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Sample records for level phylogenetic alterations

  1. Constructing level-2 phylogenetic networks from triplets.

    PubMed

    van Iersel, Leo; Keijsper, Judith; Kelk, Steven; Stougie, Leen; Hagen, Ferry; Boekhout, Teun

    2009-01-01

    Jansson and Sung showed that, given a dense set of input triplets T (representing hypotheses about the local evolutionary relationships of triplets of taxa), it is possible to determine in polynomial time whether there exists a level-1 network consistent with T, and if so, to construct such a network [24]. Here, we extend this work by showing that this problem is even polynomial time solvable for the construction of level-2 networks. This shows that, assuming density, it is tractable to construct plausible evolutionary histories from input triplets even when such histories are heavily nontree-like. This further strengthens the case for the use of triplet-based methods in the construction of phylogenetic networks. We also implemented the algorithm and applied it to yeast data.

  2. Phylogenetic diversity of plants alters the effect of species richness on invertebrate herbivory.

    PubMed

    Dinnage, Russell

    2013-01-01

    Long-standing ecological theory proposes that diverse communities of plants should experience a decrease in herbivory. Yet previous empirical examinations of this hypothesis have revealed that plant species richness increases herbivory in just as many systems as it decreases it. In this study, I ask whether more insight into the role of plant diversity in promoting or suppressing herbivory can be gained by incorporating information about the evolutionary history of species in a community. In an old field system in southern Ontario, I surveyed communities of plants and measured levels of leaf damage on 27 species in 38 plots. I calculated a measure of phylogenetic diversity (PSE) that encapsulates information about the amount of evolutionary history represented in each of the plots and looked for a relationship between levels of herbivory and both species richness and phylogenetic diversity using a generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) that could account for variation in herbivory levels between species. I found that species richness was positively associated with herbivore damage at the plot-level, in keeping with the results from several other recent studies on this question. On the other hand, phylogenetic diversity was associated with decreased herbivory. Importantly, there was also an interaction between species richness and phylogenetic diversity, such that plots with the highest levels of herbivory were plots which had many species but only if those species tended to be closely related to one another. I propose that these results are the consequence of interactions with herbivores whose diets are phylogenetically specialized (for which I introduce the term cladophage), and how phylogenetic diversity may alter their realized host ranges. These results suggest that incorporating a phylogenetic perspective can add valuable additional insight into the role of plant diversity in explaining or predicting levels of herbivory at a whole-community scale.

  3. Convergent phylogenetic and functional responses to altered fire regimes in mesic savanna grasslands of North America and South Africa.

    PubMed

    Forrestel, Elisabeth J; Donoghue, Michael J; Smith, Melinda D

    2014-08-01

    The importance of fire in the creation and maintenance of mesic grassland communities is well recognized. Improved understanding of how grasses--the dominant clade in these important ecosystems--will respond to alterations in fire regimes is needed in the face of anthropogenically driven climate and land-use change. Here, we examined how grass communities shift in response to experimentally manipulated fire regimes at multiple levels of community diversity--taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional--in C4-dominanted mesic savanna grassland sites with similar structure and physiognomy, yet disparate biogeographic histories. We found that the grass communities were similar in their phylogenetic response and aspects of their functional response to high fire frequency. Both sites exhibited phylogenetic clustering of highly abundant species in annually burned plots, driven by species of the Andropogoneae, and a narrow range of functional strategies associated with rapid post-fire regeneration in a high-light, nitrogen-limited environment. By examining multiple facets of diversity in a comparative context, we identified convergent phylogenetic and functional responses to altered fire regimes in two mesic savanna grasslands. Our results highlight the importance of a common filtering process associated with fire that is consistent across grasslands of disparate biogeographic histories and taxonomic representation.

  4. Comparative Analysis of Begonia Plastid Genomes and Their Utility for Species-Level Phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Nicola; Harrison, Richard J; Kidner, Catherine A

    2016-01-01

    Recent, rapid radiations make species-level phylogenetics difficult to resolve. We used a multiplexed, high-throughput sequencing approach to identify informative genomic regions to resolve phylogenetic relationships at low taxonomic levels in Begonia from a survey of sixteen species. A long-range PCR method was used to generate draft plastid genomes to provide a strong phylogenetic backbone, identify fast evolving regions and provide informative molecular markers for species-level phylogenetic studies in Begonia.

  5. Comparative Analysis of Begonia Plastid Genomes and Their Utility for Species-Level Phylogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Nicola; Harrison, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    Recent, rapid radiations make species-level phylogenetics difficult to resolve. We used a multiplexed, high-throughput sequencing approach to identify informative genomic regions to resolve phylogenetic relationships at low taxonomic levels in Begonia from a survey of sixteen species. A long-range PCR method was used to generate draft plastid genomes to provide a strong phylogenetic backbone, identify fast evolving regions and provide informative molecular markers for species-level phylogenetic studies in Begonia. PMID:27058864

  6. Erosion of phylogenetic signal in tunicate mitochondrial genomes on different levels of analysis.

    PubMed

    Stach, Thomas; Braband, Anke; Podsiadlowski, Lars

    2010-06-01

    The molecular phylogenetic position of Tunicata and internal interrelationship of higher tunicate taxa is controversial. High substitution rates and extreme gene order variability hamper phylogenetic analyses. We describe the sequence and organization of the mitochondrial genome of the aplousobranch ascidian Clavelina lepadiformis and use mitochondrial genomes to investigate phylogenetic information content on different molecular levels of comparison. Despite agreement in phylogenetic analyses of nucleotide and amino acid sequences, split analyses revealed little phylogenetic signal. Split analyses on molecular data sets deemed increasingly conservative, demonstrated that the lack of signal pervades all levels and that it is Tunicata the taxon of interest that introduces noise in the data sets. The strongest signal present in our molecular data sets as revealed by split analyses is not present in the optimal cladograms and supports a sister group relationship between cephalochordates and craniates. Phylogenetic analysis of gene order using common interval algorithms shows that phylogenetic signal is also eroded in respect of gene positions. Even functional constraints, such as partial gene overlap as exemplified in the case of the commonly observed adjacency between cox2 and cytb are subjected to homoplasy. However, rare phylogenetic events like this hold some promise to retain phylogenetic information even in such cases of extreme variability. We therefore caution to rely on sequence analysis alone and recommend investigation into the signal content of molecular data sets in order to assess the strength of phylogenetic signal.

  7. Manganese alters rat brain amino acids levels

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Dinamene; Batoreu, M. Camila; Almeida, Isabel; Ramos, Ruben; Sidoryk-Wegrzynowicz, M.; Aschner, Michael; Marreilha dos Santos, A.P.

    2012-01-01

    Manganese (Mn) is an essential element and it acts as a cofactor for a number of enzymatic reactions, including those involved in amino acid, lipid, protein and carbohydrate metabolism. Excessive exposure to Mn can lead to poisoning, characterized by psychiatric disturbances and an extrapyramidal disorder. Mn-induced neuronal degeneration is associated with alterations in amino acids metabolism. In the present study, we analyzed whole rat brain amino acid content subsequent to 4 or 8 intraperitoneal (ip) injections, with 25 mg MnCl2/kg/day, at 48-hour (h) intervals. We noted a significant increase in glycine brain levels after 4 or 8 Mn injections (p<0.05 and p<0.01, respectively) and arginine also after 4 or 8 injections (p<0.001). Significant increases were also noted in brain proline (p<0.01), cysteine (p<0.05), phenylalanine (p<0.01) and tyrosine (p<0.01) levels after 8 Mn injections vs. the control group. These findings suggest that Mn-induced alterations in amino acid levels secondary to Mn affect the neurochemical milieu. PMID:22971893

  8. Phylogenetic diversity and co-evolutionary signals among trophic levels change across a habitat edge.

    PubMed

    Peralta, Guadalupe; Frost, Carol M; Didham, Raphael K; Varsani, Arvind; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2015-03-01

    Incorporating the evolutionary history of species into community ecology enhances understanding of community composition, ecosystem functioning and responses to environmental changes. Phylogenetic history might partly explain the impact of fragmentation and land-use change on assemblages of interacting organisms and even determine potential cascading effects across trophic levels. However, it remains unclear whether phylogenetic diversity of basal resources is reflected at higher trophic levels in the food web. In particular, phylogenetic determinants of community structure have never been incorporated into habitat edge studies, even though edges are recognized as key factors affecting communities in fragmented landscapes. Here, we test whether phylogenetic diversity at different trophic levels (plants, herbivores and parasitoids) and signals of co-evolution (i.e. phylogenetic congruence) among interacting trophic levels change across an edge gradient between native and plantation forests. To ascertain whether there is a signal of co-evolution across trophic levels, we test whether related consumer species generally feed on related resource species. We found differences across trophic levels in how their phylogenetic diversity responded to the habitat edge gradient. Plant and native parasitoid phylogenetic diversity changed markedly across habitats, while phylogenetic variability of herbivores (which were predominantly native) did not change across habitats, though phylogenetic evenness declined in plantation interiors. Related herbivore species did not appear to feed disproportionately on related plant species (i.e. there was no signal of co-evolution) even when considering only native species, potentially due to the high trophic generality of herbivores. However, related native parasitoid species tended to feed on related herbivore species, suggesting the presence of a co-evolutionary signal at higher trophic levels. Moreover, this signal was stronger in

  9. Disturbance alters the phylogenetic composition and structure of plant communities in an old field system.

    PubMed

    Dinnage, Russell

    2009-09-18

    The changes in phylogenetic composition and structure of communities during succession following disturbance can give us insights into the forces that are shaping communities over time. In abandoned agricultural fields, community composition changes rapidly when a field is plowed, and is thought to reflect a relaxation of competition due to the elimination of dominant species which take time to re-establish. Competition can drive phylogenetic overdispersion, due to phylogenetic conservation of 'niche' traits that allow species to partition resources. Therefore, undisturbed old field communities should exhibit higher phylogenetic dispersion than recently disturbed systems, which should be relatively 'clustered' with respect to phylogenetic relationships. Several measures of phylogenetic structure between plant communities were measured in recently plowed areas and nearby 'undisturbed' sites. There was no difference in the absolute values of these measures between disturbed and 'undisturbed' sites. However, there was a difference in the 'expected' phylogenetic structure between habitats, leading to significantly lower than expected phylogenetic diversity in disturbed plots, and no difference from random expectation in 'undisturbed' plots. This suggests that plant species characteristic of each habitat are fairly evenly distributed on the shared species pool phylogeny, but that once the initial sorting of species into the two habitat types has occurred, the processes operating on them affect each habitat differently. These results were consistent with an analysis of correlation between phylogenetic distance and co-occurrence indices of species pairs in the two habitat types. This study supports the notion that disturbed plots are more clustered than expected, rather than 'undisturbed' plots being more overdispersed, suggesting that disturbed plant communities are being more strongly influenced by environmental filtering of conserved niche traits.

  10. Disturbance Alters the Phylogenetic Composition and Structure of Plant Communities in an Old Field System

    PubMed Central

    Dinnage, Russell

    2009-01-01

    The changes in phylogenetic composition and structure of communities during succession following disturbance can give us insights into the forces that are shaping communities over time. In abandoned agricultural fields, community composition changes rapidly when a field is plowed, and is thought to reflect a relaxation of competition due to the elimination of dominant species which take time to re-establish. Competition can drive phylogenetic overdispersion, due to phylogenetic conservation of ‘niche’ traits that allow species to partition resources. Therefore, undisturbed old field communities should exhibit higher phylogenetic dispersion than recently disturbed systems, which should be relatively ‘clustered’ with respect to phylogenetic relationships. Several measures of phylogenetic structure between plant communities were measured in recently plowed areas and nearby ‘undisturbed’ sites. There was no difference in the absolute values of these measures between disturbed and ‘undisturbed’ sites. However, there was a difference in the ‘expected’ phylogenetic structure between habitats, leading to significantly lower than expected phylogenetic diversity in disturbed plots, and no difference from random expectation in ‘undisturbed’ plots. This suggests that plant species characteristic of each habitat are fairly evenly distributed on the shared species pool phylogeny, but that once the initial sorting of species into the two habitat types has occurred, the processes operating on them affect each habitat differently. These results were consistent with an analysis of correlation between phylogenetic distance and co-occurrence indices of species pairs in the two habitat types. This study supports the notion that disturbed plots are more clustered than expected, rather than ‘undisturbed’ plots being more overdispersed, suggesting that disturbed plant communities are being more strongly influenced by environmental filtering of conserved niche

  11. Increasing phylogenetic resolution at low taxonomic levels using massively parallel sequencing of chloroplast genomes

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Molecular evolutionary studies share the common goal of elucidating historical relationships, and the common challenge of adequately sampling taxa and characters. Particularly at low taxonomic levels, recent divergence, rapid radiations, and conservative genome evolution yield limited sequence variation, and dense taxon sampling is often desirable. Recent advances in massively parallel sequencing make it possible to rapidly obtain large amounts of sequence data, and multiplexing makes extensive sampling of megabase sequences feasible. Is it possible to efficiently apply massively parallel sequencing to increase phylogenetic resolution at low taxonomic levels? Results We reconstruct the infrageneric phylogeny of Pinus from 37 nearly-complete chloroplast genomes (average 109 kilobases each of an approximately 120 kilobase genome) generated using multiplexed massively parallel sequencing. 30/33 ingroup nodes resolved with ≥ 95% bootstrap support; this is a substantial improvement relative to prior studies, and shows massively parallel sequencing-based strategies can produce sufficient high quality sequence to reach support levels originally proposed for the phylogenetic bootstrap. Resampling simulations show that at least the entire plastome is necessary to fully resolve Pinus, particularly in rapidly radiating clades. Meta-analysis of 99 published infrageneric phylogenies shows that whole plastome analysis should provide similar gains across a range of plant genera. A disproportionate amount of phylogenetic information resides in two loci (ycf1, ycf2), highlighting their unusual evolutionary properties. Conclusion Plastome sequencing is now an efficient option for increasing phylogenetic resolution at lower taxonomic levels in plant phylogenetic and population genetic analyses. With continuing improvements in sequencing capacity, the strategies herein should revolutionize efforts requiring dense taxon and character sampling, such as phylogeographic

  12. Ecosystem functions across trophic levels are linked to functional and phylogenetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Patrick L; Davies, T Jonathan; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    In experimental systems, it has been shown that biodiversity indices based on traits or phylogeny can outperform species richness as predictors of plant ecosystem function. However, it is unclear whether this pattern extends to the function of food webs in natural ecosystems. Here we tested whether zooplankton functional and phylogenetic diversity explains the functioning of 23 natural pond communities. We used two measures of ecosystem function: (1) zooplankton community biomass and (2) phytoplankton abundance (Chl a). We tested for diversity-ecosystem function relationships within and across trophic levels. We found a strong correlation between zooplankton diversity and ecosystem function, whereas local environmental conditions were less important. Further, the positive diversity-ecosystem function relationships were more pronounced for measures of functional and phylogenetic diversity than for species richness. Zooplankton and phytoplankton biomass were best predicted by different indices, suggesting that the two functions are dependent upon different aspects of diversity. Zooplankton community biomass was best predicted by zooplankton trait-based functional richness, while phytoplankton abundance was best predicted by zooplankton phylogenetic diversity. Our results suggest that the positive relationship between diversity and ecosystem function can extend across trophic levels in natural environments, and that greater insight into variation in ecosystem function can be gained by combining functional and phylogenetic diversity measures.

  13. Ecosystem Functions across Trophic Levels Are Linked to Functional and Phylogenetic Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Patrick L.; Davies, T. Jonathan; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    In experimental systems, it has been shown that biodiversity indices based on traits or phylogeny can outperform species richness as predictors of plant ecosystem function. However, it is unclear whether this pattern extends to the function of food webs in natural ecosystems. Here we tested whether zooplankton functional and phylogenetic diversity explains the functioning of 23 natural pond communities. We used two measures of ecosystem function: (1) zooplankton community biomass and (2) phytoplankton abundance (Chl a). We tested for diversity-ecosystem function relationships within and across trophic levels. We found a strong correlation between zooplankton diversity and ecosystem function, whereas local environmental conditions were less important. Further, the positive diversity-ecosystem function relationships were more pronounced for measures of functional and phylogenetic diversity than for species richness. Zooplankton and phytoplankton biomass were best predicted by different indices, suggesting that the two functions are dependent upon different aspects of diversity. Zooplankton community biomass was best predicted by zooplankton trait-based functional richness, while phytoplankton abundance was best predicted by zooplankton phylogenetic diversity. Our results suggest that the positive relationship between diversity and ecosystem function can extend across trophic levels in natural environments, and that greater insight into variation in ecosystem function can be gained by combining functional and phylogenetic diversity measures. PMID:25693188

  14. Specimen-level phylogenetics in paleontology using the Fossilized Birth-Death model with sampled ancestors.

    PubMed

    Cau, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Bayesian phylogenetic methods integrating simultaneously morphological and stratigraphic information have been applied increasingly among paleontologists. Most of these studies have used Bayesian methods as an alternative to the widely-used parsimony analysis, to infer macroevolutionary patterns and relationships among species-level or higher taxa. Among recently introduced Bayesian methodologies, the Fossilized Birth-Death (FBD) model allows incorporation of hypotheses on ancestor-descendant relationships in phylogenetic analyses including fossil taxa. Here, the FBD model is used to infer the relationships among an ingroup formed exclusively by fossil individuals, i.e., dipnoan tooth plates from four localities in the Ain el Guettar Formation of Tunisia. Previous analyses of this sample compared the results of phylogenetic analysis using parsimony with stratigraphic methods, inferred a high diversity (five or more genera) in the Ain el Guettar Formation, and interpreted it as an artifact inflated by depositional factors. In the analysis performed here, the uncertainty on the chronostratigraphic relationships among the specimens was included among the prior settings. The results of the analysis confirm the referral of most of the specimens to the taxa Asiatoceratodus, Equinoxiodus, Lavocatodus and Neoceratodus, but reject those to Ceratodus and Ferganoceratodus. The resulting phylogeny constrained the evolution of the Tunisian sample exclusively in the Early Cretaceous, contrasting with the previous scenario inferred by the stratigraphically-calibrated topology resulting from parsimony analysis. The phylogenetic framework also suggests that (1) the sampled localities are laterally equivalent, (2) but three localities are restricted to the youngest part of the section; both results are in agreement with previous stratigraphic analyses of these localities. The FBD model of specimen-level units provides a novel tool for phylogenetic inference among fossils but also

  15. Specimen-level phylogenetics in paleontology using the Fossilized Birth-Death model with sampled ancestors

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Bayesian phylogenetic methods integrating simultaneously morphological and stratigraphic information have been applied increasingly among paleontologists. Most of these studies have used Bayesian methods as an alternative to the widely-used parsimony analysis, to infer macroevolutionary patterns and relationships among species-level or higher taxa. Among recently introduced Bayesian methodologies, the Fossilized Birth-Death (FBD) model allows incorporation of hypotheses on ancestor-descendant relationships in phylogenetic analyses including fossil taxa. Here, the FBD model is used to infer the relationships among an ingroup formed exclusively by fossil individuals, i.e., dipnoan tooth plates from four localities in the Ain el Guettar Formation of Tunisia. Previous analyses of this sample compared the results of phylogenetic analysis using parsimony with stratigraphic methods, inferred a high diversity (five or more genera) in the Ain el Guettar Formation, and interpreted it as an artifact inflated by depositional factors. In the analysis performed here, the uncertainty on the chronostratigraphic relationships among the specimens was included among the prior settings. The results of the analysis confirm the referral of most of the specimens to the taxa Asiatoceratodus, Equinoxiodus, Lavocatodus and Neoceratodus, but reject those to Ceratodus and Ferganoceratodus. The resulting phylogeny constrained the evolution of the Tunisian sample exclusively in the Early Cretaceous, contrasting with the previous scenario inferred by the stratigraphically-calibrated topology resulting from parsimony analysis. The phylogenetic framework also suggests that (1) the sampled localities are laterally equivalent, (2) but three localities are restricted to the youngest part of the section; both results are in agreement with previous stratigraphic analyses of these localities. The FBD model of specimen-level units provides a novel tool for phylogenetic inference among fossils but also

  16. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal phylogenetic groups differ in affecting host plants along heavy metal levels.

    PubMed

    He, Lei; Yang, Haishui; Yu, Zhenxing; Tang, Jianjun; Xu, Ligen; Chen, Xin

    2014-10-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important components of soil microbial communities, and play important role in plant growth. However, the effects of AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) on host plant under various heavy metal levels are not clear. Here we conducted a meta-analysis to compare symbiotic relationship between AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) and host plant functional groups (herbs vs. trees, and non-legumes vs. legumes) at three heavy metal levels. In the meta-analysis, we calculate the effect size (ln(RR)) by taking the natural logarithm of the response ratio of inoculated to non-inoculated shoot biomass from each study. We found that the effect size of Glomeraceae increased, but the effect size of non-Glomeraceae decreased under high level of heavy metal compared to low level. According to the effect size, both Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae promoted host plant growth, but had different effects under various heavy metal levels. Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than non-Glomeraceae did under heavy metal condition, while non-Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than Glomeraceae did under no heavy metal. AMF phylogenetic groups also differed in promoting plant functional groups under various heavy metal levels. Interacting with Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under high heavy metal level, while trees and legumes grew better than herbs and non-legumes did under medium heavy metal level. Interacting with non-Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under no heavy metal. We suggested that the combination of legume with Glomeraceae could be a useful way in the remediation of heavy metal polluted environment.

  17. Reconstruction of Family-Level Phylogenetic Relationships within Demospongiae (Porifera) Using Nuclear Encoded Housekeeping Genes

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Malcolm S.; Hill, April L.; Lopez, Jose; Peterson, Kevin J.; Pomponi, Shirley; Diaz, Maria C.; Thacker, Robert W.; Adamska, Maja; Boury-Esnault, Nicole; Cárdenas, Paco; Chaves-Fonnegra, Andia; Danka, Elizabeth; De Laine, Bre-Onna; Formica, Dawn; Hajdu, Eduardo; Lobo-Hajdu, Gisele; Klontz, Sarah; Morrow, Christine C.; Patel, Jignasa; Picton, Bernard; Pisani, Davide; Pohlmann, Deborah; Redmond, Niamh E.; Reed, John; Richey, Stacy; Riesgo, Ana; Rubin, Ewelina; Russell, Zach; Rützler, Klaus; Sperling, Erik A.; di Stefano, Michael; Tarver, James E.; Collins, Allen G.

    2013-01-01

    Background Demosponges are challenging for phylogenetic systematics because of their plastic and relatively simple morphologies and many deep divergences between major clades. To improve understanding of the phylogenetic relationships within Demospongiae, we sequenced and analyzed seven nuclear housekeeping genes involved in a variety of cellular functions from a diverse group of sponges. Methodology/Principal Findings We generated data from each of the four sponge classes (i.e., Calcarea, Demospongiae, Hexactinellida, and Homoscleromorpha), but focused on family-level relationships within demosponges. With data for 21 newly sampled families, our Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian-based approaches recovered previously phylogenetically defined taxa: Keratosap, Myxospongiaep, Spongillidap, Haploscleromorphap (the marine haplosclerids) and Democlaviap. We found conflicting results concerning the relationships of Keratosap and Myxospongiaep to the remaining demosponges, but our results strongly supported a clade of Haploscleromorphap+Spongillidap+Democlaviap. In contrast to hypotheses based on mitochondrial genome and ribosomal data, nuclear housekeeping gene data suggested that freshwater sponges (Spongillidap) are sister to Haploscleromorphap rather than part of Democlaviap. Within Keratosap, we found equivocal results as to the monophyly of Dictyoceratida. Within Myxospongiaep, Chondrosida and Verongida were monophyletic. A well-supported clade within Democlaviap, Tetractinellidap, composed of all sampled members of Astrophorina and Spirophorina (including the only lithistid in our analysis), was consistently revealed as the sister group to all other members of Democlaviap. Within Tetractinellidap, we did not recover monophyletic Astrophorina or Spirophorina. Our results also reaffirmed the monophyly of order Poecilosclerida (excluding Desmacellidae and Raspailiidae), and polyphyly of Hadromerida and Halichondrida. Conclusions/Significance These results, using an

  18. Phylogenetic Classification at Generic Level in the Absence of Distinct Phylogenetic Patterns of Phenotypical Variation: A Case Study in Graphidaceae (Ascomycota)

    PubMed Central

    Parnmen, Sittiporn; Lücking, Robert; Lumbsch, H. Thorsten

    2012-01-01

    Molecular phylogenies often reveal that taxa circumscribed by phenotypical characters are not monophyletic. While re-examination of phenotypical characters often identifies the presence of characters characterizing clades, there is a growing number of studies that fail to identify diagnostic characters, especially in organismal groups lacking complex morphologies. Taxonomists then can either merge the groups or split taxa into smaller entities. Due to the nature of binomial nomenclature, this decision is of special importance at the generic level. Here we propose a new approach to choose among classification alternatives using a combination of morphology-based phylogenetic binning and a multiresponse permutation procedure to test for morphological differences among clades. We illustrate the use of this method in the tribe Thelotremateae focusing on the genus Chapsa, a group of lichenized fungi in which our phylogenetic estimate is in conflict with traditional classification and the morphological and chemical characters do not show a clear phylogenetic pattern. We generated 75 new DNA sequences of mitochondrial SSU rDNA, nuclear LSU rDNA and the protein-coding RPB2. This data set was used to infer phylogenetic estimates using maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches. The genus Chapsa was found to be polyphyletic, forming four well-supported clades, three of which clustering into one unsupported clade, and the other, supported clade forming two supported subclades. While these clades cannot be readily separated morphologically, the combined binning/multiresponse permutation procedure showed that accepting the four clades as different genera each reflects the phenotypical pattern significantly better than accepting two genera (or five genera if splitting the first clade). Another species within the Thelotremateae, Thelotrema petractoides, a unique taxon with carbonized excipulum resembling Schizotrema, was shown to fall outside Thelotrema. Consequently, the new

  19. Reconstruction of family-level phylogenetic relationships within Demospongiae (Porifera) using nuclear encoded housekeeping genes.

    PubMed

    Hill, Malcolm S; Hill, April L; Lopez, Jose; Peterson, Kevin J; Pomponi, Shirley; Diaz, Maria C; Thacker, Robert W; Adamska, Maja; Boury-Esnault, Nicole; Cárdenas, Paco; Chaves-Fonnegra, Andia; Danka, Elizabeth; De Laine, Bre-Onna; Formica, Dawn; Hajdu, Eduardo; Lobo-Hajdu, Gisele; Klontz, Sarah; Morrow, Christine C; Patel, Jignasa; Picton, Bernard; Pisani, Davide; Pohlmann, Deborah; Redmond, Niamh E; Reed, John; Richey, Stacy; Riesgo, Ana; Rubin, Ewelina; Russell, Zach; Rützler, Klaus; Sperling, Erik A; di Stefano, Michael; Tarver, James E; Collins, Allen G

    2013-01-01

    Demosponges are challenging for phylogenetic systematics because of their plastic and relatively simple morphologies and many deep divergences between major clades. To improve understanding of the phylogenetic relationships within Demospongiae, we sequenced and analyzed seven nuclear housekeeping genes involved in a variety of cellular functions from a diverse group of sponges. We generated data from each of the four sponge classes (i.e., Calcarea, Demospongiae, Hexactinellida, and Homoscleromorpha), but focused on family-level relationships within demosponges. With data for 21 newly sampled families, our Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian-based approaches recovered previously phylogenetically defined taxa: Keratosa(p), Myxospongiae(p), Spongillida(p), Haploscleromorpha(p) (the marine haplosclerids) and Democlavia(p). We found conflicting results concerning the relationships of Keratosa(p) and Myxospongiae(p) to the remaining demosponges, but our results strongly supported a clade of Haploscleromorpha(p)+Spongillida(p)+Democlavia(p). In contrast to hypotheses based on mitochondrial genome and ribosomal data, nuclear housekeeping gene data suggested that freshwater sponges (Spongillida(p)) are sister to Haploscleromorpha(p) rather than part of Democlavia(p). Within Keratosa(p), we found equivocal results as to the monophyly of Dictyoceratida. Within Myxospongiae(p), Chondrosida and Verongida were monophyletic. A well-supported clade within Democlavia(p), Tetractinellida(p), composed of all sampled members of Astrophorina and Spirophorina (including the only lithistid in our analysis), was consistently revealed as the sister group to all other members of Democlavia(p). Within Tetractinellida(p), we did not recover monophyletic Astrophorina or Spirophorina. Our results also reaffirmed the monophyly of order Poecilosclerida (excluding Desmacellidae and Raspailiidae), and polyphyly of Hadromerida and Halichondrida. These results, using an independent nuclear gene set

  20. Family-Level Sampling of Mitochondrial Genomes in Coleoptera: Compositional Heterogeneity and Phylogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Timmermans, Martijn J. T. N.; Barton, Christopher; Haran, Julien; Ahrens, Dirk; Culverwell, C. Lorna; Ollikainen, Alison; Dodsworth, Steven; Foster, Peter G.; Bocak, Ladislav; Vogler, Alfried P.

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial genomes are readily sequenced with recent technology and thus evolutionary lineages can be densely sampled. This permits better phylogenetic estimates and assessment of potential biases resulting from heterogeneity in nucleotide composition and rate of change. We gathered 245 mitochondrial sequences for the Coleoptera representing all 4 suborders, 15 superfamilies of Polyphaga, and altogether 97 families, including 159 newly sequenced full or partial mitogenomes. Compositional heterogeneity greatly affected 3rd codon positions, and to a lesser extent the 1st and 2nd positions, even after RY coding. Heterogeneity also affected the encoded protein sequence, in particular in the nad2, nad4, nad5, and nad6 genes. Credible tree topologies were obtained with the nhPhyML (“nonhomogeneous”) algorithm implementing a model for branch-specific equilibrium frequencies. Likelihood searches using RAxML were improved by data partitioning by gene and codon position. Finally, the PhyloBayes software, which allows different substitution processes for amino acid replacement at various sites, produced a tree that best matched known higher level taxa and defined basal relationships in Coleoptera. After rooting with Neuropterida outgroups, suborder relationships were resolved as (Polyphaga (Myxophaga (Archostemata + Adephaga))). The infraorder relationships in Polyphaga were (Scirtiformia (Elateriformia ((Staphyliniformia + Scarabaeiformia) (Bostrichiformia (Cucujiformia))))). Polyphagan superfamilies were recovered as monophyla except Staphylinoidea (paraphyletic for Scarabaeiformia) and Cucujoidea, which can no longer be considered a valid taxon. The study shows that, although compositional heterogeneity is not universal, it cannot be eliminated for some mitochondrial genes, but dense taxon sampling and the use of appropriate Bayesian analyses can still produce robust phylogenetic trees. PMID:26645679

  1. Family-Level Sampling of Mitochondrial Genomes in Coleoptera: Compositional Heterogeneity and Phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Timmermans, Martijn J T N; Barton, Christopher; Haran, Julien; Ahrens, Dirk; Culverwell, C Lorna; Ollikainen, Alison; Dodsworth, Steven; Foster, Peter G; Bocak, Ladislav; Vogler, Alfried P

    2015-12-08

    Mitochondrial genomes are readily sequenced with recent technology and thus evolutionary lineages can be densely sampled. This permits better phylogenetic estimates and assessment of potential biases resulting from heterogeneity in nucleotide composition and rate of change. We gathered 245 mitochondrial sequences for the Coleoptera representing all 4 suborders, 15 superfamilies of Polyphaga, and altogether 97 families, including 159 newly sequenced full or partial mitogenomes. Compositional heterogeneity greatly affected 3rd codon positions, and to a lesser extent the 1st and 2nd positions, even after RY coding. Heterogeneity also affected the encoded protein sequence, in particular in the nad2, nad4, nad5, and nad6 genes. Credible tree topologies were obtained with the nhPhyML ("nonhomogeneous") algorithm implementing a model for branch-specific equilibrium frequencies. Likelihood searches using RAxML were improved by data partitioning by gene and codon position. Finally, the PhyloBayes software, which allows different substitution processes for amino acid replacement at various sites, produced a tree that best matched known higher level taxa and defined basal relationships in Coleoptera. After rooting with Neuropterida outgroups, suborder relationships were resolved as (Polyphaga (Myxophaga (Archostemata + Adephaga))). The infraorder relationships in Polyphaga were (Scirtiformia (Elateriformia ((Staphyliniformia + Scarabaeiformia) (Bostrichiformia (Cucujiformia))))). Polyphagan superfamilies were recovered as monophyla except Staphylinoidea (paraphyletic for Scarabaeiformia) and Cucujoidea, which can no longer be considered a valid taxon. The study shows that, although compositional heterogeneity is not universal, it cannot be eliminated for some mitochondrial genes, but dense taxon sampling and the use of appropriate Bayesian analyses can still produce robust phylogenetic trees.

  2. Enhanced heat stability and kinetic parameters of maize endosperm ADPglucose pyrophosphorylase by alteration of phylogenetically identified amino acids.

    PubMed

    Boehlein, Susan K; Shaw, Janine R; Georgelis, Nikolaos; Hannah, L Curtis

    2014-02-01

    ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGPase) controls the rate-limiting step in starch biosynthesis and is regulated at various levels. Cereal endosperm enzymes, in contrast to other plant AGPases, are particularly heat labile and transgenic studies highlight the importance of temperature for cereal yield. Previously, a phylogenetic approach identified Type II and positively selected amino acid positions in the large subunit of maize endosperm AGPase. Glycogen content, kinetic parameters and heat stability were measured in AGPases having mutations in these sites and interesting differences were observed. This study expands on our earlier evolutionary work by determining how all Type II and positively selected sites affect kinetic constants, heat stability and catalytic rates at increased temperatures. Variants with enhanced properties were identified and combined into one gene, designated Sh2-E. Enhanced properties include: heat stability, enhanced activity at 37 °C, activity at 55 °C, reduced Ka and activity in the absence of activator. The resulting enzyme exhibited all improved properties of the various individual changes. Additionally, Sh2-E was expressed with a small subunit variant with enhanced enzyme properties resulting in an enzyme that has exceptional heat stability, a high catalytic rate at increased temperatures and significantly decreased Km values for both substrates in the absence of the activator.

  3. Tributyltin exposure alters cytokine levels in mouse serum.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, Shanieek; Pellom, Samuel T; Shanker, Anil; Whalen, Margaret M

    2016-11-01

    Tributyltin (TBT), a toxic environmental contaminant, has been widely utilized for various industrial, agricultural and household purposes. Its usage has led to a global contamination and its bioaccumulation in aquatic organisms and terrestrial mammals. Previous studies suggest that TBT has debilitating effects on the overall immune function of animals, rendering them more vulnerable to diseases. TBT (at concentrations that have been detected in human blood) alters secretion of inflammatory cytokines from human lymphocytes ex vivo. Thus, it is important to determine if specified levels of TBT can alter levels of cytokines in an in vivo system. Mice were exposed to biologically relevant concentrations of TBT (200, 100 or 25 nM final concentrations). The quantitative determination of interferon (IFN)-γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL2, IL5, IL7, IL12βp40, IL13, IL15, keratinocyte chemoattractant (KC), macrophage inflammatory protein 1β (MIP), MIP2 and regulated on activation normal T-cell-expressed and secreted (RANTES) was performed in mouse sera by MAGPIX analysis and Western blot. Results indicated alterations (both decreases and increases) in several cytokines. The pro-inflammatory cytokines IFNγ, TNFα, IL-1β, IL-2, IL5, IL12βp40 and IL-15 were altered as were the chemokines MIP-1 and RANTES and the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-13. Increases in IFNγ and TNFα were seen in the serum of mice exposed to TBT for less than 24 h. Levels of IL1β, IL-12 βp40, IL-5 and IL-15 were also modulated in mouse serum, depending on the specific experiment and exposure level. IL-2 was consistently decreased in mouse serum when animals were exposed to TBT. There were also TBT-induced increases in MIP-1β, RANTES and IL-13. These results from human and murine samples clearly suggest that TBT exposures modulate the secretion inflammatory cytokines.

  4. Copper deficiency in neonatal mice alters brain catecholamine levels

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, W.R.; Prohaska, J.R. )

    1991-03-15

    Copper (Cu) deficiency was investigated in Swiss albino mice to develop a model that alters brain catecholamine metabolism without serious growth impairment. Cu deficiency was induced by feeding a diet low in Cu to dams beginning either 7 days (d) prior, 4d prior, 4d after, or on the day of parturition. All 4-week-old male Cu-deficient ({minus}Cu) offspring were anemic and exhibited biochemical characteristics of Cu deficiency when compared to their respective +Cu control mice. However, the best model, which resulted in altered catecholamine metabolism characterized by elevation of dopamine (DA) and depression in norepinephrine (NE) in brain, heart, and spleen, was when treatment began 4d prior to birth. Body and brain weight were not altered. However, levels of Cu in brain and liver of {minus}Cu mice were markedly reduced to 21% and 31% of those measured in +Cu controls, respectively. Furthermore, brain NE and DA concentrations of {minus}Cu mice were 72% and 132% of those quantified in +Cu offspring, respectively. A plausible explanation is that dietary Cu deficiency results in lower activity of brain dopamine-{beta}-monooxygenase, the Cu dependent enzyme that catalyzes conversion of DA to NE. It is not yet known if these changes in Ne and DA pool size altered the quantity or characteristics of the neuronal catecholamine receptors, and more importantly, whether or not the observed changes are reversible by nutritional intervention.

  5. Salt stress alters DNA methylation levels in alfalfa (Medicago spp).

    PubMed

    Al-Lawati, A; Al-Bahry, S; Victor, R; Al-Lawati, A H; Yaish, M W

    2016-02-26

    Modification of DNA methylation status is one of the mechanisms used by plants to adjust gene expression at both the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels when plants are exposed to suboptimal conditions. Under abiotic stress, different cultivars often show heritable phenotypic variation accompanied by epigenetic polymorphisms at the DNA methylation level. This variation may provide the raw materials for plant breeding programs that aim to enhance abiotic stress tolerance, including salt tolerance. In this study, methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) analysis was used to assess cytosine methylation levels in alfalfa (Medicago spp) roots exposed to increasing NaCl concentrations (0.0, 8.0, 12.0, and 20.0 dS/m). Eleven indigenous landraces were analyzed, in addition to a salt-tolerant cultivar that was used as a control. There was a slight increase in DNA methylation upon exposure to high levels of soil salinity. Phylogenetic analysis using MSAP showed epigenetic variation within and between the alfalfa landraces when exposed to saline conditions. Based on MSAP and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay results, we found that salinity increased global DNA methylation status, particularly in plants exposed to the highest level of salinity (20 dS/m). Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction indicated that this might be mediated by the overexpression of methyltransferase homolog genes after exposure to saline conditions. DNA demethylation using 5-azacytidine reduced seedling lengths and dry and fresh weights, indicating a possible decrease in salinity tolerance. These results suggest that salinity affects DNA methylation flexibility.

  6. Phylogenetic and functional alterations in bacterial community compositions in broiler ceca as a result of mannan oligosaccharide supplementation.

    PubMed

    Corrigan, A; de Leeuw, Marcel; Penaud-Frézet, Stéphanie; Dimova, Diliana; Murphy, R A

    2015-05-15

    This study focused on identifying reproducible effects of dietary supplementation with a mannan oligosaccharide (MOS) on the broiler cecal bacterial community structure and function in a commercial production setting. Two separate trials, each with a control and a supplemented group, were carried out in the same commercial location and run concurrently. Approximately 10,000 birds from the same commercial hatchery were mirror imaged into each of four commercial broiler sheds and fed either a control or supplemented diet. Cecal contents were obtained on days 7, 21, and 35 posthatch from 12 randomly caught broilers from each group. Bacterial pyrosequencing was performed on all samples, with approximately 250,000 sequences obtained per treatment per time point. The predominant phyla identified at all three time points in both trials were Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Tenericutes, representing >99% of all sequences. MOS supplementation altered the bacterial community composition from 7 days supplementation through 35 days supplementation. Bacteroidetes appeared to be replacing Firmicutes as a result of supplementation, with the most noticeable effects after 35 days. The effects of supplementation were reproducible across both trials. PICRUSt was used to identify differences between the functional potentials of the bacterial communities as a result of MOS supplementation. Using level 3 KEGG ortholog function predictions, differences between control and supplemented groups were observed, with very strong segregation noted on day 35 posthatch in both trials. This indicated that alterations of bacterial communities as a result of MOS are likely to alter the functional capability of the cecum. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  7. Diversity of Phylogenetic Information According to the Locus and the Taxonomic Level: An Example from a Parasitic Mesostigmatid Mite Genus

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Lise; Dowling, Ashley P.G.; Chauve, Claude Marie; Buronfosse, Thierry

    2010-01-01

    Molecular markers for cladistic analyses may perform differently according to the taxonomic group considered and the historical level under investigation. Here we evaluate the phylogenetic potential of five different markers for resolving evolutionary relationships within the ectoparasitic genus Dermanyssus at the species level, and their ability to address questions about the evolution of specialization. COI provided 9–18% divergence between species (up to 9% within species), 16S rRNA 10–16% (up to 4% within species), ITS1 and 2 2–9% (up to 1% within species) and Tropomyosin intron n 8–20% (up to 6% within species). EF-1α revealed different non-orthologous copies within individuals of Dermanyssus and Ornithonyssus. Tropomyosin intron n was shown containing consistent phylogenetic signal at the specific level within Dermanyssus and represents a promising marker for future prospects in phylogenetics of Acari. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the generalist condition is apomorphic and D. gallinae might represent a complex of hybridized lineages. The split into hirsutus-group and gallinae-group in Dermanyssus does not seem to be appropriate based upon these results and D. longipes appears to be composed of two different entities. PMID:20480038

  8. Altered levels of primary antioxidant enzymes in progeria skin fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Yan, T; Li, S; Jiang, X; Oberley, L W

    1999-04-02

    Free radicals are involved in the aging process. In this study, the profile of primary antioxidant enzymes that scavenge reactive oxygen species (ROS) was examined for the first time in human skin fibroblasts from progeria, a premature aging disease. Altered levels of antioxidant enzymes were found in progeria cells. Basal levels of MnSOD were decreased in progeria cells as well as a blunted induction in response to chronic stress. This change may contribute to the accelerated aging process in progeria cells. In contrast, the levels of CuZnSOD showed no progeria-related change. Two H2O2 removing enzymes demonstrated a significant reduction in progeria cells: only 50% of normal CAT activity and 30% of normal GPX activity can be detected in progeria cells. This diminished H2O2 removing capacity in progeria cells may lead to an imbalance of intracellular ROS and therefore may play an important role in the development of progeria.

  9. Human traumatic brain injury alters plasma microRNA levels.

    PubMed

    Redell, John B; Moore, Anthony N; Ward, Norman H; Hergenroeder, Georgene W; Dash, Pramod K

    2010-12-01

    Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) present in the serum/plasma are characteristically altered in many pathological conditions, and have been employed as diagnostic markers for specific diseases. We examined if plasma miRNA levels are altered in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) relative to matched healthy volunteers, and explored their potential for use as diagnostic TBI biomarkers. The plasma miRNA profiles from severe TBI patients (Glasgow Coma Scale [GCS] score ≤8) and age-, gender-, and race-matched healthy volunteers were compared by microarray analysis. Of the 108 miRNAs identified in healthy volunteer plasma, 52 were altered after severe TBI, including 33 with decreased and 19 with increased relative abundance. An additional 8 miRNAs were detected only in the TBI plasma. We used quantitative RT-PCR to determine if plasma miRNAs could identify TBI patients within the first 24 h post-injury. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis indicated that miR-16, miR-92a, and miR-765 were good markers of severe TBI (0.89, 0.82, and 0.86 AUC values, respectively). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that combining these miRNAs markedly increased diagnostic accuracy (100% specificity and 100% sensitivity), compared to either healthy volunteers or orthopedic injury patients. In mild TBI patients (GCS score > 12), miR-765 levels were unchanged, while the plasma levels of miR-92a and miR-16 were significantly increased within the first 24 h of injury compared to healthy volunteers, and had AUC values of 0.78 and 0.82, respectively. Our results demonstrate that circulating miRNA levels are altered after TBI, providing a rich new source of potential molecular biomarkers. Plasma-derived miRNA biomarkers, used in combination with established clinical practices such as imaging, neurocognitive, and motor examinations, have the potential to improve TBI patient classification and possibly management.

  10. New molecular markers for fungal phylogenetics: two genes for species-level systematics in the Sordariomycetes (Ascomycota).

    PubMed

    Walker, Donald M; Castlebury, Lisa A; Rossman, Amy Y; White, James F

    2012-09-01

    Although significant progress has been made resolving deep branches of the fungal tree of life, many fungal systematists are interested in species-level questions to both define species and assess fungal biodiversity. Fungal genome sequences are a useful resource to systematic biologists for developing new phylogenetic markers that better represent the whole genome. Here we report primers for two newly identified single-copy protein-coding genes, FG1093 and MS204, for use with ascomycetes. Although fungi were the focus of this study, this methodological approach could be easily applied to marker development for studies of other organisms. The tests used here to assess phylogenetic informativeness are computationally rapid, require only rudimentary datasets to evaluate existing or newly developed markers, and can be applied to other non-model organisms to assist in experimental design of phylogenetic studies. Phylogenetic utility of the markers was tested in two genera, Gnomoniopsis and Ophiognomonia (Gnomoniaceae, Diaporthales). The phylogenetic performance of β-tubulin, ITS, and tef-1α was compared with FG1093 and MS204. Phylogenies inferred from FG1093 and MS204 were largely in agreement with β-tubulin, ITS, and tef-1α although some topological conflict was observed. Resolution and support for branches differed based on the combination of markers used for each genus. Based on two independent tests of phylogenetic performance, FG1093 and MS204 were determined to be equal to or better than β-tubulin, ITS, and tef-1α in resolving species relationships. Differences were found in site-specific rate of evolution in all five markers. In addition, isolates from 15 orders and 22 families of Ascomycota were screened using primers for FG1093 and MS204 to demonstrate primer utility across a wide diversity of ascomycetes. The primer sets for the newly identified genes FG1093 and MS204 and methods used to develop them are useful additions to the ascomycete systematists

  11. Circulating Th17 cytokine levels are altered in Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

    PubMed

    Konca Degertekin, Ceyla; Aktas Yilmaz, Banu; Balos Toruner, Fusun; Kalkanci, Ayse; Turhan Iyidir, Ozlem; Fidan, Isıl; Yesilyurt, Emine; Cakır, Nuri; Kustimur, Semra; Arslan, Metin

    2016-04-01

    The disrupted autoimmune response in Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) has long been considered to be dominantly T helper type 1 (Th1) mediated. Recent advances in the field of immunology have introduced a new class of effector T cells, named 'Th17', which plays important roles in autoimmune disorders once thought to be merely Th1 mediated. We aimed to examine the levels of major Th17 cytokines in patients with HT in this study. We studied serum interleukin 17 (IL-17) and interleukin 23 (IL-23) levels in 46 newly diagnosed, untreated patients with HT (40 women and 6 men, aged 40.0 ± 11.8 years) divided into euthyroid (n=22) and hypothyroid (n=24) groups and compared them with age and sex matched 26 healthy euthyroid controls without HT (21 women and 5 men; aged 36.0 ± 12.9 years). Serum IL-17 and IL-23 levels were significantly different among euthyroid and hypothyroid HT patients and controls, with highest levels obtained in the euthyroid HT group (p=0.041 for IL-17 and p<0.001 for IL-23). TSH was negatively and FT4 was positively correlated with IL-17 (p=0.016 for TSH and p=0.004 for FT4) and IL-23 (p<0.001 for TSH and p=0.003 for FT4) levels. There were no correlations between thyroid volumes calculated on thyroid ultrasonography and IL-17 (p=0.630) or IL-23 (p=0.321) levels. In conclusion, the levels of IL-17, one of the major effector cytokines of the Th17 system, and IL-23, which had been implicated in the generation, survival and expansion of Th17 cells, are altered in HT. How thyroid hormone status and the course of disease affect Th17 system in chronic autoimmune thyroiditis needs to be determined with further studies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Diversification of land plants: insights from a family-level phylogenetic analysis.

    PubMed

    Fiz-Palacios, Omar; Schneider, Harald; Heinrichs, Jochen; Savolainen, Vincent

    2011-11-21

    Some of the evolutionary history of land plants has been documented based on the fossil record and a few broad-scale phylogenetic analyses, especially focusing on angiosperms and ferns. Here, we reconstructed phylogenetic relationships among all 706 families of land plants using molecular data. We dated the phylogeny using multiple fossils and a molecular clock technique. Applying various tests of diversification that take into account topology, branch length, numbers of extant species as well as extinction, we evaluated diversification rates through time. We also compared these diversification profiles against the distribution of the climate modes of the Phanerozoic. We found evidence for the radiations of ferns and mosses in the shadow of angiosperms coinciding with the rather warm Cretaceous global climate. In contrast, gymnosperms and liverworts show a signature of declining diversification rates during geological time periods of cool global climate. This broad-scale phylogenetic analysis helps to reveal the successive waves of diversification that made up the diversity of land plants we see today. Both warm temperatures and wet climate may have been necessary for the rise of the diversity under a successive lineage replacement scenario.

  13. Diversification of land plants: insights from a family-level phylogenetic analysis

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Some of the evolutionary history of land plants has been documented based on the fossil record and a few broad-scale phylogenetic analyses, especially focusing on angiosperms and ferns. Here, we reconstructed phylogenetic relationships among all 706 families of land plants using molecular data. We dated the phylogeny using multiple fossils and a molecular clock technique. Applying various tests of diversification that take into account topology, branch length, numbers of extant species as well as extinction, we evaluated diversification rates through time. We also compared these diversification profiles against the distribution of the climate modes of the Phanerozoic. Results We found evidence for the radiations of ferns and mosses in the shadow of angiosperms coinciding with the rather warm Cretaceous global climate. In contrast, gymnosperms and liverworts show a signature of declining diversification rates during geological time periods of cool global climate. Conclusions This broad-scale phylogenetic analysis helps to reveal the successive waves of diversification that made up the diversity of land plants we see today. Both warm temperatures and wet climate may have been necessary for the rise of the diversity under a successive lineage replacement scenario. PMID:22103931

  14. Influence of Platform Switching on Bone-level Alterations

    PubMed Central

    Enkling, N.; Jöhren, P.; Katsoulis, J.; Bayer, S.; Jervøe-Storm, P.-M.; Mericske-Stern, R.; Jepsen, S.

    2013-01-01

    The concept of platform switching has been introduced to implant dentistry based on clinical observations of reduced peri-implant crestal bone loss. However, published data are controversial, and most studies are limited to 12 months. The aim of the present randomized clinical trial was to test the hypothesis that platform switching has a positive impact on crestal bone-level changes after 3 years. Two implants with a diameter of 4 mm were inserted crestally in the posterior mandible of 25 patients. The intraindividual allocation of platform switching (3.3-mm platform) and the standard implant (4-mm platform) was randomized. After 3 months of submerged healing, single-tooth crowns were cemented. Patients were followed up at short intervals for monitoring of healing and oral hygiene. Statistical analysis for the influence of time and platform type on bone levels employed the Brunner-Langer model. At 3 years, the mean radiographic peri-implant bone loss was 0.69 ± 0.43 mm (platform switching) and 0.74 ± 0.57 mm (standard platform). The mean intraindividual difference was 0.05 ± 0.58 mm (95% confidence interval: –0.19, 0.29). Crestal bone-level alteration depended on time (p < .001) but not on platform type (p = .363). The present randomized clinical trial could not confirm the hypothesis of a reduced peri-implant crestal bone loss, when implants had been restored according to the concept of platform switching (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01917305). PMID:24158333

  15. Complete generic-level phylogenetic analyses of palms (Arecaceae) with comparisons of supertree and supermatrix approaches.

    PubMed

    Baker, William J; Savolainen, Vincent; Asmussen-Lange, Conny B; Chase, Mark W; Dransfield, John; Forest, Félix; Harley, Madeline M; Uhl, Natalie W; Wilkinson, Mark

    2009-04-01

    Supertree and supermatrix methods have great potential in the quest to build the tree of life and yet they remain controversial, with most workers opting for one approach or the other, but rarely both. Here, we employed both methods to construct phylogenetic trees of all genera of palms (Arecaceae/Palmae), an iconic angiosperm family of great economic importance. We assembled a supermatrix consisting of 16 partitions, comprising DNA sequence data, plastid restriction fragment length polymorphism data, and morphological data for all genera, from which a highly resolved and well-supported phylogenetic tree was built despite abundant missing data. To construct supertrees, we used variants of matrix representation with parsimony (MRP) analysis based on input trees generated directly from subsamples of the supermatrix. All supertrees were highly resolved. Standard MRP with bootstrap-weighted matrix elements performed most effectively in this case, generating trees with the greatest congruence with the supermatrix tree and fewest clades unsupported by any input tree. Nonindependence due to input trees based on combinations of data partitions was an acceptable trade-off for improvements in supertree performance. Irreversible MRP and the use of strictly independent input trees only provided no obvious benefits. Contrary to previous claims, we found that unsupported clades are not infrequent under some MRP implementations, with up to 13% of clades lacking support from any input tree in some irreversible MRP supertrees. To build a formal synthesis, we assessed the cross-corroboration between supermatrix trees and the variant supertrees using semistrict consensus, enumerating shared clades and compatible clades. The semistrict consensus of the supermatrix tree and the most congruent supertree contained 160 clades (of a maximum of 204), 137 of which were present in both trees. The relationships recovered by these trees strongly support the current phylogenetic classification

  16. A phylum-level phylogenetic classification of zygomycete fungi based on genome-scale data.

    PubMed

    Spatafora, Joseph W; Chang, Ying; Benny, Gerald L; Lazarus, Katy; Smith, Matthew E; Berbee, Mary L; Bonito, Gregory; Corradi, Nicolas; Grigoriev, Igor; Gryganskyi, Andrii; James, Timothy Y; O'Donnell, Kerry; Roberson, Robert W; Taylor, Thomas N; Uehling, Jessie; Vilgalys, Rytas; White, Merlin M; Stajich, Jason E

    2016-09-01

    Zygomycete fungi were classified as a single phylum, Zygomycota, based on sexual reproduction by zygospores, frequent asexual reproduction by sporangia, absence of multicellular sporocarps, and production of coenocytic hyphae, all with some exceptions. Molecular phylogenies based on one or a few genes did not support the monophyly of the phylum, however, and the phylum was subsequently abandoned. Here we present phylogenetic analyses of a genome-scale data set for 46 taxa, including 25 zygomycetes and 192 proteins, and we demonstrate that zygomycetes comprise two major clades that form a paraphyletic grade. A formal phylogenetic classification is proposed herein and includes two phyla, six subphyla, four classes and 16 orders. On the basis of these results, the phyla Mucoromycota and Zoopagomycota are circumscribed. Zoopagomycota comprises Entomophtoromycotina, Kickxellomycotina and Zoopagomycotina; it constitutes the earliest diverging lineage of zygomycetes and contains species that are primarily parasites and pathogens of small animals (e.g. amoeba, insects, etc.) and other fungi, i.e. mycoparasites. Mucoromycota comprises Glomeromycotina, Mortierellomycotina, and Mucoromycotina and is sister to Dikarya. It is the more derived clade of zygomycetes and mainly consists of mycorrhizal fungi, root endophytes, and decomposers of plant material. Evolution of trophic modes, morphology, and analysis of genome-scale data are discussed. © 2016 by The Mycological Society of America.

  17. Large multi-gene phylogenetic trees of the grasses (Poaceae): progress towards complete tribal and generic level sampling.

    PubMed

    Bouchenak-Khelladi, Yanis; Salamin, Nicolas; Savolainen, Vincent; Forest, Felix; Bank, Michelle van der; Chase, Mark W; Hodkinson, Trevor R

    2008-05-01

    In this paper we included a very broad representation of grass family diversity (84% of tribes and 42% of genera). Phylogenetic inference was based on three plastid DNA regions rbcL, matK and trnL-F, using maximum parsimony and Bayesian methods. Our results resolved most of the subfamily relationships within the major clades (BEP and PACCMAD), which had previously been unclear, such as, among others the: (i) BEP and PACCMAD sister relationship, (ii) composition of clades and the sister-relationship of Ehrhartoideae and Bambusoideae + Pooideae, (iii) paraphyly of tribe Bambuseae, (iv) position of Gynerium as sister to Panicoideae, (v) phylogenetic position of Micrairoideae. With the presence of a relatively large amount of missing data, we were able to increase taxon sampling substantially in our analyses from 107 to 295 taxa. However, bootstrap support and to a lesser extent Bayesian inference posterior probabilities were generally lower in analyses involving missing data than those not including them. We produced a fully resolved phylogenetic summary tree for the grass family at subfamily level and indicated the most likely relationships of all included tribes in our analysis.

  18. A specimen-level phylogenetic analysis and taxonomic revision of Diplodocidae (Dinosauria, Sauropoda)

    PubMed Central

    Mateus, Octávio; Benson, Roger B.J.

    2015-01-01

    Diplodocidae are among the best known sauropod dinosaurs. Several species were described in the late 1800s or early 1900s from the Morrison Formation of North America. Since then, numerous additional specimens were recovered in the USA, Tanzania, Portugal, and Argentina, as well as possibly Spain, England, Georgia, Zimbabwe, and Asia. To date, the clade includes about 12 to 15 nominal species, some of them with questionable taxonomic status (e.g., ‘Diplodocus’ hayi or Dyslocosaurus polyonychius), and ranging in age from Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous. However, intrageneric relationships of the iconic, multi-species genera Apatosaurus and Diplodocus are still poorly known. The way to resolve this issue is a specimen-based phylogenetic analysis, which has been previously implemented for Apatosaurus, but is here performed for the first time for the entire clade of Diplodocidae. The analysis includes 81 operational taxonomic units, 49 of which belong to Diplodocidae. The set of OTUs includes all name-bearing type specimens previously proposed to belong to Diplodocidae, alongside a set of relatively complete referred specimens, which increase the amount of anatomically overlapping material. Non-diplodocid outgroups were selected to test the affinities of potential diplodocid specimens that have subsequently been suggested to belong outside the clade. The specimens were scored for 477 morphological characters, representing one of the most extensive phylogenetic analyses of sauropod dinosaurs. Character states were figured and tables given in the case of numerical characters. The resulting cladogram recovers the classical arrangement of diplodocid relationships. Two numerical approaches were used to increase reproducibility in our taxonomic delimitation of species and genera. This resulted in the proposal that some species previously included in well-known genera like Apatosaurus and Diplodocus are generically distinct. Of particular note is that the famous genus

  19. A specimen-level phylogenetic analysis and taxonomic revision of Diplodocidae (Dinosauria, Sauropoda).

    PubMed

    Tschopp, Emanuel; Mateus, Octávio; Benson, Roger B J

    2015-01-01

    Diplodocidae are among the best known sauropod dinosaurs. Several species were described in the late 1800s or early 1900s from the Morrison Formation of North America. Since then, numerous additional specimens were recovered in the USA, Tanzania, Portugal, and Argentina, as well as possibly Spain, England, Georgia, Zimbabwe, and Asia. To date, the clade includes about 12 to 15 nominal species, some of them with questionable taxonomic status (e.g., 'Diplodocus' hayi or Dyslocosaurus polyonychius), and ranging in age from Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous. However, intrageneric relationships of the iconic, multi-species genera Apatosaurus and Diplodocus are still poorly known. The way to resolve this issue is a specimen-based phylogenetic analysis, which has been previously implemented for Apatosaurus, but is here performed for the first time for the entire clade of Diplodocidae. The analysis includes 81 operational taxonomic units, 49 of which belong to Diplodocidae. The set of OTUs includes all name-bearing type specimens previously proposed to belong to Diplodocidae, alongside a set of relatively complete referred specimens, which increase the amount of anatomically overlapping material. Non-diplodocid outgroups were selected to test the affinities of potential diplodocid specimens that have subsequently been suggested to belong outside the clade. The specimens were scored for 477 morphological characters, representing one of the most extensive phylogenetic analyses of sauropod dinosaurs. Character states were figured and tables given in the case of numerical characters. The resulting cladogram recovers the classical arrangement of diplodocid relationships. Two numerical approaches were used to increase reproducibility in our taxonomic delimitation of species and genera. This resulted in the proposal that some species previously included in well-known genera like Apatosaurus and Diplodocus are generically distinct. Of particular note is that the famous genus

  20. Towards a phylogenetic generic classification of Thelypteridaceae: Additional sampling suggests alterations of neotropical taxa and further study of paleotropical genera.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Thaís Elias; Hennequin, Sabine; Schneider, Harald; Smith, Alan R; Batista, João Aguiar Nogueira; Ramalho, Aline Joseph; Proite, Karina; Salino, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    Thelypteridaceae is one of the largest fern families, having about 950 species and a cosmopolitan distribution but with most species occurring in tropical and subtropical regions. Its generic classification remains controversial, with different authors recognizing from one up to 32 genera. Phylogenetic relationships within the family have not been exhaustively studied, but previous studies have confirmed the monophyly of the lineage. Thus far, sampling has been inadequate for establishing a robust hypothesis of infrafamilial relationships within the family. In order to understand phylogenetic relationships within Thelypteridaceae and thus to improve generic reclassification, we expand the molecular sampling, including new samples of Old World taxa and, especially, many additional neotropical representatives. We also explore the monophyly of exclusively or mostly neotropical genera Amauropelta, Goniopteris, Meniscium, and Steiropteris. Our sampling includes 68 taxa and 134 newly generated sequences from two plastid genomic regions (rps4-trnS and trnL-trnF), plus 73 rps4 and 72 trnL-trnF sequences from GenBank. These data resulted in a concatenated matrix of 1980 molecular characters for 149 taxa. The combined data set was analyzed using maximum parsimony and bayesian inference of phylogeny. Our results are consistent with the general topological structure found in previous studies, including two main lineages within the family: phegopteroid and thelypteroid. The thelypteroid lineage comprises two clades; one of these included the segregates Metathelypteris, Coryphopteris, and Amauropelta (including part of Parathelypteris), whereas the other comprises all segregates of Cyclosorus s.l., such as Goniopteris, Meniscium, and Steiropteris (including Thelypteris polypodioides, previously incertae sedis). The three mainly neotropical segregates were found to be monophyletic but nested in a broadly defined Cyclosorus. The fourth mainly neotropical segregate, Amauropelta

  1. Phylogenetic factorization of compositional data yields lineage-level associations in microbiome datasets

    PubMed Central

    Silverman, Justin D.; Leff, Jonathan W.; Bennett, Dominic J.; Darcy, John L.; Mukherjee, Sayan; Fierer, Noah; David, Lawrence A.

    2017-01-01

    Marker gene sequencing of microbial communities has generated big datasets of microbial relative abundances varying across environmental conditions, sample sites and treatments. These data often come with putative phylogenies, providing unique opportunities to investigate how shared evolutionary history affects microbial abundance patterns. Here, we present a method to identify the phylogenetic factors driving patterns in microbial community composition. We use the method, “phylofactorization,” to re-analyze datasets from the human body and soil microbial communities, demonstrating how phylofactorization is a dimensionality-reducing tool, an ordination-visualization tool, and an inferential tool for identifying edges in the phylogeny along which putative functional ecological traits may have arisen. PMID:28289558

  2. Serum vitamin D levels are not altered after controlled diesel ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Past research has suggested that exposure to urban air pollution may be associated with vitamin D deficiency in human populations. Vitamin D is widely known for its importance in bone growth/remodeling, muscle metabolism, and its ability to promote calcium absorption in the gut; deficiency in vitamin D results in the development of rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. In the current study, we assessed whether vitamin D levels are altered under controlled exposures to a commonly measured urban air pollutant, diesel. For this study, we exposed 12 healthy volunteers to clean air and diesel exhaust (300 μg/m3) for 2 hours while undergoing intermittent exercise. Venous blood was collected before, 0 hrs post-, and 18 hrs post-exposure, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] was measured in the serum. The average baseline value of 25(OH)D (mean ± standard error) was 22.9 ± 2.5 ng/mL. Four subject’s baseline values were vitamin D deficient (30 ng/mL). Additionally, there was no significant change in the baseline values between the clean air and diesel exposures (paired t-test, p = 0.54), suggesting minimal variability in 25(OH)D over the experiment's time course. Small inductions in 25(OH)D were found following clean air exposures (12.5 ± 4.9% and a 7.1 ± 5.0% for 0 hrs post- and 18 hrs post-exposure values compared to baseline, respectively). Minimal changes in 25(OH)D were observed following diesel exhaust exposures 0 hrs (3.5 ± 5.2%) and 18 hrs followin

  3. Serum Levels of Acylcarnitines Are Altered in Prediabetic Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Mai, Manuel; Tönjes, Anke; Kovacs, Peter; Stumvoll, Michael; Fiedler, Georg Martin; Leichtle, Alexander Benedikt

    2013-01-01

    Objective The role of mitochondrial function in the complex pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes is not yet completely understood. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate serum concentrations of short-, medium- and long-chain acylcarnitines as markers of mitochondrial function in volunteers with normal, impaired or diabetic glucose control. Methods Based on a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test, 1019 studied subjects were divided into a group with normal glucose tolerance (NGT; n = 636), isolated impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG; n = 184), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT; n = 87) or type 2 diabetes (T2D; n = 112). Serum concentrations of free carnitine and 24 acylcarnitines were measured by mass spectrometry. Results Serum levels of acetylcarnitine (C2), propionylcarnitine (C3), octanoylcarnitine (C8), malonylcarnitine/hydroxybutyrylcarnitine (C3DC+C4OH), hexanoylcarnitine (C6), octenoylcarnitine (C8:1), decanoylcarnitine (C10), decenoylcarnitine (C10:1), dodecanoylcarnitine (C12), tetradecenoylcarnitine (C14:1), tetradecadienylcarnitine (C14:2), hydroxytetradecanoylcarnitine (C14OH), hydroxyhexadecanoylcarnitine (C16OH) and octadecenoylcarnitine (C18:1) were significantly different among the groups (all p<0.05 adjusted for age, gender and BMI). Between the prediabetic states C14:1, C14:2 and C18:1 showed significantly higher serum concentrations in persons with IGT (p<0.05). Compared to T2D the IFG and the IGT subjects showed lower serum concentrations of malonylcarnitine/hydroxybutyrylcarnitine (C3DC+C4OH) (p<0.05). Conclusion Alterations in serum concentrations of several acylcarnitines, in particular tetradecenoylcarnitine (C14:1), tetradecadienylcarnitine (C14:2), octadecenoylcarnitine (C18:1) and malonylcarnitine/hydroxybutyrylcarnitine (C3DC+C4OH) are associated not only with T2D but also with prediabetic states. PMID:24358186

  4. Sources of signal in 62 protein-coding nuclear genes for higher-level phylogenetics of arthropods.

    PubMed

    Regier, Jerome C; Zwick, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    This study aims to investigate the strength of various sources of phylogenetic information that led to recent seemingly robust conclusions about higher-level arthropod phylogeny and to assess the role of excluding or downweighting synonymous change for arriving at those conclusions. The current study analyzes DNA sequences from 68 gene segments of 62 distinct protein-coding nuclear genes for 80 species. Gene segments analyzed individually support numerous nodes recovered in combined-gene analyses, but few of the higher-level nodes of greatest current interest. However, neither is there support for conflicting alternatives to these higher-level nodes. Gene segments with higher rates of nonsynonymous change tend to be more informative overall, but those with lower rates tend to provide stronger support for deeper nodes. Higher-level nodes with bootstrap values in the 80% - 99% range for the complete data matrix are markedly more sensitive to substantial drops in their bootstrap percentages after character subsampling than those with 100% bootstrap, suggesting that these nodes are likely not to have been strongly supported with many fewer data than in the full matrix. Data set partitioning of total data by (mostly) synonymous and (mostly) nonsynonymous change improves overall node support, but the result remains much inferior to analysis of (unpartitioned) nonsynonymous change alone. Clusters of genes with similar nonsynonymous rate properties (e.g., faster vs. slower) show some distinct patterns of node support but few conflicts. Synonymous change is shown to contribute little, if any, phylogenetic signal to the support of higher-level nodes, but it does contribute nonphylogenetic signal, probably through its underlying heterogeneous nucleotide composition. Analysis of seemingly conservative indels does not prove useful. Generating a robust molecular higher-level phylogeny of Arthropoda is currently possible with large amounts of data and an exclusive reliance on

  5. Sources of Signal in 62 Protein-Coding Nuclear Genes for Higher-Level Phylogenetics of Arthropods

    PubMed Central

    Regier, Jerome C.; Zwick, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Background This study aims to investigate the strength of various sources of phylogenetic information that led to recent seemingly robust conclusions about higher-level arthropod phylogeny and to assess the role of excluding or downweighting synonymous change for arriving at those conclusions. Methodology/Principal Findings The current study analyzes DNA sequences from 68 gene segments of 62 distinct protein-coding nuclear genes for 80 species. Gene segments analyzed individually support numerous nodes recovered in combined-gene analyses, but few of the higher-level nodes of greatest current interest. However, neither is there support for conflicting alternatives to these higher-level nodes. Gene segments with higher rates of nonsynonymous change tend to be more informative overall, but those with lower rates tend to provide stronger support for deeper nodes. Higher-level nodes with bootstrap values in the 80% – 99% range for the complete data matrix are markedly more sensitive to substantial drops in their bootstrap percentages after character subsampling than those with 100% bootstrap, suggesting that these nodes are likely not to have been strongly supported with many fewer data than in the full matrix. Data set partitioning of total data by (mostly) synonymous and (mostly) nonsynonymous change improves overall node support, but the result remains much inferior to analysis of (unpartitioned) nonsynonymous change alone. Clusters of genes with similar nonsynonymous rate properties (e.g., faster vs. slower) show some distinct patterns of node support but few conflicts. Synonymous change is shown to contribute little, if any, phylogenetic signal to the support of higher-level nodes, but it does contribute nonphylogenetic signal, probably through its underlying heterogeneous nucleotide composition. Analysis of seemingly conservative indels does not prove useful. Conclusions Generating a robust molecular higher-level phylogeny of Arthropoda is currently possible

  6. When proglottids and scoleces conflict: phylogenetic relationships and a family-level classification of the Lecanicephalidea (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda).

    PubMed

    Jensen, Kirsten; Caira, Janine N; Cielocha, Joanna J; Littlewood, D Timothy J; Waeschenbach, Andrea

    2016-05-01

    This study presents the first comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the interrelationships of the morphologically diverse elasmobranch-hosted tapeworm order Lecanicephalidea, based on molecular sequence data. With almost half of current generic diversity having been erected or resurrected within the last decade, an apparent conflict between scolex morphology and proglottid anatomy has hampered the assignment of many of these genera to families. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses of two nuclear markers (D1-D3 of lsrDNA and complete ssrDNA) and two mitochondrial markers (partial rrnL and partial cox1) for 61 lecanicephalidean species representing 22 of the 25 valid genera were conducted; new sequence data were generated for 43 species and 11 genera, including three undescribed genera. The monophyly of the order was confirmed in all but the analyses based on cox1 data alone. Sesquipedalapex placed among species of Anteropora and was thus synonymized with the latter genus. Based on analyses of the concatenated dataset, eight major groups emerged which are herein formally recognised at the familial level. Existing family names (i.e., Lecanicephalidae, Polypocephalidae, Tetragonocephalidae, and Cephalobothriidae) are maintained for four of the eight clades, and new families are proposed for the remaining four groups (Aberrapecidae n. fam., Eniochobothriidae n. fam., Paraberrapecidae n. fam., and Zanobatocestidae n. fam.). The four new families and the Tetragonocephalidae are monogeneric, while the Cephalobothriidae, Lecanicephalidae and Polypocephalidae comprise seven, eight and four genera, respectively. As a result of their unusual morphologies, the three genera not included here (i.e., Corrugatocephalum, Healyum and Quadcuspibothrium) are considered incertae sedis within the order until their familial affinities can be examined in more detail. All eight families are newly circumscribed based on morphological features and a key to the families is provided

  7. PHYLOGENETIC ANALYSIS OF PSEUDOCHLORODESMIS STRAINS REVEALS CRYPTIC DIVERSITY ABOVE THE FAMILY LEVEL IN THE SIPHONOUS GREEN ALGAE (BRYOPSIDALES, CHLOROPHYTA)(1).

    PubMed

    Verbruggen, Heroen; Vlaeminck, Caroline; Sauvage, Thomas; Sherwood, Alison R; Leliaert, Frederik; De Clerck, Olivier

    2009-06-01

    The genus Pseudochlorodesmis (Bryopsidales) is composed of diminutive siphons of extreme morphological simplicity. The discovery of Pseudochlorodesmis-like juveniles in more complex Bryopsidales (e.g., the Halimeda microthallus stage) jeopardized the recognition of this genus. Confronted with this uncertainty, taxonomists transferred many simple siphons into a new genus, Siphonogramen. In this study, we used a multimarker approach to clarify the phylogenetic and taxonomic affinities of the Pseudochlorodesmis-Siphonogramen (PS) complex within the more morphologically complex bryopsidalean taxa. Our analyses reveal a new layer of diversity largely distinct from the lineages containing the structurally complex genera. The PS complex shows profound cryptic diversity exceeding the family level. We discuss a potential link between thallus complexity and the prevalence and profundity of cryptic diversity. For taxonomic simplicity and as a first step toward clarifying the taxonomy of these simple siphons, we propose to maintain Pseudochlorodesmis as a form genus and subsume Siphonogramen and Botryodesmis therein.

  8. The impact of intragenic recombination on phylogenetic reconstruction at the sectional level in Eucalyptus when using a single copy nuclear gene (cinnamoyl CoA reductase).

    PubMed

    Poke, Fiona S; Martin, Darren P; Steane, Dorothy A; Vaillancourt, René E; Reid, James B

    2006-04-01

    Low copy number nuclear genes have been found to be useful for phylogenetic reconstruction at different taxonomic levels. This study investigated the utility of a single copy gene, cinnamoyl CoA reductase (CCR), for resolving phylogenetic relationships at the sectional level within Eucalyptus. The monophyly of sections Exsertaria and Latoangulatae was explored, using section Maidenaria as an outgroup, and the impact of intragenic recombination on phylogenetic reconstruction examined. Phylogenetic analysis did not resolve monophyletic groups. Latoangulatae and Maidenaria were polyphyletic or paraphyletic. Exsertaria species formed a clade but included a single Latoangulatae species (E. major). Recombination analysis identified two intragenic recombination events that involved species from different sections, which have probably been facilitated by inter-sectional hybridisation. One of the events most likely occurred prior to speciation, with several Latoangulatae species having the recombinant allele. The other event may have occurred after speciation, since only one of two E. globulus samples possessed the recombinant allele. This is the first detailed report of intragenic recombination in both CCR and Eucalyptus, and between species of different sections of a plant genus. The occurrence of intragenic recombination may explain the anomalous positions of some species within the phylogenetic tree, and indicates that phylogenetic analysis of Eucalyptus using nuclear genes will be problematic unless recombination is taken into account.

  9. Alteration of maternal serum irisin levels in gestational diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Ural, Ulku Mete; Sahin, Serap Baydur; Tekin, Yesim Bayoglu; Cüre, Medine Cumhur; Sezgin, Hacer

    2016-01-01

    The aim of our study was to compare serum irisin concentrations in pregnant women with and without ges-tational diabetes mellitus (GDM). This study was performed at the Tertiary Care Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecol-ogy, between January 2014 and April 2014. A total of 45 pregnant women with GDM (diabetes group) and 41 BMI- and age-matched healthy pregnant women (control group) were recruited. Maternal serum irisin levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit at 24-28 weeks of gestation. An association between maternal serum irisin lev-els and metabolic parameters was analyzed. Body mass index, serum levels of glucose, insulin and irisin were tested and analyzed in the study group and controls. Pregnant women with GDM had significantly higher fasting plasma glucose (p = 0.001), first-hour OGTT glucose (p = 0.001), second-hour OGTT glucose (p = 0.001), and fasting insulin (p = 0.045) levels as compared to controls. Serum irisin levels were 1.04 ± 0.3 and 1.3 ± 0.2 in pregnant women with GDM and healthy pregnant controls, respectively (p = 0.001). Correlation analysis between irisin levels and anthropometric and biochemical parameters in patients with gestational diabetes revealed that none of the investigated parameters correlated with serum irisin level. Our results suggest that serum irisin levels might be introduced as a novel marker for GDM, with decreased levels of irisin being indicative of GDM.

  10. New molecular markers for fungal phylogenetics: Two genes for species level systematics in the Sordariomycetes (Ascomycota)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Although significant progress has been made resolving deep branches of the fungal tree of life in recent works, many fungal systematists are interested in species-level questions to both define species and to assess fungal biodiversity. Fungal genome sequences are a useful resource to systematic bio...

  11. Multilocus Phylogenetics Show High Levels of Endemic Fusaria Inhabiting Sardinian Soils (Tyrrhenian Islands)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The Mediterranean island of Sardinia is well known for high levels of vascular plant diversity and endemism, but little is known about its microbial diversity. Under the hypothesis that Fusarium species would show similar patterns, we estimated variability in Fusarium species composition among ten ...

