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Sample records for potential mechanisms underlying

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

    PubMed Central

    Hernández, Antonio F.; Menéndez, Pablo

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Mental imagery in music performance: underlying mechanisms and potential benefits.

    PubMed

    Keller, Peter E

    2012-04-01

    This paper examines the role of mental imagery in music performance. Self-reports by musicians, and various other sources of anecdotal evidence, suggest that covert auditory, motor, and/or visual imagery facilitate multiple aspects of music performance. The cognitive and motor mechanisms that underlie such imagery include working memory, action simulation, and internal models. Together these mechanisms support the generation of anticipatory images that enable thorough action planning and movement execution that is characterized by efficiency, temporal precision, and biomechanical economy. In ensemble performance, anticipatory imagery may facilitate interpersonal coordination by enhancing online predictions about others' action timing. Overlap in brain regions subserving auditory imagery and temporal prediction is consistent with this view. It is concluded that individual differences in anticipatory imagery may be a source of variation in expressive performance excellence and the quality of ensemble cohesion. Engaging in effortful musical imagery is therefore justified when artistic perfection is the goal.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-16

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-16

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Purohit, Pallav; Michaelowa, Axel

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-04-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Chin, Jeannie; Scharfman, Helen E.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Granger, Adam J.; Nicoll, Roger A.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. Potential mechanisms underlying anxiety and depression in Parkinson's disease: consequences of l-DOPA treatment.

    PubMed

    Eskow Jaunarajs, Karen L; Angoa-Perez, Mariana; Kuhn, Donald M; Bishop, Christopher

    2011-01-01

    Though the most recognizable symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) are motor-related, many patients also suffer from debilitating affective symptoms that deleteriously influence quality of life. Dopamine (DA) loss is likely involved in the onset of depression and anxiety in PD. However, these symptoms are not reliably improved by DA replacement therapy with l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-DOPA). In fact, preclinical and clinical evidence suggests that l-DOPA treatment may worsen affect. Though the neurobiological mechanisms remain unclear, recent research contends that l-DOPA further perturbs the function of the norepinephrine and serotonin systems, already affected by PD pathology, which have been intimately linked to the development and expression of anxiety and depression. As such, this review provides an overview of the clinical characteristics of affective disorders in PD, examines the utility of animal models for the study of anxiety and depression in PD, and finally, discusses potential mechanisms by which DA loss and subsequent l-DOPA therapy influence monoamine function and concomitant affective symptoms.

  17. Potential mechanisms underlying anxiety and depression in Parkinson's disease: consequences of L-DOPA treatment

    PubMed Central

    Eskow Jaunarajs, Karen L.; Angoa-Perez, Mariana; Kuhn, Donald M.; Bishop, Christopher

    2010-01-01

    Though the most recognizable symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) are motor-related, many patients also suffer from debilitating affective symptoms that deleteriously influence quality of life. Dopamine (DA) loss is likely involved in the onset of depression and anxiety in PD. However, these symptoms are not reliably improved by DA replacement therapy with L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA). In fact, preclinical and clinical evidence suggests that L-DOPA treatment may worsen affect. Though the neurobiological mechanisms remain unclear, recent research contends that L-DOPA further perturbs the function of the norepinephrine and serotonin systems, already affected by PD pathology, which have been intimately linked to the development and expression of anxiety and depression. As such, this review provides an overview of the clinical characteristics of affective disorders in PD, examines the utility of animal models for the study of anxiety and depression in PD, and finally, discusses potential mechanisms by which DA loss and subsequent L-DOPA therapy influence monoamine function and concomitant affective symptoms. PMID:20615430

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

    PubMed

    Gaillet, Sylvie; Rouanet, Jean-Max

    2015-03-01

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

  19. A Potential Biochemical Mechanism Underlying the Influence of Sterol Deprivation Stress on Caenorhabditis elegans Longevity*

    PubMed Central

    Cheong, Mi Cheong; Na, Keun; Kim, Heekyeong; Jeong, Seul-Ki; Joo, Hyoe-Jin; Chitwood, David J.; Paik, Young-Ki

    2011-01-01

    To investigate the biochemical mechanism underlying the effect of sterol deprivation on longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans, we treated parent worms (P0) with 25-azacoprostane (Aza), which inhibits sitosterol-to-cholesterol conversion, and measured mean lifespan (MLS) in F2 worms. At 25 μm (∼EC50), Aza reduced total body sterol by 82.5%, confirming sterol depletion. Aza (25 μm) treatment of wild-type (N2) C. elegans grown in sitosterol (5 μg/ml) reduced MLS by 35%. Similar results were obtained for the stress-related mutants daf-16(mu86) and gas-1(fc21). Unexpectedly, Aza had essentially no effect on MLS in the stress-resistant daf-2(e1370) or mitochondrial complex II mutant mev-1(kn1) strains, indicating that Aza may target both insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) and mitochondrial complex II. Aza increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels 2.7-fold in N2 worms, but did not affect ROS production by mev-1(kn1), suggesting a direct link between Aza treatment and mitochondrial ROS production. Moreover, expression of the stress-response transcription factor SKN-1 was decreased in amphid neurons by Aza and that of DAF-28 was increased when DAF-6 was involved, contributing to lifespan reduction. PMID:21186286

  20. Molecular Mechanism Underlying Pathogenesis of Lewisite-Induced Cutaneous Blistering and Inflammation: Chemical Chaperones as Potential Novel Antidotes.

    PubMed

    Li, Changzhao; Srivastava, Ritesh K; Weng, Zhiping; Croutch, Claire R; Agarwal, Anupam; Elmets, Craig A; Afaq, Farrukh; Athar, Mohammad

    2016-10-01

    Lewisite is a potent arsenic-based chemical warfare agent known to induce painful cutaneous inflammation and blistering. Only a few modestly effective antidotes have so far been described in the literature. However, the discovery of effective antidotes for lewisite was hampered by the paucity of the exact molecular mechanism underlying its cutaneous pathogenesis. We investigated the molecular mechanism underlying lewisite-induced cutaneous blistering and inflammation and describe its novel antidotes. On the basis of our initial screening, we used a highly sensitive murine model that recapitulates the known human pathogenesis of arsenicals-induced cutaneous inflammation and blistering. Topically administered lewisite induced potent acute inflammation and microvesication in the skin of Ptch1(+/-)/SKH-1 mice. Even at a very low dose, lewisite up-regulates unfolded protein response signaling, inflammatory response, and apoptosis. These cutaneous lesions were associated with production of reactive oxygen species and extensive apoptosis of the epidermal keratinocytes. We confirmed that activation of reactive oxygen species-dependent unfolded protein response signaling is the underlying molecular mechanism of skin damage. Similar alterations were noticed in lewisite-treated cultured human skin keratinocytes. We discovered that chemical chaperone 4-phenyl butyric acid and antioxidant N-acetylcysteine, which significantly attenuate lewisite-mediated skin injury, can serve as potent antidotes. These data reveal a novel molecular mechanism underlying the cutaneous pathogenesis of lewisite-induced lesions. We also identified novel potential therapeutic targets for lewisite-mediated cutaneous injury. PMID:27528504

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. Lipid Peroxidation Is another Potential Mechanism besides Pore-Formation Underlying Hemolysis of Tentacle Extract from the Jellyfish Cyanea capillata

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Tao; Wen, Xiao-Juan; Mei, Xiao-Bin; Wang, Qian-Qian; He, Qian; Zheng, Jie-Min; Zhao, Jie; Xiao, Liang; Zhang, Li-Ming

    2013-01-01

    This study was performed to explore other potential mechanisms underlying hemolysis in addition to pore-formation of tentacle extract (TE) from the jellyfish Cyanea capillata. A dose-dependent increase of hemolysis was observed in rat erythrocyte suspensions and the hemolytic activity of TE was enhanced in the presence of Ca2+, which was attenuated by Ca2+ channel blockers (Diltiazem, Verapamil and Nifedipine). Direct intracellular Ca2+ increase was observed after TE treatment by confocal laser scanning microscopy, and the Ca2+ increase could be depressed by Diltiazem. The osmotic protectant polyethylenglycol (PEG) significantly blocked hemolysis with a molecular mass exceeding 4000 Da. These results support a pore-forming mechanism of TE in the erythrocyte membrane, which is consistent with previous studies by us and other groups. The concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA), an important marker of lipid peroxidation, increased dose-dependently in rat erythrocytes after TE treatment, while in vitro hemolysis of TE was inhibited by the antioxidants ascorbic acid—Vitamin C (Vc)—and reduced glutathione (GSH). Furthermore, in vivo hemolysis and electrolyte change after TE administration could be partly recovered by Vc. These results indicate that lipid peroxidation is another potential mechanism besides pore-formation underlying the hemolysis of TE, and both Ca2+ channel blockers and antioxidants could be useful candidates against the hemolytic activity of jellyfish venoms. PMID:23303301

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Meditation as a therapeutic intervention for adults at risk for Alzheimer's disease - potential benefits and underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Innes, Kim E; Selfe, Terry Kit

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Underlying mechanism of combined effect of methamphetamine and morphine on lethality in mice and therapeutic potential of cooling.

    PubMed

    Namiki, Mizuho; Mori, Tomohisa; Sawaguchi, Toshiko; Ito, Shinobu; Suzuki, Tadashi

    2005-10-01

    An increase in polydrug abuse is a major problem worldwide. A previous study showed that coadministration of methamphetamine and morphine induced lethality in rodents and humans. However, the underlying mechanisms by which the lethality is increased by the coadministration of methamphetamine and morphine have not been fully understood. Therefore, the present study was designed to determine the mechanism of increased lethality induced by methamphetamine and morphine. Coadministered methamphetamine and morphine increased the lethality by more than 70% in BALB/c mice. Pretreatment with NMDA-receptor antagonists, such as MK-801 and 3-((R)-2-carboxypiperazin-4-yl) propyl-1-phosphonic acid (CPP), and benzamide [poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor] significantly attenuated the increased lethality induced by methamphetamine and morphine. Furthermore, the lethal effect induced by methamphetamine and morphine was completely attenuated by immediate cooling after the coadministration of methamphetamine and morphine. It has been reported that methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity can be blocked by lowering the temperature, and this effect might be mediated by a reduction of release of free radicals. These results suggest that activation of NMDA receptors and PARP play an important role in the increased lethality induced by methamphetamine and morphine.

  7. Biofilm formation of the pathogens of fatal bacterial granuloma after trauma: potential mechanism underlying the failure of traditional antibiotic treatments.

    PubMed

    Qi, Xianlong; Gao, Jian; Sun, Dongjie; Liang, Wenbin; Wan, Yi; Li, Chunying; Xu, Xiuli; Gao, Tianwen

    2008-01-01

    The pathogen of a new type of disease - fatal bacterial granuloma after trauma (FBGT) - was found to be Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). Although in vitro studies showed that the pathogenic P. acnes are sensitive to conventional antibiotics, treatments of FBGT patients with these antibiotics were ineffective. The underlying mechanisms were not clear. Since P. acnes are able to form biofilm on orthopaedic biomaterials in vitro, and pathogenic P. acnes of acnes vulgaris was known to form biofilm in vivo, we hypothesize that the pathogens of FBGT are also able to form biofilm during the pathogenesis, which may be 1 of the reasons for antibiotics tolerance of FBGT. Biofilm forming capacity of the pathogens of FBGT were examined with XTT reduction method, as well as with scanning electron microscope. The effect of long-term subminimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) lincomycin on the biofilm forming ability of the pathogens was also tested. Our results show that both the type strain (NCTC737) and the pathogenic P. acnes of FBGT can form biofilm in vitro. These data demonstrated the biofilm formation of the FBGT pathogens in vitro, and its acceleration by lincomycin, which may be 1 of the major mechanisms for the failure of antibiotic treatment.

