; Goswami, Sumit; Peterson, Cynthia B

    2011-01-01

    Human plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) is a serine protease inhibitor with a metastable active conformation. The lifespan of the active form of PAI-1 is modulated via interaction with the plasma protein, vitronectin, and various metal ions. These metal ions fall into two categories: Type I metals, including calcium, magnesium, and manganese, stabilize PAI-1 in the absence of vitronectin, whereas Type II metals, including cobalt, copper, and nickel, destabilize PAI-1 in the absence of vitronectin, but stabilize PAI-1 in its presence. To provide a mechanistic basis for understanding the unusual modulation of PAI-1 structure and activity, the binding characteristics and conformational effects of these two types of metals were further evaluated. Steady-state binding measurements using surface plasmon resonance indicated that both active and latent PAI-1 exhibit a dissociation constant in the low micromolar range for binding to immobilized nickel. Stopped-flow measurements of approach-to-equilibrium changes in intrinsic protein fluorescence indicated that the Type I and Type II metals bind in different modes that induce distinct conformational effects on PAI-1. Changes in the observed rate constants with varying concentrations of metal allowed accurate determination of binding affinities for cobalt, nickel, and copper, yielding dissociation constants of ∼40, 30, and 0.09 μM, respectively. Competition experiments that tested effects on PAI-1 stability were consistent with these measurements of affinity and indicate that copper binds tightly to PAI-1. PMID:21280128

  5. Physical activity affects plasma coenzyme Q10 levels differently in young and old humans.

    PubMed

    Del Pozo-Cruz, Jesús; Rodríguez-Bies, Elisabet; Ballesteros-Simarro, Manuel; Navas-Enamorado, Ignacio; Tung, Bui Thanh; Navas, Plácido; López-Lluch, Guillermo

    2014-04-01

    Coenzyme Q (Q) is a key lipidic compound for cell bioenergetics and membrane antioxidant activities. It has been shown that also has a central role in the prevention of oxidation of plasma lipoproteins. Q has been associated with the prevention of cholesterol oxidation and several aging-related diseases. However, to date no clear data on the levels of plasma Q during aging are available. We have measured the levels of plasmatic Q10 and cholesterol in young and old individuals showing different degrees of physical activity. Our results indicate that plasma Q10 levels in old people are higher that the levels found in young people. Our analysis also indicates that there is no a relationship between the degree of physical activity and Q10 levels when the general population is studied. However, very interestingly, we have found a different tendency between Q10 levels and physical activity depending on the age of individuals. In young people, higher activity correlates with lower Q10 levels in plasma whereas in older adults this ratio changes and higher activity is related to higher plasma Q10 levels and higher Q10/Chol ratios. Higher Q10 levels in plasma are related to lower lipoperoxidation and oxidized LDL levels in elderly people. Our results highlight the importance of life habits in the analysis of Q10 in plasma and indicate that the practice of physical activity at old age can improve antioxidant capacity in plasma and help to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

  6. Daidzein-sulfate metabolites affect transcriptional and antiproliferative activities of estrogen receptor-beta in cultured human cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Totta, Pierangela; Acconcia, Filippo; Virgili, Fabio; Cassidy, Aedin; Weinberg, Peter D; Rimbach, Gerald; Marino, Maria

    2005-11-01

    Daidzein (D), a soy isoflavone, is almost completely metabolized in the gut and liver. This biotransformation converts D to more water-soluble products and may affect its biological activity. The ability of daidzein metabolites to modulate 17beta-estradiol (E2)-sensitive gene transcription, cell growth, and a proapoptotic cascade was determined in human cancer cells devoid of any estrogen receptor (ER) and rendered E2 sensitive after transfection with ERbeta. The data show that D and some but not all of its metabolites 1) induce promoter activity, 2) reduce proliferation, 3) promote p38/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation, and 4) activate a proapoptotic cascade involving the cleavage of caspase-3 and its substrate poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP) in human cancer cells in an ERbeta-dependent manner. Pretreatment of cells with ICI 182,780, a pure antiestrogen, completely prevented the actions of D and its metabolites. These findings highlight the important and complex influence of metabolic transformation on key physiological effects of isoflavones and demonstrate the need to take biotransformation into account when assessing the potential health benefits of consuming soy isoflavones. PMID:16251631

  7. Activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor affects activation and function of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, C; Ye, Z; Kijlstra, A; Zhou, Y; Yang, P

    2014-08-01

    Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is well known for mediating the toxic effects of dioxin-containing pollutants, but has also been shown to be involved in the natural regulation of the immune response. In this study, we investigated the effect of AhR activation by its endogenous ligands 6-formylindolo[3,2-b]carbazole (FICZ) and 2-(1'H-indole-3'-carbonyl)-thiazole-4-carboxylic acid methyl ester (ITE) on the differentiation, maturation and function of monocyte-derived DCs in Behçet's disease (BD) patients. In this study, we showed that AhR activation by FICZ and ITE down-regulated the expression of co-stimulatory molecules including human leucocyte antigen D-related (HLA-DR), CD80 and CD86, while it had no effect on the expression of CD83 and CD40 on DCs derived from BD patients and normal controls. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated dendritic cells (DCs) from active BD patients showed a higher level of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-23 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α production. FICZ or ITE significantly inhibited the production of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-23 and TNF-α, but induced IL-10 production by DCs derived from active BD patients and normal controls. FICZ or ITE-treated DCs significantly inhibited the T helper type 17 (Th17) and Th1 cell response. Activation of AhR either by FICZ or ITE inhibits DC differentiation, maturation and function. Further studies are needed to investigate whether manipulation of the AhR pathway may be used to treat BD or other autoimmune diseases.

  8. Reducing the likelihood of future human activities that could affect geologic high-level waste repositories

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-05-01

    The disposal of radioactive wastes in deep geologic formations provides a means of isolating the waste from people until the radioactivity has decayed to safe levels. However, isolating people from the wastes is a different problem, since we do not know what the future condition of society will be. The Human Interference Task Force was convened by the US Department of Energy to determine whether reasonable means exist (or could be developed) to reduce the likelihood of future human unintentionally intruding on radioactive waste isolation systems. The task force concluded that significant reductions in the likelihood of human interference could be achieved, for perhaps thousands of years into the future, if appropriate steps are taken to communicate the existence of the repository. Consequently, for two years the task force directed most of its study toward the area of long-term communication. Methods are discussed for achieving long-term communication by using permanent markers and widely disseminated records, with various steps taken to provide multiple levels of protection against loss, destruction, and major language/societal changes. Also developed is the concept of a universal symbol to denote Caution - Biohazardous Waste Buried Here. If used for the thousands of non-radioactive biohazardous waste sites in this country alone, a symbol could transcend generations and language changes, thereby vastly improving the likelihood of successful isolation of all buried biohazardous wastes.

  9. Chemical form of selenium affects its uptake, transport, and glutathione peroxidase activity in the human intestinal Caco-2 cell model.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Huawei; Jackson, Matthew I; Cheng, Wen-Hsing; Combs, Gerald F

    2011-11-01

    Determining the effect of selenium (Se) chemical form on uptake, transport, and glutathione peroxidase activity in human intestinal cells is critical to assess Se bioavailability at nutritional doses. In this study, we found that two sources of L-selenomethionine (SeMet) and Se-enriched yeast each increased intracellular Se content more effectively than selenite or methylselenocysteine (SeMSC) in the human intestinal Caco-2 cell model. Interestingly, SeMSC, SeMet, and digested Se-enriched yeast were transported at comparable efficacy from the apical to basolateral sides, each being about 3-fold that of selenite. In addition, these forms of Se, whether before or after traversing from apical side to basolateral side, did not change the potential to support glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity. Although selenoprotein P has been postulated to be a key Se transport protein, its intracellular expression did not differ when selenite, SeMSC, SeMet, or digested Se-enriched yeast was added to serum-contained media. Taken together, our data show, for the first time, that the chemical form of Se at nutritional doses can affect the absorptive (apical to basolateral side) efficacy and retention of Se by intestinal cells; but that, these effects are not directly correlated to the potential to support GPx activity.

  10. Trends affecting hospitals' human resources.

    PubMed

    Neudeck, M M

    1985-01-01

    Hospital workers at every level--from administrators to housekeepers--will be affected by the interaction of changes already underway in the healthcare industry. Societal forces that will affect the hospital workforce include demographic change, the rise of the participatory ethic and decentralization, a growing philosophy of job entitlement, and new pressures for unionization. At the same time, the industry is faced with changing manpower requirements, cost containment, and the oversupply of physicians. This article identifies some of the likely effects of these changes on hospital human resources and suggests ways that administrators can prepare for them.

  11. Estrogenic xenobiotics affect the intracellular activation signal in mitogen-induced human peripheral blood lymphocytes: immunotoxicological impact.

    PubMed

    Sakabe, K; Okuma, M; Kazuno, M; Yamaguchi, T; Yoshida, T; Furuya, H; Kayama, F; Suwa, Y; Fujii, W; Fresa, K L

    1998-01-01

    The present study was an attempt to elucidate the effect of estrogenic xenobiotics on the proliferation of mitogen-stimulated human peripheral blood lymphocyte (PBL). Our findings follow: (a) the proliferation of PBL in response to phytohemagglutinin (PHA) was mediated by protein kinase C activity, but estrogenic xenobiotics had a strong inhibitory effect on protein kinase C activity of PHA-stimulated PBL; (b) cytoplasmic extracts from PHA-stimulated PBL greatly activated DNA replication, but estrogenic xenobiotics had a strong inhibitory effect on these activities. The results suggest that the cytoplasmic signal-generating system in mitogen-treated PBL is inhibited by estrogenic xenobiotics, and that the defect occurs at all stages in the sequence of events leading to DNA synthesis and cell proliferation. PMID:9730256

  12. Activation of the constitutive androstane receptor inhibits gluconeogenesis without affecting lipogenesis or fatty acid synthesis in human hepatocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Lynch, Caitlin; Pan, Yongmei; Li, Linhao; Heyward, Scott; Moeller, Timothy; Swaan, Peter W.; Wang, Hongbing

    2014-08-15

    Objective: Accumulating evidence suggests that activation of mouse constitutive androstane receptor (mCAR) alleviates type 2 diabetes and obesity by inhibiting hepatic gluconeogenesis, lipogenesis, and fatty acid synthesis. However, the role of human (h) CAR in energy metabolism is largely unknown. The present study aims to investigate the effects of selective hCAR activators on hepatic energy metabolism in human primary hepatocytes (HPH). Methods: Ligand-based structure–activity models were used for virtual screening of the Specs database ( (www.specs.net)) followed by biological validation in cell-based luciferase assays. The effects of two novel hCAR activators (UM104 and UM145) on hepatic energy metabolism were evaluated in HPH. Results: Real-time PCR and Western blotting analyses reveal that activation of hCAR by UM104 and UM145 significantly repressed the expression of glucose-6-phosphatase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, two pivotal gluconeogenic enzymes, while exerting negligible effects on the expression of genes associated with lipogenesis and fatty acid synthesis. Functional experiments show that UM104 and UM145 markedly inhibit hepatic synthesis of glucose but not triglycerides in HPH. In contrast, activation of mCAR by 1,4-bis[2-(3,5-dichloropyridyloxy)]benzene, a selective mCAR activator, repressed the expression of genes associated with gluconeogenesis, lipogenesis, and fatty acid synthesis in mouse primary hepatocytes, which were consistent with previous observations in mouse model in vivo. Conclusion: Our findings uncover an important species difference between hCAR and mCAR in hepatic energy metabolism, where hCAR selectively inhibits gluconeogenesis without suppressing fatty acid synthesis. Implications: Such species selectivity should be considered when exploring CAR as a potential therapeutic target for metabolic disorders. - Highlights: • Novel hCAR activators were identified by computational and biological approaches. • The role

  13. Activation of the Constitutive Androstane Receptor Inhibits Gluconeogenesis without Affecting Lipogenesis or Fatty Acid Synthesis in Human Hepatocytes

    PubMed Central

    Lynch, Caitlin; Pan, Yongmei; Li, Linhao; Heyward, Scott; Moeller, Timothy; Swaan, Peter W.; Wang, Hongbing

    2014-01-01

    Objective Accumulating evidence suggests that activation of mouse constitutive androstane receptor (mCAR) alleviates type 2 diabetes and obesity by inhibiting hepatic gluconeogenesis, lipogenesis, and fatty acid synthesis. However, the role of human (h) CAR in energy metabolism is largely unknown. The present study aims to investigate the effects of selective hCAR activators on hepatic energy metabolism in human primary hepatocytes (HPH). Methods Ligand-based structure-activity models were used for virtual screening of the Specs database (www.specs.net) followed by biological validation in cell-based luciferase assays. The effects of two novel hCAR activators (UM104 and UM145) on hepatic energy metabolism were evaluated in HPH. Results Real-time PCR and Western blotting analyses reveal that activation of hCAR by UM104 and UM145 significantly repressed the expression of glucose-6-phosphatase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, two pivotal gluconeogenic enzymes, while exerting negligible effects on the expression of genes associated with lipogenesis and fatty acid synthesis. Functional experiments show that UM104 and UM145 markedly inhibit hepatic synthesis of glucose but not triglycerides in HPH. In contrast, activation of mCAR by 1,4-bis[2-(3,5-dichloropyridyloxy)]benzene, a selective mCAR activator, repressed the expression of genes associated with gluconeogenesis, lipogenesis, and fatty acid synthesis in mouse primary hepatocytes, which were consistent with previous observations in mouse model in vivo. Conclusion Our findings uncover an important species difference between hCAR and mCAR in hepatic energy metabolism, where hCAR selectively inhibits gluconeogenesis without suppressing fatty acid synthesis. Implications Such species selectivity should be considered when exploring CAR as a potential therapeutic target for metabolic disorders. PMID:24878338

  14. Interferon-β Induces Cellular Senescence in Cutaneous Human Papilloma Virus-Transformed Human Keratinocytes by Affecting p53 Transactivating Activity

    PubMed Central

    Chiantore, Maria V.; Vannucchi, Serena; Accardi, Rosita; Tommasino, Massimo; Percario, Zulema A.; Vaccari, Gabriele; Affabris, Elisabetta; Fiorucci, Gianna; Romeo, Giovanna

    2012-01-01

    Interferon (IFN)-β inhibits cell proliferation and affects cell cycle in keratinocytes transformed by both mucosal high risk Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and cutaneous HPV E6 and E7 proteins. In particular, upon longer IFN-β treatments, cutaneous HPV38 expressing cells undergo senescence. IFN-β appears to induce senescence by upregulating the expression of the tumor suppressor PML, a well known IFN-induced gene. Indeed, experiments in gene silencing via specific siRNAs have shown that PML is essential in the execution of the senescence programme and that both p53 and p21 pathways are involved. IFN-β treatment leads to a modulation of p53 phosphorylation and acetylation status and a reduction in the expression of the p53 dominant negative ΔNp73. These effects allow the recovery of p53 transactivating activity of target genes involved in the control of cell proliferation. Taken together, these studies suggest that signaling through the IFN pathway might play an important role in cellular senescence. This additional understanding of IFN antitumor action and mechanisms influencing tumor responsiveness or resistance appears useful in aiding further promising development of biomolecular strategies in the IFN therapy of cancer. PMID:22615843

  15. The forkhead transcription factor Foxl2 is sumoylated in both human and mouse: sumoylation affects its stability, localization, and activity.

    PubMed

    Marongiu, Mara; Deiana, Manila; Meloni, Alessandra; Marcia, Loredana; Puddu, Alessandro; Cao, Antonio; Schlessinger, David; Crisponi, Laura

    2010-01-01

    The FOXL2 forkhead transcription factor is expressed in ovarian granulosa cells, and mutated FOXL2 causes the blepharophimosis, ptosis and epicanthus inversus syndrome (BPES) and predisposes to premature ovarian failure. Inactivation of Foxl2 in mice demonstrated its indispensability for female gonadal sex determination and ovary development and revealed its antagonism of Sox9, the effector of male testis development. To help to define the regulatory activities of FOXL2, we looked for interacting proteins. Based on yeast two-hybrid screening, we found that FOXL2 interacts with PIAS1 and UBC9, both parts of the sumoylation machinery. We showed that human FOXL2 is sumoylated in transfected cell lines, and that endogenous mouse Foxl2 is comparably sumoylated. This modification changes its cellular localization, stability and transcriptional activity. It is intriguing that similar sumoylation and regulatory consequences have also been reported for SOX9, the male counterpart of FOXL2 in somatic gonadal tissues. PMID:20209145

  16. Satellite cell activity is differentially affected by contraction mode in human muscle following a work-matched bout of exercise.

    PubMed

    Hyldahl, Robert D; Olson, Ty; Welling, Tyson; Groscost, Logan; Parcell, Allen C

    2014-01-01

    Optimal repair and adaptation of skeletal muscle is facilitated by resident stem cells (satellite cells). To understand how different exercise modes influence satellite cell dynamics, we measured satellite cell activity in conjunction with markers of muscle damage and inflammation in human skeletal muscle following a single work- and intensity-matched bout of eccentric (ECC) or concentric contractions (CON). Participants completed a single bout of ECC (n = 7) or CON (n = 7) of the knee extensors. A muscle biopsy was obtained before and 24 h after exercise. Functional measures and immunohistochemical analyses were used to determine the extent of muscle damage and indices of satellite cell activity. Cytokine concentrations were measured using a multiplexed magnetic bead assay. Isokinetic peak torque decreased following ECC (p < 0.05) but not CON. Greater histological staining of the damage marker Xin was observed in muscle samples of ECC vs. CON. Tenasin C immunoreactivity increased 15 fold (p < 0.01) following ECC and was unchanged following CON. The inflammatory cytokines interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP-10) and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1) increased pre- to post-ECC (4.26 ± 1.4 vs. 10.49 ± 5.8 pg/ml, and 3.06 ± 0.7 vs. 6.25 ± 4.6 pg/ml, respectively; p < 0.05). There was no change in any cytokine post-CON. Satellite cell content increased 27% pre- to post-ECC (0.10 ± 0.031 vs. 0.127 ± 0.041, respectively; p < 0.05). There was no change in satellite cell number in CON (0.099 ± 0.027 vs. 0.102 ± 0.029, respectively). There was no fiber type-specific satellite cell response following either exercise mode. ECC but not CON resulted in an increase in MyoD positive nuclei per myofiber pre- to post-exercise (p < 0.05), but there was no change in MyoD DNA binding activity in either condition. In conclusion, ECC but not CON results in functional and histological evidence of muscle damage that is accompanied by increased satellite cell activity 24 h

  17. Satellite cell activity is differentially affected by contraction mode in human muscle following a work-matched bout of exercise

    PubMed Central

    Hyldahl, Robert D.; Olson, Ty; Welling, Tyson; Groscost, Logan; Parcell, Allen C.

    2014-01-01

    Optimal repair and adaptation of skeletal muscle is facilitated by resident stem cells (satellite cells). To understand how different exercise modes influence satellite cell dynamics, we measured satellite cell activity in conjunction with markers of muscle damage and inflammation in human skeletal muscle following a single work- and intensity-matched bout of eccentric (ECC) or concentric contractions (CON). Participants completed a single bout of ECC (n = 7) or CON (n = 7) of the knee extensors. A muscle biopsy was obtained before and 24 h after exercise. Functional measures and immunohistochemical analyses were used to determine the extent of muscle damage and indices of satellite cell activity. Cytokine concentrations were measured using a multiplexed magnetic bead assay. Isokinetic peak torque decreased following ECC (p < 0.05) but not CON. Greater histological staining of the damage marker Xin was observed in muscle samples of ECC vs. CON. Tenasin C immunoreactivity increased 15 fold (p < 0.01) following ECC and was unchanged following CON. The inflammatory cytokines interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP-10) and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1) increased pre- to post-ECC (4.26 ± 1.4 vs. 10.49 ± 5.8 pg/ml, and 3.06 ± 0.7 vs. 6.25 ± 4.6 pg/ml, respectively; p < 0.05). There was no change in any cytokine post-CON. Satellite cell content increased 27% pre- to post-ECC (0.10 ± 0.031 vs. 0.127 ± 0.041, respectively; p < 0.05). There was no change in satellite cell number in CON (0.099 ± 0.027 vs. 0.102 ± 0.029, respectively). There was no fiber type-specific satellite cell response following either exercise mode. ECC but not CON resulted in an increase in MyoD positive nuclei per myofiber pre- to post-exercise (p < 0.05), but there was no change in MyoD DNA binding activity in either condition. In conclusion, ECC but not CON results in functional and histological evidence of muscle damage that is accompanied by increased satellite cell activity 24 h

  18. Caffeine affects the biological responses of human hematopoietic cells of myeloid lineage via downregulation of the mTOR pathway and xanthine oxidase activity.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Bernhard F; Gonçalves Silva, Isabel; Prokhorov, Alexandr; Abooali, Maryam; Yasinska, Inna M; Casely-Hayford, Maxwell A; Berger, Steffen M; Fasler-Kan, Elizaveta; Sumbayev, Vadim V

    2015-10-01

    Correction of human myeloid cell function is crucial for the prevention of inflammatory and allergic reactions as well as leukaemia progression. Caffeine, a naturally occurring food component, is known to display anti-inflammatory effects which have previously been ascribed largely to its inhibitory actions on phosphodiesterase. However, more recent studies suggest an additional role in affecting the activity of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a master regulator of myeloid cell translational pathways, although detailed molecular events underlying its mode of action have not been elucidated. Here, we report the cellular uptake of caffeine, without metabolisation, by healthy and malignant hematopoietic myeloid cells including monocytes, basophils and primary acute myeloid leukaemia mononuclear blasts. Unmodified caffeine downregulated mTOR signalling, which affected glycolysis and the release of pro-inflammatory/pro-angiogenic cytokines as well as other inflammatory mediators. In monocytes, the effects of caffeine were potentiated by its ability to inhibit xanthine oxidase, an enzyme which plays a central role in human purine catabolism by generating uric acid. In basophils, caffeine also increased intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels which further enhanced its inhibitory action on mTOR. These results demonstrate an important mode of pharmacological action of caffeine with potentially wide-ranging therapeutic impact for treating non-infectious disorders of the human immune system, where it could be applied directly to inflammatory cells.

  19. Arthropods affecting the human eye.

    PubMed

    Panadero-Fontán, Rosario; Otranto, Domenico

    2015-02-28

    Ocular infestations by arthropods consist in the parasitization of the human eye, either directly (e.g., some insect larvae causing ophthalmomyiasis) or via arthropods feeding on lachrymal/conjunctival secretions (e.g., some eye-seeking insects, which also act as vectors of eye pathogens). In addition, demodicosis and phthiriasis may also cause eye discomfort in humans. Ophthalmomyiasis by larvae of the families Oestridae, Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae, are frequent causative agents of human ocular infestations. Over the last decades, the extensive use of macrocyclic lactones in cattle has reduced the frequency of infestations by Hypoderma bovis and Hypoderma lineatum (family Oestridae), and consequently, human infestations by these species. A prompt diagnosis of ocular myiasis (e.g., by serological tests) is pivotal for positive prognoses, particularly when the larvae are not detectable during the ophthalmologic examination. Molecular diagnoses may also assist physicians and parasitologists in achieving time-efficient diagnoses of infestations by Oestridae causing myiasis. Finally, due to widespread international travel to exotic destinations, cases of myiasis are increasing in non-endemic areas, therefore requiring physicians to acquire a profound knowledge of the clinical symptoms linked to these infestations to prevent costly, inappropriate treatments or severe complications. PMID:25620292

  20. Arthropods affecting the human eye.

    PubMed

    Panadero-Fontán, Rosario; Otranto, Domenico

    2015-02-28

    Ocular infestations by arthropods consist in the parasitization of the human eye, either directly (e.g., some insect larvae causing ophthalmomyiasis) or via arthropods feeding on lachrymal/conjunctival secretions (e.g., some eye-seeking insects, which also act as vectors of eye pathogens). In addition, demodicosis and phthiriasis may also cause eye discomfort in humans. Ophthalmomyiasis by larvae of the families Oestridae, Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae, are frequent causative agents of human ocular infestations. Over the last decades, the extensive use of macrocyclic lactones in cattle has reduced the frequency of infestations by Hypoderma bovis and Hypoderma lineatum (family Oestridae), and consequently, human infestations by these species. A prompt diagnosis of ocular myiasis (e.g., by serological tests) is pivotal for positive prognoses, particularly when the larvae are not detectable during the ophthalmologic examination. Molecular diagnoses may also assist physicians and parasitologists in achieving time-efficient diagnoses of infestations by Oestridae causing myiasis. Finally, due to widespread international travel to exotic destinations, cases of myiasis are increasing in non-endemic areas, therefore requiring physicians to acquire a profound knowledge of the clinical symptoms linked to these infestations to prevent costly, inappropriate treatments or severe complications.

  1. Coriandrum sativum L. (Coriander) essential oil: antifungal activity and mode of action on Candida spp., and molecular targets affected in human whole-genome expression.

    PubMed

    Freires, Irlan de Almeida; Murata, Ramiro Mendonça; Furletti, Vivian Fernandes; Sartoratto, Adilson; Alencar, Severino Matias de; Figueira, Glyn Mara; de Oliveira Rodrigues, Janaina Aparecida; Duarte, Marta Cristina Teixeira; Rosalen, Pedro Luiz

    2014-01-01

    Oral candidiasis is an opportunistic fungal infection of the oral cavity with increasingly worldwide prevalence and incidence rates. Novel specifically-targeted strategies to manage this ailment have been proposed using essential oils (EO) known to have antifungal properties. In this study, we aim to investigate the antifungal activity and mode of action of the EO from Coriandrum sativum L. (coriander) leaves on Candida spp. In addition, we detected the molecular targets affected in whole-genome expression in human cells. The EO phytochemical profile indicates monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes as major components, which are likely to negatively impact the viability of yeast cells. There seems to be a synergistic activity of the EO chemical compounds as their isolation into fractions led to a decreased antimicrobial effect. C. sativum EO may bind to membrane ergosterol, increasing ionic permeability and causing membrane damage leading to cell death, but it does not act on cell wall biosynthesis-related pathways. This mode of action is illustrated by photomicrographs showing disruption in biofilm integrity caused by the EO at varied concentrations. The EO also inhibited Candida biofilm adherence to a polystyrene substrate at low concentrations, and decreased the proteolytic activity of Candida albicans at minimum inhibitory concentration. Finally, the EO and its selected active fraction had low cytotoxicity on human cells, with putative mechanisms affecting gene expression in pathways involving chemokines and MAP-kinase (proliferation/apoptosis), as well as adhesion proteins. These findings highlight the potential antifungal activity of the EO from C. sativum leaves and suggest avenues for future translational toxicological research.

  2. G364R mutation of MCM4 detected in human skin cancer cells affects DNA helicase activity of MCM4/6/7 complex.

    PubMed

    Ishimi, Yukio; Irie, Daiki

    2015-06-01

    A number of gene mutations are detected in cells derived from human cancer tissues, but roles of these mutations in cancer cell development are largely unknown. We examined G364R mutation of MCM4 detected in human skin cancer cells. Formation of MCM4/6/7 complex is not affected by the mutation. Consistent with this notion, the binding to MCM6 is comparable between the mutant MCM4 and wild-type MCM4. Nuclear localization of this mutant MCM4 expressed in HeLa cells supports this conclusion. Purified MCM4/6/7 complex containing the G364R MCM4 exhibited similar levels of single-stranded DNA binding and ATPase activities to the complex containing wild-type MCM4. However, the mutant complex showed only 30-50% of DNA helicase activity of the wild-type complex. When G364R MCM4 was expressed in HeLa cells, it was fractionated into nuclease-sensitive chromatin fraction, similar to wild-type MCM4. These results suggest that this mutation does not affect assembly of MCM2-7 complex on replication origins but it interferes some step at function of MCM2-7 helicase. Thus, this mutation may contribute to cancer cell development by disturbing DNA replication.

  3. Urban Biodiversity, City-Dwellers and Conservation: How Does an Outdoor Activity Day Affect the Human-Nature Relationship?

    PubMed Central

    Jaillon, Alexandre; Piron, Armony; Julliard, Romain; Raymond, Richard; Simon, Laurent; Prévot-Julliard, Anne-Caroline

    2012-01-01

    Urban conservation education programs aim to increase knowledge and awareness towards biodiversity and to change attitudes and behaviour towards the environment. However, to date, few urban conservation education studies have evaluated to what extent these programs have managed to achieve their goals. In this study, we experimentally explored the influence of an urban conservation activity day on individual knowledge, awareness and actions towards biodiversity, in both the short and longer term. We organised three activity days in Paris (France), during which people were invited to participate in urban conservation efforts. Both quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative (interviews) methods were employed to investigate the influence of this short urban nature experience on the relationships that city-dwellers develop with nearby biodiversity. We found a strong positive correlation between the levels of participation and an immediate interest towards local urban biodiversity. In the longer term, however, although participants claimed to have gained more knowledge, local awareness and interest for species in their daily environment, they did not seem to extend this interest to participating in other related activities. These results highlight the complexity of validating the effectiveness of this type of education program for achieving conservation goals. Although such a short activity may only have a limited environmental impact, it nevertheless seems to increase people's knowledge, awareness, interest and concern. We therefore believe that when repeated locally, these short conservation education programs could enhance people's experience with nature in cities and achieve conservation goals more fully. PMID:22715403

  4. Urban biodiversity, city-dwellers and conservation: how does an outdoor activity day affect the human-nature relationship?

    PubMed

    Shwartz, Assaf; Cosquer, Alix; Jaillon, Alexandre; Piron, Armony; Julliard, Romain; Raymond, Richard; Simon, Laurent; Prévot-Julliard, Anne-Caroline

    2012-01-01

    Urban conservation education programs aim to increase knowledge and awareness towards biodiversity and to change attitudes and behaviour towards the environment. However, to date, few urban conservation education studies have evaluated to what extent these programs have managed to achieve their goals. In this study, we experimentally explored the influence of an urban conservation activity day on individual knowledge, awareness and actions towards biodiversity, in both the short and longer term.We organised three activity days in Paris (France), during which people were invited to participate in urban conservation efforts. Both quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative (interviews) methods were employed to investigate the influence of this short urban nature experience on the relationships that city-dwellers develop with nearby biodiversity. We found a strong positive correlation between the levels of participation and an immediate interest towards local urban biodiversity. In the longer term, however, although participants claimed to have gained more knowledge, local awareness and interest for species in their daily environment, they did not seem to extend this interest to participating in other related activities. These results highlight the complexity of validating the effectiveness of this type of education program for achieving conservation goals. Although such a short activity may only have a limited environmental impact, it nevertheless seems to increase people's knowledge, awareness, interest and concern. We therefore believe that when repeated locally, these short conservation education programs could enhance people's experience with nature in cities and achieve conservation goals more fully.

  5. A risk variant for alcoholism in the NMDA receptor affects amygdala activity during fear conditioning in humans.

    PubMed

    Cacciaglia, Raffaele; Nees, Frauke; Pohlack, Sebastian T; Ruttorf, Michaela; Winkelmann, Tobias; Witt, Stephanie H; Nieratschker, Vanessa; Rietschel, Marcella; Flor, Herta

    2013-09-01

    People at high risk for alcoholism show deficits in aversive learning, as indicated by impaired electrodermal responses during fear conditioning, a basic form of associative learning that depends on the amygdala. A positive family history of alcohol dependence has also been related to decreased amygdala responses during emotional processing. In the present study we report reduced amygdala activity during the acquisition of conditioned fear in healthy carriers of a risk variant for alcoholism (rs2072450) in the NR2A subunit-containing N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor. These results indicate that rs2072450 might confer risk for alcohol dependence through deficient fear acquisition indexed by a diminished amygdala response during aversive learning, and provide a neural basis for a weak behavioral inhibition previously documented in individuals at high risk for alcohol dependence. Carriers of the risk variant additionally exhibit dampened insula activation, a finding that further strengthens our data, given the importance of this brain region in fear conditioning.

  6. Do recreational activities affect coastal biodiversity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riera, Rodrigo; Menci, Cristiano; Sanabria-Fernández, José Antonio; Becerro, Mikel A.

    2016-09-01

    Human activities are largely affecting coastal communities worldwide. Recreational perturbations have been overlooked in comparison to other perturbations, yet they are potential threats to marine biodiversity. They affect coastal communities in different ways, underpinning consistent shifts in fish and invertebrates assemblages. Several sites were sampled subjected to varying effects by recreational fishermen (low and high pressure) and scuba divers (low and high) in an overpopulated Atlantic island. Non-consistent differences in ecological, trophic and functional diversity were found in coastal communities, considering both factors ("diving" and "fishing"). Multivariate analyses only showed significant differences in benthic invertebrates between intensively-dived and non-dived sites. The lack of clear trends may be explained by the depletion of coastal resources in the study area, an extensively-affected island by overfishing.

  7. cis-acting sequences located downstream of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 promoter affect its chromatin structure and transcriptional activity.

    PubMed

    el Kharroubi, A; Martin, M A

    1996-06-01

    We have examined the roles of AP-1, AP-3-like, DBF1, and Sp1 binding sites, which are located downstream of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) promoter, in regulating basal transcriptional activity directed by the integrated viral long terminal repeat (LTR). Point mutations affecting all four of these elements functionally inactivated the HIV-1 LTR when it was constrained in a chromatin configuration. Analyses of the chromatin structures of the transcriptionally active wild-type and inactive mutated HIV-1 promoters revealed several differences. In the active promoter, the 3' half of the U3 region, including the basal promoter, the enhancer, and the putative upstream regulatory sequences are situated within a nuclease-hypersensitive region. However, the far upstream U3 region appears to be packaged into a nuclease-resistant nucleosomal structure, whereas the R, U5, and gag leader sequences are associated with a region of altered chromatin that is sensitive to restriction endonucleases. In the inactive template, only the basal promoter and enhancer element remain sensitive to nucleases, and the adjacent upstream and downstream regions are incorporated into nuclease-resistant nucleosomal structures. Taken together, these results indicate that the chromatin structure of the integrated HIV-1 LTR plays a critical role in modulating basal transcriptional activity. PMID:8649407

  8. How do humans affect wildlife nematodes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weinstein, Sara B.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2015-01-01

    Human actions can affect wildlife and their nematode parasites. Species introductions and human-facilitated range expansions can create new host–parasite interactions. Novel hosts can introduce parasites and have the potential to both amplify and dilute nematode transmission. Furthermore, humans can alter existing nematode dynamics by changing host densities and the abiotic conditions that affect larval parasite survival. Human impacts on wildlife might impair parasites by reducing the abundance of their hosts; however, domestic animal production and complex life cycles can maintain transmission even when wildlife becomes rare. Although wildlife nematodes have many possible responses to human actions, understanding host and parasite natural history, and the mechanisms behind the changing disease dynamics might improve disease control in the few cases where nematode parasitism impacts wildlife.

  9. How do humans affect wildlife nematodes?

    PubMed

    Weinstein, Sara B; Lafferty, Kevin D

    2015-05-01

    Human actions can affect wildlife and their nematode parasites. Species introductions and human-facilitated range expansions can create new host-parasite interactions. Novel hosts can introduce parasites and have the potential to both amplify and dilute nematode transmission. Furthermore, humans can alter existing nematode dynamics by changing host densities and the abiotic conditions that affect larval parasite survival. Human impacts on wildlife might impair parasites by reducing the abundance of their hosts; however, domestic animal production and complex life cycles can maintain transmission even when wildlife becomes rare. Although wildlife nematodes have many possible responses to human actions, understanding host and parasite natural history, and the mechanisms behind the changing disease dynamics might improve disease control in the few cases where nematode parasitism impacts wildlife.

  10. Exogenous Thyropin from p41 Invariant Chain Diminishes Cysteine Protease Activity and Affects IL-12 Secretion during Maturation of Human Dendritic Cells

    PubMed Central

    Zavašnik-Bergant, Tina; Bergant Marušič, Martina

    2016-01-01

    Dendritic cells (DC) play a pivotal role as antigen presenting cells (APC) and their maturation is crucial for effectively eliciting an antigen-specific immune response. The p41 splice variant of MHC class II-associated chaperone, called invariant chain p41 Ii, contains an amino acid sequence, the p41 fragment, which is a thyropin-type inhibitor of proteolytic enzymes. The effects of exogenous p41 fragment and related thyropin inhibitors acting on human immune cells have not been reported yet. In this study we demonstrate that exogenous p41 fragment can enter the endocytic pathway of targeted human immature DC. Internalized p41 fragment has contributed to the total amount of the immunogold labelled p41 Ii-specific epitope, as quantified by transmission electron microscopy, in particular in late endocytic compartments with multivesicular morphology where antigen processing and binding to MHC II take place. In cell lysates of treated immature DC, diminished enzymatic activity of cysteine proteases has been confirmed. Internalized exogenous p41 fragment did not affect the perinuclear clustering of acidic cathepsin S-positive vesicles typical of mature DC. p41 fragment is shown to interfere with the nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 subunit in LPS-stimulated DC. p41 fragment is also shown to reduce the secretion of interleukin-12 (IL-12/p70) during the subsequent maturation of treated DC. The inhibition of proteolytic activity of lysosomal cysteine proteases in immature DC and the diminished capability of DC to produce IL-12 upon their subsequent maturation support the immunomodulatory potential of the examined thyropin from p41 Ii. PMID:26960148

  11. Homo- and hetero-dimerization of human UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B7 (UGT2B7) wild type and its allelic variants affect zidovudine glucuronidation activity.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Lingmin; Qian, Sainan; Xiao, Yongsheng; Sun, Hongying; Zeng, Su

    2015-05-01

    Most human UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT; EC 2.4.1.17) genes contain non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) which cause amino acid substitutions. Allelic variants caused by nsSNPs may exhibit absent or reduced enzyme activity. UGT2B7 is one of the most important UGTs that glucuronidates abundant endobiotics and xenobiotics, such as estriol, morphine, and anticancer drugs. Three nsSNPs, UGT2B7*71S (211G>T), UGT2B7*2 (802C>T) and UGT2B7*5 (1192G>A) are observed in the UGT2B7 gene, and they code for allozymes UGT2B7*71S (A71S), UGT2B7*2 (H268Y), and UGT2B7*5 (D398N). UGT2B7 has been observed to form oligomers that affect its enzymatic activity and in this study, we investigated protein-protein interactions among UGT2B7 allozymes wild type (WT), A71S, H268Y and D398N, by performing a systematic quantitative fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) analysis in combination with co-immunoprecipitation assay. Quantitative FRET analysis revealed that UGT2B7 allozymes formed homo- and hetero-dimers and showed distinct features in donor-acceptor distances. Both codon 71 and codon 268 in the N-terminal domain were involved in the dimeric interaction. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments also proved that UGT2B7 allozymes formed stable dimers. The glucuronidation activities of homo- and hetero-dimers were further tested with zidovudine as the substrate. An increase in activity was observed when WT hetero-dimerized with A71S compared with homo-dimers, while both H268Y and D398N impaired the activity of WT and A71S by forming hetero-dimers. In addition, zidovudine glucuronidation activity is associated with FRET distance. These findings provide insights into the consequences of amino acid substitution in UGT2B7 on zidovudine glucuronidation and the association between protein-protein interaction and glucuronidation activity. PMID:25770680

  12. Activation of Human Complement System by Dextran-Coated Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Is Not Affected by Dextran/Fe Ratio, Hydroxyl Modifications, and Crosslinking

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guankui; Chen, Fangfang; Banda, Nirmal K.; Holers, V. Michael; Wu, LinPing; Moghimi, S. Moein; Simberg, Dmitri

    2016-01-01

    While having tremendous potential as therapeutic and imaging tools, the clinical use of engineered nanoparticles has been associated with serious safety concerns. Activation of the complement cascade and the release of proinflammatory factors C3a and C5a may contribute to infusion-related reactions, whereas opsonization with C3 fragments promotes rapid recognition and clearance of nanomaterials by mononuclear phagocytes. We used dextran-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIO), which are potent activators of the complement system, to study the role of nanoparticle surface chemistry in inciting complement in human serum. Using complement inhibitors and measuring levels of fluid phase markers (sC5b-9, C5a, and Bb), we found that the majority of human complement activation by SPIO is through the alternative pathways (AP). SPIO prepared with high dextran/iron ratio showed some complement activation via calcium-sensitive pathways, but the AP was responsible for the bulk of complement activation and amplification. Activation via the AP required properdin, the positive regulator of the alternative C3bBb convertase. Modification of sugar alcohols of dextran with alkylating, acylating, or crosslinking agents did not overcome complement activation and C3 opsonization. These data demonstrate that human complement activation is independent of dextran modification of SPIO and suggest a crucial role of the AP in immune recognition of nano-assemblies in human serum. PMID:27777575

  13. Affective Biases in Humans and Animals.

    PubMed

    Robinson, E S J; Roiser, J P

    2016-01-01

    Depression is one of the most common but poorly understood psychiatric conditions. Although drug treatments and psychological therapies are effective in some patients, many do not achieve full remission and some patients receive no apparent benefit. Developing new improved treatments requires a better understanding of the aetiology of symptoms and evaluation of novel therapeutic targets in pre-clinical studies. Recent developments in our understanding of the basic cognitive processes that may contribute to the development of depression and its treatment offer new opportunities for both clinical and pre-clinical research. This chapter discusses the clinical evidence supporting a cognitive neuropsychological model of depression and antidepressant efficacy, and how this information may be usefully translated to pre-clinical investigation. Studies using neuropsychological tests in depressed patients and at risk populations have revealed basic negative emotional biases and disrupted reward and punishment processing, which may also impact on non-affective cognition. These affective biases are sensitive to antidepressant treatments with early onset effects observed, suggesting an important role in recovery. This clinical work into affective biases has also facilitated back-translation to animals and the development of assays to study affective biases in rodents. These animal studies suggest that, similar to humans, rodents in putative negative affective states exhibit negative affective biases on decision-making and memory tasks. Antidepressant treatments also induce positive biases in these rodent tasks, supporting the translational validity of this approach. Although still in the early stages of development and validation, affective biases in depression have the potential to offer new insights into the clinical condition, as well as facilitating the development of more translational approaches for pre-clinical studies. PMID:27660073

  14. Zoonotic helminths affecting the human eye

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Nowaday, zoonoses are an important cause of human parasitic diseases worldwide and a major threat to the socio-economic development, mainly in developing countries. Importantly, zoonotic helminths that affect human eyes (HIE) may cause blindness with severe socio-economic consequences to human communities. These infections include nematodes, cestodes and trematodes, which may be transmitted by vectors (dirofilariasis, onchocerciasis, thelaziasis), food consumption (sparganosis, trichinellosis) and those acquired indirectly from the environment (ascariasis, echinococcosis, fascioliasis). Adult and/or larval stages of HIE may localize into human ocular tissues externally (i.e., lachrymal glands, eyelids, conjunctival sacs) or into the ocular globe (i.e., intravitreous retina, anterior and or posterior chamber) causing symptoms due to the parasitic localization in the eyes or to the immune reaction they elicit in the host. Unfortunately, data on HIE are scant and mostly limited to case reports from different countries. The biology and epidemiology of the most frequently reported HIE are discussed as well as clinical description of the diseases, diagnostic considerations and video clips on their presentation and surgical treatment. Homines amplius oculis, quam auribus credunt Seneca Ep 6,5 Men believe their eyes more than their ears PMID:21429191

  15. Maggot excretions affect the human complement system.

    PubMed

    Cazander, Gwendolyn; Schreurs, Marco W J; Renwarin, Lennaert; Dorresteijn, Corry; Hamann, Dörte; Jukema, Gerrolt N

    2012-01-01

    The complement system plays an important role in the activation of the inflammatory response to injury, although inappropriate complement activation (CA) can lead to severe tissue damage. Maggot therapy is successfully used to treat infected wounds. In this study, we hypothesized that maggot excretions/secretions influence CA in order to modulate the host's inflammatory response. Therefore, the effect of maggot excretions on CA was investigated in preoperatively and postoperatively obtained sera from patients. Our results show that maggot excretions reduce CA in healthy and postoperatively immune-activated human sera up to 99.9%, via all pathways. Maggot excretions do not specifically initiate or inhibit CA, but break down complement proteins C3 and C4 in a cation-independent manner and this effect proves to be temperature tolerant. This study indicates a CA-reducing substrate that is already successfully used in clinical practice and may explain part of the improved wound healing caused by maggot therapy. Furthermore, the complement activation-reducing substance present in maggot excretions could provide a novel treatment modality for several diseases, resulting from an (over)active complement system.

  16. How does the anthropogenic activity affect the spring discharge?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hao, Yonghong; Zhang, Juan; Wang, Jiaojiao; Li, Ruifang; Hao, Pengmei; Zhan, Hongbin

    2016-09-01

    Karst hydrological process has largely been altered by climate change and human activity. In many places throughout the world, human activity (e.g. groundwater pumping and dewatering from mining) has intensified and surpassed climate change, where human activity becomes the primary factor that affects groundwater system. But it is still largely unclear how the human activity affects spring discharge in magnitude and periodicity. This study investigates the effects of anthropogenic activity on spring discharge, using the Xin'an Springs of China as an example. The Xin'an Spring discharge were divided into two time periods: the pre-development period from 1956 to 1971 and the post-development period from 1972 to 2013. We confirm the dividing time (i.e. 1971) of these two periods using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Then the wavelet transform and wavelet coherence were used to analyze the karst hydrological processes for the two periods respectively. We analyze the correlations of precipitation and the Xin'an spring discharge with the monsoons including the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) and the West North Pacific Monsoon (WNPM) and the climate teleconnections including El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), respectively. The results indicated that the spring discharge was attenuated about 19.63% under the influence of human activity in the Xin'an Springs basin. However, human activity did not alter the size of the resonance frequencies between the spring discharge and the monsoons. In contrast, it reinforced the periodicities of the monsoons-driven spring discharge. It suggested that human has adapted to the major climate periodicities, and human activity had the same rhyme with the primary climate periodicity. In return, human activity enhances the correlation between the monsoons and the spring discharge.

  17. On the Use of Hydrological Models and Satellite Data to Study the Water Budget of River Basins Affected by Human Activities: Examples from the Garonne Basin of France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Eric; Gascoin, Simon; Grusson, Youen; Murgue, Clément; Bardeau, Mélanie; Anctil, François; Ferrant, Sylvain; Lardy, Romain; Le Moigne, Patrick; Leenhardt, Delphine; Rivalland, Vincent; Sánchez Pérez, José-Miguel; Sauvage, Sabine; Therond, Olivier

    2016-03-01

    Natural and anthropogenic forcing factors and their changes significantly impact water resources in many river basins around the world. Information on such changes can be derived from fine scale in situ and satellite observations, used in combination with hydrological models. The latter need to account for hydrological changes caused by human activities to correctly estimate the actual water resource. In this study, we consider the catchment area of the Garonne river (in France) to investigate the capabilities of space-based observations and up-to-date hydrological modeling in estimating water resources of a river basin modified by human activities and a changing climate. Using the ISBA-MODCOU and SWAT hydrological models, we find that the water resources of the Garonne basin display a negative climate trend since 1960. The snow component of the two models is validated using the moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer snow cover extent climatology. Crop sowing dates based on remote sensing studies are also considered in the validation procedure. Use of this dataset improves the simulated evapotranspiration and river discharge amounts when compared to conventional data. Finally, we investigate the benefit of using the MAELIA multi-agent model that accounts for a realistic agricultural and management scenario. Among other results, we find that changes in crop systems have significant impacts on water uptake for agriculture. This work constitutes a basis for the construction of a future modeling framework of the sociological and hydrological system of the Garonne river region.

  18. Mycophenolic acid, an immunomodulator, has potent and broad-spectrum in vitro antiviral activity against pandemic, seasonal and avian influenza viruses affecting humans.

    PubMed

    To, Kelvin K W; Mok, Ka-Yi; Chan, Andy S F; Cheung, Nam N; Wang, Pui; Lui, Yin-Ming; Chan, Jasper F W; Chen, Honglin; Chan, Kwok-Hung; Kao, Richard Y T; Yuen, Kwok-Yung

    2016-08-01

    Immunomodulators have been shown to improve the outcome of severe pneumonia. We have previously shown that mycophenolic acid (MPA), an immunomodulator, has antiviral activity against influenza A/WSN/1933(H1N1) using a high-throughput chemical screening assay. This study further investigated the antiviral activity and mechanism of action of MPA against contemporary clinical isolates of influenza A and B viruses. The 50 % cellular cytotoxicity (CC50) of MPA in Madin Darby canine kidney cell line was over 50 µM. MPA prevented influenza virus-induced cell death in the cell-protection assay, with significantly lower IC50 for influenza B virus B/411 than that of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus H1/415 (0.208 vs 1.510 µM, P=0.0001). For H1/415, MPA interfered with the early stage of viral replication before protein synthesis. For B/411, MPA may also act at a later stage since MPA was active against B/411 even when added 12 h post-infection. Virus-yield reduction assay showed that the replication of B/411 was completely inhibited by MPA at concentrations ≥0.78 µM, while there was a dose-dependent reduction of viral titer for H1/415. The antiviral effect of MPA was completely reverted by guanosine supplementation. Plaque reduction assay showed that MPA had antiviral activity against eight different clinical isolates of A(H1N1), A(H3N2), A(H7N9) and influenza B viruses (IC50 <1 µM). In summary, MPA has broad-spectrum antiviral activity against human and avian-origin influenza viruses, in addition to its immunomodulatory activity. Together with a high chemotherapeutic index, the use of MPA as an antiviral agent should be further investigated in vivo. PMID:27259985

  19. Mycophenolic acid, an immunomodulator, has potent and broad-spectrum in vitro antiviral activity against pandemic, seasonal and avian influenza viruses affecting humans.

    PubMed

    To, Kelvin K W; Mok, Ka-Yi; Chan, Andy S F; Cheung, Nam N; Wang, Pui; Lui, Yin-Ming; Chan, Jasper F W; Chen, Honglin; Chan, Kwok-Hung; Kao, Richard Y T; Yuen, Kwok-Yung

    2016-08-01

    Immunomodulators have been shown to improve the outcome of severe pneumonia. We have previously shown that mycophenolic acid (MPA), an immunomodulator, has antiviral activity against influenza A/WSN/1933(H1N1) using a high-throughput chemical screening assay. This study further investigated the antiviral activity and mechanism of action of MPA against contemporary clinical isolates of influenza A and B viruses. The 50 % cellular cytotoxicity (CC50) of MPA in Madin Darby canine kidney cell line was over 50 µM. MPA prevented influenza virus-induced cell death in the cell-protection assay, with significantly lower IC50 for influenza B virus B/411 than that of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus H1/415 (0.208 vs 1.510 µM, P=0.0001). For H1/415, MPA interfered with the early stage of viral replication before protein synthesis. For B/411, MPA may also act at a later stage since MPA was active against B/411 even when added 12 h post-infection. Virus-yield reduction assay showed that the replication of B/411 was completely inhibited by MPA at concentrations ≥0.78 µM, while there was a dose-dependent reduction of viral titer for H1/415. The antiviral effect of MPA was completely reverted by guanosine supplementation. Plaque reduction assay showed that MPA had antiviral activity against eight different clinical isolates of A(H1N1), A(H3N2), A(H7N9) and influenza B viruses (IC50 <1 µM). In summary, MPA has broad-spectrum antiviral activity against human and avian-origin influenza viruses, in addition to its immunomodulatory activity. Together with a high chemotherapeutic index, the use of MPA as an antiviral agent should be further investigated in vivo.

  20. 40 CFR 230.76 - Actions affecting human use.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Actions affecting human use. 230.76... Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.76 Actions affecting human use. Minimization of adverse effects on human use... aquatic areas; (c) Timing the discharge to avoid the seasons or periods when human recreational...

  1. 40 CFR 230.76 - Actions affecting human use.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Actions affecting human use. 230.76... Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.76 Actions affecting human use. Minimization of adverse effects on human use... aquatic areas; (c) Timing the discharge to avoid the seasons or periods when human recreational...

  2. 40 CFR 230.76 - Actions affecting human use.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 26 2012-07-01 2011-07-01 true Actions affecting human use. 230.76... Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.76 Actions affecting human use. Minimization of adverse effects on human use... aquatic areas; (c) Timing the discharge to avoid the seasons or periods when human recreational...

  3. Vaccine-Mediated Activation of Human TLR4 Is Affected by Modulation of Culture Conditions during Whole-Cell Pertussis Vaccine Preparation.

    PubMed

    Hoonakker, Marieke E; Verhagen, Lisa M; Pupo, Elder; de Haan, Alex; Metz, Bernard; Hendriksen, Coenraad F M; Han, Wanda G H; Sloots, Arjen

    2016-01-01

    The potency of whole-cell pertussis (wP) vaccines is still determined by an intracerebral mouse protection test. To allow development of suitable in vitro alternatives to this test, insight into relevant parameters to monitor the consistency of vaccine quality is essential. To this end, a panel of experimental wP vaccines of varying quality was prepared by sulfate-mediated suppression of the BvgASR master virulence regulatory system of Bordetella pertussis during cultivation. This system regulates the transcription of a range of virulence proteins, many of which are considered important for the induction of effective host immunity. The protein compositions and in vivo potencies of the vaccines were BvgASR dependent, with the vaccine containing the highest amount of virulence proteins having the highest in vivo potency. Here, the capacities of these vaccines to stimulate human Toll-like receptors (hTLR) 2 and 4 and the role these receptors play in wP vaccine-mediated activation of antigen-presenting cells in vitro were studied. Prolonged BvgASR suppression was associated with a decreased capacity of vaccines to activate hTLR4. In contrast, no significant differences in hTLR2 activation were observed. Similarly, vaccine-induced activation of MonoMac-6 and monocyte-derived dendritic cells was strongest with the highest potency vaccine. Blocking of TLR2 and TLR4 showed that differences in antigen-presenting cell activation could be largely attributed to vaccine-dependent variation in hTLR4 signalling. Interestingly, this BvgASR-dependent decrease in hTLR4 activation coincided with a reduction in GlcN-modified lipopolysaccharides in these vaccines. Accordingly, expression of the lgmA-C genes, required for this glucosamine modification, was significantly reduced in bacteria exposed to sulfate. Together, these findings demonstrate that the BvgASR status of bacteria during wP vaccine preparation is critical for their hTLR4 activation capacity and suggest that including

  4. Vaccine-Mediated Activation of Human TLR4 Is Affected by Modulation of Culture Conditions during Whole-Cell Pertussis Vaccine Preparation

    PubMed Central

    Hoonakker, Marieke E.; Verhagen, Lisa M.; Pupo, Elder; de Haan, Alex; Metz, Bernard; Hendriksen, Coenraad F. M.; Han, Wanda G. H.; Sloots, Arjen

    2016-01-01

    The potency of whole-cell pertussis (wP) vaccines is still determined by an intracerebral mouse protection test. To allow development of suitable in vitro alternatives to this test, insight into relevant parameters to monitor the consistency of vaccine quality is essential. To this end, a panel of experimental wP vaccines of varying quality was prepared by sulfate-mediated suppression of the BvgASR master virulence regulatory system of Bordetella pertussis during cultivation. This system regulates the transcription of a range of virulence proteins, many of which are considered important for the induction of effective host immunity. The protein compositions and in vivo potencies of the vaccines were BvgASR dependent, with the vaccine containing the highest amount of virulence proteins having the highest in vivo potency. Here, the capacities of these vaccines to stimulate human Toll-like receptors (hTLR) 2 and 4 and the role these receptors play in wP vaccine-mediated activation of antigen-presenting cells in vitro were studied. Prolonged BvgASR suppression was associated with a decreased capacity of vaccines to activate hTLR4. In contrast, no significant differences in hTLR2 activation were observed. Similarly, vaccine-induced activation of MonoMac-6 and monocyte-derived dendritic cells was strongest with the highest potency vaccine. Blocking of TLR2 and TLR4 showed that differences in antigen-presenting cell activation could be largely attributed to vaccine-dependent variation in hTLR4 signalling. Interestingly, this BvgASR-dependent decrease in hTLR4 activation coincided with a reduction in GlcN-modified lipopolysaccharides in these vaccines. Accordingly, expression of the lgmA-C genes, required for this glucosamine modification, was significantly reduced in bacteria exposed to sulfate. Together, these findings demonstrate that the BvgASR status of bacteria during wP vaccine preparation is critical for their hTLR4 activation capacity and suggest that including

  5. Dust in the western U.S.: how biological, physical and human activities at the local scale interact to affect hydrologic function at the landscape scale (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belnap, J.; Reheis, M. C.; Munson, S. M.

    2009-12-01

    Dryland regions constitute over 35% of terrestrial lands around the globe. Limited rainfall in these regions restricts plant growth and the spaces between vascular plants are often large. Most interspace soils are protected from wind erosion by the cover of rocks, physical crusts, and biological crusts (cyanobacteria, lichens, and mosses). However, disturbance of the soil surface in dryland regions (e.g., recreation, livestock, mining and energy exploration, military exercises, fire) reduces or eliminates the protective cover of the soils. Rising temperatures will reduce soil moisture and thus plant cover. Wind tunnel data show that most desert surfaces produce little sediment under typical wind speeds. However, disturbing the soil surface with vehicles, humans, or animals resulted in much higher sediment production from all surfaces tested, regardless of parent material, texture, or age of the soil surface. Synergist effects, such as surface disturbance occurring during drought periods in annualized plant communities, can create very large dust events. As surface disturbance, invasion, and drought are expected to increase in the future, an increase in dust production can be expected as well. Increased particulates in the air threaten human well-being through disease, highway accidents, and economic losses. Where dust losses are greater than the inputs, the source areas lose carbon and nutrients. These compounds are transferred to high elevation regions, where such fertilization likely impacts ecosystem function. Deposition of dust on the snowpack darkens the surface, increasing snowmelt by 30 days or more and exposing soils to evaporation, all of which decrease the quantity and quality of water in major streams and rivers. As increases occur in temperature, pumping of shallow aquifers, human activities, and invasion of exotic annual plants in dryland regions, the frequency, severity, and negative impact of dust storms is expected to increase as well. The

  6. Active Affective Learning for Accelerated Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, Robert B.

    This paper provides the groundwork for Active Affective Learning and teaching adapted to the needs of the disadvantaged, at-risk students served by the Accelerated Schools Movement. One of the "golden rules" for the practice of Accelerated Learning, according to psychiatrist Georgi Lozanov, has been to maintain an "up-beat" classroom presentation…

  7. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-17 differently affects Langerhans cell distribution and activation in an innovative three-dimensional model of normal human skin.

    PubMed

    Prignano, Francesca; Arnaboldi, Francesca; Cornaghi, Laura; Landoni, Federica; Tripo, Lara; Preis, Franz William Baruffaldi; Donetti, Elena

    2015-02-01

    Among the several cytokines involved in the psoriasis pathogenesis, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and interleukin (IL)-17 play a central role. Many biomolecular steps remain unknown due to difficulty to obtain psoriatic models. To investigate the effect of TNF-alpha and IL-17 on the ultrastructure, immunophenotype, and number of epidermal Langerhans cells (LCs), human skin explants (n=7) were cultured air-liquid interface in a Transwell system. Four different conditions were used: medium alone (control), medium added with 100 ng/ml TNF-alpha or 50 ng/ml IL-17 or a combination of both cytokines. Samples were harvested 24 and 48 h after cytokine addition and were frozen. Samples harvested at 24h were also processed for transmission electron microscopy (TEM). By immunofluorescence analysis with anti-human Langerin antibody (three experiments/sample) we calculated the percentage of LCs/mm(2) of living epidermis after 24 and 48 h of incubation (considering control as 100%). At 24h LC number was significantly higher in samples treated with both cytokines (216.71+15.10%; p<0.001) and in TNF-alpha (125.74+26.24%; p<0.05). No differences were observed in IL-17-treated samples (100.14+38.42%). After 48 h, the number of epidermal Langerin-positive cells in IL-17- and TNF-alpha treated samples slightly decreased (94.99+36.79% and 101.37+23% vs. their controls, respectively). With the combination of both cytokines epidermal LCs strongly decreased (120+13.36%). By TEM, upon TNF-alpha stimulus LCs appeared with few organelles, mostly mitochondria, lysosomes, and scattered peripherical BGs. Upon IL-17 stimulus, LCs showed a cytoplasm with many mitochondria and numerous BGs close to the perinuclear space and Golgi apparatus, but also at the periphery, at the beginning of the dendrites. The addition of both cytokines did not affect LC ultrastructure. Our study showed that IL-17 induced significant changes in LC ultrastructure, while the combination of both cytokines seems to

  8. Intrinsic Patterns of Human Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Kun; Ivanov, Plamen Ch.; Chen, Zhi; Hilton, Michael; Stanley, H. Eugene; Shea, Steven

    2003-03-01

    Activity is one of the defining features of life. Control of human activity is complex, being influenced by many factors both extrinsic and intrinsic to the body. The most obvious extrinsic factors that affect activity are the daily schedule of planned events, such as work and recreation, as well as reactions to unforeseen or random events. These extrinsic factors may account for the apparently random fluctuations in human motion observed over short time scales. The most obvious intrinsic factors are the body clocks including the circadian pacemaker that influences our sleep/wake cycle and ultradian oscillators with shorter time scales [2, 3]. These intrinsic rhythms may account for the underlying regularity in average activity level over longer periods of up to 24 h. Here we ask if the known extrinsic and intrinsic factors fully account for all complex features observed in recordings of human activity. To this end, we measure activity over two weeks from forearm motion in subjects undergoing their regular daily routine. Utilizing concepts from statistical physics, we demonstrate that during wakefulness human activity possesses previously unrecognized complex dynamic patterns. These patterns of activity are characterized by robust fractal and nonlinear dynamics including a universal probability distribution and long-range power-law correlations that are stable over a wide range of time scales (from minutes to hours). Surprisingly, we find that these dynamic patterns are unaffected by changes in the average activity level that occur within individual subjects throughout the day and on different days of the week, and between subjects. Moreover, we find that these patterns persist when the same subjects undergo time-isolation laboratory experiments designed to account for the phase of the circadian pacemaker, and control the known extrinsic factors by restricting behaviors and manipulating scheduled events including the sleep/wake cycle. We attribute these newly

  9. Electrodermal activity analysis during affective haptic elicitation.

    PubMed

    Greco, Alberto; Valenza, Gaetano; Nardelli, Mimma; Bianchi, Matteo; Lanata, Antonio; Scilingo, Enzo Pasquale

    2015-08-01

    This paper investigates how the autonomic nervous system dynamics, quantified through the analysis of the electrodermal activity (EDA), is modulated according to affective haptic stimuli. Specifically, a haptic display able to convey caress-like stimuli is presented to 32 healthy subjects (16 female). Each stimulus is changed according to six combinations of three velocities and two forces levels of two motors stretching a strip of fabric. Subjects were also asked to score each stimulus in terms of arousal (high/low activation) and valence (pleasant/unpleasant), in agreement with the circumplex model of affect. EDA was processed using a deconvolutive method, separating tonic and phasic components. A statistical analysis was performed in order to identify significant differences in EDA features among force and velocity levels, as well as in their valence and arousal scores. Results show that the simulated caress induced by the haptic display significantly affects the EDA. In detail, the phasic component seems to be inversely related to the valence score. This finding is new and promising, since it can be used, e.g., as an additional cue for haptics design. PMID:26737605

  10. Infrasound from Wind Turbines Could Affect Humans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salt, Alec N.; Kaltenbach, James A.

    2011-01-01

    Wind turbines generate low-frequency sounds that affect the ear. The ear is superficially similar to a microphone, converting mechanical sound waves into electrical signals, but does this by complex physiologic processes. Serious misconceptions about low-frequency sound and the ear have resulted from a failure to consider in detail how the ear…

  11. Does Globalization Affect Human Well-Being?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsai, Ming-Chang

    2007-01-01

    The prevailing theorizing of globalization's influence of human well-being suggests to assess both the favorable and unfavorable outcomes. This study formulates a dialectical model, adopts a comprehensive globalization measure and uses a three-wave panel data during 1980-2000 to empirically test direct and indirect effects of global flows' human…

  12. Brain Activity, Personality Traits and Affect: Electrocortical Activity in Reaction to Affective Film Stimuli

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makvand Hosseini, Sh.; Azad Fallah, P.; Rasoolzadeh Tabatabaei, S. K.; Ghannadyan Ladani, S. H.; Heise, C.

    We studied the patterns of activation over the cerebral cortex in reaction to affective film stimuli in four groups of extroverts, introverts, neurotics and emotionally stables. Measures of extraversion and neuroticism were collected and resting EEG was recorded from 40 right handed undergraduate female students (19-23) on one occasion for five 30s periods in baseline condition and in affective states. Mean log-transformed absolute alpha power was extracted from 12 electrode sites and analyzed. Patterns of activation were different in personality groups. Different patterns of asymmetries were observed in personality groups in reaction to affective stimuli. Results were partly consistent with approach and withdrawal model and provided supportive evidence for the role of right frontal asymmetry in negative affects in two groups (introverts and emotionally stables) as well as the role of right central asymmetry (increase on right and decrease on left) in active affective states (anxiety and happiness) in all personality groups. Results were also emphasized on the role of decrease activity relative to baseline in cortical regions (bilaterally in frontal and unilaterally in left parietal and temporal regions) in moderating of positive and negative emotion.

  13. Concentration of Fibrin and Presence of Plasminogen Affect Proliferation, Fibrinolytic Activity, and Morphology of Human Fibroblasts and Keratinocytes in 3D Fibrin Constructs

    PubMed Central

    Reinertsen, Erik; Skinner, Michael; Wu, Benjamin

    2014-01-01

    Fibrin is a hemostatic protein found in the clotting cascade. It is used in the operating room to stop bleeding and deliver cells and growth factors to heal wounds. However, formulations of clinically approved fibrin are optimized for hemostasis, and the extent to which biochemical and physical cues in fibrin mediate skin cell behavior is not fully understood nor utilized in the design of biomaterials. To determine if the concentration of fibrinogen and the presence of plasminogen affect cell behavior relevant to wound healing, we fabricated three-dimensional fibrin constructs made from 5, 10, or 20 mg/mL of clinical fibrin or plasminogen-depleted (PD) fibrin. We cultured dermal fibroblasts or epidermal keratinocytes in these constructs. Fibroblasts proliferated similarly in both types of fibrin, but keratinocytes proliferated more in low concentrations of clinical fibrin and less in PD fibrin. Clinical fibrin constructs with fibroblasts were less stiff and degraded faster than PD fibrin constructs with fibroblasts. Similarly, keratinocytes degraded clinical fibrin, but not PD fibrin. Fibroblast spreading varied with fibrin concentration in both types of fibrin. In conclusion, the concentration of fibrinogen and the presence of plasminogen affect fibroblast and keratinocyte proliferation, morphology, and fibrin degradation. Creating materials with heterogeneous regions of fibrin formulations and concentrations could be a novel strategy for controlling the phenotype of encapsulated fibroblasts and keratinocytes, and the subsequent biomechanical properties of the construct. However, other well-investigated aspects of wound healing remain to be utilized in the design of fibrin biomaterials, such as autocrine and paracrine signaling between fibroblasts, keratinocytes, and immune cells. PMID:24738616

  14. Toward an Affective Pedagogy of Human Rights Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Ruyu

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores the notion of Affective Pedagogy of Human Rights Education (APHRE) on a theoretical level and suggests a concept of curricular framework. APHRE highlights the significance of affectivity and body in the process of learning, factors usually neglected in the mainstream intellectualistic approach to learning, especially in areas…

  15. ESA Human Exploration Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hovland, Scott

    The long term goal of the Aurora Exploration Programme is Human exploration of Mars. In preparation for this, exploration of the Moon is a necessary step to provide demonstration of capabilities, mandatory for long duration human spaceflight. With the European Columbus module attached to the ISS, Europe has access to a world class laboratory in space for microgravity research, technology demonstration and preparation for future human exploration missions. The ongoing phase of the exploration programme has been focused on defining the overall European strategy and exploration architecture within the global exploration environment. System studies as well as focused technology developments are in progress (e.g. development of regenerative life support).

  16. 28 CFR 55.15 - Affected activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... RIGHTS ACT REGARDING LANGUAGE MINORITY GROUPS Minority Language Materials and Assistance § 55.15 Affected... of applicable language minority groups to be effectively informed of and participate effectively...

  17. 28 CFR 55.15 - Affected activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... RIGHTS ACT REGARDING LANGUAGE MINORITY GROUPS Minority Language Materials and Assistance § 55.15 Affected... of applicable language minority groups to be effectively informed of and participate effectively...

  18. 28 CFR 55.15 - Affected activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... RIGHTS ACT REGARDING LANGUAGE MINORITY GROUPS Minority Language Materials and Assistance § 55.15 Affected... of applicable language minority groups to be effectively informed of and participate effectively...

  19. 28 CFR 55.15 - Affected activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... RIGHTS ACT REGARDING LANGUAGE MINORITY GROUPS Minority Language Materials and Assistance § 55.15 Affected... of applicable language minority groups to be effectively informed of and participate effectively...

  20. 28 CFR 55.15 - Affected activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... RIGHTS ACT REGARDING LANGUAGE MINORITY GROUPS Minority Language Materials and Assistance § 55.15 Affected... of applicable language minority groups to be effectively informed of and participate effectively...