  12. Altered Serum Uric Acid Level in Lichen Planus Patients

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborti, Goutam; Biswas, Rabindranath; Chakraborti, Sandip; Sen, Pradyot Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Background: Lichen planus (LP) is a common disorder whose etiopathogenesis is not clear. Recently, it has been suggested that increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) play important roles in the underlying mechanism of LP. Objectives: The principal aim of this study was to evaluate serum uric acid (UA) levels as a measure of the antioxidant defense status in LP patients. Methods: Serum UA levels were determined in 58 LP patients and 61 controls. Results: Serum UA levels were significantly decreased in patients with respect to controls. Moreover, serum UA level was decreased according to increasing duration of disease. Conclusions: The results of our study suggest that LP is associated with decrease of UA levels in serum. UA may be a potential, useful biomarker of antioxidant status in LP for elaboration of treatment strategy and monitoring. PMID:25484383

  13. The Effect of Technology-Based Altered Readability Levels on Struggling Readers' Science Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marino, Matthew T.; Coyne, Michael; Dunn, Michael

    2010-01-01

    This article reports findings from a study examining how altered readability levels affected struggling readers' (N = 288) comprehension of scientific concepts and vocabulary. Specifically, the researchers were interested in learning what effect altered readability levels have when low ability readers participate in a technology-based science…

  14. Microsatellites: Evolutionary and methodological background and empirical applications at individual, population, and phylogenetic levels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scribner, Kim T.; Pearce, John M.; Baker, Allan J.

    2000-01-01

    The recent proliferation and greater accessibility of molecular genetic markers has led to a growing appreciation of the ecological and evolutionary inferences that can be drawn from molecular characterizations of individuals and populations (Burke et al. 1992, Avise 1994). Different techniques have the ability to target DNA sequences which have different patterns of inheritance, different modes and rates of evolution and, concomitantly, different levels of variation. In the quest for 'the right marker for the right job', microsatellites have been widely embraced as the marker of choice for many empirical genetic studies. The proliferation of microsatellite loci for various species and the voluminous literature compiled in very few years associated with their evolution and use in various research applications, exemplifies their growing importance as a research tool in the biological sciences.The ability to define allelic states based on variation at the nucleotide level has afforded unparalleled opportunities to document the actual mutational process and rates of evolution at individual microsatellite loci. The scrutiny to which these loci have been subjected has resulted in data that raise issues pertaining to assumptions formerly stated, but largely untestable for other marker classes. Indeed this is an active arena for theoretical and empirical work. Given the extensive and ever-increasing literature on various statistical methodologies and cautionary notes regarding the uses of microsatellites, some consideration should be given to the unique characteristics of these loci when determining how and under what conditions they can be employed.

  15. [Seasonal alterations in serum iron levels in elite football players].

    PubMed

    Malićević, Sead; Nesić, Dejan; Rosić, Ilija

    2008-01-01

    It is very important to monitor levels of serum iron and other factors of iron metabolism and oxygen transport system as they play a very important role in functional ability of football players. A decrease in serum iron level can be the very first sign of development of iron deficiency anaemia, which seriously influences health and functional ability of an athlete and is a common problem in competitive sports. The aim of this study was to observe and evaluate changes in serum iron values during the competition season in relation to the training process. During four years, serum iron level was measured in 28-34 players of one of the top football clubs in Serbia, four times a year: at the beginning and at peak-point of both half-seasons. Differences between basic and control findings, relative and absolute changes in serum iron levels and statistical significance of the findings were than calculated. There was a significant decrease in mean serum iron levels on each control test, compared to basic values. Mean value of control serum iron levels is significantly lower than mean of preseason values (20.64 +/- 6.58 vs. 16.38 +/- 5.51 micromol/l). A significant decrease in serum iron level among footballers during both half-seasons is most probably due to an increased loss and/or diminished absorption resulting from a high intensity training process. Because the decline in serum iron may be an early sign of iron store depletion and iron deficiency anaemia, it is very important to evaluate it regularly, along with other factors of iron metabolism and oxygen transport system.

  16. Light-Induced Alterations in Basil Ganglia Kynurenic Acid Levels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sroufe, Angela E.; Whittaker, J. A.; Patrickson, J. W.; Orr, M. C.

    1997-01-01

    The metabolic synthesis, release and breakdown of several known CNS neurotransmitters have been shown to follow a circadian pattern entrained to the environmental light/dark cycle. The levels of excitatory amino acid (EAA) transmitters such as glutamate, have been shown to vary with environmental lighting conditions. Kynurenic Acid (KA), an endogenous tryptophan metabolite and glutamate receptor antagonist, has been reported to have neuroprotective effects against EAA-induced excitotoxic cell damage. Changes in KA's activity within the mammalian basal ganglia has been proposed as being contributory to neurotoxicity in Huntington's Disease. It is not known whether CNS KA levels follow a circadian pattern or exhibit light-induced fluctuations. However, because the symptoms of certain degenerative motor disorders seem to fluctuate with daily 24 hour rhythm, we initiated studies to determine if basal ganglia KA were influenced by the daily light/dark cycle and could influence motor function. Therefore in this study, HPLC-EC was utilized to determine if basal ganglia KA levels in tissue extracts from adult male Long-Evans rats (200-250g) entrained to 24 and 48 hours constant light and dark conditions, respectively. Samples were taken one hour before the onset of the subjective day and one hour prior to the onset of the subjective night in order to detect possible phase differences in KA levels and to allow for accumulation of factors expressed in association with the light or dark phase. Data analysis revealed that KA levels in the basal ganglia vary with environmental lighting conditions; being elevated generally during the dark. Circadian phase differences in KA levels were also evident during the subjective night and subjective day, respectively. Results from these studies are discussed with respect to potential cyclic changes in neuronal susceptibility to excitotoxic damage during the daily 24 hour cycle and its possible relevance to future therapeutic approaches in

  17. Light-Induced Alterations in Basil Ganglia Kynurenic Acid Levels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sroufe, Angela E.; Whittaker, J. A.; Patrickson, J. W.; Orr, M. C.

    1997-01-01

    The metabolic synthesis, release and breakdown of several known CNS neurotransmitters have been shown to follow a circadian pattern entrained to the environmental light/dark cycle. The levels of excitatory amino acid (EAA) transmitters such as glutamate, have been shown to vary with environmental lighting conditions. Kynurenic Acid (KA), an endogenous tryptophan metabolite and glutamate receptor antagonist, has been reported to have neuroprotective effects against EAA-induced excitotoxic cell damage. Changes in KA's activity within the mammalian basal ganglia has been proposed as being contributory to neurotoxicity in Huntington's Disease. It is not known whether CNS KA levels follow a circadian pattern or exhibit light-induced fluctuations. However, because the symptoms of certain degenerative motor disorders seem to fluctuate with daily 24 hour rhythm, we initiated studies to determine if basal ganglia KA were influenced by the daily light/dark cycle and could influence motor function. Therefore in this study, HPLC-EC was utilized to determine if basal ganglia KA levels in tissue extracts from adult male Long-Evans rats (200-250g) entrained to 24 and 48 hours constant light and dark conditions, respectively. Samples were taken one hour before the onset of the subjective day and one hour prior to the onset of the subjective night in order to detect possible phase differences in KA levels and to allow for accumulation of factors expressed in association with the light or dark phase. Data analysis revealed that KA levels in the basal ganglia vary with environmental lighting conditions; being elevated generally during the dark. Circadian phase differences in KA levels were also evident during the subjective night and subjective day, respectively. Results from these studies are discussed with respect to potential cyclic changes in neuronal susceptibility to excitotoxic damage during the daily 24 hour cycle and its possible relevance to future therapeutic approaches in

  18. Population-level coordination of pigment response in individual cyanobacterial cells under altered nitrogen levels

    DOE PAGES

    Murton, Jaclyn; Nagarajan, Aparna; Nguyen, Amelia Y.; ...

    2017-07-21

    Cyanobacterial phycobilisome (PBS) pigment-protein complexes harvest light and transfer the energy to reaction centers. Previous ensemble studies have shown that cyanobacteria respond to changes in nutrient availability by modifying the structure of PBS complexes, but this process has not been visualized for individual pigments at the single-cell level due to spectral overlap. We characterized the response of four key photosynthetic pigments to nitrogen depletion and repletion at the subcellular level in individual, live Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 cells using hyperspectral confocal fluorescence microscopy and multivariate image analysis. Our results revealed that PBS degradation and re-synthesis comprise a rapid response tomore » nitrogen fluctuations, with coordinated populations of cells undergoing pigment modifications. Chlorophyll fluorescence originating from photosystem I and II decreased during nitrogen starvation, but no alteration in subcellular chlorophyll localization was found. Lastly, we observed differential rod and core pigment responses to nitrogen deprivation, suggesting that PBS complexes undergo a stepwise degradation process.« less

  19. Dietary protein source and level alters growth in neon tetras.

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Nutritional studies for aquarium fish like the neon tetra are sparse in comparison with those for food fish. To determine the optimum dietary protein level and source for growth of neon tetras, diets were formulated to contain 25, 35, 45 and 55% dietary protein from either marine animal protein or ...

  20. Creatine supplementation alters homocysteine level in resistance trained men.

    PubMed

    Bereket-Yücel, S

    2015-04-01

    This study was conducted to investigate the effects of creatine loading and resistance training on the homocysteine and lipid profiles of young males. Sixty male University students (22.34 ± 2.19 years, 1.79 ± 0.08 m, 77.18 ± 12.57 kg, 15.48 ± 4.57% body fat) were randomly divided in to three groups; control (CG=20), creatine supplement (CEG=20) and placebo (PEG=20). Both CEG and PEG participated in a same resistance-training regimen and either taking a creatine supplement (25 g/d for the first 5 days followed 5 g/d thereafter) or the same amount of placebo for 8 weeks. Participants in CG did not take any creatine supplementation and not engage any exercise program. After the body composition were assessed, the homocysteine (Hcy) concentrations, blood lipids, folic acid and vitamin B12 levels of all the participants were measured at the beginning and end of the eight weeks of resistance training. The analysis of the data indicated that the Hcy levels of the CEG after resistance training and receiving the creatine supplement (9.33 ± 4.60) was significantly lower than that of baseline (12.66 ± 5.89) measurements, F(1,18)=12.28, P=0.00. No significant differences were seen in the Hcy levels of the PEG (15.01 ± 10.87) after 8 weeks of training and receiving a placebo (12.46 ± 12.50), F(1,16)=4.65, P=0.05. Furthermore, there were no significant differences among groups in terms of Hcy levels, F(2,52)=1.72, P=0.19. The present study suggests that as well as strength gain; creatine supplementation with resistance training may afford some protection against emerging cardiovascular risk factors.

  1. Running on uneven ground: leg adjustments to altered ground level.

    PubMed

    Müller, Roy; Blickhan, Reinhard

    2010-08-01

    In locomotion, humans have to deal with changes in ground level like pavement or stairs. When they encounter uneven ground with changes in terrain height, they reduce their angle of attack and leg stiffness on a step. This strategy was found for the single step upward movement. However, are these adjustments the result of a general strategy? In our study we focused on leg adjustments while running up and down, implying permanent adaptation to a new track level. To investigate this, we measured ten healthy participants as they ran along a runway with 10 cm increased and 10 cm lowered steps. We found that ground reaction force, leg length, leg stiffness, and angle of attack were adjusted to the direction of the vertical disturbance (up or down) but also to its length. When running upwards, leg stiffness decreased by about 20.4% on the single step and by about 9.3% on the permanently elevated track step. In addition to that - when running downwards - leg stiffness decreased in preparation for the downward step by about 18.8%. We also observed that the angle of attack diminished on elevated contact from 61 degrees to 59 degrees, and increased on lowered contact from 61 degrees to 65 degrees. The adjustment of leg stiffness seemed to be actively achieved, whereas the angle of attack appeared to be passively adjusted, consistent with a running model that includes leg retraction in late swing phase.

  2. Chasing the hare - evaluating the phylogenetic utility of a nuclear single copy gene region at and below species level within the species rich group Peperomia (Piperaceae).

    PubMed

    Naumann, Julia; Symmank, Lars; Samain, Marie-Stéphanie; Müller, Kai F; Neinhuis, Christoph; dePamphilis, Claude W; Wanke, Stefan

    2011-12-12

    The rapidly increasing number of available plant genomes opens up almost unlimited prospects for biology in general and molecular phylogenetics in particular. A recent study took advantage of this data and identified a set of nuclear genes that occur in single copy in multiple sequenced angiosperms. The present study is the first to apply genomic sequence of one of these low copy genes, agt1, as a phylogenetic marker for species-level phylogenetics. Its utility is compared to the performance of several coding and non-coding chloroplast loci that have been suggested as most applicable for this taxonomic level. As a model group, we chose Tildenia, a subgenus of Peperomia (Piperaceae), one of the largest plant genera. Relationships are particularly difficult to resolve within these species rich groups due to low levels of polymorphisms and fast or recent radiation. Therefore, Tildenia is a perfect test case for applying new phylogenetic tools. We show that the nuclear marker agt1, and in particular the agt1 introns, provide a significantly increased phylogenetic signal compared to chloroplast markers commonly used for low level phylogenetics. 25% of aligned characters from agt1 intron sequence are parsimony informative. In comparison, the introns and spacer of several common chloroplast markers (trnK intron, trnK-psbA spacer, ndhF-rpl32 spacer, rpl32-trnL spacer, psbA-trnH spacer) provide less than 10% parsimony informative characters. The agt1 dataset provides a deeper resolution than the chloroplast markers in Tildenia. Single (or very low) copy nuclear genes are of immense value in plant phylogenetics. Compared to other nuclear genes that are members of gene families of all sizes, lab effort, such as cloning, can be kept to a minimum. They also provide regions with different phylogenetic content deriving from coding and non-coding parts of different length. Thus, they can be applied to a wide range of taxonomic levels from family down to population level. As more

  3. Chronic hyperammonemia alters the circadian rhythms of corticosteroid hormone levels and of motor activity in rats.

    PubMed

    Ahabrach, Hanan; Piedrafita, Blanca; Ayad, Abdelmalik; El Mlili, Nisrin; Errami, Mohammed; Felipo, Vicente; Llansola, Marta

    2010-05-15

    Patients with liver cirrhosis may present hepatic encephalopathy with a wide range of neurological disturbances and alterations in sleep quality and in the sleep-wake circadian rhythm. Hyperammonemia is a main contributor to the neurological alterations in hepatic encephalopathy. We have assessed, in an animal model of chronic hyperammonemia without liver failure, the effects of hyperammonemia per se on the circadian rhythms of motor activity, temperature, and plasma levels of adrenal corticosteroid hormones. Chronic hyperammonemia alters the circadian rhythms of locomotor activity and of cortisol and corticosterone levels in blood. Different types of motor activity are affected differentially. Hyperammonemia significantly alters the rhythm of spontaneous ambulatory activity, reducing strongly ambulatory counts and slightly average velocity during the night (the active phase) but not during the day, resulting in altered circadian rhythms. In contrast, hyperammonemia did not affect wheel running at all, indicating that it affects spontaneous but not voluntary activity. Vertical activity was affected only very slightly, indicating that hyperammonemia does not induce anxiety. Hyperammonemia abolished completely the circadian rhythm of corticosteroid hormones in plasma, completely eliminating the peaks of cortisol and corticosterone present in control rats at the start of the dark period. The data reported show that chronic hyperammonemia, similar to that present in patients with liver cirrhosis, alters the circadian rhythms of corticosteroid hormones and of motor activity. This suggests that hyperammonemia would be a relevant contributor to the alterations in corticosteroid hormones and in circadian rhythms in patients with liver cirrhosis.

  4. Multilocus phylogenetic analysis of true morels (Morchella) reveals high levels of endemics in Turkey relative ot other regions of Europe

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The present study was conducted to better understand how the phylogenetic diversity of true morels (Morchella) in Turkey compares with species found in other regions of the world. The current research builds on our recently published survey of 10 Turkish provinces and another of the world in which D...

  5. Genome-Wide Survey of Nuclear Protein-Coding Markers for Beetle Phylogenetics and Their Application in Resolving both Deep and Shallow-Level Divergences.

    PubMed

    Che, Li-Heng; Zhang, Shao-Qian; Li, Yun; Liang, Dan; Pang, Hong; Ślipiński, Adam; Zhang, Peng

    2017-03-03

    Beetles (Coleoptera) are the most diverse and species-rich insect group, representing an impressive explosive radiation in the evolutionary history of insects, and their evolutionary relationships are often difficult to resolve. The amount of "traditional markers" (e.g., mitochondrial genes and nuclear rDNAs) for beetle phylogenetics is small and these markers often lack sufficient signals in resolving relationships for such a rapidly radiating lineage. Here, based on the available genome data of beetles and other related insect species, we performed a genome-wide survey to search nuclear protein-coding (NPC) genes suitable for research on beetle phylogenetics. As a result, we identified 1470 candidate loci, which provided a valuable data resource to the beetle evolutionary research community for NPC marker development. We randomly chose 180 candidate loci from the database to design primers and successfully developed 95 NPC markers which can be PCR amplified from standard genomic DNA extracts. These new nuclear markers are universally applicable across Coleoptera, with an average amplification success rate of 90%. To test the phylogenetic utility, we used them to investigate the backbone phylogeny of Coleoptera (18 families sampled) and the family Coccinellidae (39 species sampled). Both phylogenies are well resolved (average bootstrap support > 95%), showing that our markers can be used to address phylogenetic questions of various evolutionary depth (from species level to family level). In general, the newly developed nuclear markers are much easier to use and more phylogenetically informative than the "traditional markers", and show great potential to expedite resolution of many parts in the Beetle Tree of Life. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  6. Phylogenetic utility of rapidly evolving DNA at high taxonomical levels: contrasting matK, trnT-F, and rbcL in basal angiosperms.

    PubMed

    Müller, Kai F; Borsch, Thomas; Hilu, Khidir W

    2006-10-01

    The prevailing view in molecular systematics is that relationships among distantly related taxa should be inferred using DNA segments with low rates of evolution. However, recent analyses of sequences from the rapidly evolving matK and trnT-trnF regions yielded well resolved and highly supported trees for early diverging angiosperms. We compare here the phylogenetic structure in matK, trnT-F, and rbcL datasets for the same 42, primarily basal angiosperm taxa. Phylogenetic trees based on matK or trnT-F are far more robust than those based on rbcL. Combined analysis of the rapidly evolving regions provides support for higher-level relationships stronger than that derived from analyses of multi-gene datasets of up to several fold the number of characters analyzed here. In addition to displaying a higher percentage of parsimony-informative characters, the average phylogenetic signal per informative character is significantly higher in the datasets from rapidly evolving DNA than in the more slowly evolving rbcL, as detected using resampling of identical numbers of parsimony-informative characters from the data matrices and subjecting different statistics for overall tree robustness and phylogenetic signal to significance tests. Automated via a set of scripts, the method used here should be easily extendable to comparisons of a broader range of genomic regions for varying taxon samplings. The relative performance of markers correlates not only with a lower mean homoplasy in matK and trnT-trnF compared to rbcL, but in particular correlates negatively with the percentage of sites exhibiting maximum or close to maximum homoplasy. A likelihood ratio test confirms that the rapidly evolving gene matK evolves significantly closer to neutrality, which may be one of the underlying factors for lower levels of overall homoplasy. Our results are in line with evidence from simulation studies suggesting that the deleterious effect of multiple hits in using rapidly evolving DNA at

  7. Fetal alcohol exposure alters neurosteroid levels in the developing rat brain.

    PubMed

    Caldeira, Jerri C; Wu, Yan; Mameli, Manuel; Purdy, Robert H; Li, Pui-Kai; Akwa, Yvette; Savage, Daniel D; Engen, John R; Valenzuela, C Fernando

    2004-09-01

    Neurosteroids are modulators of neuronal function that may play important roles in brain maturation. We determined whether chronic prenatal ethanol exposure altered neurosteroid levels in the developing brain. Rat dams were exposed to: (i) a 5% ethanol-containing liquid diet that produces peak maternal blood alcohol levels near the legal intoxication limit (approximately 0.08 g/dL); (ii) an isocaloric liquid diet containing maltose-dextrin instead of ethanol with pair-feeding; (iii) rat chow ad libitum. Neurosteroid levels were assessed in offspring brains using radioimmunoassay or gas chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques. A prenatal ethanol exposure-induced increase in pregnenolone sulfate levels, but not dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels, was evident at the earliest time point studied (embryonic day 14). This effect lasted until post-natal day 5. Levels of other neurosteroids were assessed at embryonic day 20; pregnenolone levels, but not allopregnanolone levels, were elevated. Pregnenolone sulfate levels were not altered in the maternal brain. Neither pregnenolone nor pregnenolone sulfate levels were significantly altered in the fetal liver, placenta and maternal blood, indicating that the effect of ethanol is not secondary to accumulation of peripherally-produced steroids. Fetal ethanol exposure has been shown to decrease both cellular and behavioral responsiveness to neurosteroids, and our findings provide a plausible explanation for this effect.

  8. Arthropod Phylogenetics in Light of Three Novel Millipede (Myriapoda: Diplopoda) Mitochondrial Genomes with Comments on the Appropriateness of Mitochondrial Genome Sequence Data for Inferring Deep Level Relationships

    PubMed Central

    Brewer, Michael S.; Swafford, Lynn; Spruill, Chad L.; Bond, Jason E.

    2013-01-01

    Background Arthropods are the most diverse group of eukaryotic organisms, but their phylogenetic relationships are poorly understood. Herein, we describe three mitochondrial genomes representing orders of millipedes for which complete genomes had not been characterized. Newly sequenced genomes are combined with existing data to characterize the protein coding regions of myriapods and to attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships within the Myriapoda and Arthropoda. Results The newly sequenced genomes are similar to previously characterized millipede sequences in terms of synteny and length. Unique translocations occurred within the newly sequenced taxa, including one half of the Appalachioria falcifera genome, which is inverted with respect to other millipede genomes. Across myriapods, amino acid conservation levels are highly dependent on the gene region. Additionally, individual loci varied in the level of amino acid conservation. Overall, most gene regions showed low levels of conservation at many sites. Attempts to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships suffered from questionable relationships and low support values. Analyses of phylogenetic informativeness show the lack of signal deep in the trees (i.e., genes evolve too quickly). As a result, the myriapod tree resembles previously published results but lacks convincing support, and, within the arthropod tree, well established groups were recovered as polyphyletic. Conclusions The novel genome sequences described herein provide useful genomic information concerning millipede groups that had not been investigated. Taken together with existing sequences, the variety of compositions and evolution of myriapod mitochondrial genomes are shown to be more complex than previously thought. Unfortunately, the use of mitochondrial protein-coding regions in deep arthropod phylogenetics appears problematic, a result consistent with previously published studies. Lack of phylogenetic signal renders the

  9. A highly conserved nuclear gene for low-level phylogenetics: elongation factor-1 alpha recovers morphology-based tree for heliothine moths.

    PubMed

    Cho, S; Mitchell, A; Regier, J C; Mitter, C; Poole, R W; Friedlander, T P; Zhao, S

    1995-07-01

    Molecular systematists need increased access to nuclear genes. Highly conserved, low copy number protein-encoding nuclear genes have attractive features for phylogenetic inference but have heretofore been applied mostly to very ancient divergences. By virtue of their synonymous substitutions, such genes should contain a wealth of information about lower-level taxonomic relationships as well, with the advantage that amino acid conservatism makes both alignment and primer definition straightforward. We tested this postulate for the elongation factor-1 alpha (EF-1 alpha) gene in the noctuid moth subfamily Heliothinae, which has probably diversified since the middle Tertiary. We sequenced 1,240 bp in 18 taxa representing heliothine groupings strongly supported by previous morphological and allozyme studies. The single most parsimonious gene tree and the neighbor-joining tree for all nucleotides show almost complete concordance with the morphological tree. Homoplasy and pairwise divergence levels are low, transition/transversion ratios are high, and phylogenetic information is spread evenly across gene regions. The EF-1 alpha gene and presumably other highly conserved genes hold much promise for phylogenetics of Tertiary age eukaryote groups.

  10. Phylogenetic relationships of Proboscoida Broch, 1910 (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa): Are traditional morphological diagnostic characters relevant for the delimitation of lineages at the species, genus, and family levels?

    PubMed

    Cunha, Amanda F; Collins, Allen G; Marques, Antonio C

    2017-01-01

    Overlapping variation of morphological characters can lead to misinterpretation in taxonomic diagnoses and the delimitation of different lineages. This is the case for hydrozoans that have traditionally been united in the family Campanulariidae, a group known for its wide morphological variation and complicated taxonomic history. In a recently proposed phylogenetic classification of leptothecate hydrozoans, this family was restricted to a more narrow sense while a larger clade containing most species traditionally classified in Campanulariidae, along with members of Bonneviellidae, was established as the suborder Proboscoida. We used molecular data to infer the phylogenetic relationships among campanulariids and assess the traditional classification of the family, as well as the new classification scheme for the group. The congruity and relevance of diagnostic characters were also evaluated. While mostly consistent with the new phylogenetic classification of Proboscoida, our increased taxon sampling resulted in some conflicts at the family level, specially regarding the monophyly of Clytiidae and Obeliidae. Considering the traditional classification, only Obeliidae is close to its original scope (as subfamily Obeliinae). At the genus level, Campanularia and Clytia are not monophyletic. Species with Obelia-like medusae do not form a monophyletic group, nor do species with fixed gonophores, indicating that these characters do not readily diagnose different genera. Finally, the species Orthopyxis integra, Clytia gracilis, and Obelia dichotoma are not monophyletic, suggesting that most of their current diagnostic characters are not informative for their delimitation. Several diagnostic characters in this group need to be reassessed, with emphasis on their variation, in order to have a consistent taxonomic and phylogenetic framework for the classification of campanulariid hydrozoans.

  11. Multilocus phylogenetic analysis of true morels (Morchella) reveals high levels of endemics in Turkey relative to other regions of Europe.

    PubMed

    Taskin, Hatira; Büyükalaca, Saadet; Hansen, Karen; O'Donnell, Kerry

    2012-01-01

    The present study was conducted to better understand how the phylogenetic diversity of true morels (Morchella) in Turkey compares with species found in other regions of the world. The current research builds on our recently published surveys of 10 Turkish provinces and the northern hemisphere in which DNA sequence data from 247 and 562 collections respectively were analyzed phylogenetically. Herein we report on phylogenetic analyses of 243 additional collections made in spring 2009 and 2010 from eight additional provinces in the Aegean, Black Sea, central Anatolia, eastern Anatolia and Marmara regions of Turkey. Our analysis revealed that five species within the Esculenta clade (yellow morels) and 15 species within the Elata clade (black morels) were present in Turkey. Our preliminary results also indicate that M. anatolica, recently described from a collection in Muğla province in the Aegean region of Turkey, is a closely related sister of M. rufobrunnea; these two species comprise a separate evolutionary lineage from the Esculenta and Elata clades. Nine species of Morchella currently are known only from Turkey, four species were present in Turkey and other European countries and seven species might have been introduced to Turkey anthropogenically. Three of the putatively exotic species in Turkey appear to be endemic to western North America; they are nested within a clade of fire-adapted morels that dates to the late Oligocene, 25 000 000 y ago. Our results indicate that there are roughly twice as many Morchella species in Turkey compared with the other regions of Europe sampled. Knowledge of Morchella species diversity and their biogeographic distribution are crucial for formulating informed conservation policies directed at preventing species loss and ensuring that annual morel harvests are sustainable and ecologically sound.

  12. Identification of shared single copy nuclear genes in Arabidopsis, Populus, Vitis and Oryza and their phylogenetic utility across various taxonomic levels

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    phylogenetic and comparative analyses. Eighteen of the APVO SSC single copy genes were amplified in the Brassicaceae using RT-PCR and directly sequenced. Alignments of these sequences provide improved resolution of Brassicaceae phylogeny compared to recent studies using plastid and ITS sequences. An analysis of sequences from 13 APVO SSC genes from 69 species of seed plants, derived mainly from public EST databases, yielded a phylogeny that was largely congruent with prior hypotheses based on multiple plastid sequences. Whereas single gene phylogenies that rely on EST sequences have limited bootstrap support as the result of limited sequence information, concatenated alignments result in phylogenetic trees with strong bootstrap support for already established relationships. Overall, these single copy nuclear genes are promising markers for phylogenetics, and contain a greater proportion of phylogenetically-informative sites than commonly used protein-coding sequences from the plastid or mitochondrial genomes. Conclusions Putatively orthologous, shared single copy nuclear genes provide a vast source of new evidence for plant phylogenetics, genome mapping, and other applications, as well as a substantial class of genes for which functional characterization is needed. Preliminary evidence indicates that many of the shared single copy nuclear genes identified in this study may be well suited as markers for addressing phylogenetic hypotheses at a variety of taxonomic levels. PMID:20181251

  13. Nitric oxide synthase in acute alteration of nitric oxide levels after subarachnoid hemorrhage.

    PubMed

    Sehba, Fatima A; Chereshnev, Igor; Maayani, Saul; Friedrich, Victor; Bederson, Joshua B

    2004-09-01

    Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is associated with acute decreases and subsequent recovery of cerebral nitric oxide (NO) levels, but the mechanisms of these alterations are not known. In this study, we measured NO synthase (NOS) protein and kinetics to determine its involvement in the alterations of cerebral NO levels after SAH. The endovascular rat model of SAH was used. The number of NOS-1 (neuronal) and NOS-2 (inducible)-positive cells (0-96 h) was determined by counting immunoreactive cells in 8-microm cryostat sections. The tissue content of active NOS and its kinetic parameters were studied with an enzymatic l-citrulline assay. The number of NOS-1-positive cells increased between 1 and 3 hours after SAH, decreased to and below control values at 6 and 72 hours after SAH, and increased to control values 96 hours after SAH. The number of NOS-2-positive cells increased 1 hour after SAH, decreased to control values at 24 hours, and increased above control values 96 hours after SAH. The Michaelis-Menten kinetic parameters (V(max), K(m), slope) of NOS remained unchanged at 10 and 90 minutes after SAH. NOS-1 and -2 proteins undergo a triphasic alteration after SAH, whereas the amount of active NOS and its kinetic parameters remain unchanged during the first 90 minutes after SAH. Depletion of NOS is not involved in the acute alterations of cerebral NO levels after SAH.

  14. Chronic scream sound exposure alters memory and monoamine levels in female rat brain.

    PubMed

    Hu, Lili; Zhao, Xiaoge; Yang, Juan; Wang, Lumin; Yang, Yang; Song, Tusheng; Huang, Chen

    2014-10-01

    Chronic scream sound alters the cognitive performance of male rats and their brain monoamine levels, these stress-induced alterations are sexually dimorphic. To determine the effects of sound stress on female rats, we examined their serum corticosterone levels and their adrenal, splenic, and thymic weights, their cognitive performance and the levels of monoamine neurotransmitters and their metabolites in the brain. Adult female Sprague-Dawley rats, with and without exposure to scream sound (4h/day for 21 day) were tested for spatial learning and memory using a Morris water maze. Stress decreased serum corticosterone levels, as well as splenic and adrenal weight. It also impaired spatial memory but did not affect the learning ability. Monoamines and metabolites were measured in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), striatum, hypothalamus, and hippocampus. The dopamine (DA) levels in the PFC decreased but the homovanillic acid/DA ratio increased. The decreased DA and the increased 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) levels were observed in the striatum. Only the 5-HIAA level increased in the hypothalamus. In the hippocampus, stress did not affect the levels of monoamines and metabolites. The results suggest that scream sound stress influences most physiologic parameters, memory, and the levels of monoamine neurotransmitter and their metabolites in female rats. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  15. Inflammation and schizophrenia: alterations in cytokine levels and perturbation in antioxidative defense systems.

    PubMed

    Al-Asmari, A K; Khan, Md W

    2014-02-01

    Although several theories have been proposed including developmental/neurodegenerative processes, neurotransmitter abnormalities, viral infection, and immune dysfunction, the exact causative factor of schizophrenia is unclear. A relationship between inflammation and schizophrenia has been supported by abnormal cytokine production and altered antioxidant status. This study was aimed to examine the alterations in serum oxidative-antioxidative status and cytokine levels of schizophrenic patients. A total of 91 schizophrenic patients from Saudi Arabia and 50 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were enrolled in the present study. Fresh blood samples were collected to measure the levels of cytokines and markers of oxidative stress by spectrophotometric assays simultaneously. We observed that there was a significant increase in the levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-6 and a decrease in the levels of interferon-γ. Lipid peroxides are elevated in serum, while total-sulfhydryl levels were decreased. Also, the activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase were decreased, while the activities of catalase, glutathione reductase, and myeloperoxidase were found to be elevated in serum. We conclude that inflammation resulting from dysregulation of cytokines and altered antioxidant systems may play a critical role in the etiology of schizophrenia.

  16. Human ribosomes from cells with reduced dyskerin levels are intrinsically altered in translation.

    PubMed

    Penzo, Marianna; Rocchi, Laura; Brugiere, Sabine; Carnicelli, Domenica; Onofrillo, Carmine; Couté, Yohann; Brigotti, Maurizio; Montanaro, Lorenzo

    2015-08-01

    Dyskerin is a pseudouridine (ψ) synthase involved in fundamental cellular processes including uridine modification in rRNA and small nuclear RNA and telomere stabilization. Dyskerin functions are altered in X-linked dyskeratosis congenita (X-DC) and cancer. Dyskerin's role in rRNA pseudouridylation has been suggested to underlie the alterations in mRNA translation described in cells lacking dyskerin function, although relevant direct evidences are currently lacking. Our purpose was to establish definitely whether defective dyskerin function might determine an intrinsic ribosomal defect leading to an altered synthetic activity. Therefore, ribosomes from dyskerin-depleted human cells were purified and 1) added to a controlled reticulocyte cell-free system devoid of ribosomes to study mRNA translation; 2) analyzed for protein contamination and composition by mass spectrometry, 3) analyzed for global pseudouridylation levels. Ribosomes purified from dyskerin-depleted cells showed altered translational fidelity and internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-mediated translation. These ribosomes displayed reduced uridine modification, whereas they were not different in terms of protein contamination or ribosomal protein composition with respect to ribosomes from matched control cells with full dyskerin activity. In conclusion, lack of dyskerin function in human cells induces a defect in rRNA uridine modification, which is sufficient to alter ribosome activity.

  17. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency alters levels of glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid in brain tissue.

    PubMed

    Jadavji, N M; Wieske, F; Dirnagl, U; Winter, C

    2015-06-01

    Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is an enzyme key regulator in folate metabolism. Deficiencies in MTHFR result in increased levels of homocysteine, which leads to reduced levels of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). In the brain, SAM donates methyl groups to catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), which is involved in neurotransmitter analysis. Using the MTHFR-deficient mouse model the purpose of this study was to investigate levels of monoamine neurotransmitters and amino acid levels in brain tissue. MTHFR deficiency affected levels of both glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid in within the cerebellum and hippocampus. Mthfr (-/-) mice had reduced levels of glutamate in the amygdala and γ-aminobutyric acid in the thalamus. The excitatory mechanisms of homocysteine through activation of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor in brain tissue might alter levels of glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid.

  18. Age-associated alterations in the somatic mutation and DNA methylation levels in plants.

    PubMed

    Dubrovina, A S; Kiselev, K V

    2016-03-01

    Somatic mutations of the nuclear and mitochondrial DNA and alterations in DNA methylation levels in mammals are well known to play important roles in ageing and various diseases, yet their specific contributions await further investigation. For plants, it has also been proposed that unrepaired DNA damage and DNA polymerase errors accumulate in plant cells and lead to increased somatic mutation rate and alterations in transcription, which eventually contribute to plant ageing. A number of studies also show that DNA methylation levels vary depending on the age of plant tissue and chronological age of a whole plant. Recent studies reveal that prolonged cultivation of plant cells in vitro induces single nucleotide substitutions and increases global DNA methylation level in a time-dependent fashion. Changes in DNA methylation are known to influence DNA repair and can lead to altered mutation rates, and, therefore, it is interesting to investigate both the genetic and epigenetic integrity in relationship to ageing in plants. This review will summarise and discuss the current studies investigating somatic DNA mutation and DNA methylation levels in relation to plant ageing and senescence. The analysis has shown that there still remains a lack of clarity concerning plant biological ageing and the role of the genetic and epigenetic instabilities in this process.

  19. Alterations in cytochrome P-450 levels in adult rats following neonatal exposure to xenobiotics

    SciTech Connect

    Zangar, R.C. Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Richland, WA ); Springer, D.L. ); Buhler, D.R. )

    1993-01-01

    Neonatal exposure to certain xenobiotics has been shown to alter hepatic metabolism in adult rats in a manner that indicates long-term changes in enzyme regulation. Previously, the authors have observed changes in adult testosterone metabolism and in cytochrome P-450 (P-450) mRNA levels in animals neonatally exposed to phenobarbital (PB) or diethylstilbestrol (DES). In order to test for other enzyme alterations, they used Western blot procedures for specific P-450s to analyze hepatic microsomes from adult rats (24 wk old) that had been exposed neonatally to DES, PB, 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA), or pregnenolone 16[alpha]-carbonitrile (PCN). The most striking effects were observed in the DES-treated males: P-4502C6 and an immunologically similar protein were increased 60 and 90%, respectively, relative to control values, but P-4503A2 was decreased by 44%. No changes were observed in the DES-treated males in levels of P-4502E1, P-4502B, or the male-specific P-4502C13. Adult males neonatally treated with PB had 150% increase in levels of anti-P4502B-reactive protein without significant changes in the other enzymes. The DES- and DMBA-treated females had increased levels of the female-specific P-4502C12 of 38 and 48%, respectively, but no other observed alterations. The results confirm that neonatal exposure to DES or PB can cause alterations in adult hepatic cytochrome P-450 levels but show that these chemicals act on different enzymes. Neonatal DMBA resulted in changes in adult females similar to those produced by the synthetic estrogen DES, but did so at about two-thirds lower dose. 37 refs., 5 figs.

  20. Near-future carbon dioxide levels alter fish behaviour by interfering with neurotransmitter function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nilsson, Göran E.; Dixson, Danielle L.; Domenici, Paolo; McCormick, Mark I.; Sørensen, Christina; Watson, Sue-Ann; Munday, Philip L.

    2012-03-01

    Predicted future CO2 levels have been found to alter sensory responses and behaviour of marine fishes. Changes include increased boldness and activity, loss of behavioural lateralization, altered auditory preferences and impaired olfactory function. Impaired olfactory function makes larval fish attracted to odours they normally avoid, including ones from predators and unfavourable habitats. These behavioural alterations have significant effects on mortality that may have far-reaching implications for population replenishment, community structure and ecosystem function. However, the underlying mechanism linking high CO2 to these diverse responses has been unknown. Here we show that abnormal olfactory preferences and loss of behavioural lateralization exhibited by two species of larval coral reef fish exposed to high CO2 can be rapidly and effectively reversed by treatment with an antagonist of the GABA-A receptor. GABA-A is a major neurotransmitter receptor in the vertebrate brain. Thus, our results indicate that high CO2 interferes with neurotransmitter function, a hitherto unrecognized threat to marine populations and ecosystems. Given the ubiquity and conserved function of GABA-A receptors, we predict that rising CO2 levels could cause sensory and behavioural impairment in a wide range of marine species, especially those that tightly control their acid-base balance through regulatory changes in HCO3- and Cl- levels.

  1. Alteration of prolactin serum levels during alcohol withdrawal correlates with craving in female patients.

    PubMed

    Hillemacher, Thomas; Bayerlein, Kristina; Wilhelm, Julia; Reulbach, Udo; Frieling, Helge; Bönsch, Dominikus; Kornhuber, Johannes; Bleich, Stefan

    2005-12-01

    Dopaminergic transmission has been suggested to be a main mechanism mediating reinforcement, withdrawal and craving in alcohol dependency. Dopamine is associated with prolactin secretion, acting as a prolactin inhibitor. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether there is an association between altered prolactin levels and craving during early and late alcohol withdrawal. Therefore, we examined 145 patients suffering from alcohol dependency after admission to the detoxification unit, assessing craving with the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS) and measuring prolactin serum levels during early withdrawal (-EW: day 0 or day 1) and late withdrawal (-LW: day 7-day 10). We observed a significant influence of the alteration of prolactin during withdrawal on craving in female patients (Spearman's rho, OCDS-EW: r=-0.607, p=0.001; OCDS-LW: r=-0.730, p<0.001; n=26). The association between prolactin alteration in percentage and craving in females was confirmed with general linear models (OCDS-EW: F=15.819, p=0.001, r(2)=0.530; OCDS-LW: F=17.091, p<0.001, r(2)=0.535). In male patients we did not find any significant results. Our findings support the previously described role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in the neurobiology of alcohol craving and show evidence of an association between increased prolactin serum levels and lower craving during alcohol withdrawal in female patients.

  2. Materials and methods for the alteration of enzyme and acetyl CoA levels in plants

    DOEpatents

    Nikolau, Basil J.; Wurtele, Eve S.; Oliver, David J.; Behal, Robert; Schnable, Patrick S.; Ke, Jinshan; Johnson, Jerry L.; Allred, Carolyn C.; Fatland, Beth; Lutziger, Isabelle; Wen, Tsui-Jung

    2005-09-13

    The present invention provides nucleic acid and amino acid sequences of acetyl CoA synthetase (ACS), plastidic pyruvate dehydrogenase (pPDH), ATP citrate lyase (ACL), Arabidopsis pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), and Arabidopsis aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), specifically ALDH-2 and ALDH-4. The present invention also provides a recombinant vector comprising a nucleic acid sequence encoding one of the aforementioned enzymes, an antisense sequence thereto or a ribozyme therefor, a cell transformed with such a vector, antibodies to the enzymes, a plant cell, a plant tissue, a plant organ or a plant in which the level of an enzyme has been altered, and a method of producing such a plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. Desirably, alteration of the level of enzyme results in an alteration of the level of acetyl CoA in the plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. In addition, the present invention provides a recombinant vector comprising an antisense sequence of a nucleic acid sequence encoding pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), the E1.alpha. subunit of pPDH, the E1.beta. subunit of pPDH, the E2 subunit of pPDH, mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase (mtPDH) or aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) or a ribozyme that can cleave an RNA molecule encoding PDC, E1.alpha. pPDH, E1.beta. pPDH, E2 pPDH, mtPDH or ALDH.

  3. Materials and methods for the alteration of enzyme and acetyl CoA levels in plants

    DOEpatents

    Nikolau, Basil J.; Wurtele, Eve S.; Oliver, David J.; Behal, Robert; Schnable, Patrick S.; Ke, Jinshan; Johnson, Jerry L.; Allred, Carolyn C.; Fatland, Beth; Lutziger, Isabelle; Wen, Tsui-Jung

    2004-07-20

    The present invention provides nucleic acid and amino acid sequences of acetyl CoA synthetase (ACS), plastidic pyruvate dehydrogenase (pPDH), ATP citrate lyase (ACL), Arabidopsis pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), and Arabidopsis aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), specifically ALDH-2 and ALDH-4. The present invention also provides a recombinant vector comprising a nucleic acid sequence encoding one of the aforementioned enzymes, an antisense sequence thereto or a ribozyme therefor, a cell transformed with such a vector, antibodies to the enzymes, a plant cell, a plant tissue, a plant organ or a plant in which the level of an enzyme has been altered, and a method of producing such a plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. Desirably, alteration of the level of enzyme results in an alteration of the level of acetyl CoA in the plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. In addition, the present invention provides a recombinant vector comprising an antisense sequence of a nucleic acid sequence encoding pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), the E1.sub..alpha. subunit of pPDH, the E1.sub..beta. subunit of pPDH, the E2 subunit of pPDH, mitochondrial pyurvate dehydrogenase (mtPDH) or aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) or a ribozyme that can cleave an RNA molecule encoding PDC, E1.sub..alpha. pPDH, E1.sub..beta. pPDH, E2 pPDH, mtPDH or ALDH.

  4. Materials and methods for the alteration of enzyme and acetyl CoA levels in plants

    DOEpatents

    Nikolau, Basil J.; Wurtele, Eve S.; Oliver, David J.; Schnable, Patrick S.; Wen, Tsui-Jung

    2009-04-28

    The present invention provides nucleic acid and amino acid sequences of acetyl CoA synthetase (ACS), plastidic pyruvate dehydrogenase (pPDH), ATP citrate lyase (ACL), Arabidopsis pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), and Arabidopsis aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), specifically ALDH-2 and ALDH-4. The present invention also provides a recombinant vector comprising a nucleic acid sequence encoding one of the aforementioned enzymes, an antisense sequence thereto or a ribozyme therefor, a cell transformed with such a vector, antibodies to the enzymes, a plant cell, a plant tissue, a plant organ or a plant in which the level of an enzyme has been altered, and a method of producing such a plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. Desirably, alteration of the level of enzyme results in an alteration of the level of acetyl CoA in the plant cell, plant tissue, plant organ or plant. In addition, the present invention provides a recombinant vector comprising an antisense sequence of a nucleic acid sequence encoding pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC), the E1.alpha. subunit of pPDH, the E1.beta. subunit of pPDH, the E2 subunit of pPDH, mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase (mtPDH) or aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) or a ribozyme that can cleave an RNA molecule encoding PDC, E1.alpha. pPDH, E1.beta. pPDH, E2 pPDH, mtPDH or ALDH.

  5. Alterations in the levels of plasma amino acids in polycystic ovary syndrome- A pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Unni, C. Sumithra N.; Lakshman, Lakshmi R.; Vaidyanathan, Kannan; Subhakumari, K.N.; Menon, N. Leela

    2015-01-01

    Background & objectives: Plasma amino acid levels are known to be altered in conditions like sepsis and burns which are situations of metabolic stress. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition which affects a woman throughout her life, is said to be associated with metabolic stress. This study was undertaken to assess if there were significant alterations in the levels of plasma amino acids in women with PCOS. Methods: Sixty five women with PCOS along with the similar number of age matched normal controls were included in this study. Levels of 14 amino acids were determined using reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography. Results: The levels of methionine, cystine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, valine, tyrosine, proline, glycine, lysine and histidine were found to be significantly (P<0.001) lower in cases than in controls. Arginine and alanine levels were found to be significantly (P<0.001) higher in cases compared with controls. Interpretation & conclusions: Our findings showed significant derangement in the levels of plasma amino acids in women with PCOS which might be due to the oxidative and metabolic stress associated with it. Further studies need to be done to confirm the findings. PMID:26658589

  6. Fish oil supplementation alters levels of lipid mediators of inflammation in microenvironment of acute human wounds

    PubMed Central

    McDaniel, Jodi C.; Massey, Karen; Nicolaou, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Chronic wounds often result from prolonged inflammation involving excessive polymorphonuclear leukocyte activity. Studies show that the ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in fish oils generate bioactive lipid mediators that reduce inflammation and polymorphonuclear leukocyte recruitment in numerous inflammatory disease models. This study’s purpose was to test the hypotheses that boosting plasma levels of EPA and DHA with oral supplementation would alter lipid mediator levels in acute wound microenvironments and reduce polymorphonuclear leukocyte levels. Eighteen individuals were randomized to 28 days of either EPA + DHA supplementation (Active Group) or placebo. After 28 days, the Active Group had significantly higher plasma levels of EPA (p < 0.001) and DHA (p < 0.001) than the Placebo Group and significantly lower wound fluid levels of two 15-lipoxygenase products of ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (9-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid [p=0.033] and 15-hydroxyeicosatrienoic acid [p=0.006]), at 24 hours postwounding. The Active Group also had lower mean levels of myeloperoxidase, a leukocyte marker, at 12 hours and significantly more reepithelialization on Day 5 postwounding. We suggest that lipid mediator profiles can be manipulated by altering polyunsaturated fatty acid intake to create a wound microenvironment more conducive to healing. PMID:21362086

  7. Reproducibility of blood oxygen level-dependent signal changes with end-tidal carbon dioxide alterations.

    PubMed

    Dengel, Donald R; Evanoff, Nicholas G; Marlatt, Kara L; Geijer, Justin R; Mueller, Bryon A; Lim, Kelvin O

    2016-03-02

    Hypercapnia has been utilized as a stimulus to elicit changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF). However, in many instances it has been delivered in a non-controlled method that is often difficult to reproduce. The purpose of this study was to examine the within- and between-visit reproducibility of blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal changes to an iso-oxic square wave alteration in end-tidal carbon dioxide partial pressure (Pet CO2 ). Two 3-Tesla (3T) MRI scans were performed on the same visit, with two square wave alterations administered per scan. The protocol was repeated on a separate visit with minimum of 3 days between scanning sessions. Pet CO2 was altered to stimulate changes in cerebral vascular reactivity (CVR), while Pet O2 was held constant. Eleven subjects (six females; mean age 26·5 ± 5·7 years) completed the full testing protocol. Excellent within-visit square wave reproducibility (ICC > 0·75) was observed. Similarly, square waves were reproducible between scanning sessions (ICC > 0·7). This study demonstrates BOLD signal changes in response to alterations in Pet CO2 are reproducible both within- and between-visit MRI scans.

  8. Stress-related alterations of acyl and desacyl ghrelin circulating levels: mechanisms and functional implications

    PubMed Central

    Stengel, Andreas; Wang, Lixin; Taché, Yvette

    2011-01-01

    Ghrelin is the only known peripherally produced and centrally acting peptide hormone that stimulates food intake and digestive functions. Ghrelin circulates as acylated and desacylated forms and recently the acylating enzyme, ghrelin-O-acyltransferase (GOAT) and the de-acylating enzyme, thioesterase 1/lysophospholipase 1 have been identified adding new layers of complexity to the regulation of ghrelin. Stress is known to alter gastrointestinal motility and food intake and was recently shown to modify circulating ghrelin and GOAT levels with differential responses related to the type of stressors including a reduction induced by physical stressors (abdominal surgery and immunological/endotoxin injection, exercise) and elevation by metabolic (cold exposure, fasting and caloric restriction) and psychological stressors. However, the pathways underlying the alterations of ghrelin under these various stress conditions are still largely to be defined and may relate to stress-associated autonomic changes. There is evidence that alterations of circulating ghrelin may contribute to the neuroendocrine and behavioral responses along with sustaining the energetic requirement needed upon repeated exposure to stressors. A better understanding of these mechanisms will allow targeting components of ghrelin signaling that may improve food intake and gastric motility alterations induced by stress. PMID:21782868

  9. Low-level lasers alter mRNA levels from traditional reference genes used in breast cancer cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teixeira, A. F.; Canuto, K. S.; Rodrigues, J. A.; Fonseca, A. S.; Mencalha, A. L.

    2017-07-01

    Cancer is among the leading causes of mortality worldwide, increasing the importance of treatment development. Low-level lasers are used in several diseases, but some concerns remains on cancers. Reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is a technique used to understand cellular behavior through quantification of mRNA levels. Output data from target genes are commonly relative to a reference that cannot vary according to treatment. This study evaluated reference genes levels from MDA-MB-231 cells exposed to red or infrared lasers at different fluences. Cultures were exposed to red and infrared lasers, incubated (4 h, 37 °C), total RNA was extracted and cDNA synthesis was performed to evaluate mRNA levels from ACTB, GUSB and TRFC genes by RT-qPCR. Specific amplification was verified by melting curves and agarose gel electrophoresis. RefFinder enabled data analysis by geNorm, NormFinder and BestKeeper. Specific amplifications were obtained and, although mRNA levels from ACTB, GUSB or TRFC genes presented no significant variation through traditional statistical analysis, Excel-based tools revealed that the use of these reference genes are dependent of laser characteristics. Our data showed that exposure to low-level red and infrared lasers at different fluences alter the mRNA levels from ACTB, GUSB and TRFC in MDA-MB-231 cells.

  10. A Universal Phylogenetic Tree.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Offner, Susan

    2001-01-01

    Presents a universal phylogenetic tree suitable for use in high school and college-level biology classrooms. Illustrates the antiquity of life and that all life is related, even if it dates back 3.5 billion years. Reflects important evolutionary relationships and provides an exciting way to learn about the history of life. (SAH)

  11. Dimethylthiourea inhibition of B16 melanoma growth and induction of phenotypic alterations; relationship to ATP levels.

    PubMed Central

    Fux, A.; Sidi, Y.; Kessler-Icekson, G.; Wasserman, L.; Novogrodsky, A.; Nordenberg, J.

    1991-01-01

    1,3 Dimethylthiourea (DMTU) has previously been shown by us to inhibit the growth of melanoma cells and to induce phenotypic alterations in these cells, including ultrastructural alterations of mitochondria. These findings raised the possibility that impaired mitochondrial function might be involved in mediating the effect of DMTU on cell growth and phenotypic expression. The present study indicates that DMTU as well as another growth inhibitory methylurea derivative, tetramethylurea (TMU) significantly decrease ATP content in the B16 melanoma cell line. 1,3 Dimethylurea (1,3DMU) and 1,1 dimethylurea (1,1DMU) which are poor growth inhibitors, do not reduce ATP content significantly. Altered energy metabolism in the DMTU-treated cells is reflected by inhibition of the activity of cytochrome c oxidase and by increased lactate levels. A cell line selected for resistance to growth inhibition by DMTU was shown to be completely resistant to induction of phenotypic alterations by DMTU. These cells possess high lactate levels, high ATP content and a somewhat decreased Na/K ATPase activity as compared to wild type B16 F10 cells. 1,3 DMTU treatment of the resistant cells leads to a decrease in the activity of the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome c oxidase, similar to its effect on the wild type B16 F10 cells. DMTU also reduces ATP content moderately in the resistant cells. However, the levels of ATP do not decrease beyond those found in untreated B16 F10 wild type cells. Taken together the results suggest that decreased ATP content might be involved, at least partially, in mediating the effects of DMTU on B16 melanoma cell growth and phenotypic expression. PMID:1850608

  12. A new stress model, a scream sound, alters learning and monoamine levels in rat brain.

    PubMed

    Hu, Lili; Yang, Juan; Song, Tusheng; Hou, Ni; Liu, Yong; Zhao, Xiaoge; Zhang, Dianzeng; Wang, Lumin; Wang, Tao; Huang, Chen

    2014-01-17

    Most existing animal models for stress involve the simultaneous application of physical and psychological stress factors. In the current study, we described and used a novel psychological stress model (scream sound stress). To study the validity of it, we carried out acute and chronic scream sound stress. First, adult Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into white noise, stress and background groups. The white noise group and stress group were treated with white noise and scream sound for 4h in the morning respectively. Compared with white noise and background groups, exposure to acute scream sound increased corticosterone (CORT) level and decreased latency in Morris water maze (MWM) test. The levels of noradrenaline (NE), dopamine (DA), 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), homovanillic acid (HVA) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) were altered in the striatum, hypothalamus and hippocampus of stress rats. Second, adult SD rats were randomly divided into background and stress groups, which were treated with scream sound for three weeks. Exposure to chronic scream sound suppressed body weight gain, increased corticosterone (CORT) level, influenced the morphology of adrenal gland, improved spleen and thymus indices, and decreased latency in MWM test. NE, DA, DOPAC, HVA and 5-HIAA levels were also altered in the brain of stress rats. Our results suggested that scream sound, as a novel stressor, facilitated learning ability, as well as altered monoamine levels in the rat brain. Moreover, scream sound is easy to apply and can be applied in more animals at the same time.

  13. The Volitional Nature of Nicotine Exposure Alters Anandamide and Oleoylethanolamide Levels in the Ventral Tegmental Area

    PubMed Central

    Buczynski, Matthew W; Polis, Ilham Y; Parsons, Loren H

    2013-01-01

    Cannabinoid-1 receptors (CB1) have an important role in nicotine reward and their function is disrupted by chronic nicotine exposure, suggesting nicotine-induced alterations in endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling. However, the effects of nicotine on brain eCB levels have not been rigorously evaluated. Volitional intake of nicotine produces physiological and behavioral effects distinct from forced drug administration, although the mechanisms underlying these effects are not known. This study compared the effects of volitional nicotine self-administration (SA) and forced nicotine exposure (yoked administration (YA)) on levels of eCBs and related neuroactive lipids in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and other brain regions. Brain lipid levels were indexed both by in vivo microdialysis in the VTA and lipid extractions from brain tissues. Nicotine SA, but not YA, reduced baseline VTA dialysate oleoylethanolamide (OEA) levels relative to nicotine-naïve controls, and increased anandamide (AEA) release during nicotine intake. In contrast, all nicotine exposure paradigms increased VTA dialysate 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) levels. Thus, nicotine differentially modulates brain lipid (2-AG, AEA, and OEA) signaling, and these modulations are influenced by the volitional nature of the drug exposure. Corresponding bulk tissue analysis failed to identify these lipid changes. Nicotine exposure had no effect on fatty acid amide hydrolase activity in the VTA, suggesting that changes in AEA and OEA signaling result from alterations in their nicotine-induced biosynthesis. Both CB1 (by AEA and 2-AG) and non-CB1 (by OEA) targets can alter the excitability and activity of the dopaminergic neurons in the VTA. Collectively, these findings implicate disrupted lipid signaling in the motivational effects of nicotine. PMID:23169348

  14. The volitional nature of nicotine exposure alters anandamide and oleoylethanolamide levels in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Buczynski, Matthew W; Polis, Ilham Y; Parsons, Loren H

    2013-03-01

    Cannabinoid-1 receptors (CB(1)) have an important role in nicotine reward and their function is disrupted by chronic nicotine exposure, suggesting nicotine-induced alterations in endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling. However, the effects of nicotine on brain eCB levels have not been rigorously evaluated. Volitional intake of nicotine produces physiological and behavioral effects distinct from forced drug administration, although the mechanisms underlying these effects are not known. This study compared the effects of volitional nicotine self-administration (SA) and forced nicotine exposure (yoked administration (YA)) on levels of eCBs and related neuroactive lipids in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and other brain regions. Brain lipid levels were indexed both by in vivo microdialysis in the VTA and lipid extractions from brain tissues. Nicotine SA, but not YA, reduced baseline VTA dialysate oleoylethanolamide (OEA) levels relative to nicotine-naïve controls, and increased anandamide (AEA) release during nicotine intake. In contrast, all nicotine exposure paradigms increased VTA dialysate 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) levels. Thus, nicotine differentially modulates brain lipid (2-AG, AEA, and OEA) signaling, and these modulations are influenced by the volitional nature of the drug exposure. Corresponding bulk tissue analysis failed to identify these lipid changes. Nicotine exposure had no effect on fatty acid amide hydrolase activity in the VTA, suggesting that changes in AEA and OEA signaling result from alterations in their nicotine-induced biosynthesis. Both CB(1) (by AEA and 2-AG) and non-CB(1) (by OEA) targets can alter the excitability and activity of the dopaminergic neurons in the VTA. Collectively, these findings implicate disrupted lipid signaling in the motivational effects of nicotine.

  15. Geomicrobiology of the Ocean Crust: The Phylogenetic Diversity, Abundance, and Distribution of Microbial Communities Inhabiting Basalt and Implications for Rock Alteration Processes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-06-01

    1256D has been subsequently deepened to 1507 meters below seafloor through sheeted dikes and into gabbro (Wilson et al., 2006). Independent of...et al., 2006. Drilling to gabbro in intact ocean crust. Science, 312: 1016- 1020. 139 140 Chapter 5. Characterization of Low-Temperature Alteration

  16. Maternal folic acid supplementation to dams on marginal protein level alters brain fatty acid levels of their adult offspring.

    PubMed

    Rao, Shobha; Joshi, Sadhana; Kale, Anvita; Hegde, Mahabaleshwar; Mahadik, Sahebarao

    2006-05-01

    Studies on fetal programming of adult diseases have highlighted the importance of maternal nutrition during pregnancy. Folic acid and long-chain essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) have independent effects on fetal growth. However, folic acid effects may also involve alteration of LC-PUFA metabolism. Because marginal deficiency of LC-PUFAs during critical periods of brain growth and development is associated with risks for adult diseases, it is highly relevant to investigate how maternal supplementation of such nutrients can alter brain fatty acid levels. We examined the impact of folic acid supplementation, conventionally used in maternal intervention, on brain essential fatty acid levels and plasma corticosterone concentrations in adult offspring at 11 months of age. Pregnant female rats from 4 groups (6 in each) were fed with casein diets either with 18 g protein/100 g diet (control diet) or treatment diets that were marginal in protein (MP), such as 12 g protein/100 g diet supplemented with 8 mg folic acid (FAS/MP), 12 g protein/100 g diet without folic acid (FAD/MP), or 12 g protein/100 g diet (MP) with 2 mg folic acid. Pups were weaned to a standard laboratory diet with 18 g protein/100 g diet. All male adult offspring in the FAS/MP group showed lower docosahexaenoic acid (P<.05) as compared with control adult offspring (6.04+/-2.28 vs 10.33+/-0.86 g/100 g fatty acids) and higher n-6/n-3 ratio (P<.05). Docosahexaenoic acid levels in FAS/MP adult offspring were also lower (P<.05) when compared with the MP group. Plasma corticosterone concentrations were higher (P<.05) in male adult offspring from the FAS/MP group compared with control as well as the MP adult offspring. Results suggest that maternal folic acid supplementation at MP intake decreased brain docosahexaenoic acid levels probably involving corticosterone increase.

  17. No alterations of serum levels of adrenal and gonadal hormones in patients with ankylosing spondylitis.

    PubMed

    Straub, R H; Struhárová, S; Schölmerich, J; Härle, P

    2002-01-01

    Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disease with a marked preponderance of affected males compared to females of approximately 6 to 1. During the last two decades, this circumstance stimulated several research groups to investigate serum levels of gonadal and adrenal sex hormones. From available results of cross-sectional studies, there seems to be no particular defect in secretion or production of adrenal, gonadal, and pituitary hormones. This is in striking contrast to diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases. In the latter diseases, low serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), DHEA sulphate (DHEAS), and testosterone have been described in an advanced chronic disease stage, whereas estrogen serum levels remain normal. Although AS is an inflammatory disease with signs of systemic inflammation such as elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate or increased circulating proinflammatory cytokines, serum levels of adrenal and gonadal androgens are normal. It is unclear whether this can be considered as unexpected. It may be that inflammation does not reach the pituitary, adrenal, and gonadal glands or does not alter the aromatase complex in peripheral tissue. Furthermore, the inflammation-induced changes may be subtle so that only specific endocrine examination of these axes may reveal signs of alterations. In conclusion, current data on sex steroid hormones provide no straightforward explanation for the male predominance in AS. At the moment, there is no rationale to treat AS patients with sex steroid hormones.

  18. [Alteration of Microparticle Levels in Early Complications During Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Li-Li; Han, Yue; Zhu, Qian; Zhao, Shi-Xiang; Wang, Qian; Zhu, Ming-Qing; Dai, Lan; Shen, Wen-Hong; Wu, De-Pei

    2015-12-01

    To investigate the alteration of microparticles (MP) in the recipients following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and its significance, and to search the early diagnostic indicators of thrombotic complications after transplantation. According to the occurrence of transplantation-associated complications, 94 allo-HSCT patients were divided into 4 groups: thrombotic group (VOD n = 7, TMA n = 2), acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) group (n = 27), infection group (n = 41) and non-complication group (n = 17). Alterations of serum concentration of tissue factor positive microparticles (TF(+) MP) and endothelial microparticles (EMP) were analyzed by flow cytometry during the process of conditioning treatment and the early stage after transplantation. The relation of these 2 kinds of MP with complications was analysed. (1) The levels of TF(+) MP and EMP of patients undogoing allo-HSCT before conditioning treatment were obviously higher than those in normal controls, and showed some elevation during different times, but there was no significant statistical difference. Although the levels of TF(+) MP and EMP at the end of conditioning treatment were some higher than those before conditioning treatment, but there was no statistical difference between them. (2)The levels of TF(+) MP and EMP in thrombotic group were obviously higher than those in aGVHD group and infection group (P < 0.05). (3)The levels of TF(+) MP and EMP in thrombotic group at different times were significant differences from those in other groups (P < 0.05), and the levels of TF(+) MP and EMP were no significant difference from those in non-complication group. The increase of the TF(+) MP and EMP levels may be associated with occurrence of thrombosis after transplantation, indicating occurrence of the thrombotic complications, like hepatic vein occulusive disease (HVOD). The dynamically monitoring levels of TF(+) MP and EMP contributes to early discovery of thrombotic complications.

  19. Female Mice are Resistant to Fabp1 Gene Ablation-Induced Alterations in Brain Endocannabinoid Levels.

    PubMed

    Martin, Gregory G; Chung, Sarah; Landrock, Danilo; Landrock, Kerstin K; Dangott, Lawrence J; Peng, Xiaoxue; Kaczocha, Martin; Murphy, Eric J; Kier, Ann B; Schroeder, Friedhelm

    2016-09-01

    Although liver fatty acid binding protein (FABP1, L-FABP) is not detectable in the brain, Fabp1 gene ablation (LKO) markedly increases endocannabinoids (EC) in brains of male mice. Since the brain EC system of females differs significantly from that of males, it was important to determine if LKO differently impacted the brain EC system. LKO did not alter brain levels of arachidonic acid (ARA)-containing EC, i.e. arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), but decreased non-ARA-containing N-acylethanolamides (OEA, PEA) and 2-oleoylglycerol (2-OG) that potentiate the actions of AEA and 2-AG. These changes in brain potentiating EC levels were not associated with: (1) a net decrease in levels of brain membrane proteins associated with fatty acid uptake and EC synthesis; (2) a net increase in brain protein levels of cytosolic EC chaperones and enzymes in EC degradation; or (3) increased brain protein levels of EC receptors (CB1, TRVP1). Instead, the reduced or opposite responsiveness of female brain EC levels to loss of FABP1 (LKO) correlated with intrinsically lower FABP1 level in livers of WT females than males. These data show that female mouse brain endocannabinoid levels were unchanged (AEA, 2-AG) or decreased (OEA, PEA, 2-OG) by complete loss of FABP1 (LKO).

  20. The effect of altered 5-hydroxytryptamine levels on beta-endorphin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Soliman, Karam F. A.; Mash, Deborah C.; Walker, Charles A.

    1986-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of altering the concentration of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) on beta-endorphin (beta-Ep) content in the hypothalamus, thalamus, and periaqueductal gray (PAG)-rostral pons regions of the rat brain. The selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine (10 mg/kg), significantly lowered beta-Ep content in the hypothalamus and the PAG. Parachlorophenylalanine, which inhibits 5-HT synthesis, significantly elevated beta-Ep in all brain parts studied. Intracisternal injections of the neurotoxin 5-prime, 7-prime-dihydroxytryptamine with desmethylimipramine pretreatment significantly increased beta-Ep content in the hypothalamus and the PAG. In adrenalectomized rats, fluoxetine significantly decreased beta-Ep levels in the hypothalamus and increased the levels in the PAG. The results indicate that 5-HT may modulate the levels of brain beta-Ep.

  1. The effect of altered 5-hydroxytryptamine levels on beta-endorphin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Soliman, Karam F. A.; Mash, Deborah C.; Walker, Charles A.

    1986-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of altering the concentration of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) on beta-endorphin (beta-Ep) content in the hypothalamus, thalamus, and periaqueductal gray (PAG)-rostral pons regions of the rat brain. The selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine (10 mg/kg), significantly lowered beta-Ep content in the hypothalamus and the PAG. Parachlorophenylalanine, which inhibits 5-HT synthesis, significantly elevated beta-Ep in all brain parts studied. Intracisternal injections of the neurotoxin 5-prime, 7-prime-dihydroxytryptamine with desmethylimipramine pretreatment significantly increased beta-Ep content in the hypothalamus and the PAG. In adrenalectomized rats, fluoxetine significantly decreased beta-Ep levels in the hypothalamus and increased the levels in the PAG. The results indicate that 5-HT may modulate the levels of brain beta-Ep.

  2. Detection of TTV in peripheral blood cells from patients with altered ALT and AST levels.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Jaqueline Carvalho; Nasser, Thiago Franco; Oda, Julie Massayo Maeda; Aoki, Mateus Nóbrega; Carneiro, Juliana Laino do Val; Barbosa, Décio Sabbatini; Reiche, Edna Maria Vissoci; Watanabe, Maria Angelica Ehara

    2008-04-01

    This work analyzes the prevalence of TTV DNA in peripheral blood cells from patients with hepatic alterations and healthy blood donors and measures levels of sodium, potassium, urea, creatinine, phosphatase alkaline, total and direct bilirubin, gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in certain randomly selected patients. DNA samples from 111 individuals were evaluated. They were divided into two groups, "A" (study) and "B" (control), including 54 patients with liver enzyme alterations (ALT/AST) presenting non-B-non-C hepatitis and 57 blood donors, respectively. TTV DNA was determined by nested PCR. Certain products of the second-round PCR were sequenced. Serum biochemical assay was performed and disclosed TTV in 31.48% (17/54) of patients in group A and 5.26% (3/57) in the control group B. TTV prevalence was significantly higher in patients with liver disease than in healthy donors. In group A, sodium, potassium, urea, creatinine, phosphatase alkaline, total and direct bilirubin, gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels were analyzed in certain randomly selected patients and no significant difference in biochemical levels (p>0.05) was found when TTV infected and noninfected individuals were compared. Knowledge related to TTV has rapidly increased, but many fundamental aspects remain unclear. This led us to question the role of TTV and doubt remains as to whether or not it is just a commensal virus. Further studies are necessary to confirm and extend these findings.

  3. Modulation of ROS levels in fibroblasts by altering mitochondria regulates the process of wound healing.

    PubMed

    Janda, Jaroslav; Nfonsam, Valentine; Calienes, Fernanda; Sligh, James E; Jandova, Jana

    2016-05-01

    Mitochondria are the major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in fibroblasts which are thought to be crucial regulators of wound healing with a potential to affect the expression of nuclear genes involved in this process. ROS generated by mitochondria are involved in all stages of tissue repair process but the regulation of ROS-generating system in fibroblasts still remains poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to better understand molecular mechanisms of how the regulation of ROS levels generated by mitochondria may influence the process of wound repair. Cybrid model system of mtDNA variations was used to study the functional consequences of altered ROS levels on wound healing responses in a uniform nuclear background of cultured ρ(0) fibroblasts. Mitochondrial ROS in cybrids were modulated by antioxidants that quench ROS to examine their ability to close the wound. Real-time PCR arrays were used to investigate whether ROS generated by specific mtDNA variants have the ability to alter expression of some key nuclear-encoded genes central to the wound healing response and oxidative stress. Our data suggest levels of mitochondrial ROS affect expression of some nuclear encoded genes central to wound healing response and oxidative stress and modulation of mitochondrial ROS by antioxidants positively affects in vitro process of wound closure. Thus, regulation of mitochondrial ROS-generating system in fibroblasts can be used as effective natural redox-based strategy to help treat non-healing wounds.

  4. Spatial memory deficits in maternal iron deficiency paradigms are associated with altered glucocorticoid levels.

    PubMed

    Ranade, Sayali C; Nawaz, Sarfaraz; Chakrabarti, Arnab; Gressens, Pierre; Mani, Shyamala

    2013-06-01

    "The goal of this study was to examine the effect of maternal iron deficiency on the developing hippocampus in order to define a developmental window for this effect, and to see whether iron deficiency causes changes in glucocorticoid levels. The study was carried out using pre-natal, post-natal, and pre+post-natal iron deficiency paradigm. Iron deficient pregnant dams and their pups displayed elevated corticosterone which, in turn, differentially affected glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression in the CA1 and the dentate gyrus. Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) was reduced in the hippocampi of pups following elevated corticosterone levels. Reduced neurogenesis at P7 was seen in pups born to iron deficient mothers, and these pups had reduced numbers of hippocampal pyramidal and granule cells as adults. Hippocampal subdivision volumes also were altered. The structural and molecular defects in the pups were correlated with radial arm maze performance; reference memory function was especially affected. Pups from dams that were iron deficient throughout pregnancy and lactation displayed the complete spectrum of defects, while pups from dams that were iron deficient only during pregnancy or during lactation displayed subsets of defects. These findings show that maternal iron deficiency is associated with altered levels of corticosterone and GR expression, and with spatial memory deficits in their pups." Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Methoxychlor reduces estradiol levels by altering steroidogenesis and metabolism in mouse antral follicles in vitro.

    PubMed

    Basavarajappa, Mallikarjuna S; Craig, Zelieann R; Hernández-Ochoa, Isabel; Paulose, Tessie; Leslie, Traci C; Flaws, Jodi A

    2011-06-15

    The organochlorine pesticide methoxychlor (MXC) is a known endocrine disruptor that affects adult rodent females by causing reduced fertility, persistent estrus, and ovarian atrophy. Since MXC is also known to target antral follicles, the major producer of sex steroids in the ovary, the present study was designed to test the hypothesis that MXC decreases estradiol (E₂) levels by altering steroidogenic and metabolic enzymes in the antral follicles. To test this hypothesis, antral follicles were isolated from CD-1 mouse ovaries and cultured with either dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) or MXC. Follicle growth was measured every 24 h for 96 h. In addition, sex steroid hormone levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) and mRNA expression levels of steroidogenic enzymes as well as the E₂ metabolic enzyme Cyp1b1 were measured using qPCR. The results indicate that MXC decreased E₂, testosterone, androstenedione, and progesterone (P₄) levels compared to DMSO. In addition, MXC decreased expression of aromatase (Cyp19a1), 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 (Hsd17b1), 17α-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (Cyp17a1), 3β hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 (Hsd3b1), cholesterol side-chain cleavage (Cyp11a1), steroid acute regulatory protein (Star), and increased expression of Cyp1b1 enzyme levels. Thus, these data suggest that MXC decreases steroidogenic enzyme levels, increases metabolic enzyme expression and this in turn leads to decreased sex steroid hormone levels.

  6. Alterations in serum immunoglobulin levels in workers occupationally exposed to trichloroethylene

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Luoping; Bassig, Bryan A.; Huang, Hanlin; Tang, Xiaojiang; Rothman, Nathaniel; Lan, Qing

    2013-01-01

    Trichloroethylene (TCE) has been associated with a variety of immunotoxic effects and may be associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Altered serum immunoglobulin (Ig) levels have been reported in NHL patients and in animals exposed to TCE. Recently, we reported that occupational exposure to TCE is associated with immunosuppressive effects and immune dysfunction, including suppression of B-cell counts and activation, even at relatively low levels. We hypothesized that TCE exposure would also affect Ig levels in humans. We measured serum levels of IgG, IgM and IgE, by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, in TCE-exposed workers (n = 80) and unexposed controls (n = 45), matched by age and gender, in a cross-sectional, molecular epidemiology study of occupational exposure to TCE in Guangdong, China. Exposed workers had about a 17.5% decline in serum levels of IgG compared with unexposed controls (P = 0.0002). Similarly, serum levels of IgM were reduced by about 38% in workers exposed to TCE compared with unexposed controls (P < 0.0001). Serum levels of both IgG and IgM were significantly decreased in workers exposed to TCE levels below 12 p.p.m., the median exposure level. Adjustment for B-cell counts had minimal impact on our findings. IgE levels were not significantly different between exposed and control subjects. These results provide further evidence that TCE is immunotoxic at relatively low exposure levels and provide additional biologic plausibility for the reported association of TCE with NHL. PMID:23276795

  7. Steroid levels in crinoid echinoderms are altered by exposure to model endocrine disruptors.

    PubMed

    Lavado, Ramón; Barbaglio, Alice; Carnevali, M Daniela Candia; Porte, Cinta

    2006-06-01

    Sexual steroids (testosterone and estradiol) were measured in the whole body of wild specimens of the crinoid Antedon mediterranea collected from the Tyrrhenian Sea (Italy). Testosterone levels (274-1,488 pg/g wet weight (w.w.)) were higher than those of estradiol (60-442 pg/g w.w.) and no significant differences between males and females were observed. No clear seasonal trend was either detected - individuals from February, June and October 2004 analyzed - apart from a peak of estradiol in males in autumn. Nonetheless, dramatic changes on tissue steroid levels were observed when individuals were exposed to model androgenic and anti-androgenic compounds for 2 and 4 weeks. The selected compounds were 17 alpha-methyltestosterone (17 alpha-MT), triphenyltin (TPT), fenarimol (FEN), cyproterone acetate (CPA), and p,p'-DDE. Endogenous testosterone levels were significantly increased after exposure to 17 alpha-MT, TPT and FEN, while different responses were observed for estradiol; 17 alpha-MT and FEN increased endogenous estradiol (up to seven-fold), and TPT lead to a significant decrease. Concerning the anti-androgenic compounds, CPA significantly reduced testosterone in a dose-dependent manner without altering estradiol levels, whereas specimens exposed to p,p'-DDE at a low dose (24 ng/L) for 4 weeks showed a four-fold increase in T levels. Overall, the data show the ability of the selected compounds to alter endogenous steroid concentrations in A. mediterranea, and suggest the existence in this echinoderm species of vertebrate-like mechanisms that can be affected by exposure to androgenic and anti-androgenic chemicals.

  8. Dexamethasone treatment alters insulin, leptin, and adiponectin levels in male mice as observed in DIO but does not lead to alterations of metabolic phenotypes in the offspring.