  8. Subgroups of older adults with osteoarthritis based upon differing comorbid symptom presentations and potential underlying pain mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Introduction Although people with knee and hip osteoarthritis (OA) seek treatment because of pain, many of these individuals have commonly co-occurring symptoms (for example, fatigue, sleep problems, mood disorders). The purpose of this study was to characterize adults with OA by identifying subgroups with the above comorbid symptoms along with illness burden (a composite measure of somatic symptoms) to begin to examine whether subsets may have differing underlying pain mechanisms. Methods Community-living older adults with symptomatic knee and hip OA (n = 129) participated (68% with knee OA, 38% with hip OA). Hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis was used. To determine the relative contribution of each variable in a cluster, multivariate analysis of variance was used. Results We found three clusters. Cluster 1 (n = 45) had high levels of pain, fatigue, sleep problems, and mood disturbances. Cluster 2 (n = 38) had intermediate degrees of depression and fatigue, but low pain and good sleep. Cluster 3 (n = 42) had the lowest levels of pain, fatigue, and depression, but worse sleep quality than Cluster 2. Conclusions In adults with symptomatic OA, three distinct subgroups were identified. Although replication is needed, many individuals with OA had symptoms other than joint pain and some (such as those in Cluster 1) may have relatively stronger central nervous system (CNS) contributions to their symptoms. For such individuals, therapies may need to include centrally-acting components in addition to traditional peripheral approaches. PMID:21864381

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-08-01

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

  13. Celestial mechanics - Potential torsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klat, A. I.; Marchal, C.

    1981-01-01

    The mutual potential of two solid bodies is a function of the six parameters defining the relative position of these two bodies; it is not a function of only either three or five parameters as it is implicitly assumed in most studies. The sixth parameter, the potential torsion, is related to the orientation of the two bodies around the axis of the two centers; its influence is small. An upper limit is given.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  17. Review of the recently defined molecular mechanisms underlying thanatophoric dysplasia and their potential therapeutic implications for achondroplasia.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Frías, María Luisa; de Frutos, Cristina A; Bermejo, Eva; Nieto, M Angela

    2010-01-01

    Achondroplasia (ACH), thanatophoric dysplasia (TD) types I and II, hypochondroplasia (HCH), and severe achondroplasia with developmental delay and acanthosis nigricans (SADDAN) are all due to activating mutations in the fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) gene. We review the clinical, epidemiological, radiological, molecular aspects, and signaling pathways involved in these conditions. It is known that FGFR3 signaling is essential to regulate bone growth. The signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT1) pathway is involved in the inhibition of chondrocyte proliferation, and the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways are involved in chondrocyte differentiation. Hence, FGFR3 signaling is pivotal in chondrocyte differentiation and proliferation through these two different active pathways. Recent studies on the molecular mechanisms involved in chondrocyte differentiation and proliferation, demonstrated that Snail1 participates in the control of longitudinal bone growth and appears to be essential to transduce FGFR3 signaling during chondrogenesis. This result was confirmed in a newborn infant with TD, and suggests new non-surgical therapeutic approaches, that is, Snail1 as a new encouraging therapeutic target.

  18. Socioeconomic status, ethnicity, culture, and immigration: examining the potential mechanisms underlying Mexican-origin adolescents' organized activity participation.

    PubMed

    Simpkins, Sandra D; Delgado, Melissa Y; Price, Chara D; Quach, Alex; Starbuck, Elizabeth

    2013-04-01

    The integrative model for child development and ecodevelopmental theory suggest that macro factors, such as socioeconomic status, ethnicity, culture, and immigration influence the settings in which adolescents engage. The goal of this investigation was to use a combination of deductive and inductive qualitative analysis to describe the mechanisms by which these macro factors might be related to Mexican-origin adolescents' participation in organized after-school activities. Qualitative data were collected through focus group interviews with 44 adolescents, 50 parents, and 18 activity leaders from 2 neighborhoods that varied in ethnic composition and average family income. Results indicated that family socioeconomic status might be related to adolescents' participation through financial resources and parents' work. Ethnicity was identified as a predictor of participation via experiences with ethnic discrimination, particularly in the neighborhood with a low percentage of Hispanic families. Cultural values and practices were related to participants' preferences for particular activities (e.g., bilingual, church-sponsored) and adolescents' participation in activities. Immigration seemed to be a factor in parents' familiarity with and beliefs about organized activities. PMID:22545831

  19. 7-Ketocholesterol increases retinal microglial migration, activation, and angiogenicity: a potential pathogenic mechanism underlying age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Indaram, Maanasa; Ma, Wenxin; Zhao, Lian; Fariss, Robert N; Rodriguez, Ignacio R; Wong, Wai T

    2015-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has been associated with both accumulation of lipid and lipid oxidative products, as well as increased neuroinflammatory changes and microglial activation in the outer retina. However, the relationships between these factors are incompletely understood. 7-Ketocholesterol (7KCh) is a cholesterol oxidation product localized to the outer retina with prominent pro-inflammatory effects. To explore the potential relationship between 7KCh and microglial activation, we localized 7KCh and microglia to the outer retina of aged mice and investigated 7KCh effects on retinal microglia in both in vitro and in vivo systems. We found that retinal microglia demonstrated a prominent chemotropism to 7KCh and readily internalized 7KCh. Sublethal concentrations of 7KCh resulted in microglial activation and polarization to a pro-inflammatory M1 state via NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Microglia exposed to 7KCh reduced expression of neurotrophic growth factors but increased expression of angiogenic factors, transitioning to a more neurotoxic and pro-angiogenic phenotype. Finally, subretinal transplantation of 7KCh-exposed microglia promoted choroidal neovascularization (CNV) relative to control microglia in a Matrigel-CNV model. The interaction of retinal microglia with 7KCh in the aged retina may thus underlie how outer retinal lipid accumulation in intermediate AMD results in neuroinflammation that ultimately drives progression towards advanced AMD.

  20. Examination of the Cytotoxic and Embryotoxic Potential and Underlying Mechanisms of Next-Generation Synthetic Trioxolane and Tetraoxane Antimalarials

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Gaussian effective potential: Quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, P. M.

    1984-10-01

    We advertise the virtues of the Gaussian effective potential (GEP) as a guide to the behavior of quantum field theories. Much superior to the usual one-loop effective potential, the GEP is a natural extension of intuitive notions familiar from quantum mechanics. A variety of quantum-mechanical examples are studied here, with an eye to field-theoretic analogies. Quantum restoration of symmetry, dynamical mass generation, and "quantum-mechanical resuscitation" are among the phenomena discussed. We suggest how the GEP could become the basis of a systematic approximation procedure. A companion paper will deal with scalar field theory.

  3. Quantum mechanics without potential function

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-07-15

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

  4. Neural Dynamics Underlying Event-Related Potentials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  5. The neural mechanism underlying recollection is sensitive to the quality of episodic memory: Event related potentials reveal a some-or-none threshold.

    PubMed

    Murray, Jamie G; Howie, Catherine A; Donaldson, David I

    2015-10-15

    Although much is known about the underlying neural systems that support recollection, exactly how recollection operates remains unclear. One possibility is that recollection reflects the operation of a continuous retrieval process, whereby test cues always elicit some information from memory. Alternatively, recollection may reflect the operation of a thresholded process that allows for retrieval failure, whereby test cues sometimes elicit no information from memory at all. Here we demonstrate that recollection is thresholded by measuring a commonly reported electrophysiological correlate of episodic retrieval--known as the Left Parietal old/new effect. We use a novel source task designed to directly measure the accuracy of retrieval success, finding that the neural correlate of retrieval was sensitive to the precision of responses when recollection succeeded, but was absent when recollection failed. The results clarify the nature of the neural mechanism underlying episodic memory, providing novel evidence in support of some-or-none threshold models of recollection.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    Recent evidence indicates that the spontaneous action potential (AP) of isolated sinoatrial node cells (SANCs) is regulated by a system of stochastic mechanisms embodied within two clocks: ryanodine receptors of the "Ca(2+) clock" within the sarcoplasmic reticulum, spontaneously activate during diastole and discharge local Ca(2+) releases (LCRs) beneath the cell surface membrane; clock crosstalk occurs as LCRs activate an inward Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger current (INCX), which together with If and decay of K(+) channels prompts the "M clock," the ensemble of sarcolemmal-electrogenic molecules, to generate APs. Prolongation of the average LCR period accompanies prolongation of the average AP beating interval (BI). Moreover, the prolongation of the average AP BI accompanies increased AP BI variability. We hypothesized that both the average AP BI and AP BI variability are dependent upon stochasticity of clock mechanisms reported by the variability of LCR period. We perturbed the coupled-clock system by directly inhibiting the M clock by ivabradine (IVA) or the Ca(2+) clock by cyclopiazonic acid (CPA). When either clock is perturbed by IVA (3, 10 and 30 μM), which has no direct effect on Ca(2+) cycling, or CPA (0.5 and 5 μM), which has no direct effect on the M clock ion channels, the clock system failed to achieve the basal AP BI and both AP BI and AP BI variability increased. The changes in average LCR period and its variability in response to perturbations of the coupled-clock system were correlated with changes in AP beating interval and AP beating interval variability. We conclude that the stochasticity within the coupled-clock system affects and is affected by the AP BI firing rate and rhythm via modulation of the effectiveness of clock coupling. PMID:25257916

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Pituitary Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jian-hui; Cheng, Xiao-rui; Zhang, Xiao-rui; Wang, Tong-xing; Xu, Wen-jian; Li, Fei; Liu, Feng; Cheng, Jun-ping; Bo, Xiao-chen; Wang, Sheng-qi; Zhou, Wen-xia; Zhang, Yong-xiang

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Mechanisms Underlying Inflammation in Neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. [The neural mechanisms underlying swallowing].

    PubMed

    Inoue, Makoto

    2015-02-01

    Swallowing is regarded as the first step in nutrition; it transports food boluses and liquid from the mouth to the stomach and is a defensive response to prevent aspiration. Swallowing movements are produced by a central pattern generator (CPG) located in the lower brainstem. The swallowing CPG includes two main groups of neurons: one is located within the nucleus tractus solitarii and contains the generator neurons involved in triggering, shaping, and timing the sequential or rhythmic swallowing pattern and the other is located in the ventrolateral medulla and contains switching neurons that distribute the swallowing drive to various pools of related motoneurons. Swallowing movements can be triggered by either central inputs or peripheral inputs from pharyngeal and laryngeal regions, but the precise neural mechanisms of the swallowing CPG remain to be fully elucidated. This review discusses the fundamental knowledge of ingestion behaviors, with a focus on swallowing.

  12. Metacognitive mechanisms underlying lucid dreaming.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-21

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

  13. Metacognitive mechanisms underlying lucid dreaming.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-21

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

  15. Deformation Mechanisms of Gum Metals Under Nanoindentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sankaran, Rohini Priya

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

  16. Deformation Mechanisms of Gum Metals Under Nanoindentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sankaran, Rohini Priya

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

  17. Potential Dynamical Mechanisms Behind Global Mantle Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, U.; Loddoch, A.; Stein, C.