  1. Metformin selectively affects human glioblastoma tumor-initiating cell viability

    PubMed Central

    Würth, Roberto; Pattarozzi, Alessandra; Gatti, Monica; Bajetto, Adirana; Corsaro, Alessandro; Parodi, Alessia; Sirito, Rodolfo; Massollo, Michela; Marini, Cecilia; Zona, Gianluigi; Fenoglio, Daniela; Sambuceti, Gianmario; Filaci, Gilberto; Daga, Antonio; Barbieri, Federica; Florio, Tullio

    2013-01-01

    Cancer stem cell theory postulates that a small population of tumor-initiating cells is responsible for the development, progression and recurrence of several malignancies, including glioblastoma. In this perspective, tumor-initiating cells represent the most relevant target to obtain effective cancer treatment. Metformin, a first-line drug for type II diabetes, was reported to possess anticancer properties affecting the survival of cancer stem cells in breast cancer models. We report that metformin treatment reduced the proliferation rate of tumor-initiating cell-enriched cultures isolated from four human glioblastomas. Metformin also impairs tumor-initiating cell spherogenesis, indicating a direct effect on self-renewal mechanisms. Interestingly, analyzing by FACS the antiproliferative effects of metformin on CD133-expressing subpopulation, a component of glioblastoma cancer stem cells, a higher reduction of proliferation was observed as compared with CD133-negative cells, suggesting a certain degree of cancer stem cell selectivity in its effects. In fact, glioblastoma cell differentiation strongly reduced sensitivity to metformin treatment. Metformin effects in tumor-initiating cell-enriched cultures were associated with a powerful inhibition of Akt-dependent cell survival pathway, while this pathway was not affected in differentiated cells. The specificity of metformin antiproliferative effects toward glioblastoma tumor-initiating cells was confirmed by the lack of significant inhibition of normal human stem cells (umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells) in vitro proliferation after metformin exposure. Altogether, these data clearly suggest that metformin exerts antiproliferative activity on glioblastoma cells, showing a higher specificity toward tumor-initiating cells, and that the inhibition of Akt pathway may represent a possible intracellular target of this effect. PMID:23255107

  2. Do toxic heavy metals affect antioxidant defense mechanisms in humans?

    PubMed

    Wieloch, Monika; Kamiński, Piotr; Ossowska, Anna; Koim-Puchowska, Beata; Stuczyński, Tomasz; Kuligowska-Prusińska, Magdalena; Dymek, Grażyna; Mańkowska, Aneta; Odrowąż-Sypniewska, Grażyna

    2012-04-01

    The aim of this study was to prove whether anthropogenic pollution affects antioxidant defense mechanisms such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activity, ferritin (FRT) concentration and total antioxidant status (TAS) in human serum. The study area involves polluted and salted environment (Kujawy region; northern-middle Poland) and Tuchola Forestry (unpolluted control area). We investigated 79 blood samples of volunteers from polluted area and 82 from the control in 2008 and 2009. Lead, cadmium and iron concentrations were measured in whole blood by the ICP-MS method. SOD and CAT activities were measured in serum using SOD and CAT Assay Kits by the standardized colorimetric method. Serum TAS was measured spectrophotometrically by the modified Benzie and Strain (1996) method and FRT concentration-by the immunonefelometric method. Pb and Cd levels and SOD activity were higher in volunteers from polluted area as compared with those from the control (0.0236 mg l(-1) vs. 0.014 mg l(-1); 0.0008 mg l(-1) vs. 0.0005 mg l(-1); 0.137 Um l(-1) vs. 0.055 Um l(-1), respectively). Fe level, CAT activity and TAS were lower in serum of volunteers from polluted area (0.442 g l(-1) vs. 0.476 gl(-1); 3.336 nmol min(-1)ml(-1) vs. 6.017 nmol min(-1)ml(-1); 0.731 Trolox-equivalents vs. 0.936 Trolox-equivalents, respectively), whilst differences in FRT concentration were not significant (66.109 μg l(-1) vs. 37.667 μg l(-1), p=0.3972). Positive correlations between Pb (r=0.206), Cd (r=0.602) and SOD in the inhabitants of polluted area, and between Cd and SOD in the control (r=0.639) were shown. In volunteers from both studied environments TAS-FRT (polluted: r=0.625 vs. control: r=0.837) and Fe-FRT (polluted area: r=0.831 vs. control: r=0.407) correlations, and Pb-FRT (r=0.360) and Pb-TAS (r=0.283) in the control were stated. The higher lead and cadmium concentrations in blood cause an increase of SOD activity. It suggests that this is one of the defense mechanisms of an

  3. Human body contour data based activity recognition.

    PubMed

    Myagmarbayar, Nergui; Yuki, Yoshida; Imamoglu, Nevrez; Gonzalez, Jose; Otake, Mihoko; Yu, Wenwei

    2013-01-01

    This research work is aimed to develop autonomous bio-monitoring mobile robots, which are capable of tracking and measuring patients' motions, recognizing the patients' behavior based on observation data, and providing calling for medical personnel in emergency situations in home environment. The robots to be developed will bring about cost-effective, safe and easier at-home rehabilitation to most motor-function impaired patients (MIPs). In our previous research, a full framework was established towards this research goal. In this research, we aimed at improving the human activity recognition by using contour data of the tracked human subject extracted from the depth images as the signal source, instead of the lower limb joint angle data used in the previous research, which are more likely to be affected by the motion of the robot and human subjects. Several geometric parameters, such as, the ratio of height to weight of the tracked human subject, and distance (pixels) between centroid points of upper and lower parts of human body, were calculated from the contour data, and used as the features for the activity recognition. A Hidden Markov Model (HMM) is employed to classify different human activities from the features. Experimental results showed that the human activity recognition could be achieved with a high correct rate. PMID:24111015

  4. Human body contour data based activity recognition.

    PubMed

    Myagmarbayar, Nergui; Yuki, Yoshida; Imamoglu, Nevrez; Gonzalez, Jose; Otake, Mihoko; Yu, Wenwei

    2013-01-01

    This research work is aimed to develop autonomous bio-monitoring mobile robots, which are capable of tracking and measuring patients' motions, recognizing the patients' behavior based on observation data, and providing calling for medical personnel in emergency situations in home environment. The robots to be developed will bring about cost-effective, safe and easier at-home rehabilitation to most motor-function impaired patients (MIPs). In our previous research, a full framework was established towards this research goal. In this research, we aimed at improving the human activity recognition by using contour data of the tracked human subject extracted from the depth images as the signal source, instead of the lower limb joint angle data used in the previous research, which are more likely to be affected by the motion of the robot and human subjects. Several geometric parameters, such as, the ratio of height to weight of the tracked human subject, and distance (pixels) between centroid points of upper and lower parts of human body, were calculated from the contour data, and used as the features for the activity recognition. A Hidden Markov Model (HMM) is employed to classify different human activities from the features. Experimental results showed that the human activity recognition could be achieved with a high correct rate.

  5. How Do Volcanoes Affect Human Life? Integrated Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dayton, Rebecca; Edwards, Carrie; Sisler, Michelle

    This packet contains a unit on teaching about volcanoes. The following question is addressed: How do volcanoes affect human life? The unit covers approximately three weeks of instruction and strives to present volcanoes in an holistic form. The five subject areas of art, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies are integrated into…

  6. Affective Man-Machine Interface: Unveiling Human Emotions through Biosignals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van den Broek, Egon L.; Lisý, Viliam; Janssen, Joris H.; Westerink, Joyce H. D. M.; Schut, Marleen H.; Tuinenbreijer, Kees

    As is known for centuries, humans exhibit an electrical profile. This profile is altered through various psychological and physiological proce-sses, which can be measured through biosignals; e.g., electromyography (EMG) and electrodermal activity (EDA). These biosignals can reveal our emotions and, as such, can serve as an advanced man-machine interface (MMI) for empathic consumer products. However, such a MMI requires the correct classification of biosignals to emotion classes. This chapter starts with an introduction on biosignals for emotion detection. Next, a state-of-the-art review is presented on automatic emotion classification. Moreover, guidelines are presented for affective MMI. Subsequently, a research is presented that explores the use of EDA and three facial EMG signals to determine neutral, positive, negative, and mixed emotions, using recordings of 21 people. A range of techniques is tested, which resulted in a generic framework for automated emotion classification with up to 61.31% correct classification of the four emotion classes, without the need of personal profiles. Among various other directives for future research, the results emphasize the need for parallel processing of multiple biosignals.

  7. Cross-Species Affective Neuroscience Decoding of the Primal Affective Experiences of Humans and Related Animals

    PubMed Central

    Panksepp, Jaak

    2011-01-01

    Background The issue of whether other animals have internally felt experiences has vexed animal behavioral science since its inception. Although most investigators remain agnostic on such contentious issues, there is now abundant experimental evidence indicating that all mammals have negatively and positively-valenced emotional networks concentrated in homologous brain regions that mediate affective experiences when animals are emotionally aroused. That is what the neuroscientific evidence indicates. Principal Findings The relevant lines of evidence are as follows: 1) It is easy to elicit powerful unconditioned emotional responses using localized electrical stimulation of the brain (ESB); these effects are concentrated in ancient subcortical brain regions. Seven types of emotional arousals have been described; using a special capitalized nomenclature for such primary process emotional systems, they are SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, LUST, CARE, PANIC/GRIEF and PLAY. 2) These brain circuits are situated in homologous subcortical brain regions in all vertebrates tested. Thus, if one activates FEAR arousal circuits in rats, cats or primates, all exhibit similar fear responses. 3) All primary-process emotional-instinctual urges, even ones as complex as social PLAY, remain intact after radical neo-decortication early in life; thus, the neocortex is not essential for the generation of primary-process emotionality. 4) Using diverse measures, one can demonstrate that animals like and dislike ESB of brain regions that evoke unconditioned instinctual emotional behaviors: Such ESBs can serve as ‘rewards’ and ‘punishments’ in diverse approach and escape/avoidance learning tasks. 5) Comparable ESB of human brains yield comparable affective experiences. Thus, robust evidence indicates that raw primary-process (i.e., instinctual, unconditioned) emotional behaviors and feelings emanate from homologous brain functions in all mammals (see Appendix S1), which are regulated by higher

  8. Mutations affecting enzymatic activity in liver arginase

    SciTech Connect

    Vockley, J.G.; Tabor, D.E.; Goodman, B.K.

    1994-09-01

    The hydrolysis of arginine to ornithine and urea is catalyzed by arginase in the last step of the urea cycle. We examined a group of arginase deficient patients by PCR-SSCP analysis to characterize the molecular basis of this disorder. A heterogeneous population of nonsense mutations, microdeletions, and missense mutations has been identified in our cohort. Microdeletions which introduce premature stop codons downstream of the deletion and nonsense mutations result in no arginase activity. These mutations occur randomly along the gene. The majority of missense mutations identified appear to occur in regions of high cross-species homology. To test the effect of these missense mutations on arginase activity, site-directed mutagenesis was used to re-create the patient mutations for in vivo expression studies in a prokaryotic fusion-protein expression system. Of 4 different missense mutations identified in 6 individuals, only one was located outside of a conserved region. The three substitution mutations within the conserved regions had a significant effect on enzymatic activity (0-3.1 nmole/30min, normal is 1300-1400 nmoles/30min, as determined by in vitro arginase assay), while the fourth mutation, a T to S substitution, did not. In addition, site-directed mutagenesis was utilized to create mutations not in residues postulated to play a significant role in the enzymatic function or active site formation in manganese-binding proteins such as arginase. We have determined that the substitution of glycine for a histidine residue, located in a very highly conserved region of exon 3, and the substitution of a histidine and an aspartic acid residue within a similarly conserved region in exon 4, totally abolishes enzymatic activity. Mutations substituting glycine for an additional histidine and aspartic acid residue in exon 4 and two aspartic acid residues in exon 7 have also been created. We are currently in the process of characterizing these mutations.

  9. Incorporating affective bias in models of human decision making

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nygren, Thomas E.

    1991-01-01

    Research on human decision making has traditionally focused on how people actually make decisions, how good their decisions are, and how their decisions can be improved. Recent research suggests that this model is inadequate. Affective as well as cognitive components drive the way information about relevant outcomes and events is perceived, integrated, and used in the decision making process. The affective components include how the individual frames outcomes as good or bad, whether the individual anticipates regret in a decision situation, the affective mood state of the individual, and the psychological stress level anticipated or experienced in the decision situation. A focus of the current work has been to propose empirical studies that will attempt to examine in more detail the relationships between the latter two critical affective influences (mood state and stress) on decision making behavior.

  10. Biologically active extracts with kidney affections applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pascu (Neagu), Mihaela; Pascu, Daniela-Elena; Cozea, Andreea; Bunaciu, Andrei A.; Miron, Alexandra Raluca; Nechifor, Cristina Aurelia

    2015-12-01

    This paper is aimed to select plant materials rich in bioflavonoid compounds, made from herbs known for their application performances in the prevention and therapy of renal diseases, namely kidney stones and urinary infections (renal lithiasis, nephritis, urethritis, cystitis, etc.). This paper presents a comparative study of the medicinal plant extracts composition belonging to Ericaceae-Cranberry (fruit and leaves) - Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. and Bilberry (fruit) - Vaccinium myrtillus L. Concentrated extracts obtained from medicinal plants used in this work were analyzed from structural, morphological and compositional points of view using different techniques: chromatographic methods (HPLC), scanning electronic microscopy, infrared, and UV spectrophotometry, also by using kinetic model. Liquid chromatography was able to identify the specific compounds of the Ericaceae family, present in all three extracts, arbutosid, as well as specific components of each species, mostly from the class of polyphenols. The identification and quantitative determination of the active ingredients from these extracts can give information related to their therapeutic effects.

  11. Formaldehyde Crosses the Human Placenta and Affects Human Trophoblast Differentiation and Hormonal Functions.

    PubMed

    Pidoux, Guillaume; Gerbaud, Pascale; Guibourdenche, Jean; Thérond, Patrice; Ferreira, Fatima; Simasotchi, Christelle; Evain-Brion, Danièle; Gil, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    The chorionic villus of the human placenta is the source of specific endocrine functions and nutrient exchanges. These activities are ensured by the syncytiotrophobast (ST), which bathes in maternal blood. The ST arises and regenerates throughout pregnancy by fusion of underlying cytotrophoblasts (CT). Any anomaly of ST formation or regeneration can affect pregnancy outcome and fetal growth. Because of its direct interaction with maternal blood, the ST is sensitive to drugs, pollutants and xenohormones. Ex vivo assays of perfused cotyledon show that formaldehyde, a common pollutant present in furniture, paint and plastics, can accumulate in the human placenta and cross to the fetal compartment. By means of RT-qPCR, immunoblot and immunocytochemistry experiments, we demonstrate in vitro that formaldehyde exerts endocrine toxicity on human trophoblasts, including a decrease in the production of protein hormones of pregnancy. In addition, formaldehyde exposure triggered human trophoblast fusion by upregulating syncitin-1 receptor expression (ASC-type amino-acid transporter 2: ASCT2). Moreover, we show that formaldehyde-exposed trophoblasts present an altered redox status associated with oxidative stress, and an increase in ASCT2 expression intended to compensate for this stress. Finally, we demonstrate that the adverse effects of formaldehyde on trophoblast differentiation and fusion are reversed by N-acetyl-L-cysteine (Nac), an antioxidant.

  12. Formaldehyde Crosses the Human Placenta and Affects Human Trophoblast Differentiation and Hormonal Functions

    PubMed Central

    Pidoux, Guillaume; Gerbaud, Pascale; Guibourdenche, Jean; Thérond, Patrice; Ferreira, Fatima; Simasotchi, Christelle; Evain-Brion, Danièle; Gil, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    The chorionic villus of the human placenta is the source of specific endocrine functions and nutrient exchanges. These activities are ensured by the syncytiotrophobast (ST), which bathes in maternal blood. The ST arises and regenerates throughout pregnancy by fusion of underlying cytotrophoblasts (CT). Any anomaly of ST formation or regeneration can affect pregnancy outcome and fetal growth. Because of its direct interaction with maternal blood, the ST is sensitive to drugs, pollutants and xenohormones. Ex vivo assays of perfused cotyledon show that formaldehyde, a common pollutant present in furniture, paint and plastics, can accumulate in the human placenta and cross to the fetal compartment. By means of RT-qPCR, immunoblot and immunocytochemistry experiments, we demonstrate in vitro that formaldehyde exerts endocrine toxicity on human trophoblasts, including a decrease in the production of protein hormones of pregnancy. In addition, formaldehyde exposure triggered human trophoblast fusion by upregulating syncitin-1 receptor expression (ASC-type amino-acid transporter 2: ASCT2). Moreover, we show that formaldehyde-exposed trophoblasts present an altered redox status associated with oxidative stress, and an increase in ASCT2 expression intended to compensate for this stress. Finally, we demonstrate that the adverse effects of formaldehyde on trophoblast differentiation and fusion are reversed by N-acetyl-L-cysteine (Nac), an antioxidant. PMID:26186596

  13. Amylase activity in human bile.

    PubMed

    Donaldson, L A; Joffe, S N; McIntosh, W; Brodie, M J

    1979-03-01

    The mean amylase level in 42 human bile samples was 154 IU/l and there was no significant difference in the amylase activity of 32 paired serum and bile samples. Estimation of the amylase thermolability of bile showed it to be similar to that of serum. This suggests that the amylase activity in bile may have filtered through the liver from the hepatic circulation rather than refluxed from the pancreatic duct. The presence of amylase in human bile provides further evidence that the liver might have a role in the regulation of serum amylase.

  14. Human activity discrimination for maritime application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boettcher, Evelyn; Deaver, Dawne M.; Krapels, Keith

    2008-04-01

    The US Army RDECOM CERDEC Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD) is investigating how motion affects the target acquisition model (NVThermIP) sensor performance estimates. This paper looks specifically at estimating sensor performance for the task of discriminating human activities on watercraft, and was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Traditionally, sensor models were calibrated using still images. While that approach is sufficient for static targets, video allows one to use motion cues to aid in discerning the type of human activity more quickly and accurately. This, in turn, will affect estimated sensor performance and these effects are measured in order to calibrate current target acquisition models for this task. The study employed an eleven alternative forced choice (11AFC) human perception experiment to measure the task difficulty of discriminating unique human activities on watercrafts. A mid-wave infrared camera was used to collect video at night. A description of the construction of this experiment is given, including: the data collection, image processing, perception testing and how contrast was defined for video. These results are applicable to evaluate sensor field performance for Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection (AT/FP) tasks for the U.S. Navy.

  15. Activated human platelets induce factor XIIa-mediated contact activation.

    PubMed

    Bäck, Jennie; Sanchez, Javier; Elgue, Graciela; Ekdahl, Kristina Nilsson; Nilsson, Bo

    2010-01-01

    Earlier studies have shown that isolated platelets in buffer systems can promote activation of FXII or amplify contact activation, in the presence of a negatively charge substance or material. Still proof is lacking that FXII is activated by platelets in a more physiological environment. In this study we investigate if activated platelets can induce FXII-mediated contact activation and whether this activation affects clot formation in human blood. Human platelets were activated with a thrombin receptor-activating peptide, SFLLRN-amide, in platelet-rich plasma or in whole blood. FXIIa and FXIa in complex with preferentially antithrombin (AT) and to some extent C1-inhibitor (C1INH) were generated in response to TRAP stimulation. This contact activation was independent of surface-mediated contact activation, tissue factor pathway or thrombin. In clotting whole blood FXIIa-AT and FXIa-AT complexes were specifically formed, demonstrating that AT is a potent inhibitor of FXIIa and FXIa generated by platelet activation. Contact activation proteins were analyzed by flow cytometry and FXII, FXI, high-molecular weight kininogen, and prekallikrein were detected on activated platelets. Using chromogenic assays, enzymatic activity of platelet-associated FXIIa, FXIa, and kallikrein were demonstrated. Inhibition of FXIIa in non-anticoagulated blood also prolonged the clotting time. We conclude that platelet activation triggers FXII-mediated contact activation on the surface and in the vicinity of activated platelets. This leads specifically to generation of FXIIa-AT and FXIa-AT complexes, and contributes to clot formation. Activated platelets may thereby constitute an intravascular locus for contact activation, which may explain the recently reported importance of FXII in thrombus formation. PMID:19878657

  16. Positive Affect and the Complex Dynamics of Human Flourishing

    PubMed Central

    Fredrickson, Barbara L.; Losada, Marcial F.

    2011-01-01

    Extending B. L. Fredrickson’s (1998) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions and M. Losada’s (1999) nonlinear dynamics model of team performance, the authors predict that a ratio of positive to negative affect at or above 2.9 will characterize individuals in flourishing mental health. Participants (N = 188) completed an initial survey to identify flourishing mental health and then provided daily reports of experienced positive and negative emotions over 28 days. Results showed that the mean ratio of positive to negative affect was above 2.9 for individuals classified as flourishing and below that threshold for those not flourishing. Together with other evidence, these findings suggest that a set of general mathematical principles may describe the relations between positive affect and human flourishing. PMID:16221001

  17. Positive affect and the complex dynamics of human flourishing.

    PubMed

    Fredrickson, Barbara L; Losada, Marcial F

    2005-10-01

    Extending B. L. Fredrickson's (1998) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions and M. Losada's (1999) nonlinear dynamics model of team performance, the authors predict that a ratio of positive to negative affect at or above 2.9 will characterize individuals in flourishing mental health. Participants (N=188) completed an initial survey to identify flourishing mental health and then provided daily reports of experienced positive and negative emotions over 28 days. Results showed that the mean ratio of positive to negative affect was above 2.9 for individuals classified as flourishing and below that threshold for those not flourishing. Together with other evidence, these findings suggest that a set of general mathematical principles may describe the relations between positive affect and human flourishing. PMID:16221001

  18. HIV-1 p17 matrix protein interacts with heparan sulfate side chain of CD44v3, syndecan-2, and syndecan-4 proteoglycans expressed on human activated CD4+ T cells affecting tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin 2 production.

    PubMed

    De Francesco, Maria A; Baronio, Manuela; Poiesi, Claudio

    2011-06-01

    HIV-1 p17 contains C- and N-terminal sequences with positively charged residues and a consensus cluster for heparin binding. We have previously demonstrated by affinity chromatography that HIV-1 p17 binds strongly to heparin-agarose at physiological pH and to human activated CD4(+) T cells. In this study we demonstrated that the viral protein binds to heparan sulfate side chains of syndecan-2, syndecan-4, and CD44v3 purified from HeLa cells and that these heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) co-localize with HIV-1 p17 on activated human CD4(+) T cells by confocal fluorescence analysis. Moreover, we observed a stimulatory or inhibitory activity when CD4(+) T cells were activated with mitogens together with nanomolar or micromolar concentrations of the matrix protein.

  19. Human likeness: cognitive and affective factors affecting adoption of robot-assisted learning systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoo, Hosun; Kwon, Ohbyung; Lee, Namyeon

    2016-07-01

    With advances in robot technology, interest in robotic e-learning systems has increased. In some laboratories, experiments are being conducted with humanoid robots as artificial tutors because of their likeness to humans, the rich possibilities of using this type of media, and the multimodal interaction capabilities of these robots. The robot-assisted learning system, a special type of e-learning system, aims to increase the learner's concentration, pleasure, and learning performance dramatically. However, very few empirical studies have examined the effect on learning performance of incorporating humanoid robot technology into e-learning systems or people's willingness to accept or adopt robot-assisted learning systems. In particular, human likeness, the essential characteristic of humanoid robots as compared with conventional e-learning systems, has not been discussed in a theoretical context. Hence, the purpose of this study is to propose a theoretical model to explain the process of adoption of robot-assisted learning systems. In the proposed model, human likeness is conceptualized as a combination of media richness, multimodal interaction capabilities, and para-social relationships; these factors are considered as possible determinants of the degree to which human cognition and affection are related to the adoption of robot-assisted learning systems.

  20. Global water resources affected by human interventions and climate change

    PubMed Central

    Haddeland, Ingjerd; Heinke, Jens; Biemans, Hester; Eisner, Stephanie; Flörke, Martina; Hanasaki, Naota; Konzmann, Markus; Ludwig, Fulco; Masaki, Yoshimitsu; Schewe, Jacob; Stacke, Tobias; Tessler, Zachary D.; Wada, Yoshihide; Wisser, Dominik

    2014-01-01

    Humans directly change the dynamics of the water cycle through dams constructed for water storage, and through water withdrawals for industrial, agricultural, or domestic purposes. Climate change is expected to additionally affect water supply and demand. Here, analyses of climate change and direct human impacts on the terrestrial water cycle are presented and compared using a multimodel approach. Seven global hydrological models have been forced with multiple climate projections, and with and without taking into account impacts of human interventions such as dams and water withdrawals on the hydrological cycle. Model results are analyzed for different levels of global warming, allowing for analyses in line with temperature targets for climate change mitigation. The results indicate that direct human impacts on the water cycle in some regions, e.g., parts of Asia and in the western United States, are of the same order of magnitude, or even exceed impacts to be expected for moderate levels of global warming (+2 K). Despite some spread in model projections, irrigation water consumption is generally projected to increase with higher global mean temperatures. Irrigation water scarcity is particularly large in parts of southern and eastern Asia, and is expected to become even larger in the future. PMID:24344275

  1. Global water resources affected by human interventions and climate change.

    PubMed

    Haddeland, Ingjerd; Heinke, Jens; Biemans, Hester; Eisner, Stephanie; Flörke, Martina; Hanasaki, Naota; Konzmann, Markus; Ludwig, Fulco; Masaki, Yoshimitsu; Schewe, Jacob; Stacke, Tobias; Tessler, Zachary D; Wada, Yoshihide; Wisser, Dominik

    2014-03-01

    Humans directly change the dynamics of the water cycle through dams constructed for water storage, and through water withdrawals for industrial, agricultural, or domestic purposes. Climate change is expected to additionally affect water supply and demand. Here, analyses of climate change and direct human impacts on the terrestrial water cycle are presented and compared using a multimodel approach. Seven global hydrological models have been forced with multiple climate projections, and with and without taking into account impacts of human interventions such as dams and water withdrawals on the hydrological cycle. Model results are analyzed for different levels of global warming, allowing for analyses in line with temperature targets for climate change mitigation. The results indicate that direct human impacts on the water cycle in some regions, e.g., parts of Asia and in the western United States, are of the same order of magnitude, or even exceed impacts to be expected for moderate levels of global warming (+2 K). Despite some spread in model projections, irrigation water consumption is generally projected to increase with higher global mean temperatures. Irrigation water scarcity is particularly large in parts of southern and eastern Asia, and is expected to become even larger in the future.

  2. Is it the real deal? Perception of virtual characters versus humans: an affective cognitive neuroscience perspective.

    PubMed

    de Borst, Aline W; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2015-01-01

    Recent developments in neuroimaging research support the increased use of naturalistic stimulus material such as film, avatars, or androids. These stimuli allow for a better understanding of how the brain processes information in complex situations while maintaining experimental control. While avatars and androids are well suited to study human cognition, they should not be equated to human stimuli. For example, the uncanny valley hypothesis theorizes that artificial agents with high human-likeness may evoke feelings of eeriness in the human observer. Here we review if, when, and how the perception of human-like avatars and androids differs from the perception of humans and consider how this influences their utilization as stimulus material in social and affective neuroimaging studies. First, we discuss how the appearance of virtual characters affects perception. When stimuli are morphed across categories from non-human to human, the most ambiguous stimuli, rather than the most human-like stimuli, show prolonged classification times and increased eeriness. Human-like to human stimuli show a positive linear relationship with familiarity. Secondly, we show that expressions of emotions in human-like avatars can be perceived similarly to human emotions, with corresponding behavioral, physiological and neuronal activations, with exception of physical dissimilarities. Subsequently, we consider if and when one perceives differences in action representation by artificial agents versus humans. Motor resonance and predictive coding models may account for empirical findings, such as an interference effect on action for observed human-like, natural moving characters. However, the expansion of these models to explain more complex behavior, such as empathy, still needs to be investigated in more detail. Finally, we broaden our outlook to social interaction, where virtual reality stimuli can be utilized to imitate complex social situations. PMID:26029133

  3. Is it the real deal? Perception of virtual characters versus humans: an affective cognitive neuroscience perspective.

    PubMed

    de Borst, Aline W; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2015-01-01

    Recent developments in neuroimaging research support the increased use of naturalistic stimulus material such as film, avatars, or androids. These stimuli allow for a better understanding of how the brain processes information in complex situations while maintaining experimental control. While avatars and androids are well suited to study human cognition, they should not be equated to human stimuli. For example, the uncanny valley hypothesis theorizes that artificial agents with high human-likeness may evoke feelings of eeriness in the human observer. Here we review if, when, and how the perception of human-like avatars and androids differs from the perception of humans and consider how this influences their utilization as stimulus material in social and affective neuroimaging studies. First, we discuss how the appearance of virtual characters affects perception. When stimuli are morphed across categories from non-human to human, the most ambiguous stimuli, rather than the most human-like stimuli, show prolonged classification times and increased eeriness. Human-like to human stimuli show a positive linear relationship with familiarity. Secondly, we show that expressions of emotions in human-like avatars can be perceived similarly to human emotions, with corresponding behavioral, physiological and neuronal activations, with exception of physical dissimilarities. Subsequently, we consider if and when one perceives differences in action representation by artificial agents versus humans. Motor resonance and predictive coding models may account for empirical findings, such as an interference effect on action for observed human-like, natural moving characters. However, the expansion of these models to explain more complex behavior, such as empathy, still needs to be investigated in more detail. Finally, we broaden our outlook to social interaction, where virtual reality stimuli can be utilized to imitate complex social situations.

  4. Is it the real deal? Perception of virtual characters versus humans: an affective cognitive neuroscience perspective

    PubMed Central

    de Borst, Aline W.; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2015-01-01

    Recent developments in neuroimaging research support the increased use of naturalistic stimulus material such as film, avatars, or androids. These stimuli allow for a better understanding of how the brain processes information in complex situations while maintaining experimental control. While avatars and androids are well suited to study human cognition, they should not be equated to human stimuli. For example, the uncanny valley hypothesis theorizes that artificial agents with high human-likeness may evoke feelings of eeriness in the human observer. Here we review if, when, and how the perception of human-like avatars and androids differs from the perception of humans and consider how this influences their utilization as stimulus material in social and affective neuroimaging studies. First, we discuss how the appearance of virtual characters affects perception. When stimuli are morphed across categories from non-human to human, the most ambiguous stimuli, rather than the most human-like stimuli, show prolonged classification times and increased eeriness. Human-like to human stimuli show a positive linear relationship with familiarity. Secondly, we show that expressions of emotions in human-like avatars can be perceived similarly to human emotions, with corresponding behavioral, physiological and neuronal activations, with exception of physical dissimilarities. Subsequently, we consider if and when one perceives differences in action representation by artificial agents versus humans. Motor resonance and predictive coding models may account for empirical findings, such as an interference effect on action for observed human-like, natural moving characters. However, the expansion of these models to explain more complex behavior, such as empathy, still needs to be investigated in more detail. Finally, we broaden our outlook to social interaction, where virtual reality stimuli can be utilized to imitate complex social situations. PMID:26029133

  5. Inaudible high-frequency sounds affect brain activity: hypersonic effect.

    PubMed

    Oohashi, T; Nishina, E; Honda, M; Yonekura, Y; Fuwamoto, Y; Kawai, N; Maekawa, T; Nakamura, S; Fukuyama, H; Shibasaki, H

    2000-06-01

    Although it is generally accepted that humans cannot perceive sounds in the frequency range above 20 kHz, the question of whether the existence of such "inaudible" high-frequency components may affect the acoustic perception of audible sounds remains unanswered. In this study, we used noninvasive physiological measurements of brain responses to provide evidence that sounds containing high-frequency components (HFCs) above the audible range significantly affect the brain activity of listeners. We used the gamelan music of Bali, which is extremely rich in HFCs with a nonstationary structure, as a natural sound source, dividing it into two components: an audible low-frequency component (LFC) below 22 kHz and an HFC above 22 kHz. Brain electrical activity and regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) were measured as markers of neuronal activity while subjects were exposed to sounds with various combinations of LFCs and HFCs. None of the subjects recognized the HFC as sound when it was presented alone. Nevertheless, the power spectra of the alpha frequency range of the spontaneous electroencephalogram (alpha-EEG) recorded from the occipital region increased with statistical significance when the subjects were exposed to sound containing both an HFC and an LFC, compared with an otherwise identical sound from which the HFC was removed (i.e., LFC alone). In contrast, compared with the baseline, no enhancement of alpha-EEG was evident when either an HFC or an LFC was presented separately. Positron emission tomography measurements revealed that, when an HFC and an LFC were presented together, the rCBF in the brain stem and the left thalamus increased significantly compared with a sound lacking the HFC above 22 kHz but that was otherwise identical. Simultaneous EEG measurements showed that the power of occipital alpha-EEGs correlated significantly with the rCBF in the left thalamus. Psychological evaluation indicated that the subjects felt the sound containing an HFC to be more

  6. Affective consciousness: Core emotional feelings in animals and humans.

    PubMed

    Panksepp, Jaak

    2005-03-01

    The position advanced in this paper is that the bedrock of emotional feelings is contained within the evolved emotional action apparatus of mammalian brains. This dual-aspect monism approach to brain-mind functions, which asserts that emotional feelings may reflect the neurodynamics of brain systems that generate instinctual emotional behaviors, saves us from various conceptual conundrums. In coarse form, primary process affective consciousness seems to be fundamentally an unconditional "gift of nature" rather than an acquired skill, even though those systems facilitate skill acquisition via various felt reinforcements. Affective consciousness, being a comparatively intrinsic function of the brain, shared homologously by all mammalian species, should be the easiest variant of consciousness to study in animals. This is not to deny that some secondary processes (e.g., awareness of feelings in the generation of behavioral choices) cannot be evaluated in animals with sufficiently clever behavioral learning procedures, as with place-preference procedures and the analysis of changes in learned behaviors after one has induced re-valuation of incentives. Rather, the claim is that a direct neuroscientific study of primary process emotional/affective states is best achieved through the study of the intrinsic ("instinctual"), albeit experientially refined, emotional action tendencies of other animals. In this view, core emotional feelings may reflect the neurodynamic attractor landscapes of a variety of extended trans-diencephalic, limbic emotional action systems-including SEEKING, FEAR, RAGE, LUST, CARE, PANIC, and PLAY. Through a study of these brain systems, the neural infrastructure of human and animal affective consciousness may be revealed. Emotional feelings are instantiated in large-scale neurodynamics that can be most effectively monitored via the ethological analysis of emotional action tendencies and the accompanying brain neurochemical/electrical changes. The

  7. Measuring cholinesterase activity in human saliva.

    PubMed

    Claus Henn, Birgit; McMaster, Suzanne; Padilla, Stephanie

    2006-10-01

    To assess the potential for using saliva in pesticide biomonitoring, the consistency of cholinesterase activity in human saliva collected over time was examined. In this pilot study, saliva was collected from 20 healthy adults once per week for 5 consecutive weeks using 2 different collection methods: a disposable plastic pipette, and a cotton-wool roll. A brief questionnaire was conducted each week to document changes in exposure to cholinesterase inhibitors for the duration of the sampling. To measure cholinesterase activity, an existing radiometric method was modified to make it suitable for human saliva. Using this method, cholinesterase activity was measurable in saliva, and duplicate samples showed reliable repeatability. Activity in both collection methods ranged from 3 to 265 nmol/h/ml saliva (mean = 52 +/- 37 [SD] nmol/h/ml saliva). For some individuals, enzyme activity was consistent over the five sampling weeks; for others, activity was highly variable. Coefficients of variation (CVs) were calculated to assess variability, and mean CVs were the same for both collection methods (about 35%). Adjusting for protein concentration in the pipette-collected samples did not change results. Both collection methods worked well for collecting between 1 and 3 ml saliva, but at the majority of visits (86%), participants preferred the cotton-wool roll. Results from this study suggest that saliva may be a useful indicator of potential neurotoxic effects from exposure to organophosphorus and carbamate pesticides, but that factors affecting variability should be explored further.

  8. Neural evidence that human emotions share core affective properties.

    PubMed

    Wilson-Mendenhall, Christine D; Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Barsalou, Lawrence W

    2013-06-01

    Research on the "emotional brain" remains centered around the idea that emotions like fear, happiness, and sadness result from specialized and distinct neural circuitry. Accumulating behavioral and physiological evidence suggests, instead, that emotions are grounded in core affect--a person's fluctuating level of pleasant or unpleasant arousal. A neuroimaging study revealed that participants' subjective ratings of valence (i.e., pleasure/displeasure) and of arousal evoked by various fear, happiness, and sadness experiences correlated with neural activity in specific brain regions (orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala, respectively). We observed these correlations across diverse instances within each emotion category, as well as across instances from all three categories. Consistent with a psychological construction approach to emotion, the results suggest that neural circuitry realizes more basic processes across discrete emotions. The implicated brain regions regulate the body to deal with the world, producing the affective changes at the core of emotions and many other psychological phenomena.

  9. Examining dog-human play: the characteristics, affect, and vocalizations of a unique interspecific interaction.

    PubMed

    Horowitz, Alexandra; Hecht, Julie

    2016-07-01

    Despite the growing interest in research on the interaction between humans and dogs, only a very few research projects focus on the routines between dogs and their owners. In this study, we investigated one such routine: dog-human play. Dyadic interspecific play is known to be a common interaction between owner and charge, but the details of what counts as play have not been thoroughly researched. Similarly, though people represent that "play" is pleasurable, no study has yet undertaken to determine whether different forms of play are associated with different affective states. Thus, we aimed to generate an inventory of the forms of dyadic play, the vocalizations within play, and to investigate the relationship of affect to elements of play. Via a global citizen science project, we solicited videotapes of dog-human play sessions from dog owners. We coded 187 play bouts via frame-by-frame video playback. We then assessed the relationship between various intra-bout variables and owner affect (positive or neutral) during play (dog affect was overwhelmingly positive). Amount of physical contact ("touch"), level of activity of owner ("movement"), and physical closeness of dog-owner dyad ("proximity") were highly correlated with positive affect. Owner vocalizations were found to contain different elements in positive- and neutral-affect play. One novel category of play, "tease", was found. We conclude that not all play is created equal: the experience of play to the owner participant is strongly related to a few identifiable characteristics of the interaction.

  10. Corrugator activity confirms immediate negative affect in surprise.

    PubMed

    Topolinski, Sascha; Strack, Fritz

    2015-01-01

    The emotion of surprise entails a complex of immediate responses, such as cognitive interruption, attention allocation to, and more systematic processing of the surprising stimulus. All these processes serve the ultimate function to increase processing depth and thus cognitively master the surprising stimulus. The present account introduces phasic negative affect as the underlying mechanism responsible for this switch in operating mode. Surprising stimuli are schema-discrepant and thus entail cognitive disfluency, which elicits immediate negative affect. This affect in turn works like a phasic cognitive tuning switching the current processing mode from more automatic and heuristic to more systematic and reflective processing. Directly testing the initial elicitation of negative affect by surprising events, the present experiment presented high and low surprising neutral trivia statements to N = 28 participants while assessing their spontaneous facial expressions via facial electromyography. High compared to low surprising trivia elicited higher corrugator activity, indicative of negative affect and mental effort, while leaving zygomaticus (positive affect) and frontalis (cultural surprise expression) activity unaffected. Future research shall investigate the mediating role of negative affect in eliciting surprise-related outcomes.

  11. Corrugator activity confirms immediate negative affect in surprise

    PubMed Central

    Topolinski, Sascha; Strack, Fritz

    2015-01-01

    The emotion of surprise entails a complex of immediate responses, such as cognitive interruption, attention allocation to, and more systematic processing of the surprising stimulus. All these processes serve the ultimate function to increase processing depth and thus cognitively master the surprising stimulus. The present account introduces phasic negative affect as the underlying mechanism responsible for this switch in operating mode. Surprising stimuli are schema-discrepant and thus entail cognitive disfluency, which elicits immediate negative affect. This affect in turn works like a phasic cognitive tuning switching the current processing mode from more automatic and heuristic to more systematic and reflective processing. Directly testing the initial elicitation of negative affect by surprising events, the present experiment presented high and low surprising neutral trivia statements to N = 28 participants while assessing their spontaneous facial expressions via facial electromyography. High compared to low surprising trivia elicited higher corrugator activity, indicative of negative affect and mental effort, while leaving zygomaticus (positive affect) and frontalis (cultural surprise expression) activity unaffected. Future research shall investigate the mediating role of negative affect in eliciting surprise-related outcomes. PMID:25762956

  12. Do ELF magnetic fields affect human reaction time?

    SciTech Connect

    Podd, J.V.; Whittington, C.J.; Barnes, G.R.G.; Page, W.H.; Rapley, B.I.

    1995-12-01

    Two double-blind studies were run in an attempt to confirm the finding that a 0.2 Hz magnetic field affects simple reaction time (RT) in humans, whereas a 0.1 Hz field does not. In the first experiment, 12 volunteer subjects were exposed to a continuous 0.2 Hz, 0.1 Hz, or sham field in a fully counter-balanced, within-subjects design. Subjects were run singly for one condition each day over 3 consecutive days with a field strength of 1.1 mT and a daily expose duration of 5 min. Neither magnetic field had any effect on RT at any time during the exposure. One condition of a second study, using a new group of 24 volunteer subjects, also failed to find any field effects at 0.2 Hz. Additionally, the second study failed to show any effects when the frequency, flux density, and field orientation were set according to parameter resonance theory. It is suggested that, although ELF magnetic field effects on human behavior may be elusive, future research can improve detection rates by paying greater attention to reducing error variance and increasing statistical power.

  13. 16 CFR 801.3 - Activities in or affecting commerce.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... INTERPRETATIONS UNDER THE HART-SCOTT-RODINO ANTITRUST IMPROVEMENTS ACT OF 1976 COVERAGE RULES § 801.3 Activities... affecting commerce. Examples: 1. A foreign subsidiary of a U.S. corporation seeks to acquire a foreign business. The acquiring person includes the U.S. parent corporation. If the U.S. corporation, or...

  14. 16 CFR 801.3 - Activities in or affecting commerce.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... INTERPRETATIONS UNDER THE HART-SCOTT-RODINO ANTITRUST IMPROVEMENTS ACT OF 1976 COVERAGE RULES § 801.3 Activities... affecting commerce. Examples: 1. A foreign subsidiary of a U.S. corporation seeks to acquire a foreign business. The acquiring person includes the U.S. parent corporation. If the U.S. corporation, or...

  15. Monitoring Affect States during Effortful Problem Solving Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    D'Mello, Sidney K.; Lehman, Blair; Person, Natalie

    2010-01-01

    We explored the affective states that students experienced during effortful problem solving activities. We conducted a study where 41 students solved difficult analytical reasoning problems from the Law School Admission Test. Students viewed videos of their faces and screen captures and judged their emotions from a set of 14 states (basic…

  16. Leucine does not affect mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 assembly but is required for maximal ribosomal protein s6 kinase 1 activity in human skeletal muscle following resistance exercise.

    PubMed

    Apró, William; Moberg, Marcus; Hamilton, D Lee; Ekblom, Björn; Rooyackers, Olav; Holmberg, Hans-Christer; Blomstrand, Eva

    2015-10-01

    We examined how the stimulatory effect of leucine on the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway is affected by the presence of the remaining essential amino acids (EAAs). Nine male subjects performed resistance exercise on 4 occasions and were randomly supplied EAAs with leucine, EAAs without leucine (EAA-Leu), leucine alone, or flavored water (placebo; control). Muscle biopsies were taken from the vastus lateralis before and 60 and 90 min after exercise. Biopsies were analyzed for protein phosphorylation, kinase activity, protein-protein interactions, amino acid concentrations, and tracer incorporation. Leucine alone stimulated ribosomal protein s6 kinase 1 (S6K1) phosphorylation ∼280% more than placebo and EAA-Leu after exercise. Moreover, this response was enhanced by 60-75% after intake of EAAs compared with that of leucine alone (P < 0.05). Kinase activity of S6K1 reflected that of S6K1 phosphorylation; 60 min after exercise, the activity was elevated 3.3- and 4.2-fold with intake of leucine alone and with EAAs, respectively (P < 0.05). The interaction between mammalian target of rapamycin and regulatory-associated protein of mammalian target of rapamycin was unaltered in response to both resistance exercise and amino acid provision. Leucine alone stimulates mTORC1 signaling, although this response is enhanced by other EAAs and does not appear to be caused by alterations in mTORC1 assembly.

  17. Determinants affecting physical activity levels in animal models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tou, Janet C L.; Wade, Charles E.

    2002-01-01

    Weight control is dependent on energy balance. Reduced energy expenditure (EE) associated with decreased physical activity is suggested to be a major underlying cause in the increasing prevalence of weight gain and obesity. Therefore, a better understanding of the biological determinants involved in the regulation of physical activity is essential. To facilitate interpretation in humans, it is helpful to consider the evidence from animal studies. This review focuses on animal studies examining the biological determinants influencing activity and potential implications to human. It appears that physical activity is influenced by a number of parameters. However, regardless of the parameter involved, body weight appears to play an underlying role in the regulation of activity. Furthermore, the regulation of activity associated with body weight appears to occur only after the animal achieves a critical weight. This suggests that activity levels are a consequence rather than a contributor to weight control. However, the existence of an inverse weight-activity relationship remains inconclusive. Confounding the results are the multifactorial nature of physical activity and the lack of appropriate measuring devices. Furthermore, many determinants of body weight are closely interlocked, making it difficult to determine whether a single, combination, or interaction of factors is important for the regulation of activity. For example, diet-induced obesity, aging, lesions to the ventral medial hypothalamus, and genetics all produce hypoactivity. Providing a better understanding of the biological determinants involved in the regulation of activity has important implications for the development of strategies for the prevention of weight gain leading to obesity and subsequent morbidity and mortality in the human population.

  18. Determinants Affecting Physical Activity Levels In Animal Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tou, Janet C. L.; Wade, Charles E.; Dalton, Bonnie P. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Weight control is dependent on energy balance. Reduced energy expenditure (EE) associated with decreased physical activity is suggested to be a major underlying cause in the increasing prevalence of weight gain and obesity. Therefore, a better understanding of the biological determinants involved in the regulation of physical activity is essential. To facilitate interpretation in humans, it is helpful to consider the evidence from animal studies. This review focuses on animal studies examining the biological determinants influencing activity and potential implications to human. It appears that physical activity is influenced by a number of parameters. However, regardless of the parameter involved, body weight appears to play all underlying role in the regulation of activity. Furthermore, the regulation of activity associated with body weight appears to occur only after the animal achieves a critical weight. This suggests that activity levels are a consequence rather than a contributor to weight control. However, the existence of an inverse weight-activity relationship remains inconclusive. Confounding the results are the multi-factorial nature of physical activity and the lack of appropriate measuring devices. Furthermore, many determinants of body weight are closely interlocked making it difficult to determine whether a single, combination or interaction of factors is important for the regulation of activity. For example, diet-induced obesity, aging, lesions to tile ventral medial hypothalamus and genetics all produce hypoactivity. Providing a better understanding of the biological determinants involved in the regulation of activity has important implications for the development of strategies for the prevention of weight gain leading to obesity and subsequent morbidity and mortality in the human population.

  19. Telomerase activity in human cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Griffith, J.

    2000-10-01

    The overall goal of this collaborative project was to investigate the role in malignant cells of both chromosome telomeres, and telomerase, the enzyme that replicates telomeres. Telomeres are highly conserved nucleoprotein complexes located at the ends of eucaryotic chromosomes. Telomere length in somatic cells is reduced by 40--50 nucleotide pairs with every cell division due to incomplete replication of terminal DNA sequences and the absence of telomerase, the ribonucleoprotein that adds telomere DNA to chromosome ends. Although telomerase is active in cells with extended proliferative capacities, including more than 85% of tumors, work performed under this contract demonstrated that the telomeres of human cancer cells are shorter than those of paired normal cells, and that the length of the telomeres is characteristic of particular types of cancers. The extent of telomere shortening ostensibly is related to the number of cell divisions the tumor has undergone. It is believed that ongoing cell proliferation leads to the accumulation and fixation of new mutations in tumor cell lineages.Therefore, it is not unreasonable to assume that the degree of phenotypic variability is related to the proliferative history of the tumor, and therefore to telomere length, implying a correlation with prognosis. In some human tumors, short telomeres are also correlated with genomic instabilities, including interstitial chromosome translocation, loss of heterozygosity, and aneuoploidy. Moreover, unprotected chromosome ends are highly recombinogenic and telomere shortening in cultured human cells correlates with the formation of dicentric chromosomes, suggesting that critically short telomeres not only identify, but also predispose, cells to genomic instability, again implying a correlation with prognosis. Therefore, telomere length or content could be an important predictor of metastatic potential or responsiveness to various therapeutic modalities.

  20. Human monocyte differentiation stage affects response to arachidonic acid.

    PubMed

    Escobar-Alvarez, Elizabeth; Pelaez, Carlos A; García, Luis F; Rojas, Mauricio

    2010-01-01

    AA-induced cell death mechanisms acting on human monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM), U937 promonocytes and PMA-differentiated U937 cells were studied. Arachidonic acid induced apoptosis and necrosis in monocytes and U937 cells but only apoptosis in MDM and U937D cells. AA increased both types of death in Mycobacterium tuberculosis-infected cells and increased the percentage of TNFalpha+ cells and reduced IL-10+ cells. Experiments blocking these cytokines indicated that AA-mediated death was TNFalpha- and IL-10-independent. The differences in AA-mediated cell death could be explained by high ROS, calpain and sPLA-2 production and activity in monocytes. Blocking sPLA-2 in monocytes and treatment with antioxidants favored M. tuberculosis control whereas AA enhanced M. tuberculosis growth in MDM. Such evidence suggested that AA-modulated effector mechanisms depend on mononuclear phagocytes' differentiation stage.

  1. Temperature Affects Human Sweet Taste via At Least Two Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Green, Barry G; Nachtigal, Danielle

    2015-07-01

    The reported effects of temperature on sweet taste in humans have generally been small and inconsistent. Here, we describe 3 experiments that follow up a recent finding that cooling from 37 to 21 °C does not reduce the initial sweetness of sucrose but increases sweet taste adaptation. In experiment 1, subjects rated the sweetness of sucrose, glucose, and fructose solutions at 5-41 °C by dipping the tongue tip into the solutions after 0-, 3-, or 10-s pre-exposures to the same solutions or to H2O; experiment 2 compared the effects of temperature on the sweetness of 3 artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin); and experiment 3 employed a flow-controlled gustometer to rule out the possibility the effects of temperature in the preceding experiments were unique to dipping the tongue into a still taste solution. The results (i) confirmed that mild cooling does not attenuate sweetness but can increase sweet taste adaptation; (ii) demonstrated that cooling to 5-12 °C can directly reduce sweetness intensity; and (iii) showed that both effects vary across stimuli. These findings have implications for the TRPM5 hypothesis of thermal effects on sweet taste and raise the possibility that temperature also affects an earlier step in the T1R2-T1R3 transduction cascade. PMID:25963040

  2. Temperature Affects Human Sweet Taste via At Least Two Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Green, Barry G; Nachtigal, Danielle

    2015-07-01

    The reported effects of temperature on sweet taste in humans have generally been small and inconsistent. Here, we describe 3 experiments that follow up a recent finding that cooling from 37 to 21 °C does not reduce the initial sweetness of sucrose but increases sweet taste adaptation. In experiment 1, subjects rated the sweetness of sucrose, glucose, and fructose solutions at 5-41 °C by dipping the tongue tip into the solutions after 0-, 3-, or 10-s pre-exposures to the same solutions or to H2O; experiment 2 compared the effects of temperature on the sweetness of 3 artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin); and experiment 3 employed a flow-controlled gustometer to rule out the possibility the effects of temperature in the preceding experiments were unique to dipping the tongue into a still taste solution. The results (i) confirmed that mild cooling does not attenuate sweetness but can increase sweet taste adaptation; (ii) demonstrated that cooling to 5-12 °C can directly reduce sweetness intensity; and (iii) showed that both effects vary across stimuli. These findings have implications for the TRPM5 hypothesis of thermal effects on sweet taste and raise the possibility that temperature also affects an earlier step in the T1R2-T1R3 transduction cascade.

  3. Copper utilization in humans as affected by amino acid supplements

    SciTech Connect

    Kies, C.; Chuang, J.H.; Fox, H.M. )

    1989-02-09

    Earlier work suggests that absorption of copper as well as several other mineral nutrients may be promoted, inhibited or unaffected by the formation of mineral-amino acid complexes. The objective of the current project was to determine effects of low level supplements of selected amino acids on copper utilization. In a series of studies, healthy, human adult subjected received a basal diet with or without test supplements in separate 14-day periods which were arranged according to a randomized, cross-over design. Test amino acids and amounts given per subject per day were as follows; L-arginine, 1.2 g; L-lysine, 1.0 g; L-cystine, 1.0 g and L-methionine, 1.0 g. Subjects made complete collections of urine and stools. Fasting blood samples were drawn. Food, urine, feces and blood were analyzed for copper contents using a carbon rod attachment on a Varian atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Fecal copper losses were unaffected by used of lysine, tryptophan and methionine supplements but were reduced with use of the arginine and cystine supplements. Urine losses of copper were reduced with used of the lysine and tryptophan supplements, were increased with the methionine and cystine supplements and were unaffected when the arginine supplements were employed. Blood serum copper levels were not significantly affected by use of these supplement although some trends were noted.

  4. Temperature Affects Human Sweet Taste via At Least Two Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Nachtigal, Danielle

    2015-01-01

    The reported effects of temperature on sweet taste in humans have generally been small and inconsistent. Here, we describe 3 experiments that follow up a recent finding that cooling from 37 to 21 °C does not reduce the initial sweetness of sucrose but increases sweet taste adaptation. In experiment 1, subjects rated the sweetness of sucrose, glucose, and fructose solutions at 5–41 °C by dipping the tongue tip into the solutions after 0-, 3-, or 10-s pre-exposures to the same solutions or to H2O; experiment 2 compared the effects of temperature on the sweetness of 3 artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin); and experiment 3 employed a flow-controlled gustometer to rule out the possibility the effects of temperature in the preceding experiments were unique to dipping the tongue into a still taste solution. The results (i) confirmed that mild cooling does not attenuate sweetness but can increase sweet taste adaptation; (ii) demonstrated that cooling to 5–12 °C can directly reduce sweetness intensity; and (iii) showed that both effects vary across stimuli. These findings have implications for the TRPM5 hypothesis of thermal effects on sweet taste and raise the possibility that temperature also affects an earlier step in the T1R2–T1R3 transduction cascade. PMID:25963040

  5. CES1 genetic variation affects the activation of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Wang, X; Wang, G; Shi, J; Aa, J; Comas, R; Liang, Y; Zhu, H-J

    2016-06-01

    The aim of the study was to determine the effect of carboxylesterase 1 (CES1) genetic variation on the activation of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) prodrugs. In vitro incubation study of human liver, intestine and kidney s9 fractions demonstrated that the ACEI prodrugs enalapril, ramipril, perindopril, moexipril and fosinopril are selectively activated by CES1 in the liver. The impact of CES1/CES1VAR and CES1P1/CES1P1VAR genotypes and diplotypes on CES1 expression and activity on enalapril activation was investigated in 102 normal human liver samples. Neither the genotypes nor the diplotypes affected hepatic CES1 expression and activity. Moreover, among several CES1 nonsynonymous variants studied in transfected cell lines, the G143E (rs71647871) was a loss-of-function variant for the activation of all ACEIs tested. The CES1 activity on enalapril activation in human livers with the 143G/E genotype was approximately one-third of that carrying the 143G/G. Thus, some functional CES1 genetic variants (for example, G143E) may impair ACEI activation, and consequently affect therapeutic outcomes of ACEI prodrugs. PMID:26076923

  6. Aryl hydrocarbon mono-oxygenase activity in human lymphocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Griffin, G.D.; Schuresko, D.D.

    1981-06-01

    Aryl hydrocarbon mono-oxygenase (AHM), an enzyme of key importance in metabolism of xenobiotic chemicals such as polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PNA), is present in human lymphocytes. Studies investing the relation of activity of AHM in human lymphocytes to parameters such as disease state, PNA exposure, in vitro mitogen stimulation, etc. have been summarized in this report. Some studies have demonstrated increased AHM activity in lymphocytes from cigarette smokers (compared to nonsmokers), and in lung cancer patients when compared to appropriate control groups. These observations are confused by extreme variability in human lymphocyte AHM activities, such variability arising from factors such as genetic variation in AHM activity, variation in in vitro culture conditions which affect AHM activity, and the problematical relationship of common AHM assays to actual PNA metabolism taking place in lymphocytes. If some of the foregoing problems can be adequately addressed, lymphocyte AHM activity could hold the promise of being a useful biomarker system for human PNA exposure.

  7. Particle resuspension via human activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qian, Jing

    This dissertation consists of three correlated parts that are related to particle resuspension from floorings in indoor environment. The term resuspension in this dissertation refers the re-entrainment of deposited particles into atmosphere via mechanic disturbances by human activity indoors, except where it is specified. The first part reviews the literature related to particle resuspension. Fundamental concepts and kinetics of resuspension of particles were extracted from previous studies. Suggestions for future research on indoor particle resuspension have been given based on the literature reviews and the findings of part 2 and part 3. The second part involved 54 resuspension experiments conducted in a room-scale environmental chamber. Three floorings types and two ventilation configurations were tested. Air exchange rate were fixed during the experiments, and the temperature/RH were monitored. The airborne particle concentration was measured by an array of optical particle counters (OPCs) in the chamber. Resuspension rates were estimated in size ranges of 0.8--1, 1.0--2.0, 2.0--5.0, and 5.0--10 mum ranging from 10-5--10 -2 hr-1, with higher resuspension rates associated with larger particles. Resuspension via walking activity varied from experiment to experiment. A "heavy and fast" walking style was associated with a higher resuspension rate than a less active style. Given the same floor loading of the test particles, resuspension rates for the carpeted floor were on the same order of magnitude but significantly higher than those for the hard floor. In the third part, an image analysis method (IAM) was adapted to characterize the particle distribution on fabric floorings. The IAM results showed the variability of particles loading on various carpets. The dust particles on fibers from ten carpets vary in sizes. The normal dust loading varies from house to house from 3.6x106 particles/cm2 to 8.2x106 particles/cm2. The dust particle number distribution for size

  8. Pregnancy and Preeclampsia Affect Monocyte Subsets in Humans and Rats

    PubMed Central

    Borghuis, Theo; Klok, Pieter A.; Groen, Bart; Bolt, Annemarie; de Vos, Paul; van Pampus, Maria G.; Wong, Tsz Y.; van Goor, Harry; Bakker, Winston W.; Faas, Marijke M.

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Both nonclassical and intermediate monocytes have been implicated in different inflammatory conditions. We hypothesized that these monocytes would increase during pregnancy, a condition associated with generalized activation of inflammatory responses and that they would increase even more during preeclampsia, in which inflammatory responses are further stimulated. In the present study we investigated changes in monocyte subsets during healthy pregnancy and preeclampsia in humans and rats. Methods Blood monocyte subsets of nonpregnant, preeclamptic and healthy pregnant women were identified with CD14 and CD16. In nonpregnant and pregnant rats, blood monocytes were identified with CD172a and CD43, as well as in rats infused with adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a pro-inflammatory stimulus known to induce preeclampsia-like symptoms. Total and CD206-positive macrophages were quantified in placentas of these animals. Results Lower percentages of classical monocytes were found in pregnant women (91%–[83–98%]) compared to nonpregnant women (94%–[90–98%]) and even less in preeclamptic patients (90%–[61–92%]). In contrast, the percentage of combined nonclassical/intermediate monocytes was higher in pregnant women (8.5%–[2.3–16.6%] vs. 5.6%–[1.9–9.5%]) and even higher in preeclamptic patients (9.9%–[7.8–38.7%]), which was caused by a selective increase of intermediate monocytes. In rats, we also found lower percentages of classical monocytes and higher percentages of nonclassical monocytes in pregnant versus nonpregnant rats. ATP infusion increased the percentage of nonclassical monocytes in pregnant rats even further but not in nonpregnant rats. These nonclassical monocytes showed a more activated phenotype in pregnant ATP-infused rats only. Mesometrial triangles of ATP-infused rats had less CD206-positive macrophages as compared to those of saline-infused rats. Conclusion The higher percentage of nonclassical/intermediate monocytes found

  9. Substrate elasticity affects bovine satellite cell activation kinetics in vitro.

    PubMed

    Lapin, M R; Gonzalez, J M; Johnson, S E

    2013-05-01

    Satellite cells support efficient postnatal skeletal muscle hypertrophy through fusion into the adjacent muscle fiber. Nuclear contribution allows for maintenance of the fiber myonuclear domain and proficient transcription of myogenic genes. Niche growth factors affect satellite cell biology; however, the interplay between fiber elasticity and microenvironment proteins remains largely unknown. The objective of the experiment was to examine the effects of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and surface elasticity on bovine satellite cell (BSC) activation kinetics in vitro. Young's elastic modulus was calculated for the semimembranosus (SM) and LM muscles of young bulls (5 d; n = 8) and adult cows (27 mo; n = 4) cattle. Results indicate that LM elasticity decreased (P < 0.05) with age; no difference in Young's modulus for the SM was noted. Bovine satellite cells were seeded atop polyacrylamide bioscaffolds with surface elasticities that mimic young bull and adult cow LM or traditional cultureware. Cells were maintained in low-serum media supplemented with 5 ng/mL HGF or vehicle only for 24 or 48 h. Activation was evaluated by proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) immunocytochemistry. Results indicate that BSC maintained on rigid surfaces were activated at 24 h and refractive to HGF supplementation. By contrast, fewer (P < 0.05) BSC had exited quiescence after 24 h of culture on surfaces reflective of either young bull (8.1 ± 1.7 kPa) or adult cow (14.6 ± 1.6 kPa) LM. Supplementation with HGF promoted activation of BSC cultured on bioscaffolds as measured by an increase (P < 0.05) in PCNA immunopositive cells. Culture on pliant surfaces affected neither activation kinetics nor numbers of Paired box 7 (Pax7) immunopositive muscle stem cells (P > 0.05). However, with increasing surface elasticity, an increase (P < 0.05) in the numbers of muscle progenitors was observed. These results confirm that biophysical and biochemical signals regulate BSC activation.

  10. MISR Satellite Observations of Aerosol Types Affecting Human Health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalashnikova, O. V.; Franklin, M.; Garay, M. J.; Diner, D. J.

    2015-12-01

    Ground-based observations of pollutants and concentrations of particulate matter (PM), that includes small particles designated PM2.5 and dust-dominated PM10, are the gold standard in studies of environmental impacts on human health. However, because monitoring stations are costly, they typically provide only limited spatial coverage, especially in rural and remote areas. We will demonstrate how data from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument that has been flying on NASA's Terra Earth Observing System satellite since early 2000 can be used to provide estimates of surface PM types. The current MISR operational aerosol retrieval uses a combination of multi-spectral and multi-angle data to retrieve aerosol optical depth (AOD) and particle property information (including dust AOD) globally at 17.6 km spatial resolution. Using the same algorithm with data collected in all 36-channels at 275 m resolution (Local Mode), which is available over greater Los Angeles area, and also was activated during 2013 DISCOVER-AQ California field campaign, high-resolution 4.4 km aerosol retrievals were performed in addition to the standard 17.6 km retrievals. The 4.4 km spatial resolution of the PM information data is fine enough to be able to resolve local differences in PM loading that may be important for understanding regional health effects of pollution in the region. In particular, we demonstrate that MISR high-resolution AOD retrievals are in better agreement with ground-based aerosol observations and reveal more details about the aerosol spatial variability compared to the MISR standard 17.6 km product. Then we will discuss techniques and show examples of the application of high-resolution MISR data to provide estimates of surface PM for the greater Los Angeles area in 2008 and for California San Joaquin Valley during the 2013 DISCOVER-AQ field campaign. Finally, we will discuss future NASA instruments that will provide new information allowing for better

  11. Effects of Virtual Human Appearance Fidelity on Emotion Contagion in Affective Inter-Personal Simulations.

    PubMed

    Volante, Matias; Babu, Sabarish V; Chaturvedi, Himanshu; Newsome, Nathan; Ebrahimi, Elham; Roy, Tania; Daily, Shaundra B; Fasolino, Tracy

    2016-04-01

    Realistic versus stylized depictions of virtual humans in simulated inter-personal situations and their ability to elicit emotional responses in users has been an open question for artists and researchers alike. We empirically evaluated the effects of near visually realistic vs. non-realistic stylized appearance of virtual humans on the emotional response of participants in a medical virtual reality system that was designed to educate users in recognizing the signs and symptoms of patient deterioration. In a between-subjects experiment protocol, participants interacted with one of three different appearances of a virtual patient, namely visually realistic, cartoon-shaded and charcoal-sketch like conditions in a mixed reality simulation. Emotional impact were measured via a combination of quantitative objective measures were gathered using skin Electrodermal Activity (EDA) sensors, and quantitative subjective measures such as the Differential Emotion Survey (DES IV), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), and Social Presence questionnaire. The emotional states of the participants were analyzed across four distinct time steps during which the medical condition of the virtual patient deteriorated (an emotionally stressful interaction), and were contrasted to a baseline affective state. Objective EDA results showed that in all three conditions, male participants exhibited greater levels of arousal as compared to female participants. We found that negative affect levels were significantly lower in the visually realistic condition, as compared to the stylized appearance conditions. Furthermore, in emotional dimensions of interest-excitement, surprise, anger, fear and guilt participants in all conditions responded similarly. However, in social emotional constructs of shyness, presence, perceived personality, and enjoyment-joy, we found that participants responded differently in the visually realistic condition as compared to the cartoon and sketch conditions. Our

  12. Mutagenesis within human FcepsilonRIalpha differentially affects human and murine IgE binding.

    PubMed

    Mackay, Graham A; Hulett, Mark D; Cook, Justin P D; Trist, Halina M; Henry, Alistair J; McDonnell, James M; Beavil, Andrew J; Beavil, Rebecca L; Sutton, Brian J; Hogarth, P Mark; Gould, Hannah J

    2002-02-15

    Soluble fragments of the alpha-chain of FcepsilonRI, the high-affinity receptor for IgE, compete with membrane-bound receptors for IgE and may thus provide a means to combat allergic responses. Mutagenesis within FcepsilonRIalpha is used in this study, in conjunction with the crystal structure of the FcepsilonRIalpha/IgE complex, to define the relative importance of specific residues within human FcepsilonRIalpha for IgE binding. We have also compared the effects of these mutants on binding to both human and mouse IgE, with a view to evaluating the mouse as an appropriate model for the analysis of future agents designed to mimic the human FcepsilonRIalpha and attenuate allergic disease. Three residues within the C-C' region of the FcepsilonRIalpha2 domain and two residues within the alpha2 proximal loops of the alpha1 domain were selected for mutagenesis and tested in binding assays with human and mouse IgE. All three alpha2 mutations (K117D, W130A, and Y131A) reduced the affinity of human IgE binding to different extents, but K117D had a far more pronounced effect on mouse IgE binding, and although Y131A had little effect, W130A modestly enhanced binding to mouse IgE. The mutations in alpha1 (R15A and F17A) diminished binding to both human and mouse IgE, with these effects most likely caused by disruption of the alpha1/alpha2 interface. Our results demonstrate that the effects of mutations in human FcepsilonRIalpha on mouse IgE binding, and hence the inhibitory properties of human receptor-based peptides assayed in rodent models of allergy, may not necessarily reflect their activity in a human IgE-based system.

  13. Activities affecting surface water resources: A general overview

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-01-01

    In November 1987, P.E.I. signed a federal/provincial work-sharing arrangement on water resource management focusing on groundwater pollution, surface water degradation and estuarine eutrophication. The surface water program was designed to identify current surface water uses and users within 12 major watersheds across the Island containing 26 individual rivers, as well as problems arising due to practices that degrade the quality of surface water and restricts its value to other user groups. This report presents a general overview of the program, covering the general characteristics of the Island; operations in agriculture, fish and wildlife, forestry, recreation, fisheries, and industry; alterations of natural features of waterways; wetlands; additional watershed activities such as hydrometric stations and subdivision development; and activities affecting surface water resources such as sedimentation sources, pollution point sources and instream obstructions.

  14. Affect-specific activation of shared networks for perception and execution of facial expressions.

    PubMed

    Kircher, Tilo; Pohl, Anna; Krach, Sören; Thimm, Markus; Schulte-Rüther, Martin; Anders, Silke; Mathiak, Klaus

    2013-04-01

    Previous studies have shown overlapping neural activations for observation and execution or imitation of emotional facial expressions. These shared representations have been assumed to provide indirect evidence for a human mirror neuron system, which is suggested to be a prerequisite of action comprehension. We aimed at clarifying whether shared representations in and beyond human mirror areas are specifically activated by affective facial expressions or whether they are activated by facial expressions independent of the emotional meaning. During neuroimaging, participants observed and executed happy and non-emotional facial expressions. Shared representations were revealed for happy facial expressions in the pars opercularis, the precentral gyrus, in the superior temporal gyrus/medial temporal gyrus (MTG), in the pre-supplementary motor area and in the right amygdala. All areas showed less pronounced activation in the non-emotional condition. When directly compared, significant stronger neural responses emerged for happy facial expressions in the pre-supplementary motor area and in the MTG than for non-emotional stimuli. We assume that activation of shared representations depends on the affect and (social) relevance of the facial expression. The pre-supplementary motor area is a core-shared representation-structure supporting observation and execution of affective contagious facial expressions and might have a modulatory role during the preparation of executing happy facial expressions.