    PubMed

    Bönisch, Clemens; Irmler, Martin; Brachthäuser, Laura; Neff, Frauke; Bamberger, Mareike T; Marschall, Susan; Hrabě de Angelis, Martin; Beckers, Johannes

    2016-02-01

    Epigenetic inheritance (EI) of metabolic phenotypes via the paternal lineage has been shown in rodent models of diet-induced obesity (DIO). However, the factors involved in soma-to-germline information transfer remain elusive. Here, we address the role of alterations in insulin, leptin, and adiponectin levels for EI of metabolic phenotypes by treating C57BL/6NTac male mice (F0) with the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone and generating offspring (F1) either by in vitro fertilization or by natural fecundation. Dexamethasone treatment slightly alters F0 body composition by increasing fat mass and decreasing lean mass, and significantly improves glucose tolerance. Moreover, it increases insulin and leptin levels and reduces adiponectin levels in F0 fathers as observed in mouse models of DIO. However, these paternal changes of metabolic hormones do not alter metabolic parameters, such as body weight, body composition and glucose homeostasis in male and female F1 mice even when these are challenged with a high-fat diet. Accordingly, sperm transcriptomes are not altered by dexamethasone treatment. Our results suggest that neither increased glucocorticoid, insulin, and leptin levels, nor decreased adiponectin levels in fathers are sufficient to confer soma-to-germline information transfer in EI of obesity via the paternal lineage.

  9. Influence of Altered Mass Loading on Testosterone Levels and Testicular Mass

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Tommy J.; Ortiz, R. M.; Wade, C. E.; Hargens, Alan R. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Effects of altered load on testosterone levels and testicular mass in mammals are not well defined. Two separate studies (loading;centrifuged; +2G(sub z) and unloading;hindlimb suspension;HLS) were conducted to provide a better understanding of the effects of mass loading on testosterone levels and testicular mass. Daily urine samples were collected, and testicular mass measured at the end of the study. +2G(sub z): Sprague-Dawley rats (230-250 g) were centrifuged for 12 days at +2G(sub z): 8 centrifuged (EC) and 8 off centrifuge controls (OCC). EC had lower body mass, however relative testicular mass was greater. EC exhibited an increase in excreted testosterone levels between days 2 (T2) and 6 (T6), and returned to baseline at T9. HLS: To assess the effects of unloading Sprague-Dawley rats (125-150 g) were studied for 12 days: 10 suspended (Exp) and 10 ambulatory (Ctl). Exp had lower body mass during the study, with reduced absolute and relative testicular mass. Exp demonstrated lower excreted testosterone levels from T5-T12. Conclusions: Loading appears to stimulate anabolism, as opposed to unloading, as indicated by greater relative testicular mass and excreted testosterone levels. Reported changes in muscle mass during loading and unloading coincide with similar changes in excreted testosterone levels.

  10. Dihydrotestosterone alters cyclooxygenase-2 levels in human coronary artery smooth muscle cells

    PubMed Central

    Osterlund, Kristen L.; Handa, Robert J.

    2010-01-01

    Both protective and nonprotective effects of androgens on the cardiovascular system have been reported. Our previous studies show that the potent androgen receptor (AR) agonist dihydrotestosterone (DHT) increases levels of the vascular inflammatory mediator cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 in rodent cerebral arteries independent of an inflammatory stimulus. Little is known about the effects of androgens on inflammation in human vascular tissues. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that DHT alters COX-2 levels in the absence and presence of induced inflammation in primary human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (HCASMC). Furthermore, we tested the ancillary hypothesis that DHT's effects on COX-2 levels are AR-dependent. Cells were treated with DHT (10 nM) or vehicle for 6 h in the presence or absence of LPS or IL-1β. Similar to previous observations in rodent arteries, in HCASMC, DHT alone increased COX-2 levels compared with vehicle. This effect of DHT was attenuated in the presence of the AR antagonist bicalutamide. Conversely, in the presence of LPS or IL-1β, increases in COX-2 were attenuated by cotreatment with DHT. Bicalutamide did not affect this response, suggesting that DHT-induced decreases in COX-2 levels occur independent of AR stimulation. Thus we conclude that DHT differentially influences COX-2 levels under physiological and pathophysiological conditions in HCASMC. This effect of DHT on COX-2 involves AR-dependent and- independent mechanisms, depending on the physiological state of the cell. PMID:20103743

  11. Brain Injury Alters Ectonucleotidase Activities and Adenine Nucleotide Levels in Rat Serum

    PubMed Central

    Laketa, Danijela; Savić, Jasmina; Bjelobaba, Ivana; Lavrnja, Irena; Vasić, Vesna; Stojiljković, Mirjana; Nedeljković, Nadežda

    2015-01-01

    Summary Background Cortical stab injury (CSI) induces changes in the activity, expression and cellular distribution of specific ectonucleotidases at the injury site. Also, several experimentally induced neuropathologies are associated with changes in soluble ectonucleotidase activities in the plasma and serum, whilst various insults to the brain alter purine compounds levels in cerebrospinal fluid, but also in serum, indicating that insults to the brain may induce alterations in nucleotides release and rate of their hydrolysis in the vascular system. Since adenine nucleotides and adenosine regulate diverse cellular functions in the vascular system, including vascular tone, platelet aggregation and inflammatory responses of lymphocytes and macrophages, alterations of ectonucleotidase activities in the vascular system may be relevant for the clinical outcome of the primary insult. Methods We explored ectonucleotidase activities using specific enzyme assays and determined adenine nucleotides concentrations by the UPLC method in the rat serum after cortical stab injury. Results At 4-h post-injury, ATP and AMP hydrolysis increased by about 60% and 40%, respectively, while phosphodiesterase activity remained unchanged. Also, at 4-h post-injury a marked decrease in ATP concentration and more than 2-fold increase in AMP concentration were recorded. Conclusions CSI induces rapid up-regulation of nucleotide catabolizing soluble ectonucleotidases in rat serum, which leads to the observed shift in serum nucleotide levels. The results obtained imply that ectonucleotidases and adenine nucleotides participate in the communication between the brain and the vascular system in physiological and pathological conditions and thereby may be involved in the development of various human neuropathologies.

  12. Marine mollusc predator-escape behaviour altered by near-future carbon dioxide levels

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Sue-Ann; Lefevre, Sjannie; McCormick, Mark I.; Domenici, Paolo; Nilsson, Göran E.; Munday, Philip L.

    2014-01-01

    Ocean acidification poses a range of threats to marine invertebrates; however, the potential effects of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) on marine invertebrate behaviour are largely unknown. Marine gastropod conch snails have a modified foot and operculum allowing them to leap backwards rapidly when faced with a predator, such as a venomous cone shell. Here, we show that projected near-future seawater CO2 levels (961 µatm) impair this escape behaviour during a predator–prey interaction. Elevated-CO2 halved the number of snails that jumped from the predator, increased their latency to jump and altered their escape trajectory. Physical ability to jump was not affected by elevated-CO2 indicating instead that decision-making was impaired. Antipredator behaviour was fully restored by treatment with gabazine, a GABA antagonist of some invertebrate nervous systems, indicating potential interference of neurotransmitter receptor function by elevated-CO2, as previously observed in marine fishes. Altered behaviour of marine invertebrates at projected future CO2 levels could have potentially far-reaching implications for marine ecosystems. PMID:24225456

  13. Prenatal exposure to pesticides disrupts testicular histoarchitecture and alters testosterone levels in male Caiman latirostris.

    PubMed

    Rey, Florencia; González, Marianela; Zayas, Marcelo A; Stoker, Cora; Durando, Milena; Luque, Enrique H; Muñoz-de-Toro, Mónica

    2009-07-01

    The increased use of agrochemical pesticides, such as atrazine (ATZ) and endosulfan (END), may have a significant impact on ecosystem health and biodiversity. The aim of this study was to investigate the consequences of in ovum exposure to ATZ and END on Caiman latirostris gonadal histo-functional features. Caiman eggs were collected from environmentally pristine areas and incubated in controlled conditions at male producing temperature (33 degrees C). At stage 20 of embryonic development, the sensitive stage for gonadal sex determination, eggs were exposed to one dose of either END or ATZ. Gonadal histo-morphology was examined in caiman hatchlings and serum levels of testosterone were measured. Regardless of treatment condition, all eggs incubated at 33 degrees C resulted in male hatchlings. Tortuous seminiferous tubules with increased perimeter, disrupted distribution of peritubular myoid cells (desmin positive), and emptied tubular lumens characterized the testes of pesticide-exposed caiman. An imbalance between proliferative activity and cell death was observed in the testes of caiman exposed to the higher doses of END, mainly due to a high frequency of apoptosis in intratubular cells. This altered cell turnover was associated with decreased testosterone levels. Prenatal exposure to only one dose of END and ATZ disrupted neonatal male gonadal histo-functional features. Alterations described here could have detrimental effects on the sexual maturation of the caiman and, ultimately, on the success of male caiman reproduction.

  14. Impact of Pharmacological Interventions in Expectant Mothers Resulting in Altered Mutans Streptococci Levels in their Children.

    PubMed

    Muthu, Murugan Satta; Ankita, Saikia; Renugalakshmi, Apathsakayan; Richard, Kirubakaran

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this systematic review was to assess whether prenatal use of fluoride, chlorhexidine mouthrinses, and xylitol could alter the mutans streptococci levels in children. A systematic search of clinical trials was implemented for the Cochrane Oral Health Group's Trials Register, PubMed, PMC, NCBI, ClinicalKey, Google Scholar, LILACS, and Science Direct. A search for ongoing trials was also undertaken in the clinicaltrial.gov database to identify eligible studies. Data regarding methodology, participants, types of interventions, and outcomes were extracted, and the risk of bias was also assessed independently by two review authors. Only two clinical trials fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Although one study showed significant results, the overall result of this systematic review showed no statistical significance. A risk ratio and 95 percent confidence interval of 0.1 (0.01 to 1.89) were obtained. Statistically significant results were reported in both the included studies; however, systematic analysis revealed a dearth of current evidence to support the general recommendation of pharmacological interventions for expectant mothers resulting in altered mutans streptococci levels in their children.

  15. Rat hippocampal alterations could underlie behavioral abnormalities induced by exposure to moderate noise levels.

    PubMed

    Uran, S L; Aon-Bertolino, M L; Caceres, L G; Capani, F; Guelman, L R

    2012-08-30

    Noise exposure is known to affect auditory structures in living organisms. However, it should not be ignored that many of the effects of noise are extra-auditory. Previous findings of our laboratory demonstrated that noise was able to induce behavioral alterations that are mainly related to the cerebellum (CE) and the hippocampus (HC). Therefore, the aim of this work was to reveal new data about the vulnerability of developing rat HC to moderate noise levels through the assessment of potential histological changes and hippocampal-related behavioral alterations. Male Wistar rats were exposed to noise (95-97 dB SPL, 2h daily) either for 1 day (acute noise exposure, ANE) or between postnatal days 15 and 30 (sub-acute noise exposure, SANE). Hippocampal histological evaluation as well as short (ST) and long term (LT) habituation and recognition memory assessments were performed. Results showed a mild disruption in the different hippocampal regions after ANE and SANE schemes, along with significant behavioral abnormalities. These data suggest that exposure of developing rats to noise levels of moderate intensity is able to trigger changes in the HC, an extra-auditory structure of the Central Nervous System (CNS), that could underlie the observed behavioral effects.

  16. Marine mollusc predator-escape behaviour altered by near-future carbon dioxide levels.

    PubMed

    Watson, Sue-Ann; Lefevre, Sjannie; McCormick, Mark I; Domenici, Paolo; Nilsson, Göran E; Munday, Philip L

    2014-01-07

    Ocean acidification poses a range of threats to marine invertebrates; however, the potential effects of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) on marine invertebrate behaviour are largely unknown. Marine gastropod conch snails have a modified foot and operculum allowing them to leap backwards rapidly when faced with a predator, such as a venomous cone shell. Here, we show that projected near-future seawater CO2 levels (961 µatm) impair this escape behaviour during a predator-prey interaction. Elevated-CO2 halved the number of snails that jumped from the predator, increased their latency to jump and altered their escape trajectory. Physical ability to jump was not affected by elevated-CO2 indicating instead that decision-making was impaired. Antipredator behaviour was fully restored by treatment with gabazine, a GABA antagonist of some invertebrate nervous systems, indicating potential interference of neurotransmitter receptor function by elevated-CO2, as previously observed in marine fishes. Altered behaviour of marine invertebrates at projected future CO2 levels could have potentially far-reaching implications for marine ecosystems.

  17. Community Phylogenetics: Assessing Tree Reconstruction Methods and the Utility of DNA Barcodes

    PubMed Central

    Boyle, Elizabeth E.; Adamowicz, Sarah J.

    2015-01-01

    Studies examining phylogenetic community structure have become increasingly prevalent, yet little attention has been given to the influence of the input phylogeny on metrics that describe phylogenetic patterns of co-occurrence. Here, we examine the influence of branch length, tree reconstruction method, and amount of sequence data on measures of phylogenetic community structure, as well as the phylogenetic signal (Pagel’s λ) in morphological traits, using Trichoptera larval communities from Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. We find that model-based tree reconstruction methods and the use of a backbone family-level phylogeny improve estimations of phylogenetic community structure. In addition, trees built using the barcode region of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) alone accurately predict metrics of phylogenetic community structure obtained from a multi-gene phylogeny. Input tree did not alter overall conclusions drawn for phylogenetic signal, as significant phylogenetic structure was detected in two body size traits across input trees. As the discipline of community phylogenetics continues to expand, it is important to investigate the best approaches to accurately estimate patterns. Our results suggest that emerging large datasets of DNA barcode sequences provide a vast resource for studying the structure of biological communities. PMID:26110886

  18. Community Phylogenetics: Assessing Tree Reconstruction Methods and the Utility of DNA Barcodes.

    PubMed

    Boyle, Elizabeth E; Adamowicz, Sarah J

    2015-01-01

    Studies examining phylogenetic community structure have become increasingly prevalent, yet little attention has been given to the influence of the input phylogeny on metrics that describe phylogenetic patterns of co-occurrence. Here, we examine the influence of branch length, tree reconstruction method, and amount of sequence data on measures of phylogenetic community structure, as well as the phylogenetic signal (Pagel's λ) in morphological traits, using Trichoptera larval communities from Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. We find that model-based tree reconstruction methods and the use of a backbone family-level phylogeny improve estimations of phylogenetic community structure. In addition, trees built using the barcode region of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) alone accurately predict metrics of phylogenetic community structure obtained from a multi-gene phylogeny. Input tree did not alter overall conclusions drawn for phylogenetic signal, as significant phylogenetic structure was detected in two body size traits across input trees. As the discipline of community phylogenetics continues to expand, it is important to investigate the best approaches to accurately estimate patterns. Our results suggest that emerging large datasets of DNA barcode sequences provide a vast resource for studying the structure of biological communities.

  19. Effect of altered reproductive function and lowered testosterone levels on bone density in male endurance athletes

    PubMed Central

    Bennell, Kim L; Brukner, Peter D; Malcolm, Susan A

    1996-01-01

    The effect of intense physical activity on female reproductive hormones is well recognised1–3 and there is evidence that menstrual disturbances associated with hypo-oestrogenism adversely affect bone density especially at the lumbar spine.4 5 Physical activity can also have a range of effects on male reproductive function depending upon the intensity and duration of the activity and the fitness of the individual.6 In particular, endurance training may be associated with reductions in circulating testosterone levels. Since testosterone has important anabolic roles, alterations in reproductive hormone profiles may have detrimental skeletal consequences similar to those seen in females with menstrual disturbances. The aim of this brief review is to present the limited literature on the relation between bone density and testosterone levels in male endurance athletes. PMID:8889111

  20. Altered levels of Reelin and its isoforms in schizophrenia and mood disorders.

    PubMed

    Fatemi, S H; Kroll, J L; Stary, J M

    2001-10-29

    Reelin is a secreted extracellular matrix protein approximately 410 kDa mol. wt that is reduced in brains of patients with schizophrenia, autism, bipolar disorder and major depression. Recent reports also indicate its near absence in sera of some patients with an autosomal recessive form of lissencephaly. Moreover, Reelin is involved not only in normal cortical lamination of the brain during mammalian embryogenesis but is also implicated in cell signaling systems subserving cognition in adult brain. Here, we show that blood levels of Reelin and its isoforms are altered in three psychiatric disorders, namely, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. The changes include significant increases in 410 kDa Reelin moiety of 49% in schizophrenic patients (p < 0.022) of four ethnic compositions (Caucasian, Vietnamese, Hmong and Laotian) and non-significant increases in depressed patients by 34% vs control blood. In contrast, 410 kDa Reelin levels decreased by 33% in bipolar blood, albeit non-signficantly, vs. controls. There was a significant increase of 90% (p < 0.0061) in 330 kDa Reelin in Caucasian schizophrenics; the depressed value was elevated by 30% vs. control but non-significantly. Again, in contrast, bipolar 330 kDa value decreased by 31% vs control (p < 0.0480). Finally, all 180 kDa Reelin values varied minimally in schizophrenics vs controls. In contrast, the 180 kDa Reelin values dropped significantly by 49% (p < 0.0117) and 29% (p < 0.0424) in bipolar and depressed patients, respectively, compared with controls. The alterations in blood Reelin values appear to be specific since levels of two other blood proteins, ceruloplasmin and albumin did not vary significantly between all psychiatric subjects and controls. These findings suggest that blood Reelin levels and its isoforms may be used as potential peripheral markers to diagnose presence of several psychiatric disorders and may also serve as targets for future therapeutic interventions.

  1. Altered protein levels in the isolated extracellular matrix of failing human hearts with dilated cardiomyopathy.

    PubMed

    DeAguero, Joshua L; McKown, Elizabeth N; Zhang, Liwen; Keirsey, Jeremy; Fischer, Edgar G; Samedi, Von G; Canan, Benjamin D; Kilic, Ahmet; Janssen, Paul M L; Delfín, Dawn A

    Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is associated with extensive pathological cardiac remodeling and involves numerous changes in the protein expression profile of the extracellular matrix of the heart. We obtained seven human, end-stage, failing hearts with DCM (DCM-failing) and nine human, nonfailing donor hearts and compared their extracellular matrix protein profiles. We first showed that the DCM-failing hearts had indeed undergone extensive remodeling of the left ventricle myocardium relative to nonfailing hearts. We then isolated the extracellular matrix from a subset of these hearts and performed a proteomic analysis on the isolated matrices. We found that the levels of 26 structural proteins were altered in the DCM-failing isolated cardiac extracellular matrix compared to nonfailing isolated cardiac extracellular matrix. Overall, most of the extracellular matrix proteins showed reduced levels in the DCM-failing hearts, while all of the contractile proteins showed increased levels. There was a mixture of increased and decreased levels of cytoskeletal and nuclear transport proteins. Using immunoprobing, we verified that collagen IV (α2 and α6 isoforms), zyxin, and myomesin protein levels were reduced in the DCM-failing hearts. We expect that these data will add to the understanding of the pathology associated with heart failure with DCM.

  2. Detection of Genetically Altered Copper Levels in Drosophila Tissues by Synchrotron X-Ray Fluorescence Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Lye, Jessica C.; Hwang, Joab E. C.; Paterson, David; de Jonge, Martin D.; Howard, Daryl L.; Burke, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Tissue-specific manipulation of known copper transport genes in Drosophila tissues results in phenotypes that are presumably due to an alteration in copper levels in the targeted cells. However direct confirmation of this has to date been technically challenging. Measures of cellular copper content such as expression levels of copper-responsive genes or cuproenzyme activity levels, while useful, are indirect. First-generation copper-sensitive fluorophores show promise but currently lack the sensitivity required to detect subtle changes in copper levels. Moreover such techniques do not provide information regarding other relevant biometals such as zinc or iron. Traditional techniques for measuring elemental composition such as inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy are not sensitive enough for use with the small tissue amounts available in Drosophila research. Here we present synchrotron x-ray fluorescence microscopy analysis of two different Drosophila tissues, the larval wing imaginal disc, and sectioned adult fly heads and show that this technique can be used to detect changes in tissue copper levels caused by targeted manipulation of known copper homeostasis genes. PMID:22053217

  3. Endocannabinoid and ceramide levels are altered in patients with colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ling; Chen, Huixia; Li, Yanting; Li, Lei; Qiu, Yan; Ren, Jie

    2015-07-01

    Endocannabinoids and ceramides have demonstrated growth inhibition, cell death induction and pro-apoptotic activity in cancer research. In the present study, we describe the profiles of two major endocannabinoids, ceramides, free fatty acids and relevant metabolic enzymes in 47 pairs of human colorectal cancer tissues and adjacent non-tumor tissues. Among them, anandamide (AEA) and its metabolite, arachidonic acid (AA), were markedly upregulated in cancer tissues particularly in those with lymphatic metastasis. The levels of C16 and C24 ceramides were significantly elevated in the colorectal tumor tissues, while levels of C18 and C20 ceramides showed opposite trends. Levels of two enzymes participating in the biosynthesis and degradation of AEA, N-acyl-phosphatidylethanolamine-hydrolyzing phospholipase D (NPLD) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), together with the most abundant ceramide synthases (CerS1, CerS2, CerS5 and CerS6) in the colon were also determined. Quantitative-PCR analysis indicated that the mRNA levels of these enzymes were overexpressed in the tumor tissues. The activities of NPLD and FAAH were also upregulated. In addition, both gene and protein expression levels of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) were elevated but not of CB2. Elevation of AEA and alteration of ceramides (C16, C24, C18, C20) may qualify as potential endogenous biomarkers and novel drug targets for colorectal cancer.

  4. Altered Serum Levels of Matrix Metalloproteinase-2, -9 in Response to Electroconvulsive Therapy for Mood Disorders.

    PubMed

    Shibasaki, Chiyo; Takebayashi, Minoru; Itagaki, Kei; Abe, Hiromi; Kajitani, Naoto; Okada-Tsuchioka, Mami; Yamawaki, Shigeto

    2016-09-01

    Inflammatory processes could underlie mood disorders. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMP) are inflammation-related molecules. The current study sought an association between mood disorders and systemic levels of MMPs and TIMPs. Serum was obtained from patients with mood disorders (n=21) and patients with schizophrenia (n=13) scheduled to undergo electroconvulsive therapy. Serum was also obtained from healthy controls (n=40). Clinical symptoms were assessed by the Hamilton Rating Score for Depression and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. Serum levels of MMPs and TIMPs were quantified by ELISA. The serum levels of MMP-2 in mood disorder patients, but not in schizophrenia patients, prior to the first electroconvulsive therapy session (baseline) was significantly lower than that of healthy controls. At baseline, levels of MMP-9 and TIMP-2, -1 were not different between patients with mood disorder and schizophrenia and healthy controls. After a course of electroconvulsive therapy, MMP-2 levels were significantly increased in mood disorder patients, but MMP-9 levels were significantly decreased in both mood disorder and schizophrenia patients. In mood disorder patients, there was a significant negative correlation between depressive symptoms and serum levels of MMP-2 and a positive correlation between depressive symptoms and MMP-9. In addition, alterations of serum levels of MMP-2 and MMP-9 were significantly correlated each other and were associated with certain depressive symptoms. A change in inflammatory homeostasis, as indicated by MMP-2 and MMP-9, could be related to mood disorders, and these markers appear to be sensitive to electroconvulsive therapy. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  5. A large-scale, higher-level, molecular phylogenetic study of the insect order Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Higher-level relationships within the Lepidoptera, and particularly within the species-rich subclade Ditrysia, are generally not well understood, although recent studies have yielded progress. 483 taxa spanning 115 of 124 families were sampled for 19 protein-coding nuclear genes. Their aligned nucle...

  6. Soluble Endoglin Level Increase Occurs Prior to Development of Subclinical Structural Vascular Alterations in Diabetic Adolescents.

    PubMed

    Emeksiz, Hamdi Cihan; Bideci, Aysun; Damar, Çağrı; Derinkuyu, Betül; Çelik, Nurullah; Döğer, Esra; Yüce, Özge; Özmen, Mehmet Cüneyt; Çamurdan, Mahmut Orhun; Cinaz, Peyami

    2016-09-01

    Soluble endoglin (S-endoglin) has been implicated as a potential marker of endothelial dysfunction (ED) and was reported to be elevated in diabetic adults, correlating with the severity of diabetic vasculopathy. However, circulating S-endoglin and its association with other markers of ED have not been formerly analyzed in the first decade of diabetes onset in adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Fifty-eight adolescents with moderately/poorly controlled T1DM were included in this study and twenty-nine healthy adolescents served as controls. The diabetic group was divided into two groups based on the presence of microalbuminuria, as the microalbuminuria group (n=15) and the normoalbuminuria group (n=43). Functional vascular alterations were evaluated by measuring serum S-endoglin and plasma nitric oxide (NO) concentrations, the flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery. Carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) was measured for evaluation of structural vascular alterations. The S-endoglin and NO levels of both microalbuminuria and normoalbuminuria groups were higher than those of the control group (for S-endoglin, p=0.047 and p<0.001; for NO, p=0.004 and p=0.006, respectively). The FMD percent was lower in the microalbuminuria group compared to the normoalbuminuria and control groups (p=0.036 and p=0.020, respectively). There were negative correlations between S-endoglin concentration and FMD percent (r=-0.213, p=0.051) and between serum S-endoglin concentration and albumin excretion rate (r=-0.361, p=0.005). No significant differences were found in CIMT among any of the groups (p=0.443). In adolescents with T1DM, S-endoglin concentrations might increase in parallel to the deterioration in endothelial function before subclinical structural vascular alterations become evident.

  7. Soluble Endoglin Level Increase Occurs Prior to Development of Subclinical Structural Vascular Alterations in Diabetic Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Emeksiz, Hamdi Cihan; Bideci, Aysun; Damar, Çağrı; Derinkuyu, Betül; Çelik, Nurullah; Döğer, Esra; Yüce, Özge; Özmen, Mehmet Cüneyt; Çamurdan, Mahmut Orhun; Cinaz, Peyami

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Soluble endoglin (S-endoglin) has been implicated as a potential marker of endothelial dysfunction (ED) and was reported to be elevated in diabetic adults, correlating with the severity of diabetic vasculopathy. However, circulating S-endoglin and its association with other markers of ED have not been formerly analyzed in the first decade of diabetes onset in adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Methods: Fifty-eight adolescents with moderately/poorly controlled T1DM were included in this study and twenty-nine healthy adolescents served as controls. The diabetic group was divided into two groups based on the presence of microalbuminuria, as the microalbuminuria group (n=15) and the normoalbuminuria group (n=43). Functional vascular alterations were evaluated by measuring serum S-endoglin and plasma nitric oxide (NO) concentrations, the flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery. Carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) was measured for evaluation of structural vascular alterations. Results: The S-endoglin and NO levels of both microalbuminuria and normoalbuminuria groups were higher than those of the control group (for S-endoglin, p=0.047 and p<0.001; for NO, p=0.004 and p=0.006, respectively). The FMD percent was lower in the microalbuminuria group compared to the normoalbuminuria and control groups (p=0.036 and p=0.020, respectively). There were negative correlations between S-endoglin concentration and FMD percent (r=-0.213, p=0.051) and between serum S-endoglin concentration and albumin excretion rate (r=-0.361, p=0.005). No significant differences were found in CIMT among any of the groups (p=0.443). Conclusion: In adolescents with T1DM, S-endoglin concentrations might increase in parallel to the deterioration in endothelial function before subclinical structural vascular alterations become evident. PMID:27097763

  8. Cognitive and cortical plasticity deficits correlate with altered amyloid-β CSF levels in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Mori, Francesco; Rossi, Silvia; Sancesario, Giulia; Codecà, Claudia; Mataluni, Giorgia; Monteleone, Fabrizia; Buttari, Fabio; Kusayanagi, Hajime; Castelli, Maura; Motta, Caterina; Studer, Valeria; Bernardi, Giorgio; Koch, Giacomo; Bernardini, Sergio; Centonze, Diego

    2011-02-01

    Cognitive dysfunction is of frequent observation in multiple sclerosis (MS). It is associated with gray matter pathology, brain atrophy, and altered connectivity, and recent evidence showed that acute inflammation can exacerbate mental deficits independently of the primary functional system involved. In this study, we measured cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of amyloid-β(1-42) and τ protein in MS and in clinically isolated syndrome patients, as both proteins have been associated with cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD). In AD, amyloid-β(1-42) accumulates in the brain as insoluble extracellular plaques, possibly explaining why soluble amyloid-β(1-42) is reduced in the CSF of these patients. In our sample of MS patients, amyloid-β(1-42) levels were significantly lower in patients cognitively impaired (CI) and were inversely correlated with the number of Gadolinium-enhancing (Gd+) lesions at the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Positive correlations between amyloid-β(1-42) levels and measures of attention and concentration were also found. Furthermore, abnormal neuroplasticity of the cerebral cortex, explored with θ burst stimulation (TBS), was observed in CI patients, and a positive correlation was found between amyloid-β(1-42) CSF contents and the magnitude of long-term potentiation-like effects induced by TBS. No correlation was conversely found between τ protein concentrations and MRI findings, cognitive parameters, and TBS effects in these patients. Together, our results indicate that in MS, central inflammation is able to alter amyloid-β metabolism by reducing its concentration in the CSF and leading to impairment of synaptic plasticity and cognitive function.

  9. Altering footwear type influences gait during level walking and downhill transitions.

    PubMed

    Stern, Keith A; Gottschall, Jinger S

    2012-11-01

    The purpose of our study was to determine if altering the insoles within footwear or walking barefoot, as an attempt to increase or decrease cutaneous stimuli, would improve dynamic balance during a hill-walking task. We hypothesize that compared with foam insoles or iced bare feet, textured insoles or bare feet will result in greater speeds, longer step lengths, narrower step width, shorter stance time, and less tibialis anterior (TA), soleus (SOL), and lateral gastrocnemius (LG) activity during key gait cycle phases. Ten, healthy college students, 5 men and 5 women, completed the protocol that consisted of level walking and downhill transition walking in five different footwear insole or barefoot conditions. During level walking, conditions with the hypothesized greater cutaneous stimuli resulted in greater step length, which relates to a more stable gait. In detail, the texture insole condition average step length was 3% longer than the regular insole condition, which was 5% longer than the ice condition (p < .01). The same signals of increased stability were evident during the more challenging downhill transition stride. Step length during the barefoot condition was 8% longer than the ice condition (p < .05) and step width during the regular footwear condition was 5% narrower than the foam condition (p = .05). To add, during the preswing phase of level walking, TA activity of the textured insole condition was 30% less than the foam insole. Although our data show that footwear conditions alter gait patterns and lower leg muscle activity during walking, there is not enough evidence to support the hypothesis that textured insoles will improve dynamic balance as compared with other footwear types.

  10. Reproductive experience alters corticosterone and CBG levels in the rat dam.

    PubMed

    Pawluski, Jodi L; Charlier, Thierry D; Lieblich, Stephanie E; Hammond, Geoffrey L; Galea, Liisa A M

    2009-01-08

    Reproductive experience has significant effects on the brain, behavior and hormone profiles of the mother. Recent work has demonstrated that primiparous rats exhibit decreased dendritic arborizations in the hippocampus, and enhanced hippocampus-dependent spatial memory performance at the time of weaning compared to nulliparous and, to a lesser degree, multiparous rats. Interestingly, enhanced spatial learning and reduced dendritic arbors are seen in nulliparous female rats exposed to chronic stress or repeated corticosterone administration. Based on these observations, we hypothesized that corticosterone may be altered in primiparous rats compared to multiparous and nulliparous rats. The present study investigated whether the levels of circulating corticosterone and its binding protein, corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), are altered with reproductive experience and pup-exposure during late pregnancy and the postpartum. Total serum corticosterone and CBG were assayed from five groups; multiparous, primiparous, nulliparous, primip-no-pups, and sensitized rats during gestation (days 14 and 19) and the postpartum period (days 1, 5, 14, 21, and 35). Results show that primiparous rats had significantly elevated total corticosterone on postpartum day 1. In addition, primiparous and multiparous rats had significantly lower CBG throughout the postpartum period than all other groups, with primiparous rats exhibiting lower levels than multiparous rats during mid-lactation. These data suggest that free corticosterone is elevated in both primiparous and multiparous dams and is elevated to a greater degree in primiparous compared to multiparous dams during lactation. Corticosterone and CBG levels were positively correlated with specific maternal behaviors during the first week postpartum in parturient rats, but not in sensitized rats, suggesting a role for corticosterone in the modulation of maternal behavior in parturient rats alone.

  11. Methoxychlor reduces estradiol levels by altering steroidogenesis and metabolism in mouse antral follicles in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Basavarajappa, Mallikarjuna S. Craig, Zelieann R. Hernandez-Ochoa, Isabel Paulose, Tessie Leslie, Traci C. Flaws, Jodi A.

    2011-06-15

    The organochlorine pesticide methoxychlor (MXC) is a known endocrine disruptor that affects adult rodent females by causing reduced fertility, persistent estrus, and ovarian atrophy. Since MXC is also known to target antral follicles, the major producer of sex steroids in the ovary, the present study was designed to test the hypothesis that MXC decreases estradiol (E{sub 2}) levels by altering steroidogenic and metabolic enzymes in the antral follicles. To test this hypothesis, antral follicles were isolated from CD-1 mouse ovaries and cultured with either dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) or MXC. Follicle growth was measured every 24 h for 96 h. In addition, sex steroid hormone levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) and mRNA expression levels of steroidogenic enzymes as well as the E{sub 2} metabolic enzyme Cyp1b1 were measured using qPCR. The results indicate that MXC decreased E{sub 2}, testosterone, androstenedione, and progesterone (P{sub 4}) levels compared to DMSO. In addition, MXC decreased expression of aromatase (Cyp19a1), 17{beta}-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 (Hsd17b1), 17{alpha}-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (Cyp17a1), 3{beta} hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 (Hsd3b1), cholesterol side-chain cleavage (Cyp11a1), steroid acute regulatory protein (Star), and increased expression of Cyp1b1 enzyme levels. Thus, these data suggest that MXC decreases steroidogenic enzyme levels, increases metabolic enzyme expression and this in turn leads to decreased sex steroid hormone levels. - Highlights: > MXC inhibits steroidogenesis > MXC inhibits steroidogenic enzymes > MXC induces metabolic enzymes

  12. Pesticide Exposure Alters Follicle-Stimulating Hormone Levels in Mexican Agricultural Workers

    PubMed Central

    Recio, Rogelio; Ocampo-Gómez, Guadalupe; Morán-Martínez, Javier; Borja-Aburto, Victor; López-Cervantes, Malaquías; Uribe, Marisela; Torres-Sánchez, Luisa; Cebrián, Mariano E.

    2005-01-01

    Organophosphorous pesticides (OPs) are suspected of altering reproductive function by reducing brain acetylcholinesterase activity and monoamine levels, thus impairing hypothalamic and/or pituitary endocrine functions and gonadal processes. Our objective was to evaluate in a longitudinal study the association between OP exposure and serum levels of pituitary and sex hormones. Urinary OP metabolite levels were measured by gas–liquid chromatography, and serum pituitary and sex hormone levels by enzymatic immunoassay and radioimmunoassay in 64 men. A total of 147 urine and blood samples were analyzed for each parameter. More than 80% of the participants had at least one OP metabolite in their urine samples. The most frequent metabolite found was diethylthiophosphate (DETP; 55%), followed by diethylphosphate (DEP; 46%), dimethylthiophosphate (DMTP; 32%), and dimethyldithiophosphate (DMDTP; 31%). However, the metabolites detected at higher concentrations were DMTP, DEP, DMDTP, and dimethylphosphate. There was a high proportion of individuals with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) concentrations outside the range of normality (48%). The average FSH serum levels were higher during the heavy pesticide spraying season. However, a multivariate analysis of data collected in all periods showed that serum FSH levels were negatively associated with urinary concentrations of both DMTP and DMDTP, whereas luteinizing hormone (LH) was negatively associated with DMTP. We observed no significant associations between estradiol or testosterone serum levels with OP metabolites. The hormonal disruption in agricultural workers presented here, together with results from experimental animal studies, suggests that OP exposure disrupts the hypothalamic–pituitary endocrine function and also indicates that FSH and LH are the hormones most affected. PMID:16140621

  13. Age and exposure to arsenic alter base excision repair transcript levels in mice.

    PubMed

    Osmond, Megan J; Kunz, Bernard A; Snow, Elizabeth T

    2010-09-01

    Arsenic (As) induces DNA-damaging reactive oxygen species. Most oxidative DNA damage is countered by base excision repair (BER), the capacity for which may be reduced in older animals. We examined whether age and consumption of As in lactational milk or drinking water influences BER gene transcript levels in mice. Lactating mothers and 24-week-old mice were exposed (24 h or 2 weeks) to As (2 or 50 p.p.m.) in drinking water. Lung tissue was harvested from adults, neonates (initially 1 week old) feeding from lactating mothers and untreated animals 1-26 weeks old. Transcripts encoding BER proteins were quantified. BER transcript levels decreased precipitously with age in untreated mice but increased in neonates whose mothers were exposed to 50 p.p.m. As for 24 h or 2 weeks. Treatment of 24-week-old mice with 2 or 50 p.p.m. As for 2 weeks decreased all transcript levels measured. Exposure to As attenuated the age-related transcript level decline for only one BER gene. We conclude that aging is associated with a rapid reduction of BER transcript levels in mice, which may contribute to decreased BER activity in older animals. Levels of As that can alter gene expression are transmitted to neonatal mice in lactational milk produced by mothers drinking water containing As, raising concerns about breastfeeding in countries having As-contaminated groundwater. Reduction of BER transcript levels in 24-week-old mice exposed to As for 2 weeks suggests As may potentiate sensitivity to itself in older animals.

  14. Altered MCM Protein Levels and Autophagic Flux in Aged and Systemic Sclerosis Dermal Fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Dumit, Verónica I.; Küttner, Victoria; Käppler, Jakob; Piera-Velazquez, Sonsoles; Jimenez, Sergio A.; Bruckner-Tuderman, Leena; Uitto, Jouni; Dengjel, Jörn

    2014-01-01

    Aging is a common risk factor of many disorders. With age, the level of insoluble extracellular matrix increases leading to increased stiffness of a number of tissues. Matrix accumulation can also be observed in fibrotic disorders, such as systemic sclerosis (SSc). Although the intrinsic aging process in skin is phenotypically distinct from SSc, here we demonstrate similar behavior of aged and SSc skin fibroblasts in culture. We have used quantitative proteomics to characterize the phenotype of dermal fibroblasts from healthy subjects of various ages and from patients with SSc. Our results demonstrate that proteins involved in DNA and RNA processing decrease with age and in SSc, while those involved in mitochondrial and other metabolic processes behave the opposite. Specifically, mini-chromosome maintenance (MCM) helicase proteins are less abundant with age and SSc, and they exhibit an altered subcellular distribution. We observed that lower levels of MCM7 correlate with reduced cell proliferation, lower autophagic capacity and higher intracellular protein expression phenotypes of aged and SSc cells. Additionally, we show that SSc fibroblasts exhibit higher levels of senescence than their healthy counterparts, suggesting further similarities between the fibrotic disorder and the aging process. Hence, at the molecular level, SSc fibroblasts exhibit intrinsic characteristics of fibroblasts from aged skin. PMID:24496236

  15. Electrical injury alters ion channel expression levels and electrophysiological properties in rabbit dorsal root ganglia neurons.

    PubMed

    Chen, Rui; Li, Yue-Jun; Li, Jin-Qing; Lv, Xiao-Xing; Chen, Shao-Zong; Li, Wang-Zhou; Feng, Jian; Li, Xue-Yong

    2011-03-01

    The electrophysiological and morphological changes of nerve fibers induced by electrical injury have been widely addressed. However, the changes of ion channels in neurons after electrical shocks have not been systematically investigated yet. In this study, the sciatic nerves of rabbit were injured by 50 V 50 Hz, 110 V 50 Hz, and 220 V 50 Hz alternating current, respectively. One week later, the expression levels and electrophysiological changes of voltage-gated potassium (Kv) and sodium (Nav) channels in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons were evaluated by RT-PCR, immunofluorescence staining and patch clamp technique. The Nav1.1 expression was decreased by 50V injury. The Kv1.2, Kv1.4, Nav1.1 and Nav1.7 expression levels and Kv current densities were reduced after 110 V injury. Under the 220 V injury circumstance, Kv1.2, Nav1.1, Nav1.7 expression levels, Kv current densities and TTX-R Na(+) current densities were significantly decreased, while TTX-S Na(+) current densities increased. These findings suggest that the expression levels, subunit compositions, and electrophysiological properties of Kv and Nav channels are altered after electrical injury, and the severity of injury gets worse as injury voltage increases. Crown Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Saharan dust inputs and high UVR levels jointly alter the metabolic balance of marine oligotrophic ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Cabrerizo, Marco J.; Medina-Sánchez, Juan Manuel; González-Olalla, Juan Manuel; Villar-Argaiz, Manuel; Carrillo, Presentación

    2016-01-01

    The metabolic balance of the most extensive bioma on the Earth is a controversial topic of the global-change research. High ultraviolet radiation (UVR) levels by the shoaling of upper mixed layers and increasing atmospheric dust deposition from arid regions may unpredictably alter the metabolic state of marine oligotrophic ecosystems. We performed an observational study across the south-western (SW) Mediterranean Sea to assess the planktonic metabolic balance and a microcosm experiment in two contrasting areas, heterotrophic nearshore and autotrophic open sea, to test whether a combined UVR × dust impact could alter their metabolic balance at mid-term scales. We show that the metabolic state of oligotrophic areas geographically varies and that the joint impact of UVR and dust inputs prompted a strong change towards autotrophic metabolism. We propose that this metabolic response could be accentuated with the global change as remote-sensing evidence shows increasing intensities, frequencies and number of dust events together with variations in the surface UVR fluxes on SW Mediterranean Sea. Overall, these findings suggest that the enhancement of the net carbon budget under a combined UVR and dust inputs impact could contribute to boost the biological pump, reinforcing the role of the oligotrophic marine ecosystems as CO2 sinks. PMID:27775100

  17. Saharan dust inputs and high UVR levels jointly alter the metabolic balance of marine oligotrophic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabrerizo, Marco J.; Medina-Sánchez, Juan Manuel; González-Olalla, Juan Manuel; Villar-Argaiz, Manuel; Carrillo, Presentación

    2016-10-01

    The metabolic balance of the most extensive bioma on the Earth is a controversial topic of the global-change research. High ultraviolet radiation (UVR) levels by the shoaling of upper mixed layers and increasing atmospheric dust deposition from arid regions may unpredictably alter the metabolic state of marine oligotrophic ecosystems. We performed an observational study across the south-western (SW) Mediterranean Sea to assess the planktonic metabolic balance and a microcosm experiment in two contrasting areas, heterotrophic nearshore and autotrophic open sea, to test whether a combined UVR × dust impact could alter their metabolic balance at mid-term scales. We show that the metabolic state of oligotrophic areas geographically varies and that the joint impact of UVR and dust inputs prompted a strong change towards autotrophic metabolism. We propose that this metabolic response could be accentuated with the global change as remote-sensing evidence shows increasing intensities, frequencies and number of dust events together with variations in the surface UVR fluxes on SW Mediterranean Sea. Overall, these findings suggest that the enhancement of the net carbon budget under a combined UVR and dust inputs impact could contribute to boost the biological pump, reinforcing the role of the oligotrophic marine ecosystems as CO2 sinks.

  18. Saharan dust inputs and high UVR levels jointly alter the metabolic balance of marine oligotrophic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Cabrerizo, Marco J; Medina-Sánchez, Juan Manuel; González-Olalla, Juan Manuel; Villar-Argaiz, Manuel; Carrillo, Presentación

    2016-10-24

    The metabolic balance of the most extensive bioma on the Earth is a controversial topic of the global-change research. High ultraviolet radiation (UVR) levels by the shoaling of upper mixed layers and increasing atmospheric dust deposition from arid regions may unpredictably alter the metabolic state of marine oligotrophic ecosystems. We performed an observational study across the south-western (SW) Mediterranean Sea to assess the planktonic metabolic balance and a microcosm experiment in two contrasting areas, heterotrophic nearshore and autotrophic open sea, to test whether a combined UVR × dust impact could alter their metabolic balance at mid-term scales. We show that the metabolic state of oligotrophic areas geographically varies and that the joint impact of UVR and dust inputs prompted a strong change towards autotrophic metabolism. We propose that this metabolic response could be accentuated with the global change as remote-sensing evidence shows increasing intensities, frequencies and number of dust events together with variations in the surface UVR fluxes on SW Mediterranean Sea. Overall, these findings suggest that the enhancement of the net carbon budget under a combined UVR and dust inputs impact could contribute to boost the biological pump, reinforcing the role of the oligotrophic marine ecosystems as CO2 sinks.

  19. Mice lacking Mrp1 have reduced testicular steroid hormone levels and alterations in steroid biosynthetic enzymes

    PubMed Central

    SIVILS, JEFFREY C.; GONZALEZ, IVEN; BAIN, LISA J.

    2010-01-01

    The multidrug resistance-associated protein 1 (MRP1/ABCC1) is a member of the ABC active transporter family that can transport several steroid hormone conjugates, including 17β-estradiol glucuronide, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), and estrone 3-sulfate. The present study investigated the role that MRP1 plays in maintaining proper hormone levels in the serum and testes. Serum and testicular steroid hormone levels were examined in both wild-type mice and Mrp1 null mice. Serum testosterone levels were reduced 5-fold in mice lacking Mrp1, while testicular androstenedione, testosterone, estradiol, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) were significantly reduced by 1.7- to 4.5-fold in Mrp1 knockout mice. Investigating the mechanisms responsible for the reduction in steroid hormones in Mrp1-/- mice revealed no differences in the expression or activity of enzymes that inactivate steroids, the sulfotransferases or glucuronosyltransferases. However, steroid biosynthetic enzyme levels in the testes were altered. Cyp17 protein levels were increased by 1.6-fold, while Cyp17 activity using progesterone as a substrate was also increased by 1.4-2.0-fold in mice lacking Mrp1. Additionally, the ratio of 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase to 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, and steroidogenic factor 1 to 3βhydroxysteroid dehydrogenase were significantly increased in the testes of Mrp1-/- mice. These results indicate that Mrp1-/- mice have lowered steroid hormones levels, and suggests that upregulation of steroid biosynthetic enzymes may be an attempt to maintain proper steroid hormone homeostasis. PMID:20178799

  20. Altered negative priming in older subjects: first evidence from behavioral and neural level

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Eva; Gebhardt, Helge; Gruppe, Harald; Gallhofer, Bernd; Sammer, Gebhard

    2012-01-01

    The impact of aging on the negative priming (NP) effect has been subject of many studies using behavioral measures. Results are inconsistent and corresponding neural data do not exist. We were interested in, whether or not processing of NP is altered in older in comparison to young adults (YA) on behavioral and neural level. Eighteen young and eighteen older healthy adults performed a location-based NP paradigm during fMRI. YA behaviorally showed a NP effect and NP associated fronto-striatal activation, which is in accordance with the inhibitory model of NP. In older subjects no significant behavioral NP effect and no NP-related activation in predefined brain regions could be found. This is discussed in context of the “loss of efficiency” hypothesis. One possible source for the lack of NP-related activation is a reduction of gray matter (GM) volume in older subjects as shown using voxel based morphometry (VBM). PMID:23060774

  1. Diabetic retinopathy alters light-induced clock gene expression and dopamine levels in the mouse retina

    PubMed Central

    Lahouaoui, Hasna; Coutanson, Christine; Cooper, Howard M.; Bennis, Mohamed

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common consequences of diabetes that affects millions of working-age adults worldwide and leads to progressive degeneration of the retina, visual loss, and blindness. Diabetes is associated with circadian disruption of the central and peripheral circadian clocks, but the mechanisms responsible for such alterations are unknown. Using a streptozotocin (STZ)-induced model of diabetes, we investigated whether diabetes alters 1) the circadian regulation of clock genes in the retina and in the central clocks, 2) the light response of clock genes in the retina, and/or 3) light-driven retinal dopamine (DA), a major output marker of the retinal clock. Methods To quantify circadian expression of clock and clock-controlled genes, retinas and suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) from the same animals were collected every 4 h in circadian conditions, 12 weeks post-diabetes. Induction of Per1, Per2, and c-fos mRNAs was quantified in the retina after the administration of a pulse of monochromatic light (480 nm, 1.17×1014 photons/cm2/s, 15 min) at circadian time 16. Gene expression was assessed with real-time reverse transcription PCR (RT–PCR). Pooled retinas from the control and STZ-diabetic mice were collected 2 h after light ON and light OFF (Zeitgeber time (ZT)2 and ZT14), and DA and its metabolite were analyzed with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Results We found variable effects of diabetes on the expression of clock genes in the retina and only slight differences in phase and/or amplitude in the SCN. c-fos and Per1 induction by a 480 nm light pulse was abolished in diabetic animals at 12 weeks post-induction of diabetes in comparison with the control mice, suggesting a deficit in light-induced neuronal activation of the retinal clock. Finally, we quantified a 56% reduction in the total number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunopositive cells, associated with a decrease in DA levels during the subjective day (ZT2

  2. Neurotensin receptor binding levels in basal ganglia are not altered in Huntington's chorea or schizophrenia

    SciTech Connect

    Palacios, J.M.; Chinaglia, G.; Rigo, M.; Ulrich, J.; Probst, A. )

    1991-02-01

    Autoradiographic techniques were used to examine the distribution and levels of neurotensin receptor binding sites in the basal ganglia and related regions of the human brain. Monoiodo ({sup 125}I-Tyr3)neurotensin was used as a ligand. High amounts of neurotensin receptor binding sites were found in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Lower but significant quantities of neurotensin receptor binding sites characterized the caudate, putamen, and nucleus accumbens, while very low quantities were seen in both medial and lateral segments of the globus pallidus. In Huntington's chorea, the levels of neurotensin receptor binding sites were found to be comparable to those of control cases. Only slight but not statistically significant decreases in amounts of receptor binding sites were detected in the dorsal part of the head and in the body of caudate nucleus. No alterations in the levels of neurotensin receptor binding sites were observed in the substantia nigra pars compacta and reticulata. These results suggest that a large proportion of neurotensin receptor binding sites in the basal ganglia are located on intrinsic neurons and on extrinsic afferent fibers that do not degenerate in Huntington's disease.

  3. Moderate exercise-induced energy expenditure does not alter leptin levels in sedentary obese men.

    PubMed

    Kyriazis, George A; Caplan, Jonathan D; Lowndes, Joshua; Carpenter, Richard L; Dennis, Karen E; Sivo, Stephen A; Angelopoulos, Theodore J

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to determine whether exercise-induced increases in energy expenditure (EE) alter circulating leptin levels in obese individuals. Participants were randomized to an exercise intervention group (n = 8) or nonexercising control (n = 7). All data were collected on an outpatient basis at the exercise physiology laboratory at the University of Central Florida. Fifteen healthy obese males (24.9 +/- 1.4 years old, body mass index 33.4 +/- 0.7 kg . m). Members of the intervention group underwent a single exercise session of moderate intensity (58.4 +/- 1.3% of VO2max) for 60 minutes. Postexercise, 24 hour postexercise, and 48 hour postexercise levels of leptin, insulin, and ghrelin. The exercise session elicited an EE of 567 +/- 25 Kcal. No significant main effect or time-by-group interactions for leptin or ghrelin were observed immediately after the exercise bout or in the days following the intervention. These preliminary data suggest that a bout of acute exercise of moderate intensity and duration does not affect leptin concentration. It is possible that a higher level of EE is required to elicit substantial changes.

  4. Alterations in DNA replication and histone levels promote histone gene amplification in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Libuda, Diana E; Winston, Fred

    2010-04-01

    Gene amplification, a process that increases the copy number of a gene or a genomic region to two or more, is utilized by many organisms in response to environmental stress or decreased levels of a gene product. Our previous studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae identified the amplification of a histone H2A-H2B gene pair, HTA2-HTB2, in response to the deletion of the other H2A-H2B gene pair, HTA1-HTB1. This amplification arises from a recombination event between two flanking Ty1 elements to form a new, stable circular chromosome and occurs at a frequency higher than has been observed for other Ty1-Ty1 recombination events. To understand the regulation of this amplification event, we screened the S. cerevisiae nonessential deletion set for mutations that alter the amplification frequency. Among the deletions that increase HTA2-HTB2 amplification frequency, we identified those that either decrease DNA replication fork progression (rrm3Delta, dpb3Delta, dpb4Delta, and clb5Delta) or that reduce histone H3-H4 levels (hht2-hhf2Delta). These two classes are related because reduced histone H3-H4 levels increase replication fork pauses, and impaired replication forks cause a reduction in histone levels. Consistent with our mutant screen, we found that the introduction of DNA replication stress by hydroxyurea induces the HTA2-HTB2 amplification event. Taken together, our results suggest that either reduced histone levels or slowed replication forks stimulate the HTA2-HTB2 amplification event, contributing to the restoration of normal chromatin structure.

  5. Altered serum levels of kynurenine metabolites in patients affected by cluster headache.

    PubMed

    Curto, Martina; Lionetto, Luana; Negro, Andrea; Capi, Matilde; Perugino, Francesca; Fazio, Francesco; Giamberardino, Maria Adele; Simmaco, Maurizio; Nicoletti, Ferdinando; Martelletti, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    The reported efficacy of memantine in the treatment of patients with cluster headache (CH) suggests that NMDA receptors are involved in mechanisms of nociceptive sensitization within the trigeminal system associated with CH. NMDA receptors are activated or inhibited by neuroactive compounds generated by tryptophan metabolism through the kynurenine pathway. In the accompanying manuscript, we have found that serum levels of all kynurenine metabolites are altered in patients with chronic migraine. Here, we have extended the study to patients affected by episodic or chronic CH as compared to healthy controls. We assessed serum levels of kynurenine (KYN), kynurenic Acid (KYNA), anthranilic acid (ANA), 3-hydroxy-anthranilic acid (3-HANA), 3-hydroxykynurenine (3-HK), xanthurenic acid (XA), quinolinic acid (QUINA), tryptophan (Trp) and 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5-HIAA) by means of a liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS-MS) method in 21 patients affected by CH (15 with episodic and 6 with chronic CH), and 35 age-matched healthy subjects. Patients with psychiatric co-morbidities, systemic inflammatory, endocrine or neurological disorders, and mental retardation were excluded. LC/MS-MS analysis of kynurenine metabolites showed significant reductions in the levels of KYN (-36 %), KYNA (-34 %), 3-HK (-51 %), 3-HANA (-54 %), XA (-25 %), 5-HIAA (-39 %) and QUINA (-43 %) in the serum of the overall population of patients affected by CH, as compared to healthy controls. Serum levels of Trp and ANA were instead significantly increased in CH patients (+18 % and +54 %, respectively). There was no difference in levels of any metabolite between patients affected by episodic and chronic CH, with the exception of KYN levels, which were higher in patients with chronic CH. The reduced levels of KYNA (an NMDA receptor antagonist) support the hypothesis that NMDA receptors are overactive in CH. A similar reduction in KYNA levels was shown in the accompanying

  6. The Human Gut Chip “HuGChip”, an Explorative Phylogenetic Microarray for Determining Gut Microbiome Diversity at Family Level

    PubMed Central

    Tottey, William; Denonfoux, Jeremie; Jaziri, Faouzi; Parisot, Nicolas; Missaoui, Mohiedine; Hill, David; Borrel, Guillaume; Peyretaillade, Eric; Alric, Monique; Harris, Hugh M. B.; Jeffery, Ian B.; Claesson, Marcus J.; O'Toole, Paul W.; Peyret, Pierre; Brugère, Jean-François

    2013-01-01

    Evaluating the composition of the human gut microbiota greatly facilitates studies on its role in human pathophysiology, and is heavily reliant on culture-independent molecular methods. A microarray designated the Human Gut Chip (HuGChip) was developed to analyze and compare human gut microbiota samples. The PhylArray software was used to design specific and sensitive probes. The DNA chip was composed of 4,441 probes (2,442 specific and 1,919 explorative probes) targeting 66 bacterial families. A mock community composed of 16S rRNA gene sequences from intestinal species was used to define the threshold criteria to be used to analyze complex samples. This was then experimentally verified with three human faecal samples and results were compared (i) with pyrosequencing of the V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene, (ii) metagenomic data, and (iii) qPCR analysis of three phyla. When compared at both the phylum and the family level, high Pearson's correlation coefficients were obtained between data from all methods. The HuGChip development and validation showed that it is not only able to assess the known human gut microbiota but could also detect unknown species with the explorative probes to reveal the large number of bacterial sequences not yet described in the human gut microbiota, overcoming the main inconvenience encountered when developing microarrays. PMID:23690942

  7. Molecular phylogenetics of Echinopsis (Cactaceae): Polyphyly at all levels and convergent evolution of pollination modes and growth forms.

    PubMed

    Schlumpberger, Boris O; Renner, Susanne S

    2012-08-01

    In its current circumscription, Echinopsis with 100-150 species is one of the largest and morphologically most diverse genera of Cactaceae. This diversity and an absence of correlated characters have resulted in numerous attempts to subdivide Echinopsis into more homogeneous subgroups. To infer natural species groups in this alliance, we here provide a plastid phylogeny and use it to infer changes in growth form, pollination mode, and ploidy level. We sequenced 3800 nucleotides of chloroplast DNA from 162 plants representing 144 species and subspecies. The sample includes the type species of all genera close to, or included in, Echinopsis as well as a dense sample of other genera of the Trichocereeae and further outgroups. New and published chromosome counts were compiled and traced on the phylogeny, as were pollination modes and growth habits. A maximum likelihood phylogeny confirms that Echinopsis s.l. is not monophyletic nor are any of the previously recognized genera that have more than one species. Pollination mode and, to a lesser extent, growth habit are evolutionarily labile, and diploidy is the rule in Echinopsis s.l., with the few polyploids clustered in just a few clades. The use of evolutionary labile floral traits and growth habit has led to nonnatural classifications. Taxonomic realignments are required, but further study of less evolutionary labile traits suitable for circumscribing genera are needed. Surprisingly, polyploidy seems infrequent in the Echinopsis alliance and hybridization may thus be of minor relevance in the evolution of this clade.

  8. Extensive families of constant region genes in a phylogenetically primitive vertebrate indicate an additional level of immunoglobulin complexity.

    PubMed Central

    Kokubu, F; Hinds, K; Litman, R; Shamblott, M J; Litman, G W

    1987-01-01

    A homologous probe for the constant region of the Heterodontus francisci (horned shark) immunoglobulin heavy chain was used to screen a genomic DNA library constructed in bacteriophage lambda, and a large number of independent clones were recovered. Their hybridization patterns with segment-specific probes are consistent with the close linkage of heavy-chain constant (CH), joining (JH), and variable (VH) gene segments. Differences in the nucleotide sequences of the first CH exon of five genes primarily are localized to 5' positions; extended regions of sequence identity are noted at 3' positions. The predicted amino acid sequences of each gene are different and are related distantly to the corresponding regions of higher vertebrate immunoglobulins. Gene-specific oligodeoxynucleotide probes were used to establish that at least three of the five genes are transcriptionally active. Quantitative gene titration data are consistent with the large numbers of genes suggested by the library screening analyses. In this representative early vertebrate, it appears that (VH-diversity-JH) segments are associated with individual constant region genes that can differ at the predicted protein level. Images PMID:3475706

  9. A Large-Scale, Higher-Level, Molecular Phylogenetic Study of the Insect Order Lepidoptera (Moths and Butterflies)

    PubMed Central

    Regier, Jerome C.; Mitter, Charles; Zwick, Andreas; Bazinet, Adam L.; Cummings, Michael P.; Kawahara, Akito Y.; Sohn, Jae-Cheon; Zwickl, Derrick J.; Cho, Soowon; Davis, Donald R.; Baixeras, Joaquin; Brown, John; Parr, Cynthia; Weller, Susan; Lees, David C.; Mitter, Kim T.

    2013-01-01

    Background Higher-level relationships within the Lepidoptera, and particularly within the species-rich subclade Ditrysia, are generally not well understood, although recent studies have yielded progress. We present the most comprehensive molecular analysis of lepidopteran phylogeny to date, focusing on relationships among superfamilies. Methodology / Principal Findings 483 taxa spanning 115 of 124 families were sampled for 19 protein-coding nuclear genes, from which maximum likelihood tree estimates and bootstrap percentages were obtained using GARLI. Assessment of heuristic search effectiveness showed that better trees and higher bootstrap percentages probably remain to be discovered even after 1000 or more search replicates, but further search proved impractical even with grid computing. Other analyses explored the effects of sampling nonsynonymous change only versus partitioned and unpartitioned total nucleotide change; deletion of rogue taxa; and compositional heterogeneity. Relationships among the non-ditrysian lineages previously inferred from morphology were largely confirmed, plus some new ones, with strong support. Robust support was also found for divergences among non-apoditrysian lineages of Ditrysia, but only rarely so within Apoditrysia. Paraphyly for Tineoidea is strongly supported by analysis of nonsynonymous-only signal; conflicting, strong support for tineoid monophyly when synonymous signal was added back is shown to result from compositional heterogeneity. Conclusions / Significance Support for among-superfamily relationships outside the Apoditrysia is now generally strong. Comparable support is mostly lacking within Apoditrysia, but dramatically increased bootstrap percentages for some nodes after rogue taxon removal, and concordance with other evidence, strongly suggest that our picture of apoditrysian phylogeny is approximately correct. This study highlights the challenge of finding optimal topologies when analyzing hundreds of taxa. It also

  10. Types, levels and patterns of low-copy DNA sequence divergence, and phylogenetic implications, for Gossypium genome types

    PubMed Central

    Rong, J; Wang, X; Schulze, S R; Compton, R O; Williams-Coplin, T D; Goff, V; Chee, P W; Paterson, A H

    2012-01-01

    To explore types, levels and patterns of genetic divergence among diploid Gossypium (cotton) genomes, 780 cDNA, genomic DNA and simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci were re-sequenced in Gossypium herbaceum (A1 genome), G. arboreum (A2), G. raimondii (D5), G. trilobum (D8), G. sturtianum (C1) and an outgroup, Gossypioides kirkii. Divergence among these genomes ranged from 7.32 polymorphic base pairs per 100 between G. kirkii and G. herbaceum (A1) to only 1.44 between G. herbaceum (A1) and G. arboreum (A2). SSR loci are least conserved with 12.71 polymorphic base pairs and 3.77 polymorphic sites per 100 base pairs, whereas expressed sequence tags are most conserved with 3.96 polymorphic base pairs and 2.06 sites. SSR loci also exhibit the highest percentage of ‘extended polymorphisms' (spanning multiple consecutive nucleotides). The A genome lineage was particularly rapidly evolving, with the D genome also showing accelerated evolution relative to the C genome. Unexpected asymmetry in mutation rates was found, with much more transition than transversion mutation in the D genome after its divergence from a common ancestor shared with the A genome. This large quantity of orthologous DNA sequence strongly supports a phylogeny in which A–C divergence is more recent than A–D divergence, a subject that is of much importance in view of A–D polyploid formation being key to the evolution of the most productive and finest-quality cottons. Loci that are monomorphic within A or D genome types, but polymorphic between genome types, may be of practical importance for identifying locus-specific DNA markers in tetraploid cottons including leading cultivars. PMID:22511177

  11. Ambient CO2, fish behaviour and altered GABAergic neurotransmission: exploring the mechanism of CO2-altered behaviour by taking a hypercapnia dweller down to low CO2 levels.

    PubMed

    Regan, Matthew D; Turko, Andy J; Heras, Joseph; Andersen, Mads Kuhlmann; Lefevre, Sjannie; Wang, Tobias; Bayley, Mark; Brauner, Colin J; Huong, Do Thi Thanh; Phuong, Nguyen Thanh; Nilsson, Göran E

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that projected rises of aquatic CO2 levels cause acid-base regulatory responses in fishes that lead to altered GABAergic neurotransmission and disrupted behaviour, threatening fitness and population survival. It is thought that changes in Cl(-) and HCO3 (-) gradients across neural membranes interfere with the function of GABA-gated anion channels (GABAA receptors). So far, such alterations have been revealed experimentally by exposing species living in low-CO2 environments, like many oceanic habitats, to high levels of CO2 (hypercapnia). To examine the generality of this phenomenon, we set out to study the opposite situation, hypothesizing that fishes living in typically hypercapnic environments also display behavioural alterations if exposed to low CO2 levels. This would indicate that ion regulation in the fish brain is fine-tuned to the prevailing CO2 conditions. We quantified pH regulatory variables and behavioural responses of Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, a fish native to the hypercapnic Mekong River, acclimated to high-CO2 (3.1 kPa) or low-CO2 (0.04 kPa) water. We found that brain and blood pH was actively regulated and that the low-CO2 fish displayed significantly higher activity levels, which were reduced after treatment with gabazine, a GABAA receptor blocker. This indicates an involvement of the GABAA receptor and altered Cl(-) and HCO3 (-) ion gradients. Indeed, Goldman calculations suggest that low levels of environmental CO2 may cause significant changes in neural ion gradients in P. hypophthalmus. Taken together, the results suggest that brain ion regulation in fishes is fine-tuned to the prevailing ambient CO2 conditions and is prone to disruption if these conditions change. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. Below-ambient levels of UV induce chloroplast structural change and alter starch metabolism.

    PubMed

    Fagerberg, W R

    2007-01-01

    Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) in the 400-700 nm bandwidth of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) has been established as an important source of energy for photosynthesis and environmental signals regulating many aspects of green-plant life. Above-ambient levels of UV-B radiation (290-320 nm) under high-PAR conditions have been shown to elicit responses in chloroplasts of Brassica napus similar to those of chloroplasts at low-PAR exposure (W. Fagerberg and J. Bornman, Physiol. Plant. 101: 833-844, 1997). The question arises as to whether UV at normal levels can also evoke similar responses. Here we provide evidence that even below-ambient levels of UV-B (1/28 ambient; Durham, N.H., U.S.A., 1200 hours, March) were capable of inducing an increase in thylakoid surface area relative to the chloroplast volume typical of a low-PAR response (shade response) in sunflowers. This response occurred even though leaves were concurrently exposed to PAR levels that normally induce a "sun" or high-PAR response in the absence of UV-B. Subambient levels of UV-B were also associated with a decrease in chloroplast and starch volume. Exposure to levels of UV-A 1/10 of ambient appeared to enhance the high-PAR response of the chloroplast, characterized by an increase in the amounts of stored starch, an increase in chloroplast volume density ratio values, and a decrease in thylakoid surface area density ratios relative to the high-light controls. These effects were opposite to those seen in UV-B-exposed tissue. In a general sense, subambient levels of UV-B evoked a response similar to that elicited by low-PAR irradiance, while subambient UV-A elicited responses similar to those typical of high-PAR irradiance. The fact that below-ambient levels of UV altered a normal chloroplast structural response to PAR provides evidence that UV may be an important environmental signal for plants.

  13. Phylogenetic analysis of higher-level relationships within Hydroidolina (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) using mitochondrial genome data and insight into their mitochondrial transcription

    PubMed Central

    Bentlage, Bastian; Cartwright, Paulyn; Yanagihara, Angel A.; Lindsay, Dhugal J.; Hopcroft, Russell R.; Collins, Allen G.

    2015-01-01

    Hydrozoans display the most morphological diversity within the phylum Cnidaria. While recent molecular studies have provided some insights into their evolutionary history, sister group relationships remain mostly unresolved, particularly at mid-taxonomic levels. Specifically, within Hydroidolina, the most speciose hydrozoan subclass, the relationships and sometimes integrity of orders are highly unsettled. Here we obtained the near complete mitochondrial sequence of twenty-six hydroidolinan hydrozoan species from a range of sources (DNA and RNA-seq data, long-range PCR). Our analyses confirm previous inference of the evolution of mtDNA in Hydrozoa while introducing a novel genome organization. Using RNA-seq data, we propose a mechanism for the expression of mitochondrial mRNA in Hydroidolina that can be extrapolated to the other medusozoan taxa. Phylogenetic analyses using the full set of mitochondrial gene sequences provide some insights into the order-level relationships within Hydroidolina, including siphonophores as the first diverging clade, a well-supported clade comprised of Leptothecata-Filifera III–IV, and a second clade comprised of Aplanulata-Capitata s.s.-Filifera I–II. Finally, we describe our relatively inexpensive and accessible multiplexing strategy to sequence long-range PCR amplicons that can be adapted to most high-throughput sequencing platforms. PMID:26618080

  14. Phylogenetic analysis of higher-level relationships within Hydroidolina (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa) using mitochondrial genome data and insight into their mitochondrial transcription.

    PubMed

    Kayal, Ehsan; Bentlage, Bastian; Cartwright, Paulyn; Yanagihara, Angel A; Lindsay, Dhugal J; Hopcroft, Russell R; Collins, Allen G

    2015-01-01

    Hydrozoans display the most morphological diversity within the phylum Cnidaria. While recent molecular studies have provided some insights into their evolutionary history, sister group relationships remain mostly unresolved, particularly at mid-taxonomic levels. Specifically, within Hydroidolina, the most speciose hydrozoan subclass, the relationships and sometimes integrity of orders are highly unsettled. Here we obtained the near complete mitochondrial sequence of twenty-six hydroidolinan hydrozoan species from a range of sources (DNA and RNA-seq data, long-range PCR). Our analyses confirm previous inference of the evolution of mtDNA in Hydrozoa while introducing a novel genome organization. Using RNA-seq data, we propose a mechanism for the expression of mitochondrial mRNA in Hydroidolina that can be extrapolated to the other medusozoan taxa. Phylogenetic analyses using the full set of mitochondrial gene sequences provide some insights into the order-level relationships within Hydroidolina, including siphonophores as the first diverging clade, a well-supported clade comprised of Leptothecata-Filifera III-IV, and a second clade comprised of Aplanulata-Capitata s.s.-Filifera I-II. Finally, we describe our relatively inexpensive and accessible multiplexing strategy to sequence long-range PCR amplicons that can be adapted to most high-throughput sequencing platforms.

  15. Altered attentional filters in subjects with graded levels of sensorineural hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Bester, Christofer W; Robertson, Donald; Taljaard, Dunay; Hammond, Geoff

    2017-08-01

    Near-threshold tones (targets) in noise that are preceded by cues of the same frequency or occur with a high probability are detected better than tones of other frequencies that may occur with a lower probability (probes); the better detection of targets than probes defines the attentional filter. We measured attentional filters using a cued probe-signal procedure with a two-interval forced-choice (2IFC) method in normal-hearing subjects (N = 15) and subjects with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL; N = 14) with a range of hearing levels. Attentional filters were altered in SNHL subjects, who detected low-frequency probes as well as targets at all hearing levels and who detected high-frequency probes increasingly well with increasing hearing level. These effects were present in both intervals of the 2IFC procedure. As auditory filters measured psychophysically are typically asymmetric in subjects with SNHL, these results suggest that the signal frequencies affected by the attentional filter are governed by the shapes of the auditory filters at and around the cue frequency. The normal-hearing subjects showed the expected attentional filters in the first interval and shallower filters in the second interval, suggesting that the cue-evoked attentional process is transient. In the first interval, both low- and high-frequency probes were detected better as hearing level increased over a narrow range (from -5 to 10 dB at the target frequency), with a resultant loss of attentional filtering. This finding adds to observations of variable auditory function in individuals with clinically normal hearing thresholds established by audiometry. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Alteration of T Cell Subtypes in Beta-Thalassaemia Major: Impact of Ferritin Level

    PubMed Central

    Karimi, Leila; Beshkar, Pezhman

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Oxidative damage and regular antigenic stimulation are main factors in accelerating immunosenescence. The present study was conducted to investigate new concepts of early immunosenescence in thalassaemia patients. Materials and Methods Twenty seven beta-thalassaemia major patients and a group of matched healthy volunteers aged 10-30 years in Shahrekord, Iran were recruited into the study. Ferritin level was determined and CD4 or CD8 T cells were analysed versus phenotyping markers, CD27, CD28, CD57 and CCR7, by flowcytometry. Data were analysed by Mann-Whitney and Spearman’s correlation coefficient test in SPSS 11.5. Results Absolute lymphocytosis and partial decrease in T cells were observed in the patients. CD4+CD57+ and CD4+CCR7- T cells were significantly higher, whereas CD8+CD27+ and CD8+CCR7+ T cells were partially higher in patients. A negative correlation was observed between ferritin level and number of CD8+CD27+ and CD8+CCR7+ T cells, whereas the correlation was positive between ferritin level and number of CD57+ T cells. Conclusion Moderate alteration of T cell repertoire and increase in CCR27-, CCR7-, and CD57+ T cells could reflect antigenic stimulation, decline in naïve T cells, and being closer to terminally differentiated cells. Effect of iron overload is potentially explained by positive correlation of blood transfusion and ferritin level with frequency of CD3+CD27- and that of ferritin with frequency of CD57+ T cells. PMID:27042462

  17. Moderate blast exposure alters gene expression and levels of amyloid precursor protein

    PubMed Central

    Cashion, Ann; Osier, Nicole; Arcurio, Lindsay; Motamedi, Vida; Dell, Kristine C.; Carr, Walter; Kim, Hyung-Suk; Yun, Sijung; Walker, Peter; Ahlers, Stephen; LoPresti, Matthew; Yarnell, Angela

    2017-01-01

    Objective: To explore gene expression after moderate blast exposure (vs baseline) and proteomic changes after moderate- (vs low-) blast exposure. Methods: Military personnel (N = 69) donated blood for quantification of protein level, and peak pressure exposures were detected by helmet sensors before and during a blast training program (10 days total). On day 7, some participants (n = 29) sustained a moderate blast (mean peak pressure = 7.9 psi) and were matched to participants with no/low-blast exposure during the training (n = 40). PAXgene tubes were collected from one training site at baseline and day 10; RNA-sequencing day 10 expression was compared with each participant's own baseline samples to identify genes and pathways differentially expressed in moderate blast-exposed participants. Changes in amyloid precursor protein (APP) from baseline to the day of blast and following 2 days were evaluated. Symptoms were assessed using a self-reported form. Results: We identified 1,803 differentially expressed genes after moderate blast exposure; the most altered network was APP. Significantly reduced levels of peripheral APP were detected the day after the moderate blast exposure and the following day. Protein concentrations correlated with the magnitude of the moderate blast exposure on days 8 and 9. APP concentrations returned to baseline levels 3 days following the blast, likely due to increases in the genetic expression of APP. Onset of concentration problems and headaches occurred after moderate blast. Conclusions: Moderate blast exposure results in a signature biological profile that includes acute APP reductions, followed by genetic expression increases and normalization of APP levels; these changes likely influence neuronal recovery. PMID:28975156

  18. Tooth Movement Alterations by Different Low Level Laser Protocols: A Literature Review

    PubMed Central

    Seifi, Massoud; Vahid-Dastjerdi, Elahe

    2015-01-01

    Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) provides several benefits for patients receiving orthodontic treatment. According to some literatures, Orthodontic Tooth Movement (OTM) can be enhanced but some investigators have reported contradictory results. This article reviews the literature regarding the different aspects of the use of LLLT on OTM and its alterations. The general data regarding the study design, sample size, wavelength (nm), power (mW), and duration were extracted and recorded independently. Electronic databases of PubMed and ScienceDirect from January 2009 to August 2014 were searched. Also Google Scholar and grey literature was searched for relevant references. Some investigators found that the amount of tooth movement in the Low-Energy Laser Irradiation (LELI) group was significantly greater than in the nonirradiation group by the end of the experimental period. Low-level laser irradiation accelerates the bone remodeling process by stimulating osteoblastic and osteoclastic cell proliferation and function during orthodontic tooth movement. But some researchers have reported that no statistical differences in the mean rate of tooth movement were noted between low energy and high energy experimental sides and their controls. Some evidence shows that low-level laser irradiation accelerates the bone remodeling process and some evidence shows that LLLT has not effect on OTM. In some investigations no statistical differences in the mean rate of tooth movement can be seen between low energy and high energy experimental sides and their controls. It has been shown by authors that laser irradiation can reduce the amount of OTM and a clinical usage for the inhibitory role of low level laser irradiation is enforcing the anchorage unit. PMID:25699160

  19. Lamotrigine, carbamazepine and phenytoin differentially alter extracellular levels of 5-hydroxytryptamine, dopamine and amino acids.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Shagufta; Fowler, Leslie J; Whitton, Peter S

    2005-02-01

    We have studied the effects of treatment with the anticonvulsants lamotrigine (LTG), phenytoin (PHN) and carbamazepine (CBZ) on basal and stimulated extracellular aspartate (ASP), glutamate (GLU), taurine (TAU), GABA, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and dopamine (DA) in the hippocampus of freely moving rats using microdialysis. All of the drugs investigated have had inhibition of Na(+) channel activity implicated as their principal mechanism of action. Neither LTG (10-20 mg/kg), PHN (20-40 mg/kg) or CBZ (10-20 mg/kg) had an effect on the basal extracellular concentrations of any of the amino acids studied with the exception of glutamate, which was decreased at the highest LTG dose. However, when amino acid transmitter levels were increased with 50 microM veratridine, LTG was found to cause a dose-dependent decrease in dialysate levels of all four amino acids, with the effect being most pronounced for glutamate. In contrast, PHN decreased extracellular aspartate levels but had no effect on evoked-extracellular GLU, TAU or GABA. Somewhat unexpectedly, CBZ did not alter the stimulated increase in the excitatory amino acids, GLU and ASP, but, rather surprisingly for an antiepileptic drug, markedly decreased that of the inhibitory substances TAU and GABA. The three drugs had differing effects on basal extracellular 5-HT and DA. LTG caused a dose-dependent decrease in both, while CBZ and PHN both increased extracellular 5-HT and DA. When extracellular 5-HT and DA was evoked by veratridine LTG had no significant effect on this, while PHN but not CBZ increased stimulated extracellular 5-HT and both PHN and CBZ augmented DA. Thus, the effects of the three drugs studied seemed to depend on whether extracellular transmitter levels are evoked or basal and the particular transmitter in question. This suggests that there are marked differences in the neurochemical mechanisms of antiepileptic drug action of the three compounds studied.