    2007-05-01

    By numerical models we have investigated three potential mechanisms behind global mantle events. Plumes, originating in the thermal boundary layers of the mantle convection system can exhibit a significant episodicity, once a strong temperature-dependence of the viscosity of the mantle material is taken into account. An increase of the viscosity with pressure, as sometimes believed to suppress plumes, acts in fact to focus buoyancy into a few strong upwellings, which are potentially able to generate events on global scale. Plumes originating self- consistently from a thermal boundary layer, transport mostly material from their source region, while they entrain only little material during ascent. Compositionally dense material at the Core-mantle boundary has been proposed to explain seismological observed anomalies. The stability of such heterogeneities against entrainment by the overlying mantle-flow is determined by a complex set of properties, rather than by the density difference alone. Model calculations, taking into account a combined dependence of viscosity on temperature, pressure and , as mostly neglected; on composition, demonstrate, that under such conditions the D", can function as an isolated reservoir form some time, that however the destruction of the compositionally distinct layer, shielding the Earth'core can take place rapidly., with a profound effect also on the surface heat flow.. Finally we observe that episodic mobilization events of the surface are dynamically plausible for appropriate rheologies. A combination of temperature- and stress-dependent viscosity leads to an intermittent type of temporal behavior, where periods showing no surface motion (stagnant lid) are interrupted by phases with strong plate motions at the top. It seems at least possible that plate motion is not a continuously operating process.

  18. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying cardiac degeneration and regeneration*

    PubMed Central

    Chaturvedi, Pankaj; Tyagi, Suresh C.

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Potential fluid mechanic pathways of platelet activation

    PubMed Central

    Shadden, Shawn C.; Hendabadi, Sahar

    2012-01-01

    Platelet activation is a precursor for blood clotting, which plays leading roles in many vascular complications and causes of death. Platelets can be activated by chemical or mechanical stimuli. Mechanically, platelet activation has been shown to be a function of elevated shear stress and exposure time. These contributions can be combined by considering the cumulative stress or strain on a platelet as it is transported. Here we develop a framework for computing a hemodynamic-based activation potential that is derived from a Lagrangian integral of strain rate magnitude. We demonstrate that such a measure is generally maximized along, and near to, distinguished material surfaces in the flow. The connections between activation potential and these structures are illustrated through stenotic flow computations. We uncover two distinct structures that may explain observed thrombus formation at the apex and downstream of stenoses. More broadly, these findings suggest fundamental relationships may exist between potential fluid mechanic pathways for mechanical platelet activation and the mechanisms governing their transport. PMID:22782543

  20. Mechanisms of endospore inactivation under high pressure.

    PubMed

    Reineke, Kai; Mathys, Alexander; Heinz, Volker; Knorr, Dietrich

    2013-06-01

    It is well known that spore germination and inactivation can be achieved within a broad temperature and pressure range. The existing literature, however, reports contradictory results concerning the effectiveness of different pressure-temperature combinations and the underlying inactivation mechanism(s). Much of the published kinetic data are prone to error as a result of unstable process conditions or an incomplete investigation of the entire inactivation pathway. Here, we review this field of research, and also discuss an inactivation mechanism of at least two steps and propose an inactivation model based on current data. Further, spore resistance properties and matrix interactions are linked to spore inactivation effectiveness.

  1. Mechanical surface waves accompany action potential propagation.

    PubMed

    El Hady, Ahmed; Machta, Benjamin B

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Mechanical surface waves accompany action potential propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El Hady, Ahmed; Machta, Benjamin B.

    2015-03-01

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

  3. Quantum mechanical streamlines. I - Square potential barrier

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1974-01-01

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

  4. Cognitive Mechanisms Underlying Second Language Listening Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hu, Guiling

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Signaling mechanisms underlying metamorphic transitions in animals.

    PubMed

    Heyland, Andreas; Moroz, Leonid L

    2006-12-01

    Metamorphosis in many animal groups involves a radical transition from a larval to a juvenile/adult body plan and the challenge of orchestrating 2 overlapping developmental programs simultaneously, that is, larval development and juvenile development. Metamorphic competence directly precedes this radical change in morphology and can be best described as the developmental potential of a larva to undergo the radical transition in response to internal or external signals. Several studies have employed genomic approaches (for example, microarrays or subtractive hybridization methods) to gain insights into the complexity of changes in gene expression associated with metamorphic transitions. Availability of this technology for an increasing number of organisms from diverse taxonomic groups expands the scope of species for which we can gain detailed understanding of the genetic and epigenetic architecture underlying metamorphosis. Here, we review metamorphosis in insects, amphibians, and several marine invertebrate species including the sea hare Aplysia californica and summarize mechanisms underlying the transition. We conclude that all metamorphoses share at least 4 components: (1) the differentiation of juvenile/adult structures, (2) the degeneration of larval structures, (3) metamorphic competence, and (4) change in habitat. While transcription levels detected by microarray or other molecular methods can vary significantly, some similarities can be observed. For example, transcripts related to stress response, immunity, and apoptosis are associated with metamorphosis in all investigated phyla. It also appears that signaling mediated by hormones and by nitric oxide can contribute to these stress-related responses and that these molecules can act as regulators of metamorphic transitions. This might indicate either that all of these distantly related organisms inherited the same basic regulatory machinery that was employed by their most recent common ancestor (RCA) in

  6. Mechanisms underlying the portion-size effect.

    PubMed

    Peter Herman, C; Polivy, Janet; Pliner, Patricia; Vartanian, Lenny R

    2015-05-15

    The portion-size effect (PSE) refers to the fact that people eat more when served larger portions. This effect is neither obvious nor artifactual. We examine the prevailing explanations (or underlying mechanisms) that have been offered for the PSE. The dominant candidate mechanism is "appropriateness"; that is, people accept the portion that they are served as being of an appropriate size and eat accordingly. Because people do not necessarily finish the portion that they are served, variations on the basic appropriateness mechanism have been suggested. We also consider some evidence that is inconsistent with an appropriateness explanation, including the appearance of the PSE in children as young as two years of age. We also examine other mechanisms that do not rely on appropriateness norms. Visual food cues may assist in assessing appropriateness but may also drive food intake in a more mindless fashion. Larger portions induce larger bites, which may increase intake by reducing oral exposure time and sensory-specific satiety. We consider further research questions that could help to clarify the mechanisms underlying the PSE. PMID:25802021

  7. Potential antitumor mechanisms of phenothiazine drugs.

    PubMed

    Qi, Lu; Ding, Yanqing

    2013-11-01

    In this study, three kinds of phenothiazine drugs were analyzed to explore their potential antitumor mechanisms. First, target proteins that could interact with chlorpromazine, fluphenazine and trifluoperazine were predicted. Then, the target proteins of the three drugs were intersected. Cell signaling pathway enrichment and related disease enrichment were conducted for the intersected proteins to extract the enrichment categories associated with tumors. By regulation network analysis of the protein interactions, the mechanisms of action of these target proteins in tumor tissue were clarified, thus confirming the potential antitumor mechanisms of the phenothiazine drugs. The final results of cell signaling pathway enrichment and related disease enrichment showed that the categories with the highest score were all found in tumors. Target proteins belonging to the tumor category included signaling pathway members such as Wnt, MAPK and retinoic acid receptor. Moreover, another target protein, MAPK8, could indirectly act on target proteins CDK2, IGF1R, GSK3B, RARA, FGFR2 and MAPK10, thereby affecting tumor cell division and proliferation. Therefore, phenothiazine drugs may have potential antitumor effects, and tumor-associated target proteins play important roles in the process of cell signaling transduction cascades.

  8. Quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics restrained electrostatic potential fitting.

    PubMed

    Burger, Steven K; Schofield, Jeremy; Ayers, Paul W

    2013-12-01

    We present a quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) method to evaluate the partial charges of amino acid residues for use in MM potentials based on their protein environment. For each residue of interest, the nearby residues are included in the QM system while the rest of the protein is treated at the MM level of theory. After a short structural optimization, the partial charges of the central residue are fit to the electrostatic potential using the restrained electrostatic potential (RESP) method. The resulting charges and electrostatic potential account for the individual environment of the residue, although they lack the transferable nature of library partial charges. To evaluate the quality of the QM/MM RESP charges, thermodynamic integration is used to measure the pKa shift of the aspartic acid residues in three different proteins, turkey egg lysozyme, beta-cryptogein, and Thioredoxin. Compared to the AMBER ff99SB library values, the QM/MM RESP charges show better agreement between the calculated and experimental pK(a) values for almost all of the residues considered.

  9. Investigation of defect nucleation in titanium under mechanical loading

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-11-14

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

  10. MECHANICS OF CRACK BRIDGING UNDER DYNAMIC LOADS

    SciTech Connect

    N. SRIDHAR; ET AL

    2001-02-01

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

  11. Protein under tension and mechanical unfolding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Vodeneev, Vladimir; Akinchits, Elena; Sukhov, Vladimir

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Environmental genotoxicity: Probing the underlying mechanisms

    SciTech Connect

    Shugart, L.; Theodorakis, C.

    1993-12-31

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

  15. Two distinct neural mechanisms underlying indirect reciprocity.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-18

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

  16. Two distinct neural mechanisms underlying indirect reciprocity

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  18. Graphene mechanics: I. Efficient first principles based Morse potential.

    PubMed

    Costescu, Bogdan I; Baldus, Ilona B; Gräter, Frauke

    2014-06-28

    We present a computationally efficient pairwise potential for use in molecular dynamics simulations of large graphene or carbon nanotube systems, in particular, for those under mechanical deformation, and also for mixed systems including biomolecules. Based on the Morse potential, it is only slightly more complex and computationally expensive than a harmonic bond potential, allowing such large or mixed simulations to reach experimentally relevant time scales. By fitting to data obtained from quantum mechanics (QM) calculations to represent bond breaking in graphene patches, we obtain a dissociation energy of 805 kJ mol(-1) which reflects the steepness of the QM potential up to the inflection point. A distinctive feature of our potential is its truncation at the inflection point, allowing a realistic treatment of ruptured C-C bonds without relying on a bond order model. The results obtained from equilibrium MD simulations using our potential compare favorably with results obtained from experiments and from similar simulations with more complex and computationally expensive potentials.

  19. Pharmacological and molecular studies on the interaction of varenicline with different nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes. Potential mechanism underlying partial agonism at human α4β2 and α3β4 subtypes.

    PubMed

    Arias, Hugo R; Feuerbach, Dominik; Targowska-Duda, Katarzyna; Kaczor, Agnieszka A; Poso, Antti; Jozwiak, Krzysztof

    2015-02-01

    To determine the structural components underlying differences in affinity, potency, and selectivity of varenicline for several human (h) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), functional and structural experiments were performed. The Ca2+ influx results established that: (a) varenicline activates (μM range) nAChR subtypes with the following rank sequence: hα7>hα4β4>hα4β2>hα3β4>hα1β1γδ; (b) varenicline binds to nAChR subtypes with the following affinity order (nM range): hα4β2~hα4β4>hα3β4>hα7>Torpedo α1β1γδ. The molecular docking results indicating that more hydrogen bond interactions are apparent for α4-containing nAChRs in comparison to other nAChRs may explain the observed higher affinity; and that (c) varenicline is a full agonist at hα7 (101%) and hα4β4 (93%), and a partial agonist at hα4β2 (20%) and hα3β4 (45%), relative to (±)-epibatidine. The allosteric sites found at the extracellular domain (EXD) of hα3β4 and hα4β2 nAChRs could explain the partial agonistic activity of varenicline on these nAChR subtypes. Molecular dynamics simulations show that the interaction of varenicline to each allosteric site decreases the capping of Loop C at the hα4β2 nAChR, suggesting that these allosteric interactions limit the initial step in the gating process. In conclusion, we propose that in addition to hα4β2 nAChRs, hα4β4 nAChRs can be considered as potential targets for the clinical activity of varenicline, and that the allosteric interactions at the hα3β4- and hα4β2-EXDs are alternative mechanisms underlying partial agonism at these nAChRs. PMID:25475645

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  1. Molecular mechanics of silk nanostructures under varied mechanical loading.