  15. 75 FR 51273 - Expanded Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Testing for Disproportionately Affected Populations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-19

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Expanded Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Testing for Disproportionately Affected Populations AGENCY: Centers for Disease Control and... funding available to make awards under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Funding...

  16. Affective Response to a Loved One's Pain: Insula Activity as a Function of Individual Differences

    PubMed Central

    Mazzola, Viridiana; Latorre, Valeria; Petito, Annamaria; Gentili, Nicoletta; Fazio, Leonardo; Popolizio, Teresa; Blasi, Giuseppe; Arciero, Giampiero; Bondolfi, Guido

    2010-01-01

    Individual variability in emotion processing may be associated with genetic variation as well as with psychological predispositions such as dispositional affect styles. Our previous fMRI study demonstrated that amygdala reactivity was independently predicted by affective-cognitive styles (phobic prone or eating disorders prone) and genotype of the serotonin transporter in a discrimination task of fearful facial expressions. Since the insula is associated with the subjective evaluation of bodily states and is involved in human feelings, we explored whether its activity could also vary in function of individual differences. In the present fMRI study, the association between dispositional affects and insula reactivity has been examined in two groups of healthy participants categorized according to affective-cognitive styles (phobic prone or eating disorders prone). Images of the faces of partners and strangers, in both painful and neutral situations, were used as visual stimuli. Interaction analyses indicate significantly different activations in the two groups in reaction to a loved one's pain: the phobic prone group exhibited greater activation in the left posterior insula. These results demonstrate that affective-cognitive style is associated with insula activity in pain empathy processing, suggesting a greater involvement of the insula in feelings for a certain cohort of people. In the mapping of individual differences, these results shed new light on variability in neural networks of emotion. PMID:21179564

  17. Transmission distortion affecting human noncrossover but not crossover recombination: a hidden source of meiotic drive.

    PubMed

    Odenthal-Hesse, Linda; Berg, Ingrid L; Veselis, Amelia; Jeffreys, Alec J; May, Celia A

    2014-02-01

    Meiotic recombination ensures the correct segregation of homologous chromosomes during gamete formation and contributes to DNA diversity through both large-scale reciprocal crossovers and very localised gene conversion events, also known as noncrossovers. Considerable progress has been made in understanding factors such as PRDM9 and SNP variants that influence the initiation of recombination at human hotspots but very little is known about factors acting downstream. To address this, we simultaneously analysed both types of recombinant molecule in sperm DNA at six highly active hotspots, and looked for disparity in the transmission of allelic variants indicative of any cis-acting influences. At two of the hotspots we identified a novel form of biased transmission that was exclusive to the noncrossover class of recombinant, and which presumably arises through differences between crossovers and noncrossovers in heteroduplex formation and biased mismatch repair. This form of biased gene conversion is not predicted to influence hotspot activity as previously noted for SNPs that affect recombination initiation, but does constitute a powerful and previously undetected source of recombination-driven meiotic drive that by extrapolation may affect thousands of recombination hotspots throughout the human genome. Intriguingly, at both of the hotspots described here, this drive favours strong (G/C) over weak (A/T) base pairs as might be predicted from the well-established correlations between high GC content and recombination activity in mammalian genomes. PMID:24516398

  18. Bisphenol A and Its Analogues Activate Human Pregnane X Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Sui, Yipeng; Ai, Ni; Park, Se-Hyung; Rios-Pilier, Jennifer; Perkins, Jordan T.; Welsh, William J.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Bisphenol A (BPA) is a base chemical used extensively in many consumer products. BPA and its analogues are present in environmental and human samples. Many endocrine-disrupting chemicals, including BPA, have been shown to activate the pregnane X receptor (PXR), a nuclear receptor that functions as a master regulator of xenobiotic metabolism. However, the detailed mechanism by which these chemicals activate PXR remains unknown. Objective: We investigated the mechanism by which BPA interacts with and activates PXR and examined selected BPA analogues to determine whether they bind to and activate PXR. Methods: Cell-based reporter assays, in silico ligand–PXR docking studies, and site-directed mutagenesis were combined to study the interaction between BPA and PXR. We also investigated the influence of BPA and its analogues on the regulation of PXR target genes in human LS180 cells. Results: We found that BPA and several of its analogues are potent agonists for human PXR (hPXR) but do not affect mouse PXR activity. We identified key residues within hPXR’s ligand-binding pocket that constitute points of interaction with BPA. We also deduced the structural requirements of BPA analogues that activate hPXR. BPA and its analogues can also induce PXR target gene expression in human LS180 cells. Conclusions: The present study advances our understanding of the mechanism by which BPA interacts with and activates human PXR. Activation of PXR by BPA may explain some of the adverse effects of BPA in humans. PMID:22214767

  19. Sociopsychological factors affecting the human response to noise exposure.

    PubMed

    Borsky, P N

    1979-08-01

    Community noise is reported to be the most often mentioned undesirable neighborhood condition in a recent U.S. Census survey. Understanding community response to noise involves the measurement of a number of complex acoustic and nonacoustic variables and establishing the chain of relationships between physical exposure, perception, annoyance, and acceptability responses and finally complaint behavior. The perceived loudness of a noise is the most important acoustic parameter influencing annoyance and complaints, and the simple dBA unit can be used to integrate spectral characteristics of complex sounds in community studies. Although energy averaging such as Leq or Ldn can be used to describe multiple noise exposures over time, the variable trade-off relationships between number and level of exposures are somewhat obscured by such summary measures. However, they are still the best available descriptors and, until more accurate ones are developed, can be used to measure community noise environments. Perception of an identical noise exposure can vary according to the physiological noise sensitivity of a person and the activity context in which the noise is heard. Although the acoustic quality of the noise itself usually explains about 10 to 25 per cent of the variability in annoyance responses, sociopsychological variables measured in field studies account for 35 to 50 per cent of the variations in human annoyance responses. Three of the most important nonacoustic factors are the connotative fear effects of the noise signal, the feeling that those responsible for the noise are misfeasant in not reducing the noise, and the feeling that harmful health effects are produced by the noise. When residents report great fear, a high misfeasance, and marked health effects, about 90 per cent report a high annoyance level whether their noise exposure level is above 90 Ldn or 65 to 70 Ldn. In contrast, if the feelings are a low fear level, a low degree of misfeasance, and minimal

  20. Aversive pavlovian responses affect human instrumental motor performance.

    PubMed

    Rigoli, Francesco; Pavone, Enea Francesco; Pezzulo, Giovanni

    2012-01-01

    IN NEUROSCIENCE AND PSYCHOLOGY, AN INFLUENTIAL PERSPECTIVE DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN TWO KINDS OF BEHAVIORAL CONTROL: instrumental (habitual and goal-directed) and Pavlovian. Understanding the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction is fundamental for the comprehension of decision-making. Animal studies (as those using the negative auto-maintenance paradigm), have demonstrated that Pavlovian mechanisms can have maladaptive effects on instrumental performance. However, evidence for a similar effect in humans is scarce. In addition, the mechanisms modulating the impact of Pavlovian responses on instrumental performance are largely unknown, both in human and non-human animals. The present paper describes a behavioral experiment investigating the effects of Pavlovian conditioned responses on performance in humans, focusing on the aversive domain. Results showed that Pavlovian responses influenced human performance, and, similar to animal studies, could have maladaptive effects. In particular, Pavlovian responses either impaired or increased performance depending on modulator variables such as threat distance, task controllability, punishment history, amount of training, and explicit punishment expectancy. Overall, these findings help elucidating the computational mechanisms underlying the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction, which might be at the base of apparently irrational phenomena in economics, social behavior, and psychopathology.

  1. Aversive Pavlovian Responses Affect Human Instrumental Motor Performance

    PubMed Central

    Rigoli, Francesco; Pavone, Enea Francesco; Pezzulo, Giovanni

    2012-01-01

    In neuroscience and psychology, an influential perspective distinguishes between two kinds of behavioral control: instrumental (habitual and goal-directed) and Pavlovian. Understanding the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction is fundamental for the comprehension of decision-making. Animal studies (as those using the negative auto-maintenance paradigm), have demonstrated that Pavlovian mechanisms can have maladaptive effects on instrumental performance. However, evidence for a similar effect in humans is scarce. In addition, the mechanisms modulating the impact of Pavlovian responses on instrumental performance are largely unknown, both in human and non-human animals. The present paper describes a behavioral experiment investigating the effects of Pavlovian conditioned responses on performance in humans, focusing on the aversive domain. Results showed that Pavlovian responses influenced human performance, and, similar to animal studies, could have maladaptive effects. In particular, Pavlovian responses either impaired or increased performance depending on modulator variables such as threat distance, task controllability, punishment history, amount of training, and explicit punishment expectancy. Overall, these findings help elucidating the computational mechanisms underlying the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction, which might be at the base of apparently irrational phenomena in economics, social behavior, and psychopathology. PMID:23060738

  2. Positive Affect and the Complex Dynamics of Human Flourishing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fredrickson, Barbara L.; Losada, Marcial F.

    2005-01-01

    Extending B. L. Fredrickson's (1998) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions and M. Losada's (1999) nonlinear dynamics model of team performance, the authors predict that a ratio of positive to negative affect at or above 2.9 will characterize individuals in flourishing mental health. Participants (N=188) completed an initial survey to…

  3. Hemispheric Asymmetries in Children's Perception of Nonlinguistic Human Affective Sounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pollak, Seth D.; Holt, Lori L.; Fries, Alison B. Wismer

    2004-01-01

    In the present work, we developed a database of nonlinguistic sounds that mirror prosodic characteristics typical of language and thus carry affective information, but do not convey linguistic information. In a dichotic-listening task, we used these novel stimuli as a means of disambiguating the relative contributions of linguistic and affective…

  4. Effects of viewing affective pictures on sEMG activity of masticatory and postural muscles.

    PubMed

    D'Attilio, Michele; Rodolfino, Daria; Saccucci, Matteo; Abate, Michele; Romani, Gian Luca; Festa, Felice; Merla, Arcangelo

    2013-06-01

    Recently there has been an upsurge of interest in the question to what extent the human motor control system is influenced by the emotional state of the actor. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether emotional inputs modify the activity of masticatory and postural muscles. Twenty healthy young adults viewed affective pictures, while surface electromyography (sEMG) of masticatory and postural muscles was recorded to investigate the coupling between emotional reactions and body muscular activity. One hundred and twenty pictures, chosen from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS), divided in two blocks of six sets, were presented to the subjects. sEMG data were statistically analyzed (RM ANOVA on Ranks). Root Mean Square (RMS) amplitudes, comparing the subsequent sets (Neutral, Unpleasant, Neutral, Pleasant) with the first and the last Baseline set, changed significantly only randomly. The results show that emotional inputs seems not influence the activity of masticatory and postural muscles, recorded by sEMG.

  5. 4-Quinolone drugs affect cell cycle progression and function of human lymphocytes in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Forsgren, A; Schlossman, S F; Tedder, T F

    1987-01-01

    Most antibacterial agents do not affect human lymphocyte function, but a few are inhibitory. In contrast, a pronounced increase in the incorporation of [3H]thymidine in the presence of 4-quinolones was observed in these studies. The uptake of [3H]thymidine into DNA (trichloroacetic acid precipitable) was significantly increased in phytohemagglutinin-stimulated human lymphocytes when they were exposed to eight new 4-quinolone derivatives, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin, A-56619, A-56620, amifloxacin, enoxacin, and pefloxacin, at 1.6 to 6.25 micrograms/ml for 5 days. Four less antibacterially active 4-quinolones (nalidixic acid, cinoxacin, flumequine, and pipemidic acid) stimulated [3H]thymidine incorporation only at higher concentrations or not at all. Kinetic studies showed that incorporation of [3H]thymidine was not affected or slightly inhibited by ciprofloxacin 2 days after phytohemagglutinin stimulation but was increased on days 3 to 6. The total incorporation of [3H]thymidine from day 1 to day 6 after phytohemagglutinin stimulation was increased by 42 to 45% at 5 to 20 micrograms of ciprofloxacin per ml. Increased [3H]thymidine incorporation was also seen when human lymphocytes were stimulated with mitogens other than phytohemagglutinin. Ciprofloxacin added at the start of the culture had a more pronounced effect on [3H]thymidine incorporation than when added later. In spite of the apparent increase in DNA synthesis, lymphocyte growth was inhibited by 20 micrograms of ciprofloxacin per ml, and cell cycle analysis showed that ciprofloxacin inhibited progression through the cell cycle. In addition, immunoglobulin secretion by human lymphocytes stimulated by pokeweed mitogen for Epstein-Barr virus was inhibited by approximately 50% at 5 micrograms of ciprofloxacin per ml. These results suggest that the 4-quinolone drugs may also affect eucaryotic cell function in vitro, but additional studies are needed to establish an in vivo relevance. PMID:3606076

  6. Altered resting-state activity in seasonal affective disorder.

    PubMed

    Abou Elseoud, Ahmed; Nissilä, Juuso; Liettu, Anu; Remes, Jukka; Jokelainen, Jari; Takala, Timo; Aunio, Antti; Starck, Tuomo; Nikkinen, Juha; Koponen, Hannu; Zang, Yu-Feng; Tervonen, Osmo; Timonen, Markku; Kiviniemi, Vesa

    2014-01-01

    At present, our knowledge about seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is based mainly up on clinical symptoms, epidemiology, behavioral characteristics and light therapy. Recently developed measures of resting-state functional brain activity might provide neurobiological markers of brain disorders. Studying functional brain activity in SAD could enhance our understanding of its nature and possible treatment strategies. Functional network connectivity (measured using ICA-dual regression), and amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) were measured in 45 antidepressant-free patients (39.78 ± 10.64, 30 ♀, 15 ♂) diagnosed with SAD and compared with age-, gender- and ethnicity-matched healthy controls (HCs) using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. After correcting for Type 1 error at high model orders (inter-RSN correction), SAD patients showed significantly increased functional connectivity in 11 of the 47 identified RSNs. Increased functional connectivity involved RSNs such as visual, sensorimotor, and attentional networks. Moreover, our results revealed that SAD patients compared with HCs showed significant higher ALFF in the visual and right sensorimotor cortex. Abnormally altered functional activity detected in SAD supports previously reported attentional and psychomotor symptoms in patients suffering from SAD. Further studies, particularly under task conditions, are needed in order to specifically investigate cognitive deficits in SAD.

  7. Genetic Alterations Affecting Cholesterol Metabolism and Human Fertility1

    PubMed Central

    DeAngelis, Anthony M.; Roy-O'Reilly, Meaghan; Rodriguez, Annabelle

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) represent genetic variations among individuals in a population. In medicine, these small variations in the DNA sequence may significantly impact an individual's response to certain drugs or influence the risk of developing certain diseases. In the field of reproductive medicine, a significant amount of research has been devoted to identifying polymorphisms which may impact steroidogenesis and fertility. This review discusses current understanding of the effects of genetic variations in cholesterol metabolic pathways on human fertility that bridge novel linkages between cholesterol metabolism and reproductive health. For example, the role of the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) in cellular metabolism and human reproduction has been well studied, whereas there is now an emerging body of research on the role of the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) receptor scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI) in human lipid metabolism and female reproduction. Identifying and understanding how polymorphisms in the SCARB1 gene or other genes related to lipid metabolism impact human physiology is essential and will play a major role in the development of personalized medicine for improved diagnosis and treatment of infertility. PMID:25122065

  8. Polymorphic Regions Affecting Human Height Also Control Stature in Cattle

    PubMed Central

    Pryce, Jennie E.; Hayes, Ben J.; Bolormaa, Sunduimijid; Goddard, Michael E.

    2011-01-01

    Orthologous positions of 55 genes associated with height in four human populations were located on the bovine genome. Single nucleotide polymorphisms close to eight of these genes were significantly associated with stature in cattle (Bos taurus and Bos indicus). This suggests that these genes may contribute to controlling stature across mammalian species. PMID:21212230

  9. How Active Learning Affects Student Understanding of Concepts in Electromagnetism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belcher, John; Dori, Judy; Breslow, Lori

    2009-05-01

    We discuss the effects of the learning environment of the MIT TEAL project on student cognitive and affective outcomes in introductory electromagnetism. Our assessment included examining student conceptual understanding before and after studying electromagnetism in a media-rich environment. We developed pre-and posttests consisting of conceptual questions from standardized tests, as well as questions designed to assess the effect of visualizations and experiments. The research population consisted of 811 undergraduate students, consisting of small-and a large-scale experimental group and control group. The active learning students improved their conceptual understanding of the subject matter to a significantly higher extent than their control group peers. A subsequent longitudinal study indicates that the long-term effect of the TEAL course on student retention of concepts was significantly stronger than that of the traditional course.

  10. Human activity recognition based on human shape dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Zhiqing; Mosher, Stephen; Cheng, Huaining; Webb, Timothy

    2013-05-01

    Human activity recognition based on human shape dynamics was investigated in this paper. The shape dynamics describe the spatial-temporal shape deformation of a human body during its movement and thus provide important information about the identity of a human subject and the motions performed by the subject. The dynamic shapes of four subjects in five activities (digging, jogging, limping, throwing, and walking) were created via 3-D motion replication. The Paquet Shape Descriptor (PSD) was used to describe subject shapes in each frame. The principal component analysis was performed on the calculated PSDs and principal components (PCs) were used to characterize PSDs. The PSD calculation was then reasonably approximated by its significant projections in the eigen-space formed by PCs and represented by the corresponding projection coefficients. As such, the dynamic human shapes for each activity were described by these projection coefficients, which in turn, along with their derivatives were used to form the feature vectors (attribute sets) for activity classification. Data mining technology was employed with six classification methods used. Seven attribute sets were evaluated with high classification accuracy attained for most of them. The results from this investigation illustrate the great potential of human shape dynamics for activity recognition.

  11. Vector activity and propagule size affect dispersal potential by vertebrates.

    PubMed

    van Leeuwen, Casper H A; Tollenaar, Marthe L; Klaassen, Marcel

    2012-09-01

    Many small organisms in various life stages can be transported in the digestive system of larger vertebrates, a process known as endozoochory. Potential dispersal distances of these "propagules" are generally calculated after monitoring retrieval in experiments with resting vector animals. We argue that vectors in natural situations will be actively moving during effective transport rather than resting. We here test for the first time how physical activity of a vector animal might affect its dispersal efficiency. We compared digestive characteristics between swimming, wading (i.e. resting in water) and isolation (i.e. resting in a cage) mallards (Anas platyrhynchos). We fed plastic markers and aquatic gastropods, and monitored retrieval and survival of these propagules in the droppings over 24 h. Over a period of 5 h of swimming, mallards excreted 1.5 times more markers than when wading and 2.3 times more markers than isolation birds, the pattern being reversed over the subsequent period of monitoring where all birds were resting. Retention times of markers were shortened for approximately 1 h for swimming, and 0.5 h for wading birds. Shorter retention times imply higher survival of propagules at increased vector activity. However, digestive intensity measured directly by retrieval of snail shells was not a straightforward function of level of activity. Increased marker size had a negative effect on discharge rate. Our experiment indicates that previous estimates of propagule dispersal distances based on resting animals are overestimated, while propagule survival seems underestimated. These findings have implications for the dispersal of invasive species, meta-population structures and long distance colonization events.

  12. Lead and cadmium at very low doses affect in vitro immune response of human lymphocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Borella, P.; Giardino, A. )

    1991-08-01

    The effect of lead chloride and cadmium chloride on in vitro immunoglobulin (Ig) production by human lymphocytes was investigated. After 7 days in culture, lead added in the range of human exposure (207-1035 {mu}g/liter) significantly enhanced Ig production either when cells were activated by pokeweed mitogen (PWM) or not. The effect was dose-dependent and was related to the Pb were measured in the extracellular medium and in the cells. Independently of the mitogen addition, about 2% of the Pb added was accumulated in the cells, most being associated with the nuclear fraction. Those findings suggest that the Pb effects could depend on its uptake and distribution in the cells. Cadmium added in the 50-500 nM range exhibited a dose-independent mitogenic activity in unstimulated cells, whereas the Ig secretion was not significantly affected by Cd when cells were PWM-activated. A considerable intraindividual variability, however, was observed when blood donors were separately examined, with both an increase, a decrease, or no variation on Ig production. Furthermore, higher percentages of Cd were accumulated in the nuclear fraction, and lower in the cytosol and precipitate, in PWM-activated compared to resting lymphocytes. Genetic factors could be of importance for the observed variability of the immune response to cadmium, and the authors support the hypothesis that differences in the metallothionein (MT) inducibility could play a role.

  13. Sensing Human Activity: GPS Tracking

    PubMed Central

    van der Spek, Stefan; van Schaick, Jeroen; de Bois, Peter; de Haan, Remco

    2009-01-01

    The enhancement of GPS technology enables the use of GPS devices not only as navigation and orientation tools, but also as instruments used to capture travelled routes: as sensors that measure activity on a city scale or the regional scale. TU Delft developed a process and database architecture for collecting data on pedestrian movement in three European city centres, Norwich, Rouen and Koblenz, and in another experiment for collecting activity data of 13 families in Almere (The Netherlands) for one week. The question posed in this paper is: what is the value of GPS as ‘sensor technology’ measuring activities of people? The conclusion is that GPS offers a widely useable instrument to collect invaluable spatial-temporal data on different scales and in different settings adding new layers of knowledge to urban studies, but the use of GPS-technology and deployment of GPS-devices still offers significant challenges for future research. PMID:22574061

  14. Multiscale factors affecting human attitudes toward snow leopards and wolves.

    PubMed

    Suryawanshi, Kulbhushansingh R; Bhatia, Saloni; Bhatnagar, Yash Veer; Redpath, Stephen; Mishra, Charudutt

    2014-12-01

    The threat posed by large carnivores to livestock and humans makes peaceful coexistence between them difficult. Effective implementation of conservation laws and policies depends on the attitudes of local residents toward the target species. There are many known correlates of human attitudes toward carnivores, but they have only been assessed at the scale of the individual. Because human societies are organized hierarchically, attitudes are presumably influenced by different factors at different scales of social organization, but this scale dependence has not been examined. We used structured interview surveys to quantitatively assess the attitudes of a Buddhist pastoral community toward snow leopards (Panthera uncia) and wolves (Canis lupus). We interviewed 381 individuals from 24 villages within 6 study sites across the high-elevation Spiti Valley in the Indian Trans-Himalaya. We gathered information on key explanatory variables that together captured variation in individual and village-level socioeconomic factors. We used hierarchical linear models to examine how the effect of these factors on human attitudes changed with the scale of analysis from the individual to the community. Factors significant at the individual level were gender, education, and age of the respondent (for wolves and snow leopards), number of income sources in the family (wolves), agricultural production, and large-bodied livestock holdings (snow leopards). At the community level, the significant factors included the number of smaller-bodied herded livestock killed by wolves and mean agricultural production (wolves) and village size and large livestock holdings (snow leopards). Our results show that scaling up from the individual to higher levels of social organization can highlight important factors that influence attitudes of people toward wildlife and toward formal conservation efforts in general. Such scale-specific information can help managers apply conservation measures at

  15. Multiscale factors affecting human attitudes toward snow leopards and wolves.

    PubMed

    Suryawanshi, Kulbhushansingh R; Bhatia, Saloni; Bhatnagar, Yash Veer; Redpath, Stephen; Mishra, Charudutt

    2014-12-01

    The threat posed by large carnivores to livestock and humans makes peaceful coexistence between them difficult. Effective implementation of conservation laws and policies depends on the attitudes of local residents toward the target species. There are many known correlates of human attitudes toward carnivores, but they have only been assessed at the scale of the individual. Because human societies are organized hierarchically, attitudes are presumably influenced by different factors at different scales of social organization, but this scale dependence has not been examined. We used structured interview surveys to quantitatively assess the attitudes of a Buddhist pastoral community toward snow leopards (Panthera uncia) and wolves (Canis lupus). We interviewed 381 individuals from 24 villages within 6 study sites across the high-elevation Spiti Valley in the Indian Trans-Himalaya. We gathered information on key explanatory variables that together captured variation in individual and village-level socioeconomic factors. We used hierarchical linear models to examine how the effect of these factors on human attitudes changed with the scale of analysis from the individual to the community. Factors significant at the individual level were gender, education, and age of the respondent (for wolves and snow leopards), number of income sources in the family (wolves), agricultural production, and large-bodied livestock holdings (snow leopards). At the community level, the significant factors included the number of smaller-bodied herded livestock killed by wolves and mean agricultural production (wolves) and village size and large livestock holdings (snow leopards). Our results show that scaling up from the individual to higher levels of social organization can highlight important factors that influence attitudes of people toward wildlife and toward formal conservation efforts in general. Such scale-specific information can help managers apply conservation measures at

  16. Darwinian and demographic forces affecting human protein coding genes

    PubMed Central

    Nielsen, Rasmus; Hubisz, Melissa J.; Hellmann, Ines; Torgerson, Dara; Andrés, Aida M.; Albrechtsen, Anders; Gutenkunst, Ryan; Adams, Mark D.; Cargill, Michele; Boyko, Adam; Indap, Amit; Bustamante, Carlos D.; Clark, Andrew G.

    2009-01-01

    Past demographic changes can produce distortions in patterns of genetic variation that can mimic the appearance of natural selection unless the demographic effects are explicitly removed. Here we fit a detailed model of human demography that incorporates divergence, migration, admixture, and changes in population size to directly sequenced data from 13,400 protein coding genes from 20 European-American and 19 African-American individuals. Based on this demographic model, we use several new and established statistical methods for identifying genes with extreme patterns of polymorphism likely to be caused by Darwinian selection, providing the first genome-wide analysis of allele frequency distributions in humans based on directly sequenced data. The tests are based on observations of excesses of high frequency–derived alleles, excesses of low frequency–derived alleles, and excesses of differences in allele frequencies between populations. We detect numerous new genes with strong evidence of selection, including a number of genes related to psychiatric and other diseases. We also show that microRNA controlled genes evolve under extremely high constraints and are more likely to undergo negative selection than other genes. Furthermore, we show that genes involved in muscle development have been subject to positive selection during recent human history. In accordance with previous studies, we find evidence for negative selection against mutations in genes associated with Mendelian disease and positive selection acting on genes associated with several complex diseases. PMID:19279335

  17. New thiazolidinediones affect endothelial cell activation and angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Rudnicki, Martina; Tripodi, Gustavo L; Ferrer, Renila; Boscá, Lisardo; Pitta, Marina G R; Pitta, Ivan R; Abdalla, Dulcineia S P

    2016-07-01

    Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) agonists used in treating type 2 diabetes that may exhibit beneficial pleiotropic effects on endothelial cells. In this study, we characterized the effects of three new TZDs [GQ-32 (3-biphenyl-4-ylmethyl-5-(4-nitro-benzylidene)-thiazolidine-2,4-dione), GQ-169 (5-(4-chloro-benzylidene)-3-(2,6-dichloro-benzyl)-thiazolidine-2,4-dione), and LYSO-7 (5-(5-bromo-1H-indol-3-ylmethylene)-3-(4-chlorobenzyl)-thiazolidine-2,4-dione)] on endothelial cells. The effects of the new TZDs were evaluated on the production of nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS), cell migration, tube formation and the gene expression of adhesion molecules and angiogenic mediators in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). PPARγ activation by new TZDs was addressed with a reporter gene assay. The three new TZDs activated PPARγ and suppressed the tumor necrosis factor α-induced expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 and intercellular adhesion molecule 1. GQ-169 and LYSO-7 also inhibited the glucose-induced ROS production. Although NO production assessed with 4-amino-5-methylamino-2',7'-difluorofluorescein-FM probe indicated that all tested TZDs enhanced intracellular levels of NO, only LYSO-7 treatment significantly increased the release of NO from HUVEC measured by chemiluminescence analysis of culture media. Additionally, GQ-32 and GQ-169 induced endothelial cell migration and tube formation by the up-regulation of angiogenic molecules expression, such as vascular endothelial growth factor A and interleukin 8. GQ-169 also increased the mRNA levels of basic fibroblast growth factor, and GQ-32 enhanced transforming growth factor-β expression. Together, the results of this study reveal that these new TZDs act as partial agonists of PPARγ and modulate endothelial cell activation and endothelial dysfunction besides to stimulate migration and tube formation. PMID:27108791

  18. How sensory properties of foods affect human feeding behavior.

    PubMed

    Rolls, B J; Rowe, E A; Rolls, E T

    1982-09-01

    The sensory properties of food which can lead to a decrease in the pleasantness of that food after it is eaten, and to enhanced food intake if that property of the food is changed by successive presentation of different foods, were investigated. After eating chocolates of one color the pleasantness of the taste of the eaten color declined more than of the non-eaten colors, although these chocolates differed only in appearance. The presentation of a variety of colors of chocolates, either simultaneously or successively, did not affect food intake compared with consumption of the subject's favorite color. Changes in the shape of food (which affects both appearance and mouth feel) were introduced by offering subjects three successive courses consisting of different shapes of pasta. Changes in shape led to a specific decrease in the pleasantness of the shape eaten and to a significant enhancement (14%) of food intake when three shapes were offered compared with intake of the subject's favorite shape. Changes in just the flavor of food (i.e., cream cheese sandwiches flavored with salt, or with the non-nutritive flavoring agents lemon and saccharin, or curry) led to a significant enhancement (15%) of food intake when all three flavors were presented successively compared with intake of the favorite. The experiments elucidate some of the properties of food which are involved in sensory specific satiety, and which determine the amount of food eaten. PMID:7178247

  19. Integrin activation controls metastasis in human breast cancer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felding-Habermann, Brunhilde; O'Toole, Timothy E.; Smith, Jeffrey W.; Fransvea, Emilia; Ruggeri, Zaverio M.; Ginsberg, Mark H.; Hughes, Paul E.; Pampori, Nisar; Shattil, Sanford J.; Saven, Alan; Mueller, Barbara M.

    2001-02-01

    Metastasis is the primary cause of death in human breast cancer. Metastasis to bone, lungs, liver, and brain involves dissemination of breast cancer cells via the bloodstream and requires adhesion within the vasculature. Blood cell adhesion within the vasculature depends on integrins, a family of transmembrane adhesion receptors, and is regulated by integrin activation. Here we show that integrin v3 supports breast cancer cell attachment under blood flow conditions in an activation-dependent manner. Integrin v3 was found in two distinct functional states in human breast cancer cells. The activated, but not the nonactivated, state supported tumor cell arrest during blood flow through interaction with platelets. Importantly, activated αvβ3 was expressed by freshly isolated metastatic human breast cancer cells and variants of the MDA-MB 435 human breast cancer cell line, derived from mammary fat pad tumors or distant metastases in severe combined immunodeficient mice. Expression of constitutively activated mutant αvβ3D723R, but not αvβ3WT, in MDA-MB 435 cells strongly promoted metastasis in the mouse model. Thus breast cancer cells can exhibit a platelet-interactive and metastatic phenotype that is controlled by the activation of integrin αvβ3. Consequently, alterations within tumors that lead to the aberrant control of integrin activation are expected to adversely affect the course of human breast cancer.

  20. Human erythrocytes are affected by the organochloride insecticide chlordane.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, M; Rodríguez, C; Villena, F; Sotomayor, C P

    2005-05-01

    Chlordane is a widely used organochlorine insecticide. In order to evaluate its perturbing effect upon the morphology of human erythrocytes it was caused to interact with human red cells and molecular models of cell membranes. These consisted in bilayers of dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE) and of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC), representative of phospholipid classes located in the inner and outer monolayers of the erythrocyte membrane, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations indicated that this pesticide induced a significant alteration in the shape of the erythrocytes as they changed their discoid shape to spherocytes. According to the bilayer couple hypothesis, the shape changes induced in erythrocytes by foreign molecules are due to differential expansion of their two monolayers. The fact that chlordane produced spherocytes would indicate that the pesticide was equally located in the outer and the inner moieties of the red cell membrane. This conclusion was supported by the results obtained from X-ray diffraction studies. These showed that the hydrophobic and polar head regions of DMPC bilayers were perturbed when the insecticide was in a 1:10 molar ratio with respect to the lipid. These results were confirmed by the fluorescence experiments performed in DMPC large unilamellar vesicles (LUV). Chlordane produced a sharp decrease in the anisotropy and general polarization parameters in the 0-0.1 mM range, implying an increase in the fluidity at the acyl chain and polar region of DMPC. On the other hand, the bilayer structure of DMPE was perturbed in a fashion similar to that observed by X-ray diffraction in DMPC, a fact that explains the morphological change induced by chlordane to the human erythrocytes. PMID:15778003

  1. New activity pattern in human interactive dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Formentin, Marco; Lovison, Alberto; Maritan, Amos; Zanzotto, Giovanni

    2015-09-01

    We investigate the response function of human agents as demonstrated by written correspondence, uncovering a new pattern for how the reactive dynamics of individuals is distributed across the set of each agent’s contacts. In long-term empirical data on email, we find that the set of response times considered separately for the messages to each different correspondent of a given writer, generate a family of heavy-tailed distributions, which have largely the same features for all agents, and whose characteristic times grow exponentially with the rank of each correspondent. We furthermore show that this new behavioral pattern emerges robustly by considering weighted moving averages of the priority-conditioned response-time probabilities generated by a basic prioritization model. Our findings clarify how the range of priorities in the inputs from one’s environment underpin and shape the dynamics of agents embedded in a net of reactive relations. These newly revealed activity patterns might be universal, being present in other general interactive environments, and constrain future models of communication and interaction networks, affecting their architecture and evolution.

  2. Factors affecting speed in human-powered vehicles.

    PubMed

    White, A P

    1994-10-01

    It is shown how to derive the appropriate cubic equation relating power and the effects of friction, gradient and wind resistance on the speed of a human-powered vehicle (HPV). The effects of gradient and wind resistance are explored for parameters representing a typical racing cyclist. The principal conclusion may be summarized as follows: for optimum performance in a time trial, there should be no wind and the course should be level. Any deviation from these conditions will produce a decrement in performance.

  3. Disturbances of electrodynamic activity affect abortion in animals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nedbalova, M.; Jandova, A.; Dohnalova, A.

    2011-12-01

    A specific kind of intracellular organelles, the mitochondria, is the place of metabolic energy production by oxidative mechanism. We used cell mediated immunity method for verification of the energy metabolism (ATP production). The antigen (immunological functional RNA) was obtained from blood of inbred laboratory mice strain C3H/H2K, infected with the lactate dehydrogenase elevating virus (LDV) and prepared by the high pressure gel chromatography (HPGC). We have studied the immunological adaptability of LDH viral antigen in 62 pigs (12 parents and 50 piglings). Exitus of piglings was in case of positive imunological response on LDV. The statement results from a comparison of the relative frequency of an incidence of identical findings in male piglets and sows and from identical findings in female piglets and pigs. The efficient elaboration and utilization of energy in cell may be damaged by the changes of energy production systems and also by long-term parasitary depletion of ATP energy. Biological activity is based not only on biochemical but also on biophysical mechanisms. Biophysical processes are also involved in the transfer of information and its processing for making decisions and providing control, which are important parts of biological activity. These experimental results were used for the same study in human.

  4. Tech versus the Human Touch: Teacher Affect Is More Effective.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perry, Alan

    2003-01-01

    An experimental group studied Macbeth in an independent, constructivist setting using multimedia; the control group studied traditionally. Eleven of 23 experimental students and 2 of 21 in the traditional class failed. In an experiment with Hamlet, the results were reversed. Students were most successful when the teacher was actively involved,…

  5. Latent Variables Affecting Behavioral Response to the Human Intruder Test in Infant Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)

    PubMed Central

    Gottlieb, Daniel H.; Capitanio, John P.

    2012-01-01

    The human intruder test is a testing paradigm designed to measure rhesus macaques’ behavioral responses to a stressful and threatening situation. In the test, an unfamiliar human positions him/herself in various threatening positions relative to a caged macaque. This paradigm has been utilized for over twenty years to measure a variety of behavioral constructs, including fear and anxiety, behavioral inhibition, emotionality, and aggression. To date there have been no attempts to evaluate comprehensively the structure of the behavioral responses to the test. Our first goal was to identify the underlying latent factors affecting the different responses among subjects, and our second goal was determine if rhesus reared in different environments respond differently in this testing paradigm. To accomplish this, we first performed exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses on the behavioral responses of 3–4 month-old rhesus macaques, utilizing data from over 2,000 separate tests conducted between 2001–2007. Using the resulting model, we then tested to see whether early rearing experience affected responses in the test. Our first analyses suggested that most of the variation in infant behavioral responses to the human intruder test could be explained by four latent factors: “Activity,” “Emotionality,” “Aggression,” and “Displacement.” Our second analyses revealed a significant effect of rearing condition for each factor score (P < 0.001); most notable socially-reared animals had the lowest Activity score (P < 0.001), indoor mother-reared animals had the highest Displacement score (P < 0.001), and nursery-reared animals had the highest Emotionality (P < 0.001) and lowest Aggression scores (P < 0.001). These results demonstrate that this standardized testing paradigm reveals multiple patterns of response, which are influenced by an animal’s rearing history. PMID:23229557

  6. Catechins Variously Affect Activities of Conjugation Enzymes in Proliferating and Differentiated Caco-2 Cells.

    PubMed

    Lněničková, Kateřina; Procházková, Eliška; Skálová, Lenka; Matoušková, Petra; Bártíková, Hana; Souček, Pavel; Szotáková, Barbora

    2016-01-01

    The knowledge of processes in intestinal cells is essential, as most xenobiotics come into contact with the small intestine first. Caco-2 cells are human colorectal adenocarcinoma that once differentiated, exhibit enterocyte-like characteristics. Our study compares activities and expressions of important conjugation enzymes and their modulation by green tea extract (GTE) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) using both proliferating (P) and differentiated (D) caco-2 cells. The mRNA levels of the main conjugation enzymes were significantly elevated after the differentiation of Caco-2 cells. However, no increase in conjugation enzymes' activities in differentiated cells was detected in comparison to proliferating ones. GTE/EGCG treatment did not affect the mRNA levels of any of the conjugation enzymes tested in either type of cells. Concerning conjugation enzymes activities, GTE/EGCG treatment elevated glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity by approx. 30% and inhibited catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) activity by approx. 20% in differentiated cells. On the other hand, GTE as well as EGCG treatment did not significantly affect the activities of conjugation enzymes in proliferating cells. Administration of GTE/EGCG mediated only mild changes of GST and COMT activities in enterocyte-like cells, indicating a low risk of GTE/EGCG interactions with concomitantly administered drugs. However, a considerable chemo-protective effect of GTE via the pronounced induction of detoxifying enzymes cannot be expected as well. PMID:27617982

  7. The impact of pre- and/or probiotics on human colonic metabolism: does it affect human health?

    PubMed

    De Preter, Vicky; Hamer, Henrike M; Windey, Karen; Verbeke, Kristin

    2011-01-01

    Since many years, the role of the colonic microbiota in maintaining the host's overall health and well-being has been recognized. Dietary modulation of the microbiota composition and activity has been achieved by the use of pre-, pro- and synbiotics. In this review, we will summarize the available evidence on the modification of bacterial metabolism by dietary intervention with pre-, pro- and synbiotics. Enhanced production of SCFA as a marker of increased saccharolytic fermentation is well documented in animal and in vitro studies. Decreased production of potentially toxic protein fermentation metabolites, such as sulfides, phenolic and indolic compounds, has been less frequently demonstrated. Besides, pre-, pro- and synbiotics also affect other metabolic pathways such as the deconjugation of secondary bile acids, bacterial enzyme activities and mineral absorption. Data from human studies are less conclusive. The emergence of new analytical techniques such as metabolite profiling has revealed new pathways affected by dietary intervention. However, an important challenge for current and future research is to relate changes in bacterial metabolism to concrete health benefits. Potential targets and expected benefits have been identified: reduced risk for the metabolic syndrome and prevention of colorectal cancer. PMID:21207512

  8. International study of factors affecting human chromosome translocations

    PubMed Central

    Sigurdson, Alice J.; Ha, Mina; Hauptmann, Michael; Bhatti, Parveen; Sram, Radim J.; Beskid, Olena; Tawn, E. Janet; Whitehouse, Caroline A.; Lindholm, Carita; Nakano, Mimako; Kodama, Yoshiaki; Nakamura, Nori; Vorobtsova, Irena; Oestreicher, Ursula; Stephan, Günther; Yong, Lee C.; Bauchinger, Manfred; Schmid, Ernst; Chung, Hai Won; Darroudi, Firouz; Roy, Laurence; Voisin, Phillipe; Barquinero, Joan F.; Livingston, Gordon; Blakey, David; Hayata, Isamu; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Chunyan; Bennett, L. Michelle; Littlefield, L. Gayle; Edwards, Alan A.; Kleinerman, Ruth A.; Tucker, James D.

    2009-01-01

    Chromosome translocations in peripheral blood lymphocytes of normal, healthy humans increase with age, but the effects of gender, race, and cigarette smoking on background translocation yields have not been examined systematically. Further, the shape of the relationship between age and translocation frequency (TF) has not been definitively determined. We collected existing data from sixteen laboratories in North America, Europe, and Asia on TFs measured in peripheral blood lymphocytes by fluorescence in situ hybridization whole chromosome painting among 1933 individuals. In Poisson regression models, age, ranging from newborns (cord blood) to 85 years, was strongly associated with TF and this relationship showed significant upward curvature at older ages vs. a linear relationship (p <0.001). Ever smokers had significantly higher TFs than non-smokers (rate ratio (RR) = 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09–1.30) and smoking modified the effect of age on TFs with a steeper age-related increase among ever smokers compared to non-smokers (p<0.001). TFs did not differ by gender. Interpreting an independent effect of race was difficult owing to laboratory variation. Our study is three times larger than any pooled effort to date, confirming a suspected curvilinear relationship of TF with age. The significant effect of cigarette smoking has not been observed with previous pooled studies of TF in humans. Our data provide stable estimates of background TF by age, gender, race, and smoking status and suggest an acceleration of chromosome damage above age 60 and among those with a history of smoking cigarettes. PMID:18337160

  9. Human filarial Wolbachia lipopeptide directly activates human neutrophils in vitro.

    PubMed

    Tamarozzi, F; Wright, H L; Johnston, K L; Edwards, S W; Turner, J D; Taylor, M J

    2014-10-01

    The host inflammatory response to the Onchocerca volvulus endosymbiont, Wolbachia, is a major contributing factor in the development of chronic pathology in humans (onchocerciasis/river blindness). Recently, the toll-like pattern recognition receptor motif of the major inflammatory ligands of filarial Wolbachia, membrane-associated diacylated lipoproteins, was functionally defined in murine models of pathology, including mediation of neutrophil recruitment to the cornea. However, the extent to which human neutrophils can be activated in response to this Wolbachia pattern recognition motif is not known. Therefore, the responses of purified peripheral blood human neutrophils to a synthetic N-terminal diacylated lipopeptide (WoLP) of filarial Wolbachia peptidoglycan-associated lipoprotein (PAL) were characterized. WoLP exposure led to a dose-dependent activation of healthy, human neutrophils that included gross morphological alterations and modulation of surface expressed integrins involved in tethering, rolling and extravasation. WoLP exposure induced chemotaxis but not chemokinesis of neutrophils, and secretion of the major neutrophil chemokine, interleukin 8. WoLP also induced and primed the respiratory burst, and enhanced neutrophil survival by delay of apoptosis. These results indicate that the major inflammatory motif of filarial Wolbachia lipoproteins directly activates human neutrophils in vitro and promotes a molecular pathway by which human neutrophils are recruited to sites of Onchocerca parasitism. PMID:24909063

  10. Ceramide metabolism is affected by obesity and diabetes in human adipose tissue.

    PubMed

    Błachnio-Zabielska, A U; Pułka, M; Baranowski, M; Nikołajuk, A; Zabielski, P; Górska, M; Górski, J

    2012-02-01

    Ceramide is involved in development of insulin resistance. However, there are no data on ceramide metabolism in human adipose tissue. The aim of our study was to examine sphingolipid metabolism in fat tissue from obese nondiabetic (n = 11), obese diabetic (n = 11), and lean nondiabetic (n = 8) subjects. The content of ceramide (Cer), dihydroceramide (dhCer), sphingosine (SPH), sphinganine (SPA), sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P; pmol/mg of protein), the expression (mRNA) and activity of key enzymes responsible for Cer metabolism: serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT), neutral and acidic sphingomyelinase (nSMase and aSMase, respectively), and neutral and acidic ceramidase (nCDase and aCDase, respectively) were examined in human adipose tissue. The contents of SPA and Cer were significantly lower whereas the content of dhCer was higher in both obese groups than the respective values in the lean subjects. The expression of examined enzymes was elevated in both obese groups. The SPT and CDases activity increased whereas aSMase activity deceased in both obese groups. We have found correlation between adipose tissue Cer content and plasma adiponectin concentration (r = 0.69, P < 0.001) and negative correlation between total Cer content and HOMA-IR index (homeostasis model of insulin resistance) (r = -0.67, P < 0.001). We have found that both obesity and diabetes affected pathways of sphingolipid metabolism in the adipose tissue.

  11. Pregnancy does not affect human olfactory detection thresholds.

    PubMed

    Cameron, E Leslie

    2014-02-01

    Hyperosmia is suspected in pregnancy; however, no empirical study using validated measures of olfactory function has clearly confirmed the anecdotal reports of this phenomenon. The goal of the current study is to compare the olfactory sensitivity of pregnant women to that of nonpregnant women and men. All participants rated their sense of smell and pregnant women listed the odors to which they were most sensitive. Detection thresholds were measured using a well-validated protocol. A group of pregnant and nonpregnant women was studied longitudinally using a signal detection procedure designed to detect small differences in sensitivity. Pregnant women, particularly in the 1st trimester, rated their sense of smell to be higher than nonpregnant women and men and indicated many (primarily unpleasant) odors to which they were more sensitive. Women rated their sense of smell higher than men. However, there was no sex difference in thresholds and neither thresholds nor signal detection measures of sensitivity were significantly affected by either sex or pregnancy status. The implications of the lack of relationship between self-report and measures of olfactory sensitivity, particularly in pregnancy, are discussed.

  12. The regulation of catalase activity by PPAR γ is affected by α-synuclein

    PubMed Central

    Yakunin, Eugenia; Kisos, Haya; Kulik, Willem; Grigoletto, Jessica; Wanders, Ronald J A; Sharon, Ronit

    2014-01-01

    Objective While evidence for oxidative injury is frequently detected in brains of humans affected by Parkinson's disease (PD) and in relevant animal models, there is uncertainty regarding its cause. We tested the potential role of catalase in the oxidative injury that characterizes PD. Methods Utilizing brains of A53T α-Syn and ntg mice, and cultured cells, we analyzed catalase activity and expression, and performed biochemical analyses of peroxisomal metabolites. Results Lower catalase expression and lower activity levels were detected in A53T α-Syn brains and α-Syn-expressing cells. The effect on catalase activity was independent of disease progression, represented by mouse age and α-Syn mutation, suggesting a potential physiological function for α-Syn. Notably, catalase activity and expression were unaffected in brains of mice modeling Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, we found that α-Syn expression downregulate the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ, which controls catalase transcription. Importantly, activation of either PPARγ2, PPARα or retinoic X receptor eliminated the inhibiting effect of α-Syn on catalase activity. In addition, activation of these nuclear receptors enhanced the accumulation of soluble α-Syn oligomers, resulting in a positive association between the degree of soluble α-Syn oligomers and catalase activity. Of note, a comprehensive biochemical analysis of specific peroxisomal metabolites indicated no signs of dysfunction in specific peroxisomal activities in brains of A53T α-Syn mice. Interpretation Our results suggest that α-Syn expression may interfere with the complex and overlapping network of nuclear receptors transcription activation. In result, catalase activity is affected through mechanisms involved in the regulation of soluble α-Syn oligomers. PMID:25356396

  13. Mimicry profiles are affected by human-induced habitat changes.

    PubMed Central

    Azmeh, S; Owen, J; Sørensen, K; Grewcock, D; Gilbert, F

    1998-01-01

    Mimicry theory predicts that mimics in a Batesian mimicry complex evolve to resemble models closely, and that there is a limit on the numbers of mimics relative to models. For hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae), supposed mimics of social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, neither of these is true; many mimics are imperfect and in the UK and Europe they outnumber their models manifold. We hypothesized that the high abundance of mimics relative to models in the UK may be the result not just of mimic model dynamics, but of habitat changes caused by humans. Most of the larvae of poor mimics are aphidophagous, and changes from ancient forest to agricultural and/or urban habitats may have vastly augmented aphid numbers. Using new and literature data, we compared mimicry profiles of habitats differing in their degree of habitat disturbance. In both cases more highly disturbed habitats had proportionally more poor mimics and fewer high-fidelity mimics than less disturbed habitats. This supports the hypothesis that habitat change has an effect on model to mimic ratios. PMID:9881474

  14. Mimicry profiles are affected by human-induced habitat changes.

    PubMed

    Azmeh, S; Owen, J; Sørensen, K; Grewcock, D; Gilbert, F

    1998-12-01

    Mimicry theory predicts that mimics in a Batesian mimicry complex evolve to resemble models closely, and that there is a limit on the numbers of mimics relative to models. For hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae), supposed mimics of social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, neither of these is true; many mimics are imperfect and in the UK and Europe they outnumber their models manifold. We hypothesized that the high abundance of mimics relative to models in the UK may be the result not just of mimic model dynamics, but of habitat changes caused by humans. Most of the larvae of poor mimics are aphidophagous, and changes from ancient forest to agricultural and/or urban habitats may have vastly augmented aphid numbers. Using new and literature data, we compared mimicry profiles of habitats differing in their degree of habitat disturbance. In both cases more highly disturbed habitats had proportionally more poor mimics and fewer high-fidelity mimics than less disturbed habitats. This supports the hypothesis that habitat change has an effect on model to mimic ratios.

  15. Family Poverty Affects the Rate of Human Infant Brain Growth

    PubMed Central

    Hanson, Jamie L.; Hair, Nicole; Shen, Dinggang G.; Shi, Feng; Gilmore, John H.; Wolfe, Barbara L.; Pollak, Seth D.

    2013-01-01

    Living in poverty places children at very high risk for problems across a variety of domains, including schooling, behavioral regulation, and health. Aspects of cognitive functioning, such as information processing, may underlie these kinds of problems. How might poverty affect the brain functions underlying these cognitive processes? Here, we address this question by observing and analyzing repeated measures of brain development of young children between five months and four years of age from economically diverse backgrounds (n = 77). In doing so, we have the opportunity to observe changes in brain growth as children begin to experience the effects of poverty. These children underwent MRI scanning, with subjects completing between 1 and 7 scans longitudinally. Two hundred and three MRI scans were divided into different tissue types using a novel image processing algorithm specifically designed to analyze brain data from young infants. Total gray, white, and cerebral (summation of total gray and white matter) volumes were examined along with volumes of the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes. Infants from low-income families had lower volumes of gray matter, tissue critical for processing of information and execution of actions. These differences were found for both the frontal and parietal lobes. No differences were detected in white matter, temporal lobe volumes, or occipital lobe volumes. In addition, differences in brain growth were found to vary with socioeconomic status (SES), with children from lower-income households having slower trajectories of growth during infancy and early childhood. Volumetric differences were associated with the emergence of disruptive behavioral problems. PMID:24349025

  16. Family poverty affects the rate of human infant brain growth.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Jamie L; Hair, Nicole; Shen, Dinggang G; Shi, Feng; Gilmore, John H; Wolfe, Barbara L; Pollak, Seth D

    2013-01-01

    Living in poverty places children at very high risk for problems across a variety of domains, including schooling, behavioral regulation, and health. Aspects of cognitive functioning, such as information processing, may underlie these kinds of problems. How might poverty affect the brain functions underlying these cognitive processes? Here, we address this question by observing and analyzing repeated measures of brain development of young children between five months and four years of age from economically diverse backgrounds (n = 77). In doing so, we have the opportunity to observe changes in brain growth as children begin to experience the effects of poverty. These children underwent MRI scanning, with subjects completing between 1 and 7 scans longitudinally. Two hundred and three MRI scans were divided into different tissue types using a novel image processing algorithm specifically designed to analyze brain data from young infants. Total gray, white, and cerebral (summation of total gray and white matter) volumes were examined along with volumes of the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes. Infants from low-income families had lower volumes of gray matter, tissue critical for processing of information and execution of actions. These differences were found for both the frontal and parietal lobes. No differences were detected in white matter, temporal lobe volumes, or occipital lobe volumes. In addition, differences in brain growth were found to vary with socioeconomic status (SES), with children from lower-income households having slower trajectories of growth during infancy and early childhood. Volumetric differences were associated with the emergence of disruptive behavioral problems.

  17. What experimental experience affects dogs' comprehension of human communicative actions?

    PubMed

    Hauser, Marc D; Comins, Jordan A; Pytka, Lisa M; Cahill, Donal P; Velez-Calderon, Sofia

    2011-01-01

    Studies of dogs report that individuals reliably respond to the goal-directed communicative actions (e.g., pointing) of human experimenters. All of these studies use some version of a multi-trial approach, thereby allowing for the possibility of rapid learning within an experimental session. The experiments reported here ask whether dogs can respond correctly to a communicative action based on only a single presentation, thereby eliminating the possibility of learning within the experimental context. We tested 173 dogs. For each dog reaching our test criteria, we used a single presentation of six different goal-directed actions within a session, asking whether they correctly follow to a target goal (container with concealed food) a (1) distal hand point, (2) step toward one container, (3) hand point to one container followed by step toward the other, (4) step toward one container and point to the other, (5) distal foot point with the experimenter's hands free, and (6) distal foot point with the experimenter's hands occupied. Given only a single presentation, dogs selected the correct container when the experimenter hand pointed, foot pointed with hands occupied, or stepped closer to the target container, but failed on the other actions, despite using the same method. The fact that dogs correctly followed foot pointing with hands occupied, but not hands free, suggests that they are sensitive to environmental constraints, and use this information to infer rational, goal-directed action. We discuss these results in light of the role of experience in recognizing communicative gestures, as well as the significance of coding criteria for studies of canine competence.

  18. Fitness cost of LINE-1 (L1) activity in humans

    PubMed Central

    Boissinot, Stephane; Davis, Jerel; Entezam, Ali; Petrov, Dimitri; Furano, Anthony V.

    2006-01-01

    The self-replicating LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposon family is the dominant retrotransposon family in mammals and has generated 30–40% of their genomes. Active L1 families are present in modern mammals but the important question of whether these currently active families affect the genetic fitness of their hosts has not been addressed. This issue is of particular relevance to humans as Homo sapiens contains the active L1 Ta1 subfamily of the human specific Ta (L1Pa1) L1 family. Although DNA insertions generated by the Ta1 subfamily can cause genetic defects in current humans, these are relatively rare, and it is not known whether Ta1-generated inserts or any other property of Ta1 elements have been sufficiently deleterious to reduce the fitness of humans. Here we show that full-length (FL) Ta1 elements, but not the truncated Ta1 elements or SINE (Alu) insertions generated by Ta1 activity, were subject to negative selection. Thus, one or more properties unique to FL L1 elements constitute a genetic burden for modern humans. We also found that the FL Ta1 elements became more deleterious as the expansion of Ta1 has proceeded. Because this expansion is ongoing, the Ta1 subfamily almost certainly continues to decrease the fitness of modern humans. PMID:16766655

  19. Forced expression of chimeric human fibroblast tropomyosin mutants affects cytokinesis

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

    Human fibroblasts generate at least eight tropomyosin (TM) isoforms (hTM1, hTM2, hTM3, hTM4, hTM5, hTM5a, hTM5b, and hTMsm alpha) from four distinct genes, and we have previously demonstrated that bacterially produced chimera hTM5/3 exhibits an unusually high affinity for actin filaments and a loss of the salt dependence typical for TM-actin binding (Novy, R.E., J. R. Sellers, L.-F. Liu, and J.J.-C. Lin, 1993. Cell Motil. & Cytoskeleton. 26: 248-261). To examine the functional consequences of expressing this mutant TM isoform in vivo, we have transfected CHO cells with the full-length cDNA for hTM5/3 and compared them to cells transfected with hTM3 and hTM5. Immunofluorescence microscopy reveals that stably transfected CHO cells incorporate force- expressed hTM3 and hTM5 into stress fibers with no significant effect on general cell morphology, microfilament organization or cytokinesis. In stable lines expressing hTM5/3, however, cell division is slow and sometimes incomplete. The doubling time and the incidence of multinucleate cells in the stable hTM5/3 lines roughly parallel expression levels. A closely related chimeric isoform hTM5/2, which differs only in the internal, alternatively spliced exon also produces defects in cytokinesis, suggesting that normal TM function may involve coordination between the amino and carboxy terminal regions. This coordination may be prevented in the chimeric mutants. As bacterially produced hTM5/3 and hTM5/2 can displace hTM3 and hTM5 from actin filaments in vitro, it is likely that CHO-expressed hTM5/3 and hTM5/2 can displace endogenous TMs to act dominantly in vivo. These results support a role for nonmuscle TM isoforms in the fine tuning of microfilament organization during cytokinesis. Additionally, we find that overexpression of TM does not stabilize endogenous microfilaments, rather, the hTM-expressing cells are actually more sensitive to cytochalasin B. This suggests that regulation of microfilament integrity in vivo

  20. Activation of human lymphocytes by supernatants from human thymic epithelium.

    PubMed Central

    Goust, J M; Vesole, D H; Fudenberg, H H

    1979-01-01

    Supernatants from human thymic epithelial cells (TS) were found to have a mitogenic effect on cultured human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and to potentiate their responses to lectins. This was not observed with culture supernatants from the human cell lines AV-3 and HeLa or from the murine cell line L-929. The maximum potentiating effects were observed with pokeweed mitogen (PWM) and phytohaemagglutinin (PHA), whereas the response to concanavalin A (Con A) was only slightly enhanced. TS also potentiated the mixed lymphocyte culture (MLC) response of normal T cells and thymocytes cultured with mitomycin C-treated B lymphoid cell lines. The mitogenic effect of TS was time-dependent and paralleled the appearance of lymphoid colonies in semi-solid agar. Chromatographical separation of concentrated serum-free TS on Sephadex G-100 yielded an active fraction of molecular weight 15,000--25,000 which had all the activities of unseparated TS. PMID:160851

  1. Activation of human lymphocytes by supernatants from human thymic epithelium.

    PubMed

    Goust, J M; Vesole, D H; Fudenberg, H H

    1979-11-01

    Supernatants from human thymic epithelial cells (TS) were found to have a mitogenic effect on cultured human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and to potentiate their responses to lectins. This was not observed with culture supernatants from the human cell lines AV-3 and HeLa or from the murine cell line L-929. The maximum potentiating effects were observed with pokeweed mitogen (PWM) and phytohaemagglutinin (PHA), whereas the response to concanavalin A (Con A) was only slightly enhanced. TS also potentiated the mixed lymphocyte culture (MLC) response of normal T cells and thymocytes cultured with mitomycin C-treated B lymphoid cell lines. The mitogenic effect of TS was time-dependent and paralleled the appearance of lymphoid colonies in semi-solid agar. Chromatographical separation of concentrated serum-free TS on Sephadex G-100 yielded an active fraction of molecular weight 15,000--25,000 which had all the activities of unseparated TS. PMID:160851

  2. Foetal bovine serum-derived exosomes affect yield and phenotype of human cardiac progenitor cell culture

    PubMed Central

    Angelini, Francesco; Ionta, Vittoria; Rossi, Fabrizio; Miraldi, Fabio; Messina, Elisa; Giacomello, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) represent a powerful tool in cardiac regenerative medicine. Pre-clinical studies suggest that most of the beneficial effects promoted by the injected cells are due to their paracrine activity exerted on endogenous cells and tissue. Exosomes are candidate mediators of this paracrine effects. According to their potential, many researchers have focused on characterizing exosomes derived from specific cell types, but, up until now, only few studies have analyzed the possible in vitro effects of bovine serum-derived exosomes on cell proliferation or differentiation. Methods: The aim of this study was to analyse, from a qualitative and quantitative point of view, the in vitro effects of bovine serum exosomes on human CPCs cultured either as cardiospheres or as monolayers of cardiosphere-forming cells. Results: Effects on proliferation, yield and molecular patterning were detected. We show, for the first time, that exogenous bovine exosomes support the proliferation and migration of human cardiosphere-forming cells, and that their depletion affects cardiospheres formation, in terms of size, yield and extra-cellular matrix production. Conclusion: These results stress the importance of considering differential biological effects of exogenous cell culture supplements on the final phenotype of primary human cell cultures. PMID:27340620

  3. Environmental noise levels affect the activity budget of the Florida manatee

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miksis-Olds, Jennifer L.; Donaghay, Percy L.; Miller, James H.; Tyack, Peter L.

    2005-09-01

    Manatees inhabit coastal bays, lagoons, and estuaries because they are dependent on the aquatic vegetation that grows in shallow waters. Food requirements force manatees to occupy the same areas in which human activities are the greatest. Noise produced from human activities has the potential to affect these animals by eliciting responses ranging from mild behavioral changes to extreme aversion. This study quantifies the behavioral responses of manatees to both changing levels of ambient noise and transient noise sources. Results indicate that elevated environmental noise levels do affect the overall activity budget of this species. The proportion of time manatees spend feeding, milling, and traveling in critical habitats changed as a function of noise level. More time was spent in the directed, goal-oriented behaviors of feeding and traveling, while less time was spent milling when noise levels were highest. The animals also responded to the transient noise of approaching vessels with changes in behavioral state and movements out of the geographical area. This suggests that manatees detect and respond to changes in environmental noise levels. Whether these changes legally constitute harassment and produce biologically significant effects need to be addressed with hypothesis-driven experiments and long-term monitoring. [For Animal Bioacoustics Best Student Paper Award.

  4. Deep Human Parsing with Active Template Regression.

    PubMed

    Liang, Xiaodan; Liu, Si; Shen, Xiaohui; Yang, Jianchao; Liu, Luoqi; Dong, Jian; Lin, Liang; Yan, Shuicheng

    2015-12-01

    In this work, the human parsing task, namely decomposing a human image into semantic fashion/body regions, is formulated as an active template regression (ATR) problem, where the normalized mask of each fashion/body item is expressed as the linear combination of the learned mask templates, and then morphed to a more precise mask with the active shape parameters, including position, scale and visibility of each semantic region. The mask template coefficients and the active shape parameters together can generate the human parsing results, and are thus called the structure outputs for human parsing. The deep Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) is utilized to build the end-to-end relation between the input human image and the structure outputs for human parsing. More specifically, the structure outputs are predicted by two separate networks. The first CNN network is with max-pooling, and designed to predict the template coefficients for each label mask, while the second CNN network is without max-pooling to preserve sensitivity to label mask position and accurately predict the active shape parameters. For a new image, the structure outputs of the two networks are fused to generate the probability of each label for each pixel, and super-pixel smoothing is finally used to refine the human parsing result. Comprehensive evaluations on a large dataset well demonstrate the significant superiority of the ATR framework over other state-of-the-arts for human parsing. In particular, the F1-score reaches 64.38 percent by our ATR framework, significantly higher than 44.76 percent based on the state-of-the-art algorithm [28]. PMID:26539846

  5. Deep Human Parsing with Active Template Regression.

    PubMed

    Liang, Xiaodan; Liu, Si; Shen, Xiaohui; Yang, Jianchao; Liu, Luoqi; Dong, Jian; Lin, Liang; Yan, Shuicheng

    2015-12-01

    In this work, the human parsing task, namely decomposing a human image into semantic fashion/body regions, is formulated as an active template regression (ATR) problem, where the normalized mask of each fashion/body item is expressed as the linear combination of the learned mask templates, and then morphed to a more precise mask with the active shape parameters, including position, scale and visibility of each semantic region. The mask template coefficients and the active shape parameters together can generate the human parsing results, and are thus called the structure outputs for human parsing. The deep Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) is utilized to build the end-to-end relation between the input human image and the structure outputs for human parsing. More specifically, the structure outputs are predicted by two separate networks. The first CNN network is with max-pooling, and designed to predict the template coefficients for each label mask, while the second CNN network is without max-pooling to preserve sensitivity to label mask position and accurately predict the active shape parameters. For a new image, the structure outputs of the two networks are fused to generate the probability of each label for each pixel, and super-pixel smoothing is finally used to refine the human parsing result. Comprehensive evaluations on a large dataset well demonstrate the significant superiority of the ATR framework over other state-of-the-arts for human parsing. In particular, the F1-score reaches 64.38 percent by our ATR framework, significantly higher than 44.76 percent based on the state-of-the-art algorithm [28].

  6. Age‐related neuromuscular changes affecting human vastus lateralis

    PubMed Central

    Piasecki, M.; Ireland, A.; Stashuk, D.; Hamilton‐Wright, A.; Jones, D. A.

    2015-01-01

    Key points Skeletal muscle size and strength decline in older age.The vastus lateralis, a large thigh muscle, undergoes extensive neuromuscular remodelling in healthy ageing, as characterized by a loss of motor neurons, enlargement of surviving motor units and instability of neuromuscular junction transmission.The loss of motor axons and changes to motor unit potential transmission precede a clinically‐relevant loss of muscle mass and function. Abstract The anterior thigh muscles are particularly susceptible to muscle loss and weakness during ageing, although how this is associated with changes to neuromuscular structure and function in terms of motor unit (MU) number, size and MU potential (MUP) stability remains unclear. Intramuscular (I.M.) and surface electromyographic signals were recorded from the vastus lateralis (VL) during voluntary contractions held at 25% maximal knee extensor strength in 22 young (mean ± SD, 25.3 ± 4.8 years) and 20 physically active older men (71.4 ± 6.2 years). MUP size, firing rates, phases, turns and near fibre (NF) jiggle were determined and MU number estimates (MUNEs) were made by comparing average surface MUP with maximal electrically‐evoked compound muscle action potentials. Quadriceps cross‐sectional area was measured by magnetic resonance imaging. In total, 379 individual MUs were sampled in younger men and 346 in older men. Compared to the MU in younger participants, those in older participants had 8% lower firing rates and larger MUP size (+25%), as well as increased complexity, as indicated by phases (+13%), turns (+20%) and NF jiggle (+11%) (all P < 0.0005). The MUNE values (derived from the area of muscle in range of the surface‐electrode) in older participants were ∼70% of those in the young (P < 0.05). Taking into consideration the 30% smaller cross‐sectional area of the VL, the total number of MUs in the older muscles was between 50% and 60% lower compared to in young muscles (P < 0

  7. Detection of cardiac activity changes from human speech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tovarek, Jaromir; Partila, Pavol; Voznak, Miroslav; Mikulec, Martin; Mehic, Miralem

    2015-05-01

    Impact of changes in blood pressure and pulse from human speech is disclosed in this article. The symptoms of increased physical activity are pulse, systolic and diastolic pressure. There are many methods of measuring and indicating these parameters. The measurements must be carried out using devices which are not used in everyday life. In most cases, the measurement of blood pressure and pulse following health problems or other adverse feelings. Nowadays, research teams are trying to design and implement modern methods in ordinary human activities. The main objective of the proposal is to reduce the delay between detecting the adverse pressure and to the mentioned warning signs and feelings. Common and frequent activity of man is speaking, while it is known that the function of the vocal tract can be affected by the change in heart activity. Therefore, it can be a useful parameter for detecting physiological changes. A method for detecting human physiological changes by speech processing and artificial neural network classification is described in this article. The pulse and blood pressure changes was induced by physical exercises in this experiment. The set of measured subjects was formed by ten healthy volunteers of both sexes. None of the subjects was a professional athlete. The process of the experiment was divided into phases before, during and after physical training. Pulse, systolic, diastolic pressure was measured and voice activity was recorded after each of them. The results of this experiment describe a method for detecting increased cardiac activity from human speech using artificial neural network.

  8. Integrated Extravehicular Activity Human Research Plan: 2016

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abercromby, Andrew F. J.; Ross, Amy J.; Cupples, J. Scott; Rajulu, Sudhakar; Norcross, Jason R.; Chappell, Steven P.

    2016-01-01

    Multiple organizations within NASA and outside of NASA fund and participate in research related to extravehicular activity (EVA). In October 2015, representatives of the EVA Office, the Crew and Thermal Systems Division (CTSD), and the Human Research Program (HRP) at NASA Johnson Space Center agreed on a formal framework to improve multi-year coordination and collaboration in EVA research. At the core of the framework is an Integrated EVA Human Research Plan and a process by which it will be annually reviewed and updated. The over-arching objective of the collaborative framework is to conduct multi-disciplinary cost-effective research that will enable humans to perform EVAs safely, effectively, comfortably, and efficiently, as needed to enable and enhance human space exploration missions. Research activities must be defined, prioritized, planned and executed to comprehensively address the right questions, avoid duplication, leverage other complementary activities where possible, and ultimately provide actionable evidence-based results in time to inform subsequent tests, developments and/or research activities. Representation of all appropriate stakeholders in the definition, prioritization, planning and execution of research activities is essential to accomplishing the over-arching objective. A formal review of the Integrated EVA Human Research Plan will be conducted annually. External peer review of all HRP EVA research activities including compilation and review of published literature in the EVA Evidence Report is will also continue at a frequency determined by HRP management. Coordination with stakeholders outside of the EVA Office, CTSD, and HRP is already in effect on a study-by-study basis; closer coordination on multi-year planning with other EVA stakeholders including academia is being actively pursued. Details of the current Integrated EVA Human Research Plan are presented including description of ongoing and planned research activities in the areas of

  9. Human telomerase: biogenesis, trafficking, recruitment, and activation.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Jens C; Cech, Thomas R

    2015-06-01

    Telomerase is the ribonucleoprotein enzyme that catalyzes the extension of telomeric DNA in eukaryotes. Recent work has begun to reveal key aspects of the assembly of the human telomerase complex, its intracellular trafficking involving Cajal bodies, and its recruitment to telomeres. Once telomerase has been recruited to the telomere, it appears to undergo a separate activation step, which may include an increase in its repeat addition processivity. This review covers human telomerase biogenesis, trafficking, and activation, comparing key aspects with the analogous events in other species.