  20. Responses of Electromyogram Activity in Adductor Longus Muscle of Rats to the Altered Gravity Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohira, Takashi; Wang, Xiao Dong; Terada, Masahiro; Kawano, Fuminori; Higo, Yoko; Nakai, Naoya; Ochiai, Toshimasa; Gyotoku, Jyunichirou; Nishimoto, Norihiro; Ogura, Akihiko; Ohira, Yoshinobu

    2008-06-01

    Responses of electromyogram (EMG) activities in the rostral and caudal regions of adductor longus (AL) muscle to altered gravity levels during parabolic flight of a jet airplane, as well as hindlimb suspension, were investigated in adult rats. Tonic EMGs in both regions were noted when the rats were exposed to hyper-G, as well as 1-G. The hip joints were adducted and the sedental quadrupedal position was maintained at these G levels. However, the EMG activities in these regions decreased and became phasic, when the hip joints were abducted and extended backward in μ-G environment. Such changes of joint angles caused passive shortening of sarcomeres only in the caudal region of AL. Atrophy and shift toward fast-twitch type were noted in fibers of the caudal region after 16-day unloading. Although fiber transformation was also induced in the rostral region, no atrophy was seen in fast-twitch fibers. The data may suggest that the atrophy and shift of phenotype caused by gravitational unloading in fibers of the caudal region may be related to the decrease in the neural and mechanical activities. Fiber type transformation toward fast-twitch type may be also related to the change of muscle activity from tonic to phasic patterns, which are the typical characteristics of fast-twitch muscle. However, the responses to unloading in fibers of rostral region were not related to the reduction of mechanical load.

  1. Exposure to caregiver maltreatment alters expression levels of epigenetic regulators in the medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Blaze, Jennifer; Roth, Tania L

    2013-01-01

    Quality of maternal care experienced during infancy is a key factor that can confer vulnerability or resilience to psychiatric disorders later in life. Research continues to indicate that early-life experiences can affect developmental trajectories through epigenetic alterations capable of affecting gene regulation and neural plasticity. Previously, our lab has shown that experiences within an adverse caregiving environment (i.e. maltreatment) produce aberrant DNA methylation patterns at various gene loci in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of developing and adult rats. This study aimed to determine whether caregiver maltreatment likewise affects expression levels of several genes important in regulating DNA methylation patterns (Dnmt1, Dnmt3a, MeCP2, Gadd45b, and Hdac1). While we observed minimal changes in gene expression within the mPFC of developing rats, we observed expression changes for all genes in adult animals. Specifically, exposure to maltreatment produced a significant decrease in mRNA levels of all epigenetic regulators in adult males and a significant decrease in Gadd45b in adult females. Our results here provide further empirical support for the long-term and sex-specific epigenetic consequences of caregiver maltreatment on the mPFC. PMID:24120634

  2. Pregnancy amelioration of arthritis in SKG mice corresponds with alterations in serum amyloid A3 levels.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Laura A; Stefanski, Adrianne L; Peterson, Lisa K; Rumer, Kristen K; Vondracek, Andrea; Phang, Tzu L; Sakaguchi, Shimon; Winn, Virginia D; Dragone, Leonard L

    2012-06-30

    OBJECTIVES: Pregnancy leads to rheumatoid arthritis remission in humans. The objective of this study was to determine if the SKG mouse could serve as a model for pregnancy-associated inflammatory arthritis amelioration. In addition, the maternal peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) transcriptome was assessed to define a biomarker associated with remission. METHODS: Cohorts of zymosan-treated pregnant SKG mice and controls were monitored for arthritis progression. Microarray analysis evaluated alterations in gene expression in maternal PBMCs at embryonic day 14.5 (E14.5) between arthritic and pregnancy-remitted mice. A selected target, serum amyloid A3 (SAA3), was further investigated using quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). RESULTS: Pregnancy resulted in complete or partial remission in the majority of the zymosan-treated SKG mice. Twenty-seven transcripts were differentially expressed in the PBMCs between arthritic and pregnancy-remitted mice. Expression and plasma SAA3 levels decreased with pregnancy-induced arthritis amelioration and plasma SAA3 levels correlated with arthritis severity. CONCLUSIONS: These results establish the SKG mouse as a model system to study pregnancy-induced amelioration of arthritis. These studies also establish SAA3 as a biomarker of arthritis amelioration in SKG mice. This model can be used to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the impact of pregnancy on the maternal immune system that results in arthritis amelioration.

  3. Running wheel training does not change neurogenesis levels or alter working memory tasks in adult rats

    PubMed Central

    Rojas, Manuel J.; Cardenas P., Fernando

    2017-01-01

    Background Exercise can change cellular structure and connectivity (neurogenesis or synaptogenesis), causing alterations in both behavior and working memory. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of exercise on working memory and hippocampal neurogenesis in adult male Wistar rats using a T-maze test. Methods An experimental design with two groups was developed: the experimental group (n = 12) was subject to a forced exercise program for five days, whereas the control group (n = 9) stayed in the home cage. Six to eight weeks after training, the rats’ working memory was evaluated in a T-maze test and four choice days were analyzed, taking into account alternation as a working memory indicator. Hippocampal neurogenesis was evaluated by means of immunohistochemistry of BrdU positive cells. Results No differences between groups were found in the behavioral variables (alternation, preference index, time of response, time of trial or feeding), or in the levels of BrdU positive cells. Discussion Results suggest that although exercise may have effects on brain structure, a construct such as working memory may require more complex changes in networks or connections to demonstrate a change at behavioral level. PMID:28503368

  4. Acute exposure to 2,4-dinitrophenol alters zebrafish swimming performance and whole body triglyceride levels.

    PubMed

    Marit, Jordan S; Weber, Lynn P

    2011-06-01

    While swimming endurance (critical swimming speed or U(crit)) and lipid stores have both been reported to acutely decrease after exposure to a variety of toxicants, the relationship between these endpoints has not been clearly established. In order to examine these relationships, adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) were aqueously exposed to solvent control (ethanol) or two nominal concentrations of 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP), a mitochondrial electron transport chain uncoupler, for a 24-h period. Following exposure, fish were placed in a swim tunnel in clean water for swimming testing or euthanized immediately without testing, followed by analysis of whole body triglyceride levels. U(crit) decreased in both the 6 mg/L and 12 mg/L DNP groups, with 12 mg/L approaching the LC₅₀. A decrease in tail beat frequency was observed without a significant change in tail beat amplitude. In contrast, triglyceride levels were elevated in a concentration-dependent manner in the DNP exposure groups, but only in fish subjected to swimming tests. This increase in triglyceride stores may be due to a direct interference of DNP on lipid catabolism as well as increased triglyceride production when zebrafish were subjected to the co-stressors of swimming and toxicant exposure. Future studies should be directed at determining how acute DNP exposure combines with swimming to cause alterations in triglyceride accumulation.

  5. Smoking, alcoholism and genetic polymorphisms alter CYP2B6 levels in human brain.

    PubMed

    Miksys, Sharon; Lerman, Caryn; Shields, Peter G; Mash, Deborah C; Tyndale, Rachel F

    2003-07-01

    CYP2B6 metabolizes drugs such as nicotine and bupropion, and many toxins and carcinogens. Nicotine induces CYP2B1 in rat brain and in humans polymorphic variation in CYP2B6 affects smoking cessation rates. The aim of this study was to compare CYP2B6 expression in brains of human smokers and non-smokers and alcoholics and non-alcoholics (n=26). CYP2B6 expression was brain region-specific, and was observed in both neurons and astrocytes. CYP2B6 levels were higher in brains of smokers and alcoholics, particularly in cerebellar Purkinje cells and hippocampal pyramidal neurons, cells known to be damaged in alcoholics. Significantly more (p<0.05) CYP2B6 protein was seen in four brain regions of smoking alcoholics compared to non-smoking non-alcoholics: hippocampus (5.8-fold), caudate nucleus (3.3-fold), putamen (3.0-fold) and cerebellar hemisphere (1.6-fold). The genetic variant C1459T (R487C) has been associated with reduced hepatic enzyme levels, stability and activity. Preliminary genotyping of this small sample (n=24) suggested that individuals with the CC genotype had higher brain CYP2B6 than those with the CT or TT genotype. Higher brain CYP2B6 activity in smokers and alcoholics may cause altered sensitivity to centrally acting drugs, increased susceptibility to neurotoxins and carcinogenic xenobiotics and contribute to central tolerance to nicotine.

  6. High-intensity interval training acutely alters plasma adipokine levels in young overweight/obese women.

    PubMed

    Vardar, Selma Arzu; Karaca, Aziz; Güldiken, Sibel; Palabıyık, Orkide; Süt, Necdet; Demir, Ahmet Muzaffer

    2017-08-31

    The aim of this study was to investigate the plasma adipokine responses to high-intensity interval training (HIT) in overweight/obese women. Twelve women (age 21.7 ± 3.8 years) completed a 19 days of HIT comprising six session of 4-6 repeats of a Wingate test (0.065 kg load/kg). Plasma adipokine levels were measured before exercise, and at 5 and 90 min after exercise on the first and the last training days. Adiponectin was higher at 5 min than 90 min post-exercise (11.7 ± 7.3 and 10.5 ± 5.8 ng/ml; p = .01) in the first exercise day. Leptin decreased 5 min after exercise (23.6 ± 13.2 vs. baseline 27.8 ± 14.4 ng/ml; p < .01) and remained depressed following 90 min (p < .01). The changes in adiponectin and leptin concentrations were similar on the first and last exercise days. No consistent effect was found on resistin concentration. Future studies are required to disclose the functional consequences of these alterations in plasma adipokine levels.

  7. Fetal rat metabonome alteration by prenatal caffeine ingestion probably due to the increased circulatory glucocorticoid level and altered peripheral glucose and lipid metabolic pathways

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yansong; Xu, Dan; Feng, Jianghua; Kou, Hao; Liang, Gai; Yu, Hong; He, Xiaohua; Zhang, Baifang; Chen, Liaobin; Magdalou, Jacques; Wang, Hui

    2012-07-15

    The aims of this study were to clarify the metabonome alteration in fetal rats after prenatal caffeine ingestion and to explore the underlying mechanism pertaining to the increased fetal circulatory glucocorticoid (GC). Pregnant Wistar rats were daily intragastrically administered with different doses of caffeine (0, 20, 60 and 180 mg/kg) from gestational days (GD) 11 to 20. Metabonome of fetal plasma and amniotic fluid on GD20 were analyzed by {sup 1}H nuclear magnetic resonance-based metabonomics. Gene and protein expressions involved in the GC metabolism, glucose and lipid metabolic pathways in fetal liver and gastrocnemius were measured by real-time RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Fetal plasma metabonome were significantly altered by caffeine, which presents as the elevated α- and β‐glucose, reduced multiple lipid contents, varied apolipoprotein contents and increased levels of a number of amino acids. The metabonome of amniotic fluids showed a similar change as that in fetal plasma. Furthermore, the expressions of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 (11β-HSD-2) were decreased, while the level of blood GC and the expressions of 11β-HSD-1 and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) were increased in fetal liver and gastrocnemius. Meanwhile, the expressions of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), IGF-1 receptor and insulin receptor were decreased, while the expressions of adiponectin receptor 2, leptin receptors and AMP-activated protein kinase α2 were increased after caffeine treatment. Prenatal caffeine ingestion characteristically change the fetal metabonome, which is probably attributed to the alterations of glucose and lipid metabolic pathways induced by increased circulatory GC, activated GC metabolism and enhanced GR expression in peripheral metabolic tissues. -- Highlights: ► Prenatal caffeine ingestion altered the metabonome of IUGR fetal rats. ► Caffeine altered the glucose and lipid metabolic pathways of IUGR fetal rats. ► Prenatal caffeine

  8. Modulation of glutathione intracellular levels alters the spontaneous proliferation of lymphocyte from HTLV-1 infected patients.

    PubMed

    Novaes, Renata; Freire-de-Lima, Célio G; de Albuquerque, Raquel Cavalcanti; Affonso-Mitidieri, Ottilia R; Espindola, Otávio; Lima, Marco Antonio; de Andrada Serpa, Maria José; Echevarria-Lima, Juliana

    2013-09-01

    The human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is a retrovirus associated with neoplasias and inflammatory diseases, such as adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). HTLV-1-infected individuals present a spontaneous T lymphocyte proliferation. This phenomenon is related to the HTLV-1-proviral load and the persistence of the infection. Viral proteins induce many cellular mediators, which can be associated with the abnormal cellular proliferation. The intracellular levels of glutathione (GSH) are important to modulate the cellular proliferation. The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between the modulation of intracellular GSH levels and the spontaneous lymphocyte proliferation during the HTLV-1 infection. Intracellular GSH level can be modulated by using dl-buthionine-[S,R]-sulfoximine (BSO, GSH synthesis inhibitor) and N-acetylcysteine (NAC, peptide precursor). Our results demonstrated that BSO was capable of inducing a decrease in the spontaneous proliferation of PBMC derived from HTLV-1 carriers. On the other hand, the GSH precursor induces an increase in mitogen-stimulated cellular proliferation in infected and uninfected individuals. Similar results were observed by the inhibition of ABCC1/MRP1 protein, augmenting the mitogen-induced proliferation. This effect can be related with an increase in the GSH levels since ABCC1/MRP1 transports GSH to the extracellular medium. There was a significant difference on the expression of CD69 and CD25 molecules during the lymphocyte activation. We did not observe any alterations on CD25 expression induced by BSO or NAC. However, our results demonstrated that NAC treatment induced an increase in CD69 expression on unstimulated CD8(+) T lymphocytes obtained from HTLV-1 infected individuals, healthy donors and HTLV carriers. Therefore, our results suggest that the cellular proliferation promoted by the infection with HTLV-1 and the activation

  9. Effects of Altered Levels of Extracellular Superoxide Dismutase and Irradiation on Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Female Mice

    SciTech Connect

    Zou, Yani; Leu, David; Chui, Jennifer; Fike, John R.; Huang, Ting-Ting

    2013-11-15

    Purpose: Altered levels of extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) and cranial irradiation have been shown to affect hippocampal neurogenesis. However, previous studies were only conducted in male mice, and it was not clear if there was a difference between males and females. Therefore, female mice were studied and the results compared with those generated in male mice from an earlier study. Methods and Materials: Female wild-type, EC-SOD-null (KO), and EC-SOD bigenic mice with neuronal-specific expression of EC-SOD (OE) were subjected to a single dose of 5-Gy gamma rays to the head at 8 weeks of age. Progenitor cell proliferation, differentiation, and long-term survival of newborn neurons were determined. Results: Similar to results from male mice, EC-SOD deficiency and irradiation both resulted in significant reductions in mature newborn neurons in female mice. EC-SOD deficiency reduced long-term survival of newborn neurons whereas irradiation reduced progenitor cell proliferation. Overexpression of EC-SOD corrected the negative impacts from EC-SOD deficiency and irradiation and normalized the production of newborn neurons in OE mice. Expression of neurotrophic factors brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-3 were significantly reduced by irradiation in wild-type mice, but the levels were not changed in KO and OE mice even though both cohorts started out with a lower baseline level. Conclusion: In terms of hippocampal neurogenesis, EC-SOD deficiency and irradiation have the same overall effects in males and females at the age the studies were conducted.

  10. Altered intracellular pH regulation in cells with high levels of P-glycoprotein expression.

    PubMed

    Young, Gregory; Reuss, Luis; Altenberg, Guillermo A

    2011-01-01

    P-glycoprotein is an ATP-binding-cassette transporter that pumps many structurally unrelated drugs out of cells through an ATP-dependent mechanism. As a result, multidrug-resistant cells that overexpress P-glycoprotein have reduced intracellular steady-state levels of a variety of chemotherapeutic agents. In addition, increased cytosolic pH has been a frequent finding in multidrug-resistant cells that express P-glycoprotein, and it has been proposed that this consequence of P-glycoprotein expression may contribute to the lower intracellular levels of chemotherapeutic agents. In these studies, we measured intracellular pH and the rate of acid extrusion in response to an acid load in two cells with very different levels of P-glycoprotein expression: V79 parental cells and LZ-8 multidrug resistant cells. Compared to the wild-type V79 cells, LZ-8 cells have a lower intracellular pH and a slower recovery of intracellular pH after an acid load. The data also show that LZ-8 cells have reduced ability to extrude acid, probably due to a decrease in Na(+)/H(+) exchanger activity. The alterations in intracellular pH and acid extrusion in LZ-8 cells are reversed by 24-h exposure to the multidrug-resistance modulator verapamil. The lower intracellular pH in LZ-8 indicates that intracellular alkalinization is not necessary for multidrug resistance. The reversal by verapamil of the decreased acid-extrusion suggests that P-glycoprotein can affect other membrane transport mechanism.

  11. Apelin concentrations are associated with altered atherosclerotic plaque stability mediator levels and atherosclerosis in rheumatoid arthritis.

    PubMed

    Gunter, Sule; Solomon, Ahmed; Tsang, Linda; Woodiwiss, Angela J; Robinson, Chanel; Millen, Aletta M E; Norton, Gavin R; Dessein, Patrick H

    2017-01-01

    Apelin-APJ signaling reduces cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the atherosclerosis burden and plaque vulnerability to rupture are increased. We explored relationships between apelin concentrations and subclinical CVD in RA. Apelin levels were measured in 235 (114 black, 121 white) RA patients. Associations between apelin concentrations and ultrasound determined carotid artery intima-media thickness (cIMT) and plaque, and levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 that mediate plaque stability and vulnerability respectively, were identified in confounder adjusted multivariate regression analysis. In all patients, apelin concentrations were directly associated with those of MMP-2 (β (SE) = 0.324 (0.112), p = 0.004) and inversely with those of MMP-9 (β (SE) = -0.239 (0.060), p = 0.000). Apelin concentration-subclinical CVD relations were influenced by population origin, RA disease activity, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and interleukin (IL)-6 concentrations (interaction p = 0.001 to 0.04). Accordingly, the apelin-MMP-2 concentration relationship was reproduced in white (β (SE) = 0.367 (0.146), p = 0.01) but not black RA patients (β (SE) = 0.197 (0.220), p = 0.4), and only in those without (but not with) large erythrocyte sedimentation rates (β (SE) = 0.428 (0.143), p = 0.003) or interleukin-6 levels (β (SE) = 0.485 (0.288), p = 0.04). By contrast, the apelin-MMP-9 concentration relation was reproduced more consistently. Apelin levels were inversely related to cIMT in patients with RA remission or mild (β (SE) = -0.068 (0.033), p = 0.04) but not moderate or high disease activity (β (SE) = 0.015 (0.112), p = 0.7). Apelin concentrations are associated with altered plaque stability mediator levels and atherosclerosis in patients with RA. These relations are partially dependent on population origin and systemic inflammatory status. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights

  12. The transcriptome and proteome are altered in marine polychaetes (Annelida) exposed to elevated metal levels.

    PubMed

    Neave, Matthew J; Streten-Joyce, Claire; Nouwens, Amanda S; Glasby, Chris J; McGuinness, Keith A; Parry, David L; Gibb, Karen S

    2012-05-17

    Polychaetes are often used in toxicological studies to understand mechanisms of resistance and for biomarker detection, however, we know of only a few genetic pathways involved in resistance. We found the marine polychaete Ophelina sp.1 (Opheliidae) in sediment containing high copper levels and investigated this phenomenon by measuring metal accumulation in the worms and changes in gene and protein expression. We sequenced the transcriptome of Ophelina sp.1 from both the impacted and reference sediments using 454-sequencing and analysed their proteomes using differential in gel electrophoresis (DIGE). We used the sequenced transcriptome to guide protein identification. Transcripts coding for the copper chaperone, Atox1, were up-regulated in the worms inhabiting the high copper sediment. In addition, genes coding for respiratory proteins, detoxification proteins and cytoskeletal proteins were significantly altered in metal-exposed worms; many of these changes were also detected in the proteome. This dual approach has provided a better understanding of heavy metal resistance in polychaetes and we now have a wider range of suitable indicator genes and proteins for future biomarker development.

  13. Alterations in plant growth and in root hormone levels of lodgepole pines inoculated with rhizobacteria.

    PubMed

    Bent, E; Tuzun, S; Chanway, C P; Enebak, S

    2001-09-01

    The presence of other soil microorganisms might influence the ability of rhizobacterial inoculants to promote plant growth either by reducing contact between the inoculant and the plant root or by interfering with the mechanism(s) involved in rhizobacterially mediated growth promotion. We conducted the following experiments to determine whether reductions in the extent of growth promotion of lodgepole pine mediated by Paenibacillus polymyxa occur in the presence of a forest soil isolate (Pseudomonas fluorescens M20) and whether changes in plant growth promotion mediated by P. polymyxa (i) are related to changes in P. polymyxa density in the rhizosphere or (ii) result from alterations in root hormone levels. The extent of plant growth, P. polymyxa rhizosphere density, and root hormone concentrations were determined for lodgepole pine treated with (i) a single growth-promoting rhizobacterial strain (P. polymyxa L6 or Pw-2) or (ii) a combination of bacteria: strain L6 + strain M20 or strain Pw-2 + strain M20. There was no difference in the growth of pines inoculated with strain L6 and those inoculated with strain L6 + strain M20. However, seedlings inoculated with strain Pw-2 had more lateral roots and greater root mass at 12 weeks after inoculation than plants inoculated with strain Pw-2 + strain M20. The extent of growth promotion mediated by P. polymyxa L6 and Pw-2 in each treatment was not correlated to the average population density of each strain in the rhizosphere. Bacterial species-specific effects were observed in root hormone levels: indole-3-acetic acid concentration was elevated in roots inoculated with P. polymyxa L6 or Pw-2, while dihydrozeatin riboside concentration was elevated in roots inoculated with P. fluorescens M20.

  14. Pulmonary biochemical and histological alterations after repeated low-level blast overpressure exposures.

    PubMed

    Elsayed, Nabil M; Gorbunov, Nikolai V

    2007-01-01

    Blast overpressure (BOP), also known as high energy impulse noise, is a damaging outcome of explosive detonations and firing of weapons. Exposure to BOP shock waves alone results in injury predominantly to the hollow organ systems such as auditory, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems. In recent years, the hazards of BOP that once were confined to military and professional settings have become a global societal problem as terrorist bombings and armed conflicts involving both military and civilian populations increased significantly. We have previously investigated the effects of single BOP exposures at different peak pressures. In this study, we examined the effects of repeated exposure to a low-level BOP and whether the number of exposures or time after exposure would alter the injury outcome. We exposed deeply anesthetized rats to simulated BOP at 62 +/- 2 kPa peak pressure. The lungs were examined immediately after one exposure (1 + 0), or 1 h after one (1 + 1), two (2 + 1), or three (3 + 1) consecutive exposures at 3-min interval. In one group of animals, we examined the effects of repeated exposure on lung weight, methemoglobin, transferrin, antioxidants, and lipid peroxidation. In a second group, the lungs were fixed inflated at 25 cm water, sectioned, and examined histologically after one to three repeated exposures, or after one exposure at 1, 6, and 24 h. We found that single BOP exposure causes notable changes after 1 h, and that repeating BOP exposure did not add markedly to the effect of the first one. However, the effects increased significantly with time from 1 to 24 h. These observations have biological and occupational implications, and emphasize the need for protection from low-level BOP, and for prompt treatment within the first hour following BOP exposure.

  15. Articular Joint Lubricants during Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis Display Altered Levels and Molecular Species

    PubMed Central

    Liebisch, Gerhard; Zhang, Ruiyan; Siebert, Hans-Christian; Wilhelm, Jochen; Kaesser, Ulrich; Dettmeyer, Reinhard B.; Klein, Heiko; Ishaque, Bernd; Rickert, Markus; Schmitz, Gerd; Schmidt, Tannin A.; Steinmeyer, Juergen

    2015-01-01

    Background Hyaluronic acid (HA), lubricin, and phospholipid species (PLs) contribute independently or together to the boundary lubrication of articular joints that is provided by synovial fluid (SF). Our study is the first reporting quantitative data about the molecular weight (MW) forms of HA, lubricin, and PLs in SF from cohorts of healthy donors, patients with early (eOA)- or late (lOA)-stage osteoarthritis (OA), and patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods We used human SF from unaffected controls, eOA, lOA, and RA. HA and lubricin levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. PLs was quantified by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Fatty acids (FAs) were analyzed by gas chromatography, coupled with mass spectrometry. The MW distribution of HA was determined by agarose gel electrophoresis. Results Compared with control SF, the concentrations of HA and lubricin were lower in OA and RA SF, whereas those of PLs were higher in OA and RA SF. Moreover, the MW distribution of HA shifted toward the lower ranges in OA and RA SF. We noted distinct alterations between cohorts in the relative distribution of PLs and the degree of FA saturation and chain lengths of FAs. Conclusions The levels, composition, and MW distribution of all currently known lubricants in SF—HA, lubricin, PLs—vary with joint disease and stage of OA. Our study is the first delivering a comprehensive view about all joint lubricants during health and widespread joint diseases. Thus, we provide the framework to develop new optimal compounded lubricants to reduce joint destruction. PMID:25933137

  16. Global physical effects of anthropogenic hydrological alterations: sea level and water redistribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahagian, Dork

    2000-07-01

    Human influence on the Earth System and hydrologic cycle has reached the point where it affects the hydrologic balance between ocean and continental storage reservoirs. The anthropogenic redistribution of water mass at a planetary scale even has an effect on Earth rotation parameters. Land use changes associated with expanding agriculture to support an increasing human population have already had a profound influence on basin-scale hydrology, and in extreme cases, on regional climate. Major human activities which lead to hydrologic alterations include irrigation (from ground water mining and surface water diversion), deforestation, wetland filling or drainage, and new dam construction. With the exception of the latter, these all contribute to the transfer of water from the continents to the ocean and a reduction of continental water resources. However, water impoundment behind dams may partially or completely counteract the cumulative effect of the others. Present compilations of reservoirs impounded by dams include only the results of major engineering projects. Smaller impoundments have largely been ignored. The cumulative volume of the literally millions of small reservoirs such as farm ponds and rice paddies may approach that of the larger documented reservoirs. Unfortunately it is not practical to make a global inventory of millions of small and unregistered reservoirs, so their volume may never be known precisely. The quantity of water stored in artifically raised water tables behind dams has also not yet been addressed. The issue of water impoundment or release from continental drainage basins affects global sea level. Recent estimates based solely on major dammed reservoirs suggest that if new dam construction is not maintained at the rates of the 1960s through 1980s, the rate of sea level rise could increase by about half a millimeter per year. If small impoundments are taken into account, this figure could be much greater.

  17. [Foundations of the new phylogenetics].

    PubMed

    Pavlinov, I Ia

    2004-01-01

    Evolutionary idea is the core of the modern biology. Due to this, phylogenetics dealing with historical reconstructions in biology takes a priority position among biological disciplines. The second half of the 20th century witnessed growth of a great interest to phylogenetic reconstructions at macrotaxonomic level which replaced microevolutionary studies dominating during the 30s-60s. This meant shift from population thinking to phylogenetic one but it was not revival of the classical phylogenetics; rather, a new approach emerged that was baptized The New Phylogenetics. It arose as a result of merging of three disciplines which were developing independently during 60s-70s, namely cladistics, numerical phyletics, and molecular phylogenetics (now basically genophyletics). Thus, the new phylogenetics could be defined as a branch of evolutionary biology aimed at elaboration of "parsimonious" cladistic hypotheses by means of numerical methods on the basis of mostly molecular data. Classical phylogenetics, as a historical predecessor of the new one, emerged on the basis of the naturphilosophical worldview which included a superorganismal idea of biota. Accordingly to that view, historical development (the phylogeny) was thought an analogy of individual one (the ontogeny) so its most basical features were progressive parallel developments of "parts" (taxa), supplemented with Darwinian concept of monophyly. Two predominating traditions were diverged within classical phylogenetics according to a particular interpretation of relation between these concepts. One of them (Cope, Severtzow) belittled monophyly and paid most attention to progressive parallel developments of morphological traits. Such an attitude turned this kind of phylogenetics to be rather the semogenetics dealing primarily with evolution of structures and not of taxa. Another tradition (Haeckel) considered both monophyletic and parallel origins of taxa jointly: in the middle of 20th century it was split into

  18. Altered Carbon Isotope Discrimination of C3 Plants Under Very High pCO2 Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panetta, R. J.; Schubert, B.; Jahren, H.

    2009-12-01

    Various modeling and proxy-based reconstructions of atmospheric pCO2 levels for the last 120 Ma have estimated RCO2 as high as 12x for the Early Cretaceous, generally decreasing into the Cenozoic, and decreasing further into the Quaternary. Multiple ecological studies to assess the effect of elevated CO2 on plant biomass and δ13C value have been spurred on by recent increases in greenhouse gases, however these studies typically grow plants under only slightly elevated CO2 levels (i.e., the twenty foremost studies published since 1990 involved 550 to 750 ppm pCO2, which equals RCO2 = 1.4 to 1.9x). In order to recreate the highest pCO2 environments of the last 120 Ma, we grew radish (Raphanus sativus L.) in growth chambers that maintained controlled environmental conditions and pCO2 levels ranging from ~5 to 11x that of today’s atmosphere (1791 to 4200 ppm); upon harvest we measured total biomass and stable carbon isotope ratio (δ13Cplant) in both above and below ground plant tissue. Unlike the 1:1 relationship between stable isotopes of atmospheric CO2 (δ13Catm) and δ13Cplant observed at lower pCO2 levels (i.e., RCO2 = 1x to 3x; Jahren et al., 2008), the δ13Cplant of biomass grown at more elevated RCO2 was dependent upon δ13Catm according to the linear relationship: δ13Cplant = 1.9(δ13Cplant) - 12.2 ‰ (r2 = 0.71). Concomitantly, we see a highly significant (p < 0.001) positive correlation between net carbon isotope discrimination in plant tissue and pCO2 level, with a change in the average Δδ13Cplant-atm in R. sativus L. from -27.0 to -28.0 ‰ at RCO2 = 5x to 11x, respectively. We will discuss possible mechanisms for changing isotope discrimination at very high pCO2 levels that may not be operative at lower concentrations. For example, we noted a striking reduction in the variability of biomass between plants grown at the same (very high) level of pCO2. This variability (calculated as the standard deviation of the log-transformed biomass data after

  19. Genetic KCa3.1-Deficiency Produces Locomotor Hyperactivity and Alterations in Cerebral Monoamine Levels

    PubMed Central

    Sivasaravanaparan, Mithula; Ditzel, Nicholas; Sevelsted-Møller, Linda Maria; Oliván-Viguera, Aida; Rabjerg, Maj; Wulff, Heike; Köhler, Ralf

    2012-01-01

    Background The calmodulin/calcium-activated K+ channel KCa3.1 is expressed in red and white blood cells, epithelia and endothelia, and possibly central and peripheral neurons. However, our knowledge about its contribution to neurological functions and behavior is incomplete. Here, we investigated whether genetic deficiency or pharmacological activation of KCa3.1 change behavior and cerebral monoamine levels in mice. Methodology/Principal Findings In the open field test, KCa3.1-deficiency increased horizontal activity, as KCa3.1−/− mice travelled longer distances (≈145% of KCa3.1+/+) and at higher speed (≈1.5-fold of KCa3.1+/+). Working memory in the Y-maze was reduced by KCa3.1-deficiency. Motor coordination on the rotarod and neuromuscular functions were unchanged. In KCa3.1−/− mice, HPLC analysis revealed that turn-over rates of serotonin were reduced in frontal cortex, striatum and brain stem, while noradrenalin turn-over rates were increased in the frontal cortex. Dopamine turn-over rates were unaltered. Plasma catecholamine and corticosterone levels were unaltered. Intraperitoneal injections of 10 mg/kg of the KCa3.1/KCa2-activator SKA-31 reduced rearing and turning behavior in KCa3.1+/+ but not in KCa3.1−/− mice, while 30 mg/kg SKA-31 caused strong sedation in 50% of the animals of either genotypes. KCa3.1−/− mice were hyperactive (≈+60%) in their home cage and SKA-31-administration reduced nocturnal physical activity in KCa3.1+/+ but not in KCa3.1−/− mice. Conclusions/Significance KCa3.1-deficiency causes locomotor hyperactivity and altered monoamine levels in selected brain regions, suggesting a so far unknown functional link of KCa3.1 channels to behavior and monoaminergic neurotransmission in mice. The tranquilizing effects of low-dose SKA-31 raise the possibility to use KCa3.1/KCa2 channels as novel pharmacological targets for the treatment of neuropsychiatric hyperactivity disorders. PMID:23077667

  20. DETECTING STREAM INVERTEBRATE COMMUNITY ALTERATION DUE TO MID TO LOW LEVELS OF WATERSHED LANDSCAPE MODIFICATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of an investigation into the effects of watershed landscape alteration on stream ecosystems, quantitative invertebrate samples were collected from riffles in 26 second and third order south shore Lake Superior streams. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) ordination ...

  1. Higher levels of CO2 during late incubation alter the hatch time of chicken embryos.

    PubMed

    Tong, Q; McGonnell, I M; Roulston, N; Bergoug, H; Romanini, C E B; Garain, P; Eterradossi, N; Exadaktylos, V; Bahr, C; Berckmans, D; Demmers, T G M

    2015-01-01

    1. It has been reported that the increasing CO2 tension triggers the embryo to pip the air cell and emerge from the egg. However, the mechanism by which higher CO2 concentrations during the last few days of incubation affect chick physiology and the hatching process is unclear. This study investigated the effect of CO2 concentrations up to 1% during pipping, on the onset and length of the hatch window (HW) and chick quality. 2. Four batches of Ross 308 broiler eggs (600 eggs per batch) were incubated in two small-scale custom-built incubators (Petersime NV). During the final 3 d of incubation, control eggs were exposed to a lower CO2 concentration (0.3%), while the test eggs experienced a higher CO2 concentration programme (peak of 1%). 3. There were no significant differences in blood values, organ weight and body weight. There was also no difference in hatchability between control and test groups. However, a small increase in the chick weight and the percentage of first class chicks was found in the test groups. Furthermore, plasma corticosterone profiles during hatching were altered in embryos exposed to higher CO2; however, they dropped to normal levels at d 21 of incubation. Importantly, the hatching process was delayed and synchronised in the test group, resulting in a narrowed HW which was 2.7 h shorter and 5.3 h later than the control group. 4. These results showed that exposing chicks to 1% CO2 concentration during pipping did not have negative impacts on physiological status of newly hatched chicks. In addition, it may have a significant impact on the physiological mechanisms controlling hatching and have benefits for the health and welfare of chickens by reducing the waiting time after hatching.

  2. Altered Refractive Development in Mice With Reduced Levels of Retinal Dopamine

    PubMed Central

    Bergen, Michael A.; Park, Han na; Chakraborty, Ranjay; Landis, Erica G.; Sidhu, Curran; He, Li; Iuvone, P. Michael; Pardue, Machelle T.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The neuromodulator dopamine (DA) has been implicated in the prevention of excessive ocular elongation and myopia in various animal models. This study used retina-specific DA knockout mice to investigate the role of retinal DA in refractive development and susceptibility to experimental myopia. Methods Measurements of refractive error, corneal curvature, and ocular biometrics were obtained as a function of age for both untreated and form-deprived (FD) groups of retina-specific tyrosine hydroxylase knockout (rTHKO) and control (Ctrl) mice. Retinas from each group were analyzed by HPLC for levels of DA and its primary metabolite (DOPAC). Results Under normal visual conditions, rTHKO mice showed significantly myopic refractions (F(1,188) = 7.602, P < 0.001) and steeper corneas (main effect of genotype F(1,180) = 5.1, P < 0.01) at 4 and 6 weeks of age compared with Ctrl mice. Retina-specific THKO mice also had thinner corneas (main effect of genotype F(1,181) = 37.17, P < 0.001), thinner retinas (F(6,181) = 6.07, P < 0.001), and shorter axial lengths (F(6,181) = 3.78, P < 0.01) than Ctrl mice. Retina-specific THKO retinas contained less than 15% of DA and DOPAC compared with Ctrl retinas, and the remaining DA had a significantly higher turnover, as indicated by DOPAC/DA ratios (Student's t-test, P < 0.05). Retina-specific THKO mice showed similar, yet more variable, responses to 6 weeks of FD compared with Ctrl mice. Conclusions Diminished retinal DA induced spontaneous myopia in mice raised under laboratory conditions without form deprivation. The relative myopic shift in rTHKO mice may be explained by steeper corneas, an unexpected finding. The chronic loss of DA did not significantly alter the FD myopia response in rTHKO mice. PMID:27750284

  3. A reassessment of the phylogenetic utility of genus-level morphological characters in the family Bogidiellidae (Crustacea, Amphipoda), with description of a new species of Eobogidiella Karaman, 1981

    PubMed Central

    Sidorov, Dmitry A.; Katz, Aron D.; Taylor, Steven J.; Chertoprud, Mikhail V.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Bogidiellidae is the most diverse and cosmopolitan family of stygobiotic amphipods, and inhabits a variety of subterranean biotopes, especially interstitial habitats. While the family is characterized by considerable sexual dimorphism, this dimorphism has adversely affected our understanding of the systematics of the group. Most species have restricted geographic ranges and occur in difficult to sample habitats, so it is common for individual species descriptions to be based on a single sex. In this work we revisit an analysis of morphological characters in an attempt to clarify their phylogenetic utility in resolving taxonomic relationships among genera by introducing a new species, two additional characters, and phylogenetic statistical support values. Eobogidiella venkataramani sp. n., from a spring fed brook in the Shirawati River basin along the escarpment of the Western Ghats (Karnataka, India) differs from the only known congener, Eobogidiella purmamarcensis, from Argentina, in the structure of mouthparts, the shape and ornamentation on gnathopods and characters of the telson. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate that the available morphological characters are not sufficient to resolve phylogenetic relationships within Bogidiellidae, thus these characters alone cannot be used to determine the phylogenetic placement of Eobogidiella venkataramani sp. n. within the family. Nevertheless, Eobogidiella venkataramani sp. n. shares diagnostic characters with Eobogidiella, supporting placement of the new species in this genus. Our findings point towards a critical need to resolve relationships within the family using molecular approaches, along with the development of a suite of additional morphological characters for Bogidiellidae. This is the third species of Bogidiellidae from southern India. PMID:27587976

  4. Activity wheel running reduces escape latency and alters brain monoamine levels after footshock.

    PubMed

    Dishman, R K; Renner, K J; Youngstedt, S D; Reigle, T G; Bunnell, B N; Burke, K A; Yoo, H S; Mougey, E H; Meyerhoff, J L

    1997-01-01

    escape-deficit by indicating an attenuating role for circadian physical activity. The altered monoamine levels suggest brain regions for more direct probes of neural activity after wheel running and foot shock.

  5. Kidney Function Alters the Relationship between Postoperative Troponin T Level and Death

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chew-Yin; Ong, Gracie S.Y.; Tan, Alvin S.B.; Mansor, Marzida; Shariffuddin, Ina I.; Hashim, Noorjahan H.M.; Lai, Hou Yee; Undok, A. Wahab; Kolandaivel, Ushananthini N.; Vajiravelu, Vasanthan; Garg, Amit X.; Cuerden, Meaghan; Guyatt, Gordon; Thabane, Lehana; Mooney, John; Lee, Vincent; Chow, Clara; Devereaux, Phillip J.

    2015-01-01

    Cardiac troponin T (cTnT), even at low concentrations, is a risk factor for 30-day mortality in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery, but it is uncertain whether that risk is generalizable to patients with poor kidney function. We, therefore, evaluated the relationship between cTnT concentration and kidney function on the outcome of 30-day mortality in a post hoc analysis of a prospective cohort study of patients undergoing noncardiac surgery. cTnT was measured for 3 days after surgery and considered abnormal if the peak was ≥0.02 ng/ml. Of the included 14,037 patients, 267 (1.9%) patients died within 30 days of surgery. The adjusted hazard ratios for death with an abnormal cTnT concentration were 4.37 (95% confidence intervals [95% CI], 3.21 to 6.22), 6.15 (95% CI, 2.95 to 140.9), 6.30 (95% CI, 3.12 to 21.23), 1.33 (95% CI, 0.56 to 4.85), and 1.46 (95% CI, 0.46 to 9.21) for eGFR≥60, 45 to <60, 30 to <45, 15 to <30, and <15 ml/min per 1.73 m2 or on dialysis, respectively. Compared with patients with eGFR≥60 ml/min per 1.73 m2, the adjusted hazard ratio was significantly lower for patients with eGFR=15 to <30 ml/min per 1.73 m2 (interaction P value=0.02). Redefining abnormal cTnT concentration as ≥0.03 ng/ml or a change of ≥0.02 ng/ml did not alter results. Because the risk associated with postoperative cTnT levels may be different for patients with eGFR<30 ml/min per 1.73 m2, additional research is required to determine how to interpret perioperative cTnT values for patients with low kidney function. PMID:25711126

  6. Microbial Communities on Seafloor Basalts at Dorado Outcrop Reflect Level of Alteration and Highlight Global Lithic Clades

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Michael D.; Walworth, Nathan G.; Sylvan, Jason B.; Edwards, Katrina J.; Orcutt, Beth N.

    2015-01-01

    Areas of exposed basalt along mid-ocean ridges and at seafloor outcrops serve as conduits of fluid flux into and out of a subsurface ocean, and microbe–mineral interactions can influence alteration reactions at the rock–water interface. Located on the eastern flank of the East Pacific Rise, Dorado Outcrop is a site of low-temperature (<20°C) hydrothermal venting and represents a new end-member in the current survey of seafloor basalt biomes. Consistent with prior studies, a survey of 16S rRNA gene sequence diversity using universal primers targeting the V4 hypervariable region revealed much greater richness and diversity on the seafloor rocks than in surrounding seawater. Overall, Gamma-, Alpha-, and Deltaproteobacteria, and Thaumarchaeota dominated the sequenced communities, together making up over half of the observed diversity, though bacterial sequences were more abundant than archaeal in all samples. The most abundant bacterial reads were closely related to the obligate chemolithoautotrophic, sulfur-oxidizing Thioprofundum lithotrophicum, suggesting carbon and sulfur cycling as dominant metabolic pathways in this system. Representatives of Thaumarchaeota were detected in relatively high abundance on the basalts in comparison to bottom water, possibly indicating ammonia oxidation. In comparison to other sequence datasets from globally distributed seafloor basalts, this study reveals many overlapping and cosmopolitan phylogenetic groups and also suggests that substrate age correlates with community structure. PMID:26779122

  7. Microbial Communities on Seafloor Basalts at Dorado Outcrop Reflect Level of Alteration and Highlight Global Lithic Clades.

    PubMed

    Lee, Michael D; Walworth, Nathan G; Sylvan, Jason B; Edwards, Katrina J; Orcutt, Beth N

    2015-01-01

    Areas of exposed basalt along mid-ocean ridges and at seafloor outcrops serve as conduits of fluid flux into and out of a subsurface ocean, and microbe-mineral interactions can influence alteration reactions at the rock-water interface. Located on the eastern flank of the East Pacific Rise, Dorado Outcrop is a site of low-temperature (<20°C) hydrothermal venting and represents a new end-member in the current survey of seafloor basalt biomes. Consistent with prior studies, a survey of 16S rRNA gene sequence diversity using universal primers targeting the V4 hypervariable region revealed much greater richness and diversity on the seafloor rocks than in surrounding seawater. Overall, Gamma-, Alpha-, and Deltaproteobacteria, and Thaumarchaeota dominated the sequenced communities, together making up over half of the observed diversity, though bacterial sequences were more abundant than archaeal in all samples. The most abundant bacterial reads were closely related to the obligate chemolithoautotrophic, sulfur-oxidizing Thioprofundum lithotrophicum, suggesting carbon and sulfur cycling as dominant metabolic pathways in this system. Representatives of Thaumarchaeota were detected in relatively high abundance on the basalts in comparison to bottom water, possibly indicating ammonia oxidation. In comparison to other sequence datasets from globally distributed seafloor basalts, this study reveals many overlapping and cosmopolitan phylogenetic groups and also suggests that substrate age correlates with community structure.

  8. A low protein diet alters bone material level properties and the response to in vitro repeated mechanical loading.

    PubMed

    Dubois-Ferrière, Victor; Rizzoli, René; Ammann, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Low protein intake is associated with an alteration of bone microstructure and material level properties. However, it remains unknown whether these alterations of bone tissue could influence the response to repeated mechanical loading. The authors investigated the in vitro effect of repeated loading on bone strength in humeri collected from 20 6-month-old female rats pair-fed with a control (15% casein) or an isocaloric low protein (2.5% casein) diet for 10 weeks. Bone specimens were cyclically loaded in three-point bending under load control for 2000 cycles. Humeri were then monotonically loaded to failure. The load-displacement curve of the in vitro cyclically loaded humerus was compared to the contralateral noncyclically loaded humerus and the influence of both protein diets. Material level properties were also evaluated through a nanoindentation test. Cyclic loading decreased postyield load and plastic deflection in rats fed a low protein diet, but not in those on a regular diet. Bone material level properties were altered in rats fed a low protein diet. This suggests that bone biomechanical alterations consequent to cyclic loading are more likely to occur in rats fed a low protein diet than in control animals subjected to the same in vitro cyclic loading regimen.

  9. The Evolutionary Ecology of Plant Disease: A Phylogenetic Perspective.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Gregory S; Parker, Ingrid M

    2016-08-04

    An explicit phylogenetic perspective provides useful tools for phytopathology and plant disease ecology because the traits of both plants and microbes are shaped by their evolutionary histories. We present brief primers on phylogenetic signal and the analytical tools of phylogenetic ecology. We review the literature and find abundant evidence of phylogenetic signal in pathogens and plants for most traits involved in disease interactions. Plant nonhost resistance mechanisms and pathogen housekeeping functions are conserved at deeper phylogenetic levels, whereas molecular traits associated with rapid coevolutionary dynamics are more labile at branch tips. Horizontal gene transfer disrupts the phylogenetic signal for some microbial traits. Emergent traits, such as host range and disease severity, show clear phylogenetic signals. Therefore pathogen spread and disease impact are influenced by the phylogenetic structure of host assemblages. Phylogenetically rare species escape disease pressure. Phylogenetic tools could be used to develop predictive tools for phytosanitary risk analysis and reduce disease pressure in multispecies cropping systems.

  10. ALTERATION IN COMMUNITY-DWELLING OLDER ADULTS’ LEVEL WALKING FOLLOWING PERTURBATION TRAINING

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Feng; Pai, Yi-Chung

    2013-01-01

    While perturbation training is promising in reducing fall-risk among older adults, its impact on altering their spontaneous gait pattern has not been investigated. The purpose of this study was to determine to what extent older adults’ gait pattern would be affected by exposure to 24 repeated slips. Seventy-three community-dwelling older adults (age: 72.6 ± 5.4 years) underwent 24 repeated-slip exposure induced by unannounced unlocking and relocking of low-friction sections of a 7-m pathway upon which they walked. Full body kinematics and kinetics were recorded during the training. The gait parameters and the center of mass (COM) stability against backward balance loss were compared before and after the training. The results revealed that the training reduced fall incidence from 43.8% upon the novel slip to 0 at the end of training. After the training, subjects significantly improved gait stability by forward positioning of their COM relative to the base of support without altering gait speed. This forward COM shift resulted from a shortened step at the end of single stance and forward trunk leaning during double stance. They also adopted flat foot landing with knee flexed at touchdown (with an average change of 6.9 and 4.1 degrees, respectively). The perturbation training did alter community-dwelling older adults’ spontaneous gait pattern. These changes enabled them to improve their volitional control of stability and their resistance to unpredictable and unpreventable slip-related postural disturbance. PMID:23978691

  11. Proteins altered by elevated levels of palmitate or glucose implicated in impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion

    PubMed Central

    Sol, E-ri M; Hovsepyan, Meri; Bergsten, Peter

    2009-01-01

    Background Development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is characterized by aberrant insulin secretory patterns, where elevated insulin levels at non-stimulatory basal conditions and reduced hormonal levels at stimulatory conditions are major components. To delineate mechanisms responsible for these alterations we cultured INS-1E cells for 48 hours at 20 mM glucose in absence or presence of 0.5 mM palmitate, when stimulatory secretion of insulin was reduced or basal secretion was elevated, respectively. Results After culture, cells were protein profiled by SELDI-TOF-MS and 2D-PAGE. Differentially expressed proteins were discovered and identified by peptide mass fingerprinting. Complimentary protein profiles were obtained by the two approaches with SELDI-TOF-MS being more efficient in separating proteins in the low molecular range and 2D-PAGE in the high molecular range. Identified proteins included alpha glucosidase, calmodulin, gars, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, heterogenous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A3, lon peptidase, nicotineamide adenine dinucleotide hydrogen (NADH) dehydrogenase, phosphoglycerate kinase, proteasome p45, rab2, pyruvate kinase and t-complex protein. The observed glucose-induced differential protein expression pattern indicates enhanced glucose metabolism, defense against reactive oxygen species, enhanced protein translation, folding and degradation and decreased insulin granular formation and trafficking. Palmitate-induced changes could be related to altered exocytosis. Conclusion The identified altered proteins indicate mechanism important for altered β-cell function in T2DM. PMID:19607692

  12. L-4F Differentially Alters Plasma Levels of Oxidized Fatty Acids Resulting in more Anti-Inflammatory HDL in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Imaizumi, Satoshi; Grijalva, Victor; Navab, Mohamad; Van Lenten, Brian J.; Wagner, Alan C.; Anantharamaiah, G.M.; Fogelman, Alan M.; Reddy, Srinivasa T.

    2011-01-01

    To determine in vivo if L-4F differentially alters plasma levels of oxidized fatty acids resulting in more anti-inflammatory HDL. Injecting L-4F into apoE null mice resulted in a significant reduction in plasma levels of 15-HETE, 5-HETE, 13-HODE and 9-HODE. In contrast, plasma levels of 20-HETE were not reduced and plasma levels of 14,15-EET, which are derived from the cytochrome P450 pathway, were elevated after injection of L-4F. Injection of 13(S)-HPODE into wild-type C57BL/6J mice caused an increase in plasma levels of 13-HODE and 9-HODE and was accompanied by a significant loss in the anti-inflammatory properties of HDL. The response of atherosclerosis resistant C3H/HeJ mice to injection of 13(S)-HPODE was similar but much more blunted. Injection of L-4F at a site different from that at which the 13(S)-HPODE was injected resulted in significantly lower plasma levels of 13-HODE and 9-HODE and significantly less loss of HDL anti-inflammatory properties in both strains. i) L-4F differentially alters plasma levels of oxidized fatty acids in vivo. ii) The resistance of the C3H/HeJ strain to atherosclerosis may in part be mediated by a reduced reaction of this strain to these potent lipid oxidants. L-4F differentially alters plasma levels of oxidized fatty acids in mice and the resistance of C3H/HeJ mice to atherosclerosis may be mediated by a reduced reaction of this strain to these potent lipid oxidants. PMID:20642447

  13. Importance of Altered Levels of SERCA, IP3R, and RyR in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell.

    PubMed

    Johny, Jaijus Pallippadan; Plank, Michael J; David, Tim

    2017-01-24

    Calcium cycling between the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) and the cytosol via the sarco-/endoplasmic reticulum Ca-ATPase (SERCA) pump, inositol-1,4,5-triphosphate receptor (IP3R), and Ryanodine receptor (RyR), plays a major role in agonist-induced intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+)]cyt) dynamics in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). Levels of these calcium handling proteins in SR get altered under disease conditions. We have developed a mathematical model to understand the significance of altered levels of SERCA, IP3R, and RyR on the intracellular calcium dynamics of VSMC and to understand how variation in protein levels that arise due to diabetes contribute to different VSMC behavior and thus vascular disease. SR is modeled as a single continuous entity with homogeneous intra-SR calcium. Model results show that agonist-induced intracellular calcium dynamics can be modified by changing the levels of SERCA, IP3R, and/or RyR. Lowering SERCA level will enable intracellular calcium oscillations at low agonist concentrations whereas lowered levels of IP3R and RyR need higher agonist concentration for intracellular calcium oscillations. This research suggests that reduced SERCA level is the main factor responsible for the reduced intracellular calcium transients and contractility in VSMCs. Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Invasions but not extinctions change phylogenetic diversity of angiosperm assemblage on southeastern Pacific Oceanic islands

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    We assessed changes in phylogenetic diversity of angiosperm flora on six oceanic islands located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, by comparing flora from two periods: the pre-European colonization of islands and current times. We hypothesize that, in the time between these periods, extinction of local plant species and addition of exotic plants modified phylogenetic-α-diversity at different levels (deeper and terminal phylogeny) and increased phylo-β-diversity among islands. Based on floristic studies, we assembled a phylogenetic tree from occurrence data that includes 921 species, of which 165 and 756 were native or exotic in origin, respectively. Then, we studied change in the phylo-α-diversity and phylo-β-diversity (1 –Phylosor) by comparing pre-European and current times. Despite extinction of 18 native angiosperm species, an increase in species richness and phylo-α-diversity was observed for all islands studied, attributed to introduction of exotic plants (between 6 to 477 species per island). We did not observe significant variation of mean phylogenetic distance (MPD), a measure of the ‘deeper’ phylogenetic diversity of assemblages (e.g., orders, families), suggesting that neither extinctions nor introductions altered phylogenetic structure of the angiosperms of these islands. In regard to phylo-β-diversity, we detected temporal turnover (variation in phylogenetic composition) between periods to flora (0.38 ± 0.11). However, when analyses were performed only considering native plants, we did not observe significant temporal turnover between periods (0.07 ± 0.06). These results indicate that introduction of exotic angiosperms has contributed more notably than extinctions to the configuration of plant assemblages and phylogenetic diversity on the studied islands. Because phylogenetic diversity is closely related to functional diversity (species trait variations and roles performed by organisms), our results suggests that the introduction of

  15. Invasions but not extinctions change phylogenetic diversity of angiosperm assemblage on southeastern Pacific Oceanic islands.

    PubMed

    Carvallo, Gastón O; Castro, Sergio A

    2017-01-01

    We assessed changes in phylogenetic diversity of angiosperm flora on six oceanic islands located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, by comparing flora from two periods: the pre-European colonization of islands and current times. We hypothesize that, in the time between these periods, extinction of local plant species and addition of exotic plants modified phylogenetic-α-diversity at different levels (deeper and terminal phylogeny) and increased phylo-β-diversity among islands. Based on floristic studies, we assembled a phylogenetic tree from occurrence data that includes 921 species, of which 165 and 756 were native or exotic in origin, respectively. Then, we studied change in the phylo-α-diversity and phylo-β-diversity (1 -Phylosor) by comparing pre-European and current times. Despite extinction of 18 native angiosperm species, an increase in species richness and phylo-α-diversity was observed for all islands studied, attributed to introduction of exotic plants (between 6 to 477 species per island). We did not observe significant variation of mean phylogenetic distance (MPD), a measure of the 'deeper' phylogenetic diversity of assemblages (e.g., orders, families), suggesting that neither extinctions nor introductions altered phylogenetic structure of the angiosperms of these islands. In regard to phylo-β-diversity, we detected temporal turnover (variation in phylogenetic composition) between periods to flora (0.38 ± 0.11). However, when analyses were performed only considering native plants, we did not observe significant temporal turnover between periods (0.07 ± 0.06). These results indicate that introduction of exotic angiosperms has contributed more notably than extinctions to the configuration of plant assemblages and phylogenetic diversity on the studied islands. Because phylogenetic diversity is closely related to functional diversity (species trait variations and roles performed by organisms), our results suggests that the introduction of exotic

  16. Alteration in the cytokine levels and histopathological damage in common carp induced by glyphosate.

    PubMed

    Ma, Junguo; Li, Xiaoyu

    2015-06-01

    Glyphosate is one of the most frequently used herbicides, and it has been demonstrated to generate a series of toxicological problems in animals and humans. However, relatively little is known about the effects of glyphosate on the immune system of fish. In the present study, the acute toxicity of glyphosate on common carp was first determined; then, the contents of interferon-γ (IFN-γ), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and tumor necrosis factor -α (TNF-α) and histopathological alterations in the liver, kidneys, and spleen of common carp exposed to 52.08 or 104.15 mg L(-1) of glyphosate for 168 h were also determined and evaluated. The results of the acute toxicity tests showed that the 96 h LC50 of glyphosate for common carp was 520.77 mg L(-1). Moreover, sub-acute exposure of glyphosate altered the contents of IFN-γ, IL-1β, and TNF-α in fish immune organs. For example, there was a remarkable increase in the IFN-γ content in the kidneys, while there was a decrease in the liver and spleen. The IL-1β content increased in liver and kidneys, but it decreased in the spleen, and TNF-α mainly increased in the fish liver, kidneys, and spleen. In addition, glyphosate-exposure also caused remarkable histopathological damage in the fish liver, kidneys, and spleen. These results suggest that glyphosate-caused cytokine alterations may result in an immune suppression or excessive activation in the treated common carp as well as may cause immune dysfunction or reduced immunity. In conclusion, glyphosate has immunotoxic effects on common carp.

  17. Growth of Streptococcus mutans in Biofilms Alters Peptide Signaling at the Sub-population Level

    PubMed Central

    Shields, Robert C.; Burne, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus mutans activates multiple cellular processes in response to the formation of a complex between comX-inducing peptide (XIP) and the ComR transcriptional regulator. Bulk phase and microfluidic experiments previously revealed that ComR-dependent activation of comX is altered by pH and by carbohydrate source. Biofilm formation is a major factor in bacterial survival and virulence in the oral cavity. Here, we sought to determine the response of S. mutans biofilm cells to XIP during different stages of biofilm maturation. Using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy, we showed that exogenous addition of XIP to early biofilms resulted in robust comX activation. However, as the biofilms matured, increasing amounts of XIP were required to activate comX expression. Single-cell analysis demonstrated that the entire population was responding to XIP with activation of comX in early biofilms, but only a sub-population was responding in mature biofilms. The sub-population response of mature biofilms was retained when the cells were dispersed and then treated with XIP. The proportion and intensity of the bi-modal response of mature biofilm cells was altered in mutants lacking the Type II toxins MazF and RelE, or in a strain lacking the (p)ppGpp synthase/hydrolase RelA. Thus, competence signaling is markedly altered in cells growing in mature biofilms, and pathways that control cell death and growth/survival decisions modulate activation of comX expression in these sessile populations. PMID:27471495

  18. Phylogenetic fields of species: cross-species patterns of phylogenetic structure and geographical coexistence.

    PubMed

    Villalobos, Fabricio; Rangel, Thiago F; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre F

    2013-04-07

    Differential coexistence among species underlies geographical patterns of biodiversity. Understanding such patterns has relied either on ecological or historical approaches applied separately. Recently, macroecology and community phylogenetics have tried to integrate both ecological and historical approaches. However, macroecology is mostly non-phylogenetic, whereas community phylogenetics is largely focused on local scales. Here, we propose a conceptual framework to link macroecology and community phylogenetics by exploring the evolutionary context of large-scale species coexistence, introducing the phylogenetic field concept. This is defined as the phylogenetic structure of species co-occurrence within a focal species' geographical range. We developed concepts and methods for analysing phylogenetic fields and applied them to study coexistence patterns of the bat family Phyllostomidae. Our analyses showed that phyllostomid bats coexist mostly with closely related species, revealing a north-south gradient from overdispersed to clustered phylogenetic fields. Patterns at different phylogenetic levels (i.e. all species versus close relatives only) presented the same gradient. Results support the tropical niche conservatism hypothesis, potentially mediated by higher speciation rates in the region of origin coupled with shared environmental preferences among species. The phylogenetic field approach enables species-based community phylogenetics, instead of those that are site-based, allowing the description of historical processes at more appropriate macroecological and biogeographic scales.

  19. Phylogenetic fields of species: cross-species patterns of phylogenetic structure and geographical coexistence

    PubMed Central

    Villalobos, Fabricio; Rangel, Thiago F.; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre F.

    2013-01-01

    Differential coexistence among species underlies geographical patterns of biodiversity. Understanding such patterns has relied either on ecological or historical approaches applied separately. Recently, macroecology and community phylogenetics have tried to integrate both ecological and historical approaches. However, macroecology is mostly non-phylogenetic, whereas community phylogenetics is largely focused on local scales. Here, we propose a conceptual framework to link macroecology and community phylogenetics by exploring the evolutionary context of large-scale species coexistence, introducing the phylogenetic field concept. This is defined as the phylogenetic structure of species co-occurrence within a focal species' geographical range. We developed concepts and methods for analysing phylogenetic fields and applied them to study coexistence patterns of the bat family Phyllostomidae. Our analyses showed that phyllostomid bats coexist mostly with closely related species, revealing a north–south gradient from overdispersed to clustered phylogenetic fields. Patterns at different phylogenetic levels (i.e. all species versus close relatives only) presented the same gradient. Results support the tropical niche conservatism hypothesis, potentially mediated by higher speciation rates in the region of origin coupled with shared environmental preferences among species. The phylogenetic field approach enables species-based community phylogenetics, instead of those that are site-based, allowing the description of historical processes at more appropriate macroecological and biogeographic scales. PMID:23390100

  20. Alteration of the kidney membrane proteome of Mizuhopecten yessoensis induced by low-level methyl parathion exposure.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xiang; Huang, He-Qing

    2012-06-15

    Methyl parathion (MP) is a widely used organophosphorus pesticide that causes severe health and environmental effects. We investigated the alteration of the proteomic profile in the membrane enriched fraction of the kidneys of the scallop Mizuhopecten yessoensis exposed to low-level MP. Gas chromatography analysis showed that MP residues were significantly accumulated in the kidneys and the digestive glands of the scallops. According to two-dimensional electrophoresis, 17 proteins were differentially modulated under MP exposure. The mRNA expressions of 12 differential proteins were analyzed using quantitative PCR, and 10 showed consistent alteration of mRNA level with that of protein expression level. Altered expressions of two proteins (mitochondrial processing peptidase and α-tubulin) were also examined using Western blotting, showing that the mitochondrial processing peptidase was down-regulated but α-tubulin remained unchanged in response to MP exposure. Subcellular locations of all the identified proteins that were predicted using bioinformatics tools indicate that few of them are permanently located in the membrane. The differentially expressed proteins are involved in several critical biological processes, and their relevance to human health has been illuminated. These data taken together have provided some novel insights into the chronic toxicity mechanism of MP and have suggested mitochondrial processing peptidase as a potential biomarker for human health and environmental monitoring.

  1. Environmental prenatal stress eliminates brain and maternal behavioral sex differences and alters hormone levels in female rats.

    PubMed

    Del Cerro, M C R; Ortega, E; Gómez, F; Segovia, S; Pérez-Laso, C

    2015-07-01

    Environmental prenatal stress (EPS) has effects on fetuses that are long-lasting, altering their hormone levels, brain morphology and behavior when they reach maturity. In previous research, we demonstrated that EPS affects the expression of induced maternal behavior (MB), the neuroendocrine system, and morphology of the sexually dimorphic accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) involved in reproductive behavior patterns. The bed nucleus of the accessory olfactory tract (BAOT) is another vomeronasal (VN) structure that plays an inhibitory role in rats in the expression of induced maternal behavior in female and male virgins. In the present study, we have ascertained whether the behavioral, neuroendocrine, and neuromorphological alterations of the AOB found after EPS also appear in the BAOT. After applying EPS to pregnant rats during the late gestational period, in their female offspring at maturity we tested induced maternal behavior, BAOT morphology and plasma levels of testosterone (T), estradiol (E2), progesterone (P), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (Cpd B). EPS: a) affected the induction of MB, showed a male-like pattern of care for pups, b) elevated plasma levels of Cpd B and reduced E2 in comparison with the controls, and c) significantly increased the number of BAOT neurons compared to the control females and comparable to the control male group. These findings provide further evidence that stress applied to pregnant rats produces long-lasting behavioral, endocrine and neuroanatomical alterations in the female offspring that are evident when they become mature. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Prenatal exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide alters sciatic nerve myelination in rat offspring.

    PubMed

    Carratù, M R; Cagiano, R; Desantis, S; Labate, M; Tattoli, M; Trabace, L; Cuomo, V

    2000-08-25

    Prenatal exposure to low concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO, 75 and 150 ppm from day 0 to day 20 of gestation), resulting in maternal blood HbCO concentrations equivalent to those maintained by human cigarette smokers, leads to subtle myelin alterations in the sciatic nerve of male rat offspring. The rapid growth spurt in pup body weight was related to the period of maximal increase in myelin sheath thickness in both control and CO-exposed animals. A significant reduction in myelin sheath thickness of sciatic nerve fibers, paralleled by changes in the frequency distribution, occurred in both 40- and 90-day-old rats exposed in utero to CO (75 and 150 ppm). Myelin deficit observed in 75 and 150 ppm CO-exposed animals showed up only after the major spurt in myelination but not early during development. The subtle myelin alterations observed in CO-exposed offspring were not accompanied by changes in developmental pattern of axon diameters and did not result in a gross impairment of motor activity. These results suggest that the myelination process is selectively targeted by a prenatal exposure model simulating the CO exposure observed in human cigarette smokers.

  3. The relationship between vocal accuracy and variability to the level of compensation to altered auditory feedback.

    PubMed

    Scheerer, Nichole E; Jones, Jeffery A

    2012-11-07

    Auditory feedback plays an important role in monitoring vocal output and determining when adjustments are necessary. In this study a group of untrained singers participated in a frequency altered feedback experiment to examine if accuracy at matching a note could predict the degree of compensation to auditory feedback that was shifted in frequency. Participants were presented with a target note and instructed to match the note in pitch and duration. Following the onset of the participants' vocalizations their vocal pitch was shifted down one semi-tone at a random time during their utterance. This altered auditory feedback was instantaneously presented back to them through headphones. Results indicated that note matching accuracy did not correlate with compensation magnitude, however, a significant correlation was found between baseline variability and compensation magnitude. These results suggest that individuals with a more stable baseline fundamental frequency rely more on feedforward control mechanisms than individuals with more variable vocal production. This increased weighting of feedforward control means they are less sensitive to mismatches between their intended vocal production and auditory feedback. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Altered metabolism of copper, zinc, and magnesium is associated with increased levels of glycated hemoglobin in patients with diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Viktorínová, Alena; Toserová, Eva; Krizko, Marián; Duracková, Zdenka

    2009-10-01

    Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with the alterations in the metabolism of copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and magnesium (Mg). The aim of the present study was to investigate plasma levels of these elements in patients with DM and in healthy subjects. Association between glycated hemoglobin and levels of metals was also evaluated. We studied 36 subjects with DM (type 1, 11; type 2, 25) and 34 healthy subjects matched for age, sex, and duration of diabetes. Plasma concentrations of Cu, Zn, and Mg were measured by atomic absorption spectrometry. An imbalance in the levels of studied metals was observed in both type 1 and type 2 DM. We found higher levels of Cu (P < .001) and Cu/Zn ratio (P < .0001) and decreased levels of Zn (P < .01) and Mg (P < .0001) in patients with DM when compared with controls. Negative correlation between Cu and Zn (r = -0.626, P < .0001) was found in patients with DM. Glycated hemoglobin levels were positively correlated with Cu (r = 0.709, P < .001) and Cu/Zn ratio (r = 0.777, P < .001) and inversely correlated with Zn (r = - 0.684, P < .001) and Mg (r = -0.646, P < .001). In conclusion, patients with DM had altered metabolism of Cu, Zn, and Mg; and this may be related to increased values of glycated hemoglobin. We concluded that impaired metabolism of these elements may contribute to the progression of DM and diabetic complications.

  5. Alterations in Lipid Levels of Mitochondrial Membranes Induced by Amyloid-β: A Protective Role of Melatonin

    PubMed Central

    Rosales-Corral, Sergio A.; Lopez-Armas, Gabriela; Cruz-Ramos, Jose; Melnikov, Valery G.; Tan, Dun-Xian; Manchester, Lucien C.; Munoz, Ruben; Reiter, Russel J.

    2012-01-01

    Alzheimer pathogenesis involves mitochondrial dysfunction, which is closely related to amyloid-β (Aβ) generation, abnormal tau phosphorylation, oxidative stress, and apoptosis. Alterations in membranal components, including cholesterol and fatty acids, their characteristics, disposition, and distribution along the membranes, have been studied as evidence of cell membrane alterations in AD brain. The majority of these studies have been focused on the cytoplasmic membrane; meanwhile the mitochondrial membranes have been less explored. In this work, we studied lipids and mitochondrial membranes in vivo, following intracerebral injection of fibrillar amyloid-β (Aβ). The purpose was to determine how Aβ may be responsible for beginning of a vicious cycle where oxidative stress and alterations in cholesterol, lipids and fatty acids, feed back on each other to cause mitochondrial dysfunction. We observed changes in mitochondrial membrane lipids, and fatty acids, following intracerebral injection of fibrillar Aβ in aged Wistar rats. Melatonin, a well-known antioxidant and neuroimmunomodulator indoleamine, reversed some of these alterations and protected mitochondrial membranes from obvious damage. Additionally, melatonin increased the levels of linolenic and n-3 eicosapentaenoic acid, in the same site where amyloid β was injected, favoring an endogenous anti-inflammatory pathway. PMID:22666620

  6. Lead (Pb) exposure reduces global DNA methylation level by non-competitive inhibition and alteration of dnmt expression.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Oscar F; Lee, Jinyoung; Yu King Hing, Nathaphon; Kim, Seong-Eun; Freeman, Jennifer L; Yuan, Chongli

    2017-02-22

    Low-dose exposure to lead (Pb) is connected to developmental neurological alterations by inducing molecular changes, such as aberrant gene expression patterns. The attributing molecular mechanism, however, is not well-elucidated. In this study, we revealed epigenetic features and mechanisms that can alter gene expression patterns by identifying changes in DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) activity, expression pattern and DNA methylation level using moelcular studies and a zebrafish animal model. We characterized the effects of Pb on the activities of various DNMTs in vitro and determined the molecular role of Pb in modulating DNMT activity via kinetic experiments. An exposure of 100 or 500 ppb of Pb was found to significantly lower the activity of maintenance DNMTs. The inhibition mechanism can be described using non-competitive Michaelis-Menten kinetics. A zebrafish animal model was then used to assess the biological significance of our findings. An embryonic exposure to 100 or 500 ppb Pb resulted in a significant change in global methylation levels consistent with previous studies using human and rodent model. Our study also suggests that Pb exposure in zebrafish alters the expression patterns of dnmt3 and dnmt4 which are human DNMT3b orthologs. The knowledge from this study suggests that Pb exposure can affect the activity of maintenance DNMTs via non-competitive inhibition, which has not been reported previously. Meanwhile, the expression pattern of de novo methyltransferases can also be altered. Collectively, they result in a reduction in global DNA methylation level in Pb-exposed zebrafish model, which can be compared to findings in human and rodent studies.

  7. Biochemical and Structural Characterizations of Two Dictyostelium Cellobiohydrolases from the Amoebozoa Kingdom Reveal a High Level of Conservation between Distant Phylogenetic Trees of Life

    PubMed Central

    Hobdey, Sarah E.; Knott, Brandon C.; Haddad Momeni, Majid; Taylor, Larry E.; Borisova, Anna S.; Podkaminer, Kara K.; VanderWall, Todd A.; Himmel, Michael E.; Decker, Stephen R.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Glycoside hydrolase family 7 (GH7) cellobiohydrolases (CBHs) are enzymes commonly employed in plant cell wall degradation across eukaryotic kingdoms of life, as they provide significant hydrolytic potential in cellulose turnover. To date, many fungal GH7 CBHs have been examined, yet many questions regarding structure-activity relationships in these important natural and commercial enzymes remain. Here, we present the crystal structures and a biochemical analysis of two GH7 CBHs from social amoeba: Dictyostelium discoideum Cel7A (DdiCel7A) and Dictyostelium purpureum Cel7A (DpuCel7A). DdiCel7A and DpuCel7A natively consist of a catalytic domain and do not exhibit a carbohydrate-binding module (CBM). The structures of DdiCel7A and DpuCel7A, resolved to 2.1 Å and 2.7 Å, respectively, are homologous to those of other GH7 CBHs with an enclosed active-site tunnel. Two primary differences between the Dictyostelium CBHs and the archetypal model GH7 CBH, Trichoderma reesei Cel7A (TreCel7A), occur near the hydrolytic active site and the product-binding sites. To compare the activities of these enzymes with the activity of TreCel7A, the family 1 TreCel7A CBM and linker were added to the C terminus of each of the Dictyostelium enzymes, creating DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM, which were recombinantly expressed in T. reesei. DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM hydrolyzed Avicel, pretreated corn stover, and phosphoric acid-swollen cellulose as efficiently as TreCel7A when hydrolysis was compared at their temperature optima. The Ki of cellobiose was significantly higher for DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM than for TreCel7A: 205, 130, and 29 μM, respectively. Taken together, the present study highlights the remarkable degree of conservation of the activity of these key natural and industrial enzymes across quite distant phylogenetic trees of life. IMPORTANCE GH7 CBHs are among the most important cellulolytic enzymes both in nature and for emerging industrial applications for

  8. Alterations in plasma vascular endothelial growth factor levels in patients with schizophrenia before and after treatment.

    PubMed

    Lee, Bun-Hee; Hong, Jin-Pyo; Hwang, Jung-A; Ham, Byung-Joo; Na, Kyoung-Sae; Kim, Won-Joong; Trigo, Jose; Kim, Yong-Ku

    2015-07-30

    Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a potent angiogenetic factor, is a known neurotrophic factor. In this study, we examined plasma levels of VEGF in 50 patients with schizophrenia (SPR) and 50 healthy control subjects. We also explored any changes in plasma VEGF levels after 6-week treatment with antipsychotic agents in patients with schizophrenia. All subjects with schizophrenia were either medication-naïve or medication-free for at least 4 weeks before assessment. Plasma VEGF levels in all subjects were significantly correlated with smoking duration, which was considered to be a significant covariate. Pre-treatment plasma VEGF levels in patients with schizophrenia were significantly lower than those in healthy controls. Post-treatment VEGF levels were significantly increased in patients with schizophrenia. Plasma VEGF levels in patients with schizophrenia did not exhibit significant correlation with the total or subscale scores of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) either at baseline or at the end of the 6-week treatment. In conclusion, our findings reveal that plasma VEGF levels before treatment were lower in patients with schizophrenia and that their VEGF levels increased after treatment. Thus, VEGF may have a neuroprotective role in the improvement of schizophrenia or in the treatment effects of antipsychotics.

  9. Long-term variation in above and belowground plant inputs alters soil organic matter biogeochemistry at the molecular-level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, M. J.; Pisani, O.; Lin, L.; Lun, O.; Simpson, A.; Lajtha, K.; Nadelhoffer, K. J.

    2015-12-01

    The long-term fate of soil carbon reserves with global environmental change remains uncertain. Shifts in moisture, altered nutrient cycles, species composition, or rising temperatures may alter the proportions of above and belowground biomass entering soil. However, it is unclear how long-term changes in plant inputs may alter the composition of soil organic matter (SOM) and soil carbon storage. Advanced molecular techniques were used to assess SOM composition in mineral soil horizons (0-10 cm) after 20 years of Detrital Input and Removal Treatment (DIRT) at the Harvard Forest. SOM biomarkers (solvent extraction, base hydrolysis and cupric (II) oxide oxidation) and both solid-state and solution-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy were used to identify changes in SOM composition and stage of degradation. Microbial activity and community composition were assessed using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. Doubling aboveground litter inputs decreased soil carbon content, increased the degradation of labile SOM and enhanced the sequestration of aliphatic compounds in soil. The exclusion of belowground inputs (No roots and No inputs) resulted in a decrease in root-derived components and enhanced the degradation of leaf-derived aliphatic structures (cutin). Cutin-derived SOM has been hypothesized to be recalcitrant but our results show that even this complex biopolymer is susceptible to degradation when inputs entering soil are altered. The PLFA data indicate that changes in soil microbial community structure favored the accelerated processing of specific SOM components with littler manipulation. These results collectively reveal that the quantity and quality of plant litter inputs alters the molecular-level composition of SOM and in some cases, enhances the degradation of recalcitrant SOM. Our study also suggests that increased litterfall is unlikely to enhance soil carbon storage over the long-term in temperate forests.

  10. Outcomes of patients with altered level of consciousness and abnormal electroencephalogram: A retrospective cohort study.