    PubMed

    Bratzel, Graham; Buehler, Markus J

    2012-06-01

    Spider dragline silk is a self-assembling tunable protein composite fiber that rivals many engineering fibers in tensile strength, extensibility, and toughness, making it one of the most versatile biocompatible materials and most inviting for synthetic mimicry. While experimental studies have shown that the peptide sequence and molecular structure of silk have a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness, and failure strength of silk, few molecular-level analyses of the nanostructure of silk assemblies, in particular, under variations of genetic sequences have been reported. In this study, atomistic-level structures of wildtype as well as modified MaSp1 protein from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequences, obtained using an in silico approach based on replica exchange molecular dynamics and explicit water molecular dynamics, are subjected to simulated nanomechanical testing using different force-control loading conditions including stretch, pull-out, and peel. The authors have explored the effects of the poly-alanine length of the N. clavipes MaSp1 peptide sequence and identify differences in nanomechanical loading conditions on the behavior of a unit cell of 15 strands with 840-990 total residues used to represent a cross-linking β-sheet crystal node in the network within a fibril of the dragline silk thread. The specific loading condition used, representing concepts derived from the protein network connectivity at larger scales, have a significant effect on the mechanical behavior. Our analysis incorporates stretching, pull-out, and peel testing to connect biochemical features to mechanical behavior. The method used in this study could find broad applications in de novo design of silk-like tunable materials for an array of applications. PMID:22020792

  2. Molecular mechanics of silk nanostructures under varied mechanical loading.

    PubMed

    Bratzel, Graham; Buehler, Markus J

    2012-06-01

    Spider dragline silk is a self-assembling tunable protein composite fiber that rivals many engineering fibers in tensile strength, extensibility, and toughness, making it one of the most versatile biocompatible materials and most inviting for synthetic mimicry. While experimental studies have shown that the peptide sequence and molecular structure of silk have a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness, and failure strength of silk, few molecular-level analyses of the nanostructure of silk assemblies, in particular, under variations of genetic sequences have been reported. In this study, atomistic-level structures of wildtype as well as modified MaSp1 protein from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequences, obtained using an in silico approach based on replica exchange molecular dynamics and explicit water molecular dynamics, are subjected to simulated nanomechanical testing using different force-control loading conditions including stretch, pull-out, and peel. The authors have explored the effects of the poly-alanine length of the N. clavipes MaSp1 peptide sequence and identify differences in nanomechanical loading conditions on the behavior of a unit cell of 15 strands with 840-990 total residues used to represent a cross-linking β-sheet crystal node in the network within a fibril of the dragline silk thread. The specific loading condition used, representing concepts derived from the protein network connectivity at larger scales, have a significant effect on the mechanical behavior. Our analysis incorporates stretching, pull-out, and peel testing to connect biochemical features to mechanical behavior. The method used in this study could find broad applications in de novo design of silk-like tunable materials for an array of applications.

  3. Molecular mechanisms underlying chemical liver injury

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Xinsheng; Manautou, Jose E.

    2013-01-01

    The liver is necessary for survival. Its strategic localisation, blood flow and prominent role in the metabolism of xenobiotics render this organ particularly susceptible to injury by chemicals to which we are ubiquitously exposed. The pathogenesis of most chemical-induced liver injuries is initiated by the metabolic conversion of chemicals into reactive intermediate species, such as electrophilic compounds or free radicals, which can potentially alter the structure and function of cellular macromolecules. Many reactive intermediate species can produce oxidative stress, which can be equally detrimental to the cell. When protective defences are overwhelmed by excess toxicant insult, the effects of reactive intermediate species lead to deregulation of cell signalling pathways and dysfunction of biomolecules, leading to failure of target organelles and eventual cell death. A myriad of genetic factors determine the susceptibility of specific individuals to chemical-induced liver injury. Environmental factors, lifestyle choices and pre-existing pathological conditions also have roles in the pathogenesis of chemical liver injury. Research aimed at elucidating the molecular mechanism of the pathogenesis of chemical-induced liver diseases is fundamental for preventing or devising new modalities of treatment for liver injury by chemicals. PMID:22306029

  4. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Peritoneal EMT and Fibrosis

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Psychological Stress and Cancer.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Mechanical stability of trees under static loads.

    PubMed

    Peltola, Heli M

    2006-10-01

    Wind affects the structure and functioning of a forest ecosystem continuously and may cause significant economic loss in managed forests by reducing the yield of recoverable timber, increasing the cost of unscheduled thinning and clear-cuttings, and creating problems in forestry planning. Furthermore, broken and uprooted trees within the forest are subject to insect attack and may provide a suitable breeding substrate, endangering the remaining trees. Therefore, an improved understanding of the processes behind the occurrence of wind-induced damage is of interest to many forest ecologists, but may also help managers of forest resources to make appropriate management decisions related to risk management. Using fundamental physics, empirical experiments, and mechanistic model-based approaches in interaction, we can study the susceptibility of tree stands to wind damage as affected by the wind and site and tree/stand characteristics and management. Such studies are not possible based on statistical approaches alone, which are not able to define the causal links between tree parameters and susceptibility to wind damage. The aim of this paper is to review the recent work done related to tree-pulling and wind tunnel experiments and mechanistic modeling approaches to increase our understanding of the mechanical stability of trees under static loading.

  7. Memory repression: brain mechanisms underlying dissociative amnesia.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, Hirokazu; Fujii, Toshikatsu; Abe, Nobuhito; Suzuki, Maki; Takagi, Masahito; Mugikura, Shunji; Takahashi, Shoki; Mori, Etsuro

    2010-03-01

    Dissociative amnesia usually follows a stressful event and cannot be attributable to explicit brain damage. It is thought to reflect a reversible deficit in memory retrieval probably due to memory repression. However, the neural mechanisms underlying this condition are not clear. We used fMRI to investigate neural activity associated with memory retrieval in two patients with dissociative amnesia. For each patient, three categories of face photographs and three categories of people's names corresponding to the photographs were prepared: those of "recognizable" high school friends who were acquainted with and recognizable to the patients, those of "unrecognizable" colleagues who were actually acquainted with but unrecognizable to the patients due to their memory impairments, and "control" distracters who were unacquainted with the patients. During fMRI, the patients were visually presented with these stimuli and asked to indicate whether they were personally acquainted with them. In the comparison of the unrecognizable condition with the recognizable condition, we found increased activity in the pFC and decreased activity in the hippocampus in both patients. After treatment for retrograde amnesia, the altered pattern of brain activation disappeared in one patient whose retrograde memories were recovered, whereas it remained unchanged in the other patient whose retrograde memories were not recovered. Our findings provide direct evidence that memory repression in dissociative amnesia is associated with an altered pattern of neural activity, and they suggest the possibility that the pFC has an important role in inhibiting the activity of the hippocampus in memory repression.

  8. Music listening after stroke: beneficial effects and potential neural mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Särkämö, Teppo; Soto, David

    2012-04-01

    Music is an enjoyable leisure activity that also engages many emotional, cognitive, and motor processes in the brain. Here, we will first review previous literature on the emotional and cognitive effects of music listening in healthy persons and various clinical groups. Then we will present findings about the short- and long-term effects of music listening on the recovery of cognitive function in stroke patients and the underlying neural mechanisms of these music effects. First, our results indicate that listening to pleasant music can have a short-term facilitating effect on visual awareness in patients with visual neglect, which is associated with functional coupling between emotional and attentional brain regions. Second, daily music listening can improve auditory and verbal memory, focused attention, and mood as well as induce structural gray matter changes in the early poststroke stage. The psychological and neural mechanisms potentially underlying the rehabilitating effect of music after stroke are discussed.

  9. [Underlying mechanisms of the heavy metal tolerance of mycorrhizal fungi].

    PubMed

    Chen, Bao-Dong; Sun, Yu-Qing; Zhang, Xin; Wu, Song-Lin

    2015-03-01

    Mycorrhizal fungi are ubiquitous in natural ecosystems and can form symbiotic associations with the majority of terrestrial plants. They can be detected even in heavy metal-contaminated soils, while some fungal strains show strong heavy metal tolerance and could potentially be used in bioremediation of contaminated soils. We reviewed current research progresses in the underlying mechanisms of heavy metal tolerance of mycorrhizal fungi, with focuses on habitat selection, physiological adaptation and functional genes. Future research perspectives were proposed to promote the basic research and development of mycorrhizal technology for remediation of heavy metal-contaminated soils.

  10. The mechanisms of cachexia underlying muscle dysfunction in COPD.

    PubMed

    Remels, A H V; Gosker, H R; Langen, R C J; Schols, A M W J

    2013-05-01

    Pulmonary cachexia is a prevalent, debilitating, and well-recognized feature of COPD associated with increased mortality and loss of peripheral and respiratory muscle function. The exact cause and underlying mechanisms of cachexia in COPD are still poorly understood. Increasing evidence, however, shows that pathological changes in intracellular mechanisms of muscle mass maintenance (i.e., protein turnover and myonuclear turnover) are likely involved. Potential factors triggering alterations in these mechanisms in COPD include oxidative stress, myostatin, and inflammation. In addition to muscle wasting, peripheral muscle in COPD is characterized by a fiber-type shift toward a more type II, glycolytic phenotype and an impaired oxidative capacity (collectively referred to as an impaired oxidative phenotype). Atrophied diaphragm muscle in COPD, however, displays an enhanced oxidative phenotype. Interestingly, intrinsic abnormalities in (lower limb) peripheral muscle seem more pronounced in either cachectic patients or weight loss-susceptible emphysema patients, suggesting that muscle wasting and intrinsic changes in peripheral muscle's oxidative phenotype are somehow intertwined. In this manuscript, we will review alterations in mechanisms of muscle mass maintenance in COPD and discuss the involvement of oxidative stress, inflammation, and myostatin as potential triggers of cachexia. Moreover, we postulate that an impaired muscle oxidative phenotype in COPD can accelerate the process of cachexia, as it renders muscle in COPD less energy efficient, thereby contributing to an energy deficit and weight loss when not dietary compensated. Furthermore, loss of peripheral muscle oxidative phenotype may increase the muscle's susceptibility to inflammation- and oxidative stress-induced muscle damage and wasting.

  11. Potential mechanisms of cancer chemoprevention by anthocyanins.

    PubMed

    Hou, De-Xing

    2003-03-01

    Anthocyanins are the chemical components that give the intense color to many fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, red cabbages and purple sweet potatoes. Epidemiological investigations have indicated that the moderate consumption of anthocyanin products such as red wine or bilberry extract is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and improvement of visual functions. Recently, there is increasing interesting in the pharmaceutical function of anthocyanins. This review summarizes current knowledge on the various molecular evidences of cancer chemoprevention by anthocyanins. These mechanisms can be subdivided into the following aspects: 1) the antioxidation; 2) the molecular mechanisms involved in anticarcinogenesis; 3) the molecular mechanisms involved in the apoptosis induction of tumor cells. Finally, the bioavailability and structure-activity relationship of anthocyanins are also summarized. PMID:12630561

  12. Potential mechanisms of cancer chemoprevention by anthocyanins.

    PubMed

    Hou, De-Xing

    2003-03-01

    Anthocyanins are the chemical components that give the intense color to many fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, red cabbages and purple sweet potatoes. Epidemiological investigations have indicated that the moderate consumption of anthocyanin products such as red wine or bilberry extract is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and improvement of visual functions. Recently, there is increasing interesting in the pharmaceutical function of anthocyanins. This review summarizes current knowledge on the various molecular evidences of cancer chemoprevention by anthocyanins. These mechanisms can be subdivided into the following aspects: 1) the antioxidation; 2) the molecular mechanisms involved in anticarcinogenesis; 3) the molecular mechanisms involved in the apoptosis induction of tumor cells. Finally, the bioavailability and structure-activity relationship of anthocyanins are also summarized.