  10. Emotional processing and rTMS: does inhibitory theta burst stimulation affect the human startle reflex?

    PubMed

    Vennewald, Nadja; Winter, Bernward; Limburg, Karina; Diemer, Julia; Notzon, Swantje; Fohrbeck, Inga; Arolt, Volker; Domschke, Katharina; Pauli, Paul; Zwanzger, Peter

    2016-10-01

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) enables the local and non-invasive modulation of cortical activity and has proved to achieve antidepressant effects. To a lesser extent, rTMS is investigated as a treatment option for anxiety disorders. As the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala represent key components of human emotion regulation, we investigated how prefrontally applied rTMS affects the responsiveness of the subcortical amygdala during a fear-relevant study paradigm to examine potential cortico-limbic effects. Sham-controlled, randomised inhibitory rTMS (continuous theta burst stimulation, TBS) was applied to 102 healthy subjects (female = 54) over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Subsequently, the emotion-potentiated (unpleasant, neutral, and pleasant International Affective Picture System pictures) acoustic startle response was investigated. Subjective anxiety ratings (anxiety sensitivity, trait and state anxiety) were considered. Picture category affected the startle magnitude as expected for both TBS intervention groups (highest startle response for unpleasant, lowest for pleasant pictures). However, no modulatory effects of TBS on startle potentiation were discerned. No significant interaction effects of TBS intervention, subjective anxiety ratings, and gender were identified. Interestingly, startle habituation was influenced by TBS intervention on a trend-level, with verum TBS leading to an accelerated habituation. We found no evidence for the hypothesis that prefrontal inhibitory TBS affects the responsiveness of the amygdala during the presentation of emotionally relevant stimuli in healthy subjects. Instead, we found accelerated habituation under verum TBS on a statistical trend-level. Hence, some preliminary hints for modulatory effects of inhibitory TBS on basic learning mechanisms could be found.

  11. Does the trematode Centrocestus formosanus affect the locomotory activity of the mollusc Melanoides tuberculatus?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Melanoides tuberculatus (Müller, 1774) (Thiaridae), an introduced gastropod mollusc with a wide geographical distribution in the Neotropics, is the intermediate host of the trematode Centrocestus formosanus (Nishigori, 1924) (Heterophyidae). This parasite is considered to be pathogenic to humans. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the locomotory activity of uninfected M. tuberculatus compared with those naturally infected with C. formosanus. Findings The locomotory activity of each mollusc was recorded using an image analysis biomonitoring system, Videomex-V ®, to evaluate and quantify the parameters of ‘Stereotypic’ and ‘Resting time’. The Generalized Estimating Equation analysis of locomotory activity of M. tuberculatus infected with C. formosanus revealed significant differences compared with uninfected molluscs for the parameters ‘Stereotypic time’ and ‘Resting time’ with a reduction of movement. The variations in the values of the monitoring intervals recorded showed a significant difference for the infected molluscs in the case of Stereotypic time, with an irregular locomotory activity pattern, as compared to that of uninfected molluscs. The analysis of the standard length of all molluscs did not exhibit any correlation with locomotory activity, showing that C. formosanus is able to alter the locomotory activity of its snail host regardless of the standard length. Conclusions The trematode C. formosanus affects the locomotory activity of the mollusc M. tuberculatus by reducing its movement and causing it to exhibit an irregular pattern of activity, both of which are independent of the snail's standard length. PMID:23574763

  12. Clouds caused by human activities: the anthropoclouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazon, Jordi; Costa, Marcel; Pino, David; Lorente, Jeroni

    2013-04-01

    The classification of clouds is based on the pioneering classification carried out by Howard (1804). In this classification, and also in the successive editions of the International Classification of Clouds published by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO, 1975, 1987) 10 basic cloud genera are included and described. In all cases, the cause that leads to the formation of clouds remains as a secondary issue. It is assumed that all of them are exclusively produced by natural mechanisms without any human intervention. However, aerosol and water vapour emissions produced by human activity may increase cloud formation having an increasing importance in the atmospheric energy budget and consequently in the earth's climate. Effectively, since the end of the Nineteenth century, human activity has been injecting large amounts of water vapour into the atmosphere, cloud condensation nuclei and hot air mainly generated in the combustion processes that under certain spatial and temporal conditions can enhance cloud formation. These anthropogenic aerosols are linked to the climate and the water cycle (Kaufman et al, 2002). The aim of this communication is to point out the anthropic origin of some clouds in the cloud classification. Several cases of the 7 basic genera cloud caused by human activities will be shown to discuss the importance of differentiating the origin of clouds in weather observations. This differentiation would improve the understanding the contribution of these clouds to climate change. To differentiate the clouds formed by human activity, we propose to use the prefix anthropo- before the scientific name (and a- before the abbreviation) in some of the 10 basic clouds defined by the International Classification of Clouds, those which could have an anthropic origin, and thus begin new data of cloud observations that could help future research to improve the effect of human activity in the troposphere.

  13. Affect and Subsequent Physical Activity: An Ambulatory Assessment Study Examining the Affect-Activity Association in a Real-Life Context

    PubMed Central

    Niermann, Christina Y. N.; Herrmann, Christian; von Haaren, Birte; van Kann, Dave; Woll, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Traditionally, cognitive, motivational, and volitional determinants have been used to explain and predict health behaviors such as physical activity. Recently, the role of affect in influencing and regulating health behaviors received more attention. Affects as internal cues may automatically activate unconscious processes of behavior regulation. The aim of our study was to examine the association between affect and physical activity in daily life. In addition, we studied the influence of the habit of being physically active on this relationship. An ambulatory assessment study in 89 persons (33.7% male, 25 to 65 years, M = 45.2, SD = 8.1) was conducted. Affect was assessed in the afternoon on 5 weekdays using smartphones. Physical activity was measured continuously objectively using accelerometers and subjectively using smartphones in the evening. Habit strength was assessed at the beginning of the diary period. The outcomes were objectively and subjectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) performed after work. Multilevel regression models were used to analyze the association between affect and after work MVPA. In addition, the cross-level interaction of habit strength and affect on after work MVPA was tested. Positive affect was positively related to objectively measured and self-reported after work MVPA: the greater the positive affect the more time persons subsequently spent on MVPA. An inverse relationship was found for negative affect: the greater the negative affect the less time persons spent on MVPA. The cross-level interaction effect was significant only for objectively measured MVPA. A strong habit seems to strengthen both the positive influence of positive affect and the negative influence of negative affect. The results of this study confirm previous results and indicate that affect plays an important role for the regulation of physical activity behavior in daily life. The results for positive affect were consistent. However, in

  14. Affect and Subsequent Physical Activity: An Ambulatory Assessment Study Examining the Affect-Activity Association in a Real-Life Context.

    PubMed

    Niermann, Christina Y N; Herrmann, Christian; von Haaren, Birte; van Kann, Dave; Woll, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Traditionally, cognitive, motivational, and volitional determinants have been used to explain and predict health behaviors such as physical activity. Recently, the role of affect in influencing and regulating health behaviors received more attention. Affects as internal cues may automatically activate unconscious processes of behavior regulation. The aim of our study was to examine the association between affect and physical activity in daily life. In addition, we studied the influence of the habit of being physically active on this relationship. An ambulatory assessment study in 89 persons (33.7% male, 25 to 65 years, M = 45.2, SD = 8.1) was conducted. Affect was assessed in the afternoon on 5 weekdays using smartphones. Physical activity was measured continuously objectively using accelerometers and subjectively using smartphones in the evening. Habit strength was assessed at the beginning of the diary period. The outcomes were objectively and subjectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) performed after work. Multilevel regression models were used to analyze the association between affect and after work MVPA. In addition, the cross-level interaction of habit strength and affect on after work MVPA was tested. Positive affect was positively related to objectively measured and self-reported after work MVPA: the greater the positive affect the more time persons subsequently spent on MVPA. An inverse relationship was found for negative affect: the greater the negative affect the less time persons spent on MVPA. The cross-level interaction effect was significant only for objectively measured MVPA. A strong habit seems to strengthen both the positive influence of positive affect and the negative influence of negative affect. The results of this study confirm previous results and indicate that affect plays an important role for the regulation of physical activity behavior in daily life. The results for positive affect were consistent. However, in

  15. Positive affect modulates activity in the visual cortex to images of high calorie foods.

    PubMed

    Killgore, William D S; Yurgelun-Todd, Deborah A

    2007-05-01

    Activity within the visual cortex can be influenced by the emotional salience of a stimulus, but it is not clear whether such cortical activity is modulated by the affective status of the individual. This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the relationship between affect ratings on the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule and activity within the occipital cortex of 13 normal-weight women while viewing images of high calorie and low calorie foods. Regression analyses revealed that when participants viewed high calorie foods, Positive Affect correlated significantly with activity within the lingual gyrus and calcarine cortex, whereas Negative Affect was unrelated to visual cortex activity. In contrast, during presentations of low calorie foods, affect ratings, regardless of valence, were unrelated to occipital cortex activity. These findings suggest a mechanism whereby positive affective state may affect the early stages of sensory processing, possibly influencing subsequent perceptual experience of a stimulus. PMID:17464782

  16. Exposure to Phthalates Affects Calcium Handling and Intercellular Connectivity of Human Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes

    PubMed Central

    Posnack, Nikki Gillum; Idrees, Rabia; Ding, Hao; Jaimes III, Rafael; Stybayeva, Gulnaz; Karabekian, Zaruhi; Laflamme, Michael A.; Sarvazyan, Narine

    2015-01-01

    Background The pervasive nature of plastics has raised concerns about the impact of continuous exposure to plastic additives on human health. Of particular concern is the use of phthalates in the production of flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products. Di-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate (DEHP) is a commonly used phthalate ester plasticizer that imparts flexibility and elasticity to PVC products. Recent epidemiological studies have reported correlations between urinary phthalate concentrations and cardiovascular disease, including an increased risk of high blood pressure and coronary risk. Yet, there is little direct evidence linking phthalate exposure to adverse effects in human cells, including cardiomyocytes. Methods and Results The effect of DEHP on calcium handling was examined using monolayers of gCAMP3 human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes, which contain an endogenous calcium sensor. Cardiomyocytes were exposed to DEHP (5 – 50 μg/mL), and calcium transients were recorded using a Zeiss confocal imaging system. DEHP exposure (24 – 72 hr) had a negative chronotropic and inotropic effect on cardiomyocytes, increased the minimum threshold voltage required for external pacing, and modified connexin-43 expression. Application of Wy-14,643 (100 μM), an agonist for the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha, did not replicate DEHP’s effects on calcium transient morphology or spontaneous beating rate. Conclusions Phthalates can affect the normal physiology of human cardiomyocytes, including DEHP elicited perturbations in cardiac calcium handling and intercellular connectivity. Our findings call for additional studies to clarify the extent by which phthalate exposure can alter cardiac function, particularly in vulnerable patient populations who are at risk for high phthalate exposure. PMID:25799571

  17. Scaling behavior of online human activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Zhi-Dan; Cai, Shi-Min; Huang, Junming; Fu, Yan; Zhou, Tao

    2012-11-01

    The rapid development of the Internet technology enables humans to explore the web and record the traces of online activities. From the analysis of these large-scale data sets (i.e., traces), we can get insights about the dynamic behavior of human activity. In this letter, the scaling behavior and complexity of human activity in the e-commerce, such as music, books, and movies rating, are comprehensively investigated by using the detrended fluctuation analysis technique and the multiscale entropy method. Firstly, the interevent time series of rating behaviors of these three types of media show similar scaling properties with exponents ranging from 0.53 to 0.58, which implies that the collective behaviors of rating media follow a process embodying self-similarity and long-range correlation. Meanwhile, by dividing the users into three groups based on their activities (i.e., rating per unit time), we find that the scaling exponents of the interevent time series in the three groups are different. Hence, these results suggest that a stronger long-range correlations exist in these collective behaviors. Furthermore, their information complexities vary in the three groups. To explain the differences of the collective behaviors restricted to the three groups, we study the dynamic behavior of human activity at the individual level, and find that the dynamic behaviors of a few users have extremely small scaling exponents associated with long-range anticorrelations. By comparing the interevent time distributions of four representative users, we can find that the bimodal distributions may bring forth the extraordinary scaling behaviors. These results of the analysis of the online human activity in the e-commerce may not only provide insight into its dynamic behaviors but may also be applied to acquire potential economic interest.

  18. Active tectonics and human survival strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Geoffrey; Bailey, Geoffrey; Sturdy, Derek

    1994-10-01

    Tectonic movements continuously remould the surface of Earth in response to plate motion. Yet such deformation is rarely taken into account when assessing landscape change and its impact on human land use, except perhaps as an occasional hazard to human life or a temporary disruption in the longer term patterns of human history. However, active tectonics also create and sustain landscapes that can be beneficial to human survival, forming a complex topography of potentially fertile sedimentary basins enclosed by mountain barriers that can facilitate the control and explotation of food resources, especially animal prey. We discuss the tectonic history of northwest Greece and show how the Paleolithic sites of the region are located to take advantage of tectonically created features at both a local and a regional scale. We suggest that the association of significant concentrations of early Paleolithic sites with tectonically acitve regions is not coincidental and that on the longer time spans of human biological evolution, active tectonics has been an important selective agent contributing to the development of the human species as an intelligent predator.

  19. Schedule-induced locomotor activity in humans.

    PubMed

    Muller, P G; Crow, R E; Cheney, C D

    1979-01-01

    In two experiments, humans received tokens either on a fixed-interval schedule for plunger pulling or various response-nondependent fixed-time schedules ranging from 16 to 140 seconds. Locomotor activity such as walking, shifting weight, or pacing was recorded in quarters of the interreinforcement interval to examine the induced characteristics of that behavior in humans. While performance was variable, several characteristics were present that have counterparts in experiments with nonhumans during periodic schedules of food reinforcement: (a) first quarter rates, and sometimes overall rates, of locomotor activity were greater during intervals that terminated in a visual stimulus and token delivery than those without: (b) overall rates of locomotor activity were greater during fixed-time 16-second schedules than during fixed-time 80- or 140-second schedules; (c) rates of locomotor activity decreased during the interreinforcement intervals; (d) locomotor activity was induced by response-dependent and response-nondependent token delivery. These results showed that the rate and temporal pattern of locomotor activity can be schedule-induced in humans. PMID:429959

  20. Recognition of Intensive Valence and Arousal Affective States via Facial Electromyographic Activity in Young and Senior Adults

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hang; Walter, Steffen; Hrabal, David; Rukavina, Stefanie; Limbrecht-Ecklundt, Kerstin; Hoffman, Holger; Traue, Harald C.

    2016-01-01

    Background Research suggests that interaction between humans and digital environments characterizes a form of companionship in addition to technical convenience. To this effect, humans have attempted to design computer systems able to demonstrably empathize with the human affective experience. Facial electromyography (EMG) is one such technique enabling machines to access to human affective states. Numerous studies have investigated the effects of valence emotions on facial EMG activity captured over the corrugator supercilii (frowning muscle) and zygomaticus major (smiling muscle). The arousal emotion, specifically, has not received much research attention, however. In the present study, we sought to identify intensive valence and arousal affective states via facial EMG activity. Methods Ten blocks of affective pictures were separated into five categories: neutral valence/low arousal (0VLA), positive valence/high arousal (PVHA), negative valence/high arousal (NVHA), positive valence/low arousal (PVLA), and negative valence/low arousal (NVLA), and the ability of each to elicit corresponding valence and arousal affective states was investigated at length. One hundred and thirteen participants were subjected to these stimuli and provided facial EMG. A set of 16 features based on the amplitude, frequency, predictability, and variability of signals was defined and classified using a support vector machine (SVM). Results We observed highly accurate classification rates based on the combined corrugator and zygomaticus EMG, ranging from 75.69% to 100.00% for the baseline and five affective states (0VLA, PVHA, PVLA, NVHA, and NVLA) in all individuals. There were significant differences in classification rate accuracy between senior and young adults, but there was no significant difference between female and male participants. Conclusion Our research provides robust evidences for recognition of intensive valence and arousal affective states in young and senior adults. These

  1. The Human Activity of Evaluation Theorizing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alkin, Marvin C.; Ellett, Frederick, Jr.

    Theorizing about evaluation should be conceptualized as a human activity governed by certain strategies and principles. The theories advanced by various evaluators have changed over the years, thus illustrating ten principles of evaluation. The starting point for theory development or modification is self-reflection and review of one's own…

  2. Food & Fitness. Directory. Human Nutrition Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.

    Activities of the following regulatory and food service agencies of the Department of Agriculture are described: (1) Agricultural Research Service; (2) Cooperative State Research Service; (3) Economic Research Service; (4) Human Nutrition Information Service; (5) Office of Grants and Program Systems; (6) Office of International Cooperation and…

  3. MEASURING CHOLINESTERASE ACTIVITY IN HUMAN SALIVA

    EPA Science Inventory

    To assess the potential for using saliva in pesticide biomonitoring, the consistency of cholinesterase activity in human saliva collected over time was examined. In this pilot study, saliva was collected from 20 healthy adults once per week for 5 consecutive weeks using 2 differe...

  4. MEASURING CHOLINESTERASE ACTIVITY IN HUMAN SALIVA.

    EPA Science Inventory

    To assess the potential for using saliva in pesticide biomonitoring, the consistency of cholinesterase activity in human saliva collected over time was examined. In this pilot study, saliva was collected from 20 healthy adults once per week for 5 consecutive weeks using 2 differe...

  5. Active change detection by pigeons and humans.

    PubMed

    Hagmann, Carl Erick; Cook, Robert G

    2013-10-01

    Detecting change is vital to both human and nonhuman animals' interactions with the environment. Using the go/no-go dynamic change detection task, we examined the capacity of four pigeons to detect changes in brightness of an area on a computer display. In contrast to our prior research, we reversed the response contingencies so that the animals had to actively inhibit pecking upon detecting change in brightness rather than its constancy. Testing eight rates of change revealed that this direct report change detection contingency produced results equivalent to the earlier indirect procedure. Corresponding tests with humans suggested that the temporal dynamics of detecting change were similar for both species. The results indicate the mechanisms of change detection in both pigeons and humans are organized in similar ways, although limitations in the operations of working memory may prevent pigeons from integrating information over the same time scale as humans.

  6. Higher-order Multivariable Polynomial Regression to Estimate Human Affective States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Jie; Chen, Tong; Liu, Guangyuan; Yang, Jiemin

    2016-03-01

    From direct observations, facial, vocal, gestural, physiological, and central nervous signals, estimating human affective states through computational models such as multivariate linear-regression analysis, support vector regression, and artificial neural network, have been proposed in the past decade. In these models, linear models are generally lack of precision because of ignoring intrinsic nonlinearities of complex psychophysiological processes; and nonlinear models commonly adopt complicated algorithms. To improve accuracy and simplify model, we introduce a new computational modeling method named as higher-order multivariable polynomial regression to estimate human affective states. The study employs standardized pictures in the International Affective Picture System to induce thirty subjects’ affective states, and obtains pure affective patterns of skin conductance as input variables to the higher-order multivariable polynomial model for predicting affective valence and arousal. Experimental results show that our method is able to obtain efficient correlation coefficients of 0.98 and 0.96 for estimation of affective valence and arousal, respectively. Moreover, the method may provide certain indirect evidences that valence and arousal have their brain’s motivational circuit origins. Thus, the proposed method can serve as a novel one for efficiently estimating human affective states.

  7. Higher-order Multivariable Polynomial Regression to Estimate Human Affective States.

    PubMed

    Wei, Jie; Chen, Tong; Liu, Guangyuan; Yang, Jiemin

    2016-01-01

    From direct observations, facial, vocal, gestural, physiological, and central nervous signals, estimating human affective states through computational models such as multivariate linear-regression analysis, support vector regression, and artificial neural network, have been proposed in the past decade. In these models, linear models are generally lack of precision because of ignoring intrinsic nonlinearities of complex psychophysiological processes; and nonlinear models commonly adopt complicated algorithms. To improve accuracy and simplify model, we introduce a new computational modeling method named as higher-order multivariable polynomial regression to estimate human affective states. The study employs standardized pictures in the International Affective Picture System to induce thirty subjects' affective states, and obtains pure affective patterns of skin conductance as input variables to the higher-order multivariable polynomial model for predicting affective valence and arousal. Experimental results show that our method is able to obtain efficient correlation coefficients of 0.98 and 0.96 for estimation of affective valence and arousal, respectively. Moreover, the method may provide certain indirect evidences that valence and arousal have their brain's motivational circuit origins. Thus, the proposed method can serve as a novel one for efficiently estimating human affective states. PMID:26996254

  8. Higher-order Multivariable Polynomial Regression to Estimate Human Affective States

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Jie; Chen, Tong; Liu, Guangyuan; Yang, Jiemin

    2016-01-01

    From direct observations, facial, vocal, gestural, physiological, and central nervous signals, estimating human affective states through computational models such as multivariate linear-regression analysis, support vector regression, and artificial neural network, have been proposed in the past decade. In these models, linear models are generally lack of precision because of ignoring intrinsic nonlinearities of complex psychophysiological processes; and nonlinear models commonly adopt complicated algorithms. To improve accuracy and simplify model, we introduce a new computational modeling method named as higher-order multivariable polynomial regression to estimate human affective states. The study employs standardized pictures in the International Affective Picture System to induce thirty subjects’ affective states, and obtains pure affective patterns of skin conductance as input variables to the higher-order multivariable polynomial model for predicting affective valence and arousal. Experimental results show that our method is able to obtain efficient correlation coefficients of 0.98 and 0.96 for estimation of affective valence and arousal, respectively. Moreover, the method may provide certain indirect evidences that valence and arousal have their brain’s motivational circuit origins. Thus, the proposed method can serve as a novel one for efficiently estimating human affective states. PMID:26996254

  9. A recent evolutionary change affects a regulatory element in the human FOXP2 gene.

    PubMed

    Maricic, Tomislav; Günther, Viola; Georgiev, Oleg; Gehre, Sabine; Curlin, Marija; Schreiweis, Christiane; Naumann, Ronald; Burbano, Hernán A; Meyer, Matthias; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; de la Rasilla, Marco; Rosas, Antonio; Gajovic, Srecko; Kelso, Janet; Enard, Wolfgang; Schaffner, Walter; Pääbo, Svante

    2013-04-01

    The FOXP2 gene is required for normal development of speech and language. By isolating and sequencing FOXP2 genomic DNA fragments from a 49,000-year-old Iberian Neandertal and 50 present-day humans, we have identified substitutions in the gene shared by all or nearly all present-day humans but absent or polymorphic in Neandertals. One such substitution is localized in intron 8 and affects a binding site for the transcription factor POU3F2, which is highly conserved among vertebrates. We find that the derived allele of this site is less efficient than the ancestral allele in activating transcription from a reporter construct. The derived allele also binds less POU3F2 dimers than POU3F2 monomers compared with the ancestral allele. Because the substitution in the POU3F2 binding site is likely to alter the regulation of FOXP2 expression, and because it is localized in a region of the gene associated with a previously described signal of positive selection, it is a plausible candidate for having caused a recent selective sweep in the FOXP2 gene.

  10. Interacting Physical and Biological Processes Affecting Nutrient Transport Through Human Dominated Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finlay, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    Human activities increasingly dominate biogeochemical cycles of limiting nutrients on Earth. Urban and agricultural landscapes represent the largest sources of excess nutrients that drive water quality degradation. The physical structure of both urban and agricultural watersheds has been extensively modified, and these changes have large impacts on water and nutrient transport. Despite strong physical controls over nutrient transport in human dominated landscapes, biological processes play important roles in determining the fates of both nitrogen and phosphorus. This talk uses examples from research in urban and agricultural watersheds in the Midwestern USA to illustrate interactions of physical and biological controls over nutrient cycles that have shifted nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) sources and cycling in unexpected ways in response to management changes. In urban watersheds, efforts to improve water quality have been hindered by legacy sources of phosphorus added to storm water through transport to drainage systems by vegetation. Similarly, reductions in field erosion in agricultural watersheds have not led to major reductions in phosphorus transport, because of continued release of biological sources of P. Where management of phosphorus has been most effective in reducing eutrophication of lakes, decreases in N removal processes have led to long term increases in N concentration and transport. Together, these examples show important roles for biological processes affecting nutrient movement in highly modified landscapes. Consideration of the downstream physical and biological responses of management changes are thus critical toward identification of actions that will most effectively reduce excess nutrients watersheds and coastal zones.

  11. Surface chemical functionalities affect the behavior of human adipose-derived stem cells in vitro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xujie; Feng, Qingling; Bachhuka, Akash; Vasilev, Krasimir

    2013-04-01

    This study examines the effect of surface chemical functionalities on the behavior of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) in vitro. Plasma polymerized films rich in amine (sbnd NH2), carboxyl (sbnd COOH) and methyl (sbnd CH3), were generated on hydroxyapatite (HAp) substrates. The surface chemical functionalities were characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The ability of different substrates to absorb proteins was evaluated. The results showed that substrates modified with hydrophilic functional group (sbnd COOH and sbnd NH2) can absorb more proteins than these modified with more hydrophobic functional group (sbnd CH3). The behavior of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) cultured on different substrates was investigated in vitro: cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) analysis was used to characterize cell proliferation, scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) analysis was used to characterize cell morphology and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity analysis was used to account for differentiation. The results of this study demonstrated that the sbnd NH2 modified surfaces encourage osteogenic differentiation; the sbnd COOH modified surfaces promote cell adhesion and spreading and the sbnd CH3 modified surfaces have the lowest ability to induce osteogenic differentiation. These findings confirmed that the surface chemical states of biomaterials can affect the behavior of hASCs in vitro.

  12. MEG brain activities reflecting affection for visual food stimuli.

    PubMed

    Kuriki, Shinya; Miyamura, Takahiro; Uchikawa, Yoshinori

    2010-01-01

    This study aimed to explore the modulation of alpha rhythm in response to food pictures with distinct affection values. We examined the method to discriminate subject's state, i.e., whether he/she liked the article of food or not, from MEG signals detected over the head. Pictures of familiar foods were used as affective stimuli, while those pictures with complementary color phase were used as non-affective stimuli. Alpha band signals in a narrow frequency window around the spectral peak of individual subjects were wavelet analyzed and phase-locked component to the stimulus onset was obtained as a complex number. The amplitude of the phase-locked component was averaged during 0-1 s after stimulus onset for 30 epochs in a measurement session and across 76 channels of MEG sensor. In statistical test of individual subjects, significant difference was found in the real part of the averaged phase-locked amplitude between the normal-color and reverse-color pictures. These results suggest that affective information processing of food pictures is reflected in the synchronized component of narrow band alpha rhythm. PMID:21096510

  13. Balancing Protein Stability and Activity in Cancer: A New Approach for Identifying Driver Mutations Affecting CBL Ubiquitin Ligase Activation.

    PubMed

    Li, Minghui; Kales, Stephen C; Ma, Ke; Shoemaker, Benjamin A; Crespo-Barreto, Juan; Cangelosi, Andrew L; Lipkowitz, Stanley; Panchenko, Anna R

    2016-02-01

    Oncogenic mutations in the monomeric Casitas B-lineage lymphoma (Cbl) gene have been found in many tumors, but their significance remains largely unknown. Several human c-Cbl (CBL) structures have recently been solved, depicting the protein at different stages of its activation cycle and thus providing mechanistic insight underlying how stability-activity tradeoffs in cancer-related proteins-may influence disease onset and progression. In this study, we computationally modeled the effects of missense cancer mutations on structures representing four stages of the CBL activation cycle to identify driver mutations that affect CBL stability, binding, and activity. We found that recurrent, homozygous, and leukemia-specific mutations had greater destabilizing effects on CBL states than random noncancer mutations. We further tested the ability of these computational models, assessing the changes in CBL stability and its binding to ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2, by performing blind CBL-mediated EGFR ubiquitination assays in cells. Experimental CBL ubiquitin ligase activity was in agreement with the predicted changes in CBL stability and, to a lesser extent, with CBL-E2 binding affinity. Two thirds of all experimentally tested mutations affected the ubiquitin ligase activity by either destabilizing CBL or disrupting CBL-E2 binding, whereas about one-third of tested mutations were found to be neutral. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that computational methods incorporating multiple protein conformations and stability and binding affinity evaluations can successfully predict the functional consequences of cancer mutations on protein activity, and provide a proof of concept for mutations in CBL. PMID:26676746

  14. Compensatory premotor activity during affective face processing in subclinical carriers of a single mutant Parkin allele

    PubMed Central

    Sack, Benjamin; Pohl, Anna; Münte, Thomas; Pramstaller, Peter; Klein, Christine; Binkofski, Ferdinand

    2012-01-01

    Patients with Parkinson's disease suffer from significant motor impairments and accompanying cognitive and affective dysfunction due to progressive disturbances of basal ganglia–cortical gating loops. Parkinson's disease has a long presymptomatic stage, which indicates a substantial capacity of the human brain to compensate for dopaminergic nerve degeneration before clinical manifestation of the disease. Neuroimaging studies provide evidence that increased motor-related cortical activity can compensate for progressive dopaminergic nerve degeneration in carriers of a single mutant Parkin or PINK1 gene, who show a mild but significant reduction of dopamine metabolism in the basal ganglia in the complete absence of clinical motor signs. However, it is currently unknown whether similar compensatory mechanisms are effective in non-motor basal ganglia–cortical gating loops. Here, we ask whether asymptomatic Parkin mutation carriers show altered patterns of brain activity during processing of facial gestures, and whether this might compensate for latent facial emotion recognition deficits. Current theories in social neuroscience assume that execution and perception of facial gestures are linked by a special class of visuomotor neurons (‘mirror neurons’) in the ventrolateral premotor cortex/pars opercularis of the inferior frontal gyrus (Brodmann area 44/6). We hypothesized that asymptomatic Parkin mutation carriers would show increased activity in this area during processing of affective facial gestures, replicating the compensatory motor effects that have previously been observed in these individuals. Additionally, Parkin mutation carriers might show altered activity in other basal ganglia–cortical gating loops. Eight asymptomatic heterozygous Parkin mutation carriers and eight matched controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging and a subsequent facial emotion recognition task. As predicted, Parkin mutation carriers showed significantly stronger

  15. 76 FR 65734 - Guidance for Industry on Evaluating the Safety of Flood-Affected Food Crops for Human Consumption...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-24

    ...-Affected Food Crops for Human Consumption; Availability AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS. ACTION... entitled ``Guidance for Industry: Evaluating the Safety of Flood-Affected Food Crops for Human Consumption... information on how to evaluate the safety of flood-affected food crops for human consumption. DATES:...

  16. The impacts of local human activities on the Antarctic environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tin, T.; Fleming, Z. L.; Hughes, K. A.; Ainley, D. G.; Convey, P.; Moreno, C. A.; Pfeiffer, S.; Scott, J.; Snape, I.

    2009-04-01

    An overview of a recently published review of the scientific literature from the past decade on the impacts of human activities on the Antarctic environment is presented. An assessment of the cumulative effects of scientists and accompanying base construction, tourists and fishery activities in Antarctica is timely given a decade since the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty came into force in 1998 and the increasing attention given to and human presence in Antarctica during this 2007-2009 IPY. A range of impacts has been identified at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Chemical contamination and sewage disposal on the continent have been found to be long-lived, with contemporary sewage management practices at many coastal stations insufficient to prevent local contamination. Human activities, particularly construction and transport, have affected Antarctic flora and fauna and a small number of non-indigenous plant and animal species has become established on some of the Antarctic Peninsula and sub Antarctic islands. There is little indication of recovery of overexploited fish stocks, and ramifications of fishing activity on bycatch species and the ecosystem could also be far-reaching. The Antarctic Treaty System and its instruments, in particular the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and the Environmental Protocol, provide a framework within which management of human activities take place. In order to ensure comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment, including its intrinsic, wilderness and scientific values in the face of the continuing expansion of human activities in Antarctica, a more effective implementation of a wide range of measures is essential. These include effective environmental impact assessments, long-term monitoring, mitigation measures for non-indigenous species, ecosystem-based management of living resources, and increased regulation of National Antarctic

  17. T Cell Activation Thresholds are Affected by Gravitational

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adams, Charley; Gonzalez, M.; Nelman-Gonzalez, M.

    1999-01-01

    T cells stimulated in space flight by various mitogenic signals show a dramatic reduction in proliferation and expression of early activation markers. Similar results are also obtained in a ground based model of microgravity, clinorotation, which provides a vector-averaged reduction of the apparent gravity on cells without significant shear force. Here we demonstrate that T cell inhibition is due to an increase in the required threshold for activation. Dose response curves indicate that cells activated during clinorotation require higher stimulation to achieve the same level of activation, as measured by CD69 expression. Interleukin 2 receptor expression, and DNA synthesis. The amount of stimulation necessary for 50% activation is 5 fold in the clinostat relative to static. Correlation of TCR internalization with activation also exhibit a dramatic right shift in clinorotation, demonstrating unequivocally that signal transduction mechanism independent of TCR triggering account for the increased activation threshold. Previous results from space flight experiments are consistent with the dose response curves obtained for clinorotation. Activation thresholds are important aspects of T cell memory, autoimmunity and tolerance Clinorotation is a useful, noninvasive tool for the study of cellular and biochemical event regulating T cell activation threshold and the effects of gravitation forces on these systems.

  18. Common multigenic activation in different human neoplasias.

    PubMed Central

    Hanania, N; Shaool, D; Harel, J; Wiels, J; Tursz, T

    1983-01-01

    It was previously shown that a common multigenic component, designated as tumor-specific DNA (tsDNA), was transcriptionally active in human lymphoid neoplasias and only slightly active, if at all, in normal lymphoid cells, including the Priess cell line immortalized by Epstein-Barr virus. In the Burkitt lymphoma-derived Raji cell line, tsDNA corresponded to 2500-3000 distinct transcription units, arbitrarily defined as encoding mRNA chains of 1000 kds each. In the present study, radioactive Raji cell tsDNA was isolated by a recycling procedure which eliminates transcribed DNA sequences common to both the Raji cell and the Priess cell, and was used as a probe for homologous transcripts. The major part of this probe could be hybridized to RNAs from all the human neoplasias studied: cultured cell lines derived from leukemias, malignant lymphomas or sarcomas, leukemic cells or solid tumors (sarcomas and carcinomas) recovered from patients. In contrast, only a minor portion of Raji cell tsDNA could be hybridized to RNAs from non-malignant cells, normal human lymphoid cells or fibroblasts grown in culture, fetal and chorioplacental tissues. It is concluded that a common multigenic set is activated in a wide variety of, and perhaps in all, human neoplasias. PMID:6315395

  19. Quiescence does not affect p53 and stress response by irradiation in human lung fibroblasts

    SciTech Connect

    Dai, Jiawen; Itahana, Koji; Baskar, Rajamanickam

    2015-02-27

    Cells in many organs exist in both proliferating and quiescent states. Proliferating cells are more radio-sensitive, DNA damage pathways including p53 pathway are activated to undergo either G{sub 1}/S or G{sub 2}/M arrest to avoid entering S and M phase with DNA damage. On the other hand, quiescent cells are already arrested in G{sub 0}, therefore there may be fundamental difference of irradiation response between proliferating and quiescent cells, and this difference may affect their radiosensitivity. To understand these differences, proliferating and quiescent human normal lung fibroblasts were exposed to 0.10–1 Gy of γ-radiation. The response of key proteins involved in the cell cycle, cell death, and metabolism as well as histone H2AX phosphorylation were examined. Interestingly, p53 and p53 phosphorylation (Ser-15), as well as the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p21 and p27, were induced similarly in both proliferating and quiescent cells after irradiation. Furthermore, the p53 protein half-life, and expression of cyclin A, cyclin E, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), Bax, or cytochrome c expression as well as histone H2AX phosphorylation were comparable after irradiation in both phases of cells. The effect of radioprotection by a glycogen synthase kinase 3β inhibitor on p53 pathway was also similar between proliferating and quiescent cells. Our results showed that quiescence does not affect irradiation response of key proteins involved in stress and DNA damage at least in normal fibroblasts, providing a better understanding of the radiation response in quiescent cells, which is crucial for tissue repair and regeneration. - Highlights: • p53 response by irradiation was similar between proliferating and quiescent cells. • Quiescent cells showed similar profiles of cell cycle proteins after irradiation. • Radioprotection of GSK-3β inhibitor caused similar effects between these cells. • Quiescence did not affect p53 response despite its

  20. Physical Activity Affects Brain Integrity in HIV + Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Ortega, Mario; Baker, Laurie M.; Vaida, Florin; Paul, Robert; Basco, Brian; Ances, Beau M.

    2015-01-01

    Prior research has suggested benefits of aerobic physical activity (PA) on cognition and brain volumes in HIV uninfected (HIV−) individuals, however, few studies have explored the relationships between PA and brain integrity (cognition and structural brain volumes) in HIV-infected (HIV +) individuals. Seventy HIV + individuals underwent neuropsychological testing, structural neuroimaging, laboratory tests, and completed a PA questionnaire, recalling participation in walking, running, and jogging activities over the last year. A PA engagement score of weekly metabolic equivalent (MET) hr of activity was calculated using a compendium of PAs. HIV + individuals were classified as physically active (any energy expended above resting expenditure, n = 22) or sedentary (n = 48). Comparisons of neuropsychological performance, grouped by executive and motor domains, and brain volumes were completed between groups. Physically active and sedentary HIV + individuals had similar demographic and laboratory values, but the active group had higher education (14.0 vs. 12.6 years, p = .034). Physically active HIV + individuals performed better on executive (p = .040, unadjusted; p = .043, adjusted) but not motor function (p = .17). In addition, among the physically active group the amount of physical activity (METs) positively correlated with executive (Pearson’s r = 0.45, p = 0.035) but not motor (r = 0.21; p = .35) performance. In adjusted analyses the physically active HIV + individuals had larger putamen volumes (p = .019). A positive relationship exists between PA and brain integrity in HIV + individuals. Results from the present study emphasize the importance to conduct longitudinal interventional investigation to determine if PA improves brain integrity in HIV + individuals. PMID:26581799

  1. Effects of current physical activity on affective response to exercise: physical and social-cognitive mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Magnan, Renee E; Kwan, Bethany M; Bryan, Angela D

    2013-01-01

    Affective responses during exercise are often important determinants of exercise initiation and maintenance. Current physical activity may be one individual difference that is associated with the degree to which individuals have positive (or negative) affective experiences during exercise. The objective of this study was to explore physical and cognitive explanations of the relationship between current activity status (more versus less active) and affective response during a 30-minute bout of moderate-intensity exercise. Participants reported their current level of physical activity, exercise self-efficacy and affect during a 30-minute bout of moderate-intensity exercise. More active individuals experienced higher levels of positive affect and tranquillity and lower levels of negative affect and fatigue during exercise. Multivariate models for each affective state indicated separate processes through which physical activity may be associated with changes in affect during exercise. These models indicate that affect experienced during physical activity is related to the current activity level and these relationships can be partially explained by the physical and cognitive factors explored in this study. Recommendations for future research to elucidate whether positive affective response to physical activity improves as a function of becoming more active over time are discussed.

  2. Pyoverdine and Proteases Affect the Response of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to Gallium in Human Serum

    PubMed Central

    Bonchi, Carlo; Frangipani, Emanuela; Imperi, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Gallium is an iron mimetic which has recently been repurposed as an antibacterial agent due to its capability to disrupt bacterial iron metabolism. In this study, the antibacterial activity of gallium nitrate [Ga(NO3)3] was investigated in complement-free human serum (HS) on 55 Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates from cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis patients. The susceptibility of P. aeruginosa to Ga(NO3)3 in HS was dependent on the bacterial ability to acquire iron from serum binding proteins (i.e., transferrin). The extent of serum protein degradation correlated well with P. aeruginosa growth in HS, while pyoverdine production did not. However, pyoverdine-deficient P. aeruginosa strains were unable to grow in HS and overcome iron restriction, albeit capable of releasing proteases. Predigestion of HS with proteinase K promoted the growth of all strains, irrespective of their ability to produce proteases and/or pyoverdine. The MICs of Ga(NO3)3 were higher in HS than in an iron-poor Casamino Acids medium, where proteolysis does not affect iron availability. Coherently, strains displaying high proteolytic activity were less susceptible to Ga(NO3)3 in HS. Our data support a model in which both pyoverdine and proteases affect the response of P. aeruginosa to Ga(NO3)3 in HS. The relatively high Ga(NO3)3 concentration required to inhibit the growth of highly proteolytic P. aeruginosa isolates in HS poses a limitation to the potential of Ga(NO3)3 in the treatment of P. aeruginosa bloodstream infections. PMID:26149986

  3. Pyoverdine and proteases affect the response of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to gallium in human serum.

    PubMed

    Bonchi, Carlo; Frangipani, Emanuela; Imperi, Francesco; Visca, Paolo

    2015-09-01

    Gallium is an iron mimetic which has recently been repurposed as an antibacterial agent due to its capability to disrupt bacterial iron metabolism. In this study, the antibacterial activity of gallium nitrate [Ga(NO3)3] was investigated in complement-free human serum (HS) on 55 Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates from cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis patients. The susceptibility of P. aeruginosa to Ga(NO3)3 in HS was dependent on the bacterial ability to acquire iron from serum binding proteins (i.e., transferrin). The extent of serum protein degradation correlated well with P. aeruginosa growth in HS, while pyoverdine production did not. However, pyoverdine-deficient P. aeruginosa strains were unable to grow in HS and overcome iron restriction, albeit capable of releasing proteases. Predigestion of HS with proteinase K promoted the growth of all strains, irrespective of their ability to produce proteases and/or pyoverdine. The MICs of Ga(NO3)3 were higher in HS than in an iron-poor Casamino Acids medium, where proteolysis does not affect iron availability. Coherently, strains displaying high proteolytic activity were less susceptible to Ga(NO3)3 in HS. Our data support a model in which both pyoverdine and proteases affect the response of P. aeruginosa to Ga(NO3)3 in HS. The relatively high Ga(NO3)3 concentration required to inhibit the growth of highly proteolytic P. aeruginosa isolates in HS poses a limitation to the potential of Ga(NO3)3 in the treatment of P. aeruginosa bloodstream infections.

  4. Pyoverdine and proteases affect the response of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to gallium in human serum.

    PubMed

    Bonchi, Carlo; Frangipani, Emanuela; Imperi, Francesco; Visca, Paolo

    2015-09-01

    Gallium is an iron mimetic which has recently been repurposed as an antibacterial agent due to its capability to disrupt bacterial iron metabolism. In this study, the antibacterial activity of gallium nitrate [Ga(NO3)3] was investigated in complement-free human serum (HS) on 55 Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates from cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis patients. The susceptibility of P. aeruginosa to Ga(NO3)3 in HS was dependent on the bacterial ability to acquire iron from serum binding proteins (i.e., transferrin). The extent of serum protein degradation correlated well with P. aeruginosa growth in HS, while pyoverdine production did not. However, pyoverdine-deficient P. aeruginosa strains were unable to grow in HS and overcome iron restriction, albeit capable of releasing proteases. Predigestion of HS with proteinase K promoted the growth of all strains, irrespective of their ability to produce proteases and/or pyoverdine. The MICs of Ga(NO3)3 were higher in HS than in an iron-poor Casamino Acids medium, where proteolysis does not affect iron availability. Coherently, strains displaying high proteolytic activity were less susceptible to Ga(NO3)3 in HS. Our data support a model in which both pyoverdine and proteases affect the response of P. aeruginosa to Ga(NO3)3 in HS. The relatively high Ga(NO3)3 concentration required to inhibit the growth of highly proteolytic P. aeruginosa isolates in HS poses a limitation to the potential of Ga(NO3)3 in the treatment of P. aeruginosa bloodstream infections. PMID:26149986

  5. Neuropeptide F peptides act through unique signaling pathways to affect cardiac activity.

    PubMed

    Setzu, M; Biolchini, M; Lilliu, A; Manca, M; Muroni, P; Poddighe, S; Bass, C; Angioy, A M; Nichols, R

    2012-02-01

    Elucidating how neuropeptides affect physiology may result in delineating peptidergic mechanisms and identifying antagonists for application in basic and translational science. Human neuropeptide Y (NPY) regulates cardiac activity; frequently invertebrates contain orthologs of vertebrate peptides. We report invertebrate NPY-like neuropeptide F (NPF) arrested the signal frequency of the slow phase of the cardiac cycle (EC50 = 1 pM); however, signal frequency of the fast phase was affected only minimally. Neuropeptide F decreased the duration of the slow phase by ~70% (EC50 = 0.6 pM), but increased the duration of the fast phase by ~57% (EC50 = 10nM). Short NPF-1 (sNPF-1) decreased the signal frequency of the slow phase by ~70% (EC50 = 9 nM); yet, signal frequency of the fast phase was unaffected. Short NPF-1 decreased the duration of the slow phase ~55% (EC50 ~50 nM), but increased the duration of the fast phase ~20% without dose dependency. Neuropeptide F and sNPF-1 increased isoelectric period duration. This novel report demonstrated NPY-like peptides are cardioactive but functionally unique. These data contribute to understanding how invertebrate orthologs affect cardiovascular activity. Dipteran fast and slow phases may be generated from separate pacemakers in the abdominal heart and in the anterior thoracocephalic aorta, respectively. Thus, our research suggests NPF and sNPF-1 act through different mechanisms to regulate cardiac activity. Invertebrate NPY-like peptides act in olfaction and feeding yet mechanisms which are associated with their cardioactive effects remain unknown; our work may provide evidence linking their roles in sensory response and cardiac activity.

  6. Neuropeptide F peptides act through unique signaling pathways to affect cardiac activity

    PubMed Central

    Setzu, M.; Biolchini, M.; Lilliu, A.; Manca, M.; Muroni, P.; Poddighe, S.; Bass, C.; Angioy, A.M.; Nichols, R.

    2012-01-01

    Elucidating how neuropeptides affect physiology may result in delineating peptidergic mechanisms and identifying antagonists for application in basic and translational science. Human neuropeptide Y (NPY) regulates cardiac activity; frequently invertebrates contain orthologs of vertebrate peptides. We report invertebrate NPY-like neuropeptide F (NPF) arrested the signal frequency of the slow phase of the cardiac cycle (EC50 = 1 pM); however, signal frequency of the fast phase was affected only minimally. Neuropeptide F decreased the duration of the slow phase by ~70% (EC50 = 0.6 pM), but increased the duration of the fast phase by ~57% (EC50 = 10 nM). Short NPF-1 (sNPF-1) decreased the signal frequency of the slow phase by ~70% (EC50 = 9 nM); yet, signal frequency of the fast phase was unaffected. Short NPF-1 decreased the duration of the slow phase ~55% (EC50 ~ 50 nM), but increased the duration of the fast phase ~20% without dose dependency. Neuropeptide F and sNPF-1 increased isoelectric period duration. This novel report demonstrated NPY-like peptides are cardioactive but functionally unique. These data contribute to understanding how invertebrate orthologs affect cardiovascular activity. Dipteran fast and slow phases may be generated from separate pacemakers in the abdominal heart and in the anterior thoracocephalic aorta, respectively. Thus, our research suggests NPF and sNPF-1 act through different mechanisms to regulate cardiac activity. Invertebrate NPY-like peptides act in olfaction and feeding yet mechanisms which are associated with their cardioactive effects remain unknown; our work may provide evidence linking their roles in sensory response and cardiac activity. PMID:22289500

  7. Modulators affecting the immune dialogue between human immune and colon cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Djaldetti, Meir; Bessler, Hanna

    2014-01-01

    The link between chronic inflammation and colorectal cancer has been well established. The events proceeding along tumorigenesis are complicated and involve cells activated at the cancer microenvironment, tumor infiltrating polymorphonuclears, immune cells including lymphocyte subtypes and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), as well as tumor-associated macrophages. The immune cells generate inflammatory cytokines, several of them playing a crucial role in tumorigenesis. Additional factors, such as gene expression regulated by cytokines, assembling of tumor growth- and transforming factors, accelerated angiogenesis, delayed apoptosis, contribute all to initiation, development and migration of tumor cells. Oxygen radical species originating from the inflammatory area promote cell mutation and cancer proliferation. Tumor cells may over-express pro-inflammatory mediators that in turn activate immune cells for inflammatory cytokines production. Consequently, an immune dialogue emerges between immune and cancer cells orchestrated through a number of activated molecular pathways. Cytokines, encompassing migration inhibitory factor, transforming growth factor beta 1, tumor necrosis factor-α, Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, IL-12, IL-17, IL-23 have been reported to be involved in human cancer development. Some cytokines, namely IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-22 and growth factors promote tumor development and metastasis, and inhibit apoptosis via activation of signal transducer activator transcription-3 transcription factor. Colon cancer environment comprises mesenchymal, endothelial and immune cells. Assessment of the interaction between components in the tumor environment and malignant cells requires a reconsideration of a few topics elucidating the role of chronic inflammation in carcinogenesis, the function of the immune cells expressed by inflammatory cytokine production, the immunomodulation of cancer cells and the existence of a cross-talk between immune and malignant

  8. 75 FR 62634 - Proposed Information Collection (Obligation to Report Factors Affecting Entitlement) Activity...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-12

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Obligation to Report Factors Affecting Entitlement) Activity... techniques or the use of other forms of information technology. Title: Obligation to Report Factors Affecting... entitlement factors. Individual factors such as income, marital status, and the beneficiary's number...

  9. 78 FR 46418 - Proposed Information Collection (Obligation To Report Factors Affecting Entitlement) Activity...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-31

    ... AFFAIRS Proposed Information Collection (Obligation To Report Factors Affecting Entitlement) Activity... techniques or the use of other forms of information technology. Title: Obligation to Report Factors Affecting... entitlement factors. Individual factors such as income, marital status, and the beneficiary's number...

  10. Luminal acetylcholine does not affect the activity of the CFTR in tracheal epithelia of pigs.

    PubMed

    Dittrich, Nikolaus P; Kummer, Wolfgang; Clauss, Wolfgang G; Fronius, Martin

    2015-11-01

    Fluid homeostasis mediated by the airway epithelium is required for proper lung function, and the CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) Cl(-) channel is crucial for these processes. Luminal acetylcholine (ACh) acts as an auto-/paracrine mediator to activate Cl(-) channels in airway epithelia and evidence exists showing that nicotinic ACh receptors activate CFTR in murine airway epithelia. The present study investigated whether or not luminal ACh regulates CFTR activity in airway epithelia of pigs, an emerging model for investigations of human airway disease and cystic fibrosis (CF) in particular. Transepithelial ion currents of freshly dissected pig tracheal preparations were measured with Ussing chambers. Application of luminal ACh (100 μM) induced an increase of the short-circuit current (I(SC)). The ACh effect was mimicked by muscarine and pilocarpine (100 μM each) and was sensitive to muscarinic receptor antagonists (atropine, 4-DAMP, pirenzepine). No changes of the I(SC) were observed by nicotine (100 μM) and ACh responses were not affected by nicotine or mecamylamine (25 μM). Luminal application of IBMX (I, 100 μM) and forskolin (F, 10 μM), increase the I(SC) and the I/F-induced current were decreased by the CFTR inhibitor GlyH-101 (GlyH, 50 μM) indicating increased CFTR activity by I/F. In contrast, GlyH did not affect the ACh-induced current, indicating that the ACh response does not involve the activation of the CFTR. Results from this study suggest that luminal ACh does not regulate the activity of the CFTR in tracheal epithelia of pigs which opposes observation from studies using mice airway epithelium.

  11. Luminal acetylcholine does not affect the activity of the CFTR in tracheal epithelia of pigs.

    PubMed

    Dittrich, Nikolaus P; Kummer, Wolfgang; Clauss, Wolfgang G; Fronius, Martin

    2015-11-01

    Fluid homeostasis mediated by the airway epithelium is required for proper lung function, and the CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) Cl(-) channel is crucial for these processes. Luminal acetylcholine (ACh) acts as an auto-/paracrine mediator to activate Cl(-) channels in airway epithelia and evidence exists showing that nicotinic ACh receptors activate CFTR in murine airway epithelia. The present study investigated whether or not luminal ACh regulates CFTR activity in airway epithelia of pigs, an emerging model for investigations of human airway disease and cystic fibrosis (CF) in particular. Transepithelial ion currents of freshly dissected pig tracheal preparations were measured with Ussing chambers. Application of luminal ACh (100 μM) induced an increase of the short-circuit current (I(SC)). The ACh effect was mimicked by muscarine and pilocarpine (100 μM each) and was sensitive to muscarinic receptor antagonists (atropine, 4-DAMP, pirenzepine). No changes of the I(SC) were observed by nicotine (100 μM) and ACh responses were not affected by nicotine or mecamylamine (25 μM). Luminal application of IBMX (I, 100 μM) and forskolin (F, 10 μM), increase the I(SC) and the I/F-induced current were decreased by the CFTR inhibitor GlyH-101 (GlyH, 50 μM) indicating increased CFTR activity by I/F. In contrast, GlyH did not affect the ACh-induced current, indicating that the ACh response does not involve the activation of the CFTR. Results from this study suggest that luminal ACh does not regulate the activity of the CFTR in tracheal epithelia of pigs which opposes observation from studies using mice airway epithelium. PMID:26286842

  12. Oxidative Activity of Heated Coal Affected by Antypirogens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torosyan, V. F.; Torosyan, E. S.; Borovikov, I. F.; Yakutova, V. A.

    2016-04-01

    The effect of antypirogens on chemical activity of heated coal is studied. It is proved that ammonium sulfate, calcium phosphate, calcium chloride, calcium nitrate and acid fluoride are the most effective antypirogens.

  13. Technology trends, energy prices affect worldwide rig activity

    SciTech Connect

    Rappold, K.

    1995-09-25

    The major worldwide offshore rig markets have improved slightly this year, while the onshore markets generally lagged slightly. Offshore rig utilization rates have remained strong worldwide, with some areas reaching nearly 100%. Total worldwide offshore rig (jack ups, semisubmersible, drillships, submersibles, and barges) utilization was about 86%. Offshore drilling activity is driven primarily by oil and natural gas price expectations. Natural gas prices tend to drive North American offshore drilling activity, including the shallow waters in the Gulf of Mexico. International offshore drilling activity and deepwater projects in the Gulf of Mexico are more closely tied to oil prices. The paper discusses US rig count, directional drilling activity, jack up rig demand, semisubmersibles demand, rig replacement costs, and new construction.

  14. Effects of aircraft noise on human activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arnoult, M. D.; Gilfillan, L. G.

    1983-01-01

    The effects of aircrft noise on human activities was investigated by developing a battery of tasks (1) representative of a range of human activities and (2) sensitive to the disruptive effects of noise. The noise used were recordings of jet aircraft and helicopter sounds at three lvels of loudness--60, 70, and 80 dB(A). Experiment 1 investigated 12 different cognitive tasks, along with two intelligibility tasks included to validate that the noises were being effective. Interference with intelligibility was essentially the same as found in the research literature, but only inconsistent effects were found on either accuracy or latency of performance on the cognitive tasks. When the tasks were grouped into four categories (Intelligibility, Matching, Verbal, and Arithmetic), reliable differences in rated annoyingness of the noises were related to the task category and to the type of noise (jet or helicopter).

  15. Assessing the impact of human activities on British Columbia's estuaries.

    PubMed

    Robb, Carolyn K

    2014-01-01

    The world's marine and coastal ecosystems are under threat and single-sector management efforts have failed to address those threats. Scientific consensus suggests that management should evolve to focus on ecosystems and their human, ecological, and physical components. Estuaries are recognized globally as one of the world's most productive and most threatened ecosystems and many estuarine areas in British Columbia (BC) have been lost or degraded. To help prioritize activities and areas for regional management efforts, spatial information on human activities that adversely affect BC's estuaries was compiled. Using statistical analyses, estuaries were assigned to groups facing related threats that could benefit from similar management. The results show that estuaries in the most populated marine ecosections have the highest biological importance but also the highest impacts and the lowest levels of protection. This research is timely, as it will inform ongoing marine planning, land acquisition, and stewardship efforts in BC.

  16. ACTIVITIES OF HUMAN GENIOGLOSSUS MOTOR UNITS

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, E. Fiona

    2011-01-01

    Upper airway muscles play an important role in regulating airway lumen and in increasing the ability of the pharynx to remain patent in the face of subatmospheric intraluminal pressures produced during inspiration. Due to the considerable technical challenges associated with recording from muscles of the upper airway, much of the experimental work conducted in human subjects has centered on recording respiratory-related activities of the extrinsic tongue protudor muscle, the genioglossus (GG). The GG is one of eight muscles that invest the human tongue (Abd-El-Malek, 1939). All eight muscles are innervated by the hypoglossal nerve (cranial nerve XII) the cell bodies of which are located in the hypoglossal motor nucleus (HMN) of the caudal medulla. Much of the earlier work on the respiratory-related activity of XII motoneurons was based on recordings obtained from single motor axons dissected from the whole XII nerve or from whole muscle GG EMG recordings. Detailed information regarding respiratory-related GG motor unit activities was lacking until as recently as 2006. This paper examines key findings that have emerged from the last decade of work conducted in human subjects. Wherever appropriate, these results are compared with results obtained from in vitro and in vivo studies conducted in non-human mammals. The review is written with the objective of facilitating some discussion and some new thoughts regarding future research directions. The material is framed around four topics: a) Motor unit type, b) Rate coding and recruitment, c) Motor unit activity patterns, and d) A compartment based view of pharyngeal airway control. PMID:21558022

  17. Repeating spatial activations in human entorhinal cortex.

    PubMed

    Miller, Jonathan F; Fried, Itzhak; Suthana, Nanthia; Jacobs, Joshua

    2015-04-20

    The ability to remember and navigate spatial environments is critical for everyday life. A primary mechanism by which the brain represents space is through hippocampal place cells, which indicate when an animal is at a particular location. An important issue is understanding how the hippocampal place-cell network represents specific properties of the environment, such as signifying that a particular position is near a doorway or that another position is near the end of a corridor. The entorhinal cortex (EC), as the main input to the hippocampus, may play a key role in coding these properties because it contains neurons that activate at multiple related positions per environment. We examined the diversity of spatial coding across the human medial temporal lobe by recording neuronal activity during virtual navigation of an environment containing four similar paths. Neurosurgical patients performed this task as we recorded from implanted microelectrodes, allowing us to compare the human neuronal representation of space with that of animals. EC neurons activated in a repeating manner across the environment, with individual cells spiking at the same relative location across multiple paths. This finding indicates that EC cells represent non-specific information about location relative to an environment's geometry, unlike hippocampal place cells, which activate at particular random locations. Given that spatial navigation is considered to be a model of how the brain supports non-spatial episodic memory, these findings suggest that EC neuronal activity is used by the hippocampus to represent the properties of different memory episodes.

  18. Activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-{alpha} enhances fatty acid oxidation in human adipocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Joo-Young; Hashizaki, Hikari; Goto, Tsuyoshi; Sakamoto, Tomoya; Takahashi, Nobuyuki; Kawada, Teruo

    2011-04-22

    Highlights: {yields} PPAR{alpha} activation increased mRNA expression levels of adipocyte differentiation marker genes and GPDH activity in human adipocytes. {yields} PPAR{alpha} activation also increased insulin-dependent glucose uptake in human adipocytes. {yields} PPAR{alpha} activation did not affect lipid accumulation in human adipocytes. {yields} PPAR{alpha} activation increased fatty acid oxidation through induction of fatty acid oxidation-related genes in human adipocytes. -- Abstract: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-{alpha} (PPAR{alpha}) is a key regulator for maintaining whole-body energy balance. However, the physiological functions of PPAR{alpha} in adipocytes have been unclarified. We examined the functions of PPAR{alpha} using human multipotent adipose tissue-derived stem cells as a human adipocyte model. Activation of PPAR{alpha} by GW7647, a potent PPAR{alpha} agonist, increased the mRNA expression levels of adipocyte differentiation marker genes such as PPAR{gamma}, adipocyte-specific fatty acid-binding protein, and lipoprotein lipase and increased both GPDH activity and insulin-dependent glucose uptake level. The findings indicate that PPAR{alpha} activation stimulates adipocyte differentiation. However, lipid accumulation was not changed, which is usually observed when PPAR{gamma} is activated. On the other hand, PPAR{alpha} activation by GW7647 treatment induced the mRNA expression of fatty acid oxidation-related genes such as CPT-1B and AOX in a PPAR{alpha}-dependent manner. Moreover, PPAR{alpha} activation increased the production of CO{sub 2} and acid soluble metabolites, which are products of fatty acid oxidation, and increased oxygen consumption rate in human adipocytes. The data indicate that activation of PPAR{alpha} stimulates both adipocyte differentiation and fatty acid oxidation in human adipocytes, suggesting that PPAR{alpha} agonists could improve insulin resistance without lipid accumulation in adipocytes. The expected

  19. Does lunisolar gravitational tide affect the activity of animals?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deshcherevskii, A. V.; Sidorin, A. Ya.

    2010-12-01

    Multiyear time series obtained by the continuous instrumental monitoring of the electrical activity (EA) of weakly electric fish Gnathonemus leopoldianus and the motor activity (MA) of the freshwater catfish Hoplosternum thoracatum and the cockroach Blaberus craniifer are compared to the parameters of the lunisolar gravitational tide. These curves are observed to be very similar for a large number of time intervals. However, a more detailed analysis shows this to be only a superficial resemblance caused by the closeness of the periods of diurnal and semidiurnal rhythms of bioindicator activity (the dominant rhythms in EA and MA patterns) and the periods of main gravitational tidal waves. It is concluded that the lunisolar gravitational tide has no significant effect on animal behavior in our experiment.

  20. The brain's emotional foundations of human personality and the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales.

    PubMed

    Davis, Kenneth L; Panksepp, Jaak

    2011-10-01

    Six of the primary-process subcortical brain emotion systems - SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, CARE, GRIEF and PLAY - are presented as foundational for human personality development, and hence as a potentially novel template for personality assessment as in the Affective Neurosciences Personality Scales (ANPS), described here. The ANPS was conceptualized as a potential clinical research tool, which would help experimentalists and clinicians situate subjects and clients in primary-process affective space. These emotion systems are reviewed in the context of a multi-tiered framing of consciousness spanning from primary affect, which encodes biological valences, to higher level tertiary (thought mediated) processing. Supporting neuroscience research is presented along with comparisons to Cloninger's Temperament and Character Inventory and the Five Factor Model (FFM). Suggestions are made for grounding the internal structure of the FFM on the primal emotional systems recognized in affective neuroscience, which may promote substantive dialog between human and animal research traditions. Personality is viewed in the context of Darwinian "continuity" with the inherited subcortical brain emotion systems being foundational, providing major forces for personality development in both humans and animals, and providing an affective infrastructure for an expanded five factor descriptive model applying to normal and clinical human populations as well as mammals generally. Links with ontogenetic and epigenetic models of personality development are also presented. Potential novel clinical applications of the CARE maternal-nurturance system and the PLAY system are also discussed.

  1. Low-relief landscape modeling with human activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Q.; Kumar, P.; Anders, A. M.

    2015-12-01

    Intensively managed landscapes (IMLs) in the Midwestern United States have been shaped by repeated glacial events over geologic time scales followed by rapid human modifications for agriculture and artificial drainage that were overlaid on extremely low gradient stream networks. These landscapes are heavily modified by agriculture, artificial drainage, deforestation, urbanization, and wetland destruction. Channel head extension and periodic dredging for channel straightening not only strongly affected hydrologic and geomorphologic response, but also fundamentally alter the energy consumption in the whole river basin. However, it is unclear how the landscape consumes and responds to the extra energy from human activities. Therefore, we evaluate the present-day dynamics of river network from the perspective of of geomorphic equilibrium, hydrological response, and the rate of energy dissipation. Then, we simulate the landscape evolution to discover the tendency of the system. We find that channel head extension and straightening increases the rate of energy dissipation and pushes the river network further away from equilibrium condition. From our numerical model simulation, extending and maintaining the ditches in the river network can cause large ridge migration, river network redistribution, and enlargement of the drainage basin area. Our research demonstrates how the river basin responds to human activities in glaciated landscape, and how it is likely to behave with artificial modifications on the topography in the future. We attribute the legacy to drainage basin reorganization and theorized that humans can have a lasting impact on the landscape even after active management has ceased.

  2. Activation of human factor IX (Christmas factor).

    PubMed

    Di Scipio, R G; Kurachi, K; Davie, E W

    1978-06-01

    Human Factor IX (Christmas factor) is a single-chain plasma glycoprotein (mol wt 57,000) that participates in the middle phase of the intrinsic pathway of blood coagulation. It is present in plasma as a zymogen and is converted to a serine protease, Factor IXabeta, by Factor XIa (activated plasma thromboplastin antecedent) in the presence of calcium ions. In the activation reaction, two internal peptide bonds are hydrolyzed in Factor IX. These cleavages occur at a specific arginyl-alanine peptide bond and a specific arginyl-valine peptide bond. This results in the release of an activation peptide (mol wt approximately equal to 11,000) from the internal region of the precursor molecule and the generation of Factor IXabeta (mol wt approximately equal to 46,000). Factor IXabeta is composed of a light chain (mol wt approximately equal to 18,000) and a heavy chain (mol wt approximately equal to 28,000), and these chains are held together by a disulfide bond(s). The light chain originates from the amino terminal portion of the precursor molecule and has an amino terminal sequence of Tyr-Asn-Ser-Gly-Lys. The heavy chain originates from the carboxyl terminal region of the precursor molecule and contains an amino terminal sequence of Val-Val-Gly-Gly-Glu. The heavy chain of Factor IXabeta also contains the active site sequence of Phe-Cys-Ala-Gly-Phe-His-Glu-Gly-Arg-Asp-Ser-Cys-Gln-Gly-Asp-SER-Gly-Gly-Pro. The active site serine residue is shown in capital letters. Factor IX is also converted to Factor IXaalpha by a protease from Russell's viper venom. This activation reaction, however, occurs in a single step and involves only the cleavage of the internal arginyl-valine peptide bond. Human Factor IXabeta was inhibited by human antithrombin III by the formation of a one-to-one complex of enzyme and inhibitor. In this reaction, the inhibitor was tightly bound to the heavy chain of the enzyme. These data indicate that the mechanism of activation of human Factor IX and its

  3. Toward understanding how the lactone moiety of discodermolide affects activity.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Simon J; Sundermann, Kurt F; Burlingame, Mark A; Myles, David C; Freeze, B Scott; Xian, Ming; Brouard, Ignacio; Smith, Amos B

    2005-05-11

    A series of simplified discodermolide analogues have been designed and synthesized in an attempt to understand the role of the lactone ring. These synthetic efforts have led to an unsubstituted butyrolactone 9 being generated, which shows improved activity over the natural product.

  4. Early life stress affects limited regional brain activity in depression.

    PubMed

    Du, Lian; Wang, Jingjie; Meng, Ben; Yong, Na; Yang, Xiangying; Huang, Qingling; Zhang, Yan; Yang, Lingling; Qu, Yuan; Chen, Zhu; Li, Yongmei; Lv, Fajin; Hu, Hua

    2016-05-03

    Early life stress (ELS) can alter brain function and increases the risk of major depressive disorder (MDD) in later life. This study investigated whether ELS contributes to differences in regional brain activity between MDD patients and healthy controls (HC), as measured by amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF)/fractional (f)ALFF. Eighteen first-episode, treatment-naïve MDD patients and HC were assessed with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. We compared ALFF/fALFF between MDD patients and HC, with or without controlling for ELS, and determined whether ELS level was correlated with regional brain activity in each group. After regressing out ELS, we found that ALFF increased in bilateral amygdala and left orbital/cerebellum, while fALFF decreased in left inferior temporal and right middle frontal gyri in MDD patients relative to controls. ELS positively correlated with regional activity in the left cerebellum in MDD and in the right post-central/inferior temporal/superior frontal cingulate, inferior frontal gyrus and bilateral cerebellum in HC. Our findings indicate that there is only very limited region showing correlation between ELS and brain activity in MDD, while diverse areas in HC, suggesting ELS has few impacts on MDD patients.

  5. Early life stress affects limited regional brain activity in depression

    PubMed Central

    Du, Lian; Wang, Jingjie; Meng, Ben; Yong, Na; Yang, Xiangying; Huang, Qingling; Zhang, Yan; Yang, Lingling; Qu, Yuan; Chen, Zhu; Li, Yongmei; Lv, Fajin; Hu, Hua

    2016-01-01

    Early life stress (ELS) can alter brain function and increases the risk of major depressive disorder (MDD) in later life. This study investigated whether ELS contributes to differences in regional brain activity between MDD patients and healthy controls (HC), as measured by amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF)/fractional (f)ALFF. Eighteen first-episode, treatment-naïve MDD patients and HC were assessed with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. We compared ALFF/fALFF between MDD patients and HC, with or without controlling for ELS, and determined whether ELS level was correlated with regional brain activity in each group. After regressing out ELS, we found that ALFF increased in bilateral amygdala and left orbital/cerebellum, while fALFF decreased in left inferior temporal and right middle frontal gyri in MDD patients relative to controls. ELS positively correlated with regional activity in the left cerebellum in MDD and in the right post-central/inferior temporal/superior frontal cingulate, inferior frontal gyrus and bilateral cerebellum in HC. Our findings indicate that there is only very limited region showing correlation between ELS and brain activity in MDD, while diverse areas in HC, suggesting ELS has few impacts on MDD patients. PMID:27138376

  6. [Theoretical analysis of factors affecting heat exchange stability of human body with environment].