    PubMed

    Sanches, Paula Rodrigues; Corrêa, Thiago Domingos; Ferrari-Marinho, Taissa; Naves, Pedro Vicente Ferreira; Ladeia-Frota, Carol; Caboclo, Luís Otávio

    2017-01-01

    Nonconvulsive seizures (NCS) are frequent in hospitalized patients and may further aggravate injury in the already damaged brain, potentially worsening outcomes in encephalopathic patients. Therefore, both early seizure recognition and treatment have been advocated to prevent further neurological damage. Evaluate the main EEG patterns seen in patients with impaired consciousness and address the effect of treatment with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), continuous intravenous anesthetic drugs (IVADs), or the combination of both, on outcomes. This was a single center retrospective cohort study conducted in a private, tertiary care hospital. Consecutive adult patients with altered consciousness submitted to a routine EEG between January 2008 and February 2011 were included in this study. Based on EEG pattern, patients were assigned to one of three groups: Group Interictal Patterns (IP; EEG showing only interictal epileptiform discharges or triphasic waves), Group Rhythmic and Periodic Patterns (RPP; at least one EEG with rhythmic or periodic patterns), and Group Ictal (Ictal; at least one EEG showing ictal pattern). Groups were compared in terms of administered antiepileptic treatment and frequency of unfavorable outcomes (modified Rankin scale ≥3 and in-hospital mortality). Two hundred and six patients (475 EEGs) were included in this analysis. Interictal pattern was observed in 35.4% (73/206) of patients, RPP in 53.4% (110/206) and ictal in 11.2% (23/206) of patients. Treatment with AEDs, IVADs or a combination of both was administered in half of the patients. While all Ictal group patients received treatment (AEDs or IVADs), only 24/73 (32.9%) IP group patients and 55/108 (50.9%) RPP group patients were treated (p<0.001). Hospital length of stay (LOS) and frequency of unfavorable outcomes did not differ among the groups. In-hospital mortality was higher in IVADs treated RPP patients compared to AEDs treated RPP patients [11/19 (57.9%) vs. 11/36 (30.6%) patients

  11. Inflammatory Bowel Disease in a Rodent Model Alters Osteocyte Protein Levels Controlling Bone Turnover.

    PubMed

    Metzger, Corinne E; Narayanan, Anand; Zawieja, David C; Bloomfield, Susan A

    2017-04-01

    Bone loss is a common comorbidity of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), leading to elevated fracture risk in these patients. Inflammatory factors associated with IBD cause increased bone resorption and decreased bone formation with multiple factors implicated as instigators of these alterations. In this project, we examined the influence of IBD on osteocyte proteins in male rats (2 months old) divided into two groups: induced gut inflammation via 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS) enema, and vehicle control. We examined the prevalence of two pro-inflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), an anti-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-10 (IL-10), the anabolic factor insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), osteoclastogenesis regulators RANKL and OPG, and the bone formation inhibitor sclerostin in osteocytes in three bone compartments 4 weeks after initiation of gut inflammation. Histomorphometry of the proximal tibia and fourth lumbar vertebra revealed lower bone volume, lower bone formation rate (BFR), lower osteoid surface (OS), and higher osteoclast surface (Oc.S) with TNBS. Tibial mid-shaft periosteal BFR was also lower with TNBS. Immunohistochemical staining of the distal femur demonstrated that %TNF-α(+) , %IL-6(+) , %RANKL(+) , and %OPG(+) osteocytes were elevated in cancellous bone in TNBS animals compared to vehicle. These changes were coincident with increased bone resorption. With regression analysis, %RANKL(+) osteocytes statistically predicted the increase in cancellous Oc.S (R(2)  = 0.565). Increased %sclerostin(+) osteocytes observed in the TNBS treatment predicted declines in cancellous OS (R(2)  = 0.581) as well as BFR in cancellous and cortical bone (R(2)  = 0.674, R(2)  = 0.908, respectively). Contrary to our hypothesis, %IGF-I(+) osteocytes increased in TNBS animals. In conclusion, the IBD model produced a systemic inflammation that altered the regulatory protein profile in osteocytes that

  12. Altered levels of brain neurotransmitter from new born rabbits with intrauterine restriction.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Andrade, E; Cortés-Camberos, A J; Díaz, N F; Flores-Herrera, H; García-López, G; González-Jiménez, M; Santamaría, A; Molina-Hernández, A

    2015-01-01

    Fetal intrauterine growth restriction generates chronic hypoxia due to placental insufficiency. Despite the hemodynamic process of blood flow, redistributions are taking place in key organs such as the fetal brain during intrauterine growth restriction, in order to maintain oxygen and nutrients supply. The risk of short- and long-term neurological effects are still present in hypoxic offspring. Most studies previously reported the effect of hypoxia on the levels of a single neurotransmitter, making it difficult to have a better understanding of the relationship among neurotransmitter levels and the defects reported in products that suffer intrauterine growth restriction, such as motor development, coordination and execution of movement, and the learning-memory process. The aim of this study was to evaluate the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, glutamate, dopamine and serotonin in three structures of the brain related to the above-mentioned function such as the cerebral cortex, the striatum, and the hippocampus in the chronic hypoxic newborn rabbit model. Our results showed a significant increase in glutamate and dopamine levels in all studied brain structures and a significant decrease in gamma-aminobutyric acid levels but only in the striatum, suggesting that the imbalance on the levels of several neurotransmitters could be involved in new born brain damage due to perinatal hypoxia.

  13. Plasma homocysteine levels are independently associated with alterations of large artery stiffness in men but not in women

    PubMed Central

    Sheng, Li; Wu, Cai; Bai, Yong-Yi; Xiao, Wen-Kai; Feng, Dan; Ye, Ping

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To investigate the associations of the plasma homocysteine levels with the alterations in arterial stiffness in a community-based cohort. The gender differences in these associations were examined. Methods We evaluated the relationship between plasma homocysteine levels to three measures of vascular function [carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (CF-PWV), carotid-ankle PWV (CA-PWV) and heart rate corrected augmentation index (AI)] in 1680 participants (mean age: 61.5 years; 709 men, 971 women) from communities of Beijing, China. Results In univariate analysis, plasma homocysteine levels was positively related to the CF-PWV (r = 0.211, P < 0.0001) and CA-PWV (r = 0.148, P < 0.0001), whereas inversely associated with AI (r = −0.052, P = 0.016). In multiple linear regression models adjusting for covariants, plasma homocysteine remained positively related to the CF-PWV (standardized β = 0.065, P = 0.007) in total cases. When the groups of men and women were examined separately, plasma homocysteine remained positively associated with the CF-PWV (standardized β = 0.082, P = 0.023) in men, whereas the relations between homocysteine and any of the arterial stiffness indices were not further present in women. Conclusions In Chinese population, plasma homocysteine levels are independently associated with alterations of large artery stiffness in men but not in women. PMID:26089849

  14. Levels of sparganum infections and phylogenetic analysis of the tapeworm Spirometra erinaceieuropaei sparganum in wild frogs from Henan Province in central China.

    PubMed

    Wei, T; Zhang, X; Cui, J; Liu, L N; Jiang, P; Wang, Z Q

    2015-07-01

    Sparganosis is a serious food-borne parasitic zoonosis caused by infection with Spirometra spargana. The prevalence of sparganum infection in wild frogs (Rana nigromaculata, R. limmochari, R. temporaria and Bufo gargarizans) was investigated in Henan Province of central China during 2008-2012. Of 3482 caught wild frogs, 565 (16.23%) were found to be infected with plerocercoids (spargana) of the genus Spirometra. Spargana were found in 14.85% (320/2155) of R. nigromaculata, 20.82% (233/1119) of R. limmochari and 10.91% (12/110) of R. temporaria frogs. However, no sparganum was found in B. gargarizans. To investigate the phylogenetic position of collected spargana, three mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) regions, namely cytochrome c oxidase subunits 1 and 3 (cox1 and cox3), and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4 (nad4), were amplified, sequenced and analysed. Sequences of cox1, cox3 and pnad4 were 417, 390 and 578 bp in length, respectively. The base composition of cox1, cox3 and pnad4 were generally AT rich with a mean of 63.5%, 68.3% and 67% AT, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all the sparganum isolates in Henan Province represented Spirometra erinaceieuropaei and were a well-supported clade. These findings demonstrated clearly the usefulness of the three mtDNA sequences for molecular identification and population genetics studies of S. erinaceieuropaei spargana of human and animal health significance.

  15. Association of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus related SNP genotypes with altered serum adipokine levels and metabolic syndrome phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Al-Daghri, Nasser M; Al-Attas, Omar S; Krishnaswamy, Soundararajan; Mohammed, Abdul Khader; Alenad, Amal M; Chrousos, George P; Alokail, Majed S

    2015-01-01

    The pathogenesis of T2DM involves secretion of several pro-inflammatory molecules by the dramatically increased adipocytes, both by number and size, and associated macrophages of adipose tissue. Since T2DM is usually preceded by obesity and chronic systemic inflammation, the objective of this study was to explore for any association between genetic variants of previously established 36 T2DM-associated SNPs and altered serum adipocytokine levels and metabolic syndrome phenotypes. Study consisted of 566 subjects (284 males and 282 females) of whom 147 were T2DM patients and 419 healthy controls. Study subjects were genotyped for 36 T2DM-linked single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) using the KASPar SNP Genotyping System and grouped into different genotypes for each SNP. Various anthropometric and biochemical parameters were measured following standard procedures. The mean values of serum levels of individual adipocytokines and the presence/absence of metabolic syndrome phenotypes corresponding to various genotypes were compared by determining the odds ratios. Genotypic variants of five and seven of the 36 T2DM-related SNPs were significantly associated with altered serum levels of adiponectin and aPAI, respectively. Six variants of the 36 SNPs were associated with metabolic syndrome manifestations. This study identified positive associations between genotypic variants of five and seven of the 36 T2DM related SNPs and altered serum levels of adiponectin and aPAI, respectively. Six of 36 SNPs were also associated with metabolic syndrome in the studied population. The relation between specific SNPs and individual phenotypic traits may be useful in explaining the causal mechanisms of hereditary component of T2DM. PMID:26064370

  16. Systems-level metabolism of the altered Schaedler flora, a complete gut microbiota.

    PubMed

    Biggs, Matthew B; Medlock, Gregory L; Moutinho, Thomas J; Lees, Hannah J; Swann, Jonathan R; Kolling, Glynis L; Papin, Jason A

    2017-02-01

    The altered Schaedler flora (ASF) is a model microbial community with both in vivo and in vitro relevance. Here we provide the first characterization of the ASF community in vitro, independent of a murine host. We compared the functional genetic content of the ASF to wild murine metagenomes and found that the ASF functionally represents wild microbiomes better than random consortia of similar taxonomic composition. We developed a chemically defined medium that supported growth of seven of the eight ASF members. To elucidate the metabolic capabilities of these ASF species-including potential for interactions such as cross-feeding-we performed a spent media screen and analyzed the results through dynamic growth measurements and non-targeted metabolic profiling. We found that cross-feeding is relatively rare (32 of 3570 possible cases), but is enriched between Clostridium ASF356 and Parabacteroides ASF519. We identified many cases of emergent metabolism (856 of 3570 possible cases). These data will inform efforts to understand ASF dynamics and spatial distribution in vivo, to design pre- and probiotics that modulate relative abundances of ASF members, and will be essential for validating computational models of ASF metabolism. Well-characterized, experimentally tractable microbial communities enable research that can translate into more effective microbiome-targeted therapies to improve human health.

  17. Systems-level metabolism of the altered Schaedler flora, a complete gut microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Biggs, Matthew B; Medlock, Gregory L; Moutinho, Thomas J; Lees, Hannah J; Swann, Jonathan R; Kolling, Glynis L; Papin, Jason A

    2017-01-01

    The altered Schaedler flora (ASF) is a model microbial community with both in vivo and in vitro relevance. Here we provide the first characterization of the ASF community in vitro, independent of a murine host. We compared the functional genetic content of the ASF to wild murine metagenomes and found that the ASF functionally represents wild microbiomes better than random consortia of similar taxonomic composition. We developed a chemically defined medium that supported growth of seven of the eight ASF members. To elucidate the metabolic capabilities of these ASF species—including potential for interactions such as cross-feeding—we performed a spent media screen and analyzed the results through dynamic growth measurements and non-targeted metabolic profiling. We found that cross-feeding is relatively rare (32 of 3570 possible cases), but is enriched between Clostridium ASF356 and Parabacteroides ASF519. We identified many cases of emergent metabolism (856 of 3570 possible cases). These data will inform efforts to understand ASF dynamics and spatial distribution in vivo, to design pre- and probiotics that modulate relative abundances of ASF members, and will be essential for validating computational models of ASF metabolism. Well-characterized, experimentally tractable microbial communities enable research that can translate into more effective microbiome-targeted therapies to improve human health. PMID:27824342

  18. The TOC159 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana accumulates altered levels of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

    PubMed

    Afitlhile, Meshack; Fry, Morgan; Workman, Samantha

    2015-02-01

    We evaluated whether the TOC159 mutant of Arabidopsis called plastid protein import 2-2 (ppi2-2) accumulates normal levels of fatty acids, and transcripts of fatty acid desaturases and galactolipid synthesis enzymes. The ppi2-2 mutant accumulates decreased pigments and total fatty acid content. The MGD1 gene was downregulated and the mutant accumulates decreased levels of monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) and 16:3, which suggests that the prokaryotic pathway was impaired in the mutant. The HY5 gene, which encodes long hypocotyl5 transcription factor, was upregulated in the mutant. The DGD1 gene, an HY5 target was marginally increased and the mutant accumulates digalactosyldiacylglycerol at the control level. The mutant had increased expression of 3-ketoacyl-ACP synthase II gene, which encodes a plastid enzyme that elongates 16:0 to 18:0. Interestingly, glycerolipids in the mutant accumulate increased levels of 18:0. A gene that encodes stearoyl-ACP desaturase (SAD) was expressed at the control level and 18:1 was increased, which suggest that SAD may be strongly regulated at the posttranscriptional level. The molar ratio of MGDG to bilayer forming plastid lipids was decreased in the cold-acclimated wild type but not in the ppi2-2 mutant. This indicates that the mutant was unresponsive to cold-stress, and is consistent with increased levels of 18:0, and decreased 16:3 and 18:3 in the ppi2-2 mutant. Overall, these data indicate that a defective Toc159 receptor impaired the synthesis of MGDG, and affected desaturation of 16 and 18-carbon fatty acids. We conclude that expression of the MGD1 gene and synthesis of MGDG are tightly linked to plastid biogenesis.

  19. Vitamin D levels and liver histological alterations in children with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

    PubMed

    Nobili, Valerio; Giorgio, Valentina; Liccardo, Daniela; Bedogni, Giorgio; Morino, Giuseppe; Alisi, Anna; Cianfarani, Stefano

    2014-04-01

    To investigate the association between plasma vitamin D (VD) levels and histological liver damage in children with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In this cross-sectional study, carried out in a tertiary care center for obesity, 73 consecutive overweight and obese children with persistently elevated serum aminotransferase levels and diffusely hyperechogenic liver on ultrasonography were selected for liver biopsy. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and fibrosis were histologically diagnosed using NAFLD Clinical Research Network (CRN) criteria. The plasma levels of 25-OH-VD were measured by HPLC. Bone mineral density (BMD) of lumbar spine was evaluated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to evaluate the association between 25-OH-VD levels and the predictors of interest after correction for age, gender, waist circumference, BMI, and other potential confounders. The children (64% males) were aged 8-18 years, and their median BMI was 2.45 SDS. Both parathyroid hormone levels and BMD were within the normal range. All cases of fibrosis were detected in children with NASH. On multivariable linear regression with correction for age, gender, and BMI, 25-OH-VD levels were found to be 9 (95% CI 12-6) ng/ml lower in children with NASH than in those without NASH (P<0.001) and 9 (12-6) ng/ml lower in children with stage 1 fibrosis than in those with stage 0 fibrosis and 9 (13-6) ng/ml lower in children with stage 2 than in those with stage 0 fibrosis (P<0.001 for both). VD levels are inversely associated with NASH and fibrosis in children with NAFLD.

  20. Association of a Human FABP1 Gene Promoter Region Polymorphism with Altered Serum Triglyceride Levels.

    PubMed

    Peng, Xian-E; Wu, Yun-Li; Zhu, Yi-Bing; Huang, Rong-Dong; Lu, Qing-Qing; Lin, Xu

    2015-01-01

    Liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP), also known as fatty acid-binding protein 1 (FABP1), is a key regulator of hepatic lipid metabolism. Elevated FABP1 levels are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and metabolic syndromes. In this study, we examine the association of FABP1 gene promoter variants with serum FABP1 and lipid levels in a Chinese population. Four promoter single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of FABP1 gene were genotyped in a cross-sectional survey of healthy volunteers (n = 1,182) from Fuzhou city of China. Results showed that only the rs2919872 G>A variant was significantly associated with serum TG concentration(P = 0.032).Compared with the rs2919872 G allele, rs2919872 A allele contributed significantly to reduced serum TG concentration, and this allele dramatically decreased the FABP1 promoter activity(P < 0.05). The rs2919872 A allele carriers had considerably lower serum FABP1 levels than G allele carriers (P < 0.01). In the multivariable linear regression analysis, the rs2919872 A allele was negatively associated with serum FABP1 levels (β = -0.320, P = 0.003), while serum TG levels were positively associated with serum FABP1 levels (β = 0.487, P = 0.014). Our data suggest that compared with the rs2919872 G allele, the rs2919872 A allele reduces the transcriptional activity of FABP1 promoter, and thereby may link FABP1 gene variation to TG level in humans.

  1. Neonatal manipulation of oxytocin alters oxytocin levels in the pituitary of adult rats.

    PubMed

    Young, E; Carter, C S; Cushing, B S; Caldwell, J D

    2005-07-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) and its OT antagonists (OTA) in infant rats affect their behavior as adults. In this study we attempted to determine whether treating rats on the day of birth (postnatal day 1) with OT or OTA would affect brain OT levels of these rats as adults. Rat pups were injected with OT (3 microg), OTA (0.3 microg) or saline vehicle ip on postnatal day 1. As 60-day-old adults, treated rats were killed, and the OT content in their medial preoptic areas (MPOAs), medial hypothalami (MH) and pituitaries were assayed. In females, treatment with OTA on postnatal day 1 significantly decreased pituitary OT levels as adults. In males, by contrast, treatment with OTA on postnatal day 1 resulted in increased pituitary OT levels when they become adults compared to male rats treated with OT on postnatal day 1. There were no significant effects of neonatal treatment on OT levels in either the MH or MPOA. Day 1 postnatal treatment with OT or OTA had a long-term sexually dimorphic effect on OT levels in the pituitary.

  2. Altered interleukin-18 levels are associated with cognitive impairment in chronic schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jing Qin; Chen, Da Chun; Tan, Yun Long; Tan, Shu Ping; Xiu, Mei Hong; Wang, Zhi Ren; Yang, Fu De; Soares, Jair C; Zhang, Xiang Yang

    2016-05-01

    The pathophysiology of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia may involve the neuroinflammation mediated by cytokines. This study examined the IL-18 levels, the cognitive function, and their association in schizophrenia. We recruited 70 chronic patients and 75 normal controls and examined the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) and IL-18 levels. Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) was assessed in chronic patients. IL-18 levels were increased in chronic patients as compared to normal controls (p < 0.01). RBANS total score and the subscales of immediate memory and delayed memory were lower in patients than controls (all p < 0.001). In patients, IL-18 levels were positively associated with RBANS total score and the subscales of immediate and delayed memory (all p < 0.05). Multiple regression analysis further confirmed that IL-18 was an independent contributor to RBANS total score and the aforementioned two indexes (all p < 0.05). Our data demonstrate that immune responses may play an important role in cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and the abnormal levels of IL-18 reflecting the disturbed balance of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory mechanisms may be relevant to cognitive deficits of this disorder. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Habitat fragmentation differentially affects trophic levels and alters behavior in a multi-trophic marine system.

    PubMed

    Rielly-Carroll, Elizabeth; Freestone, Amy L

    2017-03-01

    Seagrass, an important subtidal marine ecosystem, is being lost at a rate of 110 km(2) year(-1), leading to fragmented seagrass seascapes. Habitat fragmentation is predicted to affect trophic levels differently, with higher trophic levels being more sensitive, stressing the importance of a multi-trophic perspective. Utilizing the trophic relationship between the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) and hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria), where adult blue crabs prey on juvenile blue crabs, and juvenile blue crabs prey on small hard clams, we examined whether predation rates, abundance, and behavior of predators and prey differed between continuous and fragmented seagrass in a multi-trophic context at two sites in Barnegat Bay, NJ. We tested the hypothesis that fragmented habitats would differentially affect trophic levels within a tri-trophic system, and our results supported this hypothesis. Densities of adult blue crabs were higher in fragmented than continuous habitats. Densities of juvenile blue crabs, the primary predator of hard clams, were lower in fragmented habitats than continuous, potentially due to increased predation by adult blue crabs. Clams experienced lower predation and burrowed to a shallower depth in fragmented habitats than in continuous habitat, likely due in part to the low densities of juvenile blue crabs, their primary predator. Our results suggest that while trophic levels are differentially affected, the impact of habitat fragmentation may be stronger on intermediate rather than top trophic levels in some marine systems.

  4. CrBPF1 overexpression alters transcript levels of terpenoid indole alkaloid biosynthetic and regulatory genes

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chun Yao; Leopold, Alex L.; Sander, Guy W.; Shanks, Jacqueline V.; Zhao, Le; Gibson, Susan I.

    2015-01-01

    Terpenoid indole alkaloid (TIA) biosynthesis in Catharanthus roseus is a complex and highly regulated process. Understanding the biochemistry and regulation of the TIA pathway is of particular interest as it may allow the engineering of plants to accumulate higher levels of pharmaceutically important alkaloids. Toward this end, we generated a transgenic C. roseus hairy root line that overexpresses the CrBPF1 transcriptional activator under the control of a β-estradiol inducible promoter. CrBPF1 is a MYB-like protein that was previously postulated to help regulate the expression of the TIA biosynthetic gene STR. However, the role of CrBPF1 in regulation of the TIA and related pathways had not been previously characterized. In this study, transcriptional profiling revealed that overexpression of CrBPF1 results in increased transcript levels for genes from both the indole and terpenoid biosynthetic pathways that provide precursors for TIA biosynthesis, as well as for genes in the TIA biosynthetic pathway. In addition, overexpression of CrBPF1 causes increases in the transcript levels for 11 out of 13 genes postulated to act as transcriptional regulators of genes from the TIA and TIA feeder pathways. Interestingly, overexpression of CrBPF1 causes increased transcript levels for both TIA transcriptional activators and repressors. Despite the fact that CrBPF1 overexpression affects transcript levels of a large percentage of TIA biosynthetic and regulatory genes, CrBPF1 overexpression has only very modest effects on the levels of the TIA metabolites analyzed. This finding may be due, at least in part, to the up-regulation of both transcriptional activators and repressors in response to CrBPF1 overexpression, suggesting that CrBPF1 may serve as a “fine-tune” regulator for TIA biosynthesis, acting to help regulate the timing and amplitude of TIA gene expression. PMID:26483828

  5. Alterations in Hormone Levels After Adjuvant Chemoradiation in Male Rectal Cancer Patients

    SciTech Connect

    Yoon, Frederick H.; Perera, Francisco Fisher, Barbara; Stitt, Larry

    2009-07-15

    Purpose: To evaluate follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and testosterone levels after postoperative chemoradiation in men with rectal cancer. Methods and Materials: Forty-three men with rectal cancer had baseline and postchemoradiation FSH, LH, and testosterone measured. Adjuvant chemoradiation consisted of two 5-day cycles of bolus 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) every 4 weeks at a dose of 500 mg/m{sup 2}/d followed by concurrent chemoradiation followed by two additional 5-day cycles of 5-FU at a dose of 450 mg/m{sup 2}/d. Continuous-infusion 5-FU at 225 mg/m{sup 2}/d was given during radiation. Pelvic radiation consisted of a three- or four-field technique with a median dose of 54.0 Gy in 30 fractions. Results: Median follow-up was 6.1 years. Mean baseline FSH levels increased from 5.3 to a peak of 23.9 IU/L (p < 0.001) 13-24 months after chemoradiation. Mean baseline LH levels increased from 4.3 to a peak of 8.5 IU/L (p < 0.001) within 6 months after chemoradiation. Mean testosterone levels decreased from 15.4 nmol/L at baseline to 8.0 nmol/L more than 4 years after chemoradiation. Mean testosterone to mean LH ratio decreased from 4.4 at baseline to 1.1 after 48 months posttreatment, suggesting a continued decrease in Leydig cell function with time. Testicular dose was measured in 5 patients. Median dose was 4 Gy (range, 1.5-8.9 Gy). Conclusions: Chemoradiation in men with rectal cancer causes persistent increases in FSH and LH levels and decreases in testosterone levels.

  6. The Effects of Altered Membrane Cholesterol Levels on Sodium Pump Activity in Subclinical Hypothyroidism

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Background Metabolic dysfunctions characteristic of overt hypothyroidism (OH) start at the early stage of subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH). Na+/K+-ATPase (the sodium pump) is a transmembrane enzyme that plays a vital role in cellular activities in combination with membrane lipids. We evaluated the effects of early changes in thyroid hormone and membrane cholesterol on sodium pump activity in SCH and OH patients. Methods In 32 SCH patients, 35 OH patients, and 34 euthyroid patients, sodium pump activity and cholesterol levels in red blood cell membranes were measured. Serum thyroxine (T4) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Differences in their mean values were analysed using post hoc analysis of variance. We assessed the dependence of the sodium pump on other metabolites by multiple regression analysis. Results Sodium pump activity and membrane cholesterol were lower in both hypothyroid groups than in control group, OH group exhibiting lower values than SCH group. In SCH group, sodium pump activity showed a significant direct dependence on membrane cholesterol with an inverse relationship with serum TSH levels. In OH group, sodium pump activity depended directly on membrane cholesterol and serum T4 levels. No dependence on serum cholesterol was observed in either case. Conclusion Despite the presence of elevated serum cholesterol in hypothyroidism, membrane cholesterol contributed significantly to maintain sodium pump activity in the cells. A critical reduction in membrane cholesterol levels heralds compromised enzyme activity, even in the early stage of hypothyroidism, and this can be predicted by elevated TSH levels alone, without any evident clinical manifestations. PMID:28256112

  7. Low-level red laser therapy alters effects of ultraviolet C radiation on Escherichia coli cells

    PubMed Central

    Canuto, K.S.; Sergio, L.P.S.; Guimarães, O.R.; Geller, M.; Paoli, F.; Fonseca, A.S.

    2015-01-01

    Low-level lasers are used at low power densities and doses according to clinical protocols supplied with laser devices or based on professional practice. Although use of these lasers is increasing in many countries, the molecular mechanisms involved in effects of low-level lasers, mainly on DNA, are controversial. In this study, we evaluated the effects of low-level red lasers on survival, filamentation, and morphology of Escherichia colicells that were exposed to ultraviolet C (UVC) radiation. Exponential and stationary wild-type and uvrA-deficientE. coli cells were exposed to a low-level red laser and in sequence to UVC radiation. Bacterial survival was evaluated to determine the laser protection factor (ratio between the number of viable cells after exposure to the red laser and UVC and the number of viable cells after exposure to UVC). Bacterial filaments were counted to obtain the percentage of filamentation. Area-perimeter ratios were calculated for evaluation of cellular morphology. Experiments were carried out in duplicate and the results are reported as the means of three independent assays. Pre-exposure to a red laser protected wild-type and uvrA-deficient E. coli cells against the lethal effect of UVC radiation, and increased the percentage of filamentation and the area-perimeter ratio, depending on UVC fluence and physiological conditions in the cells. Therapeutic, low-level red laser radiation can induce DNA lesions at a sub-lethal level. Consequences to cells and tissues should be considered when clinical protocols based on this laser are carried out. PMID:26445338

  8. Low-level red laser therapy alters effects of ultraviolet C radiation on Escherichia coli cells.

    PubMed

    Canuto, K S; Sergio, L P S; Guimarães, O R; Geller, M; Paoli, F; Fonseca, A S

    2015-10-01

    Low-level lasers are used at low power densities and doses according to clinical protocols supplied with laser devices or based on professional practice. Although use of these lasers is increasing in many countries, the molecular mechanisms involved in effects of low-level lasers, mainly on DNA, are controversial. In this study, we evaluated the effects of low-level red lasers on survival, filamentation, and morphology of Escherichia colicells that were exposed to ultraviolet C (UVC) radiation. Exponential and stationary wild-type and uvrA-deficientE. coli cells were exposed to a low-level red laser and in sequence to UVC radiation. Bacterial survival was evaluated to determine the laser protection factor (ratio between the number of viable cells after exposure to the red laser and UVC and the number of viable cells after exposure to UVC). Bacterial filaments were counted to obtain the percentage of filamentation. Area-perimeter ratios were calculated for evaluation of cellular morphology. Experiments were carried out in duplicate and the results are reported as the means of three independent assays. Pre-exposure to a red laser protected wild-type and uvrA-deficient E. coli cells against the lethal effect of UVC radiation, and increased the percentage of filamentation and the area-perimeter ratio, depending on UVC fluence and physiological conditions in the cells. Therapeutic, low-level red laser radiation can induce DNA lesions at a sub-lethal level. Consequences to cells and tissues should be considered when clinical protocols based on this laser are carried out.

  9. Low-level red laser therapy alters effects of ultraviolet C radiation on Escherichia coli cells.

    PubMed

    Canuto, K S; Sergio, L P S; Guimarães, O R; Geller, M; Paoli, F; Fonseca, A S

    2015-07-10

    Low-level lasers are used at low power densities and doses according to clinical protocols supplied with laser devices or based on professional practice. Although use of these lasers is increasing in many countries, the molecular mechanisms involved in effects of low-level lasers, mainly on DNA, are controversial. In this study, we evaluated the effects of low-level red lasers on survival, filamentation, and morphology of Escherichia coli cells that were exposed to ultraviolet C (UVC) radiation. Exponential and stationary wild-type and uvrA-deficient E. coli cells were exposed to a low-level red laser and in sequence to UVC radiation. Bacterial survival was evaluated to determine the laser protection factor (ratio between the number of viable cells after exposure to the red laser and UVC and the number of viable cells after exposure to UVC). Bacterial filaments were counted to obtain the percentage of filamentation. Area-perimeter ratios were calculated for evaluation of cellular morphology. Experiments were carried out in duplicate and the results are reported as the means of three independent assays. Pre-exposure to a red laser protected wild-type and uvrA-deficient E. coli cells against the lethal effect of UVC radiation, and increased the percentage of filamentation and the area-perimeter ratio, depending on UVC fluence and physiological conditions in the cells. Therapeutic, low-level red laser radiation can induce DNA lesions at a sub-lethal level. Consequences to cells and tissues should be considered when clinical protocols based on this laser are carried out.

  10. Sulforaphane reduces the alterations induced by quinolinic acid: modulation of glutathione levels.

    PubMed

    Santana-Martínez, R A; Galván-Arzáte, S; Hernández-Pando, R; Chánez-Cárdenas, M E; Avila-Chávez, E; López-Acosta, G; Pedraza-Chaverrí, J; Santamaría, A; Maldonado, P D

    2014-07-11

    Glutamate-induced excitotoxicity involves a state of acute oxidative stress, which is a crucial event during neuronal degeneration and is part of the physiopathology of neurodegenerative diseases. In this work, we evaluated the ability of sulforaphane (SULF), a natural dietary isothiocyanate, to induce the activation of transcription factor Nrf2 (a master regulator of redox state in the cell) in a model of striatal degeneration in rats infused with quinolinic acid (QUIN). Male Wistar rats received SULF (5mg/kg, i.p.) 24h and 5min before the intrastriatal infusion of QUIN. SULF increased the reduced glutathione (GSH) levels 4h after QUIN infusion, which was associated with its ability to increase the activity of glutathione reductase (GR), an antioxidant enzyme capable to regenerate GSH levels at 24h. Moreover, SULF treatment increased glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, while no changes were observed in γ-glutamyl cysteine ligase (GCL) activity. SULF treatment also prevented QUIN-induced oxidative stress (measured by oxidized proteins levels), the histological damage and the circling behavior. These results suggest that the protective effect of SULF could be related to its ability to preserve GSH levels and increase GPx and GR activities. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Legumes increase growth and alter foliar nutrient levels of black walnut saplings

    Treesearch

    J.W. Van Sambeek; Felix Jr. Ponder; W.J. Rietveld

    1986-01-01

    Differences in herbaceous competition, growth, soil, and foliar nutrient levels were compared for black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) saplings growing on an upland and a bottomland site in southern Illinois, with covers of five different herbaceous legumes or naturally occurring forbs. Hairy vetch ( Vicia villosa Roth. ) increased...

  12. Acute gastric pH changes alter intraluminal but not plasma peptide levels.

    PubMed

    Mueller, C R; Ure, T; O'Dorisio, T M; Barrie, R J; Woltering, E A

    1991-12-01

    Gastric acidity is influenced by systemic and local peptide effects. Previous work by others has shown that intraluminally secreted peptides may have a role in local control of gastric acidity; however, the response of these peptides to acute changes in gastric pH is unknown. To determine the effects of acute changes in pH on systemic and intraluminal peptide levels, 14 normal volunteers underwent placement of a nasogastric tube after an overnight fast. Blood and gastric fluid were analyzed on a control day, 2 hours after completion of 24 hours of aluminum-magnesium antacid therapy and after 24 hours of H2 blockade. Plasma and acid-alcohol-extracted gastric peptide levels were measured with specific radioimmunoassays. Specimens were subdivided into two groups: 28 gastric fluid specimens with a pH less than 4 and 10 specimens with a pH greater than 4. In the patients with a pH greater than 4, the luminal peptides, motilin, neurotensin, pancreatic polypeptide, somatostatin, substance P, and gastrin, were decreased by 50% to 90% and gastrin-releasing peptide was decreased by 36% compared with specimens with a pH less than 4. Conversely, intraluminal vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and calcitonin levels were elevated by 60% and 27%, respectively, in the samples with a pH greater than 4. Intraluminal peptide concentrations are responsive to changes in intragastric pH; however, this response was not seen in plasma peptide levels.

  13. Gibberellic acid, a plant growth regulator, increases mast cell recruitment and alters Substance P levels.

    PubMed

    Erin, Nuray; Afacan, Berna; Ersoy, Yasemin; Ercan, Feriha; Balci, Mustafa Kemal

    2008-12-05

    Gibberellic acid (GA3), a plant growth regulator, is used commonly in agriculture. Its potential hazardous effects on human health, however, were relatively unexplored. Several studies demonstrated that in animals chronic GA3 consumption increased tumor formation and oxidative stress. Mast cells and Substance P (SP) play an important role in inflammation. Because chronic inflammation triggers serious conditions, including tumor formation, we examined changes in mast cell recruitment and activation as well as SP levels in skin and urinary bladder. Wistar Albino rats were treated with either a single GA3 dose or multiple GA3 doses for 30 days. Sub-chronic exposure to GA3 markedly increased mast cell recruitment and activation in both tissues. Treatment with 2mg/kg GA3 dose for 30 days decreased SP levels in skin and bladder. SP levels returned to control values in bladder and further increased in skin following 30-day treatment with the 20mg/kg GA3 dose. There was marked urothelial loss and inflammatory cell infiltration in bladder of 30-day GA3 treated groups. In skin, single GA3 doses also decreased SP levels and enhanced mast cell activation and recruitment. Since both SP and mast cell activation elicit inflammatory responses, these results demonstrate that exposure to plant growth regulators may increase inflammatory skin and bladder disease and that use of GA3 should be clearly monitored.

  14. Increased adipose tissue heme levels and exportation are associated with altered systemic glucose metabolism.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Navarrete, José María; Rodríguez, Amaia; Ortega, Francisco; Becerril, Sara; Sabater-Masdeu, Mònica; Latorre, Jessica; Ricart, Wifredo; Frühbeck, Gema; Fernández-Real, José Manuel

    2017-07-13

    Iron status is known to be associated with the physiology of adipose tissue (AT). We aimed to investigate AT heme and expression of heme exporter (FLVCR1) in association with obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Substantial amounts of FLVCR1 mRNA and protein levels were detected in AT, being significantly increased in subjects with T2D, and positively correlated with fasting glucose, fasting triglycerides and with circulating markers of iron stores (serum ferritin, blood hemoglobin and hematocrit). In both visceral (VAT) and subcutaneous AT (SAT), increased heme levels were found in subjects with T2D. Reinforcing these associations, FLVCR1 mRNA levels were positively linked to fasting glucose in an independent cohort. Longitudianlly, the percent change of FLVCR1 positively correlated with the percent change in fasting glucose (r = 0.52, p = 0.03) after bariatric surgery-induced weight loss. High-fat diet-induced weight gain in rats did not result in significant changes in AT Flvcr1 mRNA but, remarkably, the expression of this gene positively correlated with fasting glucose and negatively with insulin sensitivity (QUICKI). Altogether, these findings showed a direct association between FLVCR1 mRNA levels and hyperglycemia, suggesting that increased adipose tissue heme exportation might disrupt, or is the consequence of, impaired systemic glucose metabolism during the progression to T2D.

  15. Changes in Voice Level Caused by Several Forms of Altered Feedback in Fluent Speakers and Stutterers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howell, Peter

    1990-01-01

    Fluent speakers and stutterer's increased voice level were analyzed in response to voice-delayed auditory feedback, an Edinburgh masker, and white noise. These results are used to assess auditory feedback monitoring accounts of speech behavior of fluent speakers and stutterers with some implications for the treatment of stuttering. (37 references)…

  16. CSF beta-amyloid levels are altered in narcolepsy: a link with the inflammatory hypothesis?

    PubMed

    Liguori, Claudio; Placidi, Fabio; Albanese, Maria; Nuccetelli, Marzia; Izzi, Francesca; Marciani, Maria Grazia; Mercuri, Nicola Biagio; Bernardini, Sergio; Romigi, Andrea

    2014-08-01

    Narcolepsy is characterized by hypocretin deficiency due to the loss of hypothalamic orexinergic neurons, and is associated with both the human leucocyte antigen DQB1*06:02 and the T cell receptor polymorphism. The above relationship suggests autoimmune/inflammatory processes underlying the loss of orexinergic neurons in narcolepsy. To test the autoimmune/inflammatory hypothesis by means of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of beta-amyloid1-42 and/or total tau proteins in a sample of narcoleptic patients, we analysed 16 narcoleptic patients and 16 healthy controls. Beta-amyloid1-42 CSF levels were significantly lower in narcoleptic patients compared with healthy controls. We also documented pathologically low levels of CSF beta-amyloid1-42 (<500 pg mL(-1) ) in six of 16 narcoleptic patients (37.5%). We hypothesize that the significant decrease of the CSF beta-amyloid1-42 levels in narcoleptic patients may support both the inflammatory/autoimmune hypothesis as the basis of the pathogenesis of narcolepsy and the prevalence of an 'amyloidogenic' pathway caused by the deficiency of the alpha-secretases enzymes.

  17. Profiling phylogenetic informativeness.

    PubMed

    Townsend, Jeffrey P

    2007-04-01

    The resolution of four controversial topics in phylogenetic experimental design hinges upon the informativeness of characters about the historical relationships among taxa. These controversies regard the power of different classes of phylogenetic character, the relative utility of increased taxonomic versus character sampling, the differentiation between lack of phylogenetic signal and a historical rapid radiation, and the design of taxonomically broad phylogenetic studies optimized by taxonomically sparse genome-scale data. Quantification of the informativeness of characters for resolution of phylogenetic hypotheses during specified historical epochs is key to the resolution of these controversies. Here, such a measure of phylogenetic informativeness is formulated. The optimal rate of evolution of a character to resolve a dated four-taxon polytomy is derived. By scaling the asymptotic informativeness of a character evolving at a nonoptimal rate by the derived asymptotic optimum, and by normalizing so that net phylogenetic informativeness is equivalent for all rates when integrated across all of history, an informativeness profile across history is derived. Calculation of the informativeness per base pair allows estimation of the cost-effectiveness of character sampling. Calculation of the informativeness per million years allows comparison across historical radiations of the utility of a gene for the inference of rapid adaptive radiation. The theory is applied to profile the phylogenetic informativeness of the genes BRCA1, RAG1, GHR, and c-myc from a muroid rodent sequence data set. Bounded integrations of the phylogenetic profile of these genes over four epochs comprising the diversifications of the muroid rodents, the mammals, the lobe-limbed vertebrates, and the early metazoans demonstrate the differential power of these genes to resolve the branching order among ancestral lineages. This measure of phylogenetic informativeness yields a new kind of information

  18. A maximal incremental effort alters tear osmolarity depending on the fitness level in military helicopter pilots.

    PubMed

    Vera Vilchez, Jesús; Jimenez, Raimundo; Madinabeitia, Iker; Masiulis, Nerijus; Cárdenas, David

    2017-08-04

    Fitness level modulates the physiological responses to exercise for a variety of indices. While intense bouts of exercise have been demonstrated to increase tear osmolarity (Tosm), it is not known if fitness level can affect the Tosm response to acute exercise. This study aims to compare the effect of a maximal incremental test on Tosm between trained and untrained military helicopter pilots. Nineteen military helicopter pilots (ten trained and nine untrained) performed a maximal incremental test on a treadmill. A tear sample was collected before and after physical effort to determine the exercise-induced changes on Tosm. The Bayesian statistical analysis demonstrated that Tosm significantly increased from 303.72 ± 6.76 to 310.56 ± 8.80 mmol/L after performance of a maximal incremental test. However, while the untrained group showed an acute Tosm rise (12.33 mmol/L of increment), the trained group experienced a stable Tosm physical effort (1.45 mmol/L). There was a significant positive linear association between fat indices and Tosm changes (correlation coefficients [r] range: 0.77-0.89), whereas the Tosm changes displayed a negative relationship with the cardiorespiratory capacity (VO2 max; r = -0.75) and performance parameters (r = -0.75 for velocity, and r = -0.67 for time to exhaustion). The findings from this study provide evidence that fitness level is a major determinant of Tosm response to maximal incremental physical effort, showing a fairly linear association with several indices related to fitness level. High fitness level seems to be beneficial to avoid Tosm changes as consequence of intense exercise. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. Iron Supplementation Alters Heme and Heme Oxygenase 1 (HO-1) Levels In Pregnant Women in Ghana

    PubMed Central

    Salifu, Hassana; Wilson, Nana O.; Liu, Mingli; Dickinson-Copeland, Carmen; Yatich, Nelly; Keenan, John; Turpin, Cornelius; Jolly, Pauline; Gyasi, Richard; Adjei, Andrew A.; Stiles, Jonathan K.

    2016-01-01

    Background Iron supplementation is recommended for pregnant women to meet their iron requirement for a healthy pregnancy. The benefits and risks of universal iron supplementation during pregnancy in malaria endemic countries are currently being debated. As part of a broader study that focused on the effect of heme/HO-1 on pregnancy outcomes in malaria in pregnancy, we determined the association between iron supplementation and free heme levels in blood of pregnant women with and without malaria in Ghana. We hypothesized that pregnant women with malaria who took iron supplements will have higher levels of Heme/HO-1 than those who did not take iron supplements. Methods A total of 337 women were recruited for this study. Blood samples were collected for malaria diagnosis and heme/HO-1 measurement. Quantification of heme was done using a heme colorimetric assay kit and HO-1 levels were performed using Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) on plasma samples. Results Malaria positive iron supplemented women, in their third trimester, had significantly higher median levels of heme 59.3(43.1 – 60.4) than non-malaria iron supplemented women 35.7(33.0 – 62.2), p = 0.026. Also, malaria positive iron supplemented women had significant higher median levels of HO-16.2(IQR 4.9 – 8.1) than pregnant women who did not take iron supplements 2.9 (IQR 2.1 – 3.8), p = <0.001 Conclusion Although iron supplementation may be highly beneficial and improve pregnancy outcomes for iron deficient or anemic mothers, it is also likely that iron supplementation for pregnant women who are not iron deficient may put this group of women at risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes. Findings from this study sheds light on the effect of iron supplementation on malaria derived heme in pregnancy, which may inform how iron supplementation is recommended for pregnant women who are not iron deficient. PMID:28124024

  20. Systems Biological Analysis of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Internalization Dynamics for Altered Receptor Levels*

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt-Glenewinkel, Hannah; Reinz, Eileen; Eils, Roland; Brady, Nathan R.

    2009-01-01

    Epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) overexpression is a hallmark of many cancers. EGFR endocytosis is a critical step in signal attenuation, raising the question of how receptor expression levels affect the internalization process. Here we combined quantitative experimental and mathematical modeling approaches to investigate the role of the EGFR expression level on the rate of receptor internalization. Using tetramethylrhodamine-labeled EGF, we established assays for quantifying EGF-triggered EGFR internalization by both high resolution confocal microscopy and flow cytometry. We determined that the flow cytometry approach was more sensitive for examining large populations of cells. Mathematical modeling was used to investigate the relationship between EGF internalization kinetics, EGFR expression, and internalization machinery. We predicted that the standard parameter used to assess internalization kinetics, the temporal evolution r(t) of the ratio of internalized versus surface-located ligand·receptor complexes, does not describe a straight line, as proposed previously. Instead, a convex or concave curve occurs depending on whether initial receptor numbers or internalization adaptors are limiting the uptake reaction, respectively. To test model predictions, we measured EGF-EGFR binding and internalization in cells expressing different levels of green fluorescent protein-EGFR. As expected, surface binding of rhodamine-labeled EGF increased with green fluorescent protein-EGFR expression level. Unexpectedly, internalization of ligand· receptor complexes increased linearly with increasing receptor expression level, suggesting that receptors and not internalization adaptors were limiting the uptake in our experimental model. Finally, determining the ratio of internalized versus surface-located ligand·receptor complexes for this cell line confirmed that it follows a convex curve, supporting our model predictions. PMID:19297331

  1. Imipramine reverses alterations in cytokines and BDNF levels induced by maternal deprivation in adult rats.

    PubMed

    Réus, Gislaine Z; Dos Santos, Maria Augusta B; Abelaira, Helena M; Ribeiro, Karine F; Petronilho, Fabrícia; Vuolo, Francieli; Colpo, Gabriela D; Pfaffenseller, Bianca; Kapczinski, Flávio; Dal-Pizzol, Felipe; Quevedo, João

    2013-04-01

    A growing body of evidence is pointing toward an association between immune molecules, as well brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and the depression. The present study was aimed to evaluate the behavioral and molecular effects of the antidepressant imipramine in maternally deprived adult rats. To this aim, maternally deprived and non-deprived (control group) male rats were treated with imipramine (30mg/kg) once a day for 14 days during their adult phase. Their behavior was then assessed using the forced swimming test. In addition to this, IL-10, TNF-α and IL-1β cytokines were assessed in the serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In addition, BDNF protein levels were assessed in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and amygdala. In deprived rats treated with saline was observed an increase on immobility time, compared with non-deprived rats treated with imipramine (p<0.05). Deprived rats treated with saline presented a decrease on BDNF levels in the amygdala (p<0.05), compared with all other groups. The IL-10 levels were decreased in the serum (p<0.05). TNF-α and IL-1β levels were increased in the serum and CSF of deprived rats treated with saline (p<0.05). Interestingly, imipramine treatment reversed the effects of maternal deprivation on BDNF and cytokines levels (p<0.05). Finally, these findings further support a relationship between immune activation, neurotrophins and the depression, and considering the action of imipramine, it is suggested that classic antidepressants could exert their effects by modulating the immune system.

  2. High levels of psychopathic traits alters moral choice but not moral judgment

    PubMed Central

    Tassy, Sébastien; Deruelle, Christine; Mancini, Julien; Leistedt, Samuel; Wicker, Bruno

    2013-01-01

    Psychopathy is a personality disorder frequently associated with immoral behaviors. Previous behavioral studies on the influence of psychopathy on moral decision have yielded contradictory results, possibly because they focused either on judgment (abstract evaluation) or on choice of hypothetical action, two processes that may rely on different mechanisms. In this study, we explored the influence of the level of psychopathic traits on judgment and choice of hypothetical action during moral dilemma evaluation. A population of 102 students completed a questionnaire with ten moral dilemmas and nine non-moral dilemmas. The task included questions targeting both judgment (“Is it acceptable to … in order to …?”) and choice of hypothetical action (“Would you … in order to …?”). The level of psychopathic traits of each participant was evaluated with the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy (LSRP) scale. Logistic regression fitted with the generalized estimating equations method analyses were conducted using responses to the judgment and choice tasks as the dependent variables and psychopathy scores as predictor. Results show that a high level of psychopathic traits, and more specifically those related to affective deficit, predicted a greater proportion of utilitarian responses for the choice but not for the judgment question. There was no first-order interaction between the level of psychopathic traits and other potential predictors. The relation between a high level of psychopathic traits and increased utilitarianism in choice of action but not in moral judgment may explain the contradictory results of previous studies where these two processes were not contrasted. It also gives further support to the hypothesis that choice of action endorsement and abstract judgment during moral dilemma evaluation are partially distinct neural and psychological processes. We propose that this distinction should be better taken into account in the evaluation of psychopathic

  3. High homocysteine levels prevent via H2 S the CoCl2 -induced alteration of lymphocyte viability.

    PubMed

    Bruzzese, Laurie; Fenouillet, Emmanuel; Fromonot, Julien; Durand-Gorde, Josée-Martine; Condo, Jocelyne; Kipson, Nathalie; Mottola, Giovanna; Deharo, Pierre; Guieu, Régis; Ruf, Jean

    2016-08-01

    High homocysteine (HCy) levels are associated with lymphocyte-mediated inflammatory responses that are sometimes in turn related to hypoxia. Because adenosine is a potent lymphocyte suppressor produced in hypoxic conditions and shares metabolic pathways with HCy, we addressed the influence of high HCy levels on the hypoxia-induced, adenosine-mediated, alteration of lymphocyte viability. We treated mitogen-stimulated human lymphocytes isolated from healthy individuals and the human lymphoma T-cell line CEM with cobalt chloride (CoCl2 )to reproduce hypoxia. We found that CoCl2 -altered cell viability was dose-dependently reversed using HCy. In turn, the HCy effect was inhibited using DL-propargylglycine, a specific inhibitor of the hydrogen sulphide (H2 S)-synthesizing enzyme cystathionine-γ-lyase involved in HCy catabolism. We then addressed the intracellular metabolic pathway of adenosine and HCy, and the role of the adenosine A2A receptor (A2 A R). We observed that: (i) hypoxic conditions lowered the intracellular concentration of HCy by increasing adenosine production, which resulted in high A2 A R expression and 3', 5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate production; (ii) increasing intracellular HCy concentration reversed the hypoxia-induced adenosinergic signalling despite high adenosine concentration by promoting both S-adenosylhomocysteine and H2 S production; (iii) DL-propargylglycine that inhibits H2 S production abolished the HCy effect. Together, these data suggest that high HCy levels prevent, via H2 S production and the resulting down-regulation of A2 A R expression, the hypoxia-induced adenosinergic alteration of lymphocyte viability. We point out the relevance of these mechanisms in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases.

  4. Environmental acidification is not associated with altered plasma corticosterone levels in the stream-side salamander, Desmognathus ochrophaeus.

    PubMed

    Woodley, Sarah K; Freeman, Peter; Ricciardella, Lauren F

    2014-05-15

    As environments become increasingly altered due to anthropogenic factors, interest is growing in how endocrine systems respond to pollution and environmental degradation. Glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) are a type of stress hormones that are released upon activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and have widespread effects throughout the body. We tested the hypothesis that exposure to environmental acidification is associated with altered levels of plasma GCs in adult, stream-side Allegheny Mountain dusky salamanders (Desmognathus ochrophaeus). We compared plasma corticosterone (CORT) in salamanders living in 9 streams that differed in pH. Although capture and handling induced a robust increase in plasma CORT in all populations of salamanders, we discerned no significant effect of environmental pH on baseline CORT or handling-induced CORT levels. In a laboratory study, low pH decreased salamander locomotory activity compared to acid-neutral controls, but there was no effect of pH on plasma CORT. Decreased locomotory activity is a common amphibian response to stress, indicating that low pH has adverse effects on Allegheny Mountain dusky salamanders. Overall, we conclude that the effects of environmental pH on salamander behavior and other potential responses are not mediated by changes in plasma CORT levels. We discuss alternative explanations for our results and describe difficulties involved in searching for relationships between plasma GCs and environmental degradation.

  5. Serum level of scorpion toxins, electrolytes and electrocardiogram alterations in Mexican children envenomed by scorpion sting.

    PubMed

    Osnaya-Romero, N; Acosta-Saavedra, L C; Goytia-Acevedo, R; Lares-Asseff, I; Basurto-Celaya, G; Perez-Guille, G; Possani, L D; Calderón-Aranda, E S

    2016-11-01

    The scorpion Centruroides limpidus limpidus (C.l.l.) is endemic in México, producing hundreds of accidents in humans; children being one of the most susceptible targets. Few studies reported that severe envenoming by scorpion venom induces cardiac damage and electrolytes abnormalities in children, but the relationship of envenoming severity and toxic blood levels is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship among clinical status of envenoming, serum electrolyte, electrocardiographic abnormalities, and serum toxin levels in 44 children stung by scorpion over a period of 6 months in the State of Morelos, Mexico. The patients were said to be asymptomatic, when they presented just local symptoms, and were said to be symptomatic when showing local symptoms and at least one systemic symptom. The clinical status was evaluated at the admission at the emergency room of the Hospital, and 30 min after the administration of polyspecific F(ab')2 anti-scorpion therapy to symptomatic children. Forty-one percent of the children were asymptomatic and 59% symptomatic. Potassium and sodium imbalance and an elongation of the QT interval were detected; the rate of hypokalemia was higher in symptomatic than on asymptomatic children (50% and 6%, respectively). Hypokalemia persisted in 19% in symptomatic patients, whereas sodium reached normal levels 30 min after anti-venom therapy. The hypokalemia statistically correlated with elongation of the QT interval. The concentration of the toxic components of C.l.l in serum was significantly higher in symptomatic than asymptomatic children, and the serum levels of the toxic component significantly decreased to undetectable levels after the application of anti-venom therapy. Despite the small size of the sample, this study establishes that severity of envenoming was statistically related to potassium imbalance in serum, QT interval and the concentration of toxic components in serum, which decreased at undetectable levels

  6. Dysregulation of Autonomic Nervous System in Chagas’ Heart Disease Is Associated with Altered Adipocytokines Levels

    PubMed Central

    Barbosa-Ferreira, João Marcos; Mady, Charles; Ianni, Barbara Maria; Lopes, Heno Ferreira; Ramires, Felix José Alvarez; Salemi, Vera Maria Cury; Grupi, Cesar José; Hachul, Denise Tessariol; Fernandes, Fábio

    2015-01-01

    Background Chagas disease (CD) induces autonomic dysfunction and inflammatory activity, which may promote metabolic abnormalities. We studied metabolism and his correlation with Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) and inflammation in CD. Methods and Results Sixty subjects were divided into 4 groups: control group (CG), IF (indeterminate form) group; ECG group (ECG abnormalities and normal left ventricular systolic function), and LVD group (left ventricular sistolic dysfunction). Levels of adiponectin, leptin, insulin, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) were assayed in serum samples by ELISA. ANS was assessed by heart rate variability in frequency domain in 24-hour Holter and postural tilt test (rest and orthostatic position). High frequency (HFr) component values were used to estimate parasympathetic activity and low frequency (LFr) component, sympathetic activity. Analyzes were made of the correlations of each of the metabolic parameters (leptin and adiponectin) with the inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6 and TNF- alpha) and with the ANS assessment measurements. No significant differences were observed in leptin and insulin levels. Adiponectin was higher in ECG and LVD groups: [CG = 4766.5 (5529.5), IF = 4003.5 (2482.5), ECG = 8376.5 (8388.5), LVD = 8798 (4188.0) ng/mL, p<0.001)]. IL-6 and TNF-alpha were higher in LVD group: [IL-6: CG = 1.85 (6.41); IF = 1.58 (1.91); ECG = 1.0 (1.57); LVD= 31.44 (72.19) pg/ml; p = 0.001. TNF-alpha: CG = 22.57 (88.2); IF = 19.31 (33.16); ECG = 12.45 (3.07); LVD = 75.15 (278.57) pg/ml; p = 0.04]. Adiponectin levels had a positive association with the HFr component (r = 0.539; p = 0.038) and an inverse association with the LFr component (r = - 0.539; p = 0.038) in ECG group. Leptin levels had a negative association with the HFr component (r= - 0.632; p = 0.011) and a positive association with the LFr component (r = 0.632; p = 0.011) in LVD group. Conclusions We found increased adiponectin levels in

  7. High-fat diet transition reduces brain DHA levels associated with altered brain plasticity and behaviour.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Sandeep; Zhuang, Yumei; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    To assess how the shift from a healthy diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids to a diet rich in saturated fatty acid affects the substrates for brain plasticity and function, we used pregnant rats fed with omega-3 supplemented diet from their 2nd day of gestation period as well as their male pups for 12 weeks. Afterwards, the animals were randomly assigned to either a group fed on the same diet or a group fed on a high-fat diet (HFD) rich in saturated fats for 3 weeks. We found that the HFD increased vulnerability for anxiety-like behavior, and that these modifications harmonized with changes in the anxiety-related NPY1 receptor and the reduced levels of BDNF, and its signalling receptor pTrkB, as well as the CREB protein. Brain DHA contents were significantly associated with the levels of anxiety-like behavior in these rats.

  8. High-fat diet transition reduces brain DHA levels associated with altered brain plasticity and behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Sandeep; Zhuang, Yumei; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    To assess how the shift from a healthy diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids to a diet rich in saturated fatty acid affects the substrates for brain plasticity and function, we used pregnant rats fed with omega-3 supplemented diet from their 2nd day of gestation period as well as their male pups for 12 weeks. Afterwards, the animals were randomly assigned to either a group fed on the same diet or a group fed on a high-fat diet (HFD) rich in saturated fats for 3 weeks. We found that the HFD increased vulnerability for anxiety-like behavior, and that these modifications harmonized with changes in the anxiety-related NPY1 receptor and the reduced levels of BDNF, and its signalling receptor pTrkB, as well as the CREB protein. Brain DHA contents were significantly associated with the levels of anxiety-like behavior in these rats. PMID:22666534

  9. Levels of estradiol and testosterone are altered in Chinese men with sexual dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Wu, F; Chen, T; Mao, S; Jiang, H; Ding, Q; Xu, G

    2016-09-01

    An estimated 20-30% of adult men have at least one manifestation of sexual dysfunction, the most common of which are premature ejaculation (PE) and erectile dysfunction (ED). Emerging evidence has suggested an association between the regulation of hormones with the processes of erection and ejaculation. In this study, we aim to investigate the relationship between sexual dysfunction, namely, PE and ED, and the levels and ratios of estradiol to testosterone in Chinese men. A retrospective case-control study was performed involving 878 male patients aged from 18 to 74 years (mean: 36 years). The ratio of estradiol to testosterone was significantly higher for subjects with ED (7.45 ± 3.09 × 10(-3) ; p < 0.001), and combined PE and ED (6.66 ± 3.05 × 10(-3) ; p = 0.032) compared with that of the control group (6.01 ± 2.61 × 10(-3) ). The ratio was also significantly higher for ED patients when compared with PE patients (5.26 ± 2.18 × 10(-3) ; p < 0.001). Furthermore, compared with the control group, subjects with PE had similar levels of estradiol (95.47 ± 37.86 pmol/L vs. 94.12 ± 32.32 pmol/L; p = 0.678) but significantly higher levels of testosterone (18.66 ± 6.03 nmol/L vs. 16.82 ± 4.93 nmol/L; p < 0.001). This contrasted with the ED group, which showed similar levels of testosterone (16.96 ± 5.86 nmol/L vs. 16.82 ± 4.93 nmol/L; p = 0.773) and significantly higher levels of estradiol (116.88 ± 40.81 pmol/L vs. 94.12 ± 32.32 pmol/L; p < 0.001) compared with control. Subjects with combined ED and PE also had a significantly higher level of estradiol (104.98 ± 43.99 pmol/L vs. 94.12 ± 32.32 pmol/L; p = 0.014) and similar levels of testosterone (17.30 ± 7.23 nmol/L vs. 16.82 ± 4.93 nmol/L; p = 0.503) compared with control. In conclusion, this study involving Chinese males with sexual dysfunction reports, for the first time, that there is an association between sexual dysfunction

  10. Longitudinal studies showing alterations in the levels and functional response of T and B lymphocytes in human pregnancy.

    PubMed Central

    Strelkauskas, A J; Davies, I J; Dray, S

    1978-01-01

    Altered blood levels of T and B lymphocytes were found in the first half of human pregnancy. A total of twenty-two women were tested, using direct or indirect rosetting assays or the fluorescence-activated cell sorter, to determine the levels of peripheral blood T and B cells. In all cases, an inversion of T- and B-cell levels was observed, i.e. T-cell levels were decreased and B-cell levels (as measured by the presence of surface immunoglobulin or the presence of B-cell surface antigens) were increased. This inversion was exhibited as early as 1 week post-implantation. Lymphocytes from two fo the women were also examined for stimulation with phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) and pokeweed mitogen (PWM) at intervals during gestation, and the amount of [3H]thymidine uptake was compared to that of two non-pregnant women tested at each interval. The values obtained for the pregnant women with PHA were markedly lower, and with pokeweed mitogen slightly lower, than those of non-pregnant controls. However, the PHA and PWM values in the pregnant women returned to levels similar to those of the nonpregnant women shortly after the T- and B-cell levels returned to normal. Thus the decrease in the response of the lymphocytes to mitogens during early pregnancy appears to parallel the numerical deficiency of T cells. PMID:308426

  11. Altered seed oil and glucosinolate levels in transgenic plants overexpressing the Brassica napus SHOOTMERISTEMLESS gene.

    PubMed

    Elhiti, Mohamed; Yang, Cunchun; Chan, Ainsley; Durnin, Douglas C; Belmonte, Mark F; Ayele, Belay T; Tahir, Muhammad; Stasolla, Claudio

    2012-07-01

    SHOOTMERISTEMLESS (STM) is a homeobox gene conserved among plant species which is required for the formation and maintenance of the shoot meristem by suppressing differentiation and maintaining an undetermined cell fate within the apical pole. To assess further the role of this gene during seed storage accumulation, transgenic Brassica napus (Bn) plants overexpressing or down-regulating BnSTM under the control of the 35S promoter were generated. Overexpression of BnSTM increased seed oil content without affecting the protein and sucrose level. These changes were accompanied by the induction of genes encoding several transcription factors promoting fatty acid (FA) synthesis: LEAFY COTYLEDON1 (BnLEC1), BnLEC2, and WRINKLE1 (BnWRI1). In addition, expression of key representative enzymes involved in sucrose metabolism, glycolysis, and FA biosynthesis was up-regulated in developing seeds ectopically expressing BnSTM. These distinctive expression patterns support the view of an increased carbon flux to the FA biosynthetic pathway in developing transformed seeds. The overexpression of BnSTM also resulted in a desirable reduction of seed glucosinolate (GLS) levels ascribed to a transcriptional repression of key enzymes participating in the GLS biosynthetic pathway, and possibly to the differential utilization of common precursors for GLS and indole-3-acetic acid synthesis. No changes in oil and GLS levels were observed in lines down-regulating BnSTM. Taken together, these findings provide evidence for a novel function for BnSTM in promoting desirable changes in seed oil and GLS levels when overexpressed in B. napus plants, and demonstrate that this gene can be used as a target for genetic improvement of oilseed species.

  12. Alteration in plasma testosterone levels in male mice lacking soluble epoxide hydrolase.

    PubMed

    Luria, Ayala; Morisseau, Christophe; Tsai, Hsing-Ju; Yang, Jun; Inceoglu, Bora; De Taeye, Bart; Watkins, Steven M; Wiest, Michelle M; German, J Bruce; Hammock, Bruce D

    2009-08-01

    Soluble epoxide hydrolase (Ephx2, sEH) is a bifunctional enzyme with COOH-terminal hydrolase and NH(2)-terminal phosphatase activities. sEH converts epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) to dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acids (DHETs), and the phosphatase activity is suggested to be involved in cholesterol metabolism. EETs participate in a wide range of biological functions, including regulation of vascular tone, renal tubular transport, cardiac contractility, and inflammation. Inhibition of sEH is a potential approach for enhancing the biological activity of EETs. Therefore, disruption of sEH activity is becoming an attractive therapeutic target for both cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. To define the physiological role of sEH, we characterized a knockout mouse colony lacking expression of the Ephx2 gene. Lack of sEH enzyme is characterized by elevation of EET to DHET ratios in both the linoleate and arachidonate series in plasma and tissues of both female and male mice. In male mice, this lack of expression was also associated with decreased plasma testosterone levels, sperm count, and testicular size. However, this genotype was still able to sire litters. Plasma cholesterol levels also declined in this genotype. Behavior tests such as anxiety-like behavior and hedonic response were also examined in Ephx2-null and WT mice, as all can be related to hormonal changes. Null mice showed a level of anxiety with a decreased hedonic response. In conclusion, this study provides a broad biochemical, physiological, and behavioral characterization of the Ephx2-null mouse colony and suggests a mechanism by which sEH and its substrates may regulate circulating levels of testosterone through cholesterol biosynthesis and metabolism.

  13. Effect of altered G levels on deposition of particulates in the human respiratory tract.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, R A; Billingham, J

    1975-06-01

    The primary mode of depositon of particles in the respiratory tract in the size range 0.5-10 mum diam (unit density) is sedimentation. The rate of sedimentation is directly proportional to the velocity of settling of the particle. Therefore, the total deposition of particles in the respiratory tract as well as the region of deposition is affected by changes in gravity. Human subjects were exposed to aerosols of 2.02-mum-diam polyvinyltoluene particles at 0, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 G. Total deposition was measured at each G level. Results indicate an almost linear increase in total deposition with increasing G levels over the range studied. The deposition measured at 1 G was less than reported in earlier experiments and the deposition at levels less than 1 G was less than had been calculated by Muir and Beeckmans. These data show that although sedimentation plays the major role in depostion of 2.02 mum particles, it is less than previously described.

  14. Alterations in brain leptin signalling in spite of unchanged CSF leptin levels in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Maioli, Silvia; Lodeiro, Maria; Merino-Serrais, Paula; Falahati, Farshad; Khan, Wasim; Puerta, Elena; Codita, Alina; Rimondini, Roberto; Ramirez, Maria J; Simmons, Andrew; Gil-Bea, Francisco; Westman, Eric; Cedazo-Minguez, Angel

    2015-02-01

    Several studies support the relation between leptin and Alzheimer's disease (AD). We show that leptin levels in CSF are unchanged as subjects progress to AD. However, in AD hippocampus, leptin signalling was decreased and leptin localization was shifted, being more abundant in reactive astrocytes and less in neurons. Similar translocation of leptin was found in brains from Tg2576 and apoE4 mice. Moreover, an enhancement of leptin receptors was found in hippocampus of young Tg2576 mice and in primary astrocytes and neurons treated with Aβ₁₋₄₂. In contrast, old Tg2576 mice showed decreased leptin receptors levels. Similar findings to those seen in Tg2576 mice were found in apoE4, but not in apoE3 mice. These results suggest that leptin levels are intact, but leptin signalling is impaired in AD. Thus, Aβ accumulation and apoE4 genotype result in a transient enhancement of leptin signalling that might lead to a leptin resistance state over time. © 2014 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Imatinib alters cell viability but not growth factors levels in TM4 Sertoli cells

    PubMed Central

    Hashemnia, Seyyed Mohammad Reza; Atari-Hajipirloo, Somayeh; Roshan-Milani, Shiva; Valizadeh, Nasim; Mahabadi, Sonya; Kheradmand, Fatemeh

    2016-01-01

    Background: The anticancer agent imatinib (IM) is a small molecular analog of ATP that inhibits tyrosine kinase activity of platelet derived growth factors (PDGFs) and stem cell factor (SCF) receptor in cancer cells. However these factors have a key role in regulating growth and development of normal Sertoli, Leydig and germ cells. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine cell viability, PDGF and SCF levels in mouse normal Sertoli cells exposed to IM. Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, the mouse TM4 Sertoli cells were treated with 0, 2.5, 5, 10 and 20 μM IM for 2, 4 or 6 days. The cell viability and growth factors levels were assessed by MTT and ELISA methods, respectively. For statistical analysis, One-Way ANOVA was performed. Results: IM showed significant decrease in Sertoli cell viability compared to control group (p=0.001). However, IM increased PDGF and SCF level insignificantly (p>0.05). Conclusion: Results suggested that IM treatment induced a dose dependent reduction of cell viability in Sertoli cells. It seems that treatment with this anticancer drug is involved in the fertility process. Further studies are needed to evaluate the role of PDGF and SCF in this cell. PMID:27738659

  16. Chronic stress alters the expression levels of longevity-related genes in the rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Hidalgo, Ana C; Muñoz, Mario F; Herrera, Antonio J; Espinosa-Oliva, Ana M; Stowell, Rianne; Ayala, Antonio; Machado, Alberto; Venero, José L; de Pablos, Rocío M

    2016-07-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying the negative effects of psychological stress on cellular stress during aging and neurodegenerative diseases are poorly understood. The main objective of this study was to test the effect of chronic psychological stress, and the consequent increase of circulating glucocorticoids, on several hippocampal genes involved in longevity. Sirtuin-1, p53, thioredoxin-interacting protein, and heat shock protein 70 were studied at the mRNA and protein levels in stressed and non-stressed animals. Stress treatment for 10 days decreased sirtuin-1 and heat shock protein 70 levels, but increased levels of p53, thioredoxin-interacting protein and the NADPH oxidase enzyme. Examination of protein expression following two months of stress treatment indicated that sirtuin-1 remained depressed. In contrast, an increase was observed for thioredoxin-interacting protein, heat shock protein 70, p53 and the NADPH oxidase enzyme. The effect of stress was reversed by mifepristone, a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist. These data suggest that chronic stress could contribute to aging in the hippocampus. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. A new genus of speleophriid copepod (Copepoda: Misophrioida) from a cenote in the Yucatan, Mexico with a phylogenetic analysis at the species level.

    PubMed

    Boxshall, Geoff A; Zylinski, Sarah; Jaume, Damià; Iliffe, Thomas M; Suárez-Morales, Eduardo

    2014-06-23

    A new genus and species of speleophriid copepod, Mexicophria cenoticola gen. et sp. nov., is described based on material collected from a cenote in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. It is characterised by relatively reduced fifth legs that are located adjacent to the ventral midline in both sexes, by the possession of a bulbous swelling on the first antennulary segment in both sexes, and by the reduced setation of the swimming legs. The presence of just one inner margin seta on the second endopodal segment of legs 2 to 4 is a unique feature for the family. A phylogenetic analysis places the new genus on a basal lineage of the family together with its sister taxon, Boxshallia Huys, 1988, from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, and recovers the existing genera as monophyletic units. The zoogeography is discussed at local, regional, ocean basin  and global scales.

  18. Estrogen alters baseline and inflammatory-induced cytokine levels independent from hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis activity

    PubMed Central

    Shivers, Kai-Yvonne; Amador, Nicole; Abrams, Lisa; Hunter, Deirtra; Jenab, Shirzad; Quiñones-Jenab, Vanya

    2015-01-01

    Although estrogen reduces inflammatory-mediated pain responses, the mechanisms behind its effects are unclear. This study investigated if estrogen modulates inflammatory signaling by reducing baseline or inflammation-induced cytokine levels in the injury-site, serum, dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and/or spinal cord. We further tested whether estrogen effects on cytokine levels are in part mediated through hypothalamic– pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis activation. Lumbar DRG, spinal cord, serum, and hind paw tissue were analyzed for cytokine levels in 17β-estradiol-(20%) or vehicle-(100% cholesterol) treated female rats following ovariectomy/sham adrenalectomy (OVX), adrenalectomy/sham ovariectomy (ADX) or ADX + OVX operation at baseline and post formalin injection. Formalin significantly increased proinflammatory interleukin (IL)-6 levels in the paw, as well as pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine levels in the DRG, spinal cord and serum in comparison to naïve conditions. Estrogen replacement significantly increased anti-inflammatory IL-10 levels in the DRG. Centrally, estradiol significantly decreased proinflammatory tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and IL-1β levels, as well as IL-10 levels, in the spinal cord in comparison to cholesterol treatment. At both sites, most estradiol modulatory effects occurred irrespective of pain or surgical condition. Estradiol alone had no influence on cytokine release in the paw or serum, indicating that estrogen effects were site-specific. Although cytokine levels were altered between surgical conditions at baseline and following formalin administration, ADX operation did not significantly reverse estradiol’s modulation of cytokine levels. These results suggest that estrogen directly regulates cytokines independent of HPA axis activity in vivo, in part by reducing cytokine levels in the spinal cord. PMID:25647266

  19. Estrogen alters baseline and inflammatory-induced cytokine levels independent from hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity.

    PubMed

    Shivers, Kai-Yvonne; Amador, Nicole; Abrams, Lisa; Hunter, Deirtra; Jenab, Shirzad; Quiñones-Jenab, Vanya

    2015-04-01

    Although estrogen reduces inflammatory-mediated pain responses, the mechanisms behind its effects are unclear. This study investigated if estrogen modulates inflammatory signaling by reducing baseline or inflammation-induced cytokine levels in the injury-site, serum, dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and/or spinal cord. We further tested whether estrogen effects on cytokine levels are in part mediated through hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation. Lumbar DRG, spinal cord, serum, and hind paw tissue were analyzed for cytokine levels in 17β-estradiol-(20%) or vehicle-(100% cholesterol) treated female rats following ovariectomy/sham adrenalectomy (OVX), adrenalectomy/sham ovariectomy (ADX) or ADX+OVX operation at baseline and post formalin injection. Formalin significantly increased pro-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-6 levels in the paw, as well as pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine levels in the DRG, spinal cord and serum in comparison to naïve conditions. Estrogen replacement significantly increased anti-inflammatory IL-10 levels in the DRG. Centrally, estradiol significantly decreased pro-inflammatory tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and IL-1β levels, as well as IL-10 levels, in the spinal cord in comparison to cholesterol treatment. At both sites, most estradiol modulatory effects occurred irrespective of pain or surgical condition. Estradiol alone had no influence on cytokine release in the paw or serum, indicating that estrogen effects were site-specific. Although cytokine levels were altered between surgical conditions at baseline and following formalin administration, ADX operation did not significantly reverse estradiol's modulation of cytokine levels. These results suggest that estrogen directly regulates cytokines independent of HPA axis activity in vivo, in part by reducing cytokine levels in the spinal cord.

  20. [Collation of data on the ploidy levels and mitochondrial DNA phylogenetic lineages in the silver crucian carp Carassius auratus gibelio from Far Eastern and Central Asian populations].

    PubMed

    Apalikova, O V; Eliseĭkina, M G; Kovalev, M Iu; Brykov, V A

    2008-07-01

    The distribution of the diploid and triploid forms and the correspondence between ploidy and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) phylogenetic lineages of the silver crucian carp have been studied in Far Eastern water bodies and the Syr Darya River. Both diploid and triploid forms have been found in large river systems (the Amur, Suifun, Tumangan, and Syr Darya river basins). Only the diploid form has been detected in lakes of Bol'shoi Pelis Island (Peter the Great Bay of the Sea of Japan), Sakhalin Island, and the Kamchatka River basin (the Kamchatka Peninsula). It has been confirmed that there are two mtDNA phylogroups in the silver crucian carp in the area studied. Both mtDNA phylogenetic lineages are present in the Suifun and Tumangan river basins. Only one mtDNA phylogroup (characteristic of the gynogenetic form) has been detected in two samples from the Amur River and in the Syr Darya population. The other mtDNA phylogroup is predominant in insular populations and in Kamchatka. The gynogenetic form carries only mtDNA phylogroup I, whereas both phylogroups have been found in diploid bisexual fish. The existence of only two mtDNA phylogroups substantially differing from each other indicates that the gynogenetic form has emerged from the diploid form only once and evolved independently for a long time after that. The absence of haplotypes transitional between the two mtDNA phylogroups suggests that the secondary contact between the gynogenetic and bisexual forms in continental populations occurred within recent historical time. The obtained data confirm that genetic (though asymmetric) exchange between the two forms is possible, which explains the high morphological and, probably, genetic similarity between them.

  1. Phylogenetic Trees From Sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryvkin, Paul; Wang, Li-San

    In this chapter, we review important concepts and approaches for phylogeny reconstruction from sequence data.We first cover some basic definitions and properties of phylogenetics, and briefly explain how scientists model sequence evolution and measure sequence divergence. We then discuss three major approaches for phylogenetic reconstruction: distance-based phylogenetic reconstruction, maximum parsimony, and maximum likelihood. In the third part of the chapter, we review how multiple phylogenies are compared by consensus methods and how to assess confidence using bootstrapping. At the end of the chapter are two sections that list popular software packages and additional reading.

  2. Levels of serum immunomodulators and alterations with electroconvulsive therapy in treatment-resistant major depression

    PubMed Central

    Zincir, Serkan; Öztürk, Pelin; Bilgen, Ali Emrah; İzci, Filiz; Yükselir, Cihad

    2016-01-01

    Studies in recent years have indicated that neuroimmunological events and immune activation may have a place in the etiology of depression. It has been suggested from data that there is a causal relationship between activation of the immune system and excessive release of proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 1 (IL-1), IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and the etiology of depression. Although the mechanism of action of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is unclear, there is evidence that it can reduce cytokines and immune system changes. In our study, we aimed to determine how levels of serum immunomodulators were affected by ECT in major depression patients. This study was conducted on 50 patients with treatment-resistant major depression. The data of the patients were compared with 30 healthy individuals with similar demographic characteristics. A clinical response occurred in the patients and at the end of therapy, IL-1, IL-6, TNF-alpha, IL-10, IL-4, and interferon-gamma levels were measured. The disease severity was assessed with the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Data analysis was performed using SPSS Version 15. Significant differences were determined between the patients with major depression and control group with respect to basal serum IL-1, IL-6, TNF-alpha, IL-10, IL-4, and interferon-gamma levels. ECT treatment was shown to reduce these differences. ECT may cause significant changes in the activity of the immune system. The consideration of the relationship between the immune endocrine neurotransmitter systems could contribute to new theories regarding the mechanism of antidepressant treatment and biology of depression. PMID:27366071

  3. Psychotropic drugs attenuate lipopolysaccharide-induced hypothermia by altering hypothalamic levels of inflammatory mediators in rats.