  13. Mechanisms and therapeutic potential of microRNAs in hypertension.

    PubMed

    Shi, Lijun; Liao, Jingwen; Liu, Bailin; Zeng, Fanxing; Zhang, Lubo

    2015-10-01

    Hypertension is the major risk factor for the development of stroke, coronary artery disease, heart failure and renal disease. The underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of hypertension are complex and remain largely elusive. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, noncoding RNA fragments of 22-26 nucleotides and regulate protein expression post-transcriptionally by targeting the 3'-untranslated region of mRNA. A growing body of recent research indicates that miRNAs are important in the pathogenesis of arterial hypertension. Herein, we summarize the current knowledge regarding the mechanisms of miRNAs in cardiovascular remodeling, focusing specifically on hypertension. We also review recent progress of the miRNA-based therapeutics including pharmacological and nonpharmacological therapies (such as exercise training) and their potential applications in the management of hypertension.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Nguyen, Trung Dung; Gu, YuanTong

    2014-05-05

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Potential Mechanisms of Cancer Prevention by Weight Control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Yu; Wang, Weiqun

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

  17. The Mechanism Underlying Inhibition of Saccadic Return

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Mechanisms underlying an ability to behave ethically.

    PubMed

    Pfaff, Donald W; Kavaliers, Martin; Choleris, Elena

    2008-05-01

    Cognitive neuroscientists have anticipated the union of neural and behavioral science with ethics (Gazzaniga 2005). The identification of an ethical rule--the dictum that we should treat others in the manner in which we would like to be treated--apparently widespread among human societies suggests a dependence on fundamental human brain mechanisms. Now, studies of neural and molecular mechanisms that underlie the feeling of fear suggest how this form of ethical behavior is produced. Counterintuitively, a new theory presented here states that it is actually a loss of social information that leads to sharing others' fears with our own, thus allowing us to treat others as we would like to be treated. Adding to that hypothetical mechanism is the well-studied predilection toward affiliative behaviors. Thus, even as Chomsky hypothesizes that humans are predisposed to utter grammatical sentences, we propose that humans are 'wired for reciprocity'. However, these two neural forces supporting ethical behavior do not explain individual or collective violence. At any given moment, the ability to produce behavior that obeys this ethical rule is proposed to depend on a balance between mechanisms for prosocial and antisocial behaviors. That balance results not only from genetic influences on temperament but also from environmental effects particularly during critical neonatal and pubertal periods.

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

    PubMed

    Bourke, C A; Carrigan, M J

    1992-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  1. Vitamin D and Bone Health; Potential Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Neural circuitry and plasticity mechanisms underlying delay eyeblink conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, John H.; Steinmetz, Adam B.

    2011-01-01

    Pavlovian eyeblink conditioning has been used extensively as a model system for examining the neural mechanisms underlying associative learning. Delay eyeblink conditioning depends on the intermediate cerebellum ipsilateral to the conditioned eye. Evidence favors a two-site plasticity model within the cerebellum with long-term depression of parallel fiber synapses on Purkinje cells and long-term potentiation of mossy fiber synapses on neurons in the anterior interpositus nucleus. Conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus inputs arise from the pontine nuclei and inferior olive, respectively, converging in the cerebellar cortex and deep nuclei. Projections from subcortical sensory nuclei to the pontine nuclei that are necessary for eyeblink conditioning are beginning to be identified, and recent studies indicate that there are dynamic interactions between sensory thalamic nuclei and the cerebellum during eyeblink conditioning. Cerebellar output is projected to the magnocellular red nucleus and then to the motor nuclei that generate the blink response(s). Tremendous progress has been made toward determining the neural mechanisms of delay eyeblink conditioning but there are still significant gaps in our understanding of the necessary neural circuitry and plasticity mechanisms underlying cerebellar learning. PMID:21969489

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

    PubMed

    Fish, Jennifer L

    2016-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Obesity and thyroid cancer: epidemiologic associations and underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Pazaitou-Panayiotou, K; Polyzos, S A; Mantzoros, C S

    2013-12-01

    The incidence of thyroid cancer has been rising over the past few decades along with a parallel increase in obesity. Observational studies have provided evidence for a potential association between the two. By contrast, clinical data for a link between type 2 diabetes mellitus, a condition strongly associated with obesity, and thyroid cancer are limited and largely not supportive of such an association. Obesity leads to hypoadiponectinemia, a pro-inflammatory state, and insulin resistance, which, in turn, leads to high circulating insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 levels, thereby possibly increasing the risk for thyroid cancer. Thus, insulin resistance possibly plays a pivotal role in underlying the observed association between obesity and thyroid cancer, potentially leading to the development and/or progression of thyroid cancer, through its interconnections with other factors including insulin-like growth factor-1, adipocytokines/cytokines and thyroid-stimulating hormone. In this review, epidemiological and clinical evidence and potential mechanisms underlying the proposed association between obesity and thyroid cancer risk are reviewed. If the association between obesity and thyroid cancer demonstrated in observational studies proves to be causal, targeting obesity (and/or downstream mediators of risk) could be of importance in the prevention and management of thyroid cancer.

  6. Peripheral Receptor Mechanisms Underlying Orofacial Muscle Pain and Hyperalgesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saloman, Jami L.

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

  7. Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying presynapse formation

    PubMed Central

    Chia, Poh Hui; Li, Pengpeng

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Mechanical stability of trees under dynamic loads.

    PubMed

    James, Kenneth R; Haritos, Nicholas; Ades, Peter K

    2006-10-01

    Tree stability in windstorms and tree failure are important issues in urban areas where there can be risks of damage to people and property and in forests where wind damage causes economic loss. Current methods of managing trees, including pruning and assessment of mechanical strength, are mainly based on visual assessment or the experience of people such as trained arborists. Only limited data are available to assess tree strength and stability in winds, and most recent methods have used a static approach to estimate loads. Recent research on the measurement of dynamic wind loads and the effect on tree stability is giving a better understanding of how different trees cope with winds. Dynamic loads have been measured on trees with different canopy shapes and branch structures including a palm (Washingtonia robusta), a slender Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) and trees with many branches and broad canopies including hoop pine (Araucaria cunninghamii) and two species of eucalypt (Eucalyptus grandis, E. teretecornus). Results indicate that sway is not a harmonic, but is very complex due to the dynamic interaction of branches. A new dynamic model of a tree is described, incorporating the dynamic structural properties of the trunk and branches. The branch mass contributes a dynamic damping, termed mass damping, which acts to reduce dangerous harmonic sway motion of the trunk and so minimizes loads and increases the mechanical stability of the tree. The results from 12 months of monitoring sway motion and wind loading forces are presented and discussed.

  9. Mechanisms Underlying Early Medieval Droughts in Mesoamerica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Neural mechanisms underlying the evolvability of behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Paul S.

    2011-01-01

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

  11. V1 mechanisms underlying chromatic contrast detection

    PubMed Central

    Hass, Charles A.

    2013-01-01

    To elucidate the cortical mechanisms of color vision, we recorded from individual primary visual cortex (V1) neurons in macaque monkeys performing a chromatic detection task. Roughly 30% of the neurons that we encountered were unresponsive at the monkeys' psychophysical detection threshold (PT). The other 70% were responsive at threshold but on average, were slightly less sensitive than the monkey. For these neurons, the relationship between neurometric threshold (NT) and PT was consistent across the four isoluminant color directions tested. A corollary of this result is that NTs were roughly four times lower for stimuli that modulated the long- and middle-wavelength sensitive cones out of phase. Nearly one-half of the neurons that responded to chromatic stimuli at the monkeys' detection threshold also responded to high-contrast luminance modulations, suggesting a role for neurons that are jointly tuned to color and luminance in chromatic detection. Analysis of neuronal contrast-response functions and signal-to-noise ratios yielded no evidence for a special set of “cardinal color directions,” for which V1 neurons are particularly sensitive. We conclude that at detection threshold—as shown previously with high-contrast stimuli—V1 neurons are tuned for a diverse set of color directions and do not segregate naturally into red–green and blue–yellow categories. PMID:23446689

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-10-01

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

  13. [Neural Mechanisms Underlying the Face Inversion Effect].

    PubMed

    Sugase-Miyamoto, Yasuko; Matsumoto, Narihisa; Kawano, Kenji

    2015-10-01

    The ability to recognize faces is reduced with a picture-plane inversion of the faces, known as the face inversion effect. It has been reported that the configuration of facial features, for example, the distance between the eyes and mouth, becomes less perceptible when the face is inverted. In macaque monkeys, designated cortical areas, i.e., face patches, where face images are processed, have been found in the temporal visual cortex along the ventral visual pathway. Neurons in the anterior face patch (anterior part of the inferior temporal cortex) are known to encode view-invariant identity information. Thus, the anterior face patch is believed to be the final processing stage in the face patch system. A recent study showed that the face-inversion decreases the amount of the information about facial identity and facial expression conveyed by neurons, though it did not affect the information about the global category of the stimulus images (monkey versus human versus shape). The anterior face patch may, therefore, serve as the neural basis underlying the face inversion effect. PMID:26450075

  14. Mechanisms underlying the antidepressant response and treatment resistance

    PubMed Central

    Levinstein, Marjorie R.; Samuels, Benjamin A.

    2014-01-01

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

  15. RPE and Choroid Mechanisms Underlying Ocular Growth and Myopia.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yan; Wildsoet, Christine F

    2015-01-01

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

  16. RPE and Choroid Mechanisms Underlying Ocular Growth and Myopia

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yan; Wildsoet, Christine F.

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Neural mechanisms underlying nicotine addiction: acute positive reinforcement and withdrawal.

    PubMed

    Watkins, S S; Koob, G F; Markou, A

    2000-02-01

    The neurobiology of nicotine addiction is reviewed within the context of neurobiological and behavioral theories postulated for other drugs of abuse. The roles of various neurotransmitter systems, including acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin, glutamate, gamma-aminobutyric acid, and opioid peptides in acute nicotine reinforcement and withdrawal from chronic administration are examined followed by a discussion of potential neuroadaptations within these neurochemical systems that may lead to the development of nicotine dependence. The link between nicotine administration, depression and schizophrenia are also discussed. Finally, a theoretical model of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying acute nicotine withdrawal and protracted abstinence involves alterations within dopaminergic, serotonergic, and stress systems that are hypothesized to contribute to the negative affective state associated with nicotine abstinence.

  18. Mechanical behaviour of TWIP steel under shear loading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincze, G.; Butuc, M. C.; Barlat, F.

    2016-08-01

    Twinning induced plasticity steels (TWIP) are very good candidate for automotive industry applications because they potentially offer large energy absorption before failure due to their exceptional strain hardening capability and high strength. However, their behaviour is drastically influenced by the loading conditions. In this work, the mechanical behaviour of a TWIP steel sheet sample was investigated at room temperature under monotonic and reverse simple shear loading. It was shown that all the expected features of load reversal such as Bauschinger effect, transient strain hardening with high rate and permanent softening, depend on the prestrain level. This is in agreement with the fact that these effects, which occur during reloading, are related to the rearrangement of the dislocation structure induced during the predeformation. The homogeneous anisotropic hardening (HAH) approach proposed by Barlat et al. (2011) [1] was successfully employed to predict the experimental results.