    PubMed

    Wu, Q; Wang, X

    1998-06-01

    Life could not be normal without the heat produced by metabolism of human body being transmitted into environment. This paper discussed the ways of heat exchange of human body with the environment, and analyzed their effects on the stability of heat exchange theoretically. In addition, factors that affects the stability of heat exchange were studied. The results indicate that the environmental temperature is the most important factor.

  7. Antibacterial activity of human natural killer cells

    PubMed Central

    1989-01-01

    The in vitro effects of human NK cells on viability of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria was investigated. PBLs depleted of glass- adherent cells showed a significant antibacterial activity that was increased as the concentration of NK cells became higher. Leu-11- enriched cells exhibited the most efficient bactericidal activity. Stimulation of NK cells with staphylococcal enterotoxin B for 16 h produced a significant increase in the antibacterial activity of all NK cells tested. The antibacterial activity of monocyte-depleted cells and Leu-11-enriched cells was also enhanced after culturing in vitro for 16- 24 h without exogenous cytokines. Dependence of the antibacterial activity on the presence of serum in the culture medium was not found. Ultrastructural studies revealed close contact between NK cell membranes and bacteria, no evidence of phagocytosis, and extracellular bacterial ghosts, after incubation at 37 degrees C. Supernatants from purified NK cells exhibited potent bactericidal activity with kinetics and target specificity similar to that of effector cells. These results document the potent antibacterial activity of purified NK cells and suggest an extracellular mechanism of killing. PMID:2642532

  8. How absorbed hydrogen affects the catalytic activity of transition metals.

    PubMed

    Aleksandrov, Hristiyan A; Kozlov, Sergey M; Schauermann, Swetlana; Vayssilov, Georgi N; Neyman, Konstantin M

    2014-12-01

    Heterogeneous catalysis is commonly governed by surface active sites. Yet, areas just below the surface can also influence catalytic activity, for instance, when fragmentation products of catalytic feeds penetrate into catalysts. In particular, H absorbed below the surface is required for certain hydrogenation reactions on metals. Herein, we show that a sufficient concentration of subsurface hydrogen, H(sub) , may either significantly increase or decrease the bond energy and the reactivity of the adsorbed hydrogen, H(ad) , depending on the metal. We predict a representative reaction, ethyl hydrogenation, to speed up on Pd and Pt, but to slow down on Ni and Rh in the presence of H(sub) , especially on metal nanoparticles. The identified effects of subsurface H on surface reactivity are indispensable for an atomistic understanding of hydrogenation processes on transition metals and interactions of hydrogen with metals in general.

  9. Factors affecting the adsorption of xenon on activated carbon

    SciTech Connect

    Underhill, D.W.; DiCello, D.C.; Scaglia, L.A.; Watson, J.A.

    1986-08-01

    The presence of water vapor was found to interfere strongly with the dynamic adsorption of /sup 133/Xe on coconut-base activated charcoal. The percent loss in the xenon adsorption coefficient was similar to values reported earlier for the adsorption of krypton on humidified charcoal. Attempts to increase the adsorption of xenon by (a) using a petroleum-based adsorbent with an extremely high surface area and (b) by impregnation of the adsorbent with iodine were not successful.

  10. Seasonal Pacing - Match Importance Affects Activity in Professional Soccer

    PubMed Central

    Link, Daniel; de Lorenzo, Michael F.

    2016-01-01

    This research explores the influence of match importance on player activity in professional soccer. Therefore, we used an observational approach and analyzed 1,211 matches of German Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga. The importance measurement employed is based on post season consequences of teams involved in a match. This means, if a match result could potentially influence the final rank, and this rank would lead to different consequences for a team, such as qualification for Champions League opposed to qualification for Europe League, then this match is classified as important; otherwise not. Activity was quantified by TOTAL DISTANCE COVERED, SPRINTS, FAST RUNS, DUELS, FOULS and ATTEMPTS. Running parameters were recorded using a semi-automatic optical tracking system, while technical variables were collected by professional data loggers. Based on our importance classification, low important matches occurred at the beginning of round 29. A two-way ANOVA indicates significantly increased FAST RUNS (+4%, d = 0.3), DUELS (+16%, d = 1.0) and FOULS (+36%, d = 1.2) in important matches compared to low important ones. For FAST RUNS and FOULS, this effect only exists in Bundesliga. A comparison of the two leagues show that TOTAL DISTANCE COVERED (+3%, d = 0.9), SPRINTS (+25%, d = 1.4) and FAST RUNS (+15%, d = 1.4) are higher compared to 2nd Bundesliga, whilst FOULS is less in Bundesliga (-7%, d = 0.3). No difference in player activity was found between matches at the beginning of a season (round 1–6) and at the end of a season (round 29–34). We conclude that match importance influences player activity in German professional soccer. The most reasonable explanation is a conscious or unconscious pacing strategy, motivated by preserving abilities or preventing injury. Since this tendency mainly exists in Bundesliga, this may suggest that more skilled players show a higher awareness for the need of pacing. PMID:27281051

  11. Seasonal Pacing - Match Importance Affects Activity in Professional Soccer.

    PubMed

    Link, Daniel; de Lorenzo, Michael F

    2016-01-01

    This research explores the influence of match importance on player activity in professional soccer. Therefore, we used an observational approach and analyzed 1,211 matches of German Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga. The importance measurement employed is based on post season consequences of teams involved in a match. This means, if a match result could potentially influence the final rank, and this rank would lead to different consequences for a team, such as qualification for Champions League opposed to qualification for Europe League, then this match is classified as important; otherwise not. Activity was quantified by TOTAL DISTANCE COVERED, SPRINTS, FAST RUNS, DUELS, FOULS and ATTEMPTS. Running parameters were recorded using a semi-automatic optical tracking system, while technical variables were collected by professional data loggers. Based on our importance classification, low important matches occurred at the beginning of round 29. A two-way ANOVA indicates significantly increased FAST RUNS (+4%, d = 0.3), DUELS (+16%, d = 1.0) and FOULS (+36%, d = 1.2) in important matches compared to low important ones. For FAST RUNS and FOULS, this effect only exists in Bundesliga. A comparison of the two leagues show that TOTAL DISTANCE COVERED (+3%, d = 0.9), SPRINTS (+25%, d = 1.4) and FAST RUNS (+15%, d = 1.4) are higher compared to 2nd Bundesliga, whilst FOULS is less in Bundesliga (-7%, d = 0.3). No difference in player activity was found between matches at the beginning of a season (round 1-6) and at the end of a season (round 29-34). We conclude that match importance influences player activity in German professional soccer. The most reasonable explanation is a conscious or unconscious pacing strategy, motivated by preserving abilities or preventing injury. Since this tendency mainly exists in Bundesliga, this may suggest that more skilled players show a higher awareness for the need of pacing.

  12. Factors affecting daily activities of patients with cerebral infarction

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Peng; Zhou, Cheng-ye; Zhang, Ying; Wang, Yun-feng; Zou, Chang-lin

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Stroke is the leading cause of death and long-term disability. This study was undertaken to investigate the factors influencing daily activities of patients with cerebral infarction so as to take interventional measures earlier to improve their daily activities. METHODS: A total of 149 patients with first-episode cerebral infarction were recruited into this prospective study. They were admitted to the Encephalopathy Center, Department of Neurology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical College in Zhejiang Province from August 2008 to December 2008. The baseline characteristics of the patients and cerebral infarction risk factors on the first day of admission were recorded. White blood cell (WBC) count, plasma glucose (PG), and many others of laboratory targets were collected in the next morning. Barthel index (BI) was calculated at 2 weeks and 3 months respectively after onset of the disease at the outpatient clinic or by telephone call. Lung infection, urinary tract infection and atrial fibrillation if any were recorded on admission. The National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores and the GCS scores were recorded within 24 hours on and after admission, at the second week, and at the third month after the onset of cerebral infarction respectively. RESULTS: The factors of BI at 2 weeks and 3 months after onset were the initial PG level, WBC count and initial NIHSS scores. Besides, urinary tract infection on admission was also the factor for BI at 3 months. CONCLUSION: Active measures should be taken to control these factors to improve the daily activities of patients with cerebral infarction. PMID:25214953

  13. Seasonal Pacing - Match Importance Affects Activity in Professional Soccer.

    PubMed

    Link, Daniel; de Lorenzo, Michael F

    2016-01-01

    This research explores the influence of match importance on player activity in professional soccer. Therefore, we used an observational approach and analyzed 1,211 matches of German Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga. The importance measurement employed is based on post season consequences of teams involved in a match. This means, if a match result could potentially influence the final rank, and this rank would lead to different consequences for a team, such as qualification for Champions League opposed to qualification for Europe League, then this match is classified as important; otherwise not. Activity was quantified by TOTAL DISTANCE COVERED, SPRINTS, FAST RUNS, DUELS, FOULS and ATTEMPTS. Running parameters were recorded using a semi-automatic optical tracking system, while technical variables were collected by professional data loggers. Based on our importance classification, low important matches occurred at the beginning of round 29. A two-way ANOVA indicates significantly increased FAST RUNS (+4%, d = 0.3), DUELS (+16%, d = 1.0) and FOULS (+36%, d = 1.2) in important matches compared to low important ones. For FAST RUNS and FOULS, this effect only exists in Bundesliga. A comparison of the two leagues show that TOTAL DISTANCE COVERED (+3%, d = 0.9), SPRINTS (+25%, d = 1.4) and FAST RUNS (+15%, d = 1.4) are higher compared to 2nd Bundesliga, whilst FOULS is less in Bundesliga (-7%, d = 0.3). No difference in player activity was found between matches at the beginning of a season (round 1-6) and at the end of a season (round 29-34). We conclude that match importance influences player activity in German professional soccer. The most reasonable explanation is a conscious or unconscious pacing strategy, motivated by preserving abilities or preventing injury. Since this tendency mainly exists in Bundesliga, this may suggest that more skilled players show a higher awareness for the need of pacing. PMID:27281051

  14. The nucleoporin Nup153 affects spindle checkpoint activity due to an association with Mad1

    PubMed Central

    Shimi, Takeshi

    2010-01-01

    The nucleoporin Nup153 is known to play pivotal roles in nuclear import and export in interphase cells and as the cell transitions into mitosis, Nup153 is involved in nuclear envelope breakdown. In this study, we demonstrate that the interaction of Nup153 with the spindle assembly checkpoint protein Mad1 is important in the regulation of the spindle checkpoint. Overexpression of human Nup153 in HeLa cells leads to the appearance of multinucleated cells and induces the formation of multipolar spindles. Importantly, it causes inactivation of the spindle checkpoint due to hypophosphorylation of Mad1. Depletion of Nup153 using RNA interference results in the decline of Mad1 at nuclear pores during interphase and more significantly causes a delayed dissociation of Mad1 from kinetochores in metaphase and an increase in the number of unresolved midbodies. In the absence of Nup153 the spindle checkpoint remains active. In vitro studies indicate direct binding of Mad1 to the N-terminal domain of Nup153. Importantly, Nup153 binding to Mad1 affects Mad1's phosphorylation status, but not its ability to interact with Mad2. Our data suggest that Nup153 levels regulate the localization of Mad1 during the metaphase/anaphase transition thereby affecting its phoshorylation status and in turn spindle checkpoint activity and mitotic exit. PMID:21327106

  15. Mycoplasma arthritidis mitogen up-regulates human NK cell activity.

    PubMed Central

    D'Orazio, J A; Cole, B C; Stein-Streilein, J

    1996-01-01

    While the effects of superantigens on T lymphocytes are well characterized, how superantigens interact with other immune cells is less clear. This report examines the effects of Mycoplasma arthritidis mitogen (MAM) on human natural killer (NK) cell activity. Incubation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) with MAM for 16 to 20 h augmented NK cytotoxicity (against K562) in a dose-dependent manner (P < or = 0.05). Superantigen-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, an activity of superantigen-activated cytotoxic T cells, was not involved in lysis of K562 cells because the erythroleukemic tumor target cells expressed no class II major histocompatibility complex by fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis. Kinetic experiments showed that the largest increase in NK activity induced by MAM occurred within 48 h. Incubation with MAM caused a portion of NK cells to become adherent to tissue culture flasks, a quality associated with activation, and augmented NK activity was found in both adherent and nonadherent subpopulations. Experiments using cytokine-specific neutralizing antibodies showed that interleukin-2 contributed to enhancement of the NK activity observed in superantigen-stimulated PBMC. Interestingly, MAM was able to augment NK lysis of highly purified NK (CD56+) cells in the absence of other immune cells in 9 of 12 blood specimens, with the augmented lytic activity ranging from 110 to 170% of unstimulated NK activity. In summary, data presented in this report show for the first time that MAM affects human NK cells directly by increasing their lytic capacity and indirectly in PBMC as a consequence of cytokines produced by T cells. Results of this work suggest that, in vivo, one consequence of interaction with superantigen-secreting microorganisms may be up-regulation of NK lytic activity. These findings may have clinical application as a means of generating augmented NK effector cells useful in the immunotherapy of parasitic infections or neoplasms. PMID

  16. [Lysosomal glycosidase activity in cultured human fibroblasts].

    PubMed

    Beliaeva, I D; Ivleva, T S; Vidershaĭn, G Ia

    1984-11-01

    A study was made of the activity of 3 lysosomal glycosidases -beta-D-galactosidase (K. P. 3.2.1.23), alpha-L-fucosidase (K. P. 3.2.1.51), N-acetyl-beta-D-hexosoaminidase (K. P. 3.2.1.52) depending on the time after subcultivation and duration of the passage of human skin embryonal and postembryonal fibroblasts. It was established that changes in the specific activity of the enzymes should be calculated with reference to the cell rather than to protein whose amount might vary considerably. It was also found that for measuring the specific activity of enzymes, of great importance are the procedures of cell removal from the base layer (by mechanical scraping off or by trypsin solution) and the regimen of the homogenization of cell preparations.

  17. Nonproteolytic neuroprotection by human recombinant tissue plasminogen activator.

    PubMed

    Kim, Y H; Park, J H; Hong, S H; Koh, J Y

    1999-04-23

    Human recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) may benefit ischemic stroke patients by dissolving clots. However, independent of thrombolysis, tPA may also have deleterious effects on neurons by promoting excitotoxicity. Zinc neurotoxicity has been shown to be an additional key mechanism in brain injuries. Hence, if tPA affects zinc neurotoxicity, this may provide additional insights into its effect on neuronal death. Independent of its proteolytic action, tPA markedly attenuated zinc-induced cell death in cortical culture, and, when injected into cerebrospinal fluid, also reduced kainate seizure-induced hippocampal neuronal death in adult rats.

  18. Lability of potentially toxic elements in soils affected by smelting activities.

    PubMed

    Popescu, I; Biasioli, M; Ajmone-Marsan, F; Stănescu, R

    2013-01-01

    Determination of total concentration of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in soil is not a reliable tool for evaluating potential exposure risk for humans. PTE lability (EDTA, SBET and solution extraction) and chemical speciation (BCR sequential extraction) were investigated for Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn, as well as how these could be affected by flooding in soils polluted by smelting activities. The flooding experiment was performed in pots from which soil solution was extracted at different time intervals using Rhizon Moisture Samplers. After experiments, the soil was again subjected to the previous extractions (EDTA, SBET, and BCR) in order to reveal the changes which occurred during anoxia. From the results we can conclude that PTE lability is very high and flooding caused the increase in their mobility up to 100% (for bioaccessible Pb). The experiment demonstrated that temporary reducing conditions can increase the risk of contaminants passing to other environmental compartments and the food chain.

  19. Lability of potentially toxic elements in soils affected by smelting activities.

    PubMed

    Popescu, I; Biasioli, M; Ajmone-Marsan, F; Stănescu, R

    2013-01-01

    Determination of total concentration of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in soil is not a reliable tool for evaluating potential exposure risk for humans. PTE lability (EDTA, SBET and solution extraction) and chemical speciation (BCR sequential extraction) were investigated for Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn, as well as how these could be affected by flooding in soils polluted by smelting activities. The flooding experiment was performed in pots from which soil solution was extracted at different time intervals using Rhizon Moisture Samplers. After experiments, the soil was again subjected to the previous extractions (EDTA, SBET, and BCR) in order to reveal the changes which occurred during anoxia. From the results we can conclude that PTE lability is very high and flooding caused the increase in their mobility up to 100% (for bioaccessible Pb). The experiment demonstrated that temporary reducing conditions can increase the risk of contaminants passing to other environmental compartments and the food chain. PMID:23127724

  20. Streptomycin affects the growth and photochemical activity of the alga Chlorella vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Perales-Vela, Hugo Virgilio; García, Roberto Velasco; Gómez-Juárez, Evelyn Alicia; Salcedo-Álvarez, Martha Ofelia; Cañizares-Villanueva, Rosa Olivia

    2016-10-01

    Antibiotics are increasingly being used in human and veterinary medicine, as well as pest control in agriculture. Recently, their emergence in the aquatic environment has become a global concern. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of streptomycin on growth and photosynthetic activity of Chlorella vulgaris after 72h exposure. We found that growth, photosynthetic activity and the content of the D1 protein of photosystem II decreased. Analysis of chlorophyll a fluorescence emission shows a reduction in the energy transfer between the antenna complex and reaction center. Also the activity of the oxygen evolution complex and electron flow between QA and QB were significantly reduced; in contrast, we found an increase in the reduction rate of the acceptor side of photosystem I. The foregoing can be attributed to the inhibition of the synthesis of the D1 protein and perhaps other coded chloroplast proteins that are part of the electron transport chain which are essential for the transformation of solar energy in the photosystems. We conclude that micromolar concentrations of streptomycin can affect growth and photosynthetic activity of Chlorella vulgaris. The accumulation of antibiotics in the environment can become an ecological problem for primary producers in the aquatic environment. PMID:27344399

  1. Streptomycin affects the growth and photochemical activity of the alga Chlorella vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Perales-Vela, Hugo Virgilio; García, Roberto Velasco; Gómez-Juárez, Evelyn Alicia; Salcedo-Álvarez, Martha Ofelia; Cañizares-Villanueva, Rosa Olivia

    2016-10-01

    Antibiotics are increasingly being used in human and veterinary medicine, as well as pest control in agriculture. Recently, their emergence in the aquatic environment has become a global concern. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of streptomycin on growth and photosynthetic activity of Chlorella vulgaris after 72h exposure. We found that growth, photosynthetic activity and the content of the D1 protein of photosystem II decreased. Analysis of chlorophyll a fluorescence emission shows a reduction in the energy transfer between the antenna complex and reaction center. Also the activity of the oxygen evolution complex and electron flow between QA and QB were significantly reduced; in contrast, we found an increase in the reduction rate of the acceptor side of photosystem I. The foregoing can be attributed to the inhibition of the synthesis of the D1 protein and perhaps other coded chloroplast proteins that are part of the electron transport chain which are essential for the transformation of solar energy in the photosystems. We conclude that micromolar concentrations of streptomycin can affect growth and photosynthetic activity of Chlorella vulgaris. The accumulation of antibiotics in the environment can become an ecological problem for primary producers in the aquatic environment.

  2. Artificial Box C/D RNAs Affect Pre-mRNA Maturation in Human Cells

    PubMed Central

    Stepanov, Grigoriy A.; Semenov, Dmitry V.; Savelyeva, Anna V.; Kuligina, Elena V.; Koval, Olga A.; Rabinov, Igor V.; Richter, Vladimir A.

    2013-01-01

    Box C/D small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) are known to guide the 2′-O-ribose methylation of nucleotides in eukaryotic ribosomal RNAs and small nuclear RNAs. Recently snoRNAs are predicted to regulate posttranscriptional modifications of pre-mRNA. To expand understanding of the role of snoRNAs in control of gene expression, in this study we tested the ability of artificial box C/D RNAs to affect the maturation of target pre-mRNA. We found that transfection of artificial box C/D snoRNA analogues directed to HSPA8 pre-mRNAs into human cells induced suppression of the target mRNA expression in a time- and dose-dependent manner. The artificial box C/D RNA directed to the branch point adenosine of the second intron, as well as the analogue directed to the last nucleotide of the second exon of the HSPA8 pre-mRNA caused the most prominent influence on the level of HSPA8 mRNAs. Neither box D nor the ability to direct 2′-O-methylation of nucleotides in target RNA was essential for the knockdown activity of artificial snoRNAs. Inasmuch as artificial box C/D RNAs decreased viability of transfected human cells, we propose that natural snoRNAs as well as their artificial analogues can influence the maturation of complementary pre-mRNA and can be effective regulators of vital cellular processes. PMID:23607094

  3. Bisphosphonates modulate vital functions of human osteoblasts and affect their interactions with breast cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Tatjana; Teufel, Ingrid; Geiger, Konstanze; Vater, Yvonne; Aicher, Wilhelm K; Klein, Gerd; Fehm, Tanja

    2013-07-01

    Bisphosphonates (BPs) are in clinical use for the treatment of breast cancer patients with bone metastases. Their anti-resorptive effect is mainly explained by inhibition of osteoclast activity, but recent evidence also points to a direct action of BPs on bone-forming osteoblasts. However, the mechanisms how BPs influence osteoblasts and their interactions with breast cancer cells are still poorly characterized. Human osteoblasts isolated from bone specimens were characterized in depth by their expression of osteogenic marker genes. The influence of the nitrogen-containing BPs zoledronate (Zol), ibandronate (Iban), and pamidronate (Pam) on molecular and cellular functions of osteoblasts was assessed focusing on cell proliferation and viability, apoptosis, cytokine secretion, and osteogenic-associated genes. Furthermore, effects of BPs on osteoblast-breast tumor cell interactions were examined in an established in vitro model system. The BPs Zol and Pam inhibited cell viability of osteoblasts. This effect was mediated by an induction of caspase-dependent apoptosis in osteoblasts. By interfering with the mevalonate pathway, Zol also reduces the proliferation of osteoblasts. The expression of phenotypic markers of osteogenic differentiation was altered by Zol and Pam. In addition, both BPs strongly influenced the secretion of the chemokine CCL2 by osteoblasts. Breast cancer cells also responded to Zol and Pam with a reduced cell adhesion to osteoblast-derived extracellular matrix molecules and with a decreased migration in response to osteoblast-secreted factors. BPs revealed prominent effects on human osteoblasts. Zol and Pam as the most potent BPs affected not only the expression of osteogenic markers, osteoblast viability, and proliferation but also important osteoblast-tumor cell interactions. Changing the osteoblast metabolism by BPs modulates migration and adhesion of breast cancer cells as well. PMID:23807419

  4. Bioaerosols from a Food Waste Composting Plant Affect Human Airway Epithelial Cell Remodeling Genes

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Ming-Wei; Lee, Chung-Ru; Hung, Hsueh-Fen; Teng, Kuo-Sheng; Huang, Hsin; Chuang, Chun-Yu

    2013-01-01

    The composting procedure in food waste plants generates airborne bioaerosols that have the potential to damage human airway epithelial cells. Persistent inflammation and repair responses induce airway remodeling and damage to the respiratory system. This study elucidated the expression changes of airway remodeling genes in human lung mucoepidermoid NCI-H292 cells exposed to bioaerosols from a composting plant. Different types of microorganisms were detectable in the composting plant, using the agar culture method. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to quantify the level of Aspergillus fumigatus and the profile of remodeling genes. The real-time PCR results indicated that the amount of A. fumigatus in the composting hall was less than 102 conidia. The endotoxins in the field bioaerosols were determined using a limulus amebocyte lysate test. The endotoxin levels depended on the type of particulate matter (PM), with coarse particles (2.5–10 μm) having higher endotoxin levels than did fine particles (0.5–2.5 μm). After exposure to the conditioned medium of field bioaerosol samples, NCI-H292 cells showed increased pro-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-6 release and activated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 (p21WAF1/CIP1) gene expression, but not of matrix metallopeptidase (MMP)-9. Airborne endotoxin levels were higher inside the composting hall than they were in other areas, and they were associated with PM. This suggested that airborne bioaerosols in the composting plant contained endotoxins and microorganisms besides A. fumigatus that cause the inflammatory cytokine secretion and augment the expression of remodeling genes in NCI-H292 cells. It is thus necessary to monitor potentially hazardous materials from bioaerosols in food composting plants, which could affect the health of workers. PMID:24368426

  5. CD82 expression alters with human endometrial cycles and affects the uterine endometrial receptivity in vitro.

    PubMed

    Wei, Xiaowei; Liu, Shuai; Wang, Xiaoqi; Yan, Qiu

    2012-03-01

    Embryo implantation is a process that requires both temporal and spatial synchronization of the uterine endometrium and the embryo, and the endometrium becomes receptive to the embryo during the window of implantation. Although the expression patterns of many implantation-related molecules change dynamically during this process, the impact of CD82 on endometrial receptivity has not been elucidated. By immunohistochemical staining, we found that CD82 levels rose from the proliferative phase to the secretory phase in human endometrium. Specifically, the highest level appeared in mid- and late-secretory phases. Consistently, RL95-2 cells, representative of high-receptive endometrial epithelium, expressed higher levels of CD82 than did HEC-1A cells, which are representative of low-receptive endometrial epithelium, as detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, Western blot and immunofluorescence. Furthermore, progesterone up-regulated the expression of CD82 in both epithelial cell lines. Down-regulation of CD82 in RL95-2 cells by either CD82 siRNA transfection or treatment with a CD82 antibody significantly decreased the adhesion of human embryonic JAR cells to RL95-2 cell monolayers (P < 0.01) and inhibited the phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). In contrast, up-regulation of CD82 in HEC-1A cells by CD82 cDNA transfection promoted embryonic JAR cell adhesion to HEC-1A monolayers (P < 0.05) and activated the phosphorylation of FAK. In conclusion, the expression of CD82 increases in endometrial tissues during the window of embryo implantation, CD82 expression affects endometrial receptivity of the uterine epithelial cells in vitro, and the FAK signaling pathway may be involved in this phenomenon. The correlation between CD82 and endometrial receptivity suggests that CD82 may serve as a potential marker of endometrial function. PMID:22393164

  6. Soil biological activity as affected by tillage intensity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gajda, A. M.; Przewłoka, B.

    2012-02-01

    The effect of tillage intensity on changes of microbiological activity and content of particulate organic matter in soil under winter wheat duirng 3 years was studied. Microbial response related to the tillage-induced changes in soil determined on the content of biomass C and N, the rate of CO2 evolution, B/F ratio, the activity of dehydrogenases, acid and alkaline phosphatases, soil C/N ratio and microbial biomass C/N ratio confirmed the high sensitivity of soil microbial populations to the tillage system applied. After three year studies, the direct sowing system enhanced the increase of labile fraction of organic matter content in soil. There were no significant changes in the labile fraction quantity observed in soil under conventional tillage. Similar response related to the tillage intensity was observed in particulate organic matter quantities expressed as a percentage of total organic matter in soil. A high correlation coefficients calculated between contents of soil microbial biomass C and N, particulate organic matter and potentially mineralizable N, and the obtained yields of winter wheat grown on experimental fields indicated on a high importance of biological quality of status of soil for agricultural crop production.

  7. Affective Education: A Teacher's Manual to Promote Student Self-Actualization and Human Relations Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Snyder, Thomas R.

    This teacher's manual presents affective education as a program to promote student self-actualization and human relations skills. Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs and Erik Erikson's life stages of psychosocial development form the conceptual base for this program. The goals and objectives of this manual are concerned with problem-solving…

  8. Definition and Measurement in the Affective Domain: Appreciation of Human Accomplishments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Paul B.; Beers, Joan S.

    The first three levels of the taxonomy in the affective domain guided the development of two inventories--the Pennsylvania Inventory of Cultural Appreciations (PICA) for 11th graders and Things People Do (TPD) for 5th graders--to measure appreciation of human accomplishments in seven areas: politics, sciences, sports, literature, visual arts,…

  9. Immunosuppressive drugs affect high-mannose/hybrid N-glycans on human allostimulated leukocytes.

    PubMed

    Pocheć, Ewa; Bocian, Katarzyna; Ząbczyńska, Marta; Korczak-Kowalska, Grażyna; Lityńska, Anna

    2015-01-01

    N-glycosylation plays an important role in the majority of physiological and pathological processes occurring in the immune system. Alteration of the type and abundance of glycans is an element of lymphocyte differentiation; it is also common in the development of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. The N-glycosylation process is very sensitive to different environmental agents, among them the pharmacological environment of immunosuppressive drugs. Some results show that high-mannose oligosaccharides have the ability to suppress different stages of the immune response. We evaluated the effects of cyclosporin A (CsA) and rapamycin (Rapa) on high-mannose/hybrid-type glycosylation in human leukocytes activated in a two-way mixed leukocyte reaction (MLR). CsA significantly reduced the number of leukocytes covered by high-mannose/hybrid N-glycans, and the synergistic action of CsA and Rapa led to an increase of these structures on the remaining leukocytes. This is the first study indicating that β1 and β3 integrins bearing high-mannose/hybrid structures are affected by Rapa and CsA. Rapa taken separately and together with CsA changed the expression of β1 and β3 integrins and, by regulating the protein amount, increased the oligomannose/hybrid-type N-glycosylation on the leukocyte surface. We suggest that the changes in the glycosylation profile of leukocytes may promote the development of tolerance in transplantation.

  10. Gut Microbiota Profiling: Metabolomics Based Approach to Unravel Compounds Affecting Human Health.

    PubMed

    Vernocchi, Pamela; Del Chierico, Federica; Putignani, Lorenza

    2016-01-01

    The gut microbiota is composed of a huge number of different bacteria, that produce a large amount of compounds playing a key role in microbe selection and in the construction of a metabolic signaling network. The microbial activities are affected by environmental stimuli leading to the generation of a wide number of compounds, that influence the host metabolome and human health. Indeed, metabolite profiles related to the gut microbiota can offer deep insights on the impact of lifestyle and dietary factors on chronic and acute diseases. Metagenomics, metaproteomics and metabolomics are some of the meta-omics approaches to study the modulation of the gut microbiota. Metabolomic research applied to biofluids allows to: define the metabolic profile; identify and quantify classes and compounds of interest; characterize small molecules produced by intestinal microbes; and define the biochemical pathways of metabolites. Mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy are the principal technologies applied to metabolomics in terms of coverage, sensitivity and quantification. Moreover, the use of biostatistics and mathematical approaches coupled with metabolomics play a key role in the extraction of biologically meaningful information from wide datasets. Metabolomic studies in gut microbiota-related research have increased, focusing on the generation of novel biomarkers, which could lead to the development of mechanistic hypotheses potentially applicable to the development of nutritional and personalized therapies. PMID:27507964

  11. Immunosuppressive Drugs Affect High-Mannose/Hybrid N-Glycans on Human Allostimulated Leukocytes

    PubMed Central

    Pocheć, Ewa; Bocian, Katarzyna; Ząbczyńska, Marta; Korczak-Kowalska, Grażyna; Lityńska, Anna

    2015-01-01

    N-glycosylation plays an important role in the majority of physiological and pathological processes occurring in the immune system. Alteration of the type and abundance of glycans is an element of lymphocyte differentiation; it is also common in the development of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. The N-glycosylation process is very sensitive to different environmental agents, among them the pharmacological environment of immunosuppressive drugs. Some results show that high-mannose oligosaccharides have the ability to suppress different stages of the immune response. We evaluated the effects of cyclosporin A (CsA) and rapamycin (Rapa) on high-mannose/hybrid-type glycosylation in human leukocytes activated in a two-way mixed leukocyte reaction (MLR). CsA significantly reduced the number of leukocytes covered by high-mannose/hybrid N-glycans, and the synergistic action of CsA and Rapa led to an increase of these structures on the remaining leukocytes. This is the first study indicating that β1 and β3 integrins bearing high-mannose/hybrid structures are affected by Rapa and CsA. Rapa taken separately and together with CsA changed the expression of β1 and β3 integrins and, by regulating the protein amount, increased the oligomannose/hybrid-type N-glycosylation on the leukocyte surface. We suggest that the changes in the glycosylation profile of leukocytes may promote the development of tolerance in transplantation. PMID:26339568

  12. Calcium signalling in human neutrophil cell lines is not affected by low-frequency electromagnetic fields.

    PubMed

    Golbach, Lieke A; Philippi, John G M; Cuppen, Jan J M; Savelkoul, Huub F J; Verburg-van Kemenade, B M Lidy

    2015-09-01

    We are increasingly exposed to low-frequency electromagnetic fields (LF EMFs) by electrical devices and power lines, but if and how these fields interact with living cells remains a matter of debate. This study aimed to investigate the potential effect of LF EMF exposure on calcium signalling in neutrophils. In neutrophilic granulocytes, activation of G-protein coupled receptors leads to efflux of calcium from calcium stores and influx of extracellular calcium via specialised calcium channels. The cytoplasmic rise of calcium induces cytoskeleton rearrangements, modified gene expression patterns, and cell migration. If LF EMF modulates intracellular calcium signalling, this will influence cellular behaviour and may eventually lead to health problems. We found that calcium mobilisation upon chemotactic stimulation was not altered after a short 30 min or long-term LF EMF exposure in human neutrophil-like cell lines HL-60 or PLB-985. Neither of the two investigated wave forms (Immunent and 50 Hz sine wave) at three magnetic flux densities (5 μT, 300 μT, and 500 μT) altered calcium signalling in vitro. Gene-expression patterns of calcium-signalling related genes also did not show any significant changes after exposure. Furthermore, analysis of the phenotypical appearance of microvilli by scanning electron microscopy revealed no alterations induced by LF EMF exposure. The findings above indicate that exposure to 50 Hz sinusoidal or Immunent LF EMF will not affect calcium signalling in neutrophils in vitro.

  13. Acute Systemic Inflammation is Unlikely to Affect Adiponectin and Leptin Synthesis in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Ekström, Mattias; Söderberg, Stefan; Tornvall, Per

    2015-01-01

    Adipose tissue (AT), classically thought to be merely an energy store, has been shown to produce inflammatory and metabolically active cytokines. Recently, adiponectin and leptin, adipokines primarily synthesized by adipocytes, have attracted considerable attention because inflammation has been suggested to modulate adipokine levels. However, the regulation of adiponectin and leptin is complex and the knowledge about their synthesis within the early onset of inflammation is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate if the synthesis of adiponectin and leptin is affected during the early phase of an acute systemic inflammation. Eighteen healthy subjects were allocated to vaccination against Salmonella typhi or to a control group, and adiponectin and leptin concentrations measured in plasma during 24 h. Nine patients, without markers of inflammation, undergoing open heart surgery were investigated before and after the operation by analysis of plasma levels and AT gene expression of adiponectin and leptin. Plasma interleukin (IL)-6 concentrations were measured in both cohorts. Plasma levels of IL-6 were doubled after vaccination and increased 30-fold after open heart surgery. Plasma levels of adiponectin and leptin were unchanged after vaccination whereas adiponectin and leptin tended to decrease after surgery. The gene expression of adiponectin and leptin was unaltered in omental and subcutaneous AT after surgery. Despite the use of two models of stimulated in vivo systemic inflammation, we found no evidence of an early regulation of adiponectin and leptin synthesis, indicating that these two adipokines are not key elements in an acute systemic inflammation in humans. PMID:26664879

  14. Gut Microbiota Profiling: Metabolomics Based Approach to Unravel Compounds Affecting Human Health

    PubMed Central

    Vernocchi, Pamela; Del Chierico, Federica; Putignani, Lorenza

    2016-01-01

    The gut microbiota is composed of a huge number of different bacteria, that produce a large amount of compounds playing a key role in microbe selection and in the construction of a metabolic signaling network. The microbial activities are affected by environmental stimuli leading to the generation of a wide number of compounds, that influence the host metabolome and human health. Indeed, metabolite profiles related to the gut microbiota can offer deep insights on the impact of lifestyle and dietary factors on chronic and acute diseases. Metagenomics, metaproteomics and metabolomics are some of the meta-omics approaches to study the modulation of the gut microbiota. Metabolomic research applied to biofluids allows to: define the metabolic profile; identify and quantify classes and compounds of interest; characterize small molecules produced by intestinal microbes; and define the biochemical pathways of metabolites. Mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy are the principal technologies applied to metabolomics in terms of coverage, sensitivity and quantification. Moreover, the use of biostatistics and mathematical approaches coupled with metabolomics play a key role in the extraction of biologically meaningful information from wide datasets. Metabolomic studies in gut microbiota-related research have increased, focusing on the generation of novel biomarkers, which could lead to the development of mechanistic hypotheses potentially applicable to the development of nutritional and personalized therapies. PMID:27507964

  15. Immunosuppressive activity of human neuroblastoma tumor gangliosides.

    PubMed

    Floutsis, G; Ulsh, L; Ladisch, S

    1989-01-15

    Gangliosides are shed in substantial amounts by some tumors, including human neuroblastoma, and these molecules modulate experimental tumor formation in vivo. We now demonstrate that neuroblastoma tumor gangliosides have potent immunoregulatory activity. Gangliosides of every one of 17 tumors studied were highly inhibitory for the normal in vitro human lymphoproliferative responses to the soluble antigen, tetanus toxoid; 30 nmol ganglioside/ml caused 43% to greater than 99% inhibition and the mean concentration causing 50% inhibition was only 17.3 nmol/ml. Furthermore, gangliosides isolated from clinically more aggressive tumors (Stage III or IV) were up to twice as immunosuppressive as those of the generally less aggressive tumors (Stage I or II) (p less than 0.05). Taken together with the lack of immunosuppressive activity of normal plasma gangliosides, the potent activity of neuroblastoma gangliosides supports the hypothesis that one mechanism by which these shed molecules may act to enhance tumor formation in vivo is through abrogation of the host cellular immune response at the site of tumor formation.

  16. Physical Human Activity Recognition Using Wearable Sensors.

    PubMed

    Attal, Ferhat; Mohammed, Samer; Dedabrishvili, Mariam; Chamroukhi, Faicel; Oukhellou, Latifa; Amirat, Yacine

    2015-12-11

    This paper presents a review of different classification techniques used to recognize human activities from wearable inertial sensor data. Three inertial sensor units were used in this study and were worn by healthy subjects at key points of upper/lower body limbs (chest, right thigh and left ankle). Three main steps describe the activity recognition process: sensors' placement, data pre-processing and data classification. Four supervised classification techniques namely, k-Nearest Neighbor (k-NN), Support Vector Machines (SVM), Gaussian Mixture Models (GMM), and Random Forest (RF) as well as three unsupervised classification techniques namely, k-Means, Gaussian mixture models (GMM) and Hidden Markov Model (HMM), are compared in terms of correct classification rate, F-measure, recall, precision, and specificity. Raw data and extracted features are used separately as inputs of each classifier. The feature selection is performed using a wrapper approach based on the RF algorithm. Based on our experiments, the results obtained show that the k-NN classifier provides the best performance compared to other supervised classification algorithms, whereas the HMM classifier is the one that gives the best results among unsupervised classification algorithms. This comparison highlights which approach gives better performance in both supervised and unsupervised contexts. It should be noted that the obtained results are limited to the context of this study, which concerns the classification of the main daily living human activities using three wearable accelerometers placed at the chest, right shank and left ankle of the subject.

  17. Physical Human Activity Recognition Using Wearable Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Attal, Ferhat; Mohammed, Samer; Dedabrishvili, Mariam; Chamroukhi, Faicel; Oukhellou, Latifa; Amirat, Yacine

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a review of different classification techniques used to recognize human activities from wearable inertial sensor data. Three inertial sensor units were used in this study and were worn by healthy subjects at key points of upper/lower body limbs (chest, right thigh and left ankle). Three main steps describe the activity recognition process: sensors’ placement, data pre-processing and data classification. Four supervised classification techniques namely, k-Nearest Neighbor (k-NN), Support Vector Machines (SVM), Gaussian Mixture Models (GMM), and Random Forest (RF) as well as three unsupervised classification techniques namely, k-Means, Gaussian mixture models (GMM) and Hidden Markov Model (HMM), are compared in terms of correct classification rate, F-measure, recall, precision, and specificity. Raw data and extracted features are used separately as inputs of each classifier. The feature selection is performed using a wrapper approach based on the RF algorithm. Based on our experiments, the results obtained show that the k-NN classifier provides the best performance compared to other supervised classification algorithms, whereas the HMM classifier is the one that gives the best results among unsupervised classification algorithms. This comparison highlights which approach gives better performance in both supervised and unsupervised contexts. It should be noted that the obtained results are limited to the context of this study, which concerns the classification of the main daily living human activities using three wearable accelerometers placed at the chest, right shank and left ankle of the subject. PMID:26690450

  18. Physical Human Activity Recognition Using Wearable Sensors.

    PubMed

    Attal, Ferhat; Mohammed, Samer; Dedabrishvili, Mariam; Chamroukhi, Faicel; Oukhellou, Latifa; Amirat, Yacine

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a review of different classification techniques used to recognize human activities from wearable inertial sensor data. Three inertial sensor units were used in this study and were worn by healthy subjects at key points of upper/lower body limbs (chest, right thigh and left ankle). Three main steps describe the activity recognition process: sensors' placement, data pre-processing and data classification. Four supervised classification techniques namely, k-Nearest Neighbor (k-NN), Support Vector Machines (SVM), Gaussian Mixture Models (GMM), and Random Forest (RF) as well as three unsupervised classification techniques namely, k-Means, Gaussian mixture models (GMM) and Hidden Markov Model (HMM), are compared in terms of correct classification rate, F-measure, recall, precision, and specificity. Raw data and extracted features are used separately as inputs of each classifier. The feature selection is performed using a wrapper approach based on the RF algorithm. Based on our experiments, the results obtained show that the k-NN classifier provides the best performance compared to other supervised classification algorithms, whereas the HMM classifier is the one that gives the best results among unsupervised classification algorithms. This comparison highlights which approach gives better performance in both supervised and unsupervised contexts. It should be noted that the obtained results are limited to the context of this study, which concerns the classification of the main daily living human activities using three wearable accelerometers placed at the chest, right shank and left ankle of the subject. PMID:26690450

  19. Control of mechanically activated polymersome fusion: Factors affecting fusion

    SciTech Connect

    Henderson, Ian M.; Paxton, Walter F.

    2014-12-15

    Previously we have studied the mechanically-activated fusion of extruded (200 nm) polymer vesicles into giant polymersomes using agitation in the presence of salt. In this study we have investigated several factors contributing to this phenomenon, including the effects of (i) polymer vesicle concentration, (ii) agitation speed and duration, and iii) variation of the salt and its concentration. It was found that increasing the concentration of the polymer dramatically increases the production of giant vesicles through the increased collisions of polymersomes. Our investigations also found that increasing the frequency of agitation increased the efficiency of fusion, though ultimately limited the size of vesicle which could be produced due to the high shear involved. Finally it was determined that salt-mediation of the fusion process was not limited to NaCl, but is instead a general effect facilitated by the presence of solvated ionic compounds, albeit with different salts initiating fusion at different concentration.

  20. Control of mechanically activated polymersome fusion: Factors affecting fusion

    DOE PAGES

    Henderson, Ian M.; Paxton, Walter F.

    2014-12-15

    Previously we have studied the mechanically-activated fusion of extruded (200 nm) polymer vesicles into giant polymersomes using agitation in the presence of salt. In this study we have investigated several factors contributing to this phenomenon, including the effects of (i) polymer vesicle concentration, (ii) agitation speed and duration, and iii) variation of the salt and its concentration. It was found that increasing the concentration of the polymer dramatically increases the production of giant vesicles through the increased collisions of polymersomes. Our investigations also found that increasing the frequency of agitation increased the efficiency of fusion, though ultimately limited the sizemore » of vesicle which could be produced due to the high shear involved. Finally it was determined that salt-mediation of the fusion process was not limited to NaCl, but is instead a general effect facilitated by the presence of solvated ionic compounds, albeit with different salts initiating fusion at different concentration.« less

  1. Does human migration affect international trade? A complex-network perspective.

    PubMed

    Fagiolo, Giorgio; Mastrorillo, Marina

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores the relationships between international human migration and merchandise trade, using a complex-network approach. We firstly compare the topological structure of worldwide networks of human migration and bilateral trade over the period 1960-2000. Next, we ask whether the position of any pair of countries in the migration network affects their bilateral trade flows. We show that: (i) both weighted and binary versions of the networks of international migration and trade are strongly correlated; (ii) such correlations can be mostly explained by country economic/demographic size and geographical distance; and (iii) pairs of countries that are more central in the international-migration network trade more. Our findings suggest that bilateral trade between any two countries is not only affected by the presence of migrants from either countries but also by their relative embeddedness in the complex web of corridors making up the network of international human migration.

  2. Glutamatergic activation of anterior cingulate cortex mediates the affective component of visceral pain memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Yan, Ni; Cao, Bing; Xu, Jiahe; Hao, Chun; Zhang, Xu; Li, Ying

    2012-01-01

    Studies of both humans and animals suggest that anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is important for processing pain perception. We identified that perigenul ACC (pACC) sensitization and enhanced visceral pain in a visceral hypersensitive rat in previous studies. Pain contains both sensory and affective dimensions. Teasing apart the mechanisms that control the neural pathways mediating pain affect and sensation in nociceptive behavioral response is a challenge. In this study, using a rodent visceral pain assay that combines the colorectal distension (CRD)-induced visceromotor response (VMR) with the conditioning place avoidance (CPA), we measured a learned behavior that directly reflects the affective component of visceral pain. When CRD was paired with a distinct environment context, the rats spent significantly less time in this compartment on the post-conditioning test days as compared with the pre-conditioning day. Effects were lasted for 14 days. Bilateral pACC lesion significantly reduced CPA scores without reducing acute visceral pain behaviors (CRD-induced VMR). Bilateral administration of non-NMDA receptor antagonist CNQX or NMDA receptor antagonist AP5 into the pACC decreased the CPA scores. AP5 or CNQX at dose of 400 mM produced about 70% inhibition of CRD-CPA in the day 1, 4 and 7, and completely abolished the CPA in the day 14 after conditioning. We concluded that neurons in the pACC are necessary for the "aversiveness" of visceral nociceptor stimulation. pACC activation is critical for the memory processing involved in long-term negative affective state and prediction of aversive stimuli by contextual cue.

  3. Cognitive-affective neural plasticity following active-controlled mindfulness intervention.

    PubMed

    Allen, Micah; Dietz, Martin; Blair, Karina S; van Beek, Martijn; Rees, Geraint; Vestergaard-Poulsen, Peter; Lutz, Antoine; Roepstorff, Andreas

    2012-10-31

    Mindfulness meditation is a set of attention-based, regulatory, and self-inquiry training regimes. Although the impact of mindfulness training (MT) on self-regulation is well established, the neural mechanisms supporting such plasticity are poorly understood. MT is thought to act through interoceptive salience and attentional control mechanisms, but until now conflicting evidence from behavioral and neural measures renders difficult distinguishing their respective roles. To resolve this question we conducted a fully randomized 6 week longitudinal trial of MT, explicitly controlling for cognitive and treatment effects with an active-control group. We measured behavioral metacognition and whole-brain blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signals using functional MRI during an affective Stroop task before and after intervention in healthy human subjects. Although both groups improved significantly on a response-inhibition task, only the MT group showed reduced affective Stroop conflict. Moreover, the MT group displayed greater dorsolateral prefrontal cortex responses during executive processing, consistent with increased recruitment of top-down mechanisms to resolve conflict. In contrast, we did not observe overall group-by-time interactions on negative affect-related reaction times or BOLD responses. However, only participants with the greatest amount of MT practice showed improvements in response inhibition and increased recruitment of dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, and right anterior insula during negative valence processing. Our findings highlight the importance of active control in MT research, indicate unique neural mechanisms for progressive stages of mindfulness training, and suggest that optimal application of MT may differ depending on context, contrary to a one-size-fits-all approach.

  4. Valsalva maneuver: Insights into baroreflex modulation of human sympathetic activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Michael L.; Eckberg, Dwain L.; Fritsch, Janice M.; Beightol, Larry A.; Ellenbogen, Kenneth A.

    1991-01-01

    Valsalva's maneuver, voluntary forced expiration against a closed glottis, is a well-characterized research tool, used to assess the integrity of human autonomic cardiovascular control. Valsalva straining provokes a stereotyped succession of alternating positive and negative arterial pressure and heart rate changes mediated in part by arterial baroreceptors. Arterial pressure changes result primarily from fluctuating levels of venous return to the heart and changes of sympathetic nerve activity. Muscle sympathetic activity was measured directly in nine volunteers to explore quantitatively the relation between arterial pressure and human sympathetic outflow during pressure transients provoked by controlled graded Valsalva maneuvers. Our results underscore several properties of sympathetic regulation during Valsalva straining. First, muscle sympathetic nerve activity changes as a mirror image of changes in arterial pressure. Second, the magnitude of sympathetic augmentation during Valsalva straining predicts phase 4 arterial pressure elevations. Third, post-Valsalva sympathetic inhibition persists beyond the return of arterial and right atrial pressures to baseline levels which reflects an alteration of the normal relation between arterial pressure and muscle sympathetic activity. Therefore, Valsalva straining may have some utility for investigating changes of reflex control of sympathetic activity after space flight; however, measurement of beat-to-beat arterial pressure is essential for this use. The utility of this technique in microgravity can not be determined from these data. Further investigations are necessary to determine whether these relations are affected by the expansion of intrathoracic blood volume associated with microgravity.

  5. Vanadium promotes hydroxyl radical formation by activated human neutrophils.

    PubMed

    Fickl, Heidi; Theron, Annette J; Grimmer, Heidi; Oommen, Joyce; Ramafi, Grace J; Steel, Helen C; Visser, Susanna S; Anderson, Ronald

    2006-01-01

    This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of vanadium in the +2, +3, +4, and +5 valence states on superoxide generation, myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, and hydroxyl radical formation by activated human neutrophils in vitro, using lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence (LECL), autoiodination, and electron spin resonance with 5,5-dimethyl-l-pyrroline N-oxide as the spin trap, respectively. At concentrations of up to 25 microM, vanadium, in the four different valence states used, did not affect the LECL responses of neutrophils activated with either the chemoattractant, N-formyl-l-methionyl-l-leucyl-l-phenylalanine (1 microM), or the phorbol ester, phorbol 12-myristate 12-acetate (25 ng/ml). However, exposure to vanadium in the +2, +3, and +4, but not the +5, valence states was accompanied by significant augmentation of hydroxyl radical formation by activated neutrophils and attenuation of MPO-mediated iodination. With respect to hydroxyl radical formation, similar effects were observed using cell-free systems containing either hydrogen peroxide (100 microM) or xanthine/xanthine oxidase together with vanadium (+2, +3, +4), while the activity of purified MPO was inhibited by the metal in these valence states. These results demonstrate that vanadium in the +2, +3, and +4 valence states interacts prooxidatively with human neutrophils, competing effectively with MPO for hydrogen peroxide to promote formation of the highly toxic hydroxyl radical.

  6. NEU3 activity enhances EGFR activation without affecting EGFR expression and acts on its sialylation levels.

    PubMed

    Mozzi, Alessandra; Forcella, Matilde; Riva, Alice; Difrancesco, Carlotta; Molinari, Francesca; Martin, Vittoria; Papini, Nadia; Bernasconi, Barbara; Nonnis, Simona; Tedeschi, Gabriella; Mazzucchelli, Luca; Monti, Eugenio; Fusi, Paola; Frattini, Milo

    2015-08-01

    Several studies performed over the last decade have focused on the role of sialylation in the progression of cancer and, in particular, on the association between deregulation of sialidases and tumorigenic transformation. The plasma membrane-associated sialidase NEU3 is often deregulated in colorectal cancer (CRC), and it was shown that this enzyme co-immunoprecipitates in HeLa cells with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), the molecular target of most recent monoclonal antibody-based therapies against CRC. To investigate the role of NEU3 sialidase on EGFR deregulation in CRC, we first collected data on NEU3 gene expression levels from a library of commercial colon cell lines, demonstrating that NEU3 transcription is upregulated in these cell lines. We also found EGFR to be hyperphosphorylated in all cell lines, with the exception of SW620 cells and the CCD841 normal intestinal cell line. By comparing the effects induced by overexpression of either the wild-type or the inactive mutant form of NEU3 on EGFR, we demonstrated that the active form of NEU3 enhanced receptor activation without affecting EGFR mRNA or protein expression. Moreover, through western blots and mass spectrometry analysis, we found that EGFR immunoprecipitated from cells overexpressing active NEU3, unlike the receptor from mock cells and cells overexpressing inactive NEU3, is desialylated. On the whole, our data demonstrate that, besides the already reported indirect EGFR activation through GM3, sialidase NEU3 could also play a role on EGFR activation through its desialylation. PMID:25922362

  7. Tasting calories differentially affects brain activation during hunger and satiety.

    PubMed

    van Rijn, Inge; de Graaf, Cees; Smeets, Paul A M

    2015-02-15

    An important function of eating is ingesting energy. Our objectives were to assess whether oral exposure to caloric and non-caloric stimuli elicits discriminable responses in the brain and to determine in how far these responses are modulated by hunger state and sweetness. Thirty women tasted three stimuli in two motivational states (hunger and satiety) while their brain responses were measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging in a randomized crossover design. Stimuli were solutions of sucralose (sweet, no energy), maltodextrin (non-sweet, energy) and sucralose+maltodextrin (sweet, energy). We found no main effect of energy content and no interaction between energy content and sweetness. However, there was an interaction between hunger state and energy content in the median cingulate (bilaterally), ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior insula and thalamus. This indicates that the anterior insula and thalamus, areas in which hunger state and taste of a stimulus are integrated, also integrate hunger state with caloric content of a taste stimulus. Furthermore, in the median cingulate and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, tasting energy resulted in more activation during satiety compared to hunger. This finding indicates that these areas, which are known to be involved in processes that require approach and avoidance, are also involved in guiding ingestive behavior. In conclusion, our results suggest that energy sensing is a hunger state dependent process, in which the median cingulate, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior insula and thalamus play a central role by integrating hunger state with stimulus relevance.

  8. Might as well jump: sound affects muscle activation in skateboarding.

    PubMed

    Cesari, Paola; Camponogara, Ivan; Papetti, Stefano; Rocchesso, Davide; Fontana, Federico

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the study is to reveal the role of sound in action anticipation and performance, and to test whether the level of precision in action planning and execution is related to the level of sensorimotor skills and experience that listeners possess about a specific action. Individuals ranging from 18 to 75 years of age--some of them without any skills in skateboarding and others experts in this sport--were compared in their ability to anticipate and simulate a skateboarding jump by listening to the sound it produces. Only skaters were able to modulate the forces underfoot and to apply muscle synergies that closely resembled the ones that a skater would use if actually jumping on a skateboard. More importantly we showed that only skaters were able to plan the action by activating anticipatory postural adjustments about 200 ms after the jump event. We conclude that expert patterns are guided by auditory events that trigger proper anticipations of the corresponding patterns of movements.

  9. Might as Well Jump: Sound Affects Muscle Activation in Skateboarding

    PubMed Central

    Cesari, Paola; Camponogara, Ivan; Papetti, Stefano; Rocchesso, Davide; Fontana, Federico

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the study is to reveal the role of sound in action anticipation and performance, and to test whether the level of precision in action planning and execution is related to the level of sensorimotor skills and experience that listeners possess about a specific action. Individuals ranging from 18 to 75 years of age - some of them without any skills in skateboarding and others experts in this sport - were compared in their ability to anticipate and simulate a skateboarding jump by listening to the sound it produces. Only skaters were able to modulate the forces underfoot and to apply muscle synergies that closely resembled the ones that a skater would use if actually jumping on a skateboard. More importantly we showed that only skaters were able to plan the action by activating anticipatory postural adjustments about 200 ms after the jump event. We conclude that expert patterns are guided by auditory events that trigger proper anticipations of the corresponding patterns of movements. PMID:24619134

  10. Temperature affects microbial abundance, activity and interactions in anaerobic digestion.

    PubMed

    Lin, Qiang; De Vrieze, Jo; Li, Jiabao; Li, Xiangzhen

    2016-06-01

    Temperature is a major factor determining the performance of the anaerobic digestion process. The microbial abundance, activity and interactional networks were investigated under a temperature gradient from 25°C to 55°C through amplicon sequencing, using 16S ribosomal RNA and 16S rRNA gene-based approaches. Comparative analysis of past accumulative elements presented by 16S rRNA gene-based analysis, and the in-situ conditions presented by 16S rRNA-based analysis, provided new insights concerning the identification of microbial functional roles and interactions. The daily methane production and total biogas production increased with temperature up to 50°C, but decreased at 55°C. Increased methanogenesis and hydrolysis at 50°C were main factors causing higher methane production which was also closely related with more well-defined methanogenic and/or related modules with comprehensive interactions and increased functional orderliness referred to more microorganisms participating in interactions. This research demonstrated the importance of evaluating functional roles and interactions of microbial community. PMID:26970926

  11. Might as well jump: sound affects muscle activation in skateboarding.

    PubMed

    Cesari, Paola; Camponogara, Ivan; Papetti, Stefano; Rocchesso, Davide; Fontana, Federico

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the study is to reveal the role of sound in action anticipation and performance, and to test whether the level of precision in action planning and execution is related to the level of sensorimotor skills and experience that listeners possess about a specific action. Individuals ranging from 18 to 75 years of age--some of them without any skills in skateboarding and others experts in this sport--were compared in their ability to anticipate and simulate a skateboarding jump by listening to the sound it produces. Only skaters were able to modulate the forces underfoot and to apply muscle synergies that closely resembled the ones that a skater would use if actually jumping on a skateboard. More importantly we showed that only skaters were able to plan the action by activating anticipatory postural adjustments about 200 ms after the jump event. We conclude that expert patterns are guided by auditory events that trigger proper anticipations of the corresponding patterns of movements. PMID:24619134

  12. Effects of human activity of breeding American Oystercatchers, Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sabine, J.B.; Meyers, J.M.; Moore, C.T.; Schweitzer, Sara H.

    2008-01-01

    Abstract.-Increased human use of coastal areas threatens the United States population of American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus), a species of special concern. Biologists often attribute its low numbers and reproductive success to human disturbance, but the mechanism by which human presence reduces reproductive success is not well understood. During the 2003 and 2004 breeding seasons, 32 nesting attempts of American Oystercatchers were studied on Cumberland Island National Seashore (CINS). Behavior was examined with and without human activity in the area to determine how human activity affected behavior. The oystercatchers' behavioral responses (proportion time) were analyzed with and without human or intraspecific disturbances using mixed models regression analysis. Proportions of time human activities were present (137 m and vehicular activity should be minimized at current levels or less.

  13. Targeting human CD27 with an agonist antibody stimulates T-cell activation and antitumor immunity.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Lawrence J; He, Li-Zhen; Marsh, Henry; Keler, Tibor

    2014-01-01

    CD27 is an important co-stimulatory receptor of T cells that can potentially be exploited for immunotherapy. We developed a human IgG1 antibody that targets human CD27, and demonstrated its immunostimulatory and antineoplastic activity in various preclinical models. Currently, the antibody (1F5, CDX-1127) is being tested in patients affected by advanced malignancies. PMID:24605266

  14. Decoding patterns of human brain activity.

    PubMed

    Tong, Frank; Pratte, Michael S

    2012-01-01

    Considerable information about mental states can be decoded from noninvasive measures of human brain activity. Analyses of brain activity patterns can reveal what a person is seeing, perceiving, attending to, or remembering. Moreover, multidimensional models can be used to investigate how the brain encodes complex visual scenes or abstract semantic information. Such feats of "brain reading" or "mind reading," though impressive, raise important conceptual, methodological, and ethical issues. What does successful decoding reveal about the cognitive functions performed by a brain region? How should brain signals be spatially selected and mathematically combined to ensure that decoding reflects inherent computations of the brain rather than those performed by the decoder? We highlight recent advances and describe how multivoxel pattern analysis can provide a window into mind-brain relationships with unprecedented specificity, when carefully applied. However, as brain-reading technology advances, issues of neuroethics and mental privacy will be important to consider.

  15. Selenium status affects selenoprotein expression, reproduction, and F₁ generation locomotor activity in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Penglase, Sam; Hamre, Kristin; Rasinger, Josef D; Ellingsen, Staale

    2014-06-14

    Se is an essential trace element, and is incorporated into selenoproteins which play important roles in human health. Mammalian selenoprotein-coding genes are often present as paralogues in teleost fish, and it is unclear whether the expression patterns or functions of these fish paralogues reflect their mammalian orthologues. Using the model species zebrafish (Danio rerio; ZF), we aimed to assess how dietary Se affects key parameters in Se metabolism and utilisation including glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity, the mRNA expression of key Se-dependent proteins (gpx1a, gpx1b, sepp1a and sepp1b), oxidative status, reproductive success and F1 generation locomotor activity. From 27 d until 254 d post-fertilisation, ZF were fed diets with graded levels of Se ranging from deficient ( < 0·10 mg/kg) to toxic (30 mg/kg). The mRNA expression of gpx1a and gpx1b and GPX activity responded in a similar manner to changes in Se status. GPX activity and mRNA levels were lowest when dietary Se levels (0·3 mg/kg) resulted in the maximum growth of ZF, and a proposed bimodal mechanism in response to Se status below and above this dietary Se level was identified. The expression of the sepp1 paralogues differed, with only sepp1a responding to Se status. High dietary Se supplementation (30 mg/kg) decreased reproductive success, while the offspring of ZF fed above 0·3 mg Se/kg diet had lower locomotor activity than the other groups. Overall, the novel finding of low selenoprotein expression and activity coinciding with maximum body growth suggests that even small Se-induced variations in redox status may influence cellular growth rates. PMID:24666596

  16. Diesel-Enriched Particulate Matter Functionally Activates Human Dendritic Cells

    PubMed Central

    Porter, Michael; Karp, Matthew; Killedar, Smruti; Bauer, Stephen M.; Guo, Jia; Williams, D'Ann; Breysse, Patrick; Georas, Steve N.; Williams, Marc A.

    2007-01-01

    Epidemiologic studies have associated exposure to airborne particulate matter (PM) with exacerbations of asthma. It is unknown how different sources of PM affect innate immunity. We sought to determine how car- and diesel exhaust–derived PM affects dendritic cell (DC) activation. DC development was modeled using CD34+ hematopoietic progenitors. Airborne PM was collected from exhaust plenums of Fort McHenry Tunnel providing car-enriched particles (CEP) and diesel-enriched particles (DEP). DC were stimulated for 48 hours with CEP, DEP, CD40-ligand, or lipopolysaccharide. DC activation was assessed by flow cytometry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and standard culture techniques. DEP increased uptake of fluorescein isothiocyanate–dextran (a model antigen) by DC. Diesel particles enhanced cell-surface expression of co-stimulatory molecules (e.g., CD40 [P < 0.01] and MHC class II [P < 0.01]). By contrast, CEP poorly affected antigen uptake and expression of cell surface molecules, and did not greatly affect cytokine secretion by DC. However, DEP increased production of TNF, IL-6, and IFN-γ (P < 0.01), IL-12 (P < 0.05), and vascular endothelial growth factor (P < 0.001). In co-stimulation assays of PM-exposed DC and alloreactive CD4+ T cells, both CEP and DEP directed a Th2-like pattern of cytokine production (e.g., enhanced IL-13 and IL-18 and suppressed IFN-γ production). CD4+ T cells were not functionally activated on exposure to either DEP or CEP. Car- and diesel-enriched particles exert a differential effect on DC activation. Our data support the hypothesis that DEP (and to a lesser extent CEP) regulate important functional aspects of human DC, supporting an adjuvant role for this material. PMID:17630318

  17. The spatial structure of transnational human activity.

    PubMed

    Deutschmann, Emanuel

    2016-09-01

    Starting from conflictive predictions of hitherto disconnected debates in the natural and social sciences, this article examines the spatial structure of transnational human activity (THA) worldwide (a) across eight types of mobility and communication and (b) in its development over time. It is shown that the spatial structure of THA is similar to that of animal displacements and local-scale human motion in that it can be approximated by Lévy flights with heavy tails that obey power laws. Scaling exponent and power-law fit differ by type of THA, being highest in refuge-seeking and tourism and lowest in student exchange. Variance in the availability of resources and opportunities for satisfying associated needs appears to explain these differences. Over time (1960-2010), the Lévy-flight pattern remains intact and remarkably stable, contradicting the popular notion that socio-technological trends lead to a "death of distance." Humans have not become more "global" over time, they rather became more mobile in general, i.e. they move and communicate more at all distances. Hence, it would be more adequate to speak of "mobilization" than of "globalization." Longitudinal change occurs only in some types of THA and predominantly at short distances, indicating regional rather than global shifts. PMID:27480376

  18. Human, donkey and cow milk differently affects energy efficiency and inflammatory state by modulating mitochondrial function and gut microbiota.

    PubMed

    Trinchese, Giovanna; Cavaliere, Gina; Canani, Roberto Berni; Matamoros, Sebastien; Bergamo, Paolo; De Filippo, Chiara; Aceto, Serena; Gaita, Marcello; Cerino, Pellegrino; Negri, Rossella; Greco, Luigi; Cani, Patrice D; Mollica, Maria Pina

    2015-11-01

    Different nutritional components are able, by modulating mitochondrial function and gut microbiota composition, to influence body composition, metabolic homeostasis and inflammatory state. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects produced by the supplementation of different milks on energy balance, inflammatory state, oxidative stress and antioxidant/detoxifying enzyme activities and to investigate the role of the mitochondrial efficiency and the gut microbiota in the regulation of metabolic functions in an animal model. We compared the intake of human milk, gold standard for infant nutrition, with equicaloric supplementation of donkey milk, the best substitute for newborns due to its nutritional properties, and cow milk, the primary marketed product. The results showed a hypolipidemic effect produced by donkey and human milk intake in parallel with enhanced mitochondrial activity/proton leakage. Reduced mitochondrial energy efficiency and proinflammatory signals (tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin-1 and lipopolysaccharide levels) were associated with a significant increase of antioxidants (total thiols) and detoxifying enzyme activities (glutathione-S-transferase, NADH quinone oxidoreductase) in donkey- and human milk-treated animals. The beneficial effects were attributable, at least in part, to the activation of the nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor-2 pathway. Moreover, the metabolic benefits induced by human and donkey milk may be related to the modulation of gut microbiota. In fact, milk treatments uniquely affected the proportions of bacterial phyla and genera, and we hypothesized that the increased concentration of fecal butyrate in human and donkey milk-treated rats was related to the improved lipid and glucose metabolism and detoxifying activities.

  19. Proteome Analysis of Human Sebaceous Follicle Infundibula Extracted from Healthy and Acne-Affected Skin

    PubMed Central

    Bek-Thomsen, Malene; Lomholt, Hans B.; Scavenius, Carsten; Enghild, Jan J.; Brüggemann, Holger

    2014-01-01

    Acne vulgaris is a very common disease of the pilosebaceous unit of the human skin. The pathological processes of acne are not fully understood. To gain further insight sebaceous follicular casts were extracted from 18 healthy and 20 acne-affected individuals by cyanoacrylate-gel biopsies and further processed for mass spectrometry analysis, aiming at a proteomic analysis of the sebaceous follicular casts. Human as well as bacterial proteins were identified. Human proteins enriched in acne and normal samples were detected, respectively. Normal follicular casts are enriched in proteins such as prohibitins and peroxiredoxins which are involved in the protection from various stresses, including reactive oxygen species. By contrast, follicular casts extracted from acne-affected skin contained proteins involved in inflammation, wound healing and tissue remodeling. Among the most distinguishing proteins were myeloperoxidase, lactotransferrin, neutrophil elastase inhibitor and surprisingly, vimentin. The most significant biological process among all acne-enriched proteins was ‘response to a bacterium’. Identified bacterial proteins were exclusively from Propionibacterium acnes. The most abundant P. acnes proteins were surface-exposed dermatan sulphate adhesins, CAMP factors, and a so far uncharacterized lipase in follicular casts extracted from normal as well as acne-affected skin. This is a first proteomic study that identified human proteins together with proteins of the skin microbiota in sebaceous follicular casts. PMID:25238151

  20. Inhibition of human natural killer cell functional activity by human aspartyl β-hydroxylase.

    PubMed

    Huyan, Ting; Li, Qi; Ye, Lin-Jie; Yang, Hui; Xue, Xiao-Ping; Zhang, Ming-Jie; Huang, Qing-Sheng; Yin, Da-Chuan; Shang, Peng

    2014-12-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells are a key component of the innate immune system and play pivotal roles as inflammatory regulators and in tumor surveillance. Human aspartyl β-hydroxylase (HAAH) is a plasma membrane and endoplasmic reticulum protein with hydroxylation activity, which is over-expressed in many malignant neoplasms and can be detected from the sera of tumor patients. HAAH is involved in regulating tumor cell infiltration and metastasis. Escaping from immune surveillance may help tumor cell infiltration and metastasis. However, the effects of HAAH on tumor immune surveillance have not yet been investigated carefully. The present study investigated the potential use of HAAH as an immune regulator of human NK cells. We assessed the effects of recombinant HAAH (r-HAAH) on primary human NK cell morphology, viability, cytotoxicity, apoptosis, receptors expression and cytokine/cytolytic proteins production. Our results demonstrated that r-HAAH negatively affects NK cell activity in a time and dose-dependent manner. It noticeably reduces the viability of the NK cells by increasing apoptosis and necrosis via caspase signaling pathways. Moreover, r-HAAH reduces the NK cell cytotoxicity by inhibiting surface expression of NKG2D, NKp44 and IFN-γ secretion. These findings suggest that one of the ways by which HAAH actively promotes tumor formation and proliferation is by inhibiting NK cell-surveillance activity.