    PubMed

    Nassar, Ahmad; Sharon-Granit, Yael; Azab, Abed N

    2016-07-28

    Recent evidence suggests that inflammation may contribute to the pathophysiology of mental disorders and that psychotropic drugs exert various effects on brain inflammation. The administration of bacterial endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) to mammals is associated with robust production of inflammatory mediators and pathological changes in body temperature. The objective of the present study was to examine the effects of four different psychotropic drugs on LPS-induced hypothermia and production of prostaglandin (PG) E2, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and phosphorylated-p65 (P-p65) levels in hypothalamus of LPS-treated rats. Rats were treated once daily with lithium (100mg/kg), carbamazepine (40mg/kg), haloperidol (2mg/kg), imipramine (20mg/kg) or vehicle (NaCl 0.9%) for 29 days. On day 29, rats were injected with LPS (1mg/kg) or saline. At 1.5h post LPS injection body temperature was measured, rats were sacrificed, blood was collected and their hypothalami were excised, homogenized and centrifuged. PGE2, TNF-α and nuclear P-p65 levels were determined by specific ELISA kits. We found that lithium, carbamazepine, haloperidol and imipramine significantly attenuated LPS-induced hypothermia, resembling the effect of classic anti-inflammatory drugs. Moreover, lithium, carbamazepine, haloperidol and imipramine differently but significantly affected the levels of PGE2, TNF-α and P-p65 in plasma and hypothalamus of LPS-treated rats. The results suggest that psychotropic drugs attenuate LPS-induced hypothermia by reducing hypothalamic production of inflammatory constituents, particularly PGE2. The effects of psychotropic drugs on brain inflammation may contribute to their therapeutic mechanism but also to their toxicological profile. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Maternal separation during nursing alters basal neuroendocrine levels in juvenile and adult rats.

    PubMed

    Riveros-Barrera, Irene; Dueñas, Zulma

    2016-03-03

    Work with different animal models including that of maternal separation during nursing has shown that early adverse experiences such as abuse, maternal abandonment and psychosocial stress may favor the development of various psychopathologies. However, several neuroendocrine changes have not been completely described yet.  To establish whether maternal separation during nursing modifies the basal levels of neurohormones such as corticosterone, ACTH, oxytocin and vasopressin in juvenile and adult rats (aged 35 and 90 days, respectively).  Wistar rats were separated from their mothers for two periods of 3 hours per day during the 21 days of nursing. Once these rats had reached 35 and then 90 days of age, blood samples were taken from both the separated and control groups to obtain serum for immunoenzymatic assays and measure the levels of each of the hormones.  Concentrations of corticosterone were higher in control adult females in comparison with the rest of the groups and lower in the control adult males. Those of ACTH were higher in the separated young males and females than in the adult groups. Oxytocin levels were significantly higher in the separated adult females in comparison with the other groups and significantly lower in the adult males. With respect to vasopressin, the separated groups had lower concentrations than the young and adult control groups.  These results show that the early stress to which rats were submitted produced changes in the basal responses of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, that these responses were distinct in males and females and that they also differed according to age.

  5. CSF levels of heart fatty acid binding protein are altered during early phases of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Chiasserini, Davide; Parnetti, Lucilla; Andreasson, Ulf; Zetterberg, Henrik; Giannandrea, David; Calabresi, Paolo; Blennow, Kaj

    2010-01-01

    Heart fatty acid binding protein (HFABP) has been proposed as a putative marker for dementia disorders. To evaluate the value of this protein as an early marker of Alzheimer's disease (AD), we analyzed HFABP level and the classical biomarkers amyloid-β (Aβ)1-42, total tau (t-tau), and phosphorylated tau (p-tau) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) followed up for four years (n=41), AD (n=32), and subjects with other neurological diseases without dementia (OND, n=25). HFABP levels were higher in AD patients and in MCI converting to AD (MCI-AD) with respect to OND and to cognitively stable MCI patients (MCI-MCI). The receiver operator characteristics analysis for HFABP alone showed a sensitivity of 87% and a specificity of 81% for AD versus OND (area under the curve, AUC=0.83); sensitivity and specificity were 46% and 94%, respectively, when comparing MCI-MCI versus MCI-AD. CSF HFABP levels showed a strong positive correlation with both t-tau and p-tau. Interestingly, the ratio between HFABP and Aβ1-42 improved the performance in distinguishing AD from OND (sensitivity: 90%; specificity 82%, AUC=0.89), and gave the best accuracy in discriminating MCI-AD from MCI-MCI (sensitivity: 80%; specificity 100%, AUC=0.90). Survival analysis by means of Kaplan-Meier curve showed a significantly higher proportion of MCI patients converting to AD in the group with higher values of HFABP/Aβ1-42 ratio (cut-off=0.7). A significant correlation between HFABP/Aβ1-42 ratio and MMSE annual decrease rate was also documented (p<0.0001). HFABP /Aβ1-42 ratio might be a useful predictor of conversion in MCI patients.

  6. Changing climate and sea level alter Hg mobility at Lake Tulane, Florida, U.S.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, G L; Norton, S A; Grimm, E C; Edgar, T

    2012-11-06

    Between 45,000 cal years BP and the beginning of the Holocene, the accumulation rate for Hg in sediments of Lake Tulane, Florida ranged from ≈2 to 10 μg m(-2) yr(-1), compared with 53 μg Hg m(-2) yr(-1) in the 1985-1990 period of anthropogenic input. The locality experienced regional draw-down of the water table during the Wisconsinan glaciation, which lowered global sea level by nearly 130 m. Natural atmospheric deposition of Hg to the surrounding area resulted in long-term (ca. 100,000 years) sequestration of this atmospheric flux of Hg, primarily by adsorption in the oxic Al- and Fe-hydroxide-rich sandy subsoil. Global sea level rise during deglaciation led to a rising regional water table, flooding the oxidized soils surrounding Tulane. Iron and adsorbed Hg were mobilized by reductive dissolution and transported by groundwater flow to Lake Tulane and ultimately to the accumulating sediment. The accumulation rate of Hg (and Fe) increased rapidly about 16,000 cal years BP, peaked at nearly 60 μg Hg m(-2) yr(-1) ca. 13,000-14,000 cal years BP, declined sharply during the Younger Dryas, and then increased sharply to a second 60 μg Hg m(-2) yr(-1) peak about 5000 cal years BP. Thereafter, it declined nearly to background by 900 cal years BP. In similar geologic situations, rapid modern sea level rise will initiate this process globally, and may mobilize large accumulations of Hg and lesser amounts of As, and other redox sensitive metals to groundwater and surface water.

  7. Hindlimb-suspension and spaceflight both alter cGMP levels in rat choroid plexus.

    PubMed

    Carcenac, C; Herbute, S; Masseguin, C; Mani-Ponset, L; Maurel, D; Briggs, R; Guell, A; Gabrion, J B

    1999-10-01

    Effects of actual and simulated weightlessness on choroidal guanylate cyclase activity were evaluated by assaying the production of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), a second messenger involved in mechanisms regulating the secretion of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in choroid plexus. Cyclic cGMP was measured, using radio-immunoassay, in choroidal extracts of hindlimb-suspended rats (HLS rats), adapted to an anti-orthostatic restraint for 30 min., or for 3, 9 or 14 days and after a 17-day spaceflight (Life and Microgravity SpaceLab experiment; LMS). Basal cGMP levels were slightly but significantly decreased in the first 30 min. of the HLS experiment, whereas they were significantly increased in rats adapted to longer anti-orthostatic restraints. LMS flight rats demonstrated a similar increase in the choroidal cGMP baseline. After natriuretic peptide stimulation, i.e. using ANP (atrial natriuretic peptide) or BNP (brain natriuretic peptide), choroidal cGMP contents were typically increased (by 1.5-2 times; p<0.05) in control rats (LMS and HLS experiments), but not significantly elevated in suspended rats, except for those adapted to HLS for 14 days. In these animals the ANP-dependent cGMP production was significantly increased (by about 3 times; p<0.005). The ANP- or BNP-dependent responses were similarly abolished in LMS flight rats, which were dissected 4-6 hours after return to Earth's gravity. The role of corticosteroids was also investigated during the LMS experiment. Results on choroidal functions revealed a lack of significant change of cGMP levels between adrenalectomized and sham-operated rats. For the first time, it is reported that both basal and ANP- stimulated cGMP levels are dramatically changed over the first 14 days of suspension, i.e. with experiments known to simulate some effects of weightlessness. Basal choroidal cGMP levels are also increased after 17 days in space, suggesting that space adaptation also impacts choroidal guanylate cyclase

  8. F-cell levels are altered with erythrocyte density in sickle cell disease.

    PubMed

    Basu, Sumanta; Dash, Bisnu Prasad; Patel, Dilip Kumar; Chakravarty, Sudipa; Chakravarty, Amit; Banerjee, Debashis; Chakrabarti, Abhijit

    2011-08-15

    Lighter cells from density fractionated erythrocytes of sickle cell disease (SCD) patients carry higher amount of externalized phosphatidylserine (PS) and cell surface glycophorins compared to the denser counterparts. Further analysis also revealed that the denser cells contained higher levels of fetal hemoglobin (HbF) compared to the lighter cells, supported by the presence of larger number of F-cells in these populations. In this report, we have found direct evidence on the higher survival of the HbF rich erythrocytes in SCD.

  9. Pulsed low-level infrared laser alters mRNA levels from muscle repair genes dependent on power output in Wistar rats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trajano, L. A. S. N.; Trajano, E. T. L.; Thomé, A. M. C.; Sergio, L. P. S.; Mencalha, A. L.; Stumbo, A. C.; Fonseca, A. S.

    2017-10-01

    Satellite cells are present in skeletal muscle functioning in the repair and regeneration of muscle injury. Activation of these cells depends on the expression of myogenic factor 5 (Myf5), myogenic determination factor 1(MyoD), myogenic regulatory factor 4 (MRF4), myogenin (MyoG), paired box transcription factors 3 (Pax3), and 7 (Pax7). Low-level laser irradiation accelerates the repair of muscle injuries. However, data from the expression of myogenic factors have been controversial. Furthermore, the effects of different laser beam powers on the repair of muscle injuries have been not evaluated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of low-level infrared laser at different powers and in pulsed emission mode on the expression of myogenic regulatory factors and on Pax3 and Pax7 in injured skeletal muscle from Wistar rats. Animals that underwent cryoinjury were divided into three groups: injury, injury laser 25 Mw, and injury laser 75 mW. Low-level infrared laser irradiation (904 nm, 3 J cm‑2, 5 kHz) was carried out at 25 and 75 mW. After euthanasia, skeletal muscle samples were withdrawn and the total RNA was extracted for the evaluation of mRNA levels from the MyoD, MyoG, MRF4, Myf5, Pax3, and Pax7 gene. Pax 7 mRNA levels did not alter, but Pax3 mRNA levels increased in the injured and laser-irradiated group at 25 mW. MyoD, MyoG, and MYf5 mRNA levels increased in the injured and laser-irradiated animals at both powers, and MRF4 mRNA levels decreased in the injured and laser-irradiated group at 75 mW. In conclusion, exposure to pulsed low-level infrared laser, by power-dependent effect, could accelerate the muscle repair process altering mRNA levels from paired box transcription factors and myogenic regulatory factors.

  10. Alteration in plasma corticosterone levels following long term oral administration of lead produces depression like symptoms in rats.

    PubMed

    Haider, Saida; Saleem, Sadia; Tabassum, Saiqa; Khaliq, Saima; Shamim, Saima; Batool, Zehra; Parveen, Tahira; Inam, Qurat-ul-ain; Haleem, Darakhshan J

    2013-03-01

    Lead toxicity is known to induce a broad range of physiological, biochemical and behavioral dysfunctions that may result in adverse effects on several organs, including the central nervous system. Long-term exposure to low levels of lead (Pb(2+)) has been shown to produce behavioral deficits in rodents and humans by affecting hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. These deficits are thought to be associated with altered brain monoamine neurotransmission and due to changes in glucocorticoids levels. This study was designed to investigate the effects of Pb(2+)exposure on growth rate, locomotor activity, anxiety, depression, plasma corticosterone and brain serotonin (5-HT) levels in rats. Rats were exposed to lead in drinking water (500 ppm; lead acetate) for 5 weeks. The assessment of depression was done using the forced swimming test (FST). Estimation of brain 5-HT was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. Plasma corticosterone was determined by spectrofluorimetric method. The present study showed that long term exposure to Pb(2+) significantly decreased the food intake followed by the decrease in growth rate in Pb(2+)exposed rats as compared to control group. No significant changes in open field activity were observed following Pb(2+)exposure while significant increase in anxiogenic effect was observed. Increased plasma corticosterone and decreased 5-HT levels were exhibited by Pb(2+)exposed rats as compared to controls. A significant increase in depressive like symptoms was exhibited by Pb(2+)exposed rats as compared to control rats. The results are discussed in the context of Pb(2+) inducing a stress-like response in rats leading to changes in plasma corticosterone and brain 5-HT levels via altering tryptophan pyrrolase activity.

  11. Teaching Molecular Phylogenetics through Investigating a Real-World Phylogenetic Problem

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Xiaorong

    2012-01-01

    A phylogenetics exercise is incorporated into the "Introduction to biocomputing" course, a junior-level course at Savannah State University. This exercise is designed to help students learn important concepts and practical skills in molecular phylogenetics through solving a real-world problem. In this application, students are required to identify…

  12. Teaching Molecular Phylogenetics through Investigating a Real-World Phylogenetic Problem

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Xiaorong

    2012-01-01

    A phylogenetics exercise is incorporated into the "Introduction to biocomputing" course, a junior-level course at Savannah State University. This exercise is designed to help students learn important concepts and practical skills in molecular phylogenetics through solving a real-world problem. In this application, students are required to identify…

  13. Alterations in interferon-gamma and nitric oxide levels in human echinococcosis.

    PubMed

    Ait Aissa, S; Amri, M; Bouteldja, R; Wietzerbin, J; Touil-Boukoffa, C

    2006-05-15

    Human cystic hydatid disease is characterized by the long-term coexistence of Echinococcus granulosus and its host without effective rejection of the parasite. This parasitic helminth infection currently constitutes a major health problem in Algeria. We investigated interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and nitrite (NO2-) production in PBMC culture 2 supernatants from Algerian patients (n = 35), stimulated by a major antigen (antigen 5). Nitrite was also observed in 74 sera and 28 cyst fluids of patients carrying cysts in different locations. In addition, we report the detection of Nitric Oxide Synthase-2 (NOS2) in liver biopsies of patients (n = 8) by an immunochemical method using human NOS2 antibody. In vivo nitrite levels in host sera and cyst biological fluid point to a tight relation between host response and macro-parasite effects. Our in vitro results indicate a correlation between nitrite and IFN-gamma production in PBMC culture supernatants. Furthermore, by immunohistochemistry NOS2 expression was observed in hepatocytes and Küpffer cells from hydatid patients. Collectively, our data imply NO production in host defense against the extracellular parasite, probably in response to an IFN-gamma activating signal. Concomitant enhanced levels of IFN-gamma and nitrite represent useful indicators of the clinical aggressiveness of hydatidosis.

  14. Alteration of Surface EMG amplitude levels of five major trunk muscles by defined electrode location displacement.

    PubMed

    Huebner, Agnes; Faenger, Bernd; Schenk, Philipp; Scholle, Hans-Christoph; Anders, Christoph

    2015-04-01

    Exact electrode positioning is vital for obtaining reliable results in Surface EMG. This study aimed at systematically assessing the influence of defined electrode shifts on measured Surface EMG amplitudes of trunk muscles in a group of 15 middle aged healthy male subjects. The following leftsided muscles were investigated: rectus abdominis muscle, internal and external oblique abdominal muscles, lumbar multifidus muscle, and longissimus muscle. In addition to the recommended electrode positions, extra electrodes were placed parallel to these and along muscle fiber direction. Measurements were performed under isometric conditions in upright body position. Gradually changing, but defined loads were applied considering subject's upper body weight. For the abdominal muscles amplitude differences varied considerably depending on load level, magnitude, and direction. For both back muscles amplitudes dropped consistently but rather little for parallel electrode displacements. However, for the longissimus muscle a caudal electrode shift resulted in an amplitude increase of similar extent and independent from load level. Influence of electrode position variations can be proven for all trunk muscles but are more evident in abdominal than back muscles. Those muscle-specific effects confirm the necessity for an exact definition of electrode positioning to allow comparisons between individual subjects, groups of subjects, and studies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Task alters category representations in prefrontal but not high-level visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Bugatus, Lior; Weiner, Kevin S; Grill-Spector, Kalanit

    2017-04-04

    A central question in neuroscience is how cognitive tasks affect category representations across the human brain. Regions in lateral occipito-temporal cortex (LOTC), ventral temporal cortex (VTC), and ventro-lateral prefrontal cortex (VLFPC) constitute the extended "what" pathway, which is considered instrumental for visual category processing. However, it is unknown (1) whether distributed responses across LOTC, VTC, and VLPC explicitly represent category, task, or some combination of both, and (2) in what way representations across these subdivisions of the extended 'what' pathway may differ. To fill these gaps in knowledge, we scanned 12 participants using fMRI to test the effect of category and task on distributed responses across LOTC, VTC, and VLPFC. Results reveal that task and category modulate responses in both high-level visual regions, as well as prefrontal cortex. However, we found fundamentally different types of representations across the brain. Distributed responses in high-level visual regions are more strongly driven by category than task, and exhibit task-independent category representations. In contrast, distributed responses in prefrontal cortex are more strongly driven by task than category, and contain task-dependent category representations. Together, these findings of differential representations across the brain support a new idea that LOTC and VTC maintain stable and separable category representations allowing efficient processing of visual information, while prefrontal cortex contains flexible representations in which separable category information may emerge only when relevant to the task.

  16. Alterative LEU designs for the FRM-II with power levels of 20-22 MW.

    SciTech Connect

    Hanan, N. A.; Smith, R. S.; Matos, J. E.

    1999-09-27

    Alternative LEU Designs for the FRM-II have been developed by the RERTR Program at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) at the request of an FRM-II Expert Group established by the German Federal Government in January 1999 to evaluate the options for using LEU fuel instead of HEU fuel in cores with power levels of 20 MW. The ANL designs would use the same building structure and maintain as many of the HEU design features as practical. The range of potential LEU fuels was expanded from previous studies to include already-tested silicide fuels with uranium densities up to 6.7 g/cm{sup 3} and the new U-Mo fuels that show excellent prospects for achieving uranium densities in the 8-9 g/cm{sup 3} range. For each of the LEU cores; the design parameters were chosen to match the 50 day cycle length of the HEU core and to maximize the thermal neutron flux in the Cold Neutron Source and beam tubes. The studies concluded that an LEU core with a diameter of about 29 cm instead of 24 cm in HEU design and operating at a power level of 20 MW would have thermal neutron fluxes that are 0.85 times that of the HEU design at the center of the Cold Neutron Source. With a potential future upgrade to a power of 22 MW, this ratio would increase to 0.93.

  17. Chemoreception of hunger levels alters the following behaviour of a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Larcher, Marie; Crane, Adam L

    2015-12-01

    Chemically-mediated orientation is essential for many animals that must locate sites containing resources such as mates or food. One way to find these areas is by using publically-available information from other individuals. We tested a freshwater snail, Physa gyrina, for chemoreception of conspecific cues and predicted they could discriminate between cues based on information regarding hunger levels. We placed 'tracker' snails into a 2-arm arena where they could either follow or avoid an area previously used by a 'marker' snail. The hunger levels of both trackers and markers was manipulated, being either starved or fed. Starved and fed trackers did not differ in their following response when markers were hungry, but starved trackers were significantly more likely to follow fed markers, compared to fed trackers that tended to avoid areas used by fed markers. This outcome suggests that P. gyrina uses conspecific chemical cues to find food and potentially in some situations to avoid intra-specific food competition.

  18. Alterations in osmoregulation, antioxidant enzymes and indole alkaloid levels in Catharanthus roseus exposed to water deficit.

    PubMed

    Jaleel, C Abdul; Manivannan, P; Kishorekumar, A; Sankar, B; Gopi, R; Somasundaram, R; Panneerselvam, R

    2007-10-01

    Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don plants were grown in different water regimes in order to study the drought induced osmotic stress and proline (PRO) metabolism, antioxidative enzyme activities and indole alkaloid accumulation. The plants under pot culture were subjected to 10, 15 and 20 days interval drought (DID) stress from 30 days after sowing (DAS) and regular irrigation was kept as control. The plants were uprooted on 41DAS (10DID), 46DAS (15DID) and 51DAS (20DID). The drought stressed plants showed increased aminoacid (AA), glycine betaine (GB) and PRO contents and decreased proline oxidase (PROX) and increased gamma-glutamyl kinase (gamma-GK) activities when compared to control. The antioxidative enzymes like peroxidase (POX) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) increased to a significant level in drought stressed plants when compared to control. The drought stressed C. roseus plants showed an increase in total indole alkaloid content in shoots and roots when compared to well-watered control plants. Our results suggest that the cultivation of medicinal plants like C. roseus in water deficit areas would increase its PRO metabolism, osmoregulation, defense system and the level of active principles.

  19. Fungal phyllosphere communities are altered by indirect interactions among trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Perez, Jose L; French, J Victor; Summy, Kenneth R; Baines, Anita Davelos; Little, Christopher R

    2009-05-01

    Trophic interactions involving predators, herbivores, and plants have been described in terrestrial systems. However, there is almost no information on the effect of trophic interactions on microbial phyllosphere community abundance, diversity, or structure. In this study, the interaction between a parasitoid, an insect herbivore, and the fungal phyllosphere community is examined. Parasitoid wasps have an indirect negative impact on fungal community diversity. On the citrus phyllosphere, the exotic wasp species, Amitus hesperidum and Encarsia opulenta, may parasitize the citrus blackfly (Aleurocanthus woglumi). If parasitism levels are low, the blackfly may produce significant amounts of honeydew secretions on the surface of the leaf. Honeydew deposition provides a carbon-rich substrate for the development of fungal growth persisting as sooty mold on the leaves. Leaves from sooty mold-infested grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) trees were collected from multiple orchards in south Texas. The effect of different levels of exotic parasite activity, citrus blackfly, and sooty mold infestation on phyllosphere mycobiota community structure and diversity was examined. Our results suggest the presence of the parasitoid may lead to a top-down trophic cascade affecting phyllosphere fungal community diversity and structure. Additionally, persistent sooty mold deposits that have classically been referred to as Capnodium citri (and related asexual morphological forms) actually comprise a myriad of fungal species including many saprophytes and potential fruit and foliar pathogens of citrus.

  20. Forest loss increases insect herbivory levels in human-altered landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dodonov, Pavel; Morante-Filho, José Carlos; Mariano-Neto, Eduardo; Cazetta, Eliana; Andrade, Edyla Ribeiro de; Rocha-Santos, Larissa; Inforzato, Igor; Gomes, Francisco Sanches; Faria, Deborah

    2016-11-01

    Insect herbivory has been observed to be affected by habitat loss and fragmentation, although the mechanisms by which these anthropogenic disturbances affect this process are not well understood. To aid in clarifying this issue, we assessed the relation between forest cover and leaf damage caused by herbivorous insects on a representative tropical forest understory plant family, the Rubiaceae. We measured leaf area loss of Rubiaceae plants in 20 forest sites located in the Brazilian Atlantic forest, and also tested whether variation in forest cover, abundance of insectivorous birds (predators) and of Rubiaceae plants (resources) could explain the observed variation in leaf damage. Herbivory levels varied between 2.6 and 12.5 percent leaf area lost and increased with decreasing forest cover, whereas the other explanatory variables did not provide additional explanatory power. Therefore, forest loss appears to be the main driver of changes in local herbivory, and ecological processes such as top-down and bottom-up control may not account for the deforestation-related increase in herbivory levels. Other mechanisms, for example leaf quality and/or the influence of the adjoining land uses, have to be explored in future studies.

  1. Supraphysiological Levels of Quercetin Glycosides are Required to Alter Mineralization in Saos2 Cells

    PubMed Central

    Nash, Leslie A.; Peters, Sandra J.; Sullivan, Philip J.; Ward, Wendy E.

    2016-01-01

    Flavonoid intake is positively correlated to bone mineral density (BMD) in women. Flavonoids such as quercetin exhibit strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity that may be beneficial for bone health. Quercetin, previously shown to positively influence osteoblasts, is metabolized into glycosides including rutin and hyperoside. We compared the effects of these glycosides on mineralization in human osteoblast (Saos2) cells. Administration of rutin (≥25 µM) and hyperoside (≥5 µM) resulted in higher mineral content, determined using the alizarin red assay. This was accompanied by higher alkaline phosphatase activity with no cell toxicity. The expression of osteopontin, sclerostin, TNFα and IL6, known stimuli for decreasing osteoblast activity, were reduced with the addition of rutin or hyperoside. In summary, rutin and hyperoside require supraphysiological levels, when administered individually, to positively influence osteoblast activity. This information may be useful in developing nutraceuticals to support bone health. PMID:27136576

  2. Newer therapeutic strategies to alter high-density lipoprotein level and function.

    PubMed

    Bosch, Nicholas; Frishman, William H

    2014-01-01

    Measurements of low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol have been identified as a risk factor for premature coronary artery disease, however, to date, current pharmacologic approaches for raising HDL have provided little benefit, if at all, in reducing cardiovascular outcomes. It has been shown that HDL can modify many aspects of plaque pathogenesis. Its most established role is in reverse cholesterol transportation, but HDL can also affect oxidation, inflammation, cellular adhesion, and vasodilatation. Considering these potential benefits of HDL, newer treatments have been developed to modify HDL activity, which include the use of oral cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitors, apolipoprotein (apo)A-I infusions, apoA-I mimetics, drugs to increase apoA-I synthesis, and agonists of the liver X receptor. These new therapies are reviewed in this article.

  3. Lack of Platelet-Activating Factor Receptor Attenuates Experimental Food Allergy but Not Its Metabolic Alterations regarding Adipokine Levels

    PubMed Central

    Batista, Nathália Vieira; Fonseca, Roberta Cristelli; Perez, Denise; Pereira, Rafaela Vaz Sousa; de Lima Alves, Juliana; Pinho, Vanessa; Faria, Ana Maria Caetano; Cara, Denise Carmona

    2016-01-01

    Platelet-activating factor (PAF) is known to be an important mediator of anaphylaxis. However, there is a lack of information in the literature about the role of PAF in food allergy. The aim of this work was to elucidate the participation of PAF during food allergy development and the consequent adipose tissue inflammation along with its alterations. Our data demonstrated that, both before oral challenge and after 7 days receiving ovalbumin (OVA) diet, OVA-sensitized mice lacking the PAF receptor (PAFR) showed a decreased level of anti-OVA IgE associated with attenuated allergic markers in comparison to wild type (WT) mice. Moreover, there was less body weight and adipose tissue loss in PAFR-deficient mice. However, some features of inflamed adipose tissue presented by sensitized PAFR-deficient and WT mice after oral challenge were similar, such as a higher rate of rolling leukocytes in this tissue and lower circulating levels of adipokines (resistin and adiponectin) in comparison to nonsensitized mice. Therefore, PAF signaling through PAFR is important for the allergic response to OVA but not for the adipokine alterations caused by this inflammatory process. Our work clarifies some effects of PAF during food allergy along with its role on the metabolic consequences of this inflammatory process. PMID:27314042

  4. Lack of Platelet-Activating Factor Receptor Attenuates Experimental Food Allergy but Not Its Metabolic Alterations regarding Adipokine Levels.

    PubMed

    Batista, Nathália Vieira; Fonseca, Roberta Cristelli; Perez, Denise; Pereira, Rafaela Vaz Sousa; de Lima Alves, Juliana; Pinho, Vanessa; Faria, Ana Maria Caetano; Cara, Denise Carmona

    2016-01-01

    Platelet-activating factor (PAF) is known to be an important mediator of anaphylaxis. However, there is a lack of information in the literature about the role of PAF in food allergy. The aim of this work was to elucidate the participation of PAF during food allergy development and the consequent adipose tissue inflammation along with its alterations. Our data demonstrated that, both before oral challenge and after 7 days receiving ovalbumin (OVA) diet, OVA-sensitized mice lacking the PAF receptor (PAFR) showed a decreased level of anti-OVA IgE associated with attenuated allergic markers in comparison to wild type (WT) mice. Moreover, there was less body weight and adipose tissue loss in PAFR-deficient mice. However, some features of inflamed adipose tissue presented by sensitized PAFR-deficient and WT mice after oral challenge were similar, such as a higher rate of rolling leukocytes in this tissue and lower circulating levels of adipokines (resistin and adiponectin) in comparison to nonsensitized mice. Therefore, PAF signaling through PAFR is important for the allergic response to OVA but not for the adipokine alterations caused by this inflammatory process. Our work clarifies some effects of PAF during food allergy along with its role on the metabolic consequences of this inflammatory process.

  5. N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea mutagenesis produced a small number of mice with altered plasma electrolyte levels

    PubMed Central

    Aigner, Bernhard; Rathkolb, Birgit; Klempt, Martina; Wagner, Sibylle; Michel, Dian; Hrabé de Angelis, Martin; Wolf, Eckhard

    2009-01-01

    Background Clinical chemical blood analysis including plasma electrolytes is routinely carried out for the diagnosis of various organ diseases. Phenotype-driven N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) mouse mutagenesis projects used plasma electrolytes as parameters for the generation of novel animal models for human diseases. Methods Here, we retrospectively evaluated the use of the plasma electrolytes calcium, chloride, inorganic phosphorus, potassium and sodium in the Munich ENU mouse mutagenesis project where clinical chemical blood analysis was carried out on more than 20,000 G1 and G3 offspring of chemically mutagenized inbred C3H mice to detect dominant and recessive mutations leading to deviations in various plasma parameter levels. Results We identified a small number of animals consistently exhibiting altered plasma electrolyte values. Transmission of the phenotypic deviations to the subsequent generations led to the successful establishment of mutant lines for the parameters calcium and potassium. Published data from other phenotype-driven ENU projects also included only a small number of mutant lines which were generated according to altered plasma electrolyte levels. Conclusion Thus, use of plasma electrolytes detected few mouse mutants in ENU projects compared to other clinical chemical blood parameters. PMID:19505327

  6. Low-level neonatal thimerosal exposure: further evaluation of altered neurotoxic potential in SJL mice.

    PubMed

    Berman, Robert F; Pessah, Isaac N; Mouton, Peter R; Mav, Deepak; Harry, Jean

    2008-02-01

    Ethylmercury in thimerosal-preserved childhood vaccines has been suggested to be neurotoxic and to contribute to the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism. Immune system function may be an important factor influencing vulnerability of the developing nervous system to thimerosal. This possibility is based in part on a report by Hornig et al. (2004, Mol. Psychiatry 9, 833-845) of neurodevelomental toxicity in SJL/J mice that develop autoantibodies when exposed to organic mercury. The present study reexamined this possibility by injecting neonatal SJL/J mice with thimerosal, with and without combined HiB and DTP vaccines. Injections modeled childhood vaccination schedules, with mice injected on postnatal days 7, 9, 11, and 15 with 14.2, 10.8, 9.2, and 5.6 mug/kg mercury from thimerosal, respectively, or vehicle. Additional groups received vaccine only or a 10 times higher thimerosal + vaccine dose. Low levels of mercury were found in blood, brain, and kidneys 24 h following the last thimerosal injection. Survival, body weight, indices of early development (negative geotaxis, righting) and hippocampal morphology were not affected. Performance was unaffected in behavioral tests selected to assess behavioral domains relevant to core deficits in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism (i.e., social interaction, sensory gating, anxiety). In an open-field test the majority of behaviors were unaffected by thimerosal injection, although thimerosal-injected female mice showed increased time in the margin of an open field at 4 weeks of age. Considered together the present results do not indicate pervasive developmental neurotoxicity following vaccine-level thimerosal injections in SJL mice, and provide little if any support for the hypothesis that thimerosal exposure contributes to the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders.

  7. Unexpected rates of chromosomal instabilities and alterations of hormone levels in Namibian uranium miners

    SciTech Connect

    Zaire, R.; Notter, M.; Thiel, E.

    1997-05-01

    A common problem in determining the health consequences of radiation exposure is factoring out other carcinogenic influences. The conditions in Namibia provide a test case for distinguishing the effects of long-term low-dose exposure to uranium from the other environmental factors because of good air quality and the lack of other industries with negative health effects. Present records indicate a much higher prevalence of cancer among male workers in the open-pit uranium mine in Namibia compared with the general population. The objective of the present study was to determine whether long-term exposure to low doses of uranium increases the risk of a biological radiation damage which would lead to malignant diseases and to derive a dose-response model for these miners. To investigate this risk, we measured uranium excretion in urine, neutrophil counts and the serum level of FSH, LH and testosterone and analyzed chromosome aberrations in whole blood cells using fluorescence in situ hybridization. A representative cohort of 75 non-smoking, HIV-negative miners was compared to a control group of 31 individuals with no occupational history in mining. A sixfold increase in uranium excretion among the miners compared to the controls was recorded (P < 0.001). Furthermore, we determined a significant reduction in testosterone levels (P < 0.008) and neutrophil count (P < 0.0001). Most remarkably, cells with multiple aberrations such as {open_quotes}rogue{close_quotes} cells were observed for the first time in miners; these cells had previously been found only after short-term high-dose radiation exposure, e.g. from the Hiroshima atomic bomb or the Chernobyl accident. 19 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs.

  8. Global DNA methylation levels are altered by modifiable clinical manipulations in assisted reproductive technologies.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Jayashri; Coutifaris, Christos; Sapienza, Carmen; Mainigi, Monica

    2017-01-01

    We analyzed placental DNA methylation levels at repeated sequences (LINE1 elements) and all CCGG sites (the LUMA assay) to study the effect of modifiable clinical or laboratory procedures involved in in vitro fertilization. We included four potential modifiable factors: oxygen tension during embryo culture, fresh embryo transfer vs frozen embryo transfer, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) vs conventional insemination or day 3 embryo transfer vs day 5 embryo transfer. Global methylation levels differed between placentas from natural conceptions compared to placentas conceived by IVF. Placentas from embryos cultured at 20% oxygen showed significant differences in LINE1 methylation compared to in vivo conceptions, while those from embryos cultured at 5% oxygen, did not have significant differences. In addition, placentas from fresh embryo transfer had significantly different LINE1 methylation compared to placentas from in vivo conceptions, while embryos resulting from frozen embryos were not significantly different from controls. On sex-stratified analysis, only males had significant methylation differences at LINE1 elements stratified for the modifiable factors. As expected, LINE1 methylation was significantly different between males and females in the control population. However, we did not observe sex-specific differences in the IVF group. We validated this sex-specific observation in an additional cohort and in opposite sex IVF twins. We show that two clinically modifiable factors (embryo culture in 5 vs 20% oxygen tension and fresh vs frozen embryo transfer) are associated with global placental methylation differences. Interestingly, males appear more vulnerable to such treatment-related global changes in DNA methylation than do females.

  9. Marginal bone-level alterations of loaded zirconia and titanium dental implants: an experimental study in the dog mandible.

    PubMed

    Thoma, Daniel S; Benic, Goran I; Muñoz, Fernando; Kohal, Ralf; Sanz Martin, Ignacio; Cantalapiedra, Antonio G; Hämmerle, Christoph H F; Jung, Ronald E

    2016-04-01

    The aim was to test whether or not the marginal bone-level alterations of loaded zirconia implants are similar to the bone-level alterations of a grade 4 titanium one-piece dental implant. In six dogs, all premolars and the first molars were extracted in the mandible. Four months later, three zirconia implants (BPI, VC, ZD) and a control titanium one-piece (STM) implant were randomly placed in each hemimandible and left for transmucosal healing (baseline). Six months later, CAD/CAM crowns were cemented. Sacrifice was scheduled at 6-month postloading. Digital X-rays were taken at implant placement, crowns insertion, and sacrifice. Marginal bone-level alterations were calculated, and intra- and intergroup comparisons performed adjusted by confounding factors. Implants were successfully placed. Until crown insertion, two implants were fractured (one VC, one ZD). At sacrifice, 5 more implants were (partly) fractured (one BPI, four ZD), and one lost osseointegration (VC). No decementation of crowns occurred. All implant systems demonstrated a statistically significant (except VC) loss of marginal bone between baseline and crown insertion ranging from 0.29 mm (VC; P = 0.116) to 0.80 mm (ZD; P = 0.013). The estimated marginal bone loss between baseline and 6 months of loading ranged between 0.19 mm (BPI) and 1.11 mm (VC), being statistically significant for STM and VC only (P < 0.05). The changes in marginal bone levels were statistically significantly different between zirconia implants and control implants (STM vs. BPI P = 0.007; vs. VC P = 0.001; vs. ZD P = 0.011). Zirconia implants were more prone to fracture prior to and after loading with implant-supported crowns compared to titanium implants. Individual differences and variability in the extent of the bone-level changes during the 12-month study period were found between the different implant types and materials. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Alterations of Cyclooxygenase-2 Methylation Levels Before and After Intervention Trial to Prevent Gastric Cancer in a Chinese Population.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yang; Zeng, Hong-Mei; Nie, Xiao-Rui; Zhang, Lian; Ma, Jun-Ling; Li, Ji-You; Pan, Kai-Feng; You, Wei-Cheng

    2016-06-01

    To explore the epigenetic mechanisms underlying the effects of anti-Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) alone and combined with COX-2 inhibitor (celecoxib), we dynamically evaluated the associations between COX-2 methylation alterations and gastric lesion evolution during the process of interventions. In a total of 809 trial participants COX-2 methylation levels were quantitatively detected before and after treatment. The self-comparison at the same stomach site for each subject showed significant methylation alteration differences among intervention groups (P < 0.001). With placebo group as reference, COX-2 methylation levels were decreased in anti-H. pylori [OR, 3.30; 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.16-5.02], celecoxib (OR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.36-3.07), and anti-H. pylori followed by celecoxib (OR, 2.10; 95% CI, 1.38-3.17) groups. When stratified by baseline histology, the three active arms significantly decreased COX-2 methylation levels in indefinite dysplasia/dysplasia subjects, and ORs were 3.65 (95% CI, 1.96-6.80) for anti-H. pylori, 2.43 (95% CI 1.34-4.39) for celecoxib, and 2.80 (95% CI, 1.52-5.15) for anti-H. pylori followed by celecoxib, respectively. No additive effect on COX-2 methylation was found for anti-H. pylori followed by celecoxib than two treatments alone. Compared with subjects without methylation reduction, higher opportunity for gastric lesion regression was found in subjects with decreased COX-2 methylation levels, especially for indefinite dysplasia/dysplasia subjects (OR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.03-3.60). These findings suggest that anti-H. pylori or celecoxib treatment alone could decrease COX-2 methylation levels in gastric mucosa. COX-2 methylation alteration was associated with the regression of indefinite dysplasia/dysplasia, which might serve as a potential biomarker for chemoprevention efficacy. Cancer Prev Res; 9(6); 484-90. ©2016 AACR. ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.

  11. Phylogenetic lineages in Entomophthoromycota

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Entomophthoromycota Humber is one of five major phylogenetic lineages among the former phylum Zygomycota. These early terrestrial fungi share evolutionarily ancestral characters such as coenocytic mycelium and gametangiogamy as a sexual process resulting in zygospore formation. Previous molecular st...

  12. Epigenetic Alterations in Human Liver From Subjects With Type 2 Diabetes in Parallel With Reduced Folate Levels

    PubMed Central

    Matte, Ashok; Perfilyev, Alexander; de Mello, Vanessa D.; Käkelä, Pirjo; Pihlajamäki, Jussi

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Epigenetic variation may contribute to the development of complex metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes (T2D). Hepatic insulin resistance is a hallmark of T2D. However, it remains unknown whether epigenetic alterations take place in the liver from diabetic subjects. Therefore, we investigated the genome-wide DNA methylation pattern in the liver from subjects with T2D and nondiabetic controls and related epigenetic alterations to gene expression and circulating folate levels. Research Design and Methods: Liver biopsies were obtained from 35 diabetic and 60 nondiabetic subjects, which are part of the Kuopio Obesity Surgery Study. The genome-wide DNA methylation pattern was analyzed in the liver using the HumanMethylation450 BeadChip. RNA expression was analyzed from a subset of subjects using the HumanHT-12 Expression BeadChip. Results: After correction for multiple testing, we identified 251 individual CpG sites that exhibit differential DNA methylation in liver obtained from T2D compared with nondiabetic subjects (Q < .05). These include CpG sites annotated to genes that are biologically relevant to the development of T2D such as GRB10, ABCC3, MOGAT1, and PRDM16. The vast majority of the significant CpG sites (94%) displayed decreased DNA methylation in liver from subjects with T2D. The hypomethylation found in liver from diabetic subjects may be explained by reduced folate levels. Indeed, subjects with T2D had significantly reduced erythrocyte folate levels compared with nondiabetic subjects. We further identified 29 genes that displayed both differential DNA methylation and gene expression in human T2D liver including the imprinted gene H19. Conclusions: Our study highlights the importance of epigenetic and transcriptional changes in the liver from subjects with T2D. Reduced circulating folate levels may provide an explanation for hypomethylation in the human diabetic liver. PMID:26418287

  13. Chlorophyll Synthase under Epigenetic Surveillance Is Critical for Vitamin E Synthesis, and Altered Expression Affects Tocopherol Levels in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chunyu; Zhang, Wei; Ren, Guodong; Li, Delin; Cahoon, Rebecca E; Chen, Ming; Zhou, Yongming; Yu, Bin; Cahoon, Edgar B

    2015-08-01

    Chlorophyll synthase catalyzes the final step in chlorophyll biosynthesis: the esterification of chlorophyllide with either geranylgeranyl diphosphate or phytyl diphosphate (PDP). Recent studies have pointed to the involvement of chlorophyll-linked reduction of geranylgeranyl by geranylgeranyl reductase as a major pathway for the synthesis of the PDP precursor of tocopherols. This indirect pathway of PDP synthesis suggests a key role of chlorophyll synthase in tocopherol production to generate the geranylgeranyl-chlorophyll substrate for geranylgeranyl reductase. In this study, contributions of chlorophyll synthase to tocopherol formation in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) were explored by disrupting and altering expression of the corresponding gene CHLOROPHYLL SYNTHASE (CHLSYN; At3g51820). Leaves from the homozygous chlysyn1-1 null mutant were nearly devoid of tocopherols, whereas seeds contained only approximately 25% of wild-type tocopherol levels. Leaves of RNA interference lines with partial suppression of CHLSYN displayed marked reductions in chlorophyll but up to a 2-fold increase in tocopherol concentrations. Cauliflower mosaic virus35S-mediated overexpression of CHLSYN unexpectedly caused a cosuppression phenotype at high frequencies accompanied by strongly reduced chlorophyll content and increased tocopherol levels. This phenotype and the associated detection of CHLSYN-derived small interfering RNAs were reversed with CHLSYN overexpression in rna-directed rna polymerase6 (rdr6), which is defective in RNA-dependent RNA polymerase6, a key enzyme in sense transgene-induced small interfering RNA production. CHLSYN overexpression in rdr6 had little effect on chlorophyll content but resulted in up to a 30% reduction in tocopherol levels in leaves. These findings show that altered CHLSYN expression impacts tocopherol levels and also, show a strong epigenetic surveillance of CHLSYN to control chlorophyll and tocopherol synthesis. © 2015 American Society of

  14. Hemorheological alterations in adults with prediabetes identified by hemoglobin A1c levels.

    PubMed

    Marini, M A; Fiorentino, T V; Andreozzi, F; Mannino, G C; Succurro, E; Sciacqua, A; Perticone, F; Sesti, G

    2017-07-01

    A link between increased blood viscosity and type 2 diabetes has been previously reported. Herein, we investigated the association of blood viscosity with prediabetes, identified by glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) according to the new American Diabetes Association criteria, and subclinical atherosclerosis. The study cohort includes 1136 non-diabetic adults submitted to anthropometrical evaluation, an oral glucose tolerance test and ultrasound measurement of carotid intima-media thickness (IMT). Whole blood viscosity was estimated using a validated formula based on hematocrit and total plasma proteins. After adjusting for age, and gender, individuals with HbA1c-defined prediabetes (HbA1c 5.7-6.4% [39-47 mmol/mol]) exhibited significantly higher values of hematocrit, and predicted blood viscosity as compared with controls. Increased levels of IMT were observed in subjects with HbA1c-defined prediabetes in comparison to controls. Predicted blood viscosity was positively correlated with age, waist circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, fibrinogen, white blood cell, HbA1c, fasting and 2-h post-load glucose levels, fasting insulin, IMT and inversely correlated with HDL and Matsuda index of insulin sensitivity. Of the three glycemic parameters, i.e. HbA1c, fasting and 2-h post-load glucose, only HbA1c showed a significant correlation with predicted blood viscosity (β = 0.054, P = 0.04) in a multivariate regression analysis model including multiple atherosclerosis risk factors. The study shows that individuals with HbA1c-defined prediabetes have increased predicted blood viscosity and IMT. The HbA1c criterion may be helpful to capture individuals with an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease who may benefit from an intensive lifestyle intervention. Copyright © 2017 The Italian Society of Diabetology, the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, the Italian Society of Human Nutrition, and the Department of Clinical

  15. Disease variants alter transcription factor levels and methylation of their binding sites.

    PubMed

    Bonder, Marc Jan; Luijk, René; Zhernakova, Daria V; Moed, Matthijs; Deelen, Patrick; Vermaat, Martijn; van Iterson, Maarten; van Dijk, Freerk; van Galen, Michiel; Bot, Jan; Slieker, Roderick C; Jhamai, P Mila; Verbiest, Michael; Suchiman, H Eka D; Verkerk, Marijn; van der Breggen, Ruud; van Rooij, Jeroen; Lakenberg, Nico; Arindrarto, Wibowo; Kielbasa, Szymon M; Jonkers, Iris; van 't Hof, Peter; Nooren, Irene; Beekman, Marian; Deelen, Joris; van Heemst, Diana; Zhernakova, Alexandra; Tigchelaar, Ettje F; Swertz, Morris A; Hofman, Albert; Uitterlinden, André G; Pool, René; van Dongen, Jenny; Hottenga, Jouke J; Stehouwer, Coen D A; van der Kallen, Carla J H; Schalkwijk, Casper G; van den Berg, Leonard H; van Zwet, Erik W; Mei, Hailiang; Li, Yang; Lemire, Mathieu; Hudson, Thomas J; Slagboom, P Eline; Wijmenga, Cisca; Veldink, Jan H; van Greevenbroek, Marleen M J; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Boomsma, Dorret I; Isaacs, Aaron; Jansen, Rick; van Meurs, Joyce B J; 't Hoen, Peter A C; Franke, Lude; Heijmans, Bastiaan T

    2017-01-01

    Most disease-associated genetic variants are noncoding, making it challenging to design experiments to understand their functional consequences. Identification of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) has been a powerful approach to infer the downstream effects of disease-associated variants, but most of these variants remain unexplained. The analysis of DNA methylation, a key component of the epigenome, offers highly complementary data on the regulatory potential of genomic regions. Here we show that disease-associated variants have widespread effects on DNA methylation in trans that likely reflect differential occupancy of trans binding sites by cis-regulated transcription factors. Using multiple omics data sets from 3,841 Dutch individuals, we identified 1,907 established trait-associated SNPs that affect the methylation levels of 10,141 different CpG sites in trans (false discovery rate (FDR) < 0.05). These included SNPs that affect both the expression of a nearby transcription factor (such as NFKB1, CTCF and NKX2-3) and methylation of its respective binding site across the genome. Trans methylation QTLs effectively expose the downstream effects of disease-associated variants.

  16. Training cessation does not alter GLUT-4 protein levels in human skeletal muscle.

    PubMed

    Houmard, J A; Hortobágyi, T; Neufer, P D; Johns, R A; Fraser, D D; Israel, R G; Dohm, G L

    1993-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether short-term training cessation resulted in reduced GLUT-4 protein levels. Endurance- (n = 12, ET) and strength-trained (n = 12) individuals (ST) were examined before and after 14 days of training withdrawal. GLUT-4 content was determined from muscle biopsy samples of the gastrocnemius in ET and the vastus lateralis in ST. Insulin sensitivity (oral glucose tolerance test) was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced in ET and ST with training cessation. GLUT-4 content was unaltered (P > 0.05) in both groups (92 and 100% of trained values for ET and ST, respectively). In ET, citrate synthase activity decreased significantly (P < 0.05) with training withdrawal (41.0 +/- 3.6 vs. 30.6 +/- 2.8 mumol.g-1.min-1); in ST no change was evident. The decrement in insulin sensitivity with the cessation of endurance- or resistance-oriented activity is therefore not associated with a reduction in GLUT-4 protein content. Muscle oxidative capacity and GLUT-4 content do not coincide with the removal of endurance training.

  17. Activation of vagus nerve by semapimod alters substance P levels and decreases breast cancer metastasis.

    PubMed

    Erin, Nuray; Duymuş, Ozlem; Oztürk, Saffet; Demir, Necdet

    2012-11-10

    Chronic inflammation is involved in initiation as well as in progression of cancer. Semapimod, a tetravalent guanylhydrazon and formerly known as CNI-1493, inhibits the release of inflammatory cytokines from activated macrophages and this effect is partly mediated by the vagus nerve. Our previous findings demonstrated that inactivation of vagus nerve activity as well sensory neurons enhanced visceral metastasis of 4THM breast carcinoma. Hence semapimod by activating vagus nerve may inhibit breast cancer metastasis. Here, effects of semapimod on breast cancer metastasis, the role of vagal sensory neurons on this effect and changes in mediators of the neuroimmune connection, such as substance P (SP) as well as neprilysin-like activity, were examined. Vagotomy was performed on half of the control animals that were treated with semapimod following orthotopic injection of 4THM breast carcinoma cells. Semapimod decreased lung and liver metastases in control but not in vagotomized animals with an associated increased SP levels in sensory nerve endings. Semapimod also increased neprilysin-like activity in lung tissue of control animals but not in tumor-bearing animals. This is the first report demonstrating that semapimod enhances vagal sensory nerve activity and may have anti-tumoral effects under in-vivo conditions. Further studies, however, are required to elucidate the conditions and the mechanisms involved in anti-tumoral effects of semapimod.

  18. Alteration of pulmonary artery integrin levels in chronic hypoxia and monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertension.

    PubMed

    Umesh, Anita; Paudel, Omkar; Cao, Yuan-Ning; Myers, Allen C; Sham, James S K

    2011-01-01

    Pulmonary hypertension is associated with vascular remodeling and increased extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition. While the contribution of ECM in vascular remodeling is well documented, the roles played by their receptors, integrins, in pulmonary hypertension have received little attention. Here we characterized the changes of integrin expression in endothelium-denuded pulmonary arteries (PAs) and aorta of chronic hypoxia as well as monocrotaline-treated rats. Immunoblot showed increased α(1)-, α(8)- and α(v)-integrins, and decreased α(5)-integrin levels in PAs of both models. β(1)- and β(3)-integrins were reduced in PAs of chronic hypoxia and monocrotaline-treated rats, respectively. Integrin expression in aorta was minimally affected. Differential expression of α(1)- and α(5)-integrins induced by chronic hypoxia was further examined. Immunostaining showed that they were expressed on the surface of PA smooth muscle cells (PASMCs), and their distribution was unaltered by chronic hypoxia. Phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase was augmented in PAs of chronic hypoxia rats, and in chronic hypoxia PASMCs cultured on the α(1)-ligand collagen IV. Moreover, α(1)-integrin binding hexapeptide GRGDTP elicited an enhanced Ca(2+) response, whereas the response to α(5)-integrin binding peptide GRGDNP was reduced in CH-PASMCs. Integrins in PASMCs are differentially regulated in pulmonary hypertension, and the dynamic integrin-ECM interactions may contribute to the vascular remodeling accompanying disease progression. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  19. Alteration of Pulmonary Artery Integrin Levels in Chronic Hypoxia and Monocrotaline-Induced Pulmonary Hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Umesh, Anita; Paudel, Omkar; Cao, Yuan-Ning; Myers, Allen C.; Sham, James S.K.

    2011-01-01

    Background Pulmonary hypertension is associated with vascular remodeling and increased extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition. While the contribution of ECM in vascular remodeling is well documented, the roles played by their receptors, integrins, in pulmonary hypertension have received little attention. Here we characterized the changes of integrin expression in endothelium-denuded pulmonary arteries (PAs) and aorta of chronic hypoxia as well as monocrotaline-treated rats. Methods and Results Immunoblot showed increased α1-, α8- and αv-integrins, and decreased α5-integrin levels in PAs of both models. β1- and β3-integrins were reduced in PAs of chronic hypoxia and monocrotaline-treated rats, respectively. Integrin expression in aorta was minimally affected. Differential expression of α1- and α5-integrins induced by chronic hypoxia was further examined. Immunostaining showed that they were expressed on the surface of PA smooth muscle cells (PASMCs), and their distribution was unaltered by chronic hypoxia. Phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase was augmented in PAs of chronic hypoxia rats, and in chronic hypoxia PASMCs cultured on the α1-ligand collagen IV. Moreover, α1-integrin binding hexapeptide GRGDTP elicited an enhanced Ca2+ response, whereas the response to α5-integrin binding peptide GRGDNP was reduced in CH-PASMCs. Conclusion Integrins in PASMCs are differentially regulated in pulmonary hypertension, and the dynamic integrin-ECM interactions may contribute to the vascular remodeling accompanying disease progression. PMID:21829038

  20. Minocycline treatment inhibits microglial activation and alters spinal levels of endocannabinoids in a rat model of neuropathic pain

    PubMed Central

    Guasti, Leonardo; Richardson, Denise; Jhaveri, Maulik; Eldeeb, Khalil; Barrett, David; Elphick, Maurice R; Alexander, Stephen PH; Kendall, David; Michael, Gregory J; Chapman, Victoria

    2009-01-01

    Activation of spinal microglia contributes to aberrant pain responses associated with neuropathic pain states. Endocannabinoids (ECs) are present in the spinal cord, and inhibit nociceptive processing; levels of ECs may be altered by microglia which modulate the turnover of endocannabinoids in vitro. Here, we investigate the effect of minocycline, an inhibitor of activated microglia, on levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), and the related compound N-palmitoylethanolamine (PEA), in neuropathic spinal cord. Selective spinal nerve ligation (SNL) in rats resulted in mechanical allodynia and the presence of activated microglia in the ipsilateral spinal cord. Chronic daily treatment with minocycline (30 mg/kg, ip for 14 days) significantly reduced the development of mechanical allodynia at days 5, 10 and 14 post-SNL surgery, compared to vehicle-treated SNL rats (P < 0.001). Minocycline treatment also significantly attenuated OX-42 immunoreactivity, a marker of activated microglia, in the ipsilateral (P < 0.001) and contralateral (P < 0.01) spinal cord of SNL rats, compared to vehicle controls. Minocycline treatment significantly (P < 0.01) decreased levels of 2-AG and significantly (P < 0.01) increased levels of PEA in the ipsilateral spinal cord of SNL rats, compared to the contralateral spinal cord. Thus, activation of microglia affects spinal levels of endocannabinoids and related compounds in neuropathic pain states. PMID:19570201

  1. Alteration in methylation level at 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 gene promoter in infants born to preeclamptic women

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Preeclampsia reduces placental expression and activity of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (HSD11B2), leading to an increase in fetal glucocordicoids. The latter has been proposed to be associated with low birth weight and high risk of metabolic diseases in later life of the offspring. This investigation aims to delineate the alteration in methylation levels at CpG sites of HSD11B2 promoter. Results Methylation levels of HSD9-2, HSD9-3, HSD23-2 and HSD23-3 and the mean methylation level were significantly lower in preeclampsia than in normal pregnancy (P = 0.002, 0.031, 0.047 and 0.001, respectively and P < 0.001 in mean). The mean methylation level was significantly correlated with preeclampsia after the adjustment of birth weight, maternal age, gestational age at delivery and fetal gender (r = 0.325, P < 0.001). Conclusions Preeclampsia reduced methylation level at fetal HSD11B2 promoter. A positive correlation existed between HSD11B2 promoter methylation and preeclampsia. Our findings suggest that the methyaltion status of HSD11B2 promoter is a potentially accessible biomarker for preeclampsia. However, further studies are required to address the mechanisms of thehypomethylation at HSD11B2 promoter and the significance of the hypomethylation in the development of metabolic diseases of the fetals born to preeclamptic women. PMID:25200528

  2. Quantifying phylogenetic beta diversity: distinguishing between 'true' turnover of lineages and phylogenetic diversity gradients.

    PubMed

    Leprieur, Fabien; Albouy, Camille; De Bortoli, Julien; Cowman, Peter F; Bellwood, David R; Mouillot, David

    2012-01-01

    The evolutionary dissimilarity between communities (phylogenetic beta diversity PBD) has been increasingly explored by ecologists and biogeographers to assess the relative roles of ecological and evolutionary processes in structuring natural communities. Among PBD measures, the PhyloSor and UniFrac indices have been widely used to assess the level of turnover of lineages over geographical and environmental gradients. However, these indices can be considered as 'broad-sense' measures of phylogenetic turnover as they incorporate different aspects of differences in evolutionary history between communities that may be attributable to phylogenetic diversity gradients. In the present study, we extend an additive partitioning framework proposed for compositional beta diversity to PBD. Specifically, we decomposed the PhyloSor and UniFrac indices into two separate components accounting for 'true' phylogenetic turnover and phylogenetic diversity gradients, respectively. We illustrated the relevance of this framework using simple theoretical and archetypal examples, as well as an empirical study based on coral reef fish communities. Overall, our results suggest that using PhyloSor and UniFrac may greatly over-estimate the level of spatial turnover of lineages if the two compared communities show contrasting levels of phylogenetic diversity. We therefore recommend that future studies use the 'true' phylogenetic turnover component of these indices when the studied communities encompass a large phylogenetic diversity gradient.

  3. Liver transplantation normalizes serum hepcidin level and cures iron metabolism alterations in HFE hemochromatosis.

    PubMed

    Bardou-Jacquet, Edouard; Philip, Julie; Lorho, Richard; Ropert, Martine; Latournerie, Marianne; Houssel-Debry, Pauline; Guyader, Dominique; Loréal, Olivier; Boudjema, Karim; Brissot, Pierre

    2014-03-01

    Defects in human hemochromatosis protein (HFE) cause iron overload due to reduced hepatic hepcidin secretion. Liver transplantation (LT) is a key treatment for potential complications from HFE-related hereditary hemochromatosis (HH). This study evaluated hepcidin secretion and iron burden after LT to elucidate HH pathophysiology. Patients (n=18) homozygous for the p.Cys282Tyr mutation in the HFE gene underwent LT between 1999 and 2008. Serum iron, serum hepcidin, and hepatic iron concentrations were determined before LT and at the end of follow-up (median 57 months). Mortality and causes of death were determined. Survival was compared to that of the overall patient population that received LT. Before LT, serum hepcidin levels were low (0.54 ± 2.5 nmol/L; normal range: 4-30 nmol/L). After LT, 11 patients had iron evaluations; none received iron depletion therapy; all had normal transferrin saturation. The mean serum ferritin was 185 (± 99) μg/L. Magnetic resonance imaging showed that iron overload was absent in nine patients, mild in one patient with metabolic syndrome, and high (180 μmol/g) in one patient with hereditary spherocytosis discovered after LT. At the end of follow-up, serum hepcidin was normal in 10 patients (11.12 ± 7.6 nmol/L; P<0.05) and low in one patient with iron deficiency anemia. Survival was 83% and 67% at 1 and 5 years, respectively. Survival was similar for patients with HH and patients that received LT for other causes. In HH, LT normalized hepcidin secretion and prevented recurrence of hepatic iron overload. Survival was similar to that of patients who received LTs for other liver diseases. © 2014 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

  4. Phenotypic Diversity and Altered Environmental Plasticity in Arabidopsis thaliana with Reduced Hsp90 Levels

    PubMed Central

    Sangster, Todd A.; Bahrami, Adam; Wilczek, Amity; Watanabe, Etsuko; Schellenberg, Kurt; McLellan, Catherine; Kelley, Alicia; Kong, Sek Won; Queitsch, Christine; Lindquist, Susan

    2007-01-01

    The molecular chaperone HSP90 aids the maturation of a diverse but select set of metastable protein clients, many of which are key to a variety of signal transduction pathways. HSP90 function has been best investigated in animal and fungal systems, where inhibition of the chaperone has exceptionally diverse effects, ranging from reversing oncogenic transformation to preventing the acquisition of drug resistance. Inhibition of HSP90 in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana uncovers novel morphologies dependent on normally cryptic genetic variation and increases stochastic variation inherent to developmental processes. The biochemical activity of HSP90 is strictly conserved between animals and plants. However, the substrates and pathways dependent on HSP90 in plants are poorly understood. Progress has been impeded by the necessity of reliance on light-sensitive HSP90 inhibitors due to redundancy in the A. thaliana HSP90 gene family. Here we present phenotypic and genome-wide expression analyses of A. thaliana with constitutively reduced HSP90 levels achieved by RNAi targeting. HSP90 reduction affects a variety of quantitative life-history traits, including flowering time and total seed set, increases morphological diversity, and decreases the developmental stability of repeated characters. Several morphologies are synergistically affected by HSP90 and growth temperature. Genome-wide expression analyses also suggest a central role for HSP90 in the genesis and maintenance of plastic responses. The expression results are substantiated by examination of the response of HSP90-reduced plants to attack by caterpillars of the generalist herbivore Trichoplusia ni. HSP90 reduction potentiates a more robust herbivore defense response. In sum, we propose that HSP90 exerts global effects on the environmental responsiveness of plants to many different stimuli. The comprehensive set of HSP90-reduced lines described here is a vital instrument to further examine the role of HSP90 as a

  5. Phylogenetic analysis of adenovirus sequences.

    PubMed

    Harrach, Balázs; Benko, Mária

    2007-01-01

    Members of the family Adenoviridae have been isolated from a large variety of hosts, including representatives from every major vertebrate class from fish to mammals. The high prevalence, together with the fairly conserved organization of the central part of their genomes, make the adenoviruses one of (if not the) best models for studying viral evolution on a larger time scale. Phylogenetic calculation can infer the evolutionary distance among adenovirus strains on serotype, species, and genus levels, thus helping the establishment of a correct taxonomy on the one hand, and speeding up the process of typing new isolates on the other. Initially, four major lineages corresponding to four genera were recognized. Later, the demarcation criteria of lower taxon levels, such as species or types, could also be defined with phylogenetic calculations. A limited number of possible host switches have been hypothesized and convincingly supported. Application of the web-based BLAST and MultAlin programs and the freely available PHYLIP package, along with the TreeView program, enables everyone to make correct calculations. In addition to step-by-step instruction on how to perform phylogenetic analysis, critical points where typical mistakes or misinterpretation of the results might occur will be identified and hints for their avoidance will be provided.

  6. Time Course of Behavioral Alteration and mRNA Levels of Neurotrophic Factor Following Stress Exposure in Mouse.

    PubMed

    Hashikawa, Naoya; Ogawa, Takumi; Sakamoto, Yusuke; Ogawa, Mami; Matsuo, Yumi; Zamami, Yoshito; Hashikawa-Hobara, Narumi

    2015-08-01

    Stress is known to affect neurotrophic factor expression, which induces depression-like behavior. However, whether there are time-dependent changes in neurotrophic factor mRNA expression following stress remains unclear. In the present study, we tested whether chronic stress exposure induces long-term changes in depression-related behavior, serum corticosterone, and hippocampal proliferation as well as neurotrophic factor family mRNA levels, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), in the mouse hippocampus. The mRNA level of neurotrophic factors (BDNF, NGF, NT-3, and CNTF) was measured using the real-time PCR. The serum corticosterone level was evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and, for each subject, the hippocampal proliferation was examined by 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine immunostaining. Mice exhibited depression-like behavior in the forced-swim test (FST) and decreased BDNF mRNA and hippocampal proliferation in the middle of the stress exposure. After 15 days of stress exposure, we observed increased immobility in the FST, serum corticosterone levels, and BDNF mRNA levels and degenerated hippocampal proliferation, maintained for at least 2 weeks. Anhedonia-like behavior in the sucrose preference test and NGF mRNA levels were decreased following 15 days of stress. NGF mRNA levels were significantly higher 1 week after stress exposure. The current data demonstrate that chronic stress exposure induces prolonged BDNF and NGF mRNA changes and increases corticosterone levels and depression-like behavior in the FST, but does not alter other neurotrophic factors or performance in the sucrose preference test.

  7. Proteasome Inhibitors Alter Levels of Intracellular Peptides in HEK293T and SH-SY5Y Cells

    PubMed Central

    Dasgupta, Sayani; Castro, Leandro M.; Dulman, Russell; Yang, Ciyu; Schmidt, Marion; Ferro, Emer S.; Fricker, Lloyd D.

    2014-01-01

    The proteasome cleaves intracellular proteins into peptides. Earlier studies found that treatment of human embryonic kidney 293T (HEK293T) cells with epoxomicin (an irreversible proteasome inhibitor) generally caused a decrease in levels of intracellular peptides. However, bortezomib (an antitumor drug and proteasome inhibitor) caused an unexpected increase in the levels of most intracellular peptides in HEK293T and SH-SY5Y cells. To address this apparent paradox, quantitative peptidomics was used to study the effect of a variety of other proteasome inhibitors on peptide levels in HEK293T and SH-SY5Y cells. Inhibitors tested included carfilzomib, MG132, MG262, MLN2238, AM114, and clasto-Lactacystin β-lactone. Only MG262 caused a substantial elevation in peptide levels that was comparable to the effect of bortezomib, although carfilzomib and MLN2238 elevated the levels of some peptides. To explore off-target effects, the proteosome inhibitors were tested with various cellular peptidases. Bortezomib did not inhibit tripeptidyl peptidase 2 and only weakly inhibited cellular aminopeptidase activity, as did some of the other proteasome inhibitors. However, potent inhibitors of tripeptidyl peptidase 2 (butabindide) and cellular aminopeptidases (bestatin) did not substantially alter the peptidome, indicating that the increase in peptide levels due to proteasome inhibitors is not a result of peptidase inhibition. Although we cannot exclude other possibilities, we presume that the paradoxical increase in peptide levels upon treatment with bortezomib and other inhibitors is the result of allosteric effects of these compounds on the proteasome. Because intracellular peptides are likely to be functional, it is possible that some of the physiologic effects of bortezomib and carfilzomib arise from the perturbation of peptide levels inside the cell. PMID:25079948

  8. Wastewater treatment plant effluent alters pituitary gland gonadotropin mRNA levels in juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch).

    PubMed

    Harding, Louisa B; Schultz, Irvin R; da Silva, Denis A M; Ylitalo, Gina M; Ragsdale, Dave; Harris, Stephanie I; Bailey, Stephanie; Pepich, Barry V; Swanson, Penny

    2016-09-01

    It is well known that endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) present in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents interfere with reproduction in fish, including altered gonad development and induction of vitellogenin (Vtg), a female-specific egg yolk protein precursor produced in the liver. As a result, studies have focused on the effects of EDC exposure on the gonad and liver. However, impacts of environmental EDC exposure at higher levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad axis are less well understood. The pituitary gonadotropins, follicle-stimulating hormone (Fsh) and luteinizing hormone (Lh) are involved in all aspects of gonad development and are subject to feedback from gonadal steroids making them a likely target of endocrine disruption. In this study, the effects of WWTP effluent exposure on pituitary gonadotropin mRNA expression were investigated to assess the utility of Lh beta-subunit (lhb) as a biomarker of estrogen exposure in juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). First, a controlled 72-h exposure to 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2) and 17β-trenbolone (TREN) was performed to evaluate the response of juvenile coho salmon to EDC exposure. Second, juvenile coho salmon were exposed to 0, 20 or 100% effluent from eight WWTPs from the Puget Sound, WA region for 72h. Juvenile coho salmon exposed to 2 and 10ng EE2L(-1) had 17-fold and 215-fold higher lhb mRNA levels relative to control fish. Hepatic vtg mRNA levels were dramatically increased 6670-fold, but only in response to 10ng EE2L(-1) and Fsh beta-subunit (fshb) mRNA levels were not altered by any of the treatments. In the WWTP effluent exposures, lhb mRNA levels were significantly elevated in fish exposed to five of the WWTP effluents. In contrast, transcript levels of vtg were not affected by any of the WWTP effluent exposures. Mean levels of natural and synthetic estrogens in fish bile were consistent with pituitary lhb expression, suggesting that the observed lhb induction may be due to

  9. Using chromosomal data in the phylogenetic and molecular dating framework: karyotype evolution and diversification in Nierembergia (Solanaceae) influenced by historical changes in sea level.

    PubMed

    Acosta, M C; Moscone, E A; Cocucci, A A

    2016-05-01

    Karyotype data within a phylogenetic framework and molecular dating were used to examine chromosome evolution in Nierembergia and to infer how geological or climatic processes have influenced in the diversification of this solanaceous genus native to South America and Mexico. Despite the numerous studies comparing karyotype features across species, including the use of molecular phylogenies, to date relatively few studies have used formal comparative methods to elucidate chromosomal evolution, especially to reconstruct the whole ancestral karyotypes. Here, we mapped on the Nierembergia phylogeny one complete set of chromosomal data obtained by conventional staining, AgNOR-, C- and fluorescent chromosome banding, and fluorescent in situ hybridisation. In addition, we used a Bayesian molecular relaxed clock to estimate divergence times between species. Nierembergia showed two major divergent clades: a mountainous species group with symmetrical karyotypes, large chromosomes, only one nucleolar organising region (NOR) and without centromeric heterochromatin, and a lowland species group with asymmetrical karyotypes, small chromosomes, two chromosomes pairs with NORs and centromeric heterochromatin bands. Molecular dating on the DNA phylogeny revealed that both groups diverged during Late Miocene, when Atlantic marine ingressions, called the 'Paranense Sea', probably forced the ancestors of these species to find refuge in unflooded areas for about 2 Myr. This split agrees with an increased asymmetry and heterochromatin amount, and decrease in karyotype length and chromosome size. Thus, when the two Nierembergia ancestral lineages were isolated, major divergences occurred in chromosomal evolution, and then each lineage underwent speciation separately, with relatively minor changes in chromosomal characteristics.

  10. Levels of Ancylostoma infections and phylogenetic analysis of cox 1 gene of A. ceylanicum in stray cat faecal samples from Guangzhou, China.

    PubMed

    Hu, W; Yu, X G; Wu, S; Tan, L P; Song, M R; Abdulahi, A Y; Wang, Z; Jiang, B; Li, G Q

    2016-07-01

    Ancylostoma ceylanicum is a common zoonotic nematode. Cats act as natural reservoirs of the hookworm and are involved in transmitting infection to humans, thus posing a potential risk to public health. The prevalence of feline A. ceylanicum in Guangzhou (South China) was surveyed by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). In total, 112 faecal samples were examined; 34.8% (39/112) and 43.8% (49/112) samples were positive with hookworms by microscopy and PCR method, respectively. Among them, 40.8% of samples harboured A. ceylanicum. Twelve positive A. ceylanicum samples were selected randomly and used for cox 1 sequence analysis. Sequencing results revealed that they had 97-99% similarity with A. ceylanicum cox 1 gene sequences deposited in GenBank. A phylogenetic tree showed that A. ceylanicum isolates were divided into two groups: one comprising four isolates from Guangzhou (South China), and the other comprising those from Malaysia, Cambodia and Guangzhou. In the latter group, all A. ceylanicum isolates from Guangzhou were clustered into a minor group again. The results indicate that the high prevalence of A. ceylanicum in stray cats in South China poses a potential risk of hookworm transmission from pet cats to humans, and that A. ceylanicum may be a species complex worldwide.

  11. Motor restlessness, sleep disturbances, thermal sensory alterations and elevated serum iron levels in Btbd9 mutant mice

    PubMed Central

    DeAndrade, Mark P.; Johnson, Russell L.; Unger, Erica L.; Zhang, Li; van Groen, Thomas; Gamble, Karen L.; Li, Yuqing

    2012-01-01

    Restless legs syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis–Ekbom disease, is a sensory–motor neurological disorder with a circadian component. RLS is characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the extremities, generally at night or during sleep, which often leads to an uncontrollable urge to move them for relief. Recently, genomic studies identified single-nucleotide polymorphisms in BTBD9, along with three other genes, as being associated with a higher risk of RLS. Little is known about the function of BTBD9 or its potential role in the pathophysiology of RLS. We therefore examined a line of Btbd9 mutant mice we recently generated for phenotypes similar to symptoms found in RLS patients. We observed that the Btbd9 mutant mice had motor restlessness, sensory alterations likely limited to the rest phase, and decreased sleep and increased wake times during the rest phase. Additionally, the Btbd9 mutant mice had altered serum iron levels and monoamine neurotransmitter systems. Furthermore, the sensory alterations in the Btbd9 mutant mice were relieved using ropinirole, a dopaminergic agonist widely used for RLS treatment. These results, taken together, suggest that the Btbd9 mutant mice model several characteristics similar to RLS and would therefore be the first genotypic mouse model of RLS. Furthermore, our data provide further evidence that BTBD9 is involved in RLS, and future studies of the Btbd9 mutant mice will help shine light on its role in the pathophysiology of RLS. Finally, our data argue for the utility of Btbd9 mutant mice to discover and screen novel therapeutics for RLS. PMID:22678064

  12. Altered Brain Network in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Resting Graph Theory-Based Network Study at Voxel-Wise Level.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chaoyang; Hu, Xiaofei; Hu, Jun; Liang, Minglong; Yin, Xuntao; Chen, Lin; Zhang, Jiuquan; Wang, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare degenerative disorder characterized by loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Neuroimaging has provided noticeable evidence that ALS is a complex disease, and shown that anatomical and functional lesions extend beyond precentral cortices and corticospinal tracts, to include the corpus callosum; frontal, sensory, and premotor cortices; thalamus; and midbrain. The aim of this study is to investigate graph theory-based functional network abnormalities at voxel-wise level in ALS patients on a whole brain scale. Forty-three ALS patients and 44 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers were enrolled. The voxel-wise network degree centrality (DC), a commonly employed graph-based measure of network organization, was used to characterize the alteration of whole brain functional network. Compared with the controls, the ALS patients showed significant increase of DC in the left cerebellum posterior lobes, bilateral cerebellum crus, bilateral occipital poles, right orbital frontal lobe, and bilateral prefrontal lobes; significant decrease of DC in the bilateral primary motor cortex, bilateral sensory motor region, right prefrontal lobe, left bilateral precuneus, bilateral lateral temporal lobes, left cingulate cortex, and bilateral visual processing cortex. The DC's z-scores of right inferior occipital gyrus were significant negative correlated with the ALSFRS-r scores. Our findings confirm that the regions with abnormal network DC in ALS patients were located in multiple brain regions including primary motor, somatosensory and extra-motor areas, supporting the concept that ALS is a multisystem disorder. Specifically, our study found that DC in the visual areas was altered and ALS patients with higher DC in right inferior occipital gyrus have more severity of disease. The result demonstrated that the altered DC value in this region can probably be used to assess severity of ALS.

  13. Ultra-fast alterations in mRNA levels uncover multiple players in light stress acclimation in plants.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Nobuhiro; Devireddy, Amith R; Inupakutika, Madhuri A; Baxter, Aaron; Miller, Gad; Song, Luhua; Shulaev, Elena; Azad, Rajeev K; Shulaev, Vladimir; Mittler, Ron

    2015-11-01

    The acclimation of plants to changes in light intensity requires rapid responses at several different levels. These include biochemical and biophysical responses as well as alterations in the steady-state level of different transcripts and proteins. Recent studies utilizing promoter::reporter constructs suggested that transcriptional responses to changes in light intensity could occur within seconds, rates for which changes in mRNA expression are not routinely measured or functionally studied. To identify and characterize rapid changes in the steady-state level of different transcripts in response to light stress we performed RNA sequencing analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana plants subjected to light stress. Here we report that mRNA accumulation of 731 transcripts occurs as early as 20-60 sec following light stress application, and that at least five of these early response transcripts play an important biological role in the acclimation of plants to light stress. More than 20% of transcripts accumulating in plants within 20-60 sec of initiation of light stress are H2 O2 - and ABA-response transcripts, and the accumulation of several of these transcripts is inhibited by transcriptional inhibitors. In accordance with the association of rapid response transcripts with H2 O2 and ABA signaling, a mutant impaired in ABA sensing (abi-1) was found to be more tolerant to light stress, and the response of several of the rapid response transcripts was altered in mutants impaired in reactive oxygen metabolism. Our findings reveal that transcriptome reprogramming in plants could occur within seconds of initiation of abiotic stress and that this response could invoke known as well as unknown proteins and pathways.