  19. Bactericidal mechanisms of Au@TNBs under visible light irradiation.

    PubMed

    Guo, Lingqiao; Shan, Chao; Liang, Jialiang; Ni, Jinren; Tong, Meiping

    2015-04-01

    Au@TNBs nanocomposites were synthesized by depositing Au nanoparticles onto the surfaces of TiO2 nanobelts (TNBs). The disinfection activities of Au@TNBs on model cell type, Gram-negative Escherichia coli (E. coli), were examined under visible light irradiation conditions. Au@TNBs exhibited stronger bactericidal properties toward E. coli than those of TNBs and Au NPs under visible light irradiation. The bactericidal mechanisms of Au@TNBs under light conditions were explored, specifically, the specific active species controlling the inactivation of bacteria were determined. Active species (H2O2, diffusing ∙OH, ∙O2-, 1O2, and e-) generated by Au@TNBs were found to play important roles on the inactivation of bacteria. Moreover, the concentrations of H2O2, ·OH, ·O2-, and 1O2 generated in the antimicrobial system were estimated. Without the presence of active species, the direct contact of Au@TNBs with bacterial cells was found to have no bactericidal effect. The reusability of Au@TNBs were also determined. Au@TNBs exhibited strong antibacterial activity toward E. coli even in five consecutively reused cycles. This study indicated that the fabricated Au@TNBs could be potentially utilized to inactivate bacteria in water.

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

    PubMed Central

    de Steenhuijsen Piters, Wouter A. A.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    de Steenhuijsen Piters, Wouter A A; Bogaert, Debby

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Mechanisms underlying subunit independence in pyramidal neuron dendrites

    PubMed Central

    Behabadi, Bardia F.; Mel, Bartlett W.

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Mechanisms underlying the antihypertensive effects of garlic bioactives.

    PubMed

    Shouk, Reem; Abdou, Aya; Shetty, Kalidas; Sarkar, Dipayan; Eid, Ali H

    2014-02-01

    Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide with hypertension being a major contributing factor to cardiovascular disease-associated mortality. On a population level, non-pharmacological approaches, such as alternative/complementary medicine, including phytochemicals, have the potential to ameliorate cardiovascular risk factors, including high blood pressure. Several epidemiological studies suggest an antihypertensive effect of garlic (Allium sativum) and of many its bioactive components. The aim of this review is to present an in-depth discussion regarding the molecular, biochemical and cellular rationale underlying the antihypertensive properties of garlic and its bioactive constituents with a primary focus on S-allyl cysteine and allicin. Key studies, largely from PubMed, were selected and screened to develop a comprehensive understanding of the specific role of garlic and its bioactive constituents in the management of hypertension. We also reviewed recent advances focusing on the role of garlic bioactives, S-allyl cysteine and allicin, in modulating various parameters implicated in the pathogenesis of hypertension. These parameters include oxidative stress, nitric oxide bioavailability, hydrogen sulfide production, angiotensin converting enzyme activity, expression of nuclear factor-κB and the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells. This review suggests that garlic and garlic derived bioactives have significant medicinal properties with the potential for ameliorating hypertension and associated morbidity; however, further clinical and epidemiological studies are required to determine completely the specific physiological and biochemical mechanisms involved in disease prevention and management.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pronchik, Jeremy N.; Williams, Brian W.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyd, Donald B.; Lipkowitz, Kenny B.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bechtel, William

    2005-01-01

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

  11. The Intricate Interplay between Mechanisms Underlying Aging and Cancer.

    PubMed

    Piano, Amanda; Titorenko, Vladimir I

    2015-02-01

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

  12. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Muscle Fiber Composition Under Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenthal, Nadia A.

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  14. Mechanical Modeling of a WIPP Drum Under Pressure

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Jeffrey A.

    2014-11-25

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

  15. Beyond membrane channelopathies: alternative mechanisms underlying complex human disease

    PubMed Central

    Boudoulas, Konstantinos Dean; Mohler, Peter J

    2011-01-01

    Over the past fifteen years, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying human disease has flourished in large part due to the discovery of gene mutations linked with membrane ion channels and transporters. In fact, ion channel defects (“channelopathies” — the focus of this review series) have been associated with a spectrum of serious human disease phenotypes including cystic fibrosis, cardiac arrhythmia, diabetes, skeletal muscle defects, and neurological disorders. However, we now know that human disease, particularly excitable cell disease, may be caused by defects in non-ion channel polypeptides including in cellular components residing well beneath the plasma membrane. For example, over the past few years, a new class of potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmias has been linked with cytoplasmic proteins that include sub-membrane adapters such as ankyrin-B (ANK2), ankyrin-G (ANK3), and alpha-1 syntrophin, membrane coat proteins including caveolin-3 (CAV3), signaling platforms including yotiao (AKAP9), and cardiac enzymes (GPD1L). The focus of this review is to detail the exciting role of lamins, yet another class of gene products that have provided elegant new insight into human disease. PMID:21642948

  16. Deciphering molecular mechanism underlying hypolipidemic activity of echinocystic Acid.

    PubMed

    Han, Li; Lai, Peng; Du, Jun-Rong

    2014-01-01

    Our previous study showed that a triterpene mixture, consisting of echinocystic acid (EA) and oleanolic acid (OA) at a ratio of 4 : 1, dose-dependently ameliorated the hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis in rabbits fed with high fat/high cholesterol diets. This study was aimed at exploring the mechanisms underlying antihyperlipidemic effect of EA. Molecular docking simulation of EA was performed using Molegro Virtual Docker (version: 4.3.0) to investigate the potential targets related to lipid metabolism. Based on the molecular docking information, isotope labeling method or spectrophotometry was applied to examine the effect of EA on the activity of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT), and diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) in rat liver microsomes. Our results revealed a strong affinity of EA towards ACAT and DGAT in molecular docking analysis, while low binding affinity existed between EA and HMG-CoA reductase as well as between EA and cholesteryl ester transfer protein. Consistent with the results of molecular docking, in vitro enzyme activity assays showed that EA inhibited ACAT and DGAT, with IC50 values of 103 and 139  μ M, respectively, and exhibited no significant effect on HMG-CoA reductase activity. The present findings suggest that EA may exert hypolipidemic effect by inhibiting the activity of ACAT and DGAT. PMID:24669228

  17. Assessing Vulnerability of Electricity Generation Under Potential Future Droughts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Brian Wesley; Celius, Tevye C.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawkinson, Laura E.

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Cell-Nonautonomous Mechanisms Underlying Cellular and Organismal Aging.

    PubMed

    Medkour, Younes; Svistkova, Veronika; Titorenko, Vladimir I

    2016-01-01

    Cell-autonomous mechanisms underlying cellular and organismal aging in evolutionarily distant eukaryotes have been established; these mechanisms regulate longevity-defining processes within a single eukaryotic cell. Recent findings have provided valuable insight into cell-nonautonomous mechanisms modulating cellular and organismal aging in eukaryotes across phyla; these mechanisms involve a transmission of various longevity factors between different cells, tissues, and organisms. Herein, we review such cell-nonautonomous mechanisms of aging in eukaryotes. We discuss the following: (1) how low molecular weight transmissible longevity factors modulate aging and define longevity of cells in yeast populations cultured in liquid media or on solid surfaces, (2) how communications between proteostasis stress networks operating in neurons and nonneuronal somatic tissues define longevity of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by modulating the rates of aging in different tissues, and (3) how different bacterial species colonizing the gut lumen of C. elegans define nematode longevity by modulating the rate of organismal aging.

  1. Cracking of titanium alloys under cathodic applied potential

    PubMed

    Roy; Spragge; Fleming; Lum

    2001-02-01

    The slow-strain-rate test technique was used to evaluate the susceptibility of Ti Gr-7 and Ti Gr-12 to hydrogen-induced-cracking and/or stress corrosion cracking. Ti Gr-7 and Ti Gr-12 are two candidate container materials for the multi-barrier package for nuclear waste. The tests were done in a deaerated 90 degrees C acidic brine (pH approximately 2.7) containing 5 weight percent (wt. %) NaCl using a strain rate of 3.3x10(-6)s(-1). Before being tested in the acidic brine, specimens of each alloy were pulled inside the test chamber in the dry condition at ambient temperature. Then, while in the test solution, specimens were strained under different cathodic controlled potentials. These controlled potentials were selected based on the corrosion potential measured in the test solution before the specimens were strained. Results indicate that the times to failure (TTF) for Ti Gr-12 were much shorter than those for Ti Gr-7. Furthermore, as the applied potential became more cathodic, Ti Gr-12 showed reduced ductility in terms of percent reduction in area and true fracture stress (sigma(f)). In addition, the TTF and percent elongation reached the minimum values when Ti Gr-12 was tested under an impressed potential of -1162mV. However, for Ti Gr-7, all these ductility parameters were not significantly influenced by the changes in applied potential. In general, the results of hydrogen analysis by secondary ion mass spectrometry showed increased hydrogen concentration at more cathodic controlled potentials. Optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy were used to evaluate the morphology of cracking both at the primary fracture face and the secondary cracks along the gage section of the broken tensile specimen. Transgranular secondary cracks were observed in both alloys possibly resulting from the formation of brittle titanium hydrides due to cathodic charging. The primary fracture face was characterized by dimpled microstructure indicating ductile failure. PMID

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-05-15

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

  3. Potential COntrol Under Thin Aqueous Layers Using a Kelvin Probe

    SciTech Connect

    G.S. Frankel; B. Maier; M. Stratman; M. Rohwerder; A. Michalik; J. Dora; M. Wicinski

    2006-08-17

    Kelvin Probes can be modified to control as well as monitor potential. The design and operation of two different Kelvin Probe Potentiostats (KPPs) are described in this paper. One approach uses a permanent magnet and double coil to oscillate the needle at a fixed frequency, an AC backing potential, and software analysis and control schemes. This technique can also control the distance between the tip and sample, thereby tracking the topography of the sample. Both KPPs were used to make measurements on Type 304L stainless steel under thin layers of electrolyte. Cathodic polarization curves exhibited a limiting current density associated with oxygen reduction. The limiting current density varied with solution layer thickness over a finite range of thickness. Anodic polarization curves on 304L in a thin layer of chloride solution resulted in pitting corrosion. The breakdown potential did not vary with solution layer thickness. However, the thin layer was observed to increase in volume remarkably during pit growth owing to the absorption of water from the high humidity environment into the layer with ionic strength increased by the pit dissolution. The open circuit potential (OCP) and solution layer thickness were monitored during drying out of a thin electrolyte layer. Pitting corrosion initiated, as indicated by a sharp drop in the OCP, as the solution thinned and increased in concentration.

  4. Stabilization of solitons under competing nonlinearities by external potentials

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-12-15

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1978-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  7. Neural Circuitry and Plasticity Mechanisms Underlying Delay Eyeblink Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freeman, John H.; Steinmetz, Adam B.

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Mechanisms underlying the link between cannabis use and prospective memory.

    PubMed

    Cuttler, Carrie; McLaughlin, Ryan J; Graf, Peter

    2012-01-01

    While the effects of cannabis use on retrospective memory have been extensively examined, only a limited number of studies have focused on the links between cannabis use and prospective memory. We conducted two studies to examine the links between cannabis use and both time-based and event-based prospective memory as well as potential mechanisms underlying these links. For the first study, 805 students completed an online survey designed to assess cannabis consumption, problems with cannabis use indicative of a disorder, and frequency of experiencing prospective memory failures. The results showed small to moderate sized correlations between cannabis consumption, problems with cannabis use, and prospective memory. However, a series of mediation analyses revealed that correlations between problems with cannabis use and prospective memory were driven by self-reported problems with retrospective memory. For the second study, 48 non-users (who had never used cannabis), 48 experimenters (who had used cannabis five or fewer times in their lives), and 48 chronic users (who had used cannabis at least three times a week for one year) were administered three objective prospective memory tests and three self-report measures of prospective memory. The results revealed no objective deficits in prospective memory associated with chronic cannabis use. In contrast, chronic cannabis users reported experiencing more internally-cued prospective memory failures. Subsequent analyses revealed that this effect was driven by self-reported problems with retrospective memory as well as by use of alcohol and other drugs. Although our samples were not fully characterized with respect to variables such as neurological disorders and family history of substance use disorders, leaving open the possibility that these variables may play a role in the detected relationships, the present findings indicate that cannabis use has a modest effect on self-reported problems with prospective memory, with a

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  10. Linkages of plant–soil feedbacks and underlying invasion mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Inderjit; Cahill, James F.