  1. Velocity storage activity is affected after sustained centrifugation: a relationship with spatial disorientation.

    PubMed

    Nooij, Suzanne A E; Bos, Jelte E; Groen, Eric L

    2008-09-01

    Prolonged exposure to hypergravity in a human centrifuge can lead to post-rotary spatial disorientation and motion sickness. These symptoms are mainly provoked by tilting head movements and resemble the Space Adaptation Syndrome. We hypothesized that the occurrence of these post-rotary effects might be related to changes in the velocity storage (VS) mechanism, which is suggested to play an important role in spatial orientation. In particular, we investigated whether the re-orientation of the eye velocity vector (EVV) towards gravity during off-vertical optokinetic stimulation was affected by centrifugation. Twelve human subjects were exposed to a hypergravity load of 3G (G-load directed along the naso-occipetal axis) for a duration of 90 min. Before and after centrifugation we recorded optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) elicited by a stimulus pattern moving about the subject's yaw axis, with the head erect and tilted 45 degrees to both sides. During OKN with the head erect, we observed a pitch-down component, reorienting the EVV on average 4.5 degrees (SD 3.6, pretest values) away from the stimulus axis. Head tilt induced an additional shift of the EVV towards the spatial vertical of 6.4 degrees on average (SD 3.2). This head-tilt induced reorientation was significantly decreased after centrifugation to 4.7 degrees (SD 2.9), suggesting a reduction of VS-activity. By means of a vector model we estimated the reduction in VS-activity at 31%. Such a decrease in VS-activity might reflect a deterioration of the ability to integrate sensory signals to obtain an estimate of gravity during tilting head movements, resulting in motion sickness in susceptible subjects. PMID:18566806

  2. Human Infant Faces Provoke Implicit Positive Affective Responses in Parents and Non-Parents Alike

    PubMed Central

    Senese, Vincenzo Paolo; De Falco, Simona; Bornstein, Marc H.; Caria, Andrea; Buffolino, Simona; Venuti, Paola

    2013-01-01

    Human infants' complete dependence on adult caregiving suggests that mechanisms associated with adult responsiveness to infant cues might be deeply embedded in the brain. Behavioural and neuroimaging research has produced converging evidence for adults' positive disposition to infant cues, but these studies have not investigated directly the valence of adults' reactions, how they are moderated by biological and social factors, and if they relate to child caregiving. This study examines implicit affective responses of 90 adults toward faces of human and non-human (cats and dogs) infants and adults. Implicit reactions were assessed with Single Category Implicit Association Tests, and reports of childrearing behaviours were assessed by the Parental Style Questionnaire. The results showed that human infant faces represent highly biologically relevant stimuli that capture attention and are implicitly associated with positive emotions. This reaction holds independent of gender and parenthood status and is associated with ideal parenting behaviors. PMID:24282537

  3. Human infant faces provoke implicit positive affective responses in parents and non-parents alike.

    PubMed

    Senese, Vincenzo Paolo; De Falco, Simona; Bornstein, Marc H; Caria, Andrea; Buffolino, Simona; Venuti, Paola

    2013-01-01

    Human infants' complete dependence on adult caregiving suggests that mechanisms associated with adult responsiveness to infant cues might be deeply embedded in the brain. Behavioural and neuroimaging research has produced converging evidence for adults' positive disposition to infant cues, but these studies have not investigated directly the valence of adults' reactions, how they are moderated by biological and social factors, and if they relate to child caregiving. This study examines implicit affective responses of 90 adults toward faces of human and non-human (cats and dogs) infants and adults. Implicit reactions were assessed with Single Category Implicit Association Tests, and reports of childrearing behaviours were assessed by the Parental Style Questionnaire. The results showed that human infant faces represent highly biologically relevant stimuli that capture attention and are implicitly associated with positive emotions. This reaction holds independent of gender and parenthood status and is associated with ideal parenting behaviors.

  4. How Malaria Has Affected the Human Genome and What Human Genetics Can Teach Us about Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.

    2005-01-01

    Malaria is a major killer of children worldwide and the strongest known force for evolutionary selection in the recent history of the human genome. The past decade has seen growing evidence of ethnic differences in susceptibility to malaria and of the diverse genetic adaptations to malaria that have arisen in different populations: epidemiological confirmation of the hypotheses that G6PD deficiency, α+ thalassemia, and hemoglobin C protect against malaria mortality; the application of novel haplotype-based techniques demonstrating that malaria-protective genes have been subject to recent positive selection; the first genetic linkage maps of resistance to malaria in experimental murine models; and a growing number of reported associations with resistance and susceptibility to human malaria, particularly in genes involved in immunity, inflammation, and cell adhesion. The challenge for the next decade is to build the global epidemiological infrastructure required for statistically robust genomewide association analysis, as a way of discovering novel mechanisms of protective immunity that can be used in the development of an effective malaria vaccine. PMID:16001361

  5. The importance of physical activity and sleep for affect on stressful days: Two intensive longitudinal studies.

    PubMed

    Flueckiger, Lavinia; Lieb, Roselind; Meyer, Andrea H; Witthauer, Cornelia; Mata, Jutta

    2016-06-01

    We investigated the potential stress-buffering effect of 3 health behaviors-physical activity, sleep quality, and snacking-on affect in the context of everyday life in young adults. In 2 intensive longitudinal studies with up to 65 assessment days over an entire academic year, students (Study 1, N = 292; Study 2, N = 304) reported stress intensity, sleep quality, physical activity, snacking, and positive and negative affect. Data were analyzed using multilevel regression analyses. Stress and positive affect were negatively associated; stress and negative affect were positively associated. The more physically active than usual a person was on a given day, the weaker the association between stress and positive affect (Study 1) and negative affect (Studies 1 and 2). The better than usual a person's sleep quality had been during the previous night, the weaker the association between stress and positive affect (Studies 1 and 2) and negative affect (Study 2). The association between daily stress and positive or negative affect did not differ as a function of daily snacking (Studies 1 and 2). On stressful days, increasing physical activity or ensuring high sleep quality may buffer adverse effects of stress on affect in young adults. These findings suggest potential targets for health-promotion and stress-prevention programs, which could help reduce the negative impact of stress in young adults. (PsycINFO Database Record

  6. Activation of Human T Cells in Hypertension: Studies of Humanized Mice and Hypertensive Humans.

    PubMed

    Itani, Hana A; McMaster, William G; Saleh, Mohamed A; Nazarewicz, Rafal R; Mikolajczyk, Tomasz P; Kaszuba, Anna M; Konior, Anna; Prejbisz, Aleksander; Januszewicz, Andrzej; Norlander, Allison E; Chen, Wei; Bonami, Rachel H; Marshall, Andrew F; Poffenberger, Greg; Weyand, Cornelia M; Madhur, Meena S; Moore, Daniel J; Harrison, David G; Guzik, Tomasz J

    2016-07-01

    Emerging evidence supports an important role for T cells in the genesis of hypertension. Because this work has predominantly been performed in experimental animals, we sought to determine whether human T cells are activated in hypertension. We used a humanized mouse model in which the murine immune system is replaced by the human immune system. Angiotensin II increased systolic pressure to 162 versus 116 mm Hg for sham-treated animals. Flow cytometry of thoracic lymph nodes, thoracic aorta, and kidney revealed increased infiltration of human leukocytes (CD45(+)) and T lymphocytes (CD3(+) and CD4(+)) in response to angiotensin II infusion. Interestingly, there was also an increase in the memory T cells (CD3(+)/CD45RO(+)) in the aortas and lymph nodes. Prevention of hypertension using hydralazine and hydrochlorothiazide prevented the accumulation of T cells in these tissues. Studies of isolated human T cells and monocytes indicated that angiotensin II had no direct effect on cytokine production by T cells or the ability of dendritic cells to drive T-cell proliferation. We also observed an increase in circulating interleukin-17A producing CD4(+) T cells and both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells that produce interferon-γ in hypertensive compared with normotensive humans. Thus, human T cells become activated and invade critical end-organ tissues in response to hypertension in a humanized mouse model. This response likely reflects the hypertensive milieu encountered in vivo and is not a direct effect of the hormone angiotensin II.

  7. Activation of Human T Cells in Hypertension: Studies of Humanized Mice and Hypertensive Humans.

    PubMed

    Itani, Hana A; McMaster, William G; Saleh, Mohamed A; Nazarewicz, Rafal R; Mikolajczyk, Tomasz P; Kaszuba, Anna M; Konior, Anna; Prejbisz, Aleksander; Januszewicz, Andrzej; Norlander, Allison E; Chen, Wei; Bonami, Rachel H; Marshall, Andrew F; Poffenberger, Greg; Weyand, Cornelia M; Madhur, Meena S; Moore, Daniel J; Harrison, David G; Guzik, Tomasz J

    2016-07-01

    Emerging evidence supports an important role for T cells in the genesis of hypertension. Because this work has predominantly been performed in experimental animals, we sought to determine whether human T cells are activated in hypertension. We used a humanized mouse model in which the murine immune system is replaced by the human immune system. Angiotensin II increased systolic pressure to 162 versus 116 mm Hg for sham-treated animals. Flow cytometry of thoracic lymph nodes, thoracic aorta, and kidney revealed increased infiltration of human leukocytes (CD45(+)) and T lymphocytes (CD3(+) and CD4(+)) in response to angiotensin II infusion. Interestingly, there was also an increase in the memory T cells (CD3(+)/CD45RO(+)) in the aortas and lymph nodes. Prevention of hypertension using hydralazine and hydrochlorothiazide prevented the accumulation of T cells in these tissues. Studies of isolated human T cells and monocytes indicated that angiotensin II had no direct effect on cytokine production by T cells or the ability of dendritic cells to drive T-cell proliferation. We also observed an increase in circulating interleukin-17A producing CD4(+) T cells and both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells that produce interferon-γ in hypertensive compared with normotensive humans. Thus, human T cells become activated and invade critical end-organ tissues in response to hypertension in a humanized mouse model. This response likely reflects the hypertensive milieu encountered in vivo and is not a direct effect of the hormone angiotensin II. PMID:27217403

  8. A humanized version of Foxp2 does not affect ultrasonic vocalization in adult mice.

    PubMed

    Hammerschmidt, K; Schreiweis, C; Minge, C; Pääbo, S; Fischer, J; Enard, W

    2015-11-01

    The transcription factor FOXP2 has been linked to severe speech and language impairments in humans. An analysis of the evolution of the FOXP2 gene has identified two amino acid substitutions that became fixed after the split of the human and chimpanzee lineages. Studying the functional consequences of these two substitutions in the endogenous Foxp2 gene of mice showed alterations in dopamine levels, striatal synaptic plasticity, neuronal morphology and cortico-striatal-dependent learning. In addition, ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) of pups had a significantly lower average pitch than control littermates. To which degree adult USVs would be affected in mice carrying the 'humanized' Foxp2 variant remained unclear. In this study, we analyzed USVs of 68 adult male mice uttered during repeated courtship encounters with different females. Mice carrying the Foxp2(hum/hum) allele did not differ significantly in the number of call elements, their element structure or in their element composition from control littermates. We conclude that neither the structure nor the usage of USVs in adult mice is affected by the two amino acid substitutions that occurred in FOXP2 during human evolution. The reported effect for pup vocalization thus appears to be transient. These results are in line with accumulating evidence that mouse USVs are hardly influenced by vocal learning. Hence, the function and evolution of genes that are necessary, but not sufficient for vocal learning in humans, must be either studied at a different phenotypic level in mice or in other organisms.

  9. Genetic variants in ABCA1 promoter affect transcription activity and plasma HDL level in pigs.

    PubMed

    Dang, Xiao-yong; Chu, Wei-wei; Shi, Heng-chuan; Yu, Shi-gang; Han, Hai-yin; Gu, Shu-Hua; Chen, Jie

    2015-01-25

    Excess accumulation of cholesterol in plasma may result in coronary artery disease. Numerous studies have demonstrated that ATP-binding cassette protein A1 (ABCA1) mediates the efflux of cholesterol and phospholipids to apolipoproteins, a process necessary for plasma high density lipoprotein (HDL) formation. Higher plasma levels of HDL are associated with lower risk for cardiovascular disease. Studies of human disease and animal models had shown that an increased hepatic ABCA1 activity relates to an enhanced plasma HDL level. In this study, we hypothesized that functional mutations in the ABCA1 promoter in pigs may affect gene transcription activity, and consequently the HDL level in plasma. The promoter region of ABCA1 was comparatively scanned by direct sequencing with pool DNA of high- and low-HDL groups (n=30 for each group). Two polymorphisms, c. - 608A>G and c. - 418T>A, were revealed with reverse allele distribution in the two groups. The two polymorphisms were completely linked and formed only G-A or A-T haplotypes when genotyped in a larger population (n=526). Furthermore, we found that the G-A/G-A genotype was associated with higher HDL and ABCA1 mRNA level than A-T/A-T genotype. Luciferase assay also revealed that G-A haplotype promoter had higher activity than A-T haplotype. Single-nucleotide mutant assay showed that c.-418T>A was the causal mutation for ABCA1 transcription activity alteration. Conclusively, we identified two completely linked SNPs in porcine ABCA1 promoter region which have influence on the plasma HDL level by altering ABCA1 gene transcriptional activity.

  10. Short fungal fractions of β-1,3 glucans affect platelet activation.

    PubMed

    Vancraeyneste, Hélène; Charlet, Rogatien; Guerardel, Yann; Choteau, Laura; Bauters, Anne; Tardivel, Meryem; François, Nadine; Dubuquoy, Laurent; Soloviev, Dmitry; Poulain, Daniel; Sendid, Boualem; Jawhara, Samir

    2016-09-01

    Platelets are capable of binding, aggregating, and internalizing microorganisms, which enhances the elimination of pathogens from the blood. The yeast Candida albicans is a pathobiont causing life-threatening invasive infections. Its cell wall contains β-1,3 glucans that are known to trigger a wide range of host cell activities and to circulate during infection. We studied the effect of β-1,3 glucan fractions (BGFs) consisting of diglucosides (Glc2), tetraglucosides (Glc4), and pentaglucosides (Glc5) on human platelets, their mechanisms of action, and their possible impact on host defenses. The effect of BGFs on the coagulation process was determined by measuring thrombin generation. Platelets pretreated with BGFs were analyzed in terms of activation, receptor expression, aggregation, and adhesion to neutrophils and to C. albicans The results show that BGFs affected the endogenous thrombin potential in a concentration-dependent manner. For platelet activation, BGFs at a low concentration (2 μmol/l) reduced ATP release and prevented the phosphorylation of protein kinase C. BGFs diminished the expression of P-selectin and the activation of αIIbβ3 BGFs decreased platelet aggregation and the interaction between thrombin-stimulated platelets and neutrophils, fibrinogen, and C. albicans GLc5 decreased ATP release and TGF-β1 production in response to TLR4 upregulation in thrombin-stimulated platelets, but TLR4 blockage abolished the effect of BGFs on platelets. This study provides evidence that fungal pentaglucosides modulate platelet activity mediated via TLR4 stimulation and reduce platelet-neutrophil interaction. PMID:27288438

  11. Momentary Affective States Are Associated with Momentary Volume, Prospective Trends, and Fluctuation of Daily Physical Activity

    PubMed Central

    Kanning, Martina K.; Schoebi, Dominik

    2016-01-01

    Several interventions aiming to enhance physical activity in everyday life showed mixed effects. Affective constructs are thought to potentially support health behavior change. However, little is known about within-subject associations between momentary affect and subsequent physical activity in everyday life. This study analyzed the extent to which three dimensions of affective states (valence, calmness, and energetic arousal) were associated with different components of daily activity trajectories. Sixty-five undergraduates’ students (Age: M = 24.6; SD = 3.2; females: 57%) participated in this study. Physical activity was assessed objectively through accelerometers during 24 h. Affective states assessments were conducted randomly every 45 min using an e-diary with a six-item mood scale that was especially designed for ambulatory assessment. We conducted three-level multi-level analyses to investigate the extent to which momentary affect accounted for momentary volume, prospective trends, and stability vs. fluctuation of physical activity in everyday life. All three affect dimensions were significantly associated with momentary activity volumes and prospective trends over 45 min periods. Physical activity didn’t fluctuate freely, but featured significant autocorrelation across repeated measurements, suggesting some stability of physical activity across 5-min assessments. After adjusting for the autoregressive structure in physical activity assessments, only energetic arousal remained a significant predictor. Feeling energized and awake was associated with an increased momentary volume of activity and initially smaller but gradually growing decreases in subsequent activity within the subsequent 45 min. Although not related to trends in physical activity, higher valence predicted lower stability in physical activity across subsequent 45 min, suggesting more short-term fluctuations in daily activity the more participants reported positive affective valence. The

  12. Effect of magnesium ion on human osteoblast activity

    PubMed Central

    He, L.Y.; Zhang, X.M.; Liu, B.; Tian, Y.; Ma, W.H.

    2016-01-01

    Magnesium, a promising biodegradable metal, has been reported in several studies to increase bone formation. Although there is some information regarding the concentrations of magnesium ions that affect bone remodeling at a cellular level, little is known about the effect of magnesium ions on cell gap junctions. Therefore, this study aimed to systematically investigate the effects of different concentrations of magnesium on bone cells, and further evaluate its effect on gap junctions of osteoblasts. Cultures of normal human osteoblasts were treated with magnesium ions at concentrations of 1, 2 and 3 mM, for 24, 48 and 72 h. The effects of magnesium ions on viability and function of normal human osteoblasts and on gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) in osteoblasts were investigated. Magnesium ions induced significant (P<0.05) increases in cell viability, alkaline phosphate activity and osteocalcin levels of human osteoblasts. These stimulatory actions were positively associated with the concentration of magnesium and the time of exposure. Furthermore, the GJIC of osteoblasts was significantly promoted by magnesium ions. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that magnesium ions induced the activity of osteoblasts by enhancing GJIC between cells, and influenced bone formation. These findings may contribute to a better understanding of the influence of magnesium on bone remodeling and to the advance of its application in clinical practice. PMID:27383121

  13. Do government brochures affect physical activity cognition? A pilot study of Canada's physical activity guide to healthy active living.

    PubMed

    Kliman, Aviva M; Rhodes, Ryan

    2008-08-01

    Health Canada has published national physical activity (PA) guidelines, which are included in their 26-page Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living (CPAG). To date, the use of CPAG as a motivational instrument for PA promotion has not been evaluated. The purpose of this study was to determine whether reading CPAG 1) increased motivational antecedents to engage in regular PA, and 2) increased regular PA intention and behaviour over 1 month. Participants included 130 randomly sampled Canadian adults (18 years or older) who were randomly mailed pack ages consisting of either 1) a questionnaire and a copy of CPAG, or 2) a questionnaire. Questionnaire items pertained to participants' sociodemographics, previous PA behaviours (Godin Leisure-Time Questionnaire) and PA motivation (theory of planned behaviour). Participants were then sent a follow-up questionnaire pertaining to their PA behaviours throughout the previous month. Results revealed significant interactions between the guide condition and previous activity status on instrumental behavioural beliefs about strength activities and subjective norms about endurance activities (p < 0.05), but all other factors were not significantly different. It was concluded that among previously inactive people, receiving this guide may change some informational/motivational constructs, but key motivational antecedents (affective attitude, perceived behavioural control) and outcomes (intention, behaviour) seem unaffected. PMID:18825580

  14. Heparin affects human bone marrow stromal cell fate: Promoting osteogenic and reducing adipogenic differentiation and conversion.

    PubMed

    Simann, Meike; Schneider, Verena; Le Blanc, Solange; Dotterweich, Julia; Zehe, Viola; Krug, Melanie; Jakob, Franz; Schilling, Tatjana; Schütze, Norbert

    2015-09-01

    Heparins are broadly used for the prevention and treatment of thrombosis and embolism. Yet, osteoporosis is considered to be a severe side effect in up to one third of all patients on long-term treatment. However, the mechanisms underlying this clinical problem are only partially understood. To investigate if heparin affects differentiation of skeletal precursors, we examined the effects of heparin on the osteogenic and adipogenic lineage commitment and differentiation of primary human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs). Due to the known inverse relationship between adipogenesis and osteogenesis and the capacity of pre-differentiated cells to convert into the respective other lineage, we also determined heparin effects on osteogenic conversion and adipogenic differentiation/conversion. Interestingly, heparin did not only significantly increase mRNA expression and enzyme activity of the osteogenic marker alkaline phosphatase (ALP), but it also promoted mineralization during osteogenic differentiation and conversion. Furthermore, the mRNA expression of the osteogenic marker bone morphogenic protein 4 (BMP4) was enhanced. In addition, heparin administration partly prevented adipogenic differentiation and conversion demonstrated by reduced lipid droplet formation along with a decreased expression of adipogenic markers. Moreover, luciferase reporter assays, inhibitor experiments and gene expression analyses revealed that heparin had putative permissive effects on osteogenic signaling via the BMP pathway and reduced the mRNA expression of the Wnt pathway inhibitors dickkopf 1 (DKK1) and sclerostin (SOST). Taken together, our data show a rather supportive than inhibitory effect of heparin on osteogenic hBMSC differentiation and conversion in vitro. Further studies will have to investigate the net effects of heparin administration on bone formation versus bone resorption in vivo to unravel the molecular mechanisms of heparin-associated osteoporosis and reconcile

  15. Human temporal cortical single neuron activity during working memory maintenance.

    PubMed

    Zamora, Leona; Corina, David; Ojemann, George

    2016-06-01

    The Working Memory model of human memory, first introduced by Baddeley and Hitch (1974), has been one of the most influential psychological constructs in cognitive psychology and human neuroscience. However the neuronal correlates of core components of this model have yet to be fully elucidated. Here we present data from two studies where human temporal cortical single neuron activity was recorded during tasks differentially affecting the maintenance component of verbal working memory. In Study One we vary the presence or absence of distracting items for the entire period of memory storage. In Study Two we vary the duration of storage so that distractors filled all, or only one-third of the time the memory was stored. Extracellular single neuron recordings were obtained from 36 subjects undergoing awake temporal lobe resections for epilepsy, 25 in Study one, 11 in Study two. Recordings were obtained from a total of 166 lateral temporal cortex neurons during performance of one of these two tasks, 86 study one, 80 study two. Significant changes in activity with distractor manipulation were present in 74 of these neurons (45%), 38 Study one, 36 Study two. In 48 (65%) of those there was increased activity during the period when distracting items were absent, 26 Study One, 22 Study Two. The magnitude of this increase was greater for Study One, 47.6%, than Study Two, 8.1%, paralleling the reduction in memory errors in the absence of distracters, for Study One of 70.3%, Study Two 26.3% These findings establish that human lateral temporal cortex is part of the neural system for working memory, with activity during maintenance of that memory that parallels performance, suggesting it represents active rehearsal. In 31 of these neurons (65%) this activity was an extension of that during working memory encoding that differed significantly from the neural processes recorded during overt and silent language tasks without a recent memory component, 17 Study one, 14 Study two

  16. Human temporal cortical single neuron activity during working memory maintenance.

    PubMed

    Zamora, Leona; Corina, David; Ojemann, George

    2016-06-01

    The Working Memory model of human memory, first introduced by Baddeley and Hitch (1974), has been one of the most influential psychological constructs in cognitive psychology and human neuroscience. However the neuronal correlates of core components of this model have yet to be fully elucidated. Here we present data from two studies where human temporal cortical single neuron activity was recorded during tasks differentially affecting the maintenance component of verbal working memory. In Study One we vary the presence or absence of distracting items for the entire period of memory storage. In Study Two we vary the duration of storage so that distractors filled all, or only one-third of the time the memory was stored. Extracellular single neuron recordings were obtained from 36 subjects undergoing awake temporal lobe resections for epilepsy, 25 in Study one, 11 in Study two. Recordings were obtained from a total of 166 lateral temporal cortex neurons during performance of one of these two tasks, 86 study one, 80 study two. Significant changes in activity with distractor manipulation were present in 74 of these neurons (45%), 38 Study one, 36 Study two. In 48 (65%) of those there was increased activity during the period when distracting items were absent, 26 Study One, 22 Study Two. The magnitude of this increase was greater for Study One, 47.6%, than Study Two, 8.1%, paralleling the reduction in memory errors in the absence of distracters, for Study One of 70.3%, Study Two 26.3% These findings establish that human lateral temporal cortex is part of the neural system for working memory, with activity during maintenance of that memory that parallels performance, suggesting it represents active rehearsal. In 31 of these neurons (65%) this activity was an extension of that during working memory encoding that differed significantly from the neural processes recorded during overt and silent language tasks without a recent memory component, 17 Study one, 14 Study two

  17. Activation of the Peripheral Endocannabinoid System in Human Obesity

    PubMed Central

    Engeli, Stefan; Böhnke, Jana; Feldpausch, Mareike; Gorzelniak, Kerstin; Janke, Jürgen; Bátkai, Sándor; Pacher, Pál; Harvey-White, Judy; Luft, Friedrich C.; Sharma, Arya M.; Jordan, Jens

    2008-01-01

    Obesity is the main risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. Activation of the central endocannabinoid system increases food intake and promotes weight gain. Blockade of the cannabinoid type 1 (CB-1) receptor reduces body weight in animals by central and peripheral actions; the role of the peripheral endocannabinoid system in human obesity is now being extensively investigated. We measured circulating endocannabinoid concentrations and studied the expression of CB-1 and the main degrading enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), in adipose tissue of lean (n = 20) and obese (n = 20) women and after a 5% weight loss in a second group of women (n = 17). Circulating levels of anandamide and 1/2-arachidonoylglycerol were increased by 35 and 52% in obese compared with lean women (P < 0.05). Adipose tissue mRNA levels were reduced by −34% for CB-1 and −59% for FAAH in obese subjects (P < 0.05). A strong negative correlation was found between FAAH expression in adipose tissue and circulating endocannabinoids. Circulating endocannabinoids and CB-1 or FAAH expression were not affected by 5% weight loss. The expression of CB-1 and FAAH was increased in mature human adipocytes compared with in preadipocytes and was found in several human tissues. Our findings support the presence of a peripheral endocannabinoid system that is upregulated in human obesity. PMID:16186383

  18. Activation of the peripheral endocannabinoid system in human obesity.

    PubMed

    Engeli, Stefan; Böhnke, Jana; Feldpausch, Mareike; Gorzelniak, Kerstin; Janke, Jürgen; Bátkai, Sándor; Pacher, Pál; Harvey-White, Judy; Luft, Friedrich C; Sharma, Arya M; Jordan, Jens

    2005-10-01

    Obesity is the main risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. Activation of the central endocannabinoid system increases food intake and promotes weight gain. Blockade of the cannabinoid type 1 (CB-1) receptor reduces body weight in animals by central and peripheral actions; the role of the peripheral endocannabinoid system in human obesity is now being extensively investigated. We measured circulating endocannabinoid concentrations and studied the expression of CB-1 and the main degrading enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), in adipose tissue of lean (n = 20) and obese (n = 20) women and after a 5% weight loss in a second group of women (n = 17). Circulating levels of anandamide and 1/2-arachidonoylglycerol were increased by 35 and 52% in obese compared with lean women (P < 0.05). Adipose tissue mRNA levels were reduced by -34% for CB-1 and -59% for FAAH in obese subjects (P < 0.05). A strong negative correlation was found between FAAH expression in adipose tissue and circulating endocannabinoids. Circulating endocannabinoids and CB-1 or FAAH expression were not affected by 5% weight loss. The expression of CB-1 and FAAH was increased in mature human adipocytes compared with in preadipocytes and was found in several human tissues. Our findings support the presence of a peripheral endocannabinoid system that is upregulated in human obesity. PMID:16186383

  19. Structural snapshots of actively translating human ribosomes.

    PubMed

    Behrmann, Elmar; Loerke, Justus; Budkevich, Tatyana V; Yamamoto, Kaori; Schmidt, Andrea; Penczek, Pawel A; Vos, Matthijn R; Bürger, Jörg; Mielke, Thorsten; Scheerer, Patrick; Spahn, Christian M T

    2015-05-01

    Macromolecular machines, such as the ribosome, undergo large-scale conformational changes during their functional cycles. Although their mode of action is often compared to that of mechanical machines, a crucial difference is that, at the molecular dimension, thermodynamic effects dominate functional cycles, with proteins fluctuating stochastically between functional states defined by energetic minima on an energy landscape. Here, we have used cryo-electron microscopy to image ex-vivo-derived human polysomes as a source of actively translating ribosomes. Multiparticle refinement and 3D variability analysis allowed us to visualize a variety of native translation intermediates. Significantly populated states include not only elongation cycle intermediates in pre- and post-translocational states, but also eEF1A-containing decoding and termination/recycling complexes. Focusing on the post-translocational state, we extended this assessment to the single-residue level, uncovering striking details of ribosome-ligand interactions and identifying both static and functionally important dynamic elements.

  20. Cross-species affective functions of the medial forebrain bundle-implications for the treatment of affective pain and depression in humans.

    PubMed

    Coenen, Volker A; Schlaepfer, Thomas E; Maedler, Burkhard; Panksepp, Jaak

    2011-10-01

    Major depression (MD) might be conceptualized as pathological under-arousal of positive affective systems as parts of a network of brain regions assessing, reconciling and storing emotional stimuli versus an over-arousal of parts of the same network promoting separation-distress/GRIEF. In this context depression can be explained as an emotional pain state that is the result of a disregulation of several sub-systems that under physiological conditions are concerned with bodily or emotional homeostasis of the human organism in a social context. Physiologically, homeostasis is maintained by influences of the SEEKING system represented - amongst others - by the medial forebrain bundle (MFB). Neuroimaging studies show that the MFB has a proven access to the GRIEF/Sadness system. A functional decoupling of these systems with a dysfunctional GRIEF pathway might result in MD. Therewith GRIEF and SEEKING/PLEASURE systems play important roles as opponents in maintenance of emotional homeostasis. Chronic electrical modulation of the reward SEEKING pathways with deep brain stimulation might show anti-depressive effects in humans suffering from MD by re-initiating an emotional equilibrium (of higher or lower activity) between these opposing systems. PMID:21184778

  1. Muscle Fatigue Affects the Interpolated Twitch Technique When Assessed Using Electrically-Induced Contractions in Human and Rat Muscles.

    PubMed

    Neyroud, Daria; Cheng, Arthur J; Bourdillon, Nicolas; Kayser, Bengt; Place, Nicolas; Westerblad, Håkan

    2016-01-01

    The interpolated twitch technique (ITT) is the gold standard to assess voluntary activation and central fatigue. Yet, its validity has been questioned. Here we studied how peripheral fatigue can affect the ITT. Repeated contractions at submaximal frequencies were produced by supramaximal electrical stimulations of the human adductor pollicis muscle in vivo and of isolated rat soleus fiber bundles; an extra stimulation pulse was given during contractions to induce a superimposed twitch. Human muscles fatigued by repeated 30-Hz stimulation trains (3 s on-1 s off) showed an ~80% reduction in the superimposed twitch force accompanied by a severely reduced EMG response (M-wave amplitude), which implies action potential failure. Subsequent experiments combined a less intense stimulation protocol (1.5 s on-3 s off) with ischemia to cause muscle fatigue, but which preserved M-wave amplitude. However, the superimposed twitch force still decreased markedly more than the potentiated twitch force; with ITT this would reflect increased "voluntary activation." In contrast, the superimposed twitch force was relatively spared when a similar protocol was performed in rat soleus bundles. Force relaxation was slowed by >150% in fatigued human muscles, whereas it was unchanged in rat soleus bundles. Accordingly, results similar to those in the human muscle were obtained when relaxation was slowed by cooling the rat soleus muscles. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that muscle fatigue can confound the quantification of central fatigue using the ITT.

  2. Muscle Fatigue Affects the Interpolated Twitch Technique When Assessed Using Electrically-Induced Contractions in Human and Rat Muscles

    PubMed Central

    Neyroud, Daria; Cheng, Arthur J.; Bourdillon, Nicolas; Kayser, Bengt; Place, Nicolas; Westerblad, Håkan

    2016-01-01

    The interpolated twitch technique (ITT) is the gold standard to assess voluntary activation and central fatigue. Yet, its validity has been questioned. Here we studied how peripheral fatigue can affect the ITT. Repeated contractions at submaximal frequencies were produced by supramaximal electrical stimulations of the human adductor pollicis muscle in vivo and of isolated rat soleus fiber bundles; an extra stimulation pulse was given during contractions to induce a superimposed twitch. Human muscles fatigued by repeated 30-Hz stimulation trains (3 s on–1 s off) showed an ~80% reduction in the superimposed twitch force accompanied by a severely reduced EMG response (M-wave amplitude), which implies action potential failure. Subsequent experiments combined a less intense stimulation protocol (1.5 s on–3 s off) with ischemia to cause muscle fatigue, but which preserved M-wave amplitude. However, the superimposed twitch force still decreased markedly more than the potentiated twitch force; with ITT this would reflect increased “voluntary activation.” In contrast, the superimposed twitch force was relatively spared when a similar protocol was performed in rat soleus bundles. Force relaxation was slowed by >150% in fatigued human muscles, whereas it was unchanged in rat soleus bundles. Accordingly, results similar to those in the human muscle were obtained when relaxation was slowed by cooling the rat soleus muscles. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that muscle fatigue can confound the quantification of central fatigue using the ITT. PMID:27445844

  3. Zinc oxide nanoparticles cause inhibition of microbial denitrification by affecting transcriptional regulation and enzyme activity.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Xiong; Su, Yinglong; Chen, Yinguang; Wan, Rui; Liu, Kun; Li, Mu; Yin, Daqiang

    2014-12-01

    Over the past few decades, human activities have accelerated the rates and extents of water eutrophication and global warming through increasing delivery of biologically available nitrogen such as nitrate and large emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. In particular, nitrous oxide (N2O) is one of the most important greenhouse gases, because it has a 300-fold higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide. Microbial denitrification is a major pathway responsible for nitrate removal, and also a dominant source of N2O emissions from terrestrial or aquatic environments. However, whether the release of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) into the environment affects microbial denitrification is largely unknown. Here we show that the presence of ZnO NPs lead to great increases in nitrate delivery (9.8-fold higher) and N2O emissions (350- and 174-fold higher in the gas and liquid phases, respectively). Our data further reveal that ZnO NPs significantly change the transcriptional regulations of glycolysis and polyhydroxybutyrate synthesis, which causes the decrease in reducing powers available for the reduction of nitrate and N2O. Moreover, ZnO NPs substantially inhibit the gene expressions and catalytic activities of key denitrifying enzymes. These negative effects of ZnO NPs on microbial denitrification finally cause lower nitrate removal and higher N2O emissions, which is likely to exacerbate water eutrophication and global warming.

  4. Zinc oxide nanoparticles cause inhibition of microbial denitrification by affecting transcriptional regulation and enzyme activity.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Xiong; Su, Yinglong; Chen, Yinguang; Wan, Rui; Liu, Kun; Li, Mu; Yin, Daqiang

    2014-12-01

    Over the past few decades, human activities have accelerated the rates and extents of water eutrophication and global warming through increasing delivery of biologically available nitrogen such as nitrate and large emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. In particular, nitrous oxide (N2O) is one of the most important greenhouse gases, because it has a 300-fold higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide. Microbial denitrification is a major pathway responsible for nitrate removal, and also a dominant source of N2O emissions from terrestrial or aquatic environments. However, whether the release of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) into the environment affects microbial denitrification is largely unknown. Here we show that the presence of ZnO NPs lead to great increases in nitrate delivery (9.8-fold higher) and N2O emissions (350- and 174-fold higher in the gas and liquid phases, respectively). Our data further reveal that ZnO NPs significantly change the transcriptional regulations of glycolysis and polyhydroxybutyrate synthesis, which causes the decrease in reducing powers available for the reduction of nitrate and N2O. Moreover, ZnO NPs substantially inhibit the gene expressions and catalytic activities of key denitrifying enzymes. These negative effects of ZnO NPs on microbial denitrification finally cause lower nitrate removal and higher N2O emissions, which is likely to exacerbate water eutrophication and global warming. PMID:25384038

  5. Catalytic activities of Werner protein are affected by adduction with 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal

    PubMed Central

    Czerwińska, Jolanta; Poznański, Jarosław; Dębski, Janusz; Bukowy, Zuzanna; Bohr, Vilhelm A.; Tudek, Barbara; Speina, Elżbieta

    2014-01-01

    4-Hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE) is a reactive α,β-unsaturated aldehyde generated during oxidative stress and subsequent peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Here, Werner protein (WRN) was identified as a novel target for modification by HNE. Werner syndrome arises through mutations in the WRN gene that encodes the RecQ DNA helicase which is critical for maintaining genomic stability. This hereditary disease is associated with chromosomal instability, premature aging and cancer predisposition. WRN appears to participate in the cellular response to oxidative stress and cells devoid of WRN display elevated levels of oxidative DNA damage. We demonstrated that helicase/ATPase and exonuclease activities of HNE-modified WRN protein were inhibited both in vitro and in immunocomplexes purified from the cell extracts. Sites of HNE adduction in human WRN were identified at Lys577, Cys727, His1290, Cys1367, Lys1371 and Lys1389. We applied in silico modeling of the helicase and RQC domains of WRN protein with HNE adducted to Lys577 and Cys727 and provided a potential mechanism of the observed deregulation of the protein catalytic activities. In light of the obtained results, we postulate that HNE adduction to WRN is a post-translational modification, which may affect WRN conformational stability and function, contributing to features and diseases associated with premature senescence. PMID:25170083

  6. Replacement of Val3 in Human Thymidylate Synthase Affects Its Kinetic Properties and Intracellular Stability

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Xiao; Gibson, Lydia M.; Bell, Brittnaie J.; Lovelace, Leslie L.; Pea, Maria Marjorette O.; Berger, Franklin G.; Berger, Sondra H.; Lebioda, Lukasz

    2010-11-03

    Human and other mammalian thymidylate synthase (TS) enzymes have an N-terminal extension of {approx}27 amino acids that is not present in bacterial TSs. The extension, which is disordered in all reported crystal structures of TSs, has been considered to play a primary role in protein turnover but not in catalytic activity. In mammalian cells, the variant V3A has a half-life similar to that of wild-type human TS (wt hTS) while V3T is much more stable; V3L, V3F, and V3Y have half-lives approximately half of that for wt hTS. Catalytic turnover rates for most Val3 mutants are only slightly diminished, as expected. However, two mutants, V3L and V3F, have strongly compromised dUMP binding, with K{sub m,app} values increased by factors of 47 and 58, respectively. For V3L, this observation can be explained by stabilization of the inactive conformation of the loop of residues 181-197, which prevents substrate binding. In the crystal structure of V3L, electron density corresponding to a leucine residue is present in a position that stabilizes the loop of residues 181-197 in the inactive conformation. Since this density is not observed in other mutants and all other leucine residues are ordered in this structure, it is likely that this density represents Leu3. In the crystal structure of a V3F {center_dot} FdUMP binary complex, the nucleotide is bound in an alternative mode to that proposed for the catalytic complex, indicating that the high K{sub m,app} value is caused not by stabilization of the inactive conformer but by substrate binding in a nonproductive, inhibitory site. These observations show that the N-terminal extension affects the conformational state of the hTS catalytic region. Each of the mechanisms leading to the high K{sub m,app} values can be exploited to facilitate design of compounds acting as allosteric inhibitors of hTS.

  7. Replacement of Val3 in human thymidylate synthase affects its kinetic properties and intracellular stability .

    PubMed

    Huang, Xiao; Gibson, Lydia M; Bell, Brittnaie J; Lovelace, Leslie L; Peña, Maria Marjorette O; Berger, Franklin G; Berger, Sondra H; Lebioda, Lukasz

    2010-03-23

    Human and other mammalian thymidylate synthase (TS) enzymes have an N-terminal extension of approximately 27 amino acids that is not present in bacterial TSs. The extension, which is disordered in all reported crystal structures of TSs, has been considered to play a primary role in protein turnover but not in catalytic activity. In mammalian cells, the variant V3A has a half-life similar to that of wild-type human TS (wt hTS) while V3T is much more stable; V3L, V3F, and V3Y have half-lives approximately half of that for wt hTS. Catalytic turnover rates for most Val3 mutants are only slightly diminished, as expected. However, two mutants, V3L and V3F, have strongly compromised dUMP binding, with K(m,app) values increased by factors of 47 and 58, respectively. For V3L, this observation can be explained by stabilization of the inactive conformation of the loop of residues 181-197, which prevents substrate binding. In the crystal structure of V3L, electron density corresponding to a leucine residue is present in a position that stabilizes the loop of residues 181-197 in the inactive conformation. Since this density is not observed in other mutants and all other leucine residues are ordered in this structure, it is likely that this density represents Leu3. In the crystal structure of a V3F.FdUMP binary complex, the nucleotide is bound in an alternative mode to that proposed for the catalytic complex, indicating that the high K(m,app) value is caused not by stabilization of the inactive conformer but by substrate binding in a nonproductive, inhibitory site. These observations show that the N-terminal extension affects the conformational state of the hTS catalytic region. Each of the mechanisms leading to the high K(m,app) values can be exploited to facilitate design of compounds acting as allosteric inhibitors of hTS.

  8. Toward an evolutionary perspective on conceptual representation: species-specific calls activate visual and affective processing systems in the macaque.

    PubMed

    Gil-da-Costa, Ricardo; Braun, Allen; Lopes, Marco; Hauser, Marc D; Carson, Richard E; Herscovitch, Peter; Martin, Alex

    2004-12-14

    Non-human primates produce a diverse repertoire of species-specific calls and have rich conceptual systems. Some of their calls are designed to convey information about concepts such as predators, food, and social relationships, as well as the affective state of the caller. Little is known about the neural architecture of these calls, and much of what we do know is based on single-cell physiology from anesthetized subjects. By using positron emission tomography in awake rhesus macaques, we found that conspecific vocalizations elicited activity in higher-order visual areas, including regions in the temporal lobe associated with the visual perception of object form (TE/TEO) and motion (superior temporal sulcus) and storing visual object information into long-term memory (TE), as well as in limbic (the amygdala and hippocampus) and paralimbic regions (ventromedial prefrontal cortex) associated with the interpretation and memory-encoding of highly salient and affective material. This neural circuitry strongly corresponds to the network shown to support representation of conspecifics and affective information in humans. These findings shed light on the evolutionary precursors of conceptual representation in humans, suggesting that monkeys and humans have a common neural substrate for representing object concepts. PMID:15583132

  9. Does Human Migration Affect International Trade? A Complex-Network Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Fagiolo, Giorgio; Mastrorillo, Marina

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores the relationships between international human migration and merchandise trade using a complex-network approach. We firstly compare the topological structure of worldwide networks of human migration and bilateral trade over the period 1960–2000. Next, we ask whether pairs of countries that are more central in the migration network trade more. We show that: (i) the networks of international migration and trade are strongly correlated, and such correlation can be mostly explained by country economic/demographic size and geographical distance; (ii) centrality in the international-migration network boosts bilateral trade; (iii) intensive forms of country centrality are more trade enhancing than their extensive counterparts. Our findings suggest that bilateral trade between any two countries is not only affected by the presence of migrants from either countries, but also by their relative embeddedness in the complex web of corridors making up the network of international human migration. PMID:24828376

  10. Human brain EEG indices of emotions: delineating responses to affective vocalizations by measuring frontal theta event-related synchronization.

    PubMed

    Bekkedal, Marni Y V; Rossi, John; Panksepp, Jaak

    2011-10-01

    At present there is no direct brain measure of basic emotional dynamics from the human brain. EEG provides non-invasive approaches for monitoring brain electrical activity to emotional stimuli. Event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS) analysis, based on power shifts in specific frequency bands, has some potential as a method for differentiating responses to basic emotions as measured during brief presentations of affective stimuli. Although there appears to be fairly consistent theta ERS in frontal regions of the brain during the earliest phases of processing affective auditory stimuli, the patterns do not readily distinguish between specific emotions. To date it has not been possible to consistently differentiate brain responses to emotion-specific affective states or stimuli, and some evidence to suggests the theta ERS more likely measures general arousal processes rather than yielding veridical indices of specific emotional states. Perhaps cortical EEG patterns will never be able to be used to distinguish discrete emotional states from the surface of the brain. The implications and limitations of such approaches for understanding human emotions are discussed. PMID:21596060

  11. 75 FR 80114 - Agency Information Collection (Obligation To Report Factors Affecting Entitlement) Activity Under...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-21

    ... AFFAIRS Agency Information Collection (Obligation To Report Factors Affecting Entitlement) Activity Under... INFORMATION: Title: Obligation to Report Factors Affecting Entitlement (38 CFR 3.204(a)(1), 38 CFR 3.256(a... compensation benefits must report changes in their entitlement factors. Individual factors such as...

  12. Active and Passive Commuting to School: Influences on Affect in Primary School Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hulley, Angela; Bentley, Nick; Clough, Catherine; Fishlock, Adelle; Morrell, Frances; O'Brien, James; Radmore, Joseph

    2008-01-01

    Active commuting among school children is being encouraged for physical and environmental reasons, but little is known about its influence on affect. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that children who walk further to school experience increased arousal and affective valence compared with children who walk a short distance. This was…

  13. Water content and apparent stiffness of non-caries versus caries-affected human dentin.

    PubMed

    Ito, Shuichi; Saito, Takashi; Tay, Franklin R; Carvalho, Ricardo M; Yoshiyama, Masahiro; Pashley, David H

    2005-01-15

    Caries-affected dentin contains less mineral and more water than surrounding normal dentin. Such dentin should be less stiff and should shrink more than normal dentin when dried. The purpose of this study was to test the relationships between the stiffness, shrinkage, and water content of caries-affected versus normal dentin. Extracted human carious third molars were stained with caries-detector dye and the occlusal surfaces ground down until only caries-affected dentin remained, surrounded by normal dentin. Dentin disks were prepared from these crowns placed in a aluminum well positioned under a modified thermal mechanical analyzer. Changes in specimen height and stiffness were measured following drying or static loading in both caries-affected and surrounding normal dentin. Core samples of these two types of dentin were used to gravimetrically measure water content. Two-way ANOVA and regression analysis was used to test the relationship between shrinkage versus water content, stiffness versus water content, and stiffness versus shrinkage. Caries-affected dentin was found to be less stiff and contained more water than normal dentin (p < 0.05). Regression analysis revealed highly significant inverse relationships between stiffness and water content, and stiffness and shrinkage (p < 0.0005).

  14. Situational motivation and perceived intensity: their interaction in predicting changes in positive affect from physical activity.

    PubMed

    Guérin, Eva; Fortier, Michelle S

    2012-01-01

    There is evidence that affective experiences surrounding physical activity can contribute to the proper self-regulation of an active lifestyle. Motivation toward physical activity, as portrayed by self-determination theory, has been linked to positive affect, as has the intensity of physical activity, especially of a preferred nature. The purpose of this experimental study was to examine the interaction between situational motivation and intensity [i.e., ratings of perceived exertion (RPE)] in predicting changes in positive affect following an acute bout of preferred physical activity, namely, running. Fourty-one female runners engaged in a 30-minute self-paced treadmill run in a laboratory context. Situational motivation for running, pre- and post-running positive affect, and RPE were assessed via validated self-report questionnaires. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed a significant interaction effect between RPE and introjection (P < .05) but not between RPE and identified regulation or intrinsic motivation. At low levels of introjection, the influence of RPE on the change in positive affect was considerable, with higher RPE ratings being associated with greater increases in positive affect. The implications of the findings in light of SDT principles as well as the potential contingencies between the regulations and RPE in predicting positive affect among women are discussed.

  15. Situational Motivation and Perceived Intensity: Their Interaction in Predicting Changes in Positive Affect from Physical Activity

    PubMed Central

    Guérin, Eva; Fortier, Michelle S.

    2012-01-01

    There is evidence that affective experiences surrounding physical activity can contribute to the proper self-regulation of an active lifestyle. Motivation toward physical activity, as portrayed by self-determination theory, has been linked to positive affect, as has the intensity of physical activity, especially of a preferred nature. The purpose of this experimental study was to examine the interaction between situational motivation and intensity [i.e., ratings of perceived exertion (RPE)] in predicting changes in positive affect following an acute bout of preferred physical activity, namely, running. Fourty-one female runners engaged in a 30-minute self-paced treadmill run in a laboratory context. Situational motivation for running, pre- and post-running positive affect, and RPE were assessed via validated self-report questionnaires. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed a significant interaction effect between RPE and introjection (P < .05) but not between RPE and identified regulation or intrinsic motivation. At low levels of introjection, the influence of RPE on the change in positive affect was considerable, with higher RPE ratings being associated with greater increases in positive affect. The implications of the findings in light of SDT principles as well as the potential contingencies between the regulations and RPE in predicting positive affect among women are discussed. PMID:22778914

  16. Xenobiotics that affect oxidative phosphorylation alter differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells at concentrations that are found in human blood

    PubMed Central

    Llobet, Laura; Toivonen, Janne M.; Montoya, Julio; Ruiz-Pesini, Eduardo; López-Gallardo, Ester

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Adipogenesis is accompanied by differentiation of adipose tissue-derived stem cells to adipocytes. As part of this differentiation, biogenesis of the oxidative phosphorylation system occurs. Many chemical compounds used in medicine, agriculture or other human activities affect oxidative phosphorylation function. Therefore, these xenobiotics could alter adipogenesis. We have analyzed the effects on adipocyte differentiation of some xenobiotics that act on the oxidative phosphorylation system. The tested concentrations have been previously reported in human blood. Our results show that pharmaceutical drugs that decrease mitochondrial DNA replication, such as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, or inhibitors of mitochondrial protein synthesis, such as ribosomal antibiotics, diminish adipocyte differentiation and leptin secretion. By contrast, the environmental chemical pollutant tributyltin chloride, which inhibits the ATP synthase of the oxidative phosphorylation system, can promote adipocyte differentiation and leptin secretion, leading to obesity and metabolic syndrome as postulated by the obesogen hypothesis. PMID:26398948

  17. Human Activity and Pollution in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graf, H.-F.; Shirsat, S. V.; Podzun, R.

    2009-04-01

    A regional climate chemistry model is used to determine the level of pollution of the Antarctic continent due to anthropogenic and natural emission of sulphur species. Based on an emission inventory for the year 2004/2005 including emissions from energy use and ground traffic at and between Antarctic research stations, flight activity, tourist and scientific ship operations, and emissions from the Mt. Erebus volcano, atmospheric concentration and deposition rates of sulphur species and black carbon were simulated at 0.5 degree resolution for the whole Antarctic continent. The biggest anthropogenic source of pollution is ship operations. These concentrate near the Antarctic Peninsula and close to the big scientific stations at Queen Maud Land and in the Ross sea area. The prevailing winds guarantee that most of the anthropogenic emissions from sources near the coast will be blown to lower latitudes and do not affect the continent. While atmospheric concentrations over vast areas remain extremely low, in some places locally concentrations and deposition rates are reached that may be detectable by in-situ measurements and give rise to concern. Especially at the Peninsula atmospheric concentrations and surface deposition of sulphur and soot are dominated by ship emissions. The largest part of shipping activity in this region is from tourist ships, a strongly increasing business. The by far biggest source of sulphur species in Antarctica is the Mt. Erebus volcano. It is also the only source that remains equally strong in polar winter. However, due to its high altitude and the long life time of SO2, especially in winter resulting in long range transport and dilution, Erebus emissions contribute relatively little to deposition of sulphur in the most anthropogenic polluted areas while they dominate the sulphur deposition in central Antarctica.

  18. Ecology of conflict: marine food supply affects human-wildlife interactions on land

    PubMed Central

    Artelle, Kyle A.; Anderson, Sean C.; Reynolds, John D.; Cooper, Andrew B.; Paquet, Paul C.; Darimont, Chris T.

    2016-01-01

    Human-wildlife conflicts impose considerable costs to people and wildlife worldwide. Most research focuses on proximate causes, offering limited generalizable understanding of ultimate drivers. We tested three competing hypotheses (problem individuals, regional population saturation, limited food supply) that relate to underlying processes of human-grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) conflict, using data from British Columbia, Canada, between 1960–2014. We found most support for the limited food supply hypothesis: in bear populations that feed on spawning salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), the annual number of bears/km2 killed due to conflicts with humans increased by an average of 20% (6–32% [95% CI]) for each 50% decrease in annual salmon biomass. Furthermore, we found that across all bear populations (with or without access to salmon), 81% of attacks on humans and 82% of conflict kills occurred after the approximate onset of hyperphagia (July 1st), a period of intense caloric demand. Contrary to practices by many management agencies, conflict frequency was not reduced by hunting or removal of problem individuals. Our finding that a marine resource affects terrestrial conflict suggests that evidence-based policy for reducing harm to wildlife and humans requires not only insight into ultimate drivers of conflict, but also management that spans ecosystem and jurisdictional boundaries. PMID:27185189

  19. Ecology of conflict: marine food supply affects human-wildlife interactions on land.

    PubMed

    Artelle, Kyle A; Anderson, Sean C; Reynolds, John D; Cooper, Andrew B; Paquet, Paul C; Darimont, Chris T

    2016-01-01

    Human-wildlife conflicts impose considerable costs to people and wildlife worldwide. Most research focuses on proximate causes, offering limited generalizable understanding of ultimate drivers. We tested three competing hypotheses (problem individuals, regional population saturation, limited food supply) that relate to underlying processes of human-grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) conflict, using data from British Columbia, Canada, between 1960-2014. We found most support for the limited food supply hypothesis: in bear populations that feed on spawning salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), the annual number of bears/km(2) killed due to conflicts with humans increased by an average of 20% (6-32% [95% CI]) for each 50% decrease in annual salmon biomass. Furthermore, we found that across all bear populations (with or without access to salmon), 81% of attacks on humans and 82% of conflict kills occurred after the approximate onset of hyperphagia (July 1(st)), a period of intense caloric demand. Contrary to practices by many management agencies, conflict frequency was not reduced by hunting or removal of problem individuals. Our finding that a marine resource affects terrestrial conflict suggests that evidence-based policy for reducing harm to wildlife and humans requires not only insight into ultimate drivers of conflict, but also management that spans ecosystem and jurisdictional boundaries. PMID:27185189

  20. The voice of emotion across species: how do human listeners recognize animals' affective states?

    PubMed

    Scheumann, Marina; Hasting, Anna S; Kotz, Sonja A; Zimmermann, Elke

    2014-01-01

    Voice-induced cross-taxa emotional recognition is the ability to understand the emotional state of another species based on its voice. In the past, induced affective states, experience-dependent higher cognitive processes or cross-taxa universal acoustic coding and processing mechanisms have been discussed to underlie this ability in humans. The present study sets out to distinguish the influence of familiarity and phylogeny on voice-induced cross-taxa emotional perception in humans. For the first time, two perspectives are taken into account: the self- (i.e. emotional valence induced in the listener) versus the others-perspective (i.e. correct recognition of the emotional valence of the recording context). Twenty-eight male participants listened to 192 vocalizations of four different species (human infant, dog, chimpanzee and tree shrew). Stimuli were recorded either in an agonistic (negative emotional valence) or affiliative (positive emotional valence) context. Participants rated the emotional valence of the stimuli adopting self- and others-perspective by using a 5-point version of the Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM). Familiarity was assessed based on subjective rating, objective labelling of the respective stimuli and interaction time with the respective species. Participants reliably recognized the emotional valence of human voices, whereas the results for animal voices were mixed. The correct classification of animal voices depended on the listener's familiarity with the species and the call type/recording context, whereas there was less influence of induced emotional states and phylogeny. Our results provide first evidence that explicit voice-induced cross-taxa emotional recognition in humans is shaped more by experience-dependent cognitive mechanisms than by induced affective states or cross-taxa universal acoustic coding and processing mechanisms.

  1. The Voice of Emotion across Species: How Do Human Listeners Recognize Animals' Affective States?

    PubMed Central

    Scheumann, Marina; Hasting, Anna S.; Kotz, Sonja A.; Zimmermann, Elke

    2014-01-01

    Voice-induced cross-taxa emotional recognition is the ability to understand the emotional state of another species based on its voice. In the past, induced affective states, experience-dependent higher cognitive processes or cross-taxa universal acoustic coding and processing mechanisms have been discussed to underlie this ability in humans. The present study sets out to distinguish the influence of familiarity and phylogeny on voice-induced cross-taxa emotional perception in humans. For the first time, two perspectives are taken into account: the self- (i.e. emotional valence induced in the listener) versus the others-perspective (i.e. correct recognition of the emotional valence of the recording context). Twenty-eight male participants listened to 192 vocalizations of four different species (human infant, dog, chimpanzee and tree shrew). Stimuli were recorded either in an agonistic (negative emotional valence) or affiliative (positive emotional valence) context. Participants rated the emotional valence of the stimuli adopting self- and others-perspective by using a 5-point version of the Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM). Familiarity was assessed based on subjective rating, objective labelling of the respective stimuli and interaction time with the respective species. Participants reliably recognized the emotional valence of human voices, whereas the results for animal voices were mixed. The correct classification of animal voices depended on the listener's familiarity with the species and the call type/recording context, whereas there was less influence of induced emotional states and phylogeny. Our results provide first evidence that explicit voice-induced cross-taxa emotional recognition in humans is shaped more by experience-dependent cognitive mechanisms than by induced affective states or cross-taxa universal acoustic coding and processing mechanisms. PMID:24621604

  2. Triclosan and bisphenol a affect decidualization of human endometrial stromal cells.

    PubMed

    Forte, Maurizio; Mita, Luigi; Cobellis, Luigi; Merafina, Verdiana; Specchio, Raffaella; Rossi, Sergio; Mita, Damiano Gustavo; Mosca, Lavinia; Castaldi, Maria Antonietta; De Falco, Maria; Laforgia, Vincenza; Crispi, Stefania

    2016-02-15

    In recent years, impaired fertility and endometrium related diseases are increased. Many evidences suggest that environmental pollution might be considered a risk factor for endometrial physiopathology. Among environmental pollutants, endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) act on endocrine system, causing hormonal imbalance which, in turn, leads to female and male reproductive dysfunctions. In this work, we studied the effects of triclosan (TCL) and bisphenol A (BPA), two widespread EDCs, on human endometrial stromal cells (ESCs), derived from endometrial biopsies from woman not affected by endometriosis. Cell proliferation, cell cycle, migration and decidualization mechanisms were investigated. Treatments have been performed with both the EDCs separately or in presence and in absence of progesterone used as decidualization stimulus. Both TCL and BPA did not affect cell proliferation, but they arrested ESCs at G2/M phase of cell cycle enhancing cell migration. TCL and BPA also increased gene expression and protein levels of some decidualization markers, such as insulin growth factor binding protein 1 (IGFBP1) and prolactin (PRL), amplifying the effect of progesterone alone. All together, our data strongly suggest that TCL and BPA might alter human endometrium physiology so affecting fertility and pregnancy outcome. PMID:26604029

  3. Nonsense mutations in the human. beta. -globin gene affect mRNA metabolism

    SciTech Connect

    Baserga, S.J.; Benz, E.J. Jr. )

    1988-04-01

    A number of premature translation termination mutations (nonsense mutations) have been described in the human {alpha}- and {beta}-globin genes. Studies on mRNA isolated from patients with {beta}{sup 0}-thalassemia have shown that for both the {beta}-17 and the {beta}-39 mutations less than normal levels of {beta}-globin mRNA accumulate in peripheral blood cells. (The codon at which the mutation occurs designates the name of the mutation; there are 146 codons in human {beta}-globin mRNA). In vitro studies using the cloned {beta}-39 gene have reproduced this effect in a heterologous transfection system and have suggested that the defect resides in intranuclear metabolism. The authors have asked if this phenomenon of decreased mRNA accumulation is a general property of nonsense mutations and if the effect depends on the location or the type of mutation. Toward this end, they have studied the effect of five nonsense mutations and two missense mutations on the expression of human {beta}-globin mRNA in a heterologous transfection system. In all cases studied, the presence of a translation termination codon correlates with a decrease in the steady-state level of mRNA. The data suggest that the metabolism of a mammalian mRNA is affected by the presence of a mutation that affects translation.

  4. Inference of human affective states from psychophysiological measurements extracted under ecologically valid conditions

    PubMed Central

    Betella, Alberto; Zucca, Riccardo; Cetnarski, Ryszard; Greco, Alberto; Lanatà, Antonio; Mazzei, Daniele; Tognetti, Alessandro; Arsiwalla, Xerxes D.; Omedas, Pedro; De Rossi, Danilo; Verschure, Paul F. M. J.

    2014-01-01

    Compared to standard laboratory protocols, the measurement of psychophysiological signals in real world experiments poses technical and methodological challenges due to external factors that cannot be directly controlled. To address this problem, we propose a hybrid approach based on an immersive and human accessible space called the eXperience Induction Machine (XIM), that incorporates the advantages of a laboratory within a life-like setting. The XIM integrates unobtrusive wearable sensors for the acquisition of psychophysiological signals suitable for ambulatory emotion research. In this paper, we present results from two different studies conducted to validate the XIM as a general-purpose sensing infrastructure for the study of human affective states under ecologically valid conditions. In the first investigation, we recorded and classified signals from subjects exposed to pictorial stimuli corresponding to a range of arousal levels, while they were free to walk and gesticulate. In the second study, we designed an experiment that follows the classical conditioning paradigm, a well-known procedure in the behavioral sciences, with the additional feature that participants were free to move in the physical space, as opposed to similar studies measuring physiological signals in constrained laboratory settings. Our results indicate that, by using our sensing infrastructure, it is indeed possible to infer human event-elicited affective states through measurements of psychophysiological signals under ecological conditions. PMID:25309310

  5. Co-activation based parcellation of the human frontal pole.

    PubMed

    Ray, K L; Zald, D H; Bludau, S; Riedel, M C; Bzdok, D; Yanes, J; Falcone, K E; Amunts, K; Fox, P T; Eickhoff, S B; Laird, A R

    2015-12-01

    Historically, the human frontal pole (FP) has been considered as a single architectonic area. Brodmann's area 10 is located in the frontal lobe with known contributions in the execution of various higher order cognitive processes. However, recent cytoarchitectural studies of the FP in humans have shown that this portion of cortex contains two distinct cytoarchitectonic regions. Since architectonic differences are accompanied by differential connectivity and functions, the frontal pole qualifies as a candidate region for exploratory parcellation into functionally discrete sub-regions. We investigated whether this functional heterogeneity is reflected in distinct segregations within cytoarchitectonically defined FP-areas using meta-analytic co-activation based parcellation (CBP). The CBP method examined the co-activation patterns of all voxels within the FP as reported in functional neuroimaging studies archived in the BrainMap database. Voxels within the FP were subsequently clustered into sub-regions based on the similarity of their respective meta-analytically derived co-activation maps. Performing this CBP analysis on the FP via k-means clustering produced a distinct 3-cluster parcellation for each hemisphere corresponding to previously identified cytoarchitectural differences. Post-hoc functional characterization of clusters via BrainMap metadata revealed that lateral regions of the FP mapped to memory and emotion domains, while the dorso- and ventromedial clusters were associated broadly with emotion and social cognition processes. Furthermore, the dorsomedial regions contain an emphasis on theory of mind and affective related paradigms whereas ventromedial regions couple with reward tasks. Results from this study support previous segregations of the FP and provide meta-analytic contributions to the ongoing discussion of elucidating functional architecture within human FP. PMID:26254112

  6. Structural snapshots of actively translating human ribosomes

    PubMed Central

    Behrmann, Elmar; Loerke, Justus; Budkevich, Tatyana V.; Yamamoto, Kaori; Schmidt, Andrea; Penczek, Pawel A.; Vos, Matthijn R.; Bürger, Jörg; Mielke, Thorsten; Scheerer, Patrick; Spahn, Christian M.T.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Macromolecular machines, such as the ribosome, undergo large-scale conformational changes during their functional cycles. While their mode of action is often compared to that of mechanical machines, a crucial difference is that at the molecular dimension, thermodynamic effects dominate functional cycles, with proteins fluctuating stochastically between functional states defined by energetic minima on an energy landscape. Here, we have used cryo-electron microscopy to image ex vivo-derived human polysomes as a source of actively translating ribosomes. Multiparticle refinement and three-dimensional variability analysis allowed us to visualize a variety of native translation intermediates. Significantly populated states include not only elongation cycle intermediates in pre- and post-translocational states, but also eEF1A-containing decoding and termination/recycling complexes. Focusing on the post-translocational state, we extended this assessment to the single-residue level, uncovering striking details of ribosome-ligand interactions and identifying both static and functionally important dynamic elements. PMID:25957688

  7. [Effects of human engineering activities on permafrost active layer and its environment in northern Qinghai-Tibetan plateau].

    PubMed

    Guo, Zhenggang; Wu, Qingbo; Niu, Fujun

    2006-11-01

    With disturbed and undisturbed belts during the construction of Qinghai-Tibet highway as test objectives, this paper studied the effects of human engineering activities on the permafrost ecosystem in northern Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. The results showed that the thickness of permafrost active layer was smaller in disturbed than in undisturbed belt, and decreased with increasing altitude in undisturbed belt while no definite pattern was observed in disturbed belt. Different vegetation types had different effects on the thickness of permafrost active layer, being decreased in the order of steppe > shrub > meadow. In the two belts, altitude was the main factor affecting the vertical distribution of soil moisture, but vegetation type was also an important affecting factor if the altitude was similar. Due to the human engineering activities, soil temperature in summer was lower in disturbed than in undisturbed belt.

  8. Copper, differently from zinc, affects the conformation, oligomerization state and activity of bradykinin.

    PubMed

    Naletova, Irina; Nicoletti, Vincenzo G; Milardi, Danilo; Pietropaolo, Adriana; Grasso, Giuseppe

    2016-08-01

    The sole role of bradykinin (BK) as an inflammatory mediator is controversial, as recent data also support an anti-inflammatory role for BK in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The involvement of two different receptors (B1R and B2R) could be a key to understand this issue. However, although copper and zinc dyshomeostasis has been demonstrated to be largely involved in the development of AD, a detailed study of the interaction of BK with these two metal ions has never been addressed. In this work, we have applied mass spectrometry, circular dichroism as well as computational methods in order to assess if copper and zinc have the ability to modulate the conformation and oligomerization of BK. In addition, we have correlated the chemical data with the effect of metals on the activity of BK analyzed in cell cultures by biochemical procedures. The biochemical analyses on monocyte/macrophage cell culture (THP-1 Cell Line human) in line with the effect of metals on the conformation of BK showed that the presence of copper can affect the signaling cascade mediated by the BK receptors. The results obtained show a further role of metal ions, particularly copper, in the development and outcome of neuroinflammatory diseases. The possible implications in AD are discussed. PMID:27328010

  9. Foods and food constituents that affect the brain and human behavior

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lieberman, Harris R.; Wurtman, Richard J.

    1986-01-01

    Until recently, it was generally believed that brain function was usually independent of day-to-day metabolic changes associated with consumption of food. Although it was acknowledged that peripheral metabolic changes associated with hunger or satiety might affect brain function, other effects of foods on the brain were considered unlikely. However, in 1971, Fernstrom and Wurtman discovered that under certain conditions, the protein-to-carbohydrate ratio of a meal could affect the concentration of a particular brain neurotransmitter. That neurotransmitter, serotonin, participates in the regulation of a variety of central nervous system (CNS) functions including sleep, pain sensitivity, aggression, and patterns of nutrient selection. The activity of other neurotransmitter systems has also been shown to be, under certain conditions, affected by dietary constituents which are given either as ordinary foods or in purified form. For example, the CNS turnover of two catecholamine neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine, can be altered by ingestion of their amino acid precursor, tyrosine, when neurons that release these monoamines are firing frequently. Similarly, lecithin, a dietary source of choline, and choline itself have been shown to increase the synthesis of acetylcholine when cholinergic neurons are very active. It is possible that other neurotransmitters could also be affected by precursor availability or other, as yet undiscovered peripheral factors governed by food consumption. The effects of food on neurotransmitters and behavior are discussed.

  10. Derivation of Trisomy 21 affected human embryonic stem cell line Genea021.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Bosman, Alexis; McKernan, Robert; Main, Heather; Schmidt, Uli; Peura, Teija

    2016-03-01

    The Genea021 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying Trisomy 21, indicative of Down Syndrome. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, CGH and STR analyses demonstrated a 47, XY, +21 karyotype and male allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 71% of cells expressed Nanog, 84% Oct4, 23% Tra1-60 and 95% SSEA4, gave a Pluritest Pluripotency score of 21.85, Novelty of 1.42, demonstrated Alkaline Phosphatase activity and tri-lineage teratoma formation. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346003

  11. Derivation of Huntington Disease affected Genea046 human embryonic stem cell line.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Chami, Omar; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea046 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying HTT gene CAG expansion of 45 repeats, indicative of Huntington Disease. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XX by CGH and STR analysis demonstrated a female Allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 85% of cells expressed Nanog, 92% Oct4, 75% Tra1-60 and 99% SSEA4 and demonstrated Alkaline Phosphatase activity. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346012

  12. Derivation of Huntington disease affected Genea020 human embryonic stem cell line.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Peura, Teija; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea020 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying Htt gene CAG expansion of 48 repeats, indicative of Huntington disease. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XX by CGH and STR analysis demonstrated a female allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 89% of cells expressed Nanog, 95% Oct4, 29% Tra1-60 and 99% SSEA4, gave a Pluritest pluripotency score of 27.51, novelty of 1.43 and demonstrated alkaline phosphatase activity. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346007

  13. Affection Activities: Procedures for Encouraging Young Children with Handicaps to Interact with Their Peers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McEvoy, Mary A.; And Others

    1990-01-01

    Affection activities (such as hugging, smiling, and saying positive things) can be added to typical preschool games and songs to encourage interaction between handicapped children and nonhandicapped peers. The intervention can be adapted for use with children with diverse handicapping conditions. Typical activities, modified directions for…

  14. Neural Activation Underlying Cognitive Control in the Context of Neutral and Affectively Charged Pictures in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lamm, Connie; White, Lauren K.; McDermott, Jennifer Martin; Fox, Nathan A.