  14. Is a low level of free thyroxine in the maternal circulation associated with altered endothelial function in gestational diabetes?

    PubMed Central

    Guzmán-Gutiérrez, Enrique; Veas, Carlos; Leiva, Andrea; Escudero, Carlos; Sobrevia, Luis

    2014-01-01

    Synthesis of thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3), in the human fetus starts from 17 to 19th weeks of gestation. Despite the majority of normal pregnant women reaching adequate levels of circulating thyroid hormones, in some cases, women with normal pregnancies have low level of free T4 during first trimester of pregnancy, suggesting that T4 action may be compromised in those women and their fetuses. In addition, pathological low levels of thyroid hormones are detected in isolated maternal hypothyroxemia (IMH) and clinical hypothyroidism. Nevertheless, human placenta regulates T3/T4 concentration in the fetal circulation by modulating the expression and activity of both thyroid hormone transporters (THT) and deiodinases. Then, placenta can control the availability of T3/T4 in the feto-placental circulation, and therefore may generate an adaptive response in cases where the mother courses with low levels of T4. In addition, T3/T4 might control vascular response in the placenta, in particularly endothelial cells may induce the synthesis and release of vasodilators such as nitric oxide (NO) or vasoconstrictors such as endothelin-1 mediated by these hormones. On the other hand, low levels of T4 have been associated with increase in gestational diabetes (GD) markers. Since GD is associated with impaired placental vascular function characterized by increased NO synthesis in placental arteries and veins, as well as elevated placental angiogenesis, it is unknown whether reduced T4 level at the maternal circulation could result in an altered placental endothelial function during GD. In this review, we analyze available information regarding thyroid hormones and endothelial dysfunction in GD; and propose that low maternal levels of T4 observed in GD may be compensated by increased placental availability of T3/T4 via elevation in the activity of THT and/or reduction in deiodinases in the feto-placental circulation. PMID:24936187

  15. Alterations of GABA and glutamate-glutamine levels in premenstrual dysphoric disorder: a 3T proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bo; Wang, Guangbin; Gao, Dongmei; Gao, Fei; Zhao, Bin; Qiao, Mingqi; Yang, Huan; Yu, Yanhong; Ren, Fuxin; Yang, Ping; Chen, Weibo; Rae, Caroline D

    2015-01-30

    Increasing evidence has suggested that the GABAergic neurotransmitter system is involved in the pathogenesis of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). We used proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H MRS) to investigate whether PMDD is associated with alterations in brain GABA levels. Levels of glutamate-glutamine (Glx) were also explored. Participants comprised 22 women with PMDD and 22 age-matched healthy controls who underwent 3T (1)H MRS during the late luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. GABA+ and Glx levels were quantified in the anterior cingulate cortex/medial prefrontal cortex (ACC/mPFC) and the left basal ganglia (ltBG). Water-scaled GABA+ concentrations and GABA+/tCr ratios were significantly lower in both the ACC/mPFC and ltBG regions of PMDD women than in healthy controls. Glx/tCr ratios were significantly higher in the ACC/mPFC region of PMDD women than healthy controls. Our preliminary findings provide the first report of abnormal levels of GABA+ and Glx in mood-related brain regions of women with PMDD, indicating that dysregulation of the amino acid neurotransmitter system may be an important neurobiological mechanism in the pathogenesis of PMDD.

  16. Master's level in primary health care education - students' and preceptors' perceptions and experiences of the alteration in the clinical areas.

    PubMed

    Löfmark, Anna; Mamhidir, Anna-Greta

    2010-06-16

    Many Western European countries are undergoing reforms with changes in higher education according to the Bologna declaration for Higher European Education Area. In accordance with these changes, the Master's degree was introduced in specialist nurse education in Sweden in 2007, and as a result changed the curriculum and modified theoretical and clinical areas. The aim of this study was to investigate students' and preceptors' perceptions and experiences of Master's level education in primary health care with a focus on the clinical area. A descriptive design and qualitative approach was used. Interviews with ten students and ten preceptors were performed twice, before and after the clinical practice period. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and themes formulated. Students perceived alteration in the content of the education at the Master's level such as more independence and additional assignments. The preceptors perceived benefits with the Master's level but were unsure of how to transform theoretical and abstract knowledge into practice. Writing the Master's thesis was seen by students to take time away from clinical practice. For some students and preceptors the content of the Master's level clinical practice area was experienced as vague and indistinct. The students had not expected supervision to be different from earlier experiences, while preceptors felt higher demands and requested more knowledge. Both students and preceptors perceived that education at the Master's level might lead to a higher status for the nurses' profession in primary health care. Students and preceptors experienced both advantages and disadvantages concerning the change in specialist nurse education in primary health care at the Master's level. The altered educational content was experienced as a step forward, but they also questioned how the new knowledge could be used in practice. The relevance of the Master's thesis was questioned. Supervision was seen by students

  17. Master's level in primary health care education - students' and preceptors' perceptions and experiences of the alteration in the clinical areas

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Many Western European countries are undergoing reforms with changes in higher education according to the Bologna declaration for Higher European Education Area. In accordance with these changes, the Master's degree was introduced in specialist nurse education in Sweden in 2007, and as a result changed the curriculum and modified theoretical and clinical areas. The aim of this study was to investigate students' and preceptors' perceptions and experiences of Master's level education in primary health care with a focus on the clinical area. Methods A descriptive design and qualitative approach was used. Interviews with ten students and ten preceptors were performed twice, before and after the clinical practice period. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and themes formulated. Results Students perceived alteration in the content of the education at the Master's level such as more independence and additional assignments. The preceptors perceived benefits with the Master's level but were unsure of how to transform theoretical and abstract knowledge into practice. Writing the Master's thesis was seen by students to take time away from clinical practice. For some students and preceptors the content of the Master's level clinical practice area was experienced as vague and indistinct. The students had not expected supervision to be different from earlier experiences, while preceptors felt higher demands and requested more knowledge. Both students and preceptors perceived that education at the Master's level might lead to a higher status for the nurses' profession in primary health care. Conclusions Students and preceptors experienced both advantages and disadvantages concerning the change in specialist nurse education in primary health care at the Master's level. The altered educational content was experienced as a step forward, but they also questioned how the new knowledge could be used in practice. The relevance of the Master's thesis was

  18. Drospirenone intake alters plasmatic steroid levels and cyp17a1 expression in gonads of juvenile sea bass.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Maria; Fernandes, Denise; Medina, Paula; Blázquez, Mercedes; Porte, Cinta

    2016-06-01

    Drospirenone (DRO) is one of the most widely used progestins in contraceptive treatments and hormone replacement therapies. The pharmacokinetics and potential toxicological effects of DRO were investigated in juvenile sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) exposed through the diet (0.01-10 μg DRO/g) for up to 31 days. DRO was detected in the blood (4-27 ng/mL) of fish exposed to the highest concentration, with no significant bioaccumulation over time and no alteration of hepatic metabolizing enzymes, namely, CYP1A and CYP3A-catalysed activities and UDP-glucuronyltransferase (UGT). Pregnenolone (P5), progesterone (P4), 17α-hydroxyprogesterone (17P4), 17α-hydroxypregnenolone (17P5), androstenedione (AD) and testosterone (T) were determined in plasma and gene expression of cyp17a1, cyp19a1a and cyp11β analysed by qRT-PCR in gonads. The significant increase in plasmatic levels of 17P5, 17P4 and AD detected after 31 days exposure to 10 ng DRO/g together with the increased expression of cyp17a1 in females evidence the ability of DRO to alter steroid synthesis at low intake concentrations (7 ng DRO/day). However, the potential consequences of this steroid shift for female reproduction remain to be investigated.

  19. Association of Urinary Metal Profiles with Altered Glucose Levels and Diabetes Risk: A Population-Based Study in China

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Wei; Cui, Xiuqing; Liu, Bing; Liu, Chuanyao; Xiao, Yang; Lu, Wei; Guo, Huan; He, Meian; Zhang, Xiaomin; Yuan, Jing; Chen, Weihong; Wu, Tangchun

    2015-01-01

    Background Elevated heavy metals and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels were both associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, studies on the associations of heavy metals and essential elements with altered FPG and diabetes risk were limited or conflicting. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential associations of heavy metals and essential trace elements with FPG and diabetes risk among general Chinese population. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the associations of urinary concentrations of 23 metals with FPG, impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and diabetes among 2242 community-based Chinese adults in Wuhan. We used the false discovery rate (FDR) method to correct for multiple hypothesis tests. Results After adjusting for potential confounders, urinary aluminum, titanium, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, selenium, rubidium, strontium, molybdenum, cadmium, antimony, barium, tungsten and lead were associated with altered FPG, IFG or diabetes risk (all P< 0.05); arsenic was only dose-dependently related to diabetes (P< 0.05). After additional adjustment for multiple testing, titanium, copper, zinc, selenium, rubidium, tungsten and lead were still significantly associated with one or more outcomes (all FDR-adjusted P< 0.05). Conclusions Our results suggest that multiple metals in urine are associated with FPG, IFG or diabetes risk. Because the cross-sectional design precludes inferences about causality, further prospective studies are warranted to validate our findings. PMID:25874871

  20. A single exposure to bisphenol A alters the levels of important neuroproteins in adult male and female mice.

    PubMed

    Viberg, Henrik; Lee, Iwa

    2012-10-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is widely used in polymer products in food and beverage containers, baby bottles, dental sealants and fillings, adhesives, protective coatings, flame retardants, water supply pipes, and compact discs, and is found in the environment and in placental tissue, fetuses and breast milk. We have recently reported that a single neonatal exposure to bisphenol A can induce persistent aberrations in spontaneous behavior, in a dose-dependent manner, and affect the adult response to the cholinergic agent nicotine. Furthermore, other recent reports indicate that pre- and perinatal exposure to bisphenol A can induce neurotoxic effects. The present study indicates that a single neonatal exposure to bisphenol A, on postnatal day 10, during the peak of the brain growth spurt, can alter the adult levels of proteins important for normal brain development (CaMKII and synaptophysin). These alterations are induced in both male and female mice and effects are seen in both hippocampus and cerebral cortex. These results further support our recent study showing that neonatal exposure to bisphenol A can act as a developmental neurotoxicant and the effects are similar to effects seen after a single postnatal exposure to other POPs, such as PBDEs, PCBs and PFCs.

  1. Maximizing the phylogenetic diversity of seed banks.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Kate E; Balding, Sharon T; Dickie, John B; Lewis, Gwilym P; Pearce, Tim R; Grenyer, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Ex situ conservation efforts such as those of zoos, botanical gardens, and seed banks will form a vital complement to in situ conservation actions over the coming decades. It is therefore necessary to pay the same attention to the biological diversity represented in ex situ conservation facilities as is often paid to protected-area networks. Building the phylogenetic diversity of ex situ collections will strengthen our capacity to respond to biodiversity loss. Since 2000, the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership has banked seed from 14% of the world's plant species. We assessed the taxonomic, geographic, and phylogenetic diversity of the Millennium Seed Bank collection of legumes (Leguminosae). We compared the collection with all known legume genera, their known geographic range (at country and regional levels), and a genus-level phylogeny of the legume family constructed for this study. Over half the phylogenetic diversity of legumes at the genus level was represented in the Millennium Seed Bank. However, pragmatic prioritization of species of economic importance and endangerment has led to the banking of a less-than-optimal phylogenetic diversity and prioritization of range-restricted species risks an underdispersed collection. The current state of the phylogenetic diversity of legumes in the Millennium Seed Bank could be substantially improved through the strategic banking of relatively few additional taxa. Our method draws on tools that are widely applied to in situ conservation planning, and it can be used to evaluate and improve the phylogenetic diversity of ex situ collections. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  2. Periodontitis increases rheumatic factor serum levels and citrullinated proteins in gingival tissues and alter cytokine balance in arthritic rats

    PubMed Central

    Corrêa, Mônica G.; Sacchetti, Silvana B.; Ribeiro, Fernanda Vieira; Pimentel, Suzana Peres; Casarin, Renato Corrêa Viana; Cirano, Fabiano Ribeiro; Casati, Marcio Z.

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated some immunological features by experimental periodontitis (EP) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease interact in destructive processes in arthritic rats. Rats were assigned to the following groups: EP +RA; RA; EP; and Negative Control. RA was induced by immunizations with type-II collagen and a local immunization with Complete Freund’s adjuvant in the paw. Periodontitis was induced by ligating the right first molars. The serum level of rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACCPA) were measured before the induction of EP (T1) and at 28 days after (T2) by ELISA assay. ACCPA levels were also measured in the gingival tissue at T2. The specimens were processed for morphometric analysis of bone loss, and the gingival tissue surrounding the first molar was collected for the quantification of interleukin IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, IL-17 and TNF-α using a Luminex/MAGpix assay. Paw edema was analyzed using a plethysmometer. Periodontitis increased the RF and ACCPA levels in the serum and in the gingival tissue, respectively. Besides, the level of paw swelling was increased by EP and remained in progress until the end of the experiment, when EP was associated with RA. Greater values of IL-17 were observed only when RA was present, in spite of PE. It can be concluded that periodontitis increases rheumatic factor serum levels and citrullinated proteins level in gingival tissues and alter cytokine balance in arthritic rats; at the same time, arthritis increases periodontal destruction, confirming the bidirectional interaction between diseases. PMID:28358812

  3. Exposure to ultrafine particles, intracellular production of reactive oxygen species in leukocytes and altered levels of endothelial progenitor cells.

    PubMed

    Jantzen, Kim; Møller, Peter; Karottki, Dorina Gabriela; Olsen, Yulia; Bekö, Gabriel; Clausen, Geo; Hersoug, Lars-Georg; Loft, Steffen

    2016-06-01

    Exposure to particles in the fine and ultrafine size range has been linked to induction of low-grade systemic inflammation, oxidative stress and development of cardiovascular diseases. Declining levels of endothelial progenitor cells within systemic circulation have likewise been linked to progression of cardiovascular diseases. The objective was to determine if exposure to fine and ultrafine particles from indoor and outdoor sources, assessed by personal and residential indoor monitoring, is associated with altered levels of endothelial progenitor cells, and whether such effects are related to leukocyte-mediated oxidative stress. The study utilized a cross sectional design performed in 58 study participants from a larger cohort. Levels of circulating endothelial progenitor cells, defined as either late (CD34(+)KDR(+) cells) or early (CD34(+)CD133(+)KDR(+) cells) subsets were measured using polychromatic flow cytometry. We additionally measured production of reactive oxygen species in leukocyte subsets (lymphocytes, monocytes and granulocytes) by flow cytometry using intracellular 2',7'-dichlorofluoroscein. The measurements encompassed both basal levels of reactive oxygen species production and capacity for reactive oxygen species production for each leukocyte subset. We found that the late endothelial progenitor subset was negatively associated with levels of ultrafine particles measured within the participant residences and with reactive oxygen species production capacity in lymphocytes. Additionally, the early endothelial progenitor cell levels were positively associated with a personalised measure of ultrafine particle exposure and negatively associated with both basal and capacity for reactive oxygen species production in lymphocytes and granulocytes, respectively. Our results indicate that exposure to fine and ultrafine particles derived from indoor sources may have adverse effects on human vascular health. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier

  4. Phylogenetically resolving epidemiologic linkage

    SciTech Connect

    Romero-Severson, Ethan O.; Bulla, Ingo; Leitner, Thomas

    2016-02-22

    The use of phylogenetic trees in epidemiological investigations has become commonplace, but their epidemiological interpretation has not been systematically evaluated. Here, we use an HIV-1 within-host coalescent model to probabilistically evaluate transmission histories of two epidemiologically linked hosts. Previous critique of phylogenetic reconstruction has claimed that direction of transmission is difficult to infer, and that the existence of unsampled intermediary links or common sources can never be excluded. The phylogenetic relationship between the HIV populations of epidemiologically linked hosts can be classified into six types of trees, based on cladistic relationships and whether the reconstruction is consistent with the true transmission history or not. We show that the direction of transmission and whether unsampled intermediary links or common sources existed make very different predictions about expected phylogenetic relationships: (i) Direction of transmission can often be established when paraphyly exists, (ii) intermediary links can be excluded when multiple lineages were transmitted, and (iii) when the sampled individuals’ HIV populations both are monophyletic a common source was likely the origin. Inconsistent results, suggesting the wrong transmission direction, were generally rare. In addition, the expected tree topology also depends on the number of transmitted lineages, the sample size, the time of the sample relative to transmission, and how fast the diversity increases after infection. Typically, 20 or more sequences per subject give robust results. Moreover, we confirm our theoretical evaluations with analyses of real transmission histories and discuss how our findings should aid in interpreting phylogenetic results.

  5. Phylogenetically resolving epidemiologic linkage

    DOE PAGES

    Romero-Severson, Ethan O.; Bulla, Ingo; Leitner, Thomas

    2016-02-22

    The use of phylogenetic trees in epidemiological investigations has become commonplace, but their epidemiological interpretation has not been systematically evaluated. Here, we use an HIV-1 within-host coalescent model to probabilistically evaluate transmission histories of two epidemiologically linked hosts. Previous critique of phylogenetic reconstruction has claimed that direction of transmission is difficult to infer, and that the existence of unsampled intermediary links or common sources can never be excluded. The phylogenetic relationship between the HIV populations of epidemiologically linked hosts can be classified into six types of trees, based on cladistic relationships and whether the reconstruction is consistent with the truemore » transmission history or not. We show that the direction of transmission and whether unsampled intermediary links or common sources existed make very different predictions about expected phylogenetic relationships: (i) Direction of transmission can often be established when paraphyly exists, (ii) intermediary links can be excluded when multiple lineages were transmitted, and (iii) when the sampled individuals’ HIV populations both are monophyletic a common source was likely the origin. Inconsistent results, suggesting the wrong transmission direction, were generally rare. In addition, the expected tree topology also depends on the number of transmitted lineages, the sample size, the time of the sample relative to transmission, and how fast the diversity increases after infection. Typically, 20 or more sequences per subject give robust results. Moreover, we confirm our theoretical evaluations with analyses of real transmission histories and discuss how our findings should aid in interpreting phylogenetic results.« less

  6. The phylogenetic likelihood library.

    PubMed

    Flouri, T; Izquierdo-Carrasco, F; Darriba, D; Aberer, A J; Nguyen, L-T; Minh, B Q; Von Haeseler, A; Stamatakis, A

    2015-03-01

    We introduce the Phylogenetic Likelihood Library (PLL), a highly optimized application programming interface for developing likelihood-based phylogenetic inference and postanalysis software. The PLL implements appropriate data structures and functions that allow users to quickly implement common, error-prone, and labor-intensive tasks, such as likelihood calculations, model parameter as well as branch length optimization, and tree space exploration. The highly optimized and parallelized implementation of the phylogenetic likelihood function and a thorough documentation provide a framework for rapid development of scalable parallel phylogenetic software. By example of two likelihood-based phylogenetic codes we show that the PLL improves the sequential performance of current software by a factor of 2-10 while requiring only 1 month of programming time for integration. We show that, when numerical scaling for preventing floating point underflow is enabled, the double precision likelihood calculations in the PLL are up to 1.9 times faster than those in BEAGLE. On an empirical DNA dataset with 2000 taxa the AVX version of PLL is 4 times faster than BEAGLE (scaling enabled and required). The PLL is available at http://www.libpll.org under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

  7. Phylogenetically resolving epidemiologic linkage

    PubMed Central

    Romero-Severson, Ethan O.; Bulla, Ingo; Leitner, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Although the use of phylogenetic trees in epidemiological investigations has become commonplace, their epidemiological interpretation has not been systematically evaluated. Here, we use an HIV-1 within-host coalescent model to probabilistically evaluate transmission histories of two epidemiologically linked hosts. Previous critique of phylogenetic reconstruction has claimed that direction of transmission is difficult to infer, and that the existence of unsampled intermediary links or common sources can never be excluded. The phylogenetic relationship between the HIV populations of epidemiologically linked hosts can be classified into six types of trees, based on cladistic relationships and whether the reconstruction is consistent with the true transmission history or not. We show that the direction of transmission and whether unsampled intermediary links or common sources existed make very different predictions about expected phylogenetic relationships: (i) Direction of transmission can often be established when paraphyly exists, (ii) intermediary links can be excluded when multiple lineages were transmitted, and (iii) when the sampled individuals’ HIV populations both are monophyletic a common source was likely the origin. Inconsistent results, suggesting the wrong transmission direction, were generally rare. In addition, the expected tree topology also depends on the number of transmitted lineages, the sample size, the time of the sample relative to transmission, and how fast the diversity increases after infection. Typically, 20 or more sequences per subject give robust results. We confirm our theoretical evaluations with analyses of real transmission histories and discuss how our findings should aid in interpreting phylogenetic results. PMID:26903617

  8. Phylogenetically resolving epidemiologic linkage.

    PubMed

    Romero-Severson, Ethan O; Bulla, Ingo; Leitner, Thomas

    2016-03-08

    Although the use of phylogenetic trees in epidemiological investigations has become commonplace, their epidemiological interpretation has not been systematically evaluated. Here, we use an HIV-1 within-host coalescent model to probabilistically evaluate transmission histories of two epidemiologically linked hosts. Previous critique of phylogenetic reconstruction has claimed that direction of transmission is difficult to infer, and that the existence of unsampled intermediary links or common sources can never be excluded. The phylogenetic relationship between the HIV populations of epidemiologically linked hosts can be classified into six types of trees, based on cladistic relationships and whether the reconstruction is consistent with the true transmission history or not. We show that the direction of transmission and whether unsampled intermediary links or common sources existed make very different predictions about expected phylogenetic relationships: (i) Direction of transmission can often be established when paraphyly exists, (ii) intermediary links can be excluded when multiple lineages were transmitted, and (iii) when the sampled individuals' HIV populations both are monophyletic a common source was likely the origin. Inconsistent results, suggesting the wrong transmission direction, were generally rare. In addition, the expected tree topology also depends on the number of transmitted lineages, the sample size, the time of the sample relative to transmission, and how fast the diversity increases after infection. Typically, 20 or more sequences per subject give robust results. We confirm our theoretical evaluations with analyses of real transmission histories and discuss how our findings should aid in interpreting phylogenetic results.

  9. Altering dietary levels of protein or vitamins and minerals does not modify morphine-induced analgesia in male rats.

    PubMed

    Kanarek, R B; D'Anci, K E; Przypek, J M; Mathes, W F

    1999-02-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that chronic intake of nutritive sweet solutions, but not nonnutritive sweet solutions, enhances morphine's analgesic potency. To separate out the effects of sweet taste from other changes in dietary intake, which result when rats consume a sucrose solution, the effects of altering dietary levels of protein, or vitamins and minerals on morphine-induced analgesia were examined. In Experiment 1, 40 male Long-Evans rats were fed standard chow or a semipurified diet containing either 10, 20, or 40% protein. Three weeks later, antinociceptive responses to morphine were examined using the tail flick procedure. Tail flick latencies were measured immediately prior to and 30, 60, and 90 min after the administration of morphine sulfate (0.0, 1.25, 2.5, and 5.0 mg/kg, SC). At all three measurement times, antinociceptive responses increased directly as a function of the dose of morphine, but did not differ as a function of diet. In Experiment 2, 24 rats were maintained on either standard laboratory chow or semipurified diets containing 20% protein and either 100% or 25% of the recommended levels of vitamins and minerals for 3 weeks. Tail flick latencies were measured immediately prior to and 30 min after injections (SC) of 2.5 mg/kg morphine sulfate. This procedure was repeated until a cumulative dose of 10.0 mg/kg was obtained. Tail flick latencies increased significantly as a function of drug dose, but did not differ across dietary conditions. These results demonstrate that the increase in morphine-induced analgesia seen in rats consuming a sucrose solution is not due to alterations in either protein or micronutrient intake.

  10. Prolonged monitoring of ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel levels confirms an altered pharmacokinetic profile in obese oral contraceptives users.

    PubMed

    Edelman, Alison B; Cherala, Ganesh; Munar, Myrna Y; Dubois, Barent; McInnis, Martha; Stanczyk, Frank Z; Jensen, Jeffrey T

    2013-02-01

    Pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters based on short sampling times (48 h or less) may contain inaccuracies due to their dependency on extrapolated values. This study was designed to measure PK parameters with greater accuracy in obese users of a low-dose oral contraceptive (OC) and to correlate drug levels with assessments of end-organ activity. Obese [body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m2], ovulatory, otherwise healthy women (n=32) received an OC containing 20 mcg ethinyl estradiol (EE)/100 mcg levonorgestrel (LNG) for two cycles. EE and LNG PK parameters were characterized for 168 h at the end of Cycle 1. During cycle 2, biweekly outpatient visits were performed to assess cervical mucus, monitor ovarian activity with transvaginal ultrasound and obtain serum samples to measure EE, LNG, estradiol and progesterone levels. PK parameters were calculated and correlated with end-organ activity and compared against control samples obtained from normal and obese women sampled up to 48 h in a previous study. Standard determination of PK accuracy was performed, defined by the dependency on extrapolated values ('excess' area under the curve of 25% or less). The mean BMI was 39.4 kg/m2 (SD 6.6) with a range of 30-64 kg/m2. Key LNG PK parameters were as follows: clearance, 0.52 L/h (SD 0.24); half-life, 65 h (SD 40); area under the curve (AUC), 232 h*ng/mL (SD 102); and time to reach steady state, 13.6 days (SD 8.4). The majority of subjects had increased ovarian activity with diameter of follicles ≥8 mm (n=25), but only seven women had follicles ≥10 mm plus cervical mucus scores ≥5. Evidence of poor end-organ suppression did not correlate with the severity of the alterations in PK. As compared to historical normal and obese controls (48-h PK sampling), clearance, half-life, AUC and time to reach steady state were found to be significantly different (p≤.05) in obese women undergoing a longer duration of PK sampling (168 h). Longer sampling also improved PK accuracy for obese

  11. Affective alterations in patients with Cushing's syndrome in remission are associated with decreased BDNF and cortisone levels.

    PubMed

    Valassi, E; Crespo, I; Keevil, B G; Aulinas, A; Urgell, E; Santos, A; Trainer, P J; Webb, S M

    2017-02-01

    Affective alterations and poorer quality of life often persist in patients with Cushing's syndrome (CS) in remission. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) regulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) and is highly expressed in brain areas controlling mood and response to stress. Our aims were to assess affective alterations after long-term remission of CS and evaluate whether they are associated with serum BDNF, salivary cortisol (SalF) and/or cortisone (SalE) concentrations. Thirty-six CS patients in remission (32 females/4 males; mean age (±s.d.), 48.8 ± 11.8 years; median duration of remission, 72 months) and 36 gender-, age- and BMI-matched controls were included. Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Positive Affect Negative Affect Scale (PANAS), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and EuroQoL and CushingQoL questionnaires were completed and measured to evaluate anxiety, depression, stress perception and quality of life (QoL) respectively. Salivary cortisol was measured using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/TMS). BDNF was measured in serum using an ELISA. Remitted CS patients showed worse scores in all questionnaires than controls: STAI (P < 0.001), BDI (P < 0.001), CES-D (P < 0.001), PANAS (P < 0.01), PSS (P < 0.01) and EuroQoL (P < 0.01). A decrease in BDNF was observed in CS vs controls (P = 0.038), and low BDNF was associated with more anxiety (r = -0.247, P = 0.037), depression (r = -0.249, P = 0.035), stress (r = -0.277, P = 0.019) and affective balance (r = 0.243, P = 0.04). Morning salivary cortisone was inversely associated with trait anxiety (r = -0.377, P = 0.040) and depressed affect (r = -0.392, P = 0.032) in CS patients. Delay to diagnosis was associated with depressive symptoms (BDI-II: r = 0.398, P = 0.036 and CES-D: r = 0.449, P = 0.017) and CushingQoL scoring (r = -0.460, P < 0.01). Low BDNF levels are associated

  12. Prolonged monitoring of ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel levels confirms an altered pharmacokinetic profile in obese oral contraceptives users

    PubMed Central

    Edelman, Alison B; Cherala, Ganesh; Munar, Myrna Y.; DuBois, Barent; McInnis, Martha; Stanczyk, Frank Z.; Jensen, Jeffrey T

    2014-01-01

    Background Pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters based on short sampling times (48 h or less) may contain inaccuracies due to their dependency on extrapolated values. This study was designed to measure PK parameters with greater accuracy in obese users of a low-dose oral contraceptive (OC), and to correlate drug levels with assessments of end-organ activity. Study design Obese (BMI ≥30 kg/m2), ovulatory, otherwise healthy, women (n = 32) received an OC containing 20 mcg ethinyl estradiol (EE)/100 mcg levonorgestrel (LNG) for two cycles. EE and LNG PK parameters were characterized for 168 h at the end of Cycle 1. During Cycle 2, biweekly outpatient visits were performed to assess cervical mucus, monitor ovarian activity with transvaginal ultrasound, and obtain serum samples to measure EE, LNG, estradiol (E2), and progesterone (P) levels. PK parameters were calculated and correlated with end-organ activity and compared against control samples obtained from normal and obese women sampled up to 48 h in a previous study. Standard determination of PK accuracy was performed; defined by the dependency on extrapolated values (‘excess’ area under the curve of 25% or less). Results The mean BMI was 39.4 kg/m2 (SD 6.6) with a range of 30–64 kg/m2. Key LNG PK parameters were as follows: clearance 0.52 L/h (SD 0.24), half-life 65 h (SD 40), AUC 232 h*ng/mL (SD 102) and time to reach steady-state 13.6 days (SD 8.4). The majority of subjects had increased ovarian activity with diameter of follicles ≥8 mm (n = 25) but only seven women had follicles ≥10 mm plus cervical mucus scores ≥5. Evidence of poor end-organ suppression did not correlate with the severity of the alterations in PK. As compared to historical normal and obese controls (48 h PK sampling), clearance, half-life, area under the curve (AUC) and time to reach steady-state were found to be significantly different (p ≤ 0.05) in obese women undergoing a longer duration of PK sampling (168 h). Longer sampling also

  13. Alterations in vitamin A and E levels in liver and testis of wild ungulates from a lead mining area.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Estival, Jaime; Taggart, Mark A; Mateo, Rafael

    2011-02-01

    In animals, exposure to metal pollution can induce oxidative stress via several mechanisms. This stress might then cause adverse effects on functions such as male reproductive capacity. Antioxidant vitamins A and E play an important role in maintaining organism functions under stressed conditions. This study assessed the effect of different metals and metalloids on levels of vitamins A and E in livers and testis (n = 67 and 36) of red deer and in livers (n = 22) of wild boar. The study compared animals residing within and outside a polluted mining area. Red deer from mined areas showed significant reductions in liver retinyl docosahexaenoate and retinyl docosapentaenoate. Free retinol, α-tocopherol, and retinyl palmitate in the testis were also lower. This might indicate that increased internal usage of these antioxidants is occurring as deer try to maintain the integrity and function of reproductive tissue. Wild boar from mined areas also showed significant reductions in liver retinyl stearate but increased free retinol levels. This might suggest that vitamin A is being mobilized to a greater degree to cope with the induced oxidative stress caused by exposure to metal pollution. Additionally, a significant negative relationship between liver α-tocopherol and bone lead (Pb) in boar might indicate some long-term effects of Pb on antioxidant levels. Results suggest that vitamin A and E status can be altered as a consequence of exposure to Pb pollution and that complex differences in this response probably exist between species.

  14. Microgravity does not alter plant stand gas exchange of wheat at moderate light levels and saturating CO2 concentration.

    PubMed

    Monje, O; Stutte, G; Chapman, D

    2005-10-01

    Plant stand gas exchange was measured nondestructively in microgravity during the Photosynthesis Experiment Subsystem Testing and Operations experiment conducted onboard the International Space Station. Rates of evapotranspiration and photosynthesis measured in space were compared with ground controls to determine if microgravity directly affects whole-stand gas exchange of Triticum aestivum. During six 21-day experiment cycles, evapotranspiration was determined continuously from water addition rates to the nutrient delivery system, and photosynthesis was determined from the amount of CO2 added to maintain the chamber CO2 concentration setpoint. Plant stand evapotranspiration, net photosynthesis, and water use efficiency were not altered by microgravity. Although leaf area was significantly reduced in microgravity-grown plants compared to ground control plants, leaf area distribution was not affected enough to cause significant differences in the amounts of light absorbed by the flight and ground control plant stands. Microgravity also did not affect the response of evapotranspiration to changes in chamber vapor pressure difference of 12-day-old wheat plant stands. These results suggest that gravity naïve plants grown at moderate light levels (300 micromol m(-2) s(-1)) behave the same as ground control plants. This implies that future plant-based regenerative life support systems can be sized using 1 g data because water purification and food production rates operate at nearly the same rates as in 1 g at moderate light levels. However, it remains to be verified whether the present results are reproducible in plants grown under stronger light levels.

  15. Unexplained gonad alterations in whitefish (Coregonus spp.) from Lake Thun, Switzerland: levels of persistent organic pollutants in different morphs.

    PubMed

    Bogdal, Christian; Naef, Michael; Schmid, Peter; Kohler, Martin; Zennegg, Markus; Bernet, Daniel; Scheringer, Martin; Hungerbühler, Konrad

    2009-01-01

    Since 2000, a surprisingly high number of macroscopical gonad alterations has been reported in whitefish (Coregonus spp.) from Lake Thun, Switzerland. This unique phenomenon is still unexplained and has received much public attention. As one possible trigger for these effects, the presence of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic compounds acting as endocrine disruptors in the lake has been discussed. In this study, concentrations of selected persistent organic pollutants were examined in two morphs of whitefish from Lake Thun and their link to the observed abnormalities was investigated. Analyzed compound classes included polychlorinated biphenyls, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans, polychlorinated naphthalenes, polybrominated diphenyl ethers and hexabromocyclododecanes. The target substances were identified in all samples and concentrations of the analyzed compounds were highly correlated among each other. These correlations show that the analyzed substances have the same distribution pattern throughout the lake and that uptake, accumulation and elimination processes are similar. Significant differences in contaminant levels within the samples existed between the two analyzed morphs of whitefish, most likely due to different age, food patterns and growth rate. No difference in contaminant levels was observed between fish with abnormal gonads and fish with normal gonads, suggesting no causal link between the investigated lipophilic organohalogen compounds present in fish and the observed gonad abnormalities in whitefish from Lake Thun. A comparison to existing data shows that concentrations in Lake Thun whitefish are at the lower bound of contaminant levels in whitefish from Swiss lakes or from European waters.

  16. 6S RNA regulation of relA alters ppGpp levels in early stationary phase.

    PubMed

    Cavanagh, Amy T; Chandrangsu, Pete; Wassarman, Karen M

    2010-12-01

    6S RNA is a small, non-coding RNA that interacts directly with σ(70)-RNA polymerase and regulates transcription at many σ(70)-dependent promoters. Here, we demonstrate that 6S RNA regulates transcription of relA, which encodes a ppGpp synthase. The 6S RNA-dependent regulation of relA expression results in increased ppGpp levels during early stationary phase in cells lacking 6S RNA. These changes in ppGpp levels, although modest, are sufficient to result in altered regulation of transcription from σ(70)-dependent promoters sensitive to ppGpp, including those promoting expression of genes involved in amino acid biosynthesis and rRNA. These data place 6S RNA as another player in maintaining appropriate gene expression as cells transition into stationary phase. Independent of this ppGpp-mediated 6S RNA-dependent regulation, we also demonstrate that in later stationary phase, 6S RNA continues to downregulate transcription in general, and specifically at a subset of the amino acid promoters, but through a mechanism that is independent of ppGpp and which we hypothesize is through direct regulation. In addition, 6S RNA-dependent regulation of σ(S) activity is not mediated through observed changes in ppGpp levels. We suggest a role for 6S RNA in modulating transcription of several global regulators directly, including relA, to downregulate expression of key pathways in response to changing environmental conditions.

  17. 6S RNA regulation of relA alters ppGpp levels in early stationary phase

    PubMed Central

    Cavanagh, Amy T.; Chandrangsu, Pete; Wassarman, Karen M.

    2010-01-01

    6S RNA is a small, non-coding RNA that interacts directly with σ70-RNA polymerase and regulates transcription at many σ70-dependent promoters. Here, we demonstrate that 6S RNA regulates transcription of relA, which encodes a ppGpp synthase. The 6S RNA-dependent regulation of relA expression results in increased ppGpp levels during early stationary phase in cells lacking 6S RNA. These changes in ppGpp levels, although modest, are sufficient to result in altered regulation of transcription from σ70-dependent promoters sensitive to ppGpp, including those promoting expression of genes involved in amino acid biosynthesis and rRNA. These data place 6S RNA as another player in maintaining appropriate gene expression as cells transition into stationary phase. Independent of this ppGpp-mediated 6S RNA-dependent regulation, we also demonstrate that in later stationary phase, 6S RNA continues to downregulate transcription in general, and specifically at a subset of the amino acid promoters, but through a mechanism that is independent of ppGpp and which we hypothesize is through direct regulation. In addition, 6S RNA-dependent regulation of σS activity is not mediated through observed changes in ppGpp levels. We suggest a role for 6S RNA in modulating transcription of several global regulators directly, including relA, to downregulate expression of key pathways in response to changing environmental conditions. PMID:20829285

  18. Estradiol, tamoxifen, and flaxseed alter IL-1β and IL-1Ra levels in normal human breast tissue in vivo.

    PubMed

    Abrahamsson, Annelie; Morad, Vivian; Saarinen, Niina M; Dabrosin, Charlotta

    2012-11-01

    Sex steroid exposure increases the risk of breast cancer by unclear mechanisms. Diet modifications may be one breast cancer prevention strategy. The proinflammatory cytokine family of IL-1 is implicated in cancer progression. IL-1Ra is an endogenous inhibitor of the proinflammatory IL-1α and IL-1β. The objective of this study was to elucidate whether estrogen, tamoxifen, and/or diet modification altered IL-1 levels in normal human breast tissue. Microdialysis was performed in healthy women under various hormone exposures, tamoxifen therapy, and diet modifications and in breast cancers of women before surgery. Breast tissue biopsies from reduction mammoplasties were cultured. We show a significant positive correlation between estradiol and in vivo levels of IL-1β in breast tissue and abdominal sc fat, whereas IL-1Ra exhibited a significant negative correlation with estradiol in breast tissue. Tamoxifen or a dietary addition of 25 g flaxseed per day resulted in significantly increased levels of IL-1Ra in the breast. These results were confirmed in ex vivo culture of breast biopsies. Immunohistochemistry of the biopsies did not reveal any changes in cellular content of the IL-1s, suggesting that mainly the secreted levels were affected. In breast cancer patients, intratumoral levels of IL-1β were significantly higher compared with normal adjacent breast tissue. IL-1 may be under the control of estrogen in vivo and may be attenuated by antiestrogen therapy and diet modifications. The increased IL-1β in breast cancers of women strongly suggests IL-1 as a potential therapeutic target in breast cancer treatment and prevention.

  19. Embryonic-only arsenic exposure in killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) reduces growth and alters muscle IGF levels one year later.

    PubMed

    Szymkowicz, Dana B; Sims, Kaleigh C; Castro, Noemi M; Bridges, William C; Bain, Lisa J

    2017-05-01

    Arsenic is a contaminant of drinking water and crops in many parts of the world. Epidemiological studies have shown that arsenic exposure is linked to decreased birth weight, weight gain, and proper skeletal muscle function. The goal of this study was to use killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) as a model to determine the long-term effects of embryonic-only arsenic exposure on muscle growth and the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) pathway. Killifish embryos were exposed to 0, 50, 200 or 800ppb As(III) from fertilization until hatching. Juvenile fish were reared in clean water and muscle samples were collected at 16, 28, 40 and 52 weeks of age. There were significant reductions in condition factors, ranging from 12 to 17%, in the fish exposed to arsenic at 16, 28 and 40 weeks of age. However, by 52 weeks, no significant changes in condition factors were seen. Alterations in IGF-1R and IGF-1 levels were assessed as a potential mechanism by which growth was reduced. While there no changes in hepatic IGF-1 transcripts, skeletal muscle cells can also produce their own IGF-1 and/or alter IGF-1 receptor levels to help enhance growth. After a 200 and 800ppb embryonic exposure, fish grown in clean water for 16 weeks had IGF-1R transcripts that were 2.8-fold and 2-fold greater, respectively, than unexposed fish. Through 40 weeks of age, IGF1-R remained elevated in the 200ppb and 800ppb embryonic exposure groups by 1.8-3.9-fold, while at 52 weeks of age, IGF-1R levels were still significantly increased in the 800ppb exposure group. Skeletal muscle IGF-1 transcripts were also significantly increased by 1.9-5.1 fold through the 52 weeks of grow-out in clean by water in the 800ppb embryonic exposure group. Based on these results, embryonic arsenic exposure has long-term effects in that it reduces growth and increases both IGF-1 and IGF-1R levels in skeletal muscle even 1year after the exposure has ended. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Anti-inflammatory Montelukast prevents toxic effects of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin: Oxidative stress, histological alterations in liver, and serum cytokine levels.

    PubMed

    Bentli, Recep; Ciftci, Osman; Cetin, Asli; Otlu, Ali

    2016-05-01

    This study aimed to investigate the potential beneficial effects of the montelukast (ML) on oxidative stress and histological alterations in liver tissues and cytokine levels in rats intoxicated with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Rats were divided randomly into four equal groups (control, TCDD, ML, TCDD + ML). TCDD were administered by gavages dissolved in corn oil at the doses of 2 µg/kg/week, and ML was given intraperitoneally at the dose of 10 mg/kg/day. Oxidative status, histological alterations, and cytokine levels were analyzed on day 60. The results showed that although TCDD induced oxidative stress via significant increase in formation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substance, it caused a significant decline in glutathione (GSH), catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels in liver. Besides, TCDD led to significant histopathological damage in liver and serum cytokine levels alterations (increase in tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 1β levels). In contrast, ML treatment reversed oxidative effects of TCDD by increasing the levels of GSH, CAT, and SOD and decreasing the formation of TBARS. Also, it can normalize the levels of histological and cytokine alterations induced by TCDD. In conclusion, it was determined that TCDD exposure caused adverse effects on cytokine levels, histological alterations, and oxidative stress in rats. However, ML treatment partially eliminated toxic effects of TCDD. Thus, it was judged that coadministration of ML with TCDD may be useful to attenuate the negative effects of TCDD. © The Author(s) 2013.

  1. Biochemical and structural characterizations of two Dictyostelium cellobiohydrolases from the amoebozoa kingdom reveal a high level of conservation between distant phylogenetic trees of life

    SciTech Connect

    Hobdey, Sarah E.; Knott, Brandon C.; Momeni, Majid Haddad; Taylor, II, Larry E.; Borisova, Anna S.; Podkaminer, Kara K.; VanderWall, Todd A.; Himmel, Michael E.; Decker, Stephen R.; Beckham, Gregg T.; Stahlberg, Jerry

    2016-04-01

    Glycoside hydrolase family 7 (GH7) cellobiohydrolases (CBHs) are enzymes often employed in plant cell wall degradation across eukaryotic kingdoms of life, as they provide significant hydrolytic potential in cellulose turnover. To date, many fungal GH7 CBHs have been examined, yet many questions regarding structure-activity relationships in these important natural and commercial enzymes remain. Here, we present the crystal structures and a biochemical analysis of two GH7 CBHs from social amoeba: Dictyostelium discoideum Cel7A (DdiCel7A) and Dictyostelium purpureum Cel7A (DpuCel7A). DdiCel7A and DpuCel7A natively consist of a catalytic domain and do not exhibit a carbohydrate-binding module (CBM). The structures of DdiCel7A and DpuCel7A, resolved to 2.1 Å and 2.7 Å, respectively, are homologous to those of other GH7 CBHs with an enclosed active-site tunnel. Two primary differences between the Dictyostelium CBHs and the archetypal model GH7 CBH, Trichoderma reesei Cel7A (TreCel7A), occur near the hydrolytic active site and the product-binding sites. To compare the activities of these enzymes with the activity of TreCel7A, the family 1 TreCel7A CBM and linker were added to the C terminus of each of the Dictyostelium enzymes, creating DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM, which were recombinantly expressed in T. reesei. DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM hydrolyzed Avicel, pretreated corn stover, and phosphoric acid-swollen cellulose as efficiently as TreCel7A when hydrolysis was compared at their temperature optima. The Ki of cellobiose was significantly higher for DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM than for TreCel7A: 205, 130, and 29 μM, respectively. Finally, taken together, the present study highlights the remarkable degree of conservation of the activity of these key natural and industrial enzymes across quite distant phylogenetic trees of life.

  2. Biochemical and structural characterizations of two Dictyostelium cellobiohydrolases from the amoebozoa kingdom reveal a high level of conservation between distant phylogenetic trees of life

    DOE PAGES

    Hobdey, Sarah E.; Knott, Brandon C.; Momeni, Majid Haddad; ...

    2016-04-01

    Glycoside hydrolase family 7 (GH7) cellobiohydrolases (CBHs) are enzymes often employed in plant cell wall degradation across eukaryotic kingdoms of life, as they provide significant hydrolytic potential in cellulose turnover. To date, many fungal GH7 CBHs have been examined, yet many questions regarding structure-activity relationships in these important natural and commercial enzymes remain. Here, we present the crystal structures and a biochemical analysis of two GH7 CBHs from social amoeba: Dictyostelium discoideum Cel7A (DdiCel7A) and Dictyostelium purpureum Cel7A (DpuCel7A). DdiCel7A and DpuCel7A natively consist of a catalytic domain and do not exhibit a carbohydrate-binding module (CBM). The structures of DdiCel7Amore » and DpuCel7A, resolved to 2.1 Å and 2.7 Å, respectively, are homologous to those of other GH7 CBHs with an enclosed active-site tunnel. Two primary differences between the Dictyostelium CBHs and the archetypal model GH7 CBH, Trichoderma reesei Cel7A (TreCel7A), occur near the hydrolytic active site and the product-binding sites. To compare the activities of these enzymes with the activity of TreCel7A, the family 1 TreCel7A CBM and linker were added to the C terminus of each of the Dictyostelium enzymes, creating DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM, which were recombinantly expressed in T. reesei. DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM hydrolyzed Avicel, pretreated corn stover, and phosphoric acid-swollen cellulose as efficiently as TreCel7A when hydrolysis was compared at their temperature optima. The Ki of cellobiose was significantly higher for DdiCel7ACBM and DpuCel7ACBM than for TreCel7A: 205, 130, and 29 μM, respectively. Finally, taken together, the present study highlights the remarkable degree of conservation of the activity of these key natural and industrial enzymes across quite distant phylogenetic trees of life.« less

  3. Changes in vasotocin levels in relation to ovarian development in the catfish Heteropneustes fossilis exposed to altered photoperiod and temperature.

    PubMed

    Chaube, Radha; Singh, Rahul Kumar; Joy, Keerikattil P

    2015-10-01

    Photoperiod and temperature are the major proximate factors that activate the brain-pituitary-gonadal-endocrine axis stimulating gonadal recrudescence. Vasotocin (VT), the basic nonapeptide hormone, is secreted by the nucleus preopticus in the hypothalamus and released from the pituitary into circulation as a neurohormone for physiological actions. Additionally, VT is secreted de novo in the ovary of the catfish and has been implicated in ovarian functions. In the present study, we evaluated the changes in VT secretion during altered photoperiod and temperature exposure. The ovarian changes were monitored over gonadosomatic index (GSI) and plasma steroid hormone levels. Exposure of the catfish to long photoperiod (LP, 16L:08D) daily, alone or in combination with high temperature (HT, 28 ± 2 °C), for 14 or 28 days resulted in a decrease in brain-pituitary VT level with a concomitant increase in plasma and ovarian VT levels. The changes were greater in the LP + HT group on day 28. Concurrently, the treatments stimulated the GSI and plasma estradiol-17β (E2), testosterone (T) and progesterone (P4) levels with higher more responses in the LP + HT group. Exposure of the catfish to short photoperiod (SP, 08L:16D) daily or total darkness (TD, 24L:00D) daily, with or without changing the ambient temperature, for 14 or 28 days produced a depressing effect on VT, GSI and steroid hormone levels, the range of the response varied with the temperature. The brain VT level was low except in the TD + NT group. Plasma and ovarian VT levels decreased more in the SP and TD groups under ambient temperature than in the groups at the raised temperature. The GSI and plasma steroid hormones (E2, T and P4) responded in a similar manner. Plasma cortisol level registered a significant increase in all the groups compared to the initial control groups, and the increase was significantly higher on day 28. The simultaneous activation of VT secretion and ovarian recrudescence by

  4. Memory Alteration Test to Detect Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment and Early Alzheimer's Dementia in Population with Low Educational Level.

    PubMed

    Custodio, Nilton; Lira, David; Herrera-Perez, Eder; Montesinos, Rosa; Castro-Suarez, Sheila; Cuenca-Alfaro, José; Valeriano-Lorenzo, Lucía

    2017-01-01

    Background/Aims: Short tests to early detection of the cognitive impairment are necessary in primary care setting, particularly in populations with low educational level. The aim of this study was to assess the performance of Memory Alteration Test (M@T) to discriminate controls, patients with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (aMCI) and patients with early Alzheimer's Dementia (AD) in a sample of individuals with low level of education. Methods: Cross-sectional study to assess the performance of the M@T (study test), compared to the neuropsychological evaluation (gold standard test) scores in 247 elderly subjects with low education level from Lima-Peru. The cognitive evaluation included three sequential stages: (1) screening (to detect cases with cognitive impairment); (2) nosological diagnosis (to determinate specific disease); and (3) classification (to differentiate disease subtypes). The subjects with negative results for all stages were considered as cognitively normal (controls). The test performance was assessed by means of area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. We calculated validity measures (sensitivity, specificity and correctly classified percentage), the internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha coefficient), and concurrent validity (Pearson's ratio coefficient between the M@T and Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scores). Results: The Cronbach's alpha coefficient was 0.79 and Pearson's ratio coefficient was 0.79 (p < 0.01). The AUC of M@T to discriminate between early AD and aMCI was 99.60% (sensitivity = 100.00%, specificity = 97.53% and correctly classified = 98.41%) and to discriminate between aMCI and controls was 99.56% (sensitivity = 99.17%, specificity = 91.11%, and correctly classified = 96.99%). Conclusions: The M@T is a short test with a good performance to discriminate controls, aMCI and early AD in individuals with low level of education from urban settings.

  5. Chronic low-level domoic acid exposure alters gene transcription and impairs mitochondrial function in the CNS

    PubMed Central

    Hiolski, Emma M; Kendrick, Preston S; Frame, Elizabeth R; Myers, Mark S; Bammler, Theo K; Beyer, Richard P; Farin, Federico M; Wilkerson, Hui-wen; Smith, Donald R; Marcinek, David J; Lefebvre, Kathi A

    2014-01-01

    Domoic acid is an algal-derived seafood toxin that functions as a glutamate agonist and exerts excitotoxicity via overstimulation of glutamate receptors (AMPA, NMDA) in the central nervous system (CNS). At high (symptomatic) doses, domoic acid is well-known to cause seizures, brain lesions and memory loss; however, a significant knowledge gap exists regarding the health impacts of repeated low-level (asymptomatic) exposure. Here, we investigated the impacts of low-level repetitive domoic acid exposure on gene transcription and mitochondrial function in the vertebrate CNS using a zebrafish model in order to: 1) identify transcriptional biomarkers of exposure; and 2) examine potential pathophysiology that may occur in the absence of overt excitotoxic symptoms. We found that transcription of genes related to neurological function and development were significantly altered, and that asymptomatic exposure impaired mitochondrial function. Interestingly, the transcriptome response was highly-variable across the exposure duration (36 weeks), with little to no overlap of specific genes across the six exposure time points (2, 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 weeks). Moreover, there were no apparent similarities at any time point with the gene transcriptome profile exhibited by the glud1 mouse model of chronic moderate excess glutamate release. These results suggest that although the fundamental mechanisms of toxicity may be similar, gene transcriptome responses to domoic acid exposure do not extrapolate well between different exposure durations. However, the observed impairment of mitochondrial function based on respiration rates and mitochondrial protein content suggests that repetitive low-level exposure does have fundamental cellular level impacts that could contribute to chronic health consequences. PMID:25033243

  6. ToF-SIMS imaging of molecular-level alteration mechanisms in Le Bonheur de vivre by Henri Matisse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voras, Zachary E.; deGhetaldi, Kristin; Wiggins, Marcie B.; Buckley, Barbara; Baade, Brian; Mass, Jennifer L.; Beebe, Thomas P.

    2015-11-01

    Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) has recently been shown to be a valuable tool for cultural heritage studies, especially when used in conjunction with established analytical techniques in the field. The ability of ToF-SIMS to simultaneously image inorganic and organic species within a paint cross section at micrometer-level spatial resolution makes it a uniquely qualified analytical technique to aid in further understanding the processes of pigment and binder alteration, as well as pigment-binder interactions. In this study, ToF-SIMS was used to detect and image both molecular and elemental species related to CdS pigment and binding medium alteration on the painting Le Bonheur de vivre (1905-1906, The Barnes Foundation) by Henri Matisse. Three categories of inorganic and organic components were found throughout Le Bonheur de vivre and co-localized in cross-sectional samples using high spatial resolution ToF-SIMS analysis: (1) species relating to the preparation and photo-induced oxidation of CdS yellow pigments (2) varying amounts of long-chain fatty acids present in both the paint and primary ground layer and (3) specific amino acid fragments, possibly relating to the painting's complex restoration history. ToF-SIMS's ability to discern both organic and inorganic species via cross-sectional imaging was used to compare samples collected from Le Bonheur de vivre to artificially aged reference paints in an effort to gather mechanistic information relating to alteration processes that have been previously explored using μXANES, SR-μXRF, SEM-EDX, and SR-FTIR. The relatively high sensitivity offered by ToF-SIMS imaging coupled to the high spatial resolution allowed for the positive identification of degradation products (such as cadmium oxalate) in specific paint regions that have before been unobserved. The imaging of organic materials has provided an insight into the extent of destruction of the original binding medium, as well as

  7. ToF–SIMS imaging of molecular-level alteration mechanisms in Le Bonheur de vivre by Henri Matisse

    PubMed Central

    deGhetaldi, Kristin; Wiggins, Marcie B.; Buckley, Barbara; Baade, Brian; Mass, Jennifer L.; Beebe, Thomas P.

    2016-01-01

    Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF–SIMS) has recently been shown to be a valuable tool for cultural heritage studies, especially when used in conjunction with established analytical techniques in the field. The ability of ToF–SIMS to simultaneously image inorganic and organic species within a paint cross section at micrometer-level spatial resolution makes it a uniquely qualified analytical technique to aid in further understanding the processes of pigment and binder alteration, as well as pigment–binder interactions. In this study, ToF–SIMS was used to detect and image both molecular and elemental species related to CdS pigment and binding medium alteration on the painting Le Bonheur de vivre (1905–1906, The Barnes Foundation) by Henri Matisse. Three categories of inorganic and organic components were found throughout Le Bonheur de vivre and co-localized in cross-sectional samples using high spatial resolution ToF–SIMS analysis: (1) species relating to the preparation and photo-induced oxidation of CdS yellow pigments (2) varying amounts of long-chain fatty acids present in both the paint and primary ground layer and (3) specific amino acid fragments, possibly relating to the painting’s complex restoration history. ToF–SIMS’s ability to discern both organic and inorganic species via cross-sectional imaging was used to compare samples collected from Le Bonheur de vivre to artificially aged reference paints in an effort to gather mechanistic information relating to alteration processes that have been previously explored using μXANES, SR-μXRF, SEM–EDX, and SR-FTIR. The relatively high sensitivity offered by ToF–SIMS imaging coupled to the high spatial resolution allowed for the positive identification of degradation products (such as cadmium oxalate) in specific paint regions that have before been unobserved. The imaging of organic materials has provided an insight into the extent of destruction of the original binding medium

  8. Altered blood oxygen level-dependent signal variability in chronic post-traumatic stress disorder during symptom provocation

    PubMed Central

    Ke, Jun; Zhang, Li; Qi, Rongfeng; Xu, Qiang; Li, Weihui; Hou, Cailan; Zhong, Yuan; Zhang, Zhiqiang; He, Zhong; Li, Lingjiang; Lu, Guangming

    2015-01-01

    Background Recent research suggests that variability in brain signal provides important information about brain function in health and disease. However, it is unknown whether blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal variability is altered in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We aimed to identify the BOLD signal variability changes of PTSD patients during symptom provocation and compare the brain patterns of BOLD signal variability with those of brain activation. Methods Twelve PTSD patients and 14 age-matched controls, who all experienced a mining accident, underwent clinical assessment as well as fMRI scanning while viewing trauma-related and neutral pictures. BOLD signal variability and brain activation were respectively examined with standard deviation (SD) and general linear model analysis, and compared between the PTSD and control groups. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to explore the association between PTSD symptom severity and these two brain measures across all subjects as well as in the PTSD group. Results PTSD patients showed increased activation in the middle occipital gyrus compared with controls, and an inverse correlation was found between PTSD symptom severity and brain activation in the hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex/medial prefrontal cortex. Brain variability analysis revealed increased SD in the insula, anterior cingulate cortex/medial prefrontal cortex, and vermis, and decreased SD in the parahippocapal gyrus, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, somatosensory cortex, and striatum. Importantly, SD alterations in several regions were found in both traumatic and neutral conditions and were stratified by PTSD symptom severity. Conclusion BOLD signal variability may be a reliable and sensitive biomarker of PTSD, and combining brain activation and brain variability analysis may provide complementary insight into the neural basis of this disorder. PMID:26229476

  9. Effects of altered fundamental frequency on nasalance during vowel production by adult speakers at targeted sound pressure levels.

    PubMed

    Mandulak, Kerry C; Zajac, David J

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of altered fundamental frequency (F0) on nasalance levels of the vowels /i/ and /a/ produced by adults without cleft palate within a controlled sound pressure level (SPL) range. A prospective group design with convenience sampling from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was used. 20 men and 20 women participated, aged 18 to 55 years. All were native English speakers with normal speech and language skills and adequate velopharyngeal function. The outcome measures were percentage nasalance obtained from the Nasometer 6200 (KayPentax) headset and the Computerized Speech Lab Model 4400 (CSL, KayPentax) during vowel production while speakers (1) targeted an SPL range of 75 to 85 dB and (2) targeted the SPL plus F0 range of 165 to 175 Hz. A significant univariate effect was found for the vowels /i/ and /a/ in the targeted SPL condition such that /i/ was produced with higher nasalance than /a/. A significant univariate effect was also found during production of /a/ in the targeted SPL plus F0 condition such that men produced /a/ with higher nasalance than women did. SPL appears to largely account for percentage nasalance differences between the vowels /i/ and /a/ produced by adult male and female speakers. Increased F0 by male speakers appears to influence percentage nasalance during production of the vowel /a/. Clinical implications in regard to assessment of hypernasality are discussed.

  10. Projected near-future CO2 levels increase activity and alter defensive behaviours in the tropical squid Idiosepius pygmaeus

    PubMed Central

    Spady, Blake L.; Watson, Sue-Ann; Chase, Tory J.; Munday, Philip L.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels projected to occur in the oceans by the end of this century cause a range of behavioural effects in fish, but whether other highly active marine organisms, such as cephalopods, are similarly affected is unknown. We tested the effects of projected future CO2 levels (626 and 956 µatm) on the behaviour of male two-toned pygmy squid, Idiosepius pygmaeus. Exposure to elevated CO2 increased the number of active individuals by 19–25% and increased movement (number of line-crosses) by nearly 3 times compared to squid at present-day CO2. Squid vigilance and defensive behaviours were also altered by elevated CO2 with >80% of individuals choosing jet escape responses over defensive arm postures in response to a visual startle stimulus, compared with 50% choosing jet escape responses at control CO2. In addition, more escape responses were chosen over threat behaviours in body pattern displays at elevated CO2 and individuals were more than twice as likely to use ink as a defence strategy at 956 µatm CO2, compared with controls. Increased activity could lead to adverse effects on energy budgets as well as increasing visibility to predators. A tendency to respond to a stimulus with escape behaviours could increase survival, but may also be energetically costly and could potentially lead to more chases by predators compared with individuals that use defensive postures. These results demonstrate that projected future ocean acidification affects the behaviours of a tropical squid species. PMID:25326517

  11. Altered cerebrospinal fluid levels of amyloid β and amyloid precursor-like protein 1 peptides in Down's syndrome.

    PubMed

    Portelius, Erik; Hölttä, Mikko; Soininen, Hilkka; Bjerke, Maria; Zetterberg, Henrik; Westerlund, Anni; Herukka, Sanna-Kaisa; Blennow, Kaj; Mattsson, Niklas

    2014-06-01

    Down's syndrome (DS) patients develop early Alzheimer's disease pathology with abundant cortical amyloid plaques, likely due to overproduction of the amyloid precursor protein (APP), which subsequently leads to amyloid β (Aβ) aggregation. This is reflected in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of the 42-amino acid long Aβ peptide (Aβ1-42), which are increased in young DS patients and decreases with age. However, it is unclear whether DS also affects other aspects of Aβ metabolism, including production of shorter C- and N-terminal truncated Aβ peptides, and production of peptides from the amyloid precursor-like protein 1 (APLP1), which is related to APP, and cleaved by the same enzymatic processing machinery. APLP1-derived peptides may be surrogate markers for Aβ1-42 production in the brain. Here, we used hybrid immunoaffinity-mass spectrometry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to monitor several Aβ and APLP1 peptides in CSF from DS patients (n = 12) and healthy controls (n = 20). CSF levels of Aβ1-42 and three endogenous peptides derived from APLP1 (APL1β25, APL1β27 and APL1β28) were decreased in DS compared with controls, while a specific Aβ peptide, Aβ1-28, was increased in a majority of the DS individuals. This study indicates that DS causes previously unknown specific alterations of APP and APLP1 metabolism.

  12. Altered gravitropic response, amyloplast sedimentation and circumnutation in the Arabidopsis shoot gravitropism 5 mutant are associated with reduced starch levels.

    PubMed

    Tanimoto, Mimi; Tremblay, Reynald; Colasanti, Joseph

    2008-05-01

    Plants have developed sophisticated gravity sensing mechanisms to interpret environmental signals that are vital for optimum plant growth. Loss of SHOOT GRAVITROPISM 5 (SGR5) gene function has been shown to affect the gravitropic response of Arabidopsis inflorescence stems. SGR5 is a member of the INDETERMINATE DOMAIN (IDD) zinc finger protein family of putative transcription factors. As part of an ongoing functional analysis of Arabidopsis IDD genes (AtIDD) we have extended the characterisation of SGR5, and show that gravity sensing amyloplasts in the shoot endodermis of sgr5 mutants sediment more slowly than wild type, suggesting a defect in gravity perception. This is correlated with lower amyloplast starch levels, which may account for the reduced gravitropic sensitivity in sgr5. Further, we find that sgr5 mutants have a severely attenuated stem circumnutation movement typified by a reduced amplitude and an decreased periodicity. adg1-1 and sex1-1 mutants, which contain no starch or increased starch, respectively, also show alterations in the amplitude and period of circumnutation. Together these results suggest that plant growth movement may depend on starch levels and/or gravity sensing. Overall, we propose that loss of SGR5 regulatory activity affects starch accumulation in Arabidopsis shoot tissues and causes decreased sensitivity to gravity and diminished circumnutational movements.

  13. Brief anesthesia by isoflurane alters plasma corticosterone levels distinctly in male and female rats: implications for tissue collection methods

    PubMed Central

    Bekhbat, Mandakh; Merrill, Liana; Kelly, Sean D.; Lee, Vanessa K.; Neigh, Gretchen N.

    2016-01-01

    Euthanasia by anesthetic agents is commonly performed prior to tissue collection in order to minimize pain and distress to the animal. However, depending on their mechanism of action as well as administration regimen, different methods of anesthesia may trigger an acute stress response through engaging the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which can impact numerous other physiological processes that the researcher may wish to examine as endpoints. We investigated the effects of the commonly used anesthetic agent isoflurane on two different endpoints related to the stress response: plasma corticosterone levels and gene expression of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) as well as several of its regulators including FK506-binding protein 51 (Fkbp5) in the hippocampus of male and female rats. Our results indicate that brief exposure to anesthesia by isoflurane prior to decapitation can alter plasma corticosterone levels differentially in male and female rats within minutes without impacting gene expression in the hippocampus. We conclude that collection methods can influence stress-related physiological endpoints in female rats and the potential influence of even brief anesthesia as well as sex differences in response to anesthesia should be evaluated during the experimental design process and data interpretation. This finding is particularly important in light of new NIH standards regarding sex and reproducibility, and care should be taken to be certain that sex differences in endpoints of interest are not an artifact of sex differences in response to collection paradigms. PMID:26946276

  14. Increased levels of adenosine and ecto 5'-nucleotidase (CD73) activity precede renal alterations in experimental diabetic rats.

    PubMed

    Oyarzún, C; Salinas, C; Gómez, D; Jaramillo, K; Pérez, G; Alarcón, S; Podestá, L; Flores, C; Quezada, C; San Martín, R

    The pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy (DN) has not been clearly established, making diagnosis and patient management difficult. Recent studies using experimental diabetic models have implicated adenosine signaling with renal cells dysfunction. Therefore, the study of the biochemical mechanisms that regulate extracellular adenosine availability during DN is of emerging interest. Using streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats we demonstrated that urinary levels of adenosine were early increased. Further analyses showed an increased expression of the ecto 5'-nucleotidase (CD73), which hydrolyzes AMP to adenosine, at the renal proximal tubules and a higher enzymatic activity in tubule extracts. These changes precede the signs of diabetic kidney injury recognized by significant proteinuria, morphological alterations and the presence of the renal fibrosis markers alpha smooth muscle actin and fibronectin, collagen deposits and thickening of the glomerular basement membrane. In the proximal tubule cell line HK2 we identified TGF-β as a key modulator of CD73 activity. Importantly, the increased activity of CD73 could be screened in urinary sediments from diabetic rats. In conclusion, the increase of CD73 activity is a key component in the production of high levels of adenosine and emerges as a new tool for the early diagnosis of tubular injury in diabetic kidney disease.

  15. Molecular phylogenetics before sequences

    PubMed Central

    Ragan, Mark A; Bernard, Guillaume; Chan, Cheong Xin

    2014-01-01

    From 1971 to 1985, Carl Woese and colleagues generated oligonucleotide catalogs of 16S/18S rRNAs from more than 400 organisms. Using these incomplete and imperfect data, Carl and his colleagues developed unprecedented insights into the structure, function, and evolution of the large RNA components of the translational apparatus. They recognized a third domain of life, revealed the phylogenetic backbone of bacteria (and its limitations), delineated taxa, and explored the tempo and mode of microbial evolution. For these discoveries to have stood the test of time, oligonucleotide catalogs must carry significant phylogenetic signal; they thus bear re-examination in view of the current interest in alignment-free phylogenetics based on k-mers. Here we consider the aims, successes, and limitations of this early phase of molecular phylogenetics. We computationally generate oligonucleotide sets (e-catalogs) from 16S/18S rRNA sequences, calculate pairwise distances between them based on D2 statistics, compute distance trees, and compare their performance against alignment-based and k-mer trees. Although the catalogs themselves were superseded by full-length sequences, this stage in the development of computational molecular biology remains instructive for us today. PMID:24572375

  16. Phylogenetic character mapping of proteomic diversity shows high correlation with subspecific phylogenetic diversity in Trypanosoma cruzi

    PubMed Central

    Telleria, Jenny; Biron, David G.; Brizard, Jean-Paul; Demettre, Edith; Séveno, Martial; Barnabé, Christian; Ayala, Francisco J.; Tibayrenc, Michel

    2010-01-01

    We performed a phylogenetic character mapping on 26 stocks of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite responsible for Chagas disease, and 2 stocks of the sister taxon T. cruzi marinkellei to test for possible associations between T. cruzi–subspecific phylogenetic diversity and levels of protein expression, as examined by proteomic analysis and mass spectrometry. We observed a high level of correlation (P < 10−4) between genetic distance, as established by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, and proteomic dissimilarities estimated by proteomic Euclidian distances. Several proteins were found to be specifically associated to T. cruzi phylogenetic subdivisions (discrete typing units). This study explores the previously uncharacterized links between infraspecific phylogenetic diversity and gene expression in a human pathogen. It opens the way to searching for new vaccine and drug targets and for identification of specific biomarkers at the subspecific level of pathogens. PMID:21059959

  17. Alteration of Hemostatic Parameters in Patients with Different Levels of Subclinical Hypothyroidism and the Effect of L-thyroxine Treatment.

    PubMed

    Gao, Fang; Wang, Guangya; Xu, Jinxiu

    2017-01-01

    Subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) is associated with hypercoagulability and hypofibrinolysis. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of L-thyroxine (L-T4) treatment and to evaluate changes in the hemostatic abnormalities of patients with varying severities of SH. We measured tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), D-dimer (DDI), fibrinogen (FIB), platelet counts (PLT), mean platelet volume (MPV), platelet distribution width (PDW), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), and prothrombin time (PT) in 149 female subjects. The prospective study included 54 patients in the control group, 53 patients with 4.2 μIU/mLlevels. There were significant differences in the triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TC), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and serum uric acid (UA) levels, and in the MPV, PDW, APTT, FIB, PAI-1, t-PA, and DDI (P<0.05) measurements among three groups. These data were further tested using the least significant difference method for multiple comparisons. Patients in the severe SH group showed higher FIB, PAI-1 and t-PA levels, lower DDI levels and shorter APTT compared with the control group, whereas the hemostatic parameters in the mild SH patients were not different compared with those of the control group. After 6 months of L-T4 treatment, a significant decrease in FIB, PAI-1 and t-PA levels and an increase in APTT and DDI were observed in the severe SH group. In conclusion, SH patients displayed a distinct pattern of alteration of hemostatic parameters that was dependent on the severity of the disease. Patients with TSH levels ≥10 μIU/mL displayed hypercoagulability, which was reversed by 6 months of L-T4 treatment.

  18. Adrenergic drugs modify the level of noradrenaline in the insular cortex and alter extinction of conditioned taste aversion in rats.

    PubMed

    Fresquet, Nadine; Angst, Marie-Josée; Schleef, Carmen; Gobaille, Serge; Sandner, Guy

    2007-03-12

    We compared the effect of conditioned taste aversion in rats by measuring the amount of sucrose that they drunk after conditioning, which differed according to whether rats had drunk the sucrose freely (SD: self drinking) during the conditioning session, or had been forced to drink it (IO: intra-oral administration through a chronically implanted cannula). The SD procedure delayed the extinction of conditioned taste aversion. Enhanced arousal, alertness, awareness or attention in the SD condition may have strengthened the memory of the taste. Brain noradrenergic networks are involved in such processes. We administered two noradrenergic drugs that produce opposite effects on noradrenaline release in the brain, methoxy-idazoxan, RX821002 (1mg/kg, i.p.), and guanfacine (0.12mg/kg, i.p.). We evaluated their effect (i) on the level of noradrenaline in the gustatory cortex using microdialysis, (ii) on glycaemia that is an essential factor of taste learning and (iii) on the comparative SD versus IO conditioned taste aversion protocol mentioned above. Injecting RX821001 increased the level of noradrenaline in the gustatory cortex up to two-fold of the baseline. This effect lasted 1h. The same dose of RX821002 did not elicit any alteration of glycaemia. It enhanced extinction of conditioned taste aversion in the SD group of rats. Injecting 0.12mg/kg of guanfacine produced the opposite effect. The noradrenaline level of the gustatory cortex decreased, but only down to 20% of the baseline. This decrease lasted 2h. Guanfacine increased glycaemia. Extinction of conditioned taste aversion was only marginally decreased by guanfacine in the SD group of rats. These results fit with Aston-Jones' point of view that the role of the noradrenergic coeruleo-cortical system may be to enhance arousal, alertness, awareness or attention to an event by a transient increase of cortical noradrenaline.

  19. Genetic alterations of IL-1 receptor antagonist in mice affect plasma cholesterol level and foam cell lesion size.

    PubMed

    Devlin, Cecilia M; Kuriakose, George; Hirsch, Emmet; Tabas, Ira

    2002-04-30

    Inflammatory cytokines have been linked to atherosclerosis by using cell culture models and acute inflammation in animals. The goal of this study was to examine lipoprotein levels and early atherosclerosis in chronic animal models of altered IL-1 physiology by using mice with deficient or excess IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra). IL-1ra knockout C57BL/6J mice fed a cholesterol/cholate diet for 3 mo had a 3-fold decrease in non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and a trend toward increased foam-cell lesion area compared to wild-type littermate controls. IL-1ra transgenic/low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) knockout mice fed a cholesterol-saturated fat diet for 10 wk showed a 40% increase in non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, consistent with the IL-1ra knockout data, although there was no change in lesion size. When these IL1-ra overexpressing transgenic mice on the LDLR knockout background were fed a high-cholesterol/high-fat diet containing cholate, however, a statistically significant 40% decrease in lesion area was observed compared to LDLR knockout mice lacking the transgene. By immunohistochemistry, IL-1ra was present in C57BL/6J and LDLR knockout aortae, absent in IL-1ra knockout aortae, and present at high levels in LDLR knockout/IL-1ra transgene aortae. In summary, IL-1ra tended to increase plasma lipoprotein levels and, when fed a cholate-containing diet, decrease foam-cell lesion size. These data demonstrate that in selected models of murine atherosclerosis, chronic IL-1ra depletion or overexpression has potentially important effects on lipoprotein metabolism and foam-cell lesion development.

  20. Production and phenotypic analysis of rice transgenics with altered levels of pyruvate decarboxylase and alcohol dehydrogenase proteins.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Sangeeta; Kapoor, Avnish; Lakshmi, O Satya; Grover, Anil

    2007-09-01

    Pyruvate decarboxylase (Pdc) and alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh) enzymes are responsible for the operation of ethanolic fermentation pathway that appears to correlate to an extent with anoxia tolerance in plants. This study was undertaken with the objective of (a) analysing the rice pdc gene family and (b) altering the efficacy of the ethanolic fermentation process, through production of transgenic rice plants over- and under-expressing pyruvate decarboxylase (employing Ospdc1 gene from rice) as well as over-expressing alcohol dehydrogenase (employing Ghadh2 gene from cotton) proteins. Correlations noted in this study between the pattern of expression of the Pdc alpha-subunit and Ospdc2 transcript as well as between the Pdc beta-subunit and Ospdc1 transcript suggest the possibility that alpha-subunit is encoded by Ospdc2 and that beta-subunit is encoded by Ospdc1. The fact that levels of Pdc beta-subunit were particularly high in pUH-sPdc1 (plasmid construct designed for over-expression of Ospdc1) seedlings while levels of beta-subunit levels were negligible or lower in pUH-asPdc1 (plasmid construct designed for under-expression of Ospdc1) seedlings also support these observations. Transgenics raised for over-expression of Pdc and Adh and under-expression of Pdc were confirmed for the transgene presence and effects by PCR, Southern blotting, Northern blotting, Western blotting and isozyme assays. Pdc and Adh over-expressing rice transgenics at early seedling stage under unstressed control growth conditions showed slight, consistent advantage in root vigour as compared to that of wild-type seedlings.

  1. Rice Stripe Virus Infection Alters mRNA Levels of Sphingolipid-Metabolizing Enzymes and Sphingolipids Content in Laodelphax striatellus

    PubMed Central

    Li, Fei-Qiang; Bai, Yue-Liang; Shi, Xiao-Xiao; Zhu, Mu-Fei; Zhang, Min-Jing; Mao, Cun-Gui; Zhu, Zeng-Rong

    2017-01-01

    Sphingolipids and their metabolites have been implicated in viral infection and replication in mammal cells but how their metabolizing enzymes in the host are regulated by viruses remains largely unknown. Here we report the identification of 12 sphingolipid genes and their regulation by Rice stripe virus in the small brown planthopper (Laodelphax striatellus Fallén), a serious pest of rice throughout eastern Asia. According to protein sequence similarity, we identified 12 sphingolipid enzyme genes in L. striatellus. By comparing their mRNA levels in viruliferous versus nonviruliferous L. striatellus at different life stages by qPCR, we found that RSV infection upregulated six genes (LsCGT1, LsNAGA1, LsSGPP, LsSMPD4, LsSMS, and LsSPT) in most stages of L. striatellus. Especially, four genes (LsCGT1, LsSMPD2, LsNAGA1, and LsSMS) and another three genes (LsNAGA1, LsSGPP, and LsSMS) were significantly upregulated in viruliferous third-instar and fourth-instar nymphs, respectively. HPLC-MS/MS results showed that RSV infection increased the levels of various ceramides, such as Cer18:0, Cer20:0, and Cer22:0 species, in third and fourth instar L. striatellus nymphs. Together, these results demonstrate that RSV infection alters the transcript levels of various sphingolipid enzymes and the contents of sphingolipids in L. striatellus, indicating that sphingolipids may be important for RSV infection or replication in L. striatellus. PMID:28130458

  2. Morphine exposure and maternal deprivation during the early postnatal period alter neuromotor development and nerve growth factor levels.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Carla; Scarabelot, Vanessa L; Vercelino, Rafael; Silveira, Natalia P; Adachi, Lauren N S; Regner, Gabriela G; Silva, Lisiane S; de Macedo, Isabel Cristina; de Souza, Andressa; Caumo, Wolnei; Torres, Iraci L S

    2017-09-05

    The objective of this study was to verify whether repeated morphine administration and maternal deprivation in early life alter neurobehavioral development and central nerve growth factor (NGF) levels. A total of 58 male Wistar rat pups were used in our study. From postnatal day 1 (P1), litters were daily deprived of their mother for 3h; this was continued for the first 10days of life. Animals were divided into 5 groups: total control (C), did not receive any intervention; saline (S), received saline solution; morphine (M), received morphine; deprived-saline group (DS), were subjected to maternal deprivation and received saline solution; and deprived-morphine (DM), were subjected to maternal deprivation and received morphine. From P8, newborns received subcutaneous (s.c.) injections of morphine or saline (5μg) once daily for 7days. Righting reflex, negative geotaxis and gait were chosen as postural parameters to evaluate neuromotor reflexes. In the righting reflex test, a delay in the development of animals was evidenced in the M group. Performance of negative geotaxis was slower in the M and DM groups. In the gait test, all groups showed a daily improvement in performance in terms of locomotion frequency. An increased frequency of rearing was observed in the M, DS, and DM groups from P16 to P20. The DM group presented an increase in NGF levels in the brainstem. An increase in cerebral cortex NGF levels in the M, DS, and DM groups was observed as well. Our results suggest that changes in environmental conditions and the disruption of mother-infant interactions during the neonatal period can produce changes in the neurobiology, physiology, and emotional behavior of rats. This finding has important implications for the maternal-neonate interaction needed for normal brain development in newborns. Copyright © 2017 ISDN. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Neonatal pain-related stress and NFKBIA genotype are associated with altered cortisol levels in preterm boys at school age.