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Potential Mechanisms Underlying Intercortical Signal Regulation via Cholinergic Neuromodulators

    PubMed Central

    Whittington, Miles A.; Kopell, Nancy J.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-20

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

  13. Synaptic mechanisms underlying sparse coding of active touch.

    PubMed

    Crochet, Sylvain; Poulet, James F A; Kremer, Yves; Petersen, Carl C H

    2011-03-24

    Sensory information is actively gathered by animals, but the synaptic mechanisms driving neuronal circuit function during active sensory processing are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the synaptically driven membrane potential dynamics during active whisker sensation using whole-cell recordings from layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in the primary somatosensory barrel cortex of behaving mice. Although whisker contact with an object evoked rapid depolarization in all neurons, these touch responses only drove action potentials in ∼10% of the cells. Such sparse coding was ensured by cell-specific reversal potentials of the touch-evoked response that were hyperpolarized relative to action potential threshold for most neurons. Intercontact interval profoundly influenced touch-evoked postsynaptic potentials, interestingly without affecting the peak membrane potential of the touch response. Dual whole-cell recordings indicated highly correlated membrane potential dynamics during active touch. Sparse action potential firing within synchronized cortical layer 2/3 microcircuits therefore appears to robustly signal each active touch response.

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

    PubMed

    Juslin, Patrik N; Västfjäll, Daniel

    2008-10-01

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

  15. Experimental Analysis of the Mechanism of Hearing under Water

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Experimental Analysis of the Mechanism of Hearing under Water.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Damage Evolution On Mechanical Parts Under Cyclic Loading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lestriez, P.; Bogard, F.; Shan, J. L.; Guo, Y. Q.

    2007-05-01

    This paper presents a fatigue damage model, based on the continuum damage mechanics and general thermodynamic theory, proposed by Lemaitre and Chaboche, for rolling bearings under very numerous loading cycles. A flow surface of fatigue using the Sines criterion is adopted. The coupling between the hardening plasticity and damage effects is considered in the constitutive equations. An explicit algorithm of weak coupling leads to a calculation very fast. This fatigue damage model is implemented into Abaqus/Explicit using a Vumat user's subroutine. Moreover, the damage variable in function of time is transformed into a function of number of cycles. An algorithm of cycle jump, with a criterion for choosing the number increment of cycles, is proposed, which allows to largely reduce the CPU time. The present damage simulation allows to determine the lifetime of mechanical parts under cyclic loading.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jamei, Mehdi

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  1. Optical tests of a space mechanism under an adverse environment: GAIA secondary mirror mechanism under vaccum and thermal controlled conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramos Zapata, Gonzalo; Sánchez Rodríguez, Antonio; Belenguer Dávila, Tomás; Urgoiti, Eduardo; Ramírez Quintana, Argiñe

    2007-09-01

    In this work, the optical evaluation of a mechanism for space applications under vacuum and temperature controlled conditions at the facilities of the Space Instrumentation Laboratory (LINES) of the Aerospace Technical Nacional Institute of Spain (INTA) is reported. The mechanism was developed by the Spanish company SENER to fulfill the high performance requirements from ESA technology preparatory program for GAIA Astrometric Mission; in particular, a five degrees of freedom (dof), three translations and two rotations positioning mechanism for the secondary mirror of the GAIA instrument. Both interferometric tests and autocollimator measurements have been combined in order to extract the information about the accuracy of the mechanism movements as well as their repeatability under adverse environmental conditions: vacuum and thermal controlled conditions, up to a 10 -6mbar and 100K. The scope of this paper will cover the measurements concept selection, the presentation of verification activities, the results of such dedicated optical measurements, the correlation with the mechanical models and a brief description of the design process followed to meet the test requirements.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  4. Quantum mechanical embedding theory based on a unique embedding potential

    SciTech Connect

    Chen Huang; Pavone, Michele; Carter, Emily A.

    2011-04-21

    We remove the nonuniqueness of the embedding potential that exists in most previous quantum mechanical embedding schemes by letting the environment and embedded region share a common embedding (interaction) potential. To efficiently solve for the embedding potential, an optimized effective potential method is derived. This embedding potential, which eschews use of approximate kinetic energy density functionals, is then used to describe the environment while a correlated wavefunction (CW) treatment of the embedded region is employed. We first demonstrate the accuracy of this new embedded CW (ECW) method by calculating the van der Waals binding energy curve between a hydrogen molecule and a hydrogen chain. We then examine the prototypical adsorption of CO on a metal surface, here the Cu(111) surface. In addition to obtaining proper site ordering (top site most stable) and binding energies within this theory, the ECW exhibits dramatic changes in the p-character of the CO 4{sigma} and 5{sigma} orbitals upon adsorption that agree very well with x-ray emission spectra, providing further validation of the theory. Finally, we generalize our embedding theory to spin-polarized quantum systems and discuss the connection between our theory and partition density functional theory.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  9. Underlying mechanisms in size control of uniform nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Sugimoto, Tadao

    2007-05-01

    Insights are given into underlying mechanisms for size control of uniform nanoparticles in liquid phases. At the outset, instead of the classical nucleation theories, which are hardly applicable to the size control of uniform particles, a fundamental equation for the nucleation of monodisperse particles, derived for their size control on the basis of the LaMer model, is introduced. This equation was derived on three assumptions: (1) There is a mass balance between the supply rate of solute and its consumption rate for nucleation and growth of the generated nuclei; (2) The supply rate of solute is independent of the subsequent precipitation events; (3) The nucleation rate is controlled only by the growth of the preformed nuclei at a fixed supply rate of solute. Thus, this nucleation theory is applicable to a system in which the precursor solute is supplied by slow irreversible generation in a closed system or by continuous feed from outside in an open system. However, it is inapplicable even if only one of these three assumptions is not fulfilled. Examples of applicable and inapplicable systems are listed, and finally discussion is focused on the underlying mechanisms of size control in some unique processes chosen from them, such as hydrolysis-induced precipitation of AgCl nanoparticles, double-jet precipitation of AgCl nanoparticles in a reverse micelle system to resolve the mechanism of particle formation in general reverse micelle systems, and a gel-sol process for the formation of nanoparticles of anatase TiO2.

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

    PubMed

    Inta, Dragos; Gass, Peter

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Inta, Dragos; Gass, Peter

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Possibility and potential of clean development mechanisms inChina

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-10-30

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

  13. Peptide Formation Mechanism on Montmorillonite Under Thermal Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuchida, Shigeshi; Masuda, Harue; Shinoda, Keiji

    2014-02-01

    The oligomerization of amino acids is an essential process in the chemical evolution of proteins, which are precursors to life on Earth. Although some researchers have observed peptide formation on clay mineral surfaces, the mechanism of peptide bond formation on the clay mineral surface has not been clarified. In this study, the thermal behavior of glycine (Gly) adsorbed on montmorillonite was observed during heating experiments conducted at 150 °C for 336 h under dry, wet, and dry-wet conditions to clarify the mechanism. Approximately 13.9 % of the Gly monomers became peptides on montmorillonite under dry conditions, with diketopiperazine (cyclic dimer) being the main product. On the other hand, peptides were not synthesized in the absence of montmorillonite. Results of IR analysis showed that the Gly monomer was mainly adsorbed via hydrogen bonding between the positively charged amino groups and negatively charged surface sites (i.e., Lewis base sites) on the montmorillonite surface, indicating that the Lewis base site acts as a catalyst for peptide formation. In contrast, peptides were not detected on montmorillonite heated under wet conditions, since excess water shifted the equilibrium towards hydrolysis of the peptides. The presence of water is likely to control thermodynamic peptide production, and clay minerals, especially those with electrophilic defect sites, seem to act as a kinetic catalyst for the peptide formation reaction.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  15. The mechanism underlying fast germination of tomato cultivar LA2711.

    PubMed

    Yang, Rongchao; Chu, Zhuannan; Zhang, Haijun; Li, Ying; Wang, Jinfang; Li, Dianbo; Weeda, Sarah; Ren, Shuxin; Ouyang, Bo; Guo, Yang-Dong

    2015-09-01

    Seed germination is important for early plant morphogenesis as well as abiotic stress tolerance, and is mainly controlled by the phytohormones abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellic acid (GA). Our previous studies identified a salt-tolerant tomato cultivar, LA2711, which is also a fast-germinating genotype, compared to its salt-sensitive counterpart, ZS-5. In an effort to further clarify the mechanism underlying this phenomenon, we compared the dynamic levels of ABA and GA4, the transcript abundance of genes involved in their biosynthesis and catabolism as well as signal transduction between the two cultivars. In addition, we tested seed germination sensitivity to ABA and GAs. Our results revealed that insensitivity of seed germination to exogenous ABA and low ABA content in seeds are the physiological mechanisms conferring faster germination rates of LA2711 seeds. SlCYP707A2, which encodes an ABA catabolic enzyme, may play a decisive role in the fast germination rate of LA2711, as it showed a significantly higher level of expression in LA2711 than ZS-5 at most time points tested during germination. The current results will enable us to gain insight into the mechanism(s) regarding seed germination of tomato and the role of fast germination in stress tolerance.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Upadhyay, Rutuja; Brossard, Natalia; Chen, Jianshe

    2016-03-01

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

  17. Biological mechanisms underlying evolutionary origins of psychotic and mood disorders.

    PubMed

    Goto, Yukiori; Lee, Young-A; Yamaguchi, Yoshie; Jas, Emanuel

    2016-10-01

    Psychotic and mood disorders are brain dysfunctions that are caused by gene environment interactions. Although these disorders are disadvantageous and involve behavioral phenotypes that decrease the reproductive success of afflicted individuals in the modern human society, the prevalence of these disorders have remained constant in the population. Here, we propose several biological mechanisms by which the genes associated with psychotic and mood disorders could be selected for in specific environmental conditions that provide evolutionary bases for explanations of when, why, and where these disorders emerged and have been maintained in humans. We discuss the evolutionary origins of psychotic and mood disorders with specific focuses on the roles of dopamine and serotonin in the conditions of social competitiveness/hierarchy and maternal care and other potential mechanisms, such as social network homophily and symbiosis.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Alcohol and cardiovascular disease: still unresolved underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Carnevale, Roberto; Nocella, Cristina

    2012-01-01

    Alcoholic (ethanol-containing) beverages are consumed by most societies in the world. Low-to-moderate levels of ethanol consumption have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerosis. The decreased risk is likely due to alcohol's favorable pleiotropic effects on lipids, adhesion molecules, platelet activation and oxidative stress. However, there is also an abundance of clinical, experimental and epidemiological evidence showing that chronic high-dose ethanol consumption increases mortality, cardiovascular complications and also the progression of atherosclerosis. This last phenomenon appears to be due to the metabolism of ethanol, that leads to the formation of acetaldehyde, which is oxidized to acetate, leading to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a toxic effect of ethanol on the formation of the atherosclerosis plaque. We will here briefly review the mechanisms through which high intakes of ethanol induce the formation of atherosclerotic plaque, focusing on increased oxidative stress as the main underlying mechanism.

  1. The molecular basis of mechanisms underlying polarization vision

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Nicholas W.; Porter, Megan L.; Cronin, Thomas W.