    2012-01-01

    The neural correlates of cognitive control for typically developing 9-year-old children were examined using dense-array ERPs and estimates of cortical activation (LORETA) during a go/no-go task with two conditions: a neutral picture condition and an affectively charged picture condition. Activation was estimated for the entire cortex after which…

  15. Health in the hot zone - How could global warming affect humans?

    SciTech Connect

    Monastersky, R.

    1996-04-06

    A soon-to-be-released report from the World Health Organization examines the health effects of global warming, calling climate change one of the largest public health challenges for the upcoming century. The issue extends beyond tropical illness: deaths caused directly by heat, dwindling agricultural yields etc. could all affect human health. This article looks at the following health related effects and gives an overview of the scientific information available on each: temperature and mortality; tropical trouble, including vecorborne diseases and increase in susceptable populations; and waterborne problems such as cholera, harmful algal bloomes, food shortages.

  16. Does correlated color temperature affect the ability of humans to identify veins?

    PubMed

    Argyraki, Aikaterini; Clemmensen, Line Katrine Harder; Petersen, Paul Michael

    2016-01-01

    In the present study we provide empirical evidence and demonstrate statistically that white illumination settings can affect the human ability to identify veins in the inner hand vasculature. A special light-emitting diode lamp with high color rendering index (CRI 84-95) was developed and the effect of correlated color temperature was evaluated, in the range between 2600 and 5700 K at an illuminance of 40±9  lx on the ability of adult humans to identify veins. It is shown that the ability to identify veins can, on average, be increased up to 24% when white illumination settings that do not resemble incandescent light are applied. The illuminance reported together with the effect of white illumination settings on direct visual perception of biosamples are relevant for clinical investigations during the night. PMID:26831595

  17. Dominant factors affecting temperature rise in simulations of human thermoregulation during RF exposure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laakso, Ilkka; Hirata, Akimasa

    2011-12-01

    Numerical models of the human thermoregulatory system can be used together with realistic voxel models of the human anatomy to simulate the body temperature increases caused by the power absorption from radio-frequency electromagnetic fields. In this paper, the Pennes bioheat equation with a thermoregulatory model is used for calculating local peak temperatures as well as the body-core-temperature elevation in a realistic human body model for grounded plane-wave exposures at frequencies 39, 800 and 2400 MHz. The electromagnetic power loss is solved by the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method, and the discretized bioheat equation is solved by the geometric multigrid method. Human thermoregulatory models contain numerous thermophysiological and computational parameters—some of which may be subject to considerable uncertainty—that affect the simulated core and local temperature elevations. The goal of this paper is to find how greatly the computed temperature is influenced by changes in various modelling parameters, such as the skin blood flow rate, models for vasodilation and sweating, and clothing and air movement. The results show that the peak temperature rises are most strongly affected by the modelling of tissue blood flow and its temperature dependence, and mostly unaffected by the central control mechanism for vasodilation and sweating. Almost the opposite is true for the body-core-temperature rise, which is however typically greatly lower than the peak temperature rise. It also seems that ignoring the thermoregulation and the blood temperature increase is a good approximation when the local 10 g averaged specific absorption rate is smaller than 10 W kg-1.

  18. Focus-of-attention for human activity recognition from UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burghouts, G. J.; van Eekeren, A. W. M.; Dijk, J.

    2014-10-01

    This paper presents a system to extract metadata about human activities from full-motion video recorded from a UAV. The pipeline consists of these components: tracking, motion features, representation of the tracks in terms of their motion features, and classification of each track as one of the human activities of interest. We consider these activities: walk, run, throw, dig, wave. Our contribution is that we show how a robust system can be constructed for human activity recognition from UAVs, and that focus-of-attention is needed. We find that tracking and human detection are essential for robust human activity recognition from UAVs. Without tracking, the human activity recognition deteriorates. The combination of tracking and human detection is needed to focus the attention on the relevant tracks. The best performing system includes tracking, human detection and a per-track analysis of the five human activities. This system achieves an average accuracy of 93%. A graphical user interface is proposed to aid the operator or analyst during the task of retrieving the relevant parts of video that contain particular human activities. Our demo is available on YouTube.

  19. Season of Conception in Rural Gambia Affects DNA Methylation at Putative Human Metastable Epialleles

    PubMed Central

    Waterland, Robert A.; Kellermayer, Richard; Laritsky, Eleonora; Rayco-Solon, Pura; Harris, R. Alan; Travisano, Michael; Zhang, Wenjuan; Torskaya, Maria S.; Zhang, Jiexin; Shen, Lanlan; Manary, Mark J.; Prentice, Andrew M.

    2010-01-01

    Throughout most of the mammalian genome, genetically regulated developmental programming establishes diverse yet predictable epigenetic states across differentiated cells and tissues. At metastable epialleles (MEs), conversely, epigenotype is established stochastically in the early embryo then maintained in differentiated lineages, resulting in dramatic and systemic interindividual variation in epigenetic regulation. In the mouse, maternal nutrition affects this process, with permanent phenotypic consequences for the offspring. MEs have not previously been identified in humans. Here, using an innovative 2-tissue parallel epigenomic screen, we identified putative MEs in the human genome. In autopsy samples, we showed that DNA methylation at these loci is highly correlated across tissues representing all 3 embryonic germ layer lineages. Monozygotic twin pairs exhibited substantial discordance in DNA methylation at these loci, suggesting that their epigenetic state is established stochastically. We then tested for persistent epigenetic effects of periconceptional nutrition in rural Gambians, who experience dramatic seasonal fluctuations in nutritional status. DNA methylation at MEs was elevated in individuals conceived during the nutritionally challenged rainy season, providing the first evidence of a permanent, systemic effect of periconceptional environment on human epigenotype. At MEs, epigenetic regulation in internal organs and tissues varies among individuals and can be deduced from peripheral blood DNA. MEs should therefore facilitate an improved understanding of the role of interindividual epigenetic variation in human disease. PMID:21203497

  20. Factors affecting circulating levels of peptide YY in humans: a comprehensive review.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Jamie A

    2014-06-01

    As obesity continues to be a global epidemic, research into the mechanisms of hunger and satiety and how those signals act to regulate energy homeostasis persists. Peptide YY (PYY) is an acute satiety signal released upon nutrient ingestion and has been shown to decrease food intake when administered exogenously. More recently, investigators have studied how different factors influence PYY release and circulating levels in humans. Some of these factors include exercise, macronutrient composition of the diet, body-weight status, adiposity levels, sex, race and ageing. The present article provides a succinct and comprehensive review of the recent literature published on the different factors that influence PYY release and circulating levels in humans. Where human data are insufficient, evidence in animal or cell models is summarised. Additionally, the present review explores the recent findings on PYY responses to different dietary fatty acids and how this new line of research will make an impact on future studies on PYY. Human demographics, such as sex and age, do not appear to influence PYY levels. Conversely, adiposity or BMI, race and acute exercise all influence circulating PYY levels. Both dietary fat and protein strongly stimulate PYY release. Furthermore, MUFA appear to result in a smaller PYY response compared with SFA and PUFA. PYY levels appear to be affected by acute exercise, macronutrient composition, adiposity, race and the composition of fatty acids from dietary fat.

  1. [Affective behavioural responses by dogs to tactile human-dog interactions].

    PubMed

    Kuhne, Franziska; Hössler, Johanna C; Struwe, Rainer

    2012-01-01

    The communication of dogs is based on complex, subtle body postures and facial expressions. Some social interaction between dogs includes physical contact. Humans generally use both verbal and tactile signals to communicate with dogs. Hence, interaction between humans and dogs might lead to conflicts because the behavioural responses of dogs to human-dog interaction may be misinterpreted and wrongly assessed. The behavioural responses of dogs to tactile human-dog interactions and human gestures are the focus of this study. The participating dogs (n = 47) were privately owned pets.They were of varying breed and gender.The test consisted of nine randomised test sequences (e. g. petting the dog's head or chest). A test sequence was performed for a period of 30 seconds. The inter-trial interval was set at 60 seconds and the test-retest interval was set at 10 minutes. The frequency and duration of the dogs'behavioural responses were recorded using INTERACT. To examine the behavioural responses of the dogs, a two-way analysis of variance within the linear mixed models procedure of IBM SPSS Statistics 19 was conducted. A significant influence of the test-sequenc order on the dogs' behaviour could be analysed for appeasement gestures (F8,137 = 2.42; p = 0.018), redirected behaviour (F8,161 = 6.31; p = 0.012) and socio-positive behaviour (F8,148 = 6.28; p = 0.012). The behavioural responses of the dogs, which were considered as displacement activities (F8,109 = 2.5; p = 0.014) differed significantly among the test sequences. The response of the dogs, measured as gestures of appeasement, redirected behaviours, and displacement activities, was most obvious during petting around the head and near the paws.The results of this study conspicuously indicate that dogs respond to tactile human-dog interactions with gestures of appeasement and displacement activities. Redirected behaviours, socio-positive behaviours as well displacement activities are behavioural responses which dogs

  2. N-Methyl D-Aspartate Receptor Antagonist Kynurenic Acid Affects Human Cortical Development

    PubMed Central

    Bagasrawala, Inseyah; Zecevic, Nada; Radonjić, Nevena V.

    2016-01-01

    Kynurenic acid (KYNA), a neuroactive metabolite of tryptophan degradation, acts as an endogenous N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonist. Elevated levels of KYNA have been observed in pregnant women after viral infections and are considered to play a role in neurodevelopmental disorders. However, the consequences of KYNA-induced NMDAR blockade in human cortical development still remain elusive. To study the potential impact of KYNA on human neurodevelopment, we used an in vitro system of multipotent cortical progenitors, i.e., radial glia cells (RGCs), enriched from human cerebral cortex at mid-gestation (16–19 gestational weeks). KYNA treatment significantly decreased RGCs proliferation and survival by antagonizing NMDAR. This alteration resulted in a reduced number of cortical progenitors and neurons while number and activation of astrocytes increased. KYNA treatment reduced differentiation of RGCs into GABAergic neurons, while differentiation into glutamatergic neurons was relatively spared. Furthermore, in mixed cortical cultures KYNA triggered an inflammatory response as evidenced by increased levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6. In conclusion, elevated levels of KYNA play a significant role in human RGC fate determination by antagonizing NMDARs and by activating an inflammatory response. The altered cell composition observed in cell culture following exposure to elevated KYNA levels suggests a mechanism for impairment of cortical circuitry formation in the fetal brain after viral infection, as seen in neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia. PMID:27746712

  3. Resveratrol affects DNA damage induced by ionizing radiation in human lymphocytes in vitro.

    PubMed

    Basso, Emiliano; Regazzo, Giulia; Fiore, Mario; Palma, Valentina; Traversi, Gianandrea; Testa, Antonella; Degrassi, Francesca; Cozzi, Renata

    2016-08-01

    Resveratrol (3,4',5-trihydroxystilbene; RSV) acts on cancer cells in several ways, inducing cell cycle delay and apoptotic death, and enhancing ionizing radiation (IR)-mediated responses. However, fewer studies have examined RSV effects on normal cells. We have treated human lymphocytes in vitro with RSV, either alone or combined with IR, to evaluate its potential use as a radioprotector. We measured the effects of RSV on induction of DNA damage, repair kinetics, and modulation of histone deacetylase activity. PMID:27476334

  4. Factors affecting platinum concentrations in human surgical tumour specimens after cisplatin.

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, D. J.; Molepo, J. M.; Green, R. M.; Montpetit, V. A.; Hugenholtz, H.; Lamothe, A.; Mikhael, N. Z.; Redmond, M. D.; Gadia, M.; Goel, R.

    1995-01-01

    We assessed factors which affect cisplatin concentrations in human surgical tumour specimens. Cisplatin 10 mg m-2 was given i.v. to 45 consenting patients undergoing surgical resection of neoplasms, and platinum was assayed in resected tumour and in deproteinated plasma by flameless atomic absorption spectrophotometry. By multiple stepwise regression analysis of normalised data, patient characteristics that emerged as being most closely associated (P < 0.05) with tumour platinum concentrations (after correcting for associations with other variables) were tumour 'source' [primary brain lymphomas, medulloblastomas and meningiomas ('type LMM') > 'others' > lung cancer > head/neck cancer > gliomas) or tumour 'type' (LMM > brain metastases > extracerebral tumours > gliomas), serum calcium and chloride (positive correlations) and bilirubin (negative). Tumour location (intracranial vs extracranial) did not correlate with platinum concentrations. If values for a single outlier were omitted, high-grade gliomas had significantly higher platinum concentrations (P < 0.003) than low-grade gliomas. For intracranial tumours, the computerised tomographic scan feature that correlated most closely with platinum concentrations in multivariate analysis was the darkness of peritumoral oedema. Tumour source or type is a much more important correlate of human tumour cisplatin concentrations than is intracranial vs extracranial location. Serum calcium, chloride and bilirubin levels may affect tumour cisplatin uptake or retention. CT scan characteristics may help predict cisplatin concentrations in intracranial tumours. PMID:7880744

  5. Differential Muscle Involvement in Mice and Humans Affected by McArdle Disease.

    PubMed

    Krag, Thomas O; Pinós, Tomàs; Nielsen, Tue L; Brull, Astrid; Andreu, Antoni L; Vissing, John

    2016-05-01

    McArdle disease (muscle glycogenosis type V) is caused by myophosphorylase deficiency, which leads to impaired glycogen breakdown. We investigated how myophosphorylase deficiency affects muscle physiology, morphology, and glucose metabolism in 20-week-old McArdle mice and compared the findings to those in McArdle disease patients. Muscle contractions in the McArdle mice were affected by structural degeneration due to glycogen accumulation, and glycolytic muscles fatigued prematurely, as occurs in the muscles of McArdle disease patients. Homozygous McArdle mice showed muscle fiber disarray, variations in fiber size, vacuoles, and some internal nuclei associated with cytosolic glycogen accumulation and ongoing regeneration; structural damage was seen only in a minority of human patients. Neither liver nor brain isoforms of glycogen phosphorylase were upregulated in muscles, thus providing no substitution for the missing muscle isoform. In the mice, the tibialis anterior (TA) muscles were invariably more damaged than the quadriceps muscles. This may relate to a 7-fold higher level of myophosphorylase in TA compared to quadriceps in wild-type mice and suggests higher glucose turnover in the TA. Thus, despite differences, the mouse model of McArdle disease shares fundamental physiological and clinical features with the human disease and could be used for studies of pathogenesis and development of therapies. PMID:27030740

  6. Examining the construct validity of affective judgments of physical activity measures.

    PubMed

    Chmielewski, Michael; Sala, Margarita; Tang, Rui; Baldwin, Austin

    2016-09-01

    Affective judgments of physical activity have emerged as important predictors of physical activity and interventions targeting affective judgments are a promising approach to improving regular physical activity. Currently, measures assessing a variety of potentially distinct constructs are treated as interchangeable assessments of affective judgments of physical activity. Moreover, little is known about the construct validity of the purported measures of this construct. We review several components of construct validity; highlighting their importance for health psychology research. Then, we examine the construct validity of a wide variety of affective judgment of physical activity measures in MTurk and student samples. Cronbach's alpha for the included measures was uniformly high; however, several scales contained excessively redundant items that ultimately lessen their construct validity. Moreover, dependability estimates for the majority of measures was poor, indicating high levels of transient measurement error. The included measures significantly predicted levels of physical activity; however, their relative predictive power was strongly associated with their dependability. In general, the affective judgment measures demonstrated poor convergent validity suggesting they are not interchangeable and best viewed as assessing distinct, albeit related, constructs. Another important limitation of these measures is that they exhibited poor discriminant validity from exercise self-efficacy, which represents an important theoretical and empirical issue for the field of health behavior research. Overall, the current findings indicate the available affective judgments of physical activity measures are suboptimal, have considerable construct validity limitations, and thereby prevent the further advancement of science, theory, and intervention development in this promising area of research. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27537007

  7. Human erythrocytes and neuroblastoma cells are in vitro affected by sodium orthovanadate.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, M; Fierro, P; Villena, F; Aguilar, L F; Sotomayor, C P; Jemiola-Rzeminska, M; Strzalka, K; Gul-Hinc, S; Ronowska, A; Szutowicz, A

    2012-09-01

    Research on biological influence of vanadium has gained major importance because it exerts potent toxic, mutagenic, and genotoxic effects on a wide variety of biological systems. However, hematological toxicity is one of the less studied effects. The lack of information on this issue prompted us to study the structural effects induced on the human erythrocyte membrane by vanadium (V). Sodium orthovanadate was incubated with intact erythrocytes, isolated unsealed human erythrocyte membranes (IUM) and molecular models of the erythrocyte membrane. The latter consisted of bilayers of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE), phospholipid classes located in the outer and inner monolayers of the human erythrocyte membrane, respectively. This report presents evidence in order that orthovanadate interacted with red cell membranes as follows: a) in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies it was observed that morphological changes on human erythrocytes were induced; b) fluorescence spectroscopy experiments in isolated unsealed human erythrocyte membranes (IUM) showed that an increase in the molecular dynamics and/or water content at the shallow depth of the lipids glycerol backbone at concentrations as low as 50μM was produced; c) X-ray diffraction studies showed that orthovanadate 0.25-1mM range induced increasing structural perturbation to DMPE; d) somewhat similar effects were observed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) with the exception of the fact that DMPC pretransition was shown to be affected; and e) fluorescence spectroscopy experiments performed in DMPC large unilamellar vesicles (LUV) showed that at very low concentrations induced changes in DPH fluorescence anisotropy at 18°C. Additional experiments were performed in mice cholinergic neuroblastoma SN56 cells; a statistically significant decrease of cell viability was observed on orthovanadate in low or moderate concentrations. PMID:22546530

  8. Exosomes: novel effectors of human platelet lysate activity.

    PubMed

    Torreggiani, E; Perut, F; Roncuzzi, L; Zini, N; Baglìo, S R; Baldini, N

    2014-01-01

    Despite the popularity of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and platelet lysate (PL) in orthopaedic practice, the mechanism of action and the effectiveness of these therapeutic tools are still controversial. So far, the activity of PRP and PL has been associated with different growth factors (GF) released during platelet degranulation. This study, for the first time, identifies exosomes, nanosized vesicles released in the extracellular compartment by a number of elements, including platelets, as one of the effectors of PL activity. Exosomes were isolated from human PL by differential ultracentrifugation, and analysed by electron microscopy and Western blotting. Bone marrow stromal cells (MSC) treated with three different exosome concentrations (0.6 μg, 5 μg and 50 μg) showed a significant, dose-dependent increase in cell proliferation and migration compared to the control. In addition, osteogenic differentiation assays demonstrated that exosome concentration differently affected the ability of MSC to deposit mineralised matrix. Finally, the analysis of exosome protein content revealed a higher amount of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-BB) and transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) as compared to PL. In regards to RNA content, an enrichment of small RNAs in exosomes as compared to donor platelets has been found. These results suggest that exosomes consistently contribute to PL activity and could represent an advantageous nanodelivery system for cell-free regeneration therapies. PMID:25241964

  9. Transcriptomics and proteomics show that selenium affects inflammation, cytoskeleton, and cancer pathways in human rectal biopsies.

    PubMed

    Méplan, Catherine; Johnson, Ian T; Polley, Abigael C J; Cockell, Simon; Bradburn, David M; Commane, Daniel M; Arasaradnam, Ramesh P; Mulholland, Francis; Zupanic, Anze; Mathers, John C; Hesketh, John

    2016-08-01

    Epidemiologic studies highlight the potential role of dietary selenium (Se) in colorectal cancer prevention. Our goal was to elucidate whether expression of factors crucial for colorectal homoeostasis is affected by physiologic differences in Se status. Using transcriptomics and proteomics followed by pathway analysis, we identified pathways affected by Se status in rectal biopsies from 22 healthy adults, including 11 controls with optimal status (mean plasma Se = 1.43 μM) and 11 subjects with suboptimal status (mean plasma Se = 0.86 μM). We observed that 254 genes and 26 proteins implicated in cancer (80%), immune function and inflammatory response (40%), cell growth and proliferation (70%), cellular movement, and cell death (50%) were differentially expressed between the 2 groups. Expression of 69 genes, including selenoproteins W1 and K, which are genes involved in cytoskeleton remodelling and transcription factor NFκB signaling, correlated significantly with Se status. Integrating proteomics and transcriptomics datasets revealed reduced inflammatory and immune responses and cytoskeleton remodelling in the suboptimal Se status group. This is the first study combining omics technologies to describe the impact of differences in Se status on colorectal expression patterns, revealing that suboptimal Se status could alter inflammatory signaling and cytoskeleton in human rectal mucosa and so influence cancer risk.-Méplan, C., Johnson, I. T., Polley, A. C. J., Cockell, S., Bradburn, D. M., Commane, D. M., Arasaradnam, R. P., Mulholland, F., Zupanic, A., Mathers, J. C., Hesketh, J. Transcriptomics and proteomics show that selenium affects inflammation, cytoskeleton, and cancer pathways in human rectal biopsies. PMID:27103578

  10. Enhancing Human Spermine Synthase Activity by Engineered Mutations

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhe; Zheng, Yueli; Petukh, Margo; Pegg, Anthony; Ikeguchi, Yoshihiko; Alexov, Emil

    2013-01-01

    Spermine synthase (SMS) is an enzyme which function is to convert spermidine into spermine. It was shown that gene defects resulting in amino acid changes of the wild type SMS cause Snyder-Robinson syndrome, which is a mild-to-moderate mental disability associated with osteoporosis, facial asymmetry, thin habitus, hypotonia, and a nonspecific movement disorder. These disease-causing missense mutations were demonstrated, both in silico and in vitro, to affect the wild type function of SMS by either destabilizing the SMS dimer/monomer or directly affecting the hydrogen bond network of the active site of SMS. In contrast to these studies, here we report an artificial engineering of a more efficient SMS variant by transferring sequence information from another organism. It is confirmed experimentally that the variant, bearing four amino acid substitutions, is catalytically more active than the wild type. The increased functionality is attributed to enhanced monomer stability, lowering the pKa of proton donor catalytic residue, optimized spatial distribution of the electrostatic potential around the SMS with respect to substrates, and increase of the frequency of mechanical vibration of the clefts presumed to be the gates toward the active sites. The study demonstrates that wild type SMS is not particularly evolutionarily optimized with respect to the reaction spermidine → spermine. Having in mind that currently there are no variations (non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism, nsSNP) detected in healthy individuals, it can be speculated that the human SMS function is precisely tuned toward its wild type and any deviation is unwanted and disease-causing. PMID:23468611

  11. Phencyclidine affects firing activity of ventral tegmental area neurons that are related to reward and social behaviors in rats.

    PubMed

    Katayama, T; Okamoto, M; Suzuki, Y; Hoshino, K-Y; Jodo, E

    2013-06-14

    Patients with schizophrenia exhibit deficits in motivation and affect, which suggests an impairment in the reward system. The psychotomimetic drug, phencyclidine (PCP), also induces schizophrenia-like negative symptoms, such as reduced motivation, blunted affect, and social withdrawal in both humans and animals. Previous studies have indicated that the dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) play a pivotal role in the development of reward-associated learning and motivation. However, how PCP affects the activity of VTA neurons during performance of a reward-related task and social interaction with others in unanesthetized animals remains unclear. Here, we recorded the unit activity of VTA neurons in freely moving rats before and after systemic administration of PCP in a classical conditioning paradigm, and during social interaction with an unfamiliar partner. In the classical conditioning task, two different tones were sequentially presented, one of which accompanied electrical stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle as an unconditioned stimulus. After identifying the response properties of recorded neurons in the classical conditioning task and social interaction, animals received an intraperitoneal injection of PCP. Our study demonstrated that most VTA neurons responsive to reward-associated stimuli were also activated during social interaction. Such activation of neurons was considerably suppressed by systemic administration of PCP, thus, PCP may affect the firing activity of VTA neurons that are involved in motivation, learning, and social interaction. Disruption of the response of VTA neurons to reward stimuli and socially interactive situations may be involved in PCP-induced impairments similar to the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

  12. Common polymorphism in a highly variable region upstream of the human lactase gene affects DNA-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Hollox, E J; Poulter, M; Wang, Y; Krause, A; Swallow, D M

    1999-01-01

    In most mammals lactase activity declines after weaning when lactose is no longer part of the diet, but in many humans lactase activity persists into adult life. The difference responsible for this phenotypic polymorphism has been shown to be cis-acting to the lactase gene. The causal sequence difference has not been found so far, but a number of polymorphic sites have been found within and near to the lactase gene. We have shown previously that in Europeans there are two polymorphic sites in a small region between 974 bp and 852 bp upstream from the start of transcription, which are detectable by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). In this study, analysis of individuals from five other population groups by the same DGGE method reveals four new alleles resulting from three additional nucleotide changes within this very small region. Analysis of sequence in four primate species and comparison with the published pig sequence shows that the overall sequence of this highly variable human region is conserved in pigs as well as primates, and that it lies within a 1kb region which has been shown to control lactase downregulation in pigs. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) studies were carried out to determine whether common variation affected protein-DNA binding and several binding activities were found using this technique. A novel two base-pair deletion that is common in most populations tested, but is not present in Europeans, caused no change in binding activity. However, a previously published C to T transition at -958bp dramatically reduced binding activity, although the functional significance of this is not clear.

  13. Identification of Climatic Factors Affecting the Epidemiology of Human West Nile Virus Infections in Northern Greece.

    PubMed

    Stilianakis, Nikolaos I; Syrris, Vasileios; Petroliagkis, Thomas; Pärt, Peeter; Gewehr, Sandra; Kalaitzopoulou, Stella; Mourelatos, Spiros; Baka, Agoritsa; Pervanidou, Danai; Vontas, John; Hadjichristodoulou, Christos

    2016-01-01

    Climate can affect the geographic and seasonal patterns of vector-borne disease incidence such as West Nile Virus (WNV) infections. We explore the association between climatic factors and the occurrence of West Nile fever (WNF) or West Nile neuro-invasive disease (WNND) in humans in Northern Greece over the years 2010-2014. Time series over a period of 30 years (1979-2008) of climatic data of air temperature, relative humidity, soil temperature, volumetric soil water content, wind speed, and precipitation representing average climate were obtained utilising the ECMWF's (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) system allowing for a homogeneous set of data in time and space. We analysed data of reported human cases of WNF/WNND and Culex mosquitoes in Northern Greece. Quantitative assessment resulted in identifying associations between the above climatic variables and reported human cases of WNF/WNND. A substantial fraction of the cases was linked to the upper percentiles of the distribution of air and soil temperature for the period 1979-2008 and the lower percentiles of relative humidity and soil water content. A statistically relevant relationship between the mean weekly value climatic anomalies of wind speed (negative association), relative humidity (negative association) and air temperature (positive association) over 30 years, and reported human cases of WNF/WNND during the period 2010-2014 could be shown. A negative association between the presence of WNV infected Culex mosquitoes and wind speed could be identified. The statistically significant associations could also be confirmed for the week the WNF/WNND human cases appear and when a time lag of up to three weeks was considered. Similar statistically significant associations were identified with the weekly anomalies of the maximum and minimum values of the above climatic factors. Utilising the ERA-Interim re-analysis methodology it could be shown that besides air

  14. Identification of Climatic Factors Affecting the Epidemiology of Human West Nile Virus Infections in Northern Greece.

    PubMed

    Stilianakis, Nikolaos I; Syrris, Vasileios; Petroliagkis, Thomas; Pärt, Peeter; Gewehr, Sandra; Kalaitzopoulou, Stella; Mourelatos, Spiros; Baka, Agoritsa; Pervanidou, Danai; Vontas, John; Hadjichristodoulou, Christos

    2016-01-01

    Climate can affect the geographic and seasonal patterns of vector-borne disease incidence such as West Nile Virus (WNV) infections. We explore the association between climatic factors and the occurrence of West Nile fever (WNF) or West Nile neuro-invasive disease (WNND) in humans in Northern Greece over the years 2010-2014. Time series over a period of 30 years (1979-2008) of climatic data of air temperature, relative humidity, soil temperature, volumetric soil water content, wind speed, and precipitation representing average climate were obtained utilising the ECMWF's (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) system allowing for a homogeneous set of data in time and space. We analysed data of reported human cases of WNF/WNND and Culex mosquitoes in Northern Greece. Quantitative assessment resulted in identifying associations between the above climatic variables and reported human cases of WNF/WNND. A substantial fraction of the cases was linked to the upper percentiles of the distribution of air and soil temperature for the period 1979-2008 and the lower percentiles of relative humidity and soil water content. A statistically relevant relationship between the mean weekly value climatic anomalies of wind speed (negative association), relative humidity (negative association) and air temperature (positive association) over 30 years, and reported human cases of WNF/WNND during the period 2010-2014 could be shown. A negative association between the presence of WNV infected Culex mosquitoes and wind speed could be identified. The statistically significant associations could also be confirmed for the week the WNF/WNND human cases appear and when a time lag of up to three weeks was considered. Similar statistically significant associations were identified with the weekly anomalies of the maximum and minimum values of the above climatic factors. Utilising the ERA-Interim re-analysis methodology it could be shown that besides air

  15. Identification of Climatic Factors Affecting the Epidemiology of Human West Nile Virus Infections in Northern Greece

    PubMed Central

    Stilianakis, Nikolaos I.; Syrris, Vasileios; Petroliagkis, Thomas; Pärt, Peeter; Gewehr, Sandra; Kalaitzopoulou, Stella; Mourelatos, Spiros; Baka, Agoritsa; Pervanidou, Danai; Vontas, John; Hadjichristodoulou, Christos

    2016-01-01

    Climate can affect the geographic and seasonal patterns of vector-borne disease incidence such as West Nile Virus (WNV) infections. We explore the association between climatic factors and the occurrence of West Nile fever (WNF) or West Nile neuro-invasive disease (WNND) in humans in Northern Greece over the years 2010–2014. Time series over a period of 30 years (1979–2008) of climatic data of air temperature, relative humidity, soil temperature, volumetric soil water content, wind speed, and precipitation representing average climate were obtained utilising the ECMWF’s (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) system allowing for a homogeneous set of data in time and space. We analysed data of reported human cases of WNF/WNND and Culex mosquitoes in Northern Greece. Quantitative assessment resulted in identifying associations between the above climatic variables and reported human cases of WNF/WNND. A substantial fraction of the cases was linked to the upper percentiles of the distribution of air and soil temperature for the period 1979–2008 and the lower percentiles of relative humidity and soil water content. A statistically relevant relationship between the mean weekly value climatic anomalies of wind speed (negative association), relative humidity (negative association) and air temperature (positive association) over 30 years, and reported human cases of WNF/WNND during the period 2010–2014 could be shown. A negative association between the presence of WNV infected Culex mosquitoes and wind speed could be identified. The statistically significant associations could also be confirmed for the week the WNF/WNND human cases appear and when a time lag of up to three weeks was considered. Similar statistically significant associations were identified with the weekly anomalies of the maximum and minimum values of the above climatic factors. Utilising the ERA-Interim re-analysis methodology it could be shown that besides

  16. Discretionary time among older adults: how do physical activity promotion interventions affect sedentary and active behaviors?

    PubMed

    Lee, Rebecca E; King, Abby C

    2003-01-01

    Investigation goals were to document discretionary time activities among older adults, determine whether time spent in discretionary activities varied by gender, and investigate whether participation in a prescribed physical activity (P) intervention increased the time that older adults spend in discretionary time physical activities that were not specifically prescribed by interventions. Longitudinal data were drawn from 2 published studies of older adults. Study 1 compared 2 PA interventions in healthy older men and women (N = 103, M =70.2 years), and Study 2 compared a PA intervention with a nutrition intervention in healthy older women (N =93, M =63.1 years). Participants in both studies completed similar assessments of their discretionary time activities using the Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors questionnaire. Across both studies, at baseline, over 95% of participants reported talking on the telephone and reading as frequent sedentary discretionary time activities; over 80% reported visiting with friends and watching television or listening to the radio. Women engaged in significantly greater hours of social activities and household maintenance activities than did men (p <.05). From baseline to 12-month posttest, social, recreational, and household activities remained stable by gender and across time after participating in a PA intervention. Despite previously documented 2- to 3-hr increases in physical activities occurring in response to the study interventions, increases did not generalize for most participants to activities not prescribed by the intervention. Older adults are participating in numerous sedentary social and recreational activities that appear to remain stable across time and in the face of PA intervention prescriptions. PMID:12704013

  17. Human cells and cell membrane molecular models are affected in vitro by chlorpromazine.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, Mario; Villena, Fernando; Sotomayor, Carlos P; Bolognin, Silvia; Zatta, Paolo

    2008-06-01

    This study presents evidence that chlorpromazine (CPZ) affects human cells and cell membrane molecular models. Human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells incubated with 0.1 mM CPZ suffered a decrease of cell viability. On the other hand, phase contrast microscopy observations of human erythrocytes indicated that they underwent a morphological alteration as 1 microM CPZ changed their discoid normal shape to stomatocytes, and to hemolysis with 1 mM CPZ. X-ray diffraction experiments performed on dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE) bilayers, classes of the major phospholipids present in the outer and inner sides of the erythrocyte membrane, respectively showed that CPZ disordered the polar head and acyl chain regions of both DMPC and DMPE, where these interactions were stronger with DMPC bilayers. Fluorescence spectroscopy on DMPC LUV at 18 degrees C confirmed these results. In fact, the assays showed that CPZ induced a significant reduction of their generalized polarization (GP) and anisotropy (r) values, indicative of enhanced disorder at the polar head and acyl chain regions of the DMPC lipid bilayer. PMID:18372093

  18. Fya/Fyb antigen polymorphism in human erythrocyte Duffy antigen affects susceptibility to Plasmodium vivax malaria

    PubMed Central

    King, Christopher L.; Adams, John H.; Xianli, Jia; Grimberg, Brian T.; McHenry, Amy M.; Greenberg, Lior J.; Siddiqui, Asim; Howes, Rosalind E.; da Silva-Nunes, Monica; Ferreira, Marcelo U.; Zimmerman, Peter A.

    2011-01-01

    Plasmodium vivax (Pv) is a major cause of human malaria and is increasing in public health importance compared with falciparum malaria. Pv is unique among human malarias in that invasion of erythrocytes is almost solely dependent on the red cell's surface receptor, known as the Duffy blood-group antigen (Fy). Fy is an important minor blood-group antigen that has two immunologically distinct alleles, referred to as Fya or Fyb, resulting from a single-point mutation. This mutation occurs within the binding domain of the parasite's red cell invasion ligand. Whether this polymorphism affects susceptibility to clinical vivax malaria is unknown. Here we show that Fya, compared with Fyb, significantly diminishes binding of Pv Duffy binding protein (PvDBP) at the erythrocyte surface, and is associated with a reduced risk of clinical Pv in humans. Erythrocytes expressing Fya had 41–50% lower binding compared with Fyb cells and showed an increased ability of naturally occurring or artificially induced antibodies to block binding of PvDBP to their surface. Individuals with the Fya+b− phenotype demonstrated a 30–80% reduced risk of clinical vivax, but not falciparum malaria in a prospective cohort study in the Brazilian Amazon. The Fya+b− phenotype, predominant in Southeast Asian and many American populations, would confer a selective advantage against vivax malaria. Our results also suggest that efficacy of a PvDBP-based vaccine may differ among populations with different Fy phenotypes. PMID:22123959

  19. The cross-mammalian neurophenomenology of primal emotional affects: From animal feelings to human therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Panksepp, Jaak

    2016-06-01

    The neural correlates of human emotions are easy to harvest. In contrast, the neural constitution of emotional feelings in humans has resisted systematic scientific analysis. This review summarizes how preclinical affective neuroscience initiatives are making progress in decoding the neural nature of such feelings in animal brains. This has been achieved by studying the rewarding and punishing effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of subcortical emotional networks (labeled SEEING, RAGE, FEAR, LUST, CARE, PANIC, and PLAY systems) that evoke distinct emotion action patterns, as well as rewarding and punishing effects in animals. The implications of this knowledge for development of new psychiatric interventions, especially depression, are discussed. Three new antidepressive therapeutics arising from this work are briefly noted: 1) DBS of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) in humans, 2) reduction of psychological pain that may arise from excessive PANIC arousal, and 3) facilitation of social joy through the study of social play in rats The overall argument is that we may more readily develop new psychiatric interventions through preclinical models if we take animal emotional feelings seriously, as opposed to just behavioral changes, as targets for development of new treatments. PMID:26876723

  20. Plasminogen activators in human colorectal neoplasia.

    PubMed Central

    Gelister, J S; Mahmoud, M; Lewin, M R; Gaffney, P J; Boulos, P B

    1986-01-01

    A crucial step in the transition from adenomatous polyp to invasive colorectal cancer is the degradation of the epithelial basement membrane. Plasminogen activators may play a part in regulating the extracellular protease environment necessary for this to occur. Both functional and antigenic activity of the two principal activators of plasminogen, tissue plasminogen activator and urokinase, were measured in 30 colorectal cancers, matched samples of mucosa, and eight adenomatous polyps. Both polyps (p less than 0.01) and carcinomas (p less than 0.001) had raised urokinase activities compared with normal mucosa, the activity being highest in the carcinomas. Activity of tissue plasminogen activator, however, was diminished in both polyps (p less than 0.01) and carcinomas (p less than 0.001) compared with normal mucosa, the values being lowest in carcinomas. Plasmin generation by urokinase--in contrast with tissue plasminogen activator--is fibrin independent and thus less subject to physiological control. Images p730-a PMID:3094628

  1. Human factors activities in teleoperator development at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Draper, J.V.; Herndon, J.N.

    1986-01-01

    The Consolidated Fuel Reprocessing Program (CFRP) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is developing advanced teleoperator systems for maintenance of future nuclear reprocessing facilities. Remote maintenance systems developed by the CFRP emphasize man-in-the-loop teleoperation. Consequently, human factors issues which affect teleoperator performance must be addressed. This papers surveys research and development activities carried out by the human factors group within the Remote Control Engineering Task of the CFRP.

  2. Effects of human subsistence activities on forest birds in northern Kenya.

    PubMed

    Borghesio, Luca

    2008-04-01

    Indigenous tribes and conservation biologists may have common goals and may be able to collaborate on the maintenance of biodiversity, but few researchers have evaluated the impacts and potential benefits of human subsistence activities. I studied the effects of subsistence activities (primarily wood collection) of nomadic pastoralists in 3 Afromontane forests of northern Kenya. In surveys of 404, 25-m-radius plots, I recorded vegetation structure and composition of the forest bird community. Plots with higher levels of human activity had significantly different vegetation structure, with more-open canopies, more grass, and fewer tree stems. Nectarivores (abundance +231%) and aerial insectivores (+66%) were more abundant in plots with more-intense wood collecting than in plots with less human activity, whereas abundance of forest specialists (-28%) decreased in plots with more-intense human activity. Abundance of 58% of the bird species either increased or decreased significantly in plots with more-intense human activity. Generally, the number of individuals of forest specialists decreased (6 of 7 species showed significant responses) and the number of individuals of edge and nonforest species increased with increasing human activity. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that an intensification of human activities would favor nectarivores, aerial insectivores, granivores, and omnivores and would negatively affect large-sized, ground-foraging species and arboreal frugivores. Subsistence human activities favored the invasion of forest by edge species at the expense of forest specialists; thus, further intensification of forest exploitation by local peoples is not recommended. At the same time, however, subsistence activities in northern Kenya forests appeared to increase the structural diversity of the vegetation and provided suitable habitat for part (but not all) of the forest avifauna, which suggests that subsistence human activities may have a role in the

  3. The Affective Slider: A Digital Self-Assessment Scale for the Measurement of Human Emotions.

    PubMed

    Betella, Alberto; Verschure, Paul F M J

    2016-01-01

    Self-assessment methods are broadly employed in emotion research for the collection of subjective affective ratings. The Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM), a pictorial scale developed in the eighties for the measurement of pleasure, arousal, and dominance, is still among the most popular self-reporting tools, despite having been conceived upon design principles which are today obsolete. By leveraging on state-of-the-art user interfaces and metacommunicative pictorial representations, we developed the Affective Slider (AS), a digital self-reporting tool composed of two slider controls for the quick assessment of pleasure and arousal. To empirically validate the AS, we conducted a systematic comparison between AS and SAM in a task involving the emotional assessment of a series of images taken from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS), a database composed of pictures representing a wide range of semantic categories often used as a benchmark in psychological studies. Our results show that the AS is equivalent to SAM in the self-assessment of pleasure and arousal, with two added advantages: the AS does not require written instructions and it can be easily reproduced in latest-generation digital devices, including smartphones and tablets. Moreover, we compared new and normative IAPS ratings and found a general drop in reported arousal of pictorial stimuli. Not only do our results demonstrate that legacy scales for the self-report of affect can be replaced with new measurement tools developed in accordance to modern design principles, but also that standardized sets of stimuli which are widely adopted in research on human emotion are not as effective as they were in the past due to a general desensitization towards highly arousing content. PMID:26849361

  4. The Affective Slider: A Digital Self-Assessment Scale for the Measurement of Human Emotions

    PubMed Central

    Betella, Alberto; Verschure, Paul F. M. J.

    2016-01-01

    Self-assessment methods are broadly employed in emotion research for the collection of subjective affective ratings. The Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM), a pictorial scale developed in the eighties for the measurement of pleasure, arousal, and dominance, is still among the most popular self-reporting tools, despite having been conceived upon design principles which are today obsolete. By leveraging on state-of-the-art user interfaces and metacommunicative pictorial representations, we developed the Affective Slider (AS), a digital self-reporting tool composed of two slider controls for the quick assessment of pleasure and arousal. To empirically validate the AS, we conducted a systematic comparison between AS and SAM in a task involving the emotional assessment of a series of images taken from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS), a database composed of pictures representing a wide range of semantic categories often used as a benchmark in psychological studies. Our results show that the AS is equivalent to SAM in the self-assessment of pleasure and arousal, with two added advantages: the AS does not require written instructions and it can be easily reproduced in latest-generation digital devices, including smartphones and tablets. Moreover, we compared new and normative IAPS ratings and found a general drop in reported arousal of pictorial stimuli. Not only do our results demonstrate that legacy scales for the self-report of affect can be replaced with new measurement tools developed in accordance to modern design principles, but also that standardized sets of stimuli which are widely adopted in research on human emotion are not as effective as they were in the past due to a general desensitization towards highly arousing content. PMID:26849361

  5. Do Physical Activity Facilities near Schools Affect Physical Activity in High School Girls?

    PubMed Central

    Trilk, Jennifer L.; Ward, Dianne S.; Dowda, Marsha; Pfeiffer, Karin A.; Porter, Dwayne E.; Hibbert, James; Pate, Russell R.

    2011-01-01

    Objective To investigate associations between the number of physical activity facilities within walking distance of school and physical activity behavior in 12th grade girls during after-school hours. Methods Girls (N=1394) from 22 schools completed a self-report to determine physical activity after 3:00 pm. The number of physical activity facilities within a 0.75-mile buffer of the school was counted with a Geographic Information System. Associations between the number of facilities and girls’ physical activity were examined using linear mixed-model analysis of variance. Results Overall, girls who attended schools with ≥ 5 facilities within the buffer reported more physical activity per day than girls in schools with < 5 facilities. In addition, girls who attended rural schools with ≥ 5 facilities reported ~12% more physical activity per day than girls who attended rural schools with < 5 facilities. No difference existed for girls in urban/suburban schools with ≥ 5 vs. < 5 facilities. Conclusion When school siting decisions are made, the number of physical activity facilities surrounding the school should be considered to encourage physical activity in 12th grade girls. PMID:21334248

  6. Activities of Human Gene Nomenclature Committee

    SciTech Connect

    2002-07-16

    The objective of this project, shared between NIH and DOE, has been and remains to enable the medical genetics communities to use common names for genes that are discovered by different gene hunting groups, in different species. This effort provides consistent gene nomenclature and approved gene symbols to the community at large. This contributes to a uniform and consistent understanding of genomes, particularly the human as well as functional genomics based on comparisons between homologous genes in related species (human and mice).

  7. THE NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY'S CONSOLIDATED HUMAN ACTIVITY DATABASE

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA's National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) has combined data from 12 U.S. studies related to human activities into one comprehensive data system that can be accessed via the Internet. The data system is called the Consolidated Human Activity Database (CHAD), and it is ...

  8. THE NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY'S COMPREHENSIVE HUMAN ACTIVITY DATABASE

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA's National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) has combined data from nine U.S. studies related to human activities into one comprehensive data system that can be accessed via the world-wide web. The data system is called CHAD-Consolidated Human Activity Database-and it is ...

  9. Defining the mechanisms by which the reactive oxygen species by-product, 4-hydroxynonenal, affects human sperm cell function.

    PubMed

    Baker, Mark A; Weinberg, Anita; Hetherington, Louise; Villaverde, Ana-Izabel; Velkov, Tony; Baell, Jonathan; Gordon, Christopher P

    2015-04-01

    Lipid peroxidation products such as the naturally occurring aldehyde 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) are known to be cytotoxic toward different cell types, including spermatozoa. In order to understand this at the molecular level, we have employed a proteomic approach to characterize direct 4-HNE adducts on human spermatozoa. Several proteins were identified to be of particular interest, including aldehyde labeling of histone methyltransferase and dynein heavy chain. In addition, we found that 4-HNE bound to part of the activation segment, cysteine residue 199, of protein kinase A (PKA). Interestingly, at low levels, addition of 4-HNE had a stimulatory effect on PKA. However, this did not correlate to increased phosphotyrosine levels during capacitation. This data explains the link between reactive oxygen species and sperm toxicity. Given that epigenetic regulation is likely affected in oxidative-stressed spermatozoa, this data show that spermatozoa appear to shut down under these conditions before reaching the egg.

  10. Unraveling dynamics of human physical activity patterns in chronic pain conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paraschiv-Ionescu, Anisoara; Buchser, Eric; Aminian, Kamiar

    2013-06-01

    Chronic pain is a complex disabling experience that negatively affects the cognitive, affective and physical functions as well as behavior. Although the interaction between chronic pain and physical functioning is a well-accepted paradigm in clinical research, the understanding of how pain affects individuals' daily life behavior remains a challenging task. Here we develop a methodological framework allowing to objectively document disruptive pain related interferences on real-life physical activity. The results reveal that meaningful information is contained in the temporal dynamics of activity patterns and an analytical model based on the theory of bivariate point processes can be used to describe physical activity behavior. The model parameters capture the dynamic interdependence between periods and events and determine a `signature' of activity pattern. The study is likely to contribute to the clinical understanding of complex pain/disease-related behaviors and establish a unified mathematical framework to quantify the complex dynamics of various human activities.

  11. Drive for thinness, affect regulation and physical activity in eating disorders: a daily life study.

    PubMed

    Vansteelandt, Kristof; Rijmen, Frank; Pieters, Guido; Probst, Michel; Vanderlinden, Johan

    2007-08-01

    Using Ecological Momentary Assessment, the within patient associations between drive for thinness, emotional states, momentary urge to be physically active and physical activity were studied in 32 inpatients with an eating disorder. Participants received an electronic device and had to indicate at nine random times a day during 1 week their momentary drive for thinness, positive and negative emotional states and their urge to be physically active and physical activity. Multilevel analyses indicated that patients with higher mean levels for urge to be physically active were characterized by lower body mass index (BMI) and chronically negative affect whereas patients with higher mean levels for physical activity were characterized by lower BMI and higher dispositions for drive for thinness. In addition, within patient relations between drive for thinness and urge to be physically active were moderated by BMI and chronically negative affect whereas within patient relations between drive for thinness and physical activity were moderated by BMI. Finally, also positive emotional states were significantly associated with physical activity within patients. By using a daily process design, characteristics of physical activity were revealed that have not been identified with assessment methods that have a lower time resolution.

  12. Overexpression of collagen XIII in extraocular fat affected by active thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy: A crucial piece of the puzzle?

    PubMed

    Morris, Olivia Claire; Schebitz Walter, Kirsten; Telemo, Esbjörn; Hintschich, Christoph

    2016-08-01

    Thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy (TAO) causes irreversible increase in extraocular fat volume that contributes to the risk of exophthalmos and compressive optic neuropathy. Collagen XIII is implicated in uncontrolled cell growth in some tumours, but we are not aware of any studies of collagen XIII in TAO-affected solid tissue to date. We conducted immunohistochemical staining for collagen XIII alpha 1 (COL13A1), present in both the transmembrane and cleaved forms of collagen XIII, in consecutive prospectively collected human extraocular tissue specimens from patients with TAO and controls. We identified overexpression of collagen XIII in active TAO-affected fat. We discuss how species and cell-type specific responses of collagen XIII to stressors may help explain the different phenotypes of TAO. PMID:27245701

  13. Natural selection affects multiple aspects of genetic variation at putatively neutral sites across the human genome.

    PubMed

    Lohmueller, Kirk E; Albrechtsen, Anders; Li, Yingrui; Kim, Su Yeon; Korneliussen, Thorfinn; Vinckenbosch, Nicolas; Tian, Geng; Huerta-Sanchez, Emilia; Feder, Alison F; Grarup, Niels; Jørgensen, Torben; Jiang, Tao; Witte, Daniel R; Sandbæk, Annelli; Hellmann, Ines; Lauritzen, Torsten; Hansen, Torben; Pedersen, Oluf; Wang, Jun; Nielsen, Rasmus

    2011-10-01

    A major question in evolutionary biology is how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across the human genome. Previous work has documented a reduction in genetic diversity in regions of the genome with low recombination rates. However, it is unclear whether other summaries of genetic variation, like allele frequencies, are also correlated with recombination rate and whether these correlations can be explained solely by negative selection against deleterious mutations or whether positive selection acting on favorable alleles is also required. Here we attempt to address these questions by analyzing three different genome-wide resequencing datasets from European individuals. We document several significant correlations between different genomic features. In particular, we find that average minor allele frequency and diversity are reduced in regions of low recombination and that human diversity, human-chimp divergence, and average minor allele frequency are reduced near genes. Population genetic simulations show that either positive natural selection acting on favorable mutations or negative natural selection acting against deleterious mutations can explain these correlations. However, models with strong positive selection on nonsynonymous mutations and little negative selection predict a stronger negative correlation between neutral diversity and nonsynonymous divergence than observed in the actual data, supporting the importance of negative, rather than positive, selection throughout the genome. Further, we show that the widespread presence of weakly deleterious alleles, rather than a small number of strongly positively selected mutations, is responsible for the correlation between neutral genetic diversity and recombination rate. This work suggests that natural selection has affected multiple aspects of linked neutral variation throughout the human genome and that positive selection is not required to explain these observations.

  14. Vitamin B12 affects non-photic entrainment of circadian locomotor activity rhythms in mice.

    PubMed

    Ebihara, S; Mano, N; Kurono, N; Komuro, G; Yoshimura, T

    1996-07-15

    Administration of vitamin B12 (VB12) has been reported to normalize human sleep-wake rhythm disorders such as non-24-h sleep-wake syndrome (HNS), delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) or insomnia. However, the mechanisms of the action of VB12 on the rhythm disorders are unknown. In the present study, therefore, effects of VB12 on circadian rhythms of locomotor activity were examined in mice. In the first experiment, CBA/J mice were maintained under continuous light condition (LL) or blinded, and after free-running rhythms became stable, the mice were intraperitoneally injected with either VB12 or saline at a fixed time every day. In all the mice with tau > 24 h, saline injections resulted in entrainment of circadian rhythms, whereas not all the mice with tau < 24 h entrained to the injection. In contrast to saline injections, VB12 injections did not always induce entrainment and about half of the mice with tau > 24 h free-ran during the injection. In the second experiment, the amount of phase advances of circadian rhythms induced by a single injection of saline at circadian time (CT) 11 under LL was compared between the mice with and without VB12 silastic tubes. The results showed that the amplitude of phase advances was smaller in the mice with VB12 than those without VB12. In the third experiment, daily injections of saline were given to the mice with VB12 silastic tubes maintained under LL. In this chronic treatment of VB12 as well, attenuating effects of VB12 on saline-induced entrainment were observed. These results suggest that VB12 affects the mechanisms implicated in non-photic entrainment of circadian rhythms in mice. PMID:8842380

  15. Affect and achievement goals in physical activity: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Ntoumanis, N; Biddle, S J

    1999-12-01

    Achievement goal orientation theory has been the subject of extensive research in recent years. In view of the importance of identifying the motivational antecedents of affect in physical activity, this study examined through meta-analysis the conflicting evidence regarding the links between different achievement goals and emotions. Using the formulas of Hunter and Schmidt (1), correlations were gathered from 41 independent samples and were corrected for both sampling and measurement errors. The results showed that task orientation and positive affect were moderately-to-highly correlated and in a positive fashion, whereas the relationship between task orientation and negative affect was negative and moderate to small. Both correlations were found to be heterogeneous, and so moderators were sought. The relationships between ego orientation and positive and negative affect were positive but very small, with the former being heterogeneous. Moderators coded were the time frame of affect (independent of context vs. after an athletic event), the physical activity setting (school physical education vs. recreation vs. competitive sport), age (university vs. school students), nationality (British vs. American), nature of negative affect (high vs. low arousal), and the publication status of the studies (published vs. unpublished). Lastly, a subset of the corrected correlations were inserted into a structural equation modelling analysis in order to look concurrently at the relationships among all the variables.

  16. The level of physical activity affects the health of older adults despite being active

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez-Alonso, Lorena; Muñoz-García, Daniel; La Touche, Roy

    2016-01-01

    Health care in the ageing population is becoming a crucial issue, due to the quality of life. Physical activity, is of primary importance for older adults. This report compared the physical activity in two active older adults population with functionality, quality of life, and depression symptoms. A cross-sectional study was developed with 64 older adults. Physical activity was assessed through the Yale Physical Activity Survey for classification into a less activity (LA) group and a more activity (MA) group. Afterwards, the other health variables were measured through specific questionnaires: the quality of life with the EuroQol (EuroQol five dimensions questionnaire, EQ-5D), functionality with the Berg balance scale (BBS) and depression symptoms with the geriatric depression scale (GDS). There is a statistical significant difference between groups for the BBS (t=2.21; P=0.03, d=0.27). The Pearson correlation analysis shows in LA group a moderate correlation between the BBS and age (r=−0.539; P<0.01) and EQ-5D (r=0.480; P<0.01). Moreover, both groups had a moderate negative correlation between GDS and the the EQ-5D time trade-off (r=−0.543; P=0.02). Active older adults with different amounts of physical activity differ in the BBS. This functional score was higher in the MA group. When observing to quality of life, only the LA group was negatively associated with age while in both groups were associated with depression index. PMID:27419115

  17. The level of physical activity affects the health of older adults despite being active.

    PubMed

    Fernandez-Alonso, Lorena; Muñoz-García, Daniel; La Touche, Roy

    2016-06-01

    Health care in the ageing population is becoming a crucial issue, due to the quality of life. Physical activity, is of primary importance for older adults. This report compared the physical activity in two active older adults population with functionality, quality of life, and depression symptoms. A cross-sectional study was developed with 64 older adults. Physical activity was assessed through the Yale Physical Activity Survey for classification into a less activity (LA) group and a more activity (MA) group. Afterwards, the other health variables were measured through specific questionnaires: the quality of life with the EuroQol (EuroQol five dimensions questionnaire, EQ-5D), functionality with the Berg balance scale (BBS) and depression symptoms with the geriatric depression scale (GDS). There is a statistical significant difference between groups for the BBS (t=2.21; P=0.03, d=0.27). The Pearson correlation analysis shows in LA group a moderate correlation between the BBS and age (r=-0.539; P<0.01) and EQ-5D (r=0.480; P<0.01). Moreover, both groups had a moderate negative correlation between GDS and the the EQ-5D time trade-off (r=-0.543; P=0.02). Active older adults with different amounts of physical activity differ in the BBS. This functional score was higher in the MA group. When observing to quality of life, only the LA group was negatively associated with age while in both groups were associated with depression index.

  18. Visual short-term memory load affects sensory processing of irrelevant sounds in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Valtonen, Jussi; May, Patrick; Mäkinen, Ville; Tiitinen, Hannu

    2003-07-01

    We used whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate neural activity in human auditory cortex elicited by irrelevant tones while the subjects were engaged in a short-term memory task presented in the visual modality. As compared to a no-memory-task condition, memory load enhanced the amplitude of the auditory N1m response. In addition, the N1m amplitude depended on the phase of the memory task, with larger response amplitudes observed during encoding than retention. Further, these amplitude modulations were accompanied by anterior-posterior shifts in N1m source locations. The results show that a memory task for visually presented stimuli alters sensory processing in human auditory cortex, even when subjects are explicitly instructed to ignore any auditory stimuli. Thus, it appears that task demands requiring attentional allocation and short-term memory result in interaction across visual and auditory brain areas carrying out the processing of stimulus features.

  19. Derivation of FSHD1 affected human embryonic stem cell line Genea049.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Chami, Omar; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea049 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying a deletion in 4q35 with only 5 D4Z4 repeats by PGD linkage analysis, indicative of FSHD1. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XX by CGH and STR analysis demonstrated a female Allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 90% of cells expressed Nanog, 96% Oct4, 80% Tra1-60 and 99% SSEA4, gave a Pluritest Pluripotency score of 23.16, Novelty of 1.43 and demonstrated Alkaline Phosphatase activity. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346016

  20. Derivation of Huntington Disease affected Genea017 human embryonic stem cell line.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli; Peura, Teija

    2016-03-01

    The Genea017 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying Htt gene CAG expansion of 40 repeats, indicative of Huntington Disease. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, genetic analysis confirmed a 46, XY karyotype and male allele pattern through CGH and STR analysis. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 87% of cells expressed Nanog, 95% Oct4, 88% Tra1-60 and 99% SSEA4, gave a PluriTest pluripotency score of 34.74, novelty of 1.27, demonstrated alkaline phosphatase activity and tri-lineage teratoma formation. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346022

  1. Derivation of FSHD1 affected human embryonic stem cell line Genea050.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Chami, Omar; Main, Heather; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea050 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying a deletion in 4q35 with only 5 D4Z4 repeats by PGD linkage analysis, indicative of FSHD1. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XY and STR analysis demonstrated a male Allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 92% of cells expressed Nanog, 97% Oct4, 79% Tra1-60 and 99% SSEA4, gave a Pluritest Pluripotency score of 25.45, Novelty of 1.45 demonstrated Alkaline Phosphatase activity and tri-lineage teratoma formation. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346025

  2. Derivation of Huntington Disease affected Genea018 human embryonic stem cell line.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Main, Heather; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli; Peura, Teija

    2016-03-01

    The Genea018 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying Htt gene CAG expansion of 46 repeats, indicative of Huntington Disease. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XX by CGH and STR analysis demonstrated a female Allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 75% of cells expressed Nanog, 91% Oct4, 73% Tra1-60 and 96% SSEA4, gave a Pluritest pluripotency score of 31.12, Novelty of 1.45, demonstrated Alkaline Phosphatase activity and tri-lineage teratoma formation. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346005

  3. Entrapped elemental selenium nanoparticles affect physicochemical properties of selenium fed activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Jain, Rohan; Seder-Colomina, Marina; Jordan, Norbert; Dessi, Paolo; Cosmidis, Julie; van Hullebusch, Eric D; Weiss, Stephan; Farges, François; Lens, Piet N L

    2015-09-15

    Selenite containing wastewaters can be treated in activated sludge systems, where the total selenium is removed from the wastewater by the formation of elemental selenium nanoparticles, which are trapped in the biomass. No studies have been carried out so far on the characterization of selenium fed activated sludge flocs, which is important for the development of this novel selenium removal process. This study showed that more than 94% of the trapped selenium in activated sludge flocs is in the form of elemental selenium, both as amorphous/monoclinic selenium nanospheres and trigonal selenium nanorods. The entrapment of the elemental selenium nanoparticles in the selenium fed activated sludge flocs leads to faster settling rates, higher hydrophilicity and poorer dewaterability compared to the control activated sludge (i.e., not fed with selenite). The selenium fed activated sludge showed a less negative surface charge density as compared to the control activated sludge. The presence of trapped elemental selenium nanoparticles further affected the spatial distribution of Al and Mg in the activated sludge flocs. This study demonstrated that the formation and subsequent trapping of elemental selenium nanoparticles in the activated sludge flocs affects their physicochemical properties.

  4. Copper, lead and zinc concentrations of human breast milk as affected by maternal dietary practices

    SciTech Connect

    Umoren, J.; Kies, C.

    1986-03-01

    Maternal dietary practices have been found to affect the concentrations of some nutrients in human breast milk. Lead toxicity is a concern in young children. Lead, copper and zinc are thought to compete for intestinal absorption sites. The objective of the current project was to compare copper, lead and zinc contents of breast milk from practicing lacto-vegetarian and omnivore, lactating women at approximately four months post-partum. Analyses were done by atomic absorption spectrophotometry using a carbon rod attachment. Copper concentrations were higher in milk samples from lacto-ovo-vegetarians. Milk samples from the omnivores had the highest lead and zinc concentrations. Lead and copper concentrations in milk were negatively correlated. The higher zinc concentrations in the milk of the omnivore women may have been related to better utilization of zinc from meat than from plant food sources.

  5. Factors Affecting the Absorption, Metabolism, and Excretion of Cocoa Flavanols in Humans.

    PubMed

    Cifuentes-Gomez, Tania; Rodriguez-Mateos, Ana; Gonzalez-Salvador, Isidro; Alañon, María Elena; Spencer, Jeremy P E

    2015-09-01

    Cocoa is rich in a subclass of flavonoids known as flavanols, the cardiovascular health benefits of which have been extensively reported. The appearance of flavanol metabolites in the systemic circulation after flavanol-rich food consumption is likely to mediate the physiological effects on the vascular system, and these levels are influenced by numerous factors, including food matrix, processing, intake, age, gender, or genetic polymorphisms, among others. This review will focus on our current understanding of factors affecting the absorption, metabolism, and excretion of cocoa flavanols in humans. Second, it will identify gaps in these contributing factors that need to be addressed to conclusively translate our collective knowledge into the context of public health, dietary guidelines, and evidence-based dietary recommendations.

  6. Water quality degradation effects on freshwater availability: Impacts to human activities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peters, N.E.; Meybeck, Michel

    2000-01-01

    The quality of freshwater at any point on the landscape reflects the combined effects of many processes along water pathways. Human activities on all spatial scales affect both water quality and quantity. Alteration of the landscape and associated vegetation has not only changed the water balance, but typically has altered processes that control water quality. Effects of human activities on a small scale are relevant to an entire drainage basin. Furthermore, local, regional, and global differences in climate and water flow are considerable, causing varying effects of human activities on land and water quality and quantity, depending on location within a watershed, geology, biology, physiographic characteristics, and climate. These natural characteristics also greatly control human activities, which will, in turn, modify (or affect) the natural composition of water. One of the most important issues for effective resource management is recognition of cyclical and cascading effects of human activities on the water quality and quantity along hydrologic pathways. The degradation of water quality in one part of a watershed can have negative effects on users downstream. Everyone lives downstream of the effects of some human activity. An extremely important factor is that substances added to the atmosphere, land, and water generally have relatively long time scales for removal or clean up. The nature of the substance, including its affinity for adhering to soil and its ability to be transformed, affects the mobility and the time scale for removal of the substance. Policy alone will not solve many of the degradation issues, but a combination of policy, education, scientific knowledge, planning, and enforcement of applicable laws can provide mechanisms for slowing the rate of degradation and provide human and environmental protection. Such an integrated approach is needed to effectively manage land and water resources.

  7. Human Activity Recognition in AAL Environments Using Random Projections

    PubMed Central

    Damaševičius, Robertas; Vasiljevas, Mindaugas; Šalkevičius, Justas; Woźniak, Marcin

    2016-01-01

    Automatic human activity recognition systems aim to capture the state of the user and its environment by exploiting heterogeneous sensors attached to the subject's body and permit continuous monitoring of numerous physiological signals reflecting the state of human actions. Successful identification of human activities can be immensely useful in healthcare applications for Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), for automatic and intelligent activity monitoring systems developed for elderly and disabled people. In this paper, we propose the method for activity recognition and subject identification based on random projections from high-dimensional feature space to low-dimensional projection space, where the classes are separated using the Jaccard distance between probability density functions of projected data. Two HAR domain tasks are considered: activity identification and subject identification. The experimental results using the proposed method with Human Activity Dataset (HAD) data are presented. PMID:27413392

  8. Human Activity Recognition in AAL Environments Using Random Projections.

    PubMed

    Damaševičius, Robertas; Vasiljevas, Mindaugas; Šalkevičius, Justas; Woźniak, Marcin

    2016-01-01

    Automatic human activity recognition systems aim to capture the state of the user and its environment by exploiting heterogeneous sensors attached to the subject's body and permit continuous monitoring of numerous physiological signals reflecting the state of human actions. Successful identification of human activities can be immensely useful in healthcare applications for Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), for automatic and intelligent activity monitoring systems developed for elderly and disabled people. In this paper, we propose the method for activity recognition and subject identification based on random projections from high-dimensional feature space to low-dimensional projection space, where the classes are separated using the Jaccard distance between probability density functions of projected data. Two HAR domain tasks are considered: activity identification and subject identification. The experimental results using the proposed method with Human Activity Dataset (HAD) data are presented. PMID:27413392

  9. Affective regulation of stereotype activation: It’s the (accessible) thought that counts

    PubMed Central

    Huntsinger, Jeffrey R.; Sinclair, Stacey; Dunn, Elizabeth; Clore, Gerald L.

    2010-01-01

    Extant research demonstrates that positive affect, compared to negative affect, increases stereotyping. In four experiments we explore whether the link between affect and stereotyping depends, critically, on the relative accessibility of stereotype-relevant thoughts and response tendencies. As well as manipulating mood, we measured or manipulated the accessibility of egalitarian response tendencies (Experiments 1-2) and counter-stereotypic thoughts (Experiments 3-4). In the absence of such response tendencies and thoughts, people in positive moods displayed greater stereotype activation —consistent with past research. By contrast, in the presence of accessible egalitarian response tendencies or counter-stereotypic thoughts, people in positive moods exhibited less stereotype activation than those in negative moods. PMID:20363909

  10. Agar composition affects in vitro screening of biocontrol activity of antagonistic microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Bosmans, L; De Bruijn, I; De Mot, R; Rediers, H; Lievens, B

    2016-08-01

    Agar-based screening assays are the method of choice when evaluating antagonistic potential of bacterial biocontrol-candidates against pathogens. We showed that when using the same medium, but different agar compositions, the activity of a bacterial antagonist against Agrobacterium was strongly affected. Consequently, results from in vitro screenings should be interpreted cautiously. PMID:27166668

  11. Elements of Design-Based Science Activities That Affect Students' Motivation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Brett D.; Chittum, Jessica R.; Akalin, Sehmuz; Schram, Asta B.; Fink, Jonathan; Schnittka, Christine; Evans, Michael A.; Brandt, Carol

    2015-01-01

    The primary purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which a 12-week after-school science and engineering program affected middle school students' motivation to engage in science and engineering activities. We used current motivation research and theory as a conceptual framework to assess 14 students' motivation through questionnaires,…

  12. Cognitive, Behavioral, and Affective Activities in the Classrooms of Gifted Secondary Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Golden, Mary Ann Hession

    To compare and evaluate the perception of cognitive, behavioral and affective activities in the classroom as determined by gifted students and their teachers, gifted students in two high schools were studied. Two programs, the Advanced Placement Program and the Cluster Grouping Program were selected for the study. It was concluded that the…

  13. Activation of Inaccurate Prior Knowledge Affects Primary-School Students' Metacognitive Judgments and Calibration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Loon, Mariette H.; de Bruin, Anique B. H.; van Gog, Tamara; van Merrienboer, Jeroen J. G.

    2013-01-01

    The study investigated whether activation of inaccurate prior knowledge before study contributes to primary-school children's commission errors and overconfidence in these errors when learning new concepts. Findings indicate that inaccurate prior knowledge affects children's learning and calibration. The level of children's judgments of learning…

  14. Human task-specific somatosensory activation.

    PubMed

    Ginsberg, M D; Yoshii, F; Vibulsresth, S; Chang, J Y; Duara, R; Barker, W W; Boothe, T E

    1987-08-01

    We used positron emission tomography to study normal patterns of local cortical metabolic activation induced by somatosensory stimuli. Palpation and sorting of mah-jongg tiles by textured design increased local glucose metabolic rate (lCMRgl), by 18% on average, in contralateral somatosensory cortex. A graphesthesia task gave a similar result. In contrast, vigorous vibrotactile stimulation of fingers, face, or knee did not produce a consistent focus of activation. Our results indicate that lCMRgl activation is best achieved by somatosensory tasks requiring an active perceptual effort.