    PubMed

    Grunau, Ruth E; Cepeda, Ivan L; Chau, Cecil M Y; Brummelte, Susanne; Weinberg, Joanne; Lavoie, Pascal M; Ladd, Mihoko; Hirschfeld, Aaron F; Russell, Evan; Koren, Gideon; Van Uum, Stan; Brant, Rollin; Turvey, Stuart E

    2013-01-01

    Neonatal pain-related stress is associated with elevated salivary cortisol levels to age 18 months in children born very preterm, compared to full-term, suggesting early programming effects. Importantly, interactions between immune/inflammatory and neuroendocrine systems may underlie programming effects. We examined whether cortisol changes persist to school age, and if common genetic variants in the promoter region of the NFKBIA gene involved in regulation of immune and inflammatory responses, modify the association between early experience and later life stress as indexed by hair cortisol levels, which provide an integrated index of endogenous HPA axis activity. Cortisol was assayed in hair samples from 128 children (83 born preterm ≤ 32 weeks gestation and 45 born full-term) without major sensory, motor or cognitive impairments at age 7 years. We found that hair cortisol levels were lower in preterm compared to term-born children. Downregulation of the HPA axis in preterm children without major impairment, seen years after neonatal stress terminated, suggests persistent alteration of stress system programming. Importantly, the etiology was gender-specific such that in preterm boys but not girls, specifically those with the minor allele for NFKBIA rs2233409, lower hair cortisol was associated with greater neonatal pain (number of skin-breaking procedures from birth to term), independent of medical confounders. Moreover, the minor allele (CT or TT) of NFKBIA rs2233409 was associated with higher secretion of inflammatory cytokines, supporting the hypothesis that neonatal pain-related stress may act as a proinflammatory stimulus that induces long-term immune cell activation. These findings are the first evidence that a long-term association between early pain-related stress and cortisol may be mediated by a genetic variants that regulate the activity of NF-κB, suggesting possible involvement of stress/inflammatory mechanisms in HPA programming in boys born very

  4. The phylogenetic roots of human lethal violence.

    PubMed

    Gómez, José María; Verdú, Miguel; González-Megías, Adela; Méndez, Marcos

    2016-10-13

    The psychological, sociological and evolutionary roots of conspecific violence in humans are still debated, despite attracting the attention of intellectuals for over two millennia. Here we propose a conceptual approach towards understanding these roots based on the assumption that aggression in mammals, including humans, has a significant phylogenetic component. By compiling sources of mortality from a comprehensive sample of mammals, we assessed the percentage of deaths due to conspecifics and, using phylogenetic comparative tools, predicted this value for humans. The proportion of human deaths phylogenetically predicted to be caused by interpersonal violence stood at 2%. This value was similar to the one phylogenetically inferred for the evolutionary ancestor of primates and apes, indicating that a certain level of lethal violence arises owing to our position within the phylogeny of mammals. It was also similar to the percentage seen in prehistoric bands and tribes, indicating that we were as lethally violent then as common mammalian evolutionary history would predict. However, the level of lethal violence has changed through human history and can be associated with changes in the socio-political organization of human populations. Our study provides a detailed phylogenetic and historical context against which to compare levels of lethal violence observed throughout our history.

  5. Estrogenic Exposure Alters the Spermatogonial Stem Cells in the Developing Testis, Permanently Reducing Crossover Levels in the Adult

    PubMed Central

    Vrooman, Lisa A.; Oatley, Jon M.; Griswold, Jodi E.; Hassold, Terry J.; Hunt, Patricia A.

    2015-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) and other endocrine disrupting chemicals have been reported to induce negative effects on a wide range of physiological processes, including reproduction. In the female, BPA exposure increases meiotic errors, resulting in the production of chromosomally abnormal eggs. Although numerous studies have reported that estrogenic exposures negatively impact spermatogenesis, a direct link between exposures and meiotic errors in males has not been evaluated. To test the effect of estrogenic chemicals on meiotic chromosome dynamics, we exposed male mice to either BPA or to the strong synthetic estrogen, ethinyl estradiol during neonatal development when the first cells initiate meiosis. Although chromosome pairing and synapsis were unperturbed, exposed outbred CD-1 and inbred C3H/HeJ males had significantly reduced levels of crossovers, or meiotic recombination (as defined by the number of MLH1 foci in pachytene cells) by comparison with placebo. Unexpectedly, the effect was not limited to cells exposed at the time of meiotic entry but was evident in all subsequent waves of meiosis. To determine if the meiotic effects induced by estrogen result from changes to the soma or germline of the testis, we transplanted spermatogonial stem cells from exposed males into the testes of unexposed males. Reduced recombination was evident in meiocytes derived from colonies of transplanted cells. Taken together, our results suggest that brief exogenous estrogenic exposure causes subtle changes to the stem cell pool that result in permanent alterations in spermatogenesis (i.e., reduced recombination in descendent meiocytes) in the adult male. PMID:25615633

  6. Projected near-future CO2 levels increase activity and alter defensive behaviours in the tropical squid Idiosepius pygmaeus.

    PubMed

    Spady, Blake L; Watson, Sue-Ann; Chase, Tory J; Munday, Philip L

    2014-10-17

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels projected to occur in the oceans by the end of this century cause a range of behavioural effects in fish, but whether other highly active marine organisms, such as cephalopods, are similarly affected is unknown. We tested the effects of projected future CO2 levels (626 and 956 µatm) on the behaviour of male two-toned pygmy squid, Idiosepius pygmaeus. Exposure to elevated CO2 increased the number of active individuals by 19-25% and increased movement (number of line-crosses) by nearly 3 times compared to squid at present-day CO2. Squid vigilance and defensive behaviours were also altered by elevated CO2 with >80% of individuals choosing jet escape responses over defensive arm postures in response to a visual startle stimulus, compared with 50% choosing jet escape responses at control CO2. In addition, more escape responses were chosen over threat behaviours in body pattern displays at elevated CO2 and individuals were more than twice as likely to use ink as a defence strategy at 956 µatm CO2, compared with controls. Increased activity could lead to adverse effects on energy budgets as well as increasing visibility to predators. A tendency to respond to a stimulus with escape behaviours could increase survival, but may also be energetically costly and could potentially lead to more chases by predators compared with individuals that use defensive postures. These results demonstrate that projected future ocean acidification affects the behaviours of a tropical squid species. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  7. Curcumin-supplemented diets improve antioxidant enzymes and alter acetylcholinesterase genes expression level in Drosophila melanogaster model.

    PubMed

    Akinyemi, Ayodele Jacob; Oboh, Ganiyu; Ogunsuyi, Opeyemi; Abolaji, Amos Olalekan; Udofia, Adetutu

    2017-08-28

    Curcumin, a bioactive polyphenolic compound in turmeric (Curcuma longa) rhizomes has been shown to exert anti-aging properties with limited scientific basis. Hence, this study sought to examine the antioxidant and anti-cholinesterase activities of curcumin-supplemented diets as well as their molecular effect on superoxide dismutase (SOD) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) genes expression level associated with lifespan extension in Drosophila melanogaster model. In this experiment, D. melanogaster (both genders) of 1 to 3 days old were fed diets either containing no curcumin (control) or supplemented with curcumin at 0.2 and 1.0 mg/g of diet for 7 days. Subsequently, the survival and locomotor activities were determined. In addition, we evaluated RT-PCR expressions of SOD and AChE mRNA genes. Furthermore, catalase, SOD and AChE activities were determined. Curcumin-supplemented diet improves survival ability but did not affect locomotor activity when compared with the control. In addition, there was a significant increase in SOD and catalase with a concomitant decrease of AChE activities when compared with the control. Furthermore, curcumin-supplemented diets suppress AChE mRNA expression but no alteration on SOD gene expression level was observed when compared with control. In conclusion, our present results suggest that a down-regulation of AChE gene expression with a concomitant decrease of AChE activity as well as improving antioxidant status could be some possible mechanism in which curcumin exert anti-aging potential and increases lifespan of D. melanogaster.

  8. Reproductive experience reduces circulating 17beta-estradiol and prolactin levels during proestrus and alters estrogen sensitivity in female rats.

    PubMed

    Bridges, Robert S; Byrnes, Elizabeth M

    2006-05-01

    The reproductive experiences of pregnancy, parturition, and lactation affect a range of neural and endocrine processes after the end of lactation. In women, previous parity results in reduced circulating prolactin (PRL) and androgen levels years after giving birth. Reductions in PRL secretion also occur in reproductively experienced, female rats. In the present study we examined the status and regulation of estradiol (E(2)) and PRL during the reproductive cycle after reproductive experience. These hormones regulate one another and have been implicated in a number of disease and aging processes. Using a rat model, the patterns of E(2) and PRL secretion, pituitary PRL content, and estrogen receptor alpha expression were characterized from 1200-1800 h on proestrus in age-matched, primiparous and nulliparous animals. The possible effect of parity on estrogen sensitivity was then examined by challenging nonlactating, ovariectomized, age-matched, multiparous and nulliparous rats with estradiol benzoate (EB; 0, 1, 5, 25, and 125 microg/kg) and measuring PRL responses 24 and 48 h later. Previous parity resulted in modest, yet significant, reductions in E(2) and PRL levels on proestrus, a limited increase in pituitary estrogen receptor alpha expression, and a significant shift in estrogen sensitivity, as measured by EB-induced PRL secretion. Nulliparous animals were more sensitive than multiparous rats to the two lower doses of EB, whereas multiparous animals were more responsive to the highest EB dose. These unique parity-induced alterations in the female's endocrine state that persist beyond lactation may impact a multitude of estrogen-mediated processes over the female's adult life span.

  9. Altering the level of calcium changes the physical properties and digestibility of casein-based emulsion gels.

    PubMed

    McIntyre, Irene; O Sullivan, Michael; O Riordan, Dolores

    2017-04-19

    Casein-based emulsion gels prepared with different types of lipid (i.e. milk fat or rapeseed oil) were formulated with high (774 mg Ca per 100 g) or low (357 mg Ca per 100 g) calcium levels by blending acid and rennet casein. Their physicochemical characteristics (i.e. composition, texture, microstructure & water mobility) and in vitro digestibility were compared to conventionally formulated high-calcium (723 mg Ca per 100 g) emulsion gels made from rennet casein with calcium chelating salts (CCS). CCS-free, high-calcium emulsion gels were significantly (p ≤ 0.05) softer than those with low calcium levels (possibly due to their shorter manufacture time and higher pH) and showed the highest rates of disintegration during simulated gastric digestion. Despite having a higher moisture to protein ratio, the high-calcium emulsion gels containing CCS had broadly similar hardness values to those of high-calcium concentration prepared without CCS, but had higher cohesiveness. The high-calcium matrices containing CCS had quite a different microstructure and increased water mobility compared to those made without CCS and showed the slowest rate (p ≤ 0.05) of disintegration in the gastric environment. Gastric resistance was not affected by the type of lipid phase. Conversely, fatty acid release was similar for all emulsion gels prepared from milk fat, however, high-calcium emulsion gels (CCS-free) prepared from rapeseed oil showed higher lipolysis. Results suggest that food matrix physical properties can be modified to alter resistance to gastric degradation which may have consequences for the kinetics of nutrient release and delivery of bioactives sensitive to the gastric environment.

  10. Effects of a low-level semiconductor gallium arsenide laser on local pathological alterations induced by Bothrops moojeni snake venom.

    PubMed

    Aranha de Sousa, Elziliam; Bittencourt, José Adolfo Homobono Machado; Seabra de Oliveira, Nayana Keyla; Correia Henriques, Shayanne Vanessa; dos Santos Picanço, Leide Caroline; Lobato, Camila Pena; Ribeiro, José Renato; Pereira, Washington Luiz Assunção; Carvalho, José Carlos Tavares; da Silva, Jocivânia Oliveira

    2013-10-01

    Antivenom therapy has been ineffective in neutralizing the tissue damage caused by snakebites. Among therapeutic strategies to minimize effects after envenoming, it was hypothesized that a low level laser would reduce complications and reduce the severity of local snake venom effects. In the current study, the effect of a low-level semiconductor gallium arsenide (GaAs) laser on the local pathological alterations induced by B. moojeni snake venom was investigated. The experimental groups consisted of five male mice, each administered either B. moojeni venom (VB), B. moojeni venom + antivenom (VAV), B. moojeni venom + laser (VL), B. moojeni venom + antivenom + laser (VAVL), or sterile saline solution (SSS) alone. Paw oedema was induced by intradermal administration of 0.05 mg kg(-1) of B. moojeni venom and was expressed in mm of directly induced oedema. Mice received by subcutaneous route 0.20 mg kg(-1) of venom for evaluating nociceptive activity and the time (in seconds) spent in licking and biting the injected paw was taken as an indicator of pain response. Inflammatory infiltration was determined by counting the number of leukocytes present in the gastrocnemius muscle after venom injection (0.10 mg kg(-1)). For histological examination of myonecrosis, venom (0.10 mg kg(-1)) was administered intramuscularly. The site of venom injection was irradiated by the GaAs laser and some animals received antivenom intraperitoneally. The results indicated that GaAs laser irradiation can help in reducing some local effects produced by the B. moojeni venom in mice, stimulating phagocytosis, proliferation of myoblasts and the regeneration of muscle fibers.

  11. Change in Auxin and Cytokinin Levels Coincides with Altered Expression of Branching Genes during Axillary Bud Outgrowth in Chrysanthemum

    PubMed Central

    Dierck, Robrecht; De Keyser, Ellen; De Riek, Jan; Dhooghe, Emmy; Van Huylenbroeck, Johan; Prinsen, Els; Van Der Straeten, Dominique

    2016-01-01

    In the production and breeding of Chrysanthemum sp., shoot branching is an important quality aspect as the outgrowth of axillary buds determines the final plant shape. Bud outgrowth is mainly controlled by apical dominance and the crosstalk between the plant hormones auxin, cytokinin and strigolactone. In this work the hormonal and genetic regulation of axillary bud outgrowth was studied in two differently branching cut flower Chrysanthemum morifolium (Ramat) genotypes. C17 is a split-type which forms an inflorescence meristem after a certain vegetative period, while C18 remains vegetative under long day conditions. Plant growth of both genotypes was monitored during 5 subsequent weeks starting one week before flower initiation occurred in C17. Axillary bud outgrowth was measured weekly and samples of shoot apex, stem and axillary buds were taken during the first two weeks. We combined auxin and cytokinin measurements by UPLC-MS/MS with RT-qPCR expression analysis of genes involved in shoot branching regulation pathways in chrysanthemum. These included bud development genes (CmBRC1, CmDRM1, CmSTM, CmLsL), auxin pathway genes (CmPIN1, CmTIR3, CmTIR1, CmAXR1, CmAXR6, CmAXR2, CmIAA16, CmIAA12), cytokinin pathway genes (CmIPT3, CmHK3, CmRR1) and strigolactone genes (CmMAX1 and CmMAX2). Genotype C17 showed a release from apical dominance after floral transition coinciding with decreased auxin and increased cytokinin levels in the subapical axillary buds. As opposed to C17, C18 maintained strong apical dominance with vegetative growth throughout the experiment. Here high auxin levels and decreasing cytokinin levels in axillary buds and stem were measured. A differential expression of several branching genes accompanied the different hormonal change and bud outgrowth in C17 and C18. This was clear for the strigolactone biosynthesis gene CmMAX1, the transcription factor CmBRC1 and the dormancy associated gene CmDRM1, that all showed a decreased expression in C17 at floral

  12. Refuting phylogenetic relationships

    PubMed Central

    Bucknam, James; Boucher, Yan; Bapteste, Eric

    2006-01-01

    Background Phylogenetic methods are philosophically grounded, and so can be philosophically biased in ways that limit explanatory power. This constitutes an important methodologic dimension not often taken into account. Here we address this dimension in the context of concatenation approaches to phylogeny. Results We discuss some of the limits of a methodology restricted to verificationism, the philosophy on which gene concatenation practices generally rely. As an alternative, we describe a software which identifies and focuses on impossible or refuted relationships, through a simple analysis of bootstrap bipartitions, followed by multivariate statistical analyses. We show how refuting phylogenetic relationships could in principle facilitate systematics. We also apply our method to the study of two complex phylogenies: the phylogeny of the archaea and the phylogeny of the core of genes shared by all life forms. While many groups are rejected, our results left open a possible proximity of N. equitans and the Methanopyrales, of the Archaea and the Cyanobacteria, and as well the possible grouping of the Methanobacteriales/Methanoccocales and Thermosplasmatales, of the Spirochaetes and the Actinobacteria and of the Proteobacteria and firmicutes. Conclusion It is sometimes easier (and preferable) to decide which species do not group together than which ones do. When possible topologies are limited, identifying local relationships that are rejected may be a useful alternative to classical concatenation approaches aiming to find a globally resolved tree on the basis of weak phylogenetic markers. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Mark Ragan, Eugene V Koonin and J Peter Gogarten. PMID:16956399

  13. Prenatal exposure to low-level methylmercury alters the child's fine motor skills at the age of 18 months.

    PubMed

    Prpić, Igor; Milardović, Ana; Vlašić-Cicvarić, Inge; Špiric, Zdravko; Radić Nišević, Jelena; Vukelić, Petar; Snoj Tratnik, Janja; Mazej, Darja; Horvat, Milena

    2017-01-01

    To compare motor, cognitive and language characteristics in children aged 18 months who were prenatally exposed to low-level methyl-mercury (MeHg), and to analyze the eventual differences in these characteristics in relation to cord blood THg concentration. The total number of 205 child-mother pairs was included in the study, and total cord blood mercury was measured in 198 of them. Out of the 198 already measured samples, 47 of them have also been tested for methyl-mercury in cord blood. Data regarding the 47 samples of MeHg levels has been used for calculating the correlation between cord blood THg and cord blood MeHg. MeHg and THg showed a significant correlation (r=0.95, p<0.05). One month after the delivery, mothers were asked to complete the questionnaire regarding socioeconomic factors, breastfeeding of their infants, and dietary habits during pregnancy. Neurodevelopmental assessment of motor, cognitive and language skills were conducted on 168 children using The Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition (BSID-III). Regarding the cord blood THg concentration, 135 children were divided in 4 quartile groups. Their neurodevelopmental characteristics have been compared. The cord blood THg concentration median and inter-quartile range was 2.98ng/g (1.41-5.61ng/g). There was a negative correlation between cord blood THg concentration and fine motor skills (rho=-0.22, p=0.01). It is evident that children grouped in 2nd ,3rd and 4th quartile had statistically significant lower fine motor skills assessment related to those grouped in 1st quartile (2nd quartile -1.24, p=0.03; 3rd quartile -1.28, p=0.03; 4th quartile -1.45, p=0.01). The differences in fine motor skills assessments between children in 2nd and 3rd and 3rd and 4th quartile were not statistically significant. Intrauterine exposure to low-level THg (MeHg) is associated with alterations in fine motor skills at the age of 18 months. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  14. Prioritizing Populations for Conservation Using Phylogenetic Networks

    PubMed Central

    Volkmann, Logan; Martyn, Iain; Moulton, Vincent; Spillner, Andreas; Mooers, Arne O.

    2014-01-01

    In the face of inevitable future losses to biodiversity, ranking species by conservation priority seems more than prudent. Setting conservation priorities within species (i.e., at the population level) may be critical as species ranges become fragmented and connectivity declines. However, existing approaches to prioritization (e.g., scoring organisms by their expected genetic contribution) are based on phylogenetic trees, which may be poor representations of differentiation below the species level. In this paper we extend evolutionary isolation indices used in conservation planning from phylogenetic trees to phylogenetic networks. Such networks better represent population differentiation, and our extension allows populations to be ranked in order of their expected contribution to the set. We illustrate the approach using data from two imperiled species: the spotted owl Strix occidentalis in North America and the mountain pygmy-possum Burramys parvus in Australia. Using previously published mitochondrial and microsatellite data, we construct phylogenetic networks and score each population by its relative genetic distinctiveness. In both cases, our phylogenetic networks capture the geographic structure of each species: geographically peripheral populations harbor less-redundant genetic information, increasing their conservation rankings. We note that our approach can be used with all conservation-relevant distances (e.g., those based on whole-genome, ecological, or adaptive variation) and suggest it be added to the assortment of tools available to wildlife managers for allocating effort among threatened populations. PMID:24586451

  15. Prioritizing populations for conservation using phylogenetic networks.

    PubMed

    Volkmann, Logan; Martyn, Iain; Moulton, Vincent; Spillner, Andreas; Mooers, Arne O

    2014-01-01

    In the face of inevitable future losses to biodiversity, ranking species by conservation priority seems more than prudent. Setting conservation priorities within species (i.e., at the population level) may be critical as species ranges become fragmented and connectivity declines. However, existing approaches to prioritization (e.g., scoring organisms by their expected genetic contribution) are based on phylogenetic trees, which may be poor representations of differentiation below the species level. In this paper we extend evolutionary isolation indices used in conservation planning from phylogenetic trees to phylogenetic networks. Such networks better represent population differentiation, and our extension allows populations to be ranked in order of their expected contribution to the set. We illustrate the approach using data from two imperiled species: the spotted owl Strix occidentalis in North America and the mountain pygmy-possum Burramys parvus in Australia. Using previously published mitochondrial and microsatellite data, we construct phylogenetic networks and score each population by its relative genetic distinctiveness. In both cases, our phylogenetic networks capture the geographic structure of each species: geographically peripheral populations harbor less-redundant genetic information, increasing their conservation rankings. We note that our approach can be used with all conservation-relevant distances (e.g., those based on whole-genome, ecological, or adaptive variation) and suggest it be added to the assortment of tools available to wildlife managers for allocating effort among threatened populations.

  16. GidB mutation as a phylogenetic marker for Q1 cluster Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates and intermediate-level streptomycin resistance determinant in Lisbon, Portugal.

    PubMed

    Perdigão, J; Macedo, R; Machado, D; Silva, C; Jordão, L; Couto, I; Viveiros, M; Portugal, I

    2014-05-01

    Development of streptomycin resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis is usually associated with mutations in rpsL and rrs genes, although up to 50% of clinical streptomycin-resistant isolates may present no mutation in either of these genes. In the present report we investigate the role of gidB gene mutations in streptomycin resistance. We have analyzed 52 streptomycin-resistant and 30 streptomycin-susceptible Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates by sequencing and endonuclease analysis of the gidB and rpsL genes. All clinical isolates were genotyped by 12-loci MIRU-VNTR. The gidB gene of 18 streptomycin-resistant isolates was sequenced and four missense mutations were found: F12L (1/18), L16R (18/18), A80P (4/18) and S100F (18/18). The remaining isolates were screened by endonuclease analysis for mutations A80P in the gidB gene and K43R in the rpsL gene. Overall, mutation A80P in the gidB gene was found in eight streptomycin-resistant isolates and 11 streptomycin-susceptible multidrug-resistant isolates. Also noteworthy, is the fact that gidB mutations were only present in isolates without rpsL and rrs mutations, all from genetic cluster Q1. Streptomycin quantitative drug susceptibility testing showed that isolates carrying the gidB A80P mutation were streptomycin intermediate-level resistant and that standard drug susceptibility testing yielded inconsistent results, probably due to borderline resistance. We conclude that gidB mutations may explain the high number of streptomycin-resistant strains with no mutation in rpsL or rrs. These mutations might occasionally confer low-level streptomycin resistance that will go undetected in standard susceptibility testing. © 2013 The Authors Clinical Microbiology and Infection © 2013 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

  17. The role of natural glasses as analogues in projecting the long-term alteration of high-level nuclear waste glasses: Part 1

    SciTech Connect

    Mazer, J.J.

    1993-12-31

    The common observation of glasses persisting in natural environments for long periods of time (up to tens of millions of years) provides compelling evidence that these materials can be kinetically stable in a variety of subsurface environments. This paper reviews how natural and historical synthesized glasses can be employed as natural analogues for understanding and projecting the long-term alteration of high-level nuclear waste glasses. The corrosion of basaltic glass results in many of the same alteration features found in laboratory testing of the corrosion of high-level radioactive waste glasses. Evidence has also been found indicating similarities in the rate controlling processes, such as the effects of silica concentration on corrosion in groundwater and in laboratory leachates. Naturally altered rhyolitic glasses and tektites provide additional evidence that can be used to constrain estimates of long-term waste glass alteration. When reacted under conditions where water is plentiful, the corrosion for these glasses is dominated by network hydrolysis, while the corrosion is dominated by molecular water diffusion and secondary mineral formation under conditions where water contact is intermittent or where water is relatively scarce. Synthesized glasses that have been naturally altered result in alkali-depleted alteration features that are similar to those found for natural glasses and for nuclear waste glasses. The characteristics of these alteration features appear to be dependent on the alteration conditions which affect the dominant reaction processes during weathering. In all cases, care must be taken to ensure that the information being provided by natural analogues is related to nuclear waste glass corrosion in a clear and meaningful way.

  18. Low-level laser irradiation alters cardiac cytokine expression following acute myocardial infarction: a potential mechanism for laser therapy.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhikai; Wu, Yihe; Zhang, Hao; Jin, Peifeng; Wang, Wei; Hou, Jianfeng; Wei, Yingjie; Hu, Shengshou

    2011-06-01

    Low-level laser irradiation (LLLI) has the potential of exerting cardioprotective effect following myocardial infarction (MI). The authors hypothesized that LLLI could influence the expression of cardiac cytokines and contribute to the reversal of ventricular remodeling. LLLI regulates the expression of cytokines after tissue damage. However, little is known concerning the alteration of the cardiac cytokine expression profile after LLLI. MI was created by coronary ligation. The surviving rats were divided randomly into laser and control groups. 33 rats were exposed to a diode laser (635  nm, 5  mW, CW, laser, beam spot size 0.8  cm(2), 6  mW/cm(2), 150  sec, 0.8  J, 1J/cm(2)) as laser group. Another 33 rats received only coronary ligation and served as control group. 28 rats received a thoracotomy without coronary ligation (sham group). One day after laser irradiation, 5 rats from each group were sacrificed and the heart tissues were analyzed by cytokine antibody arrays. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was performed to confirm its reliability. Two weeks after MI, cardiac function and structure were evaluated by echocardiography and histological study. Cytokine antibody array indicated 4 cytokines were significantly changed after laser therapy. ELISA confirmed that granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor and fractalkine were the cytokines involved in the response to therapeutic laser irradiation. However, there was no difference in cytokine release between various groups at 2 weeks after MI. Although LLLI did not improve the damaged heart function, it did reduce the infarct area expansion. The antibody-based protein array technology was applied for screening the cytokine expression profile following MI, with or without laser irradiation. The expression of multiple cytokines was regulated in the acute phase after LLLI. Our results revealed a potential novel mechanism for applying laser therapy to the treatment of heart disease.

  19. Does CPAP therapy alter urinary albumin level in adult patients with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome?

    PubMed

    Yaşar, Zehra Aşuk; Ucar, Zeynep Zeren; Demir, Ahmet Ugur; Kirakli, Cenk; Kalenci, Dilek; Tibet, Gültekin

    2014-09-01

    Urinary albumin is a marker of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and also it has been viewed as a marker for vascular endothelial dysfunction in both the kidneys and systemic vasculature. Lowering urinary albumin is associated with fewer cardiovascular and renal diseases. We investigated the change in urinary albumin after 1 month of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Eighteen patients (four females) in the middle-age group with moderate to severe OSAS were enrolled, who received and were compliant to CPAP therapy. Patients did not have a systemic disease or use a medication that could influence urinary albumin. Blood and urine samples were obtained in the morning after polysomnography and after 1 month of CPAP therapy to measure urinary albumin excretion and urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio. Urinary albumin excretion (UAE) and urinary albumin/creatinine ratio (UACR) decreased significantly after 1 month of CPAP therapy: UAE at baseline and 1 month, 50 (1.1-174.8) and 22.7 (4.1-55.9); UACR, 27 (18.5-51.6) and 10.6 (4.3-43.1). UAE alteration was significantly associated with proportion of sleep time spent below an SaO2 of 90%. Serum creatinine, serum total cholesterol, and creatinine clearance also decreased after 1 month of CPAP therapy. Albuminuria is not rare in patients with OSAS and can be corrected after CPAP therapy. Determination of urinary albumin level is a simple, inexpensive, and noninvasive method that could be a promising biomarker to identify a high-risk population in patients with OSAS who may benefit from closer medical follow-up and preventive therapy.

  20. Alu elements and hominid phylogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Salem, Abdel-Halim; Ray, David A.; Xing, Jinchuan; Callinan, Pauline A.; Myers, Jeremy S.; Hedges, Dale J.; Garber, Randall K.; Witherspoon, David J.; Jorde, Lynn B.; Batzer, Mark A.

    2003-01-01

    Alu elements have inserted in primate genomes throughout the evolution of the order. One particular Alu lineage (Ye) began amplifying relatively early in hominid evolution and continued propagating at a low level as many of its members are found in a variety of hominid genomes. This study represents the first conclusive application of short interspersed elements, which are considered nearly homoplasy-free, to elucidate the phylogeny of hominids. Phylogenetic analysis of Alu Ye5 elements and elements from several other subfamilies reveals high levels of support for monophyly of Hominidae, tribe Hominini and subtribe Hominina. Here we present the strongest evidence reported to date for a sister relationship between humans and chimpanzees while clearly distinguishing the chimpanzee and human lineages. PMID:14561894

  1. Alu elements and hominid phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Salem, Abdel-Halim; Ray, David A; Xing, Jinchuan; Callinan, Pauline A; Myers, Jeremy S; Hedges, Dale J; Garber, Randall K; Witherspoon, David J; Jorde, Lynn B; Batzer, Mark A

    2003-10-28

    Alu elements have inserted in primate genomes throughout the evolution of the order. One particular Alu lineage (Ye) began amplifying relatively early in hominid evolution and continued propagating at a low level as many of its members are found in a variety of hominid genomes. This study represents the first conclusive application of short interspersed elements, which are considered nearly homoplasy-free, to elucidate the phylogeny of hominids. Phylogenetic analysis of Alu Ye5 elements and elements from several other subfamilies reveals high levels of support for monophyly of Hominidae, tribe Hominini and subtribe Hominina. Here we present the strongest evidence reported to date for a sister relationship between humans and chimpanzees while clearly distinguishing the chimpanzee and human lineages.

  2. Effect of the supplementation of dietary rich phytoestrogens in altering the vitamin D levels in diet induced osteoporotic rat model.

    PubMed

    Chennaiah, S; Vijayalakshmi, V; Suresh, C

    2010-07-01

    Plant-derived estrogen-like compounds such as isoflavones (IF) especially daidzein and genistein are said to be preserving the bone in the osteoporotic conditions. However, it is not known whether a combination of IF and calcium (Ca) supplementation attenuates losses in bone mass and prevents the loss of vitamin D (VD). The present study addresses the role of phytoestrogens (PE) and Ca supplementation in low Ca and low VD diet induced osteoporosis (OSP). Cowpea (CP) which has high amount of the IF was selected to study its effect on diet induced osteoporotic conditions. Female weanling WNIN rats (total of 68) were divided into five groups and fed for five weeks on semisynthetic diet with low Ca (0.15%) and low VD (0.1IU/day/rat) in combination with low (10 mg/kg) or high (25 mg/kg) concentrations of PEs derived from CPIF. The study groups are: (I) normal Ca(0.47%) and normal VD (25IU/day/rat), (II) low Ca+low VD, (III) low Ca+low VD+low CPIF (10 mg/kg diet), (IV) low Ca+low VD+high CPIF (25 mg/kg diet) and (V) low Ca+low VD+17-(-estradiol (3.2 mg/kg diet). After the development of OSP the group II was subgrouped into: (SG I) continued on low Ca+VD, (SG II) low CPIF, (SG III) high CPIF, (SG IV) 17-beta-estradiol and (SG V) normal Ca and VD. Serum 25-VD levels were in the range of 14-38 ng/ml in groups I, III, IV and V, where as the values were very low in the group II (5.8 ng/ml). These were partially reversed upon supplementation of CPIF. The results correlated with altered Ca levels, body weight, bone mineral density and content and other related biochemical parameters. The paper further explains the possibility of protective and therapeutic role of VD in the presence of CPIF in osteoporotic health manifestations. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The effects of alterations in nitric oxide levels in the paraventricular nucleus on copulatory behavior and reflexive erections in male rats.

    PubMed

    Sato, Y; Christ, G J; Horita, H; Adachi, H; Suzuki, N; Tsukamoto, T

    1999-12-01

    To examine the effects of altered nitric oxide (NO) levels in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) on copulatory behavior and reflexive erections in male rats. Extracellular nitrite (NO2-) and nitrate (NO3-) levels were measured in the PVN following administration of the NO precursor L-arginine (L-arg, 10 mM), the NO synthase inhibitor N(G)-monomethyl L-arginine (L-NMMA, 10 mM), or Ringer's solution via a dialysis probe to the PVN. The effects of alterations in extracellular NO on reflexive erections and copulatory behavior were assessed. L-arg administration was associated with significant elevations of extracellular NO2- and NO3- in the PVN, while L-NMMA significantly reduced NO2- and NO3- levels. A corresponding increase in reflexive erections was noted during infusion of L-arg in the PVN, with a corresponding decrease in reflexive erections observed during administration of L-NMMA into the PVN (Student's t test for paired samples, p <0.05). Mount rate was unaffected by infusion of the either L-arg or L-NMMA. Altered NO levels in the PVN affected the frequency of reflexive erections, but not the mount rate. These studies contrast with previous observations of the effects of altered NO levels in the MPOA, and support the hypothesis that physiological specificity in the actions of NO on discrete brain nuclei may have important implications to erectile physiology and dysfunction.

  4. Mono-hydroxy methoxychlor alters levels of key sex steroids and steroidogenic enzymes in cultured mouse antral follicles

    SciTech Connect

    Craig, Zelieann R.; Leslie, Traci C.; Hatfield, Kimberly P.; Gupta, Rupesh K.; Flaws, Jodi A.

    2010-12-01

    Methoxychlor (MXC) is an organochlorine pesticide that reduces fertility in female rodents by decreasing antral follicle numbers and increasing follicular death. MXC is metabolized in the body to mono-hydroxy MXC (mono-OH). Little is known about the effects of mono-OH on the ovary. Thus, this work tested the hypothesis that mono-OH exposure decreases production of 17{beta}-estradiol (E{sub 2}) by cultured mouse antral follicles. Antral follicles were isolated from CD-1 mice (age 35-39 days) and exposed to dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), or mono-OH (0.1-10 {mu}g/mL) for 96 h. Media and follicles were collected for analysis of sex steroid levels and mRNA expression, respectively. Mono-OH treatment (10 {mu}g/mL) decreased E{sub 2} (DMSO: 3009.72 {+-} 744.99 ng/mL; mono-OH 0.1 {mu}g/mL: 1679.66 {+-} 461.99 ng/mL; 1 {mu}g/mL: 1752.72 {+-} 532.41 ng/mL; 10 {mu}g/mL: 45.89 {+-} 33.83 ng/mL), testosterone (DMSO: 15.43 {+-} 2.86 ng/mL; mono-OH 0.1 {mu}g/mL: 17.17 {+-} 4.71 ng/mL; 1 {mu}g/mL: 13.64 {+-} 3.53 ng/mL; 10 {mu}g/mL: 1.29 {+-} 0.23 ng/mL), androstenedione (DMSO: 1.92 {+-} 0.34 ng/mL; mono-OH 0.1 {mu}g/mL: 1.49 {+-} 0.43 ng/mL; 1 {mu}g/mL: 0.64 {+-} 0.31 ng/mL; 10 {mu}g/mL: 0.12 {+-} 0.06 ng/mL) and progesterone (DMSO: 24.11 {+-} 4.21 ng/mL; mono-OH 0.1 {mu}g/mL: 26.77 {+-} 4.41 ng/mL; 1 {mu}g/mL: 20.90 {+-} 3.75 ng/mL; 10 {mu}g/mL: 9.44 {+-} 2.97 ng/mL) levels. Mono-OH did not alter expression of Star, Hsd3b1, Hsd17b1 and Cyp1b1, but it did reduce levels of Cyp11a1, Cyp17a1 and Cyp19a1 mRNA. Collectively, these data suggest that mono-OH significantly decreases levels of key sex steroid hormones and the expression of enzymes required for steroidogenesis.

  5. Phylogenetic Comparative Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Husemann, Peter; Stoye, Jens

    Recent high throughput sequencing technologies are capable of generating a huge amount of data for bacterial genome sequencing projects. Although current sequence assemblers successfully merge the overlapping reads, often several contigs remain which cannot be assembled any further. It is still costly and time consuming to close all the gaps in order to acquire the whole genomic sequence. Here we propose an algorithm that takes several related genomes and their phylogenetic relationships into account to create a contig adjacency graph. From this a layout graph can be computed which indicates putative adjacencies of the contigs in order to aid biologists in finishing the complete genomic sequence.

  6. Phylogenetic tree shapes resolve disease transmission patterns

    PubMed Central

    Colijn, Caroline; Gardy, Jennifer

    2014-01-01

    Background and Objectives: Whole-genome sequencing is becoming popular as a tool for understanding outbreaks of communicable diseases, with phylogenetic trees being used to identify individual transmission events or to characterize outbreak-level overall transmission dynamics. Existing methods to infer transmission dynamics from sequence data rely on well-characterized infectious periods, epidemiological and clinical metadata which may not always be available, and typically require computationally intensive analysis focusing on the branch lengths in phylogenetic trees. We sought to determine whether the topological structures of phylogenetic trees contain signatures of the transmission patterns underlying an outbreak. Methodology: We use simulated outbreaks to train and then test computational classifiers. We test the method on data from two real-world outbreaks. Results: We show that different transmission patterns result in quantitatively different phylogenetic tree shapes. We describe topological features that summarize a phylogeny’s structure and find that computational classifiers based on these are capable of predicting an outbreak’s transmission dynamics. The method is robust to variations in the transmission parameters and network types, and recapitulates known epidemiology of previously characterized real-world outbreaks. Conclusions and implications: There are simple structural properties of phylogenetic trees which, when combined, can distinguish communicable disease outbreaks with a super-spreader, homogeneous transmission and chains of transmission. This is possible using genome data alone, and can be done during an outbreak. We discuss the implications for management of outbreaks. PMID:24916411

  7. Primate molecular phylogenetics in a genomic era.

    PubMed

    Ting, Nelson; Sterner, Kirstin N

    2013-02-01

    A primary objective of molecular phylogenetics is to use molecular data to elucidate the evolutionary history of living organisms. Dr. Morris Goodman founded the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution as a forum where scientists could further our knowledge about the tree of life, and he recognized that the inference of species trees is a first and fundamental step to addressing many important evolutionary questions. In particular, Dr. Goodman was interested in obtaining a complete picture of the primate species tree in order to provide an evolutionary context for the study of human adaptations. A number of recent studies use multi-locus datasets to infer well-resolved and well-supported primate phylogenetic trees using consensus approaches (e.g., supermatrices). It is therefore tempting to assume that we have a complete picture of the primate tree, especially above the species level. However, recent theoretical and empirical work in the field of molecular phylogenetics demonstrates that consensus methods might provide a false sense of support at certain nodes. In this brief review we discuss the current state of primate molecular phylogenetics and highlight the importance of exploring the use of coalescent-based analyses that have the potential to better utilize information contained in multi-locus data.

  8. Genomic Repeat Abundances Contain Phylogenetic Signal

    PubMed Central

    Dodsworth, Steven; Chase, Mark W.; Kelly, Laura J.; Leitch, Ilia J.; Macas, Jiří; Novák, Petr; Piednoël, Mathieu; Weiss-Schneeweiss, Hanna; Leitch, Andrew R.

    2015-01-01

    A large proportion of genomic information, particularly repetitive elements, is usually ignored when researchers are using next-generation sequencing. Here we demonstrate the usefulness of this repetitive fraction in phylogenetic analyses, utilizing comparative graph-based clustering of next-generation sequence reads, which results in abundance estimates of different classes of genomic repeats. Phylogenetic trees are then inferred based on the genome-wide abundance of different repeat types treated as continuously varying characters; such repeats are scattered across chromosomes and in angiosperms can constitute a majority of nuclear genomic DNA. In six diverse examples, five angiosperms and one insect, this method provides generally well-supported relationships at interspecific and intergeneric levels that agree with results from more standard phylogenetic analyses of commonly used markers. We propose that this methodology may prove especially useful in groups where there is little genetic differentiation in standard phylogenetic markers. At the same time as providing data for phylogenetic inference, this method additionally yields a wealth of data for comparative studies of genome evolution. PMID:25261464

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-15

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

  10. Molecular phylogenetics of the hummingbird genus Coeligena.

    PubMed

    Parra, Juan Luis; Remsen, J V; Alvarez-Rebolledo, Mauricio; McGuire, Jimmy A

    2009-11-01

    Advances in the understanding of biological radiations along tropical mountains depend on the knowledge of phylogenetic relationships among species. Here we present a species-level molecular phylogeny based on a multilocus dataset for the Andean hummingbird genus Coeligena. We compare this phylogeny to previous hypotheses of evolutionary relationships and use it as a framework to understand patterns in the evolution of sexual dichromatism and in the biogeography of speciation within the Andes. Previous phylogenetic hypotheses based mostly on similarities in coloration conflicted with our molecular phylogeny, emphasizing the unreliability of color characters for phylogenetic inference. Two major clades, one monochromatic and the other dichromatic, were found in Coeligena. Closely related species were either allopatric or parapatric on opposite mountain slopes. No sister lineages replaced each other along an elevational gradient. Our results indicate the importance of geographic isolation for speciation in this group and the potential interaction between isolation and sexual selection to promote diversification.

  11. Phylogenetic conservatism of extinctions in marine bivalves.

    PubMed

    Roy, Kaustuv; Hunt, Gene; Jablonski, David

    2009-08-07

    Evolutionary histories of species and lineages can influence their vulnerabilities to extinction, but the importance of this effect remains poorly explored for extinctions in the geologic past. When analyzed using a standardized taxonomy within a phylogenetic framework, extinction rates of marine bivalves estimated from the fossil record for the last approximately 200 million years show conservatism at multiple levels of evolutionary divergence, both within individual families and among related families. The strength of such phylogenetic clustering varies over time and is influenced by earlier extinction history, especially by the demise of volatile taxa in the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. Analyses of the evolutionary roles of ancient extinctions and predictive models of vulnerability of taxa to future natural and anthropogenic stressors should take phylogenetic relationships and extinction history into account.

  12. Genetic variations altering FSH action affect circulating hormone levels as well as follicle growth in healthy peripubertal girls.

    PubMed

    Busch, Alexander S; Hagen, Casper P; Almstrup, Kristian; Main, Katharina M; Juul, Anders

    2016-04-01

    Do variants of the genes encoding follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) beta subunit (B) and FSH receptor (R) impact circulating reproductive hormone levels and ovarian follicle maturation in healthy peripubertal girls? FSHB and FSHR genetic variants exert, alone or their combination, distinct effects on reproductive hormone levels as well as ovarian follicle maturation in healthy peripubertal girls. FSHB and FSHR genetic variants impact reproductive hormone levels as well as associated pathologies in women. While FSHR c. 2039A>G is known to alter gonadotrophin levels in women, FSHR c.-29G>A has not yet been shown to exert effect and there are conflicting results concerning FSHB c.-211G>T. This population-based study included 633 girls recruited as part of two cohorts, the COPENHAGEN Puberty Study (2006-2014, a cross-sectional and ongoing longitudinal study) and the Copenhagen Mother-Child Cohort (1997-2002, including transabdominal ultrasound (TAUS) of the ovaries in a subset of 91 peripubertal girls). Clinical examinations, including pubertal breast stage (Tanner's classification B1-B5) were performed. Circulating levels of FSH, luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol, anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) and inhibin-B were assessed by immunoassays. In a subset of the girls (n = 91), ovarian volume and the number/size of antral follicles were assessed by TAUS. Genotypes were determined by competitive PCR. FSHR c.2039A>G minor alleles were positively associated with serum FSH (β = 0.08, P = 0.004), LH (β = 0.06, P = 0.012) and estradiol (β = 0.06, P = 0.017) (adjusted for Tanner stages). In a combined model, FSHR c.-29G>A and FSHR c.2039A>G alleles were positively associated with FSH levels in early-pubertal girls (B2 + B3, n = 327, r = 0.1, P = 0.02) and in young adolescents (B4 + B5, n = 149, r = 0.2, P = 0.01). Serum AMH and inhibin B levels were not significantly influenced by the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Single SNPs were not associated with follicles

  13. Morphological, molecular and phylogenetic analyses of the spirurid nematode Stegophorus macronectes (Johnston & Mawson, 1942).

    PubMed

    Vidal, V; Ortiz, J; Diaz, J I; Zafrilla, B; Bonete, M J; Ruiz De Ybañez, M R; Palacios, M J; Benzal, J; Valera, F; De La Cruz, C; Motas, M; Bautista, V; Machordom, A; Barbosa, A

    2016-03-01

    Stegophorus macronectes (Johnston & Mawson, 1942) is a gastrointestinal parasite found in Antarctic seabirds. The original description of the species, which was based only on females, is poor and fragmented with some unclear diagnostic characters. This study provides new morphometric and molecular data on this previously poorly described parasite. Nuclear rDNA sequences (18S, 5.8S, 28S and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions) were isolated from S. macronectes specimens collected from the chinstrap penguin Pygoscelis antarctica Forster on Deception Island, Antarctica. Using 18S rDNA sequences, phylogenetic analyses (maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference) of the order Spirurida were performed to determine the phylogenetic location of this species. Primer pairs of the ITS regions were designed for genus-level identification of specimens, regardless of their cycle, as an alternative to coprological methods. The utility of this molecular method for identification of morphologically altered specimens is also discussed.

  14. Increased phylogenetic resolution using target enrichment in Rubus

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Phylogenetic analyses in Rubus L. have been challenging due to polyploidy, hybridization, and apomixis within the genus. Wide morphological diversity occurs within and between species, contributing to challenges at lower and higher systematic levels. Phylogenetic inferences to date have been based o...

  15. Entanglement, Invariants, and Phylogenetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sumner, J. G.

    2007-10-01

    This thesis develops and expands upon known techniques of mathematical physics relevant to the analysis of the popular Markov model of phylogenetic trees required in biology to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships of taxonomic units from biomolecular sequence data. The techniques of mathematical physics are plethora and have been developed for some time. The Markov model of phylogenetics and its analysis is a relatively new technique where most progress to date has been achieved by using discrete mathematics. This thesis takes a group theoretical approach to the problem by beginning with a remarkable mathematical parallel to the process of scattering in particle physics. This is shown to equate to branching events in the evolutionary history of molecular units. The major technical result of this thesis is the derivation of existence proofs and computational techniques for calculating polynomial group invariant functions on a multi-linear space where the group action is that relevant to a Markovian time evolution. The practical results of this thesis are an extended analysis of the use of invariant functions in distance based methods and the presentation of a new reconstruction technique for quartet trees which is consistent with the most general Markov model of sequence evolution.

  16. Phylogenetic trees in bioinformatics

    SciTech Connect

    Burr, Tom L

    2008-01-01

    Genetic data is often used to infer evolutionary relationships among a collection of viruses, bacteria, animal or plant species, or other operational taxonomic units (OTU). A phylogenetic tree depicts such relationships and provides a visual representation of the estimated branching order of the OTUs. Tree estimation is unique for several reasons, including: the types of data used to represent each OTU; the use ofprobabilistic nucleotide substitution models; the inference goals involving both tree topology and branch length, and the huge number of possible trees for a given sample of a very modest number of OTUs, which implies that fmding the best tree(s) to describe the genetic data for each OTU is computationally demanding. Bioinformatics is too large a field to review here. We focus on that aspect of bioinformatics that includes study of similarities in genetic data from multiple OTUs. Although research questions are diverse, a common underlying challenge is to estimate the evolutionary history of the OTUs. Therefore, this paper reviews the role of phylogenetic tree estimation in bioinformatics, available methods and software, and identifies areas for additional research and development.

  17. Increased taxon sampling greatly reduces phylogenetic error.

    PubMed

    Zwickl, Derrick J; Hillis, David M

    2002-08-01

    Several authors have argued recently that extensive taxon sampling has a positive and important effect on the accuracy of phylogenetic estimates. However, other authors have argued that there is little benefit of extensive taxon sampling, and so phylogenetic problems can or should be reduced to a few exemplar taxa as a means of reducing the computational complexity of the phylogenetic analysis. In this paper we examined five aspects of study design that may have led to these different perspectives. First, we considered the measurement of phylogenetic error across a wide range of taxon sample sizes, and conclude that the expected error based on randomly selecting trees (which varies by taxon sample size) must be considered in evaluating error in studies of the effects of taxon sampling. Second, we addressed the scope of the phylogenetic problems defined by different samples of taxa, and argue that phylogenetic scope needs to be considered in evaluating the importance of taxon-sampling strategies. Third, we examined the claim that fast and simple tree searches are as effective as more thorough searches at finding near-optimal trees that minimize error. We show that a more complete search of tree space reduces phylogenetic error, especially as the taxon sample size increases. Fourth, we examined the effects of simple versus complex simulation models on taxonomic sampling studies. Although benefits of taxon sampling are apparent for all models, data generated under more complex models of evolution produce higher overall levels of error and show greater positive effects of increased taxon sampling. Fifth, we asked if different phylogenetic optimality criteria show different effects of taxon sampling. Although we found strong differences in effectiveness of different optimality criteria as a function of taxon sample size, increased taxon sampling improved the results from all the common optimality criteria. Nonetheless, the method that showed the lowest overall

  18. The Phylogenetic Diversity of Metagenomes

    PubMed Central

    Kembel, Steven W.; Eisen, Jonathan A.; Pollard, Katherine S.; Green, Jessica L.

    2011-01-01

    Phylogenetic diversity—patterns of phylogenetic relatedness among organisms in ecological communities—provides important insights into the mechanisms underlying community assembly. Studies that measure phylogenetic diversity in microbial communities have primarily been limited to a single marker gene approach, using the small subunit of the rRNA gene (SSU-rRNA) to quantify phylogenetic relationships among microbial taxa. In this study, we present an approach for inferring phylogenetic relationships among microorganisms based on the random metagenomic sequencing of DNA fragments. To overcome challenges caused by the fragmentary nature of metagenomic data, we leveraged fully sequenced bacterial genomes as a scaffold to enable inference of phylogenetic relationships among metagenomic sequences from multiple phylogenetic marker gene families. The resulting metagenomic phylogeny can be used to quantify the phylogenetic diversity of microbial communities based on metagenomic data sets. We applied this method to understand patterns of microbial phylogenetic diversity and community assembly along an oceanic depth gradient, and compared our findings to previous studies of this gradient using SSU-rRNA gene and metagenomic analyses. Bacterial phylogenetic diversity was highest at intermediate depths beneath the ocean surface, whereas taxonomic diversity (diversity measured by binning sequences into taxonomically similar groups) showed no relationship with depth. Phylogenetic diversity estimates based on the SSU-rRNA gene and the multi-gene metagenomic phylogeny were broadly concordant, suggesting that our approach will be applicable to other metagenomic data sets for which corresponding SSU-rRNA gene sequences are unavailable. Our approach opens up the possibility of using metagenomic data to study microbial diversity in a phylogenetic context. PMID:21912589

  19. The phylogenetic diversity of metagenomes.

    PubMed

    Kembel, Steven W; Eisen, Jonathan A; Pollard, Katherine S; Green, Jessica L

    2011-01-01

    Phylogenetic diversity--patterns of phylogenetic relatedness among organisms in ecological communities--provides important insights into the mechanisms underlying community assembly. Studies that measure phylogenetic diversity in microbial communities have primarily been limited to a single marker gene approach, using the small subunit of the rRNA gene (SSU-rRNA) to quantify phylogenetic relationships among microbial taxa. In this study, we present an approach for inferring phylogenetic relationships among microorganisms based on the random metagenomic sequencing of DNA fragments. To overcome challenges caused by the fragmentary nature of metagenomic data, we leveraged fully sequenced bacterial genomes as a scaffold to enable inference of phylogenetic relationships among metagenomic sequences from multiple phylogenetic marker gene families. The resulting metagenomic phylogeny can be used to quantify the phylogenetic diversity of microbial communities based on metagenomic data sets. We applied this method to understand patterns of microbial phylogenetic diversity and community assembly along an oceanic depth gradient, and compared our findings to previous studies of this gradient using SSU-rRNA gene and metagenomic analyses. Bacterial phylogenetic diversity was highest at intermediate depths beneath the ocean surface, whereas taxonomic diversity (diversity measured by binning sequences into taxonomically similar groups) showed no relationship with depth. Phylogenetic diversity estimates based on the SSU-rRNA gene and the multi-gene metagenomic phylogeny were broadly concordant, suggesting that our approach will be applicable to other metagenomic data sets for which corresponding SSU-rRNA gene sequences are unavailable. Our approach opens up the possibility of using metagenomic data to study microbial diversity in a phylogenetic context.

  20. Brain transcription factor gene expression, neurotransmitter levels, and novelty response behaviors: alterations during rat amphetamine withdrawal and following chronic injection stress.

    PubMed

    Persico, A M; Schindler, C W; Zaczek, R; Brannock, M T; Uhl, G R

    1995-03-01

    Transcription factors are known to act as gene expression regulators, possibly linking extracellular stimuli to long-term modifications at the neuronal level. Such modifications may potentially underlie chronic psychostimulant- and stress-induced behavioral alterations. This study illustrates how a 2 week, twice daily 7.5 mg/kg d-amphetamine or saline regimen alters rat brain regional expression of transcription factor genes, including c-fos, fos-B, jun-B, c-jun, and zif 268, and seeks potential correlations between those changes and alterations in neurotransmitter levels and behavioral novelty responses. Amphetamine withdrawal-induced decreases in transcription factor mRNA levels, assessed using Northern blot analysis, appear most prominent in prefrontal cortex, begin approximately 12 h after the last injection, and largely recover to control levels by 54 h. Prefrontal cortical and striatal dopamine content, assessed using HPLC, decrease and recover over a similar time course. Behavioral "stereotypy time" manifest by animals exposed to a novel environment, a measure sensitive to psychostimulant withdrawal, also decreases beginning 12 h after the last injection, is still significantly reduced at 54 h, and recovers at 72 h. Chronic saline injections are followed by a consistent decrease in transcription factor gene expression, observed 6 h after the last injection, followed by a "rebound" increase at 12 h. These changes are accompanied by dramatic, mostly biphasic alterations in prefrontal cortical biogenic amines and by a short-lived increase in striatal dopamine turnover. At the same time, rats display much longer-lasting decreases in locomotor responses when exposed to a novel environment, with recovery occurring only 54 h after the last injection. The delayed recovery of behavioral responses to novelty is consistent with potential involvement of changes in transcription factor-mediated gene expression in neurochemical mechanisms underlying psychostimulant

  1. Alterations of GABAA receptor subunit mRNA levels associated with increases in punished responding induced by acute alprazolam administration: an in situ hybridization study.

    PubMed

    Liu, M; Glowa, J R

    1999-03-20

    Changes in the mRNA encoding alpha1, alpha2, beta2 and gamma2 subunits of the GABAA receptor associated with the anxiolytic effects of alprazolam were measured in 20 brain regions using in situ hybridization techniques. Compared to non-punished controls, punishment decreased alpha1 mRNA levels in two nuclei of the amygdala, the cerebral cortex, and the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus and decreased alpha2 mRNA levels in the hippocampus. Punishment increased beta2 mRNA levels in ventroposterior thalamic nucleus and gamma2 mRNA levels in the CA2 area of the hippocampus. All of these effects were reversed when alprazolam increased punished responding, while alprazolam alone had no effect on either non-punished responding or GABAA receptor subunit regulation in these brain regions. Some brain regions that were unaffected by punishment were altered by alprazolam plus punishment. These results demonstrate that punishment and alprazolam can produce reciprocal changes in the mRNA levels for some subunits of the GABAA receptor. These changes may alter GABAergic synaptic inhibition by altering the density of GABAA receptors or their efficacy to bind drugs. They suggest that the underlying mechanisms by which drugs affect behavior can depend upon the conditions under which behavior is assessed. Copyright 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

  2. A longitudinal study of alterations of hippocampal volumes and serum BDNF levels in association to atypical antipsychotics in a sample of first-episode patients with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Rizos, Emmanouil; Papathanasiou, Matilda A; Michalopoulou, Panagiota G; Laskos, Efstathios; Mazioti, Aggeliki; Kastania, Anastasia; Vasilopoulou, Konstantina; Nikolaidou, Paraskevi; Margaritis, Dimitrios; Papageorgiou, Charalabos; Liappas, Ioannis

    2014-01-01

    Schizophrenia is associated with structural and functional abnormalities of the hippocampus, which have been suggested to play an important role in the formation and emergence of schizophrenia syndrome. Patients with schizophrenia exhibit significant bilateral hippocampal volume reduction and progressive hippocampal volume decrease in first-episode patients with schizophrenia has been shown in many neuroimaging studies. Dysfunction of the neurotrophic system has been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. The initiation of antipsychotic medication alters the levels of serum Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) levels. However it is unclear whether treatment with antipsychotics is associated with alterations of hippocampal volume and BDNF levels. In the present longitudinal study we investigated the association between serum BDNF levels and hippocampal volumes in a sample of fourteen first-episode drug-naïve patients with schizophrenia (FEP). MRI scans, BDNF and clinical measurements were performed twice: at baseline before the initiation of antipsychotic treatment and 8 months later, while the patients were receiving monotherapy with second generation antipsychotics (SGAs). We found that left hippocampal volume was decreased (corrected left HV [t = 2.977, df = 13, p = .011] at follow-up; We also found that the higher the BDNF levels change the higher were the differences of corrected left hippocampus after 8 months of treatment with atypical antipsychotics (Pearson r = 0.597, p = 0.024). The association of BDNF with hippocampal volume alterations in schizophrenia merits further investigation and replication in larger longitudinal studies.

  3. Functional and phylogenetic diversity of woody plants drive herbivory in a highly diverse forest.

    PubMed

    Schuldt, Andreas; Assmann, Thorsten; Bruelheide, Helge; Durka, Walter; Eichenberg, David; Härdtle, Werner; Kröber, Wenzel; Michalski, Stefan G; Purschke, Oliver

    2014-05-01

    Biodiversity loss may alter ecosystem processes, such as herbivory, a key driver of ecological functions in species-rich (sub)tropical forests. However, the mechanisms underlying such biodiversity effects remain poorly explored, as mostly effects of species richness - a very basic biodiversity measure - have been studied. Here, we analyze to what extent the functional and phylogenetic diversity of woody plant communities affect herbivory along a diversity gradient in a subtropical forest. We assessed the relative effects of morphological and chemical leaf traits and of plant phylogenetic diversity on individual-level variation in herbivory of dominant woody plant species across 27 forest stands in south-east China. Individual-level variation in herbivory was best explained by multivariate, community-level diversity of leaf chemical traits, in combination with community-weighted means of single traits and species-specific phylodiversity measures. These findings deviate from those based solely on trait variation within individual species. Our results indicate a strong impact of generalist herbivores and highlight the need to assess food-web specialization to determine the direction of biodiversity effects. With increasing plant species loss, but particularly with the concomitant loss of functional and phylogenetic diversity in these forests, the impact of herbivores will probably decrease - with consequences for the herbivore-mediated regulation of ecosystem functions.

  4. Functional and phylogenetic diversity of woody plants drive herbivory in a highly diverse forest

    PubMed Central

    Schuldt, Andreas; Assmann, Thorsten; Bruelheide, Helge; Durka, Walter; Eichenberg, David; Härdtle, Werner; Kröber, Wenzel; Michalski, Stefan G; Purschke, Oliver

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity loss may alter ecosystem processes, such as herbivory, a key driver of ecological functions in species-rich (sub)tropical forests. However, the mechanisms underlying such biodiversity effects remain poorly explored, as mostly effects of species richness – a very basic biodiversity measure – have been studied. Here, we analyze to what extent the functional and phylogenetic diversity of woody plant communities affect herbivory along a diversity gradient in a subtropical forest.We assessed the relative effects of morphological and chemical leaf traits and of plant phylogenetic diversity on individual-level variation in herbivory of dominant woody plant species across 27 forest stands in south-east China.Individual-level variation in herbivory was best explained by multivariate, community-level diversity of leaf chemical traits, in combination with community-weighted means of single traits and species-specific phylodiversity measures. These findings deviate from those based solely on trait variation within individual species.Our results indicate a strong impact of generalist herbivores and highlight the need to assess food-web specialization to determine the direction of biodiversity effects. With increasing plant species loss, but particularly with the concomitant loss of functional and phylogenetic diversity in these forests, the impact of herbivores will probably decrease – with consequences for the herbivore-mediated regulation of ecosystem functions. PMID:24460549

  5. Conservation biology of Malagasy strepsirhines: a phylogenetic approach.

    PubMed

    Lehman, Shawn M

    2006-06-01

    The phylogenetic diversity of extant lemurs represents one of the most important but least studied aspects of the conservation biology of primates. The phylogenetic diversity of a species is inversely proportional to the relative number and closeness of its phylogenetic relatives. Phylogenetic diversity can then be used to determine conservation priorities for specific biogeographic regions. Although Malagasy strepsirhines represent the highest phylogenetic diversity among primates at the global level, there are few phylogenetic data on species-specific and regional conservation plans for lemurs in Madagascar. Therefore, in this paper the following questions are addressed for extant lemurs: 1) how does the measure of taxonomic uniqueness used by Mittermeier et al. (1992 Lemurs of Madagascar; Gland, Switzerland: IUCN) equate with an index of phylogenetic diversity, 2) what are the regional conservation priorities based on analyses of phylogenetic diversity in extant lemurs, and 3) what conservation recommendations can be made based on analyses of phylogenetic diversity in lemurs? Taxonomic endemicity standardized weight (TESW) indices of phylogenetic diversity were used to determine the evolutionary component of biodiversity and to prioritize regions for conserving lemur taxa. TESW refers to the standardization of phylogenetic diversity indices for widespread taxa and endemicity of species. The phylogenetic data came from recent genetic studies of Malagasy strepsirhines at the species level. Lemur species were assigned as being either present or absent in six biogeographic regions. TESW indices were combined with data on lemur complementarity and protected areas to assign conservation priorities at the regional level. Although there were no overall differences between taxonomic ranks and phylogenetic rankings, there were significant differences for the top-ranked taxa. The phylogenetic component of lemur diversity is greatest for Daubentonia madagascariensis

  6. Incompletely resolved phylogenetic trees inflate estimates of phylogenetic conservatism.

    PubMed

    Davies, T Jonathan; Kraft, Nathan J B; Salamin, Nicolas; Wolkovich, Elizabeth M

    2012-02-01

    The tendency for more closely related species to share similar traits and ecological strategies can be explained by their longer shared evolutionary histories and represents phylogenetic conservatism. How strongly species traits co-vary with phylogeny can significantly impact how we analyze cross-species data and can influence our interpretation of assembly rules in the rapidly expanding field of community phylogenetics. Phylogenetic conservatism is typically quantified by analyzing the distribution of species values on the phylogenetic tree that connects them. Many phylogenetic approaches, however, assume a completely sampled phylogeny: while we have good estimates of deeper phylogenetic relationships for many species-rich groups, such as birds and flowering plants, we often lack information on more recent interspecific relationships (i.e., within a genus). A common solution has been to represent these relationships as polytomies on trees using taxonomy as a guide. Here we show that such trees can dramatically inflate estimates of phylogenetic conservatism quantified using S. P. Blomberg et al.'s K statistic. Using simulations, we show that even randomly generated traits can appear to be phylogenetically conserved on poorly resolved trees. We provide a simple rarefaction-based solution that can reliably retrieve unbiased estimates of K, and we illustrate our method using data on first flowering times from Thoreau's woods (Concord, Massachusetts, USA).

  7. Lung Adenocarcinoma of Never Smokers and Smokers Harbor Differential Regions of Genetic Alteration and Exhibit Different Levels of Genomic Instability

    PubMed Central

    Thu, Kelsie L.; Vucic, Emily A.; Chari, Raj; Zhang, Wei; Lockwood, William W.; English, John C.; Fu, Rong; Wang, Pei; Feng, Ziding; MacAulay, Calum E.; Gazdar, Adi F.; Lam, Stephen; Lam, Wan L.

    2012-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that the observed clinical distinctions between lung tumors in smokers and never smokers (NS) extend beyond specific gene mutations, such as EGFR, EML4-ALK, and KRAS, some of which have been translated into targeted therapies. However, the molecular alterations identified thus far cannot explain all of the clinical and biological disparities observed in lung tumors of NS and smokers. To this end, we performed an unbiased genome-wide, comparative study to identify novel genomic aberrations that differ between smokers and NS. High resolution whole genome DNA copy number profiling of 69 lung adenocarcinomas from smokers (n = 39) and NS (n = 30) revealed both global and regional disparities in the tumor genomes of these two groups. We found that NS lung tumors had a greater proportion of their genomes altered than those of smokers. Moreover, copy number gains on chromosomes 5q, 7p, and 16p occurred more frequently in NS. We validated our findings in two independently generated public datasets. Our findings provide a novel line of evidence distinguishing genetic differences between smoker and NS lung tumors, namely, that the extent of segmental genomic alterations is greater in NS tumors. Collectively, our findings provide evidence that these lung tumors are globally and genetically different, which implies they are likely driven by distinct molecular mechanisms. PMID:22412972

  8. Binets: Fundamental Building Blocks for Phylogenetic Networks.

    PubMed

    van Iersel, Leo; Moulton, Vincent; de Swart, Eveline; Wu, Taoyang

    2017-05-01

    Phylogenetic networks are a generalization of evolutionary trees that are used by biologists to represent the evolution of organisms which have undergone reticulate evolution. Essentially, a phylogenetic network is a directed acyclic graph having a unique root in which the leaves are labelled by a given set of species. Recently, some approaches have been developed to construct phylogenetic networks from collections of networks on 2- and 3-leaved networks, which are known as binets and trinets, respectively. Here we study in more depth properties of collections of binets, one of the simplest possible types of networks into which a phylogenetic network can be decomposed. More specifically, we show that if a collection of level-1 binets is compatible with some binary network, then it is also compatible with a binary level-1 network. Our proofs are based on useful structural results concerning lowest stable ancestors in networks. In addition, we show that, although the binets do not determine the topology of the network, they do determine the number of reticulations in the network, which is one of its most important parameters. We also consider algorithmic questions concerning binets. We show that deciding whether an arbitrary set of binets is compatible with some network is at least as hard as the well-known graph isomorphism problem. However, if we restrict to level-1 binets, it is possible to decide in polynomial time whether there exists a binary network that displays all the binets. We also show that to find a network that displays a maximum number of the binets is NP-hard, but that there exists a simple polynomial-time 1/3-approximation algorithm for this problem. It is hoped that these results will eventually assist in the development of new methods for constructing phylogenetic networks from collections of smaller networks.

  9. A modest glucokinase overexpression in the liver promotes fed expression levels of glycolytic and lipogenic enzyme genes in the fasted state without altering SREBP-1c expression.

    PubMed

    Scott, D K; Collier, J J; Doan, T T T; Bunnell, A S; Daniels, M C; Eckert, D T; O'Doherty, R M

    2003-12-01

    Hepatic genes crucial for carbohydrate and lipid homeostasis are regulated by insulin and glucose metabolism. However, the relative contributions of insulin and glucose to the regulation of metabolic gene expression are poorly defined in vivo. To address this issue, adenovirus-mediated hepatic overexpression of glucokinase was used to determine the effects of increased hepatic glucose metabolism on gene expression in fasted or ad libitum fed rats. In the fasted state, a 3 fold glucokinase overexpression was sufficient to mimic feeding-induced increases in pyruvate kinase and acetyl CoA carboxylase mRNA levels, demonstrating a primary role for glucose metabolism in the regulation of these genes in vivo. Conversely, glucokinase overexpression was unable to mimic feeding-induced alterations of fatty acid synthase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, carnitine palmitoyl transferase I or PEPCK mRNAs, indicating insulin as the primary regulator of these genes. Interestingly, glucose-6-phosphatase mRNA was increased by glucokinase overexpression in both the fasted and fed states, providing evidence, under these conditions, for the dominance of glucose over insulin signaling for this gene in vivo. Importantly, glucokinase overexpression did not alter sterol regulatory element binding protein 1-c mRNA levels in vivo and glucose signaling did not alter the expression of this gene in primary hepatocytes. We conclude that a modest hepatic overexpression of glucokinase is sufficient to alter expression of metabolic genes without changing the expression of SREBP-1c.

  10. Melanogenesis stimulation in B16-F10 melanoma cells induces cell cycle alterations, increased ROS levels and a differential expression of proteins as revealed by proteomic analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Cunha, Elizabeth S.; Kawahara, Rebeca; Kadowaki, Marina K.; Amstalden, Hudson G.; Noleto, Guilhermina R.; Cadena, Silvia Maria S.C.; Winnischofer, Sheila M.B.; Martinez, Glaucia R.

    2012-09-10

    Considering that stimulation of melanogenesis may lead to alterations of cellular responses, besides melanin production, our main goal was to study the cellular effects of melanogenesis stimulation of B16-F10 melanoma cells. Our results show increased levels of the reactive oxygen species after 15 h of melanogenesis stimulation. Following 48 h of melanogenesis stimulation, proliferation was inhibited (by induction of cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase) and the expression levels of p21 mRNA were increased. In addition, melanogenesis stimulation did not induce cellular senescence. Proteomic analysis demonstrated the involvement of proteins from other pathways besides those related to the cell cycle, including protein disulfide isomerase A3, heat-shock protein 70, and fructose biphosphate aldolase A (all up-regulated), and lactate dehydrogenase (down-regulated). In RT-qPCR experiments, the levels of pyruvate kinase M2 mRNA dropped, whereas the levels of ATP synthase (beta-F1) mRNA increased. These data indicate that melanogenesis stimulation of B16-F10 cells leads to alterations in metabolism and cell cycle progression that may contribute to an induction of cell quiescence, which may provide a mechanism of resistance against cellular injury promoted by melanin synthesis. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Melanogenesis stimulation by L-tyrosine+NH{sub 4}Cl in B16-F10 melanoma cells increases ROS levels. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Melanogenesis inhibits cell proliferation, and induced cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Proteomic analysis showed alterations in proteins of the cell cycle and glucose metabolism. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer RT-qPCR analysis confirmed alterations of metabolic targets after melanogenesis stimulation.

  11. Morphological and metabolic alterations in duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza) on long-term low-level chronic UV-B exposure.

    PubMed

    Farooq, M; Shankar, U; Ray, R S; Misra, R B; Agrawal, N; Verma, K; Hans, R K

    2005-11-01

    Laboratory grown duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza) plants were exposed to 0.72 and 1.44J of UV-B radiation daily for 7 days at 0.4mW/cm(2) intensity. Chlorosis and necrosis were observed along with depletion in protein, pigments (chlorophyll, pheophytin, carotenoids, phycoerythrin, phycocyanin, and flavoxanthin), biomass, root length, and frond size in UV-B-exposed plants. The study confirms morphological and metabolic alterations leading to reduction in the productivity of duckweed following long-term exposure to UV-B radiation.

  12. Aerobic bacterial microbiota of the conjunctiva in diabetic patients with normal and altered glycated hemoglobin levels in two regions in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Moreno, Natalia Pimentel; Moreno, Renaldo Duarte; Sousa, Luciene Barbosa

    2014-01-01

    To study the aerobic bacterial microbiota of the conjunctiva in diabetic patients with regard to the management of diabetes, assessed using glycated hemoglobin levels. A cross-sectional study was conducted using conjunctival smears of diabetic patients from both sexes and with different ages, residing in two different Brazilian cities (Sorocaba and Rio Branco). A control group of non-diabetic patients was also included. The diabetic patients were considered to have controlled diabetes when their glycated hemoglobin level was ≤7% and blood glucose level was ≤126 mg/dL. Patients with non-controlled diabetes were those with glycated hemoglobin levels >7% and blood glucose levels >126 mg/dL. The samples obtained were inoculated in Brain-Heart Infusion broth and in culture media for aerobic bacteria (blood and chocolate agars); bacterial growth was evaluated in a microbiology laboratory. A total of 120 eyes of 120 patients were included in the present study. The percentage of cultures in which bacterial growth was observed was greater in diabetic patients, although the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.103). There was a greater trend toward bacterial growth in the conjunctiva of diabetic patients with altered fasting blood glucose. There was no difference in the frequency of bacterial growth on the conjunctiva between diabetic patients with normal or altered glycated hemoglobin levels. In Sorocaba, conjunctival bacterial growth was similar to that observed in Rio Branco. The microorganism most frequently detected in the present study was Staphylococcus epidermidis, followed by Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus mirabilis, and Escherichia coli. There was no difference between diabetic patients with normal or altered glycated hemoglobin levels. The microorganisms found were similar to those found in studies investigating the conjunctival bacterial flora of diabetic and non-diabetic patients.

  13. Phylogenetic constraints on ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Gravel, Dominique; Bell, Thomas; Barbera, Claire; Combe, Marine; Pommier, Thomas; Mouquet, Nicolas

    2012-01-01

    There is consensus that biodiversity losses will result in declining ecosystem functioning if species have different functional traits. Phylogenetic diversity has recently been suggested as a predictor of ecosystem functioning because it could approximate the functional complementarity among species. Here we describe an experiment that takes advantage of the rapid evolutionary response of bacteria to disentangle the role of phylogenetic and species diversity. We impose a strong selection regime on marine bacterial lineages and assemble the ancestral and evolved lines in microcosms of varying lineage and phylogenetic diversity. We find that the relationship between phylogenetic diversity and productivity is strong for the ancestral lineages but brakes down for the evolved lineages. Our results not only emphasize the potential of using phylogeny to evaluate ecosystem functioning, but also they warn against using phylogenetics as a proxy for functional diversity without good information on species evolutionary history.

  14. Network-Level Dysconnectivity in Drug-Naïve First-Episode Psychosis: Dissociating Transdiagnostic and Diagnosis-Specific Alterations

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Qiyong; Hu, Xinyu; Pettersson-Yeo, William; Xu, Xin; Lui, Su; Crossley, Nicolas; Wu, Min; Zhu, Hongyan; Mechelli, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    The neuroimaging literature provides compelling evidence for functional dysconnectivity in people with psychosis. However, it is likely that at least some of the observed alterations represent secondary effects of illness chronicity and/or antipsychotic medication. In addition, the extent to which these alterations are specific to psychosis or represent a transdiagnostic feature of psychiatric illness remains unclear. The aim of this study was therefore to examine the diagnostic specificity of functional dysconnectivity in drug-naïve first-episode psychosis (FEP). We used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and functional connectivity analysis to estimate network-level connectivity in 50 patients with FEP, 50 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), 50 patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and 122 healthy controls (HCs). The FEP, MDD, and PTSD groups showed reductions in intranetwork connectivity of the default mode network relative to the HC group (p<0.05 corrected); therefore, intranetwork alterations were expressed across the three diagnostic groups. In addition, the FEP group showed heightened internetwork connectivity between the default mode network, particularly the anterior cingulate cortex, and the central executive network relative to the MDD, PTSD, and HC groups (p<0.05 corrected); therefore, internetwork alterations were specific to the FEP. These findings suggest that network-level alterations are present in individuals with a first episode of psychosis who have not been exposed to antipsychotic medication. In addition, they suggest a dissociation between aberrant internetwork connectivity as a distinctive feature of psychosis and aberrant intranetwork connectivity as a transdiagnostic feature of psychiatric illness. PMID:27782128

  15. Ovarian stimulation using human chorionic gonadotrophin impairs blastocyst implantation and decidualization by altering ovarian hormone levels and downs