  15. Rewards, aversions and affect in adolescence: Emerging convergences across laboratory animal and human data

    PubMed Central

    Spear, Linda Patia

    2011-01-01

    The adolescent transition is associated with increases in reward- and sensation-seeking, peer-directed social interactions, and risk-taking, with exploratory use of alcohol and other drugs often beginning at this time. These age-related behaviors may have biological roots embedded in the evolutionary past, with similar adolescent-typical characteristics evident across a variety of mammalian species. Drawing across human behavioral and fMRI data and studies conducting in laboratory animals, this review examines processing of rewards, aversions, and affect in adolescence. Evidence for both hyper- and hypo-reactivity during adolescence in the processing of rewards is reviewed, along with possible contributors to these differences. Indications of sometimes heightened reward reactivity during adolescence are contrasted with frequent attenuations in adolescent sensitivity to aversive stimuli. At the same time, adolescents appear particularly prone to becoming emotionally aroused, especially in social contexts. Emerging evidence hints that exaggerated adolescent reactivity in reward and affective systems may be promoted in part by unusual strong cross-reactivity between these systems during adolescence. Such age-related propensities may promote adolescent risk taking, especially in social and exciting contexts, and contribute to adolescent-typical propensities to attach greater benefit and less cost to risky behaviors such as alcohol and drug use than individuals at other ages. PMID:21918675

  16. Does cannabis affect dopaminergic signaling in the human brain? A systematic review of evidence to date.

    PubMed

    Sami, Musa Basser; Rabiner, Eugenii A; Bhattacharyya, Sagnik

    2015-08-01

    A significant body of epidemiological evidence has linked psychotic symptoms with both acute and chronic use of cannabis. Precisely how these effects of THC are mediated at the neurochemical level is unclear. While abnormalities in multiple pathways may lead to schizophrenia, an abnormality in dopamine neurotransmission is considered to be the final common abnormality. One would thus expect cannabis use to be associated with dopamine signaling alterations. This is the first systematic review of all studies, both observational as well as experimental, examining the acute as well as chronic effect of cannabis or its main psychoactive ingredient, THC, on the dopamine system in man. We aimed to review all studies conducted in man, with any reported neurochemical outcomes related to the dopamine system after cannabis, cannabinoid or endocannabinoid administration or use. We identified 25 studies reporting outcomes on over 568 participants, of which 244 participants belonged to the cannabis/cannabinoid exposure group. In man, there is as yet little direct evidence to suggest that cannabis use affects acute striatal dopamine release or affects chronic dopamine receptor status in healthy human volunteers. However some work has suggested that acute cannabis exposure increases dopamine release in striatal and pre-frontal areas in those genetically predisposed for, or at clinical high risk of psychosis. Furthermore, recent studies are suggesting that chronic cannabis use blunts dopamine synthesis and dopamine release capacity. Further well-designed studies are required to definitively delineate the effects of cannabis use on the dopaminergic system in man.

  17. Human resources management and firm performance: The differential role of managerial affective and continuance commitment.

    PubMed

    Gong, Yaping; Law, Kenneth S; Chang, Song; Xin, Katherine R

    2009-01-01

    In this study, the authors developed a dual-concern (i.e., maintenance and performance) model of human resources (HR) management. The authors identified commonly examined HR practices that apply to the middle manager level and classified them into the maintenance- and performance-oriented HR subsystems. The authors found support for the 2-factor model on the basis of responses from 2,148 managers from 463 firms operating in China. Regression results indicate that the performance-oriented HR subsystems had a positive relationship with firm performance and that the relationship was mediated by middle managers' affective commitment to the firm. The maintenance-oriented HR subsystems had a positive relationship with middle managers' continuance commitment but not with their affective commitment and firm performance. This study contributes to the understanding of how HR practices relate to firm performance and offers an improved test of the argument that valuable and firm-specific HR provide a source of competitive advantage. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).

  18. Temporal behaviour profiles of Mus musculus in nature are affected by population activity.

    PubMed

    Robbers, Yuri; Koster, Eva A S; Krijbolder, Doortje I; Ruijs, Amanda; van Berloo, Sander; Meijer, Johanna H

    2015-02-01

    Animals have circadian clocks that govern their activity pattern, resulting in 24h rhythms in physiology and behaviour. Under laboratory conditions, light is the major external signal that affects temporal patterns in behaviour, and Mus musculus is strictly nocturnal in its behaviour. In the present study we questioned whether under natural conditions, environmental factors other than light affect the temporal profile of mice. In order to test this, we investigated the activity patterns of free-ranging M. musculus in a natural habitat, using sensors and a camera integrated into a recording unit that the mice could freely enter and leave. Our data show that mice have seasonal fluctuations in activity duration (6.7±0.82 h in summer, 11.3±1.80 h in winter). Furthermore, although primarily nocturnal, wild mice also exhibit daytime activity from spring until late autumn. A multivariate analysis revealed that the major factor correlating with increased daytime activity was population activity, defined as the number of visits to the recording site. Day length had a small but significant effect. Further analysis revealed that the relative population activity (compared to the past couple of days) is a better predictor of daytime activity than absolute population activity. Light intensity and temperature did not have a significant effect on daytime activity. The amount of variance explained by external factors is 51.9%, leaving surprisingly little unexplained variance that might be attributed to the internal clock. Our data further indicate that mice determine population activity by comparing a given night with the preceding 2-7 nights, a time frame suggesting a role for olfactory cues. We conclude that relative population activity is a major factor controlling the temporal activity patterns of M. musculus in an unrestricted natural population.

  19. Lethal Factor Active-Site Mutations Affect Catalytic Activity In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Hammond, S. E.; Hanna, P. C.

    1998-01-01

    The lethal factor (LF) protein of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin contains the thermolysin-like active-site and zinc-binding consensus motif HEXXH (K. R. Klimpel, N. Arora, and S. H. Leppla, Mol. Microbiol. 13:1093–1100, 1994). LF is hypothesized to act as a Zn2+ metalloprotease in the cytoplasm of macrophages, but no proteolytic activities have been previously shown on any target substrate. Here, synthetic peptides are hydrolyzed by LF in vitro. Mass spectroscopy and peptide sequencing of isolated cleavage products separated by reverse-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography indicate that LF seems to prefer proline-containing substrates. Substitution mutations within the consensus active-site residues completely abolish all in vitro catalytic functions, as does addition of 1,10-phenanthroline, EDTA, and certain amino acid hydroxamates, including the novel zinc metalloprotease inhibitor ZINCOV. In contrast, the protease inhibitors bestatin and lysine CMK, previously shown to block LF activity on macrophages, did not block LF activity in vitro. These data provide the first direct evidence that LF may act as an endopeptidase. PMID:9573135

  20. Human behavior state profile mapping based on recalibrated speech affective space model.

    PubMed

    Kamaruddin, N; Wahab, A

    2012-01-01

    People typically associate health with only physical health. However, health is also interconnected to mental and emotional health. People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their behaviors and experience better quality of life. Hence, understanding human behavior is very important in ensuring the complete understanding of one's holistic health. In this paper, we attempt to map human behavior state (HBS) profiles onto recalibrated speech affective space model (rSASM). Such an approach is derived from hypotheses that: 1) Behavior is influenced by emotion, 2) Emotion can be quantified through speech, 3) Emotion is dynamic and changes over time and 4) the emotion conveyance is conditioned by culture. Empirical results illustrated that the proposed approach can complement other types of behavior analysis in such a way that it offers more explanatory components from the perspective of emotion primitives (valence and arousal). Four different driving HBS; namely: distracted, laughing, sleepy and normal are profiled onto the rSASM to visualize the correlation between HBS and emotion. This approach can be incorporated in the future behavior analysis to envisage better performance.

  1. The absence of numbers to express the amount may affect delay discounting with humans.

    PubMed

    Reyes-Huerta, Hugo E; Dos Santos, Cristiano V

    2016-09-01

    Human delay discounting is usually studied with experimental protocols that use symbols to express delay and amount. In order to further understand discounting, we evaluated whether the absence of numbers to represent reward amounts affects discount rate in general, and whether the magnitude effect is generalized to nonsymbolic situations in particular. In Experiment 1, human participants were exposed to a delay-discounting task in which rewards were presented using dots to represent monetary rewards (nonsymbolic); under this condition the magnitude effect did not occur. Nevertheless, the magnitude effect was observed when equivalent reward amounts were presented using numbers (symbolic). Moreover, in estimation tasks, magnitude increments produced underestimation of large amounts. In Experiment 2, participants were exposed only to the nonsymbolic discounting task and were required to estimate reward amounts in each trial. Consistent with Experiment 1, the absence of numbers representing reward amounts produced similar discount rates of small and large rewards. These results suggest that value of nonsymbolic rewards is a nonlinear function of amount and that value attribution depends on perceived difference between the immediate and the delayed nonsymbolic rewards.

  2. Larval food quantity affects the capacity of adult mosquitoes to transmit human malaria

    PubMed Central

    Shapiro, Lillian L. M.; Murdock, Courtney C.; Jacobs, Gregory R.; Thomas, Rachel J.; Thomas, Matthew B.

    2016-01-01

    Adult traits of holometabolous insects are shaped by conditions experienced during larval development, which might impact interactions between adult insect hosts and parasites. However, the ecology of larval insects that vector disease remains poorly understood. Here, we used Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes and the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, to investigate whether larval conditions affect the capacity of adult mosquitoes to transmit malaria. We reared larvae in two groups; one group received a standard laboratory rearing diet, whereas the other received a reduced diet. Emerging adult females were then provided an infectious blood meal. We assessed mosquito longevity, parasite development rate and prevalence of infectious mosquitoes over time. Reduced larval food led to increased adult mortality and caused a delay in parasite development and a slowing in the rate at which parasites invaded the mosquito salivary glands, extending the time it took for mosquitoes to become infectious. Together, these effects increased transmission potential of mosquitoes in the high food regime by 260–330%. Such effects have not, to our knowledge, been shown previously for human malaria and highlight the importance of improving knowledge of larval ecology to better understand vector-borne disease transmission dynamics. PMID:27412284

  3. Window Size Impact in Human Activity Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Banos, Oresti; Galvez, Juan-Manuel; Damas, Miguel; Pomares, Hector; Rojas, Ignacio

    2014-01-01

    Signal segmentation is a crucial stage in the activity recognition process; however, this has been rarely and vaguely characterized so far. Windowing approaches are normally used for segmentation, but no clear consensus exists on which window size should be preferably employed. In fact, most designs normally rely on figures used in previous works, but with no strict studies that support them. Intuitively, decreasing the window size allows for a faster activity detection, as well as reduced resources and energy needs. On the contrary, large data windows are normally considered for the recognition of complex activities. In this work, we present an extensive study to fairly characterize the windowing procedure, to determine its impact within the activity recognition process and to help clarify some of the habitual assumptions made during the recognition system design. To that end, some of the most widely used activity recognition procedures are evaluated for a wide range of window sizes and activities. From the evaluation, the interval 1–2 s proves to provide the best trade-off between recognition speed and accuracy. The study, specifically intended for on-body activity recognition systems, further provides designers with a set of guidelines devised to facilitate the system definition and configuration according to the particular application requirements and target activities. PMID:24721766

  4. Window size impact in human activity recognition.

    PubMed

    Banos, Oresti; Galvez, Juan-Manuel; Damas, Miguel; Pomares, Hector; Rojas, Ignacio

    2014-01-01

    Signal segmentation is a crucial stage in the activity recognition process; however, this has been rarely and vaguely characterized so far. Windowing approaches are normally used for segmentation, but no clear consensus exists on which window size should be preferably employed. In fact, most designs normally rely on figures used in previous works, but with no strict studies that support them. Intuitively, decreasing the window size allows for a faster activity detection, as well as reduced resources and energy needs. On the contrary, large data windows are normally considered for the recognition of complex activities. In this work, we present an extensive study to fairly characterize the windowing procedure, to determine its impact within the activity recognition process and to help clarify some of the habitual assumptions made during the recognition system design. To that end, some of the most widely used activity recognition procedures are evaluated for a wide range of window sizes and activities. From the evaluation, the interval 1-2 s proves to provide the best trade-off between recognition speed and accuracy. The study, specifically intended for on-body activity recognition systems, further provides designers with a set of guidelines devised to facilitate the system definition and configuration according to the particular application requirements and target activities. PMID:24721766

  5. Plant material as bioaccumulator of arsenic in soils affected by mining activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-López, Salvadora; Martínez-Sánchez, Maria Jose; García-Lorenzo, Maria Luz; Pérez-Sirvent, Carmen

    2010-05-01

    Heavy metal contamination is an important environmental problem, since the metals are harmful to humans, animals and tend to bioaccumulate in the food chain. The aim of this study was to determine the total concentration of As, As (III) and As(V) in soil samples, leaves and roots of plant material, growing in a mining area in Spain (Murcia). Ditichia viscosa was used as the plant of reference. The concentrations of bioavailable As in plant samples were calculated by different soil chemical extraction methods; deionized water, 0.5N NaHCO3 (Olsen extraction), oxidizable medium, 0.5 HCl, 0.05M (NH4)2SO4, 0.005M DTPA and Mehra-Jackson extraction. For this study, fourteen samples were collected in the surrounding area of Sierra Minera and Portman Bay (Murcia, SE Spain). Samples were air dried and sieved to < 2mm for general analytical determinations. To determine the As content, soil samples were first ground to a fine powder using an agate ball mill. Fresh vegetable samples were separated into root and aboveground biomass and then lyophilized. Arsenic levels were obtained by using atomic fluorescence spectrometry with an automated continuous flow hydride generation (HG-AFS) spectrometer. Samples showed pH average values close to neutrality. Most samples showed a very low organic matter percentage. Electrical conductivity and calcium carbonate content were considerably low in most samples. The mineralogical analysis showed that the main minerals were quartz, muscovite, kaolinite and illite, while the minority minerals were alteration products derived of mining activities (iron oxides and hydroxides, siderite, jarosite and gypsum), calcite and feldspars. Although the plants do not absorb arsenic in the same proportion, the results suggest that a good relationship exists between the total content of As in soil and the total content in plant. The results showed that the arsenic content in roots was positively correlated with the oxidizable-organic matter and sulfides

  6. Robust, synergistic regulation of human gene expression using TALE activators.

    PubMed

    Maeder, Morgan L; Linder, Samantha J; Reyon, Deepak; Angstman, James F; Fu, Yanfang; Sander, Jeffry D; Joung, J Keith

    2013-03-01

    Artificial activators designed using transcription activator-like effector (TALE) technology have broad utility, but previous studies suggest that these monomeric proteins often exhibit low activities. Here we demonstrate that TALE activators can robustly function individually or in synergistic combinations to increase expression of endogenous human genes over wide dynamic ranges. These findings will encourage applications of TALE activators for research and therapy, and guide design of monomeric TALE-based fusion proteins.

  7. Regional paleofire regimes affected by non-uniform climate, vegetation and human drivers.

    PubMed

    Blarquez, Olivier; Ali, Adam A; Girardin, Martin P; Grondin, Pierre; Fréchette, Bianca; Bergeron, Yves; Hély, Christelle

    2015-09-02

    Climate, vegetation and humans act on biomass burning at different spatial and temporal scales. In this study, we used a dense network of sedimentary charcoal records from eastern Canada to reconstruct regional biomass burning history over the last 7000 years at the scale of four potential vegetation types: open coniferous forest/tundra, boreal coniferous forest, boreal mixedwood forest and temperate forest. The biomass burning trajectories were compared with regional climate trends reconstructed from general circulation models, tree biomass reconstructed from pollen series, and human population densities. We found that non-uniform climate, vegetation and human drivers acted on regional biomass burning history. In the open coniferous forest/tundra and dense coniferous forest, the regional biomass burning was primarily shaped by gradual establishment of less climate-conducive burning conditions over 5000 years. In the mixed boreal forest an increasing relative proportion of flammable conifers in landscapes since 2000 BP contributed to maintaining biomass burning constant despite climatic conditions less favourable to fires. In the temperate forest, biomass burning was uncoupled with climatic conditions and the main driver was seemingly vegetation until European colonization, i.e. 300 BP. Tree biomass and thus fuel accumulation modulated fire activity, an indication that biomass burning is fuel-dependent and notably upon long-term co-dominance shifts between conifers and broadleaf trees.

  8. Regional paleofire regimes affected by non-uniform climate, vegetation and human drivers

    PubMed Central

    Blarquez, Olivier; Ali, Adam A.; Girardin, Martin P.; Grondin, Pierre; Fréchette, Bianca; Bergeron, Yves; Hély, Christelle

    2015-01-01

    Climate, vegetation and humans act on biomass burning at different spatial and temporal scales. In this study, we used a dense network of sedimentary charcoal records from eastern Canada to reconstruct regional biomass burning history over the last 7000 years at the scale of four potential vegetation types: open coniferous forest/tundra, boreal coniferous forest, boreal mixedwood forest and temperate forest. The biomass burning trajectories were compared with regional climate trends reconstructed from general circulation models, tree biomass reconstructed from pollen series, and human population densities. We found that non-uniform climate, vegetation and human drivers acted on regional biomass burning history. In the open coniferous forest/tundra and dense coniferous forest, the regional biomass burning was primarily shaped by gradual establishment of less climate-conducive burning conditions over 5000 years. In the mixed boreal forest an increasing relative proportion of flammable conifers in landscapes since 2000 BP contributed to maintaining biomass burning constant despite climatic conditions less favourable to fires. In the temperate forest, biomass burning was uncoupled with climatic conditions and the main driver was seemingly vegetation until European colonization, i.e. 300 BP. Tree biomass and thus fuel accumulation modulated fire activity, an indication that biomass burning is fuel-dependent and notably upon long-term co-dominance shifts between conifers and broadleaf trees. PMID:26330162

  9. The antiepileptic drug diphenylhydantoin affects the structure of the human erythrocyte membrane.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, Mario; Mennickent, Sigrid; Norris, Beryl; Villena, Fernando; Cuevas, Francisco; Sotomayor, Carlos P

    2004-01-01

    Phenytoin (diphenylhydantoin) is an antiepileptic agent effective against all types of partial and tonic-clonic seizures. Phenytoin limits the repetitive firing of action potentials evoked by a sustained depolarization of mouse spinal cord neurons maintained in vitro. This effect is mediated by a slowing of the rate of recovery of voltage activated Na+ channels from inactivation. For this reasons it was thought of interest to study the binding affinities of phenytoin with cell membranes and their perturbing effects upon membrane structures. The effects of phenytoin on the human erythrocyte membrane and molecular models have been investigated in the present work. This report presents the following evidence that phenytoin interacts with cell membranes: a) X-ray diffraction and fluorescence spectroscopy of phospholipid bilayers showed that phenytoin perturbed a class of lipids found in the outer moiety of cell membranes; b) in isolated unsealed human erythrocyte membranes (IUM) the drug induced a disordering effect on the polar head groups and acyl chains of the erythrocyte membrane lipid bilayer; c) in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies on human erythrocytes the formation of echinocytes was observed, due to the insertion of phenytoin in the outer monolayer of the red cell membrane. This is the first time that an effect of phenytoin on the red cell shape is described. However, the effects of the drug were observed at concentrations higher than those currently found in plasma when phenytoin is therapeutically administered. PMID:18998414

  10. Regional paleofire regimes affected by non-uniform climate, vegetation and human drivers.

    PubMed

    Blarquez, Olivier; Ali, Adam A; Girardin, Martin P; Grondin, Pierre; Fréchette, Bianca; Bergeron, Yves; Hély, Christelle

    2015-01-01

    Climate, vegetation and humans act on biomass burning at different spatial and temporal scales. In this study, we used a dense network of sedimentary charcoal records from eastern Canada to reconstruct regional biomass burning history over the last 7000 years at the scale of four potential vegetation types: open coniferous forest/tundra, boreal coniferous forest, boreal mixedwood forest and temperate forest. The biomass burning trajectories were compared with regional climate trends reconstructed from general circulation models, tree biomass reconstructed from pollen series, and human population densities. We found that non-uniform climate, vegetation and human drivers acted on regional biomass burning history. In the open coniferous forest/tundra and dense coniferous forest, the regional biomass burning was primarily shaped by gradual establishment of less climate-conducive burning conditions over 5000 years. In the mixed boreal forest an increasing relative proportion of flammable conifers in landscapes since 2000 BP contributed to maintaining biomass burning constant despite climatic conditions less favourable to fires. In the temperate forest, biomass burning was uncoupled with climatic conditions and the main driver was seemingly vegetation until European colonization, i.e. 300 BP. Tree biomass and thus fuel accumulation modulated fire activity, an indication that biomass burning is fuel-dependent and notably upon long-term co-dominance shifts between conifers and broadleaf trees. PMID:26330162

  11. Immunogenetic factors affecting susceptibility of humans and rodents to hantaviruses and the clinical course of hantaviral disease in humans.

    PubMed

    Charbonnel, Nathalie; Pagès, Marie; Sironen, Tarja; Henttonen, Heikki; Vapalahti, Olli; Mustonen, Jukka; Vaheri, Antti

    2014-05-26

    We reviewed the associations of immunity-related genes with susceptibility of humans and rodents to hantaviruses, and with severity of hantaviral diseases in humans. Several class I and class II HLA haplotypes were linked with severe or benign hantavirus infections, and these haplotypes varied among localities and hantaviruses. The polymorphism of other immunity-related genes including the C4A gene and a high-producing genotype of TNF gene associated with severe PUUV infection. Additional genes that may contribute to disease or to PUUV infection severity include non-carriage of the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) allele 2 and IL-1β (-511) allele 2, polymorphisms of plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) and platelet GP1a. In addition, immunogenetic studies have been conducted to identify mechanisms that could be linked with the persistence/clearance of hantaviruses in reservoirs. Persistence was associated during experimental infections with an upregulation of anti-inflammatory responses. Using natural rodent population samples, polymorphisms and/or expression levels of several genes have been analyzed. These genes were selected based on the literature of rodent or human/hantavirus interactions (some Mhc class II genes, Tnf promoter, and genes encoding the proteins TLR4, TLR7, Mx2 and β3 integrin). The comparison of genetic differentiation estimated between bank vole populations sampled over Europe, at neutral and candidate genes, has allowed to evidence signatures of selection for Tnf, Mx2 and the Drb Mhc class II genes. Altogether, these results corroborated the hypothesis of an evolution of tolerance strategies in rodents. We finally discuss the importance of these results from the medical and epidemiological perspectives.

  12. Immunogenetic Factors Affecting Susceptibility of Humans and Rodents to Hantaviruses and the Clinical Course of Hantaviral Disease in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Charbonnel, Nathalie; Pagès, Marie; Sironen, Tarja; Henttonen, Heikki; Vapalahti, Olli; Mustonen, Jukka; Vaheri, Antti

    2014-01-01

    We reviewed the associations of immunity-related genes with susceptibility of humans and rodents to hantaviruses, and with severity of hantaviral diseases in humans. Several class I and class II HLA haplotypes were linked with severe or benign hantavirus infections, and these haplotypes varied among localities and hantaviruses. The polymorphism of other immunity-related genes including the C4A gene and a high-producing genotype of TNF gene associated with severe PUUV infection. Additional genes that may contribute to disease or to PUUV infection severity include non-carriage of the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) allele 2 and IL-1β (-511) allele 2, polymorphisms of plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) and platelet GP1a. In addition, immunogenetic studies have been conducted to identify mechanisms that could be linked with the persistence/clearance of hantaviruses in reservoirs. Persistence was associated during experimental infections with an upregulation of anti-inflammatory responses. Using natural rodent population samples, polymorphisms and/or expression levels of several genes have been analyzed. These genes were selected based on the literature of rodent or human/hantavirus interactions (some Mhc class II genes, Tnf promoter, and genes encoding the proteins TLR4, TLR7, Mx2 and β3 integrin). The comparison of genetic differentiation estimated between bank vole populations sampled over Europe, at neutral and candidate genes, has allowed to evidence signatures of selection for Tnf, Mx2 and the Drb Mhc class II genes. Altogether, these results corroborated the hypothesis of an evolution of tolerance strategies in rodents. We finally discuss the importance of these results from the medical and epidemiological perspectives. PMID:24859344

  13. Affective Analgesia following Muscarinic Activation of the Ventral Tegmental Area in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Kender, Robert G.; Harte, Steven E.; Munn, Elizabeth M.; Borszcz, George S.

    2009-01-01

    Cholinergic stimulation of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) underlies activation of the brain reward circuitry. Activation of this circuit is proposed to preferentially suppress the affective reaction to noxious stimulation. Vocalization afterdischarges (VADs) are a validated model of the affective response of rats to noxious tailshock. The antinociceptive action of the acetylcholine agonist carbachol microinjected into the VTA on VAD threshold was compared to its effect on the thresholds of other tailshock-elicited responses (VDS = vocalizations during shock, and SMR = spinal motor reflexes). Whereas VADs are organized within the forebrain, VDSs and SMRs are organized at medullary and spinal levels of the neuraxis, respectively. Carbachol (1 μg, 2 μg, and 4 μg) injected into VTA produced dose-dependent increases in VAD and VDS thresholds, although increases in VAD threshold were significantly greater than increases in VDS threshold. Administration of carbachol into VTA failed to elevate SMR threshold. Elevations in vocalization thresholds produced by intra-VTA carbachol were reversed in a dose-dependent manner by local administration of the muscarinic receptor antagonist atropine sulfate (30 μg and 60 μg). These results provide the first demonstration of the involvement of the VTA in muscarinic-induced suppression of pain affect. Perspective Cholinergic activation of the brain reward circuit produced a preferential suppression of rats’ affective reaction to noxious stimulation. The neurobiology that relates reinforcement to suppression of pain affect may provide insights into new treatments for pain and its associated affective disorders. PMID:18387853

  14. Prion Protein M129V Polymorphism Affects Retrieval-Related Brain Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buchmann, Andreas; Mondadori, Christian R. A.; Hanggi, Jurgen; Aerni, Amanda; Vrticka, Pascal; Luechinger, Roger; Boesiger, Peter; Hock, Christoph; Nitsch, Roger M.; de Quervain, Dominique J.-F.; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas; Henke, Katharina

    2008-01-01

    The prion protein Met129Val polymorphism has recently been related to human long-term memory with carriers of either the 129[superscript MM] or the 129[superscript MV] genotype recalling 17% more words than 129[superscript VV] carriers at 24 h following learning. Here, we sampled genotype differences in retrieval-related brain activity at 30 min…

  15. Physical Activity, Mind Wandering, Affect, and Sleep: An Ecological Momentary Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Mackenzie, Michael; Roberts, Sarah; Crato, Ines; Ehlers, Diane; McAuley, Edward

    2016-01-01

    Background A considerable portion of daily thought is spent in mind wandering. This behavior has been related to positive (eg, future planning, problem solving) and negative (eg, unhappiness, impaired cognitive performance) outcomes. Objective Based on previous research suggesting future-oriented (ie, prospective) mind wandering may support autobiographical planning and self-regulation, this study examined associations between hourly mind wandering and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and the impact of affect and daily sleep on these relations. Methods College-aged adults (N=33) participated in a mobile phone-delivered ecological momentary assessment study for 1 week. Sixteen hourly prompts assessing mind wandering and affect were delivered daily via participants’ mobile phones. Perceived sleep quality and duration was assessed during the first prompt each day, and participants wore an ActiGraph accelerometer during waking hours throughout the study week. Results Study findings suggest present-moment mind wandering was positively associated with future MVPA (P=.03), and this relationship was moderated by affective state (P=.04). Moreover, excessive sleep the previous evening was related to less MVPA across the following day (P=.007). Further, mind wandering was positively related to activity only among those who did not oversleep (P=.007). Conclusions Together, these results have implications for multiple health behavior interventions targeting physical activity, affect, and sleep. Researchers may also build on this work by studying these relationships in the context of other important behaviors and psychosocial factors (eg, tobacco use, depression, loneliness). PMID:27580673

  16. Tadpole swimming performance and activity affected by acute exposure to sublethal levels of carbaryl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bridges, C.M.

    1997-01-01

    General activity and swimming performance (i.e., sprint speed and distance) of plains leopard frog tadpoles (Rana blairi) were examined after acute exposure to three sublethal concentrations of carbaryl (3.5, 5.0, and 7.2 mg/L). Both swimming performance and spontaneous swimming activity are important for carrying out life history functions (e.g., growth and development) and for escaping from predators. Measured tadpole activity diminished by nearly 90% at 3.5 mg/L carbaryl and completely ceased at 7.2 mg/L. Sprint speed and sprint distance also decreased significantly following exposure. Carbaryl affected both swimming performance and activity after just 24 h, suggesting that 24 h may be an adequate length of exposure to determine behavioral effects on tadpoles. Slight recovery of activity levels was noted at 24 and 48 h post-exposure; no recovery of swimming performance was observed. Reduction in activity and swimming performance may result in increased predation rates and, because activity is closely associated with feeding, may result in slowed growth leading to a failure to emerge before pond drying or an indirect reduction in adult fitness. Acute exposure to sublethal toxicants such as carbaryl may not only affect immediate survival of tadpoles but also impact critical life history functions and generate changes at the local population level.

  17. Puromycin insensitive leucyl-specific aminopeptidase (PILSAP) affects RhoA activation in endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Takahiro; Abe, Mayumi; Miyashita, Hiroki; Kobayashi, Toshimitsu; Sato, Yasufumi

    2007-06-01

    Puromycin insensitive leucyl-specific aminopeptidase (PILSAP) expressed in endothelial cells (ECs) plays an important role in angiogenesis due to its involvement in migration, proliferation and network formation. Here we examined the biological function of PILSAP with respect to EC morphogenesis and the related intracellular signaling for this process. When mouse endothelial MSS31 cells were cultured, a dominant negative PILSAP mutant converted cell shape to disk-like morphology, blocked stress fiber formation, and augmented membrane ruffling in random directions. These phenotypic changes led us to test whether PILSAP affected activities of Rho family small G-proteins. Abrogation of PILSAP enzymatic activity or its expression attenuated RhoA but not Rac1 activation during cell adhesion. This attenuation of RhoA activation was also evident when G-protein coupled receptors such as proteinase-activated receptor or lysophosphatidic acid receptor were activated in ECs. These results indicate that PILSAP affects RhoA activation and that influences the proper function of ECs.

  18. Multilevel depth and image fusion for human activity detection.

    PubMed

    Ni, Bingbing; Pei, Yong; Moulin, Pierre; Yan, Shuicheng

    2013-10-01

    Recognizing complex human activities usually requires the detection and modeling of individual visual features and the interactions between them. Current methods only rely on the visual features extracted from 2-D images, and therefore often lead to unreliable salient visual feature detection and inaccurate modeling of the interaction context between individual features. In this paper, we show that these problems can be addressed by combining data from a conventional camera and a depth sensor (e.g., Microsoft Kinect). We propose a novel complex activity recognition and localization framework that effectively fuses information from both grayscale and depth image channels at multiple levels of the video processing pipeline. In the individual visual feature detection level, depth-based filters are applied to the detected human/object rectangles to remove false detections. In the next level of interaction modeling, 3-D spatial and temporal contexts among human subjects or objects are extracted by integrating information from both grayscale and depth images. Depth information is also utilized to distinguish different types of indoor scenes. Finally, a latent structural model is developed to integrate the information from multiple levels of video processing for an activity detection. Extensive experiments on two activity recognition benchmarks (one with depth information) and a challenging grayscale + depth human activity database that contains complex interactions between human-human, human-object, and human-surroundings demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed multilevel grayscale + depth fusion scheme. Higher recognition and localization accuracies are obtained relative to the previous methods. PMID:23996589

  19. Metformin selectively affects human glioblastoma tumor-initiating cell viability: A role for metformin-induced inhibition of Akt.

    PubMed

    Würth, Roberto; Pattarozzi, Alessandra; Gatti, Monica; Bajetto, Adirano; Corsaro, Alessandro; Parodi, Alessia; Sirito, Rodolfo; Massollo, Michela; Marini, Cecilia; Zona, Gianluigi; Fenoglio, Daniela; Sambuceti, Gianmario; Filaci, Gilberto; Daga, Antonio; Barbieri, Federica; Florio, Tullio

    2013-01-01

    Cancer stem cell theory postulates that a small population of tumor-initiating cells is responsible for the development, progression and recurrence of several malignancies, including glioblastoma. In this perspective, tumor-initiating cells represent the most relevant target to obtain effective cancer treatment. Metformin, a first-line drug for type II diabetes, was reported to possess anticancer properties affecting the survival of cancer stem cells in breast cancer models. We report that metformin treatment reduced the proliferation rate of tumor-initiating cell-enriched cultures isolated from four human glioblastomas. Metformin also impairs tumor-initiating cell spherogenesis, indicating a direct effect on self-renewal mechanisms. Interestingly, analyzing by FACS the antiproliferative effects of metformin on CD133-expressing subpopulation, a component of glioblastoma cancer stem cells, a higher reduction of proliferation was observed as compared with CD133-negative cells, suggesting a certain degree of cancer stem cell selectivity in its effects. In fact, glioblastoma cell differentiation strongly reduced sensitivity to metformin treatment. Metformin effects in tumor-initiating cell-enriched cultures were associated with a powerful inhibition of Akt-dependent cell survival pathway, while this pathway was not affected in differentiated cells. The specificity of metformin antiproliferative effects toward glioblastoma tumor-initiating cells was confirmed by the lack of significant inhibition of normal human stem cells (umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells) in vitro proliferation after metformin exposure. Altogether, these data clearly suggest that metformin exerts antiproliferative activity on glioblastoma cells, showing a higher specificity toward tumor-initiating cells, and that the inhibition of Akt pathway may represent a possible intracellular target of this effect.

  20. A new look at some old mechanisms in human newborns: taste and tactile determinants of state, affect, and action.

    PubMed

    Blass, E M; Ciaramitaro, V

    1994-01-01

    Three studies of normal human newborns and of newborns of methadone-maintained mothers evaluated how orotactile (pacifier) and orogustatory (sucrose) stimulation, alone and in combination, affected crying behavior, heart rate, gross motor activity, eye opening, and hand-mouth coordination. For each measure of infant state, pacifier and sucrose stimulation each caused significant changes that followed very different time courses. Orotactile (pacifier) stimulation precipitated immediate changes in all behaviors, and, when the pacifier was removed, all behaviors soon reverted to baseline levels. The changes precipitated by orogustatory (sucrose) stimulation were more gradual but extended well beyond the end of sucrose administration. Although both pacifier and sucrose influences are mediated orally as opposed to in the stomach or intestine, the effects involve different brain pathways. The fact that infants born to methadone-maintained mothers did not change their behaviors during or after sucrose administration but that their reactions to pacifier stimulation could not be distinguished from those of normal infants suggests that reactions to sucrose are mediated centrally by endogenous opioids while those to the pacifier work through other central mechanisms. These findings with human newborns are consonant with those of many animal studies that have also shown rapid onset and rapid offset for contact- and suckling-induced behavioral changes, slower onset and slower offset for changes induced by taste, and opioid mediation of changes induced by the taste of sucrose. Orogustatory and orotactile influences on affect, action, and cardiovascular function are discussed from the perspectives of energetics and growth, central determinants of state, motivation, and learning during the newborn period.

  1. Sex and storage affect cholinesterase activity in blood plasma of Japanese quail

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hill, E.F.

    1989-01-01

    Freezing at -25?C had confounding effects on cholinesterase (ChE) activity in blood plasma from breeding female quail, but did not affect ChE activity in plasma from males. Plasma ChE activity of control females increased consistently during 28 days of storage while both carbamate- and cidrotophos-inhibited ChE decreased. Refrigeration of plasma at 4?C for 2 days had little effect of ChE activity. Plasma ChE activity was averaged about 34% higher in breeding males than in females. Extreme caution should be exercised in use of blood plasma for evaluation of anti ChE exposure in free-living birds.

  2. Xenobiotics shape the physiology and gene expression of the active human gut microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Maurice, Corinne Ferrier; Haiser, Henry Joseph; Turnbaugh, Peter James

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY The human gut contains trillions of microorganisms that influence our health by metabolizing xenobiotics, including host-targeted drugs and antibiotics. Recent efforts have characterized the diversity of this host-associated community, but it remains unclear which microorganisms are active and what perturbations influence this activity. Here, we combine flow cytometry, 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and metatranscriptomics to demonstrate that the gut contains a distinctive set of active microorganisms, primarily Firmicutes. Short-term exposure to a panel of xenobiotics significantly affected the physiology, structure, and gene expression of this active gut microbiome. Xenobiotic-responsive genes were found across multiple bacterial phyla, encoding antibiotic resistance, drug metabolism, and stress response pathways. These results demonstrate the power of moving beyond surveys of microbial diversity to better understand metabolic activity, highlight the unintended consequences of xenobiotics, and suggest that attempts at personalized medicine should consider inter-individual variations in the active human gut microbiome. PMID:23332745

  3. Human CalDAG-GEFI gene (RASGRP2) mutation affects platelet function and causes severe bleeding

    PubMed Central

    Canault, Matthias; Ghalloussi, Dorsaf; Grosdidier, Charlotte; Guinier, Marie; Perret, Claire; Chelghoum, Nadjim; Germain, Marine; Raslova, Hana; Peiretti, Franck; Morange, Pierre E.; Saut, Noemie; Pillois, Xavier; Nurden, Alan T.; Cambien, François; Pierres, Anne; van den Berg, Timo K.; Kuijpers, Taco W.; Tregouet, David-Alexandre

    2014-01-01

    The nature of an inherited platelet disorder was investigated in three siblings affected by severe bleeding. Using whole-exome sequencing, we identified the culprit mutation (cG742T) in the RAS guanyl-releasing protein-2 (RASGRP2) gene coding for calcium- and DAG-regulated guanine exchange factor-1 (CalDAG-GEFI). Platelets from individuals carrying the mutation present a reduced ability to activate Rap1 and to perform proper αIIbβ3 integrin inside-out signaling. Expression of CalDAG-GEFI mutant in HEK293T cells abolished Rap1 activation upon stimulation. Nevertheless, the PKC- and ADP-dependent pathways allow residual platelet activation in the absence of functional CalDAG-GEFI. The mutation impairs the platelet’s ability to form thrombi under flow and spread normally as a consequence of reduced Rac1 GTP-binding. Functional deficiencies were confined to platelets and megakaryocytes with no leukocyte alteration. This contrasts with the phenotype seen in type III leukocyte adhesion deficiency caused by the absence of kindlin-3. Heterozygous did not suffer from bleeding and have normal platelet aggregation; however, their platelets mimicked homozygous ones by failing to undergo normal adhesion under flow and spreading. Rescue experiments on cultured patient megakaryocytes corrected the functional deficiency after transfection with wild-type RASGRP2. Remarkably, the presence of a single normal allele is sufficient to prevent bleeding, making CalDAG-GEFI a novel and potentially safe therapeutic target to prevent thrombosis. PMID:24958846

  4. Gaze fixations predict brain activation during the voluntary regulation of picture-induced negative affect.

    PubMed

    van Reekum, Carien M; Johnstone, Tom; Urry, Heather L; Thurow, Marchell E; Schaefer, Hillary S; Alexander, Andrew L; Davidson, Richard J

    2007-07-01

    Recent studies have identified a distributed network of brain regions thought to support cognitive reappraisal processes underlying emotion regulation in response to affective images, including parieto-temporal regions and lateral/medial regions of prefrontal cortex (PFC). A number of these commonly activated regions are also known to underlie visuospatial attention and oculomotor control, which raises the possibility that people use attentional redeployment rather than, or in addition to, reappraisal as a strategy to regulate emotion. We predicted that a significant portion of the observed variance in brain activation during emotion regulation tasks would be associated with differences in how participants visually scan the images while regulating their emotions. We recorded brain activation using fMRI and quantified patterns of gaze fixation while participants increased or decreased their affective response to a set of affective images. fMRI results replicated previous findings on emotion regulation with regulation differences reflected in regions of PFC and the amygdala. In addition, our gaze fixation data revealed that when regulating, individuals changed their gaze patterns relative to a control condition. Furthermore, this variation in gaze fixation accounted for substantial amounts of variance in brain activation. These data point to the importance of controlling for gaze fixation in studies of emotion regulation that use visual stimuli.

  5. The second-shell metal ligands of human arginase affect coordination of the nucleophile and substrate.

    PubMed

    Stone, Everett M; Chantranupong, Lynne; Georgiou, George

    2010-12-14

    The active sites of eukaryotic arginase enzymes are strictly conserved, especially the first- and second-shell ligands that coordinate the two divalent metal cations that generate a hydroxide molecule for nucleophilic attack on the guanidinium carbon of l-arginine and the subsequent production of urea and l-ornithine. Here by using comprehensive pairwise saturation mutagenesis of the first- and second-shell metal ligands in human arginase I, we demonstrate that several metal binding ligands are actually quite tolerant to amino acid substitutions. Of >2800 double mutants of first- and second-shell residues analyzed, we found more than 80 unique amino acid substitutions, of which four were in first-shell residues. Remarkably, certain second-shell mutations could modulate the binding of both the nucleophilic water/hydroxide molecule and substrate or product ligands, resulting in activity greater than that of the wild-type enzyme. The data presented here constitute the first comprehensive saturation mutagenesis analysis of a metallohydrolase active site and reveal that the strict conservation of the second-shell metal binding residues in eukaryotic arginases does not reflect kinetic optimization of the enzyme during the course of evolution. PMID:21053939

  6. GAD2 Alternative Transcripts in the Human Prefrontal Cortex, and in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders.

    PubMed

    Davis, Kasey N; Tao, Ran; Li, Chao; Gao, Yuan; Gondré-Lewis, Marjorie C; Lipska, Barbara K; Shin, Joo Heon; Xie, Bin; Ye, Tianzhang; Weinberger, Daniel R; Kleinman, Joel E; Hyde, Thomas M

    2016-01-01

    Genetic variation and early adverse environmental events work together to increase risk for schizophrenia. γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in adult mammalian brain, plays a major role in normal brain development, and has been strongly implicated in the pathobiology of schizophrenia. GABA synthesis is controlled by two glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) genes, GAD1 and GAD2, both of which produce a number of alternative transcripts. Genetic variants in the GAD1 gene are associated with increased risk for schizophrenia, and reduced expression of its major transcript in the human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). No consistent changes in GAD2 expression have been found in brains from patients with schizophrenia. In this work, with the use of RNA sequencing and PCR technologies, we confirmed and tracked the expression of an alternative truncated transcript of GAD2 (ENST00000428517) in human control DLPFC homogenates across lifespan besides the well-known full length transcript of GAD2. In addition, using quantitative RT-PCR, expression of GAD2 full length and truncated transcripts were measured in the DLPFC of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. The expression of GAD2 full length transcript is decreased in the DLPFC of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients, while GAD2 truncated transcript is increased in bipolar disorder patients but decreased in schizophrenia patients. Moreover, the patients with schizophrenia with completed suicide or positive nicotine exposure showed significantly higher expression of GAD2 full length transcript. Alternative transcripts of GAD2 may be important in the growth and development of GABA-synthesizing neurons as well as abnormal GABA signaling in the DLPFC of patients with schizophrenia and affective disorders. PMID:26848839

  7. Gene expression signatures affected by alcohol-induced DNA methylomic deregulation in human embryonic stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyun-Sung; Hoang, Michael; Tu, Thanh G.; Elie, Omid; Lee, Connie; Vu, Catherine; Horvath, Steve; Spigelman, Igor; Kim, Yong

    2014-01-01

    Stem cells, especially human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), are useful models to study molecular mechanisms of human disorders that originate during gestation. Alcohol (ethanol, EtOH) consumption during pregnancy causes a variety of prenatal and postnatal disorders collectively referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). To better understand the molecular events leading to FASDs, we performed a genome-wide analysis of EtOH's effects on the maintenance and differentiation of hESCs in culture. Gene Co-expression Network Analysis showed significant alterations in gene profiles of EtOH-treated differentiated or undifferentiated hESCs, particularly those associated with molecular pathways for metabolic processes, oxidative stress, and neuronal properties of stem cells. A genome-wide DNA methylome analysis revealed widespread EtOH-induced alterations with significant hypermethylation of many regions of chromosomes. Undifferentiated hESCs were more vulnerable to EtOH's effect than their differentiated counterparts, with methylation on the promoter regions of chromosomes 2, 16 and 18 in undifferentiated hESCs most affected by EtOH exposure. Combined transcriptomic and DNA methylomic analysis produced a list of differentiation-related genes dysregulated by EtOH-induced DNA methylation changes, which likely play a role in EtOH-induced decreases in hESC pluripotency. DNA sequence motif analysis of genes epigenetically altered by EtOH identified major motifs representing potential binding sites for transcription factors. These findings should help in deciphering the precise mechanisms of alcohol-induced teratogenesis. PMID:24751885

  8. GAD2 Alternative Transcripts in the Human Prefrontal Cortex, and in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders.

    PubMed

    Davis, Kasey N; Tao, Ran; Li, Chao; Gao, Yuan; Gondré-Lewis, Marjorie C; Lipska, Barbara K; Shin, Joo Heon; Xie, Bin; Ye, Tianzhang; Weinberger, Daniel R; Kleinman, Joel E; Hyde, Thomas M

    2016-01-01

    Genetic variation and early adverse environmental events work together to increase risk for schizophrenia. γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in adult mammalian brain, plays a major role in normal brain development, and has been strongly implicated in the pathobiology of schizophrenia. GABA synthesis is controlled by two glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) genes, GAD1 and GAD2, both of which produce a number of alternative transcripts. Genetic variants in the GAD1 gene are associated with increased risk for schizophrenia, and reduced expression of its major transcript in the human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). No consistent changes in GAD2 expression have been found in brains from patients with schizophrenia. In this work, with the use of RNA sequencing and PCR technologies, we confirmed and tracked the expression of an alternative truncated transcript of GAD2 (ENST00000428517) in human control DLPFC homogenates across lifespan besides the well-known full length transcript of GAD2. In addition, using quantitative RT-PCR, expression of GAD2 full length and truncated transcripts were measured in the DLPFC of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. The expression of GAD2 full length transcript is decreased in the DLPFC of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients, while GAD2 truncated transcript is increased in bipolar disorder patients but decreased in schizophrenia patients. Moreover, the patients with schizophrenia with completed suicide or positive nicotine exposure showed significantly higher expression of GAD2 full length transcript. Alternative transcripts of GAD2 may be important in the growth and development of GABA-synthesizing neurons as well as abnormal GABA signaling in the DLPFC of patients with schizophrenia and affective disorders.

  9. Oxidized low density lipoprotein (LDL) affects hyaluronan synthesis in human aortic smooth muscle cells.

    PubMed

    Viola, Manuela; Bartolini, Barbara; Vigetti, Davide; Karousou, Evgenia; Moretto, Paola; Deleonibus, Sara; Sawamura, Tatsuya; Wight, Thomas N; Hascall, Vincent C; De Luca, Giancarlo; Passi, Alberto

    2013-10-11

    Thickening of the vessel in response to high low density lipoprotein(s) (LDL) levels is a hallmark of atherosclerosis, characterized by increased hyaluronan (HA) deposition in the neointima. Human native LDL trapped within the arterial wall undergoes modifications such as oxidation (oxLDL). The aim of our study is to elucidate the link between internalization of oxLDL and HA production in vitro, using human aortic smooth muscle cells. LDL were used at an effective protein concentration of 20-50 μg/ml, which allowed 80% cell viability. HA content in the medium of untreated cells was 28.9 ± 3.7 nmol HA-disaccharide/cell and increased after oxLDL treatment to 53.9 ± 5.6. OxLDL treatments doubled the transcripts of HA synthase HAS2 and HAS3. Accumulated HA stimulated migration of aortic smooth muscle cells and monocyte adhesiveness to extracellular matrix. The effects induced by oxLDL were inhibited by blocking LOX-1 scavenger receptor with a specific antibody (10 μg/ml). The cholesterol moiety of LDL has an important role in HA accumulation because cholesterol-free oxLDL failed to induce HA synthesis. Nevertheless, cholesterol-free oxLDL and unmodified cholesterol (20 μg/ml) induce only HAS3 transcription, whereas 22,oxysterol affects both HAS2 and HAS3. Moreover, HA deposition was associated with higher expression of endoplasmic reticulum stress markers (CHOP and GRP78). Our data suggest that HA synthesis can be induced in response to specific oxidized sterol-related species delivered through oxLDL.

  10. GAD2 Alternative Transcripts in the Human Prefrontal Cortex, and in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chao; Gao, Yuan; Gondré-Lewis, Marjorie C.; Lipska, Barbara K.; Shin, Joo Heon; Xie, Bin; Ye, Tianzhang; Weinberger, Daniel R.; Kleinman, Joel E.; Hyde, Thomas M.

    2016-01-01

    Genetic variation and early adverse environmental events work together to increase risk for schizophrenia. γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in adult mammalian brain, plays a major role in normal brain development, and has been strongly implicated in the pathobiology of schizophrenia. GABA synthesis is controlled by two glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) genes, GAD1 and GAD2, both of which produce a number of alternative transcripts. Genetic variants in the GAD1 gene are associated with increased risk for schizophrenia, and reduced expression of its major transcript in the human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). No consistent changes in GAD2 expression have been found in brains from patients with schizophrenia. In this work, with the use of RNA sequencing and PCR technologies, we confirmed and tracked the expression of an alternative truncated transcript of GAD2 (ENST00000428517) in human control DLPFC homogenates across lifespan besides the well-known full length transcript of GAD2. In addition, using quantitative RT-PCR, expression of GAD2 full length and truncated transcripts were measured in the DLPFC of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. The expression of GAD2 full length transcript is decreased in the DLPFC of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients, while GAD2 truncated transcript is increased in bipolar disorder patients but decreased in schizophrenia patients. Moreover, the patients with schizophrenia with completed suicide or positive nicotine exposure showed significantly higher expression of GAD2 full length transcript. Alternative transcripts of GAD2 may be important in the growth and development of GABA-synthesizing neurons as well as abnormal GABA signaling in the DLPFC of patients with schizophrenia and affective disorders. PMID:26848839

  11. Oxidized Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Affects Hyaluronan Synthesis in Human Aortic Smooth Muscle Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Viola, Manuela; Bartolini, Barbara; Vigetti, Davide; Karousou, Evgenia; Moretto, Paola; Deleonibus, Sara; Sawamura, Tatsuya; Wight, Thomas N.; Hascall, Vincent C.; De Luca, Giancarlo; Passi, Alberto

    2013-01-01

    Thickening of the vessel in response to high low density lipoprotein(s) (LDL) levels is a hallmark of atherosclerosis, characterized by increased hyaluronan (HA) deposition in the neointima. Human native LDL trapped within the arterial wall undergoes modifications such as oxidation (oxLDL). The aim of our study is to elucidate the link between internalization of oxLDL and HA production in vitro, using human aortic smooth muscle cells. LDL were used at an effective protein concentration of 20–50 μg/ml, which allowed 80% cell viability. HA content in the medium of untreated cells was 28.9 ± 3.7 nmol HA-disaccharide/cell and increased after oxLDL treatment to 53.9 ± 5.6. OxLDL treatments doubled the transcripts of HA synthase HAS2 and HAS3. Accumulated HA stimulated migration of aortic smooth muscle cells and monocyte adhesiveness to extracellular matrix. The effects induced by oxLDL were inhibited by blocking LOX-1 scavenger receptor with a specific antibody (10 μg/ml). The cholesterol moiety of LDL has an important role in HA accumulation because cholesterol-free oxLDL failed to induce HA synthesis. Nevertheless, cholesterol-free oxLDL and unmodified cholesterol (20 μg/ml) induce only HAS3 transcription, whereas 22,oxysterol affects both HAS2 and HAS3. Moreover, HA deposition was associated with higher expression of endoplasmic reticulum stress markers (CHOP and GRP78). Our data suggest that HA synthesis can be induced in response to specific oxidized sterol-related species delivered through oxLDL. PMID:23979132

  12. Transcriptional modulator ZBED6 affects cell cycle and growth of human colorectal cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Akhtar Ali, Muhammad; Younis, Shady; Wallerman, Ola; Gupta, Rajesh; Andersson, Leif; Sjöblom, Tobias

    2015-06-23

    The transcription factor ZBED6 (zinc finger, BED-type containing 6) is a repressor of IGF2 whose action impacts development, cell proliferation, and growth in placental mammals. In human colorectal cancers, IGF2 overexpression is mutually exclusive with somatic mutations in PI3K signaling components, providing genetic evidence for a role in the PI3K pathway. To understand the role of ZBED6 in tumorigenesis, we engineered and validated somatic cell ZBED6 knock-outs in the human colorectal cancer cell lines RKO and HCT116. Ablation of ZBED6 affected the cell cycle and led to increased growth rate in RKO cells but reduced growth in HCT116 cells. This striking difference was reflected in the transcriptome analyses, which revealed enrichment of cell-cycle-related processes among differentially expressed genes in both cell lines, but the direction of change often differed between the cell lines. ChIP sequencing analyses displayed enrichment of ZBED6 binding at genes up-regulated in ZBED6-knockout clones, consistent with the view that ZBED6 modulates gene expression primarily by repressing transcription. Ten differentially expressed genes were identified as putative direct gene targets, and their down-regulation by ZBED6 was validated experimentally. Eight of these genes were linked to the Wnt, Hippo, TGF-β, EGF receptor, or PI3K pathways, all involved in colorectal cancer development. The results of this study show that the effect of ZBED6 on tumor development depends on the genetic background and the transcriptional state of its target genes.

  13. Human Relations Education; A Guidebook to Learning Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buffalo Public Schools, NY. Human Relations Project of Western New York.

    This guidebook is designed to acquaint teachers with human relations classroom materials, extracurricular activities, and an inservice approach to self-evaluation. A product of an ESEA Title III program, it contains human relations-oriented lessons--divided by grade level and subject matter--intended to supplement or enrich existing curricula and…

  14. Accumulation of distinct prelamin A variants in human diploid fibroblasts differentially affects cell homeostasis

    SciTech Connect

    Candelario, Jose; Borrego, Stacey; Reddy, Sita; Comai, Lucio

    2011-02-01

    Lamin A is a component of the nuclear lamina that plays a major role in the structural organization and function of the nucleus. Lamin A is synthesized as a prelamin A precursor which undergoes four sequential post-translational modifications to generate mature lamin A. Significantly, a large number of point mutations in the LMNA gene cause a range of distinct human disorders collectively known as laminopathies. The mechanisms by which mutations in lamin A affect cell function and cause disease are unclear. Interestingly, recent studies have suggested that alterations in the normal lamin A pathway can contribute to cellular dysfunction. Specifically, we and others have shown, at the cellular level, that in the absence of mutations or altered splicing events, increased expression of wild-type prelamin A results in a growth defective phenotype that resembles that of cells expressing the mutant form of lamin A, termed progerin, associated with Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome (HGPS). Remarkably, the phenotypes of cells expressing elevated levels of wild-type prelamin A can be reversed by either treatment with farnesyltransferase inhibitors or overexpression of ZMPSTE24, a critical prelamin A processing enzyme, suggesting that minor increases in the steady-state levels of one or more prelamin A intermediates is sufficient to induce cellular toxicity. Here, to investigate the molecular basis of the lamin A pathway toxicity, we characterized the phenotypic changes occurring in cells expressing distinct prelamin A variants mimicking specific prelamin A processing intermediates. This analysis demonstrates that distinct prelamin A variants differentially affect cell growth, nuclear membrane morphology, nuclear distribution of lamin A and the fundamental process of transcription. Expression of prelamin A variants that are constitutively farnesylated induced the formation of lamin A aggregates and dramatic changes in nuclear membrane morphology, which led to reduced

  15. Human activities change marine ecosystems by altering predation risk.

    PubMed

    Madin, Elizabeth M P; Dill, Lawrence M; Ridlon, April D; Heithaus, Michael R; Warner, Robert R

    2016-01-01

    In ocean ecosystems, many of the changes in predation risk - both increases and decreases - are human-induced. These changes are occurring at scales ranging from global to local and across variable temporal scales. Indirect, risk-based effects of human activity are known to be important in structuring some terrestrial ecosystems, but these impacts have largely been neglected in oceans. Here, we synthesize existing literature and data to explore multiple lines of evidence that collectively suggest diverse human activities are changing marine ecosystems, including carbon storage capacity, in myriad ways by altering predation risk. We provide novel, compelling evidence that at least one key human activity, overfishing, can lead to distinct, cascading risk effects in natural ecosystems whose magnitude exceeds that of presumed lethal effects and may account for previously unexplained findings. We further discuss the conservation implications of human-caused indirect risk effects. Finally, we provide a predictive framework for when human alterations of risk in oceans should lead to cascading effects and outline a prospectus for future research. Given the speed and extent with which human activities are altering marine risk landscapes, it is crucial that conservation and management policy considers the indirect effects of these activities in order to increase the likelihood of success and avoid unfortunate surprises. PMID:26448058

  16. Human activities change marine ecosystems by altering predation risk.

    PubMed

    Madin, Elizabeth M P; Dill, Lawrence M; Ridlon, April D; Heithaus, Michael R; Warner, Robert R

    2016-01-01

    In ocean ecosystems, many of the changes in predation risk - both increases and decreases - are human-induced. These changes are occurring at scales ranging from global to local and across variable temporal scales. Indirect, risk-based effects of human activity are known to be important in structuring some terrestrial ecosystems, but these impacts have largely been neglected in oceans. Here, we synthesize existing literature and data to explore multiple lines of evidence that collectively suggest diverse human activities are changing marine ecosystems, including carbon storage capacity, in myriad ways by altering predation risk. We provide novel, compelling evidence that at least one key human activity, overfishing, can lead to distinct, cascading risk effects in natural ecosystems whose magnitude exceeds that of presumed lethal effects and may account for previously unexplained findings. We further discuss the conservation implications of human-caused indirect risk effects. Finally, we provide a predictive framework for when human alterations of risk in oceans should lead to cascading effects and outline a prospectus for future research. Given the speed and extent with which human activities are altering marine risk landscapes, it is crucial that conservation and management policy considers the indirect effects of these activities in order to increase the likelihood of success and avoid unfortunate surprises.

  17. Human monocytes can produce tissue-type plasminogen activator

    PubMed Central

    1989-01-01

    Evidence has previously been presented that monocytes and macrophages produce urokinase-type plasminogen activator. We have shown for the first time that human monocytes, when stimulated appropriately in vitro, can produce tissue type-plasminogen activator (t-PA) of 70 kD. Detection of t-PA mRNA was consistent with the biochemical and immunological characterization of t-PA produced by human monocytes. PMID:2494295

  18. Dietary Methanol Regulates Human Gene Activity

    PubMed Central

    Komarova, Tatiana V.; Sheshukova, Ekaterina V.; Kosorukov, Vyacheslav S.; Kiryanov, Gleb I.; Dorokhov, Yuri L.

    2014-01-01

    Methanol (MeOH) is considered to be a poison in humans because of the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH)-mediated conversion of MeOH to formaldehyde (FA), which is toxic. Our recent genome-wide analysis of the mouse brain demonstrated that an increase in endogenous MeOH after ADH inhibition led to a significant increase in the plasma MeOH concentration and a modification of mRNA synthesis. These findings suggest endogenous MeOH involvement in homeostasis regulation by controlling mRNA levels. Here, we demonstrate directly that study volunteers displayed increasing concentrations of MeOH and FA in their blood plasma when consuming citrus pectin, ethanol and red wine. A microarray analysis of white blood cells (WBC) from volunteers after pectin intake showed various responses for 30 significantly differentially regulated mRNAs, most of which were somehow involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). There was also a decreased synthesis of hemoglobin mRNA, HBA and HBB, the presence of which in WBC RNA was not a result of red blood cells contamination because erythrocyte-specific marker genes were not significantly expressed. A qRT-PCR analysis of volunteer WBCs after pectin and red wine intake confirmed the complicated relationship between the plasma MeOH content and the mRNA accumulation of both genes that were previously identified, namely, GAPDH and SNX27, and genes revealed in this study, including MME, SORL1, DDIT4, HBA and HBB. We hypothesized that human plasma MeOH has an impact on the WBC mRNA levels of genes involved in cell signaling. PMID:25033451

  19. Ambient air concentration of sulfur dioxide affects flight activity in bees

    SciTech Connect

    Ginevan, M.E.; Lane, D.D.; Greenberg, L.

    1980-10-01

    Three long-term (16 to 29 days) low-level (0.14 to 0.28 ppM) sulfur dioxide fumigations showed that exposure tothis gas has deleterious effects on male sweat bees (Lasioglossum zephrum). Although effects on mortality were equivocal, flight activity was definitely reduced. Because flight is necessary for successful mating behavior, the results suggest that sulfur dioxide air pollution could adversely affect this and doubtless other terrestrial insects.

  20. Telomerase Activity in Human Ovarian Carcinoma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Counter, Christopher M.; Hirte, Hal W.; Bacchetti, Silvia; Harley, Calvin B.

    1994-04-01

    Telomeres fulfill the dual function of protecting eukaryotic chromosomes from illegitimate recombination and degradation and may aid in chromosome attachment to the nuclear membrane. We have previously shown that telomerase, the enzyme which synthesizes telomeric DNA, is not detected in normal somatic cells and that telomeres shorten with replicative age. In cells immortalized in vitro, activation of telomerase apparently stabilizes telomere length, preventing a critical destabilization of chromosomes, and cell proliferation continues even when telomeres are short. In vivo, telomeres of most tumors are shorter than telomeres of control tissues, suggesting an analogous role for the enzyme. To assess the relevance of telomerase and telomere stability in the development and progression of tumors, we have measured enzyme activity and telomere length in metastatic cells of epithelial ovarian carcinoma. We report that extremely short telomeres are maintained in these cells and that tumor cells, but not isogenic nonmalignant cells, express telomerase. Our findings suggest that progression of malignancy is ultimately dependent upon activation of telomerase and that telomerase inhibitors may be effective antitumor drugs.

  1. Genetic Polymorphisms Affect Mouse and Human Trace Amine-Associated Receptor 1 Function.

    PubMed

    Shi, Xiao; Walter, Nicole A R; Harkness, John H; Neve, Kim A; Williams, Robert W; Lu, Lu; Belknap, John K; Eshleman, Amy J; Phillips, Tamara J; Janowsky, Aaron

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) and neurotransmitter precursors and metabolites such as tyramine, octopamine, and β-phenethylamine stimulate the G protein-coupled trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1). TAAR1 has been implicated in human conditions including obesity, schizophrenia, depression, fibromyalgia, migraine, and addiction. Additionally TAAR1 is expressed on lymphocytes and astrocytes involved in inflammation and response to infection. In brain, TAAR1 stimulation reduces synaptic dopamine availability and alters glutamatergic function. TAAR1 is also expressed at low levels in heart, and may regulate cardiovascular tone. Taar1 knockout mice orally self-administer more MA than wild type and are insensitive to its aversive effects. DBA/2J (D2) mice express a non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in Taar1 that does not respond to MA, and D2 mice are predisposed to high MA intake, compared to C57BL/6 (B6) mice. Here we demonstrate that endogenous agonists stimulate the recombinant B6 mouse TAAR1, but do not activate the D2 mouse receptor. Progeny of the B6XD2 (BxD) family of recombinant inbred (RI) strains have been used to characterize the genetic etiology of diseases, but contrary to expectations, BXDs derived 30-40 years ago express only the functional B6 Taar1 allele whereas some more recently derived BXD RI strains express the D2 allele. Data indicate that the D2 mutation arose subsequent to derivation of the original RIs. Finally, we demonstrate that SNPs in human TAAR1 alter its function, resulting in expressed, but functional, sub-functional and non-functional receptors. Our findings are important for identifying a predisposition to human diseases, as well as for developing personalized treatment options. PMID:27031617

  2. Genetic Polymorphisms Affect Mouse and Human Trace Amine-Associated Receptor 1 Function

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Xiao; Walter, Nicole A. R.; Harkness, John H.; Neve, Kim A.; Williams, Robert W.; Lu, Lu; Belknap, John K.; Eshleman, Amy J.; Phillips, Tamara J.; Janowsky, Aaron

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) and neurotransmitter precursors and metabolites such as tyramine, octopamine, and β-phenethylamine stimulate the G protein-coupled trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1). TAAR1 has been implicated in human conditions including obesity, schizophrenia, depression, fibromyalgia, migraine, and addiction. Additionally TAAR1 is expressed on lymphocytes and astrocytes involved in inflammation and response to infection. In brain, TAAR1 stimulation reduces synaptic dopamine availability and alters glutamatergic function. TAAR1 is also expressed at low levels in heart, and may regulate cardiovascular tone. Taar1 knockout mice orally self-administer more MA than wild type and are insensitive to its aversive effects. DBA/2J (D2) mice express a non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in Taar1 that does not respond to MA, and D2 mice are predisposed to high MA intake, compared to C57BL/6 (B6) mice. Here we demonstrate that endogenous agonists stimulate the recombinant B6 mouse TAAR1, but do not activate the D2 mouse receptor. Progeny of the B6XD2 (BxD) family of recombinant inbred (RI) strains have been used to characterize the genetic etiology of diseases, but contrary to expectations, BXDs derived 30–40 years ago express only the functional B6 Taar1 allele whereas some more recently derived BXD RI strains express the D2 allele. Data indicate that the D2 mutation arose subsequent to derivation of the original RIs. Finally, we demonstrate that SNPs in human TAAR1 alter its function, resulting in expressed, but functional, sub-functional and non-functional receptors. Our findings are important for identifying a predisposition to human diseases, as well as for developing personalized treatment options. PMID:27031617

  3. Genetic variation of the RASGRF1 regulatory region affects human hippocampus-dependent memory.

    PubMed

    Barman, Adriana; Assmann, Anne; Richter, Sylvia; Soch, Joram; Schütze, Hartmut; Wüstenberg, Torsten; Deibele, Anna; Klein, Marieke; Richter, Anni; Behnisch, Gusalija; Düzel, Emrah; Zenker, Martin; Seidenbecher, Constanze I; Schott, Björn H

    2014-01-01

    The guanine nucleotide exchange factor RASGRF1 is an important regulator of intracellular signaling and neural plasticity in the brain. RASGRF1-deficient mice exhibit a complex phenotype with learning deficits and ocular abnormalities. Also in humans, a genome-wide association study has identified the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs8027411 in the putative transcription regulatory region of RASGRF1 as a risk variant of myopia. Here we aimed to assess whether, in line with the RASGRF1 knockout mouse phenotype, rs8027411 might also be associated with human memory function. We performed computer-based neuropsychological learning experiments in two independent cohorts of young, healthy participants. Tests included the Verbal Learning and Memory Test (VLMT) and the logical memory section of the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS). Two sub-cohorts additionally participated in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of hippocampus function. 119 participants performed a novelty encoding task that had previously been shown to engage the hippocampus, and 63 subjects participated in a reward-related memory encoding study. RASGRF1 rs8027411 genotype was indeed associated with memory performance in an allele dosage-dependent manner, with carriers of the T allele (i.e., the myopia risk allele) showing better memory performance in the early encoding phase of the VLMT and in the recall phase of the WMS logical memory section. In fMRI, T allele carriers exhibited increased hippocampal activation during presentation of novel images and during encoding of pictures associated with monetary reward. Taken together, our results provide evidence for a role of the RASGRF1 gene locus in hippocampus-dependent memory and, along with the previous association with myopia, point toward pleitropic effects of RASGRF1 genetic variations on complex neural function in humans. PMID:24808846

  4. Genetic variation of the RASGRF1 regulatory region affects human hippocampus-dependent memory

    PubMed Central

    Barman, Adriana; Assmann, Anne; Richter, Sylvia; Soch, Joram; Schütze, Hartmut; Wüstenberg, Torsten; Deibele, Anna; Klein, Marieke; Richter, Anni; Behnisch, Gusalija; Düzel, Emrah; Zenker, Martin; Seidenbecher, Constanze I.; Schott, Björn H.

    2014-01-01

    The guanine nucleotide exchange factor RASGRF1 is an important regulator of intracellular signaling and neural plasticity in the brain. RASGRF1-deficient mice exhibit a complex phenotype with learning deficits and ocular abnormalities. Also in humans, a genome-wide association study has identified the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs8027411 in the putative transcription regulatory region of RASGRF1 as a risk variant of myopia. Here we aimed to assess whether, in line with the RASGRF1 knockout mouse phenotype, rs8027411 might also be associated with human memory function. We performed computer-based neuropsychological learning experiments in two independent cohorts of young, healthy participants. Tests included the Verbal Learning and Memory Test (VLMT) and the logical memory section of the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS). Two sub-cohorts additionally participated in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of hippocampus function. 119 participants performed a novelty encoding task that had previously been shown to engage the hippocampus, and 63 subjects participated in a reward-related memory encoding study. RASGRF1 rs8027411 genotype was indeed associated with memory performance in an allele dosage-dependent manner, with carriers of the T allele (i.e., the myopia risk allele) showing better memory performance in the early encoding phase of the VLMT and in the recall phase of the WMS logical memory section. In fMRI, T allele carriers exhibited increased hippocampal activation during presentation of novel images and during encoding of pictures associated with monetary reward. Taken together, our results provide evidence for a role of the RASGRF1 gene locus in hippocampus-dependent memory and, along with the previous association with myopia, point toward pleitropic effects of RASGRF1 genetic variations on complex