    2011-01-01

    The underlying mechanisms of polarization sensitivity (PS) have long remained elusive. For rhabdomeric photoreceptors, questions remain over the high levels of PS measured experimentally. In ciliary photoreceptors, and specifically cones, little direct evidence supports any type of mechanism. In order to promote a greater interest in these fundamental aspects of polarization vision, we examined a varied collection of studies linking membrane biochemistry, protein–protein interactions, molecular ordering and membrane phase behaviour. While initially these studies may seem unrelated to polarization vision, a common narrative emerges. A surprising amount of evidence exists demonstrating the importance of protein–protein interactions in both rhabdomeric and ciliary photoreceptors, indicating the possible long-range ordering of the opsin protein for increased PS. Moreover, we extend this direction by considering how such protein paracrystalline organization arises in all cell types from controlled membrane phase behaviour and propose a universal pathway for PS to occur in both rhabdomeric and cone photoreceptors. PMID:21282166

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  3. Molecular Mechanisms of Diabetic Retinopathy: Potential Therapeutic Targets

    PubMed Central

    Coucha, Maha; Elshaer, Sally L.; Eldahshan, Wael S.; Mysona, Barbara A.; El-Remessy, Azza B.

    2015-01-01

    Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults in United States. Research indicates an association between oxidative stress and the development of diabetes complications. However, clinical trials with general antioxidants have failed to prove effective in diabetic patients. Mounting evidence from experimental studies that continue to elucidate the damaging effects of oxidative stress and inflammation in both vascular and neural retina suggest its critical role in the pathogenesis of DR. This review will outline the current management of DR as well as present potential experimental therapeutic interventions, focusing on molecules that link oxidative stress to inflammation to provide potential therapeutic targets for treatment or prevention of DR. Understanding the biochemical changes and the molecular events under diabetic conditions could provide new effective therapeutic tools to combat the disease. PMID:25949069

  4. Study of mechanical properties of nanomaterials under high pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  5. Effect of Trehalose on a Phospholipid Membrane under Mechanical Stress

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Cristina S.; Hünenberger, Philippe H.

    2008-01-01

    Explicit solvent molecular dynamics simulations were used to investigate at atomic resolution the effect of trehalose on a hydrated phospholipid bilayer under mechanical stress (stretching forces imposed in the form of negative lateral pressure). Simulations were performed in the absence or presence of trehalose at 325 K, and with different values for negative lateral pressure. In the concentration regime (2 molal) and range of lateral pressures (1 to −250 bar) investigated, trehalose was found to interact directly with the membrane, partially replacing water molecules in the formation of hydrogen bonds with the lipid headgroups. Similar to previous findings in the context of thermal stress, the number, degree of bridging, and reaching depth of these hydrogen bonds increased with the magnitude of perturbation. However, at the concentration considered, trehalose was not sufficient to preserve the integrity of the membrane structure and to prevent its extreme elongation (and possible disruption) under the effect of stretching forces. PMID:18599628

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

    PubMed

    Young, Jared W; Dulcis, Davide

    2015-07-15

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

  7. Potential Role of Epigenetic Mechanism in Manganese Induced Neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Potential Role of Epigenetic Mechanism in Manganese Induced Neurotoxicity

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Displacement and dissipation under the rotating tidal potential, in contrast to Love's geostationary potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bostrom, R. C.

    The Earth rotates relative to the solunar gravity field. In consequence the M2, S2 tides are represented by permanent bulges, travelling westward around the Earth as distortion waves. The associated tidal stress ellipsoid progresses perpetually by rotation, without reversal. It is shown that under imperfect elasticity, in lieu of the body forces induced by Love's geostationary time-variant potential a rotating potential induces internal body couples, equally pervasive. Displacement is cumulative, and in the vortical mode formulated by Helmholtz (1858). Whereas in the geostationary formulation of Love cumulative distortion is nil, in actuality this motion is primary, and dimensionally capable of coupling with extant mantle convection. Unlike the marine tides, the bodily wave-tides proceed unhindered around the Earth unhindered by continental margins. Corrected for oceanic effects the complex Love numbers measure dissipation, as commonly supposed. However dissipation is the result of unmapped cumulative vortical displacement (a circulation component), rather than oscillatory forces having the form of a geographically stationary spheroidal eigenvibration. The characteristic period of the loss factor 1/Q is infinity rather than the period pertinent to seismicity or wobble, to which it is dimensionally unrelated. Although primary vorticity-induction is required by the existence of the rotating tidal potential, its tectonic consequences are a matter of speculation, treated elsewhere [1]. --- [1] Bostrom, R.C., 1998. Tectonic Consequences of the Earth's Rotation. Oxfo rd University Press.

  10. Shared neural mechanisms underlying social warmth and physical warmth.

    PubMed

    Inagaki, Tristen K; Eisenberger, Naomi I

    2013-11-01

    Many of people's closest bonds grow out of socially warm exchanges and the warm feelings associated with being socially connected. Indeed, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying thermoregulation may be shared by those that regulate social warmth, the experience of feeling connected to other people. To test this possibility, we placed participants in a functional MRI scanner and asked them to (a) read socially warm and neutral messages from friends and family and (b) hold warm and neutral-temperature objects (a warm pack and a ball, respectively). Findings showed an overlap between physical and social warmth: Participants felt warmer after reading the positive (compared with neutral) messages and more connected after holding the warm pack (compared with the ball). In addition, neural activity during social warmth overlapped with neural activity during physical warmth in the ventral striatum and middle insula, but neural activity did not overlap during another pleasant task (soft touch). Together, these results suggest that a common neural mechanism underlies physical and social warmth. PMID:24048423

  11. About the role and underlying mechanisms of cofactors in anaphylaxis.

    PubMed

    Wölbing, F; Fischer, J; Köberle, M; Kaesler, S; Biedermann, T

    2013-09-01

    Anaphylaxis is the systemic and most severe presentation of type I allergy. A number of conditions were identified that modulate the onset of anaphylaxis such as co- or augmentation factors, which significantly lower the allergen dose necessary for triggering anaphylaxis. Next to physical exercise or alcohol consumption, co-administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) or concomitant infectious diseases are well-documented cofactors of anaphylaxis. Registries for anaphylaxis document a role for cofactors in about 30% of anaphylactic reactions. Some disease entities such as 'wheat-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis' (WDEIA) are explicitly characterized by elicitation of anaphylaxis only in the presence of at least one such cofactor. Using WDEIA as a model disease, studies demonstrated that exercise increases skin prick test reactivity to and bioavailability of the allergen. Additional data indicate that alcohol consumption and NSAID administration display similar effects. Modulation of the cellular activation threshold is another mechanism underlying cofactor-induced anaphylaxis, most likely also functional when infectious diseases orchestrate elicitation of anaphylaxis. Cofactors are increasingly accepted to play a fundamental role in eliciting anaphylaxis. Consequently, to improve patient management modalities, a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms is warranted. This review aims to update clinicians and clinical scientists on recent developments.

  12. Shared neural mechanisms underlying social warmth and physical warmth.

    PubMed

    Inagaki, Tristen K; Eisenberger, Naomi I

    2013-11-01

    Many of people's closest bonds grow out of socially warm exchanges and the warm feelings associated with being socially connected. Indeed, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying thermoregulation may be shared by those that regulate social warmth, the experience of feeling connected to other people. To test this possibility, we placed participants in a functional MRI scanner and asked them to (a) read socially warm and neutral messages from friends and family and (b) hold warm and neutral-temperature objects (a warm pack and a ball, respectively). Findings showed an overlap between physical and social warmth: Participants felt warmer after reading the positive (compared with neutral) messages and more connected after holding the warm pack (compared with the ball). In addition, neural activity during social warmth overlapped with neural activity during physical warmth in the ventral striatum and middle insula, but neural activity did not overlap during another pleasant task (soft touch). Together, these results suggest that a common neural mechanism underlies physical and social warmth.

  13. Mechanical response of brain tissue under blast loading.

    PubMed

    Laksari, Kaveh; Sadeghipour, Keyanoush; Darvish, Kurosh

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Nagode, Marko

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malama, B.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodionova, Natalia

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

  17. The survival advantage: Underlying mechanisms and extant limitations.

    PubMed

    Kazanas, Stephanie A; Altarriba, Jeanette

    2015-01-01

    Recently, researchers have begun to investigate the function of memory in our evolutionary history. According to Nairne and colleagues (e.g., Nairne, Pandeirada, and Thompson, 2008; Nairne, Thompson, and Pandeirada, 2007), the best mnemonic strategy for learning lists of unrelated words may be one that addresses the same problems that our Pleistocene ancestors faced: fitness-relevant problems including securing food and water, as well as protecting themselves from predators. Survival processing has been shown to promote better recall and recognition memory than many well-known mnemonic strategies (e.g., pleasantness ratings, imagery, generation, etc.). However, the survival advantage does not extend to all types of stimuli and tasks. The current review presents research that has replicated Nairne et al.'s (2007) original findings, in addition to the research designs that fail to replicate the survival advantage. In other words, there are specific manipulations in which survival processing does not appear to benefit memory any more than other strategies. Potential mechanisms for the survival advantage are described, with an emphasis on those that are the most plausible. These proximate mechanisms outline the memory processes that may contribute to the advantage, although the ultimate mechanism may be the congruity between the survival scenario and Pleistocene problem-solving. PMID:25947360

  18. Septal flash and septal rebound stretch have different underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Walmsley, John; Huntjens, Peter R; Prinzen, Frits W; Delhaas, Tammo; Lumens, Joost

    2016-02-01

    Abnormal left-right motion of the interventricular septum in early systole, known as septal flash (SF), is frequently observed in patients with left bundle branch block (LBBB). Transseptal pressure gradient and early active septal contraction have been proposed as explanations for SF. Similarities in timing (early systole) and location (septum) suggest that SF may be related to septal systolic rebound stretch (SRSsept). We aimed to clarify the mechanisms generating SF and SRSsept. The CircAdapt computer model was used to isolate the effects of timing of activation of the left ventricular free wall (LVFW), right ventricular free wall (RVFW), and septum on SF and SRSsept. LVFW and septal activation times were varied by ±80 ms relative to RVFW activation time. M-mode-derived wall motions and septal strains were computed and used to quantify SF and SRSsept, respectively. SF depended on early activation of the RVFW relative to the LVFW. SF and SRSsept occurred in LBBB-like simulations and against a rising transseptal pressure gradient. When the septum was activated before both LVFW and RVFW, no SF occurred despite the presence of SRSsept. Computer simulations therefore indicate that SF and SRSsept have different underlying mechanisms, even though both can occur in LBBB. The mechanism of leftward motion during SF is early RVFW contraction pulling on and straightening the septum when unopposed by the LVFW. SRSsept is caused by late LVFW contraction following early contraction of the septum. Changes in transseptal pressure gradient are not the main cause of SF in LBBB.

  19. Piezoelectric compliant mechanism energy harvesters under large base excitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Effects of manual hyperinflation in preterm newborns under mechanical ventilation

    PubMed Central

    Viana, Camila Chaves; Nicolau, Carla Marques; Juliani, Regina Celia Turola Passos; de Carvalho, Werther Brunow; Krebs, Vera Lucia Jornada

    2016-01-01

    Objective To assess the effects of manual hyperinflation, performed with a manual resuscitator with and without the positive end-expiratory pressure valve, on the respiratory function of preterm newborns under mechanical ventilation. Methods Cross-sectional study of hemodynamically stable preterm newborns with gestational age of less than 32 weeks, under mechanical ventilation and dependent on it at 28 days of life. Manual hyperinflation was applied randomly, alternating the use or not of the positive end-expiratory pressure valve, followed by tracheal aspiration for ending the maneuver. For nominal data, the two-tailed Wilcoxon test was applied at the 5% significance level and 80% power. Results Twenty-eight preterm newborns, with an average birth weight of 1,005.71 ± 372.16g, an average gestational age of 28.90 ± 1.79 weeks, an average corrected age of 33.26 ± 1.78 weeks, and an average mechanical ventilation time of 29.5 (15 - 53) days, were studied. Increases in inspiratory and expiratory volumes occurred between time-points A5 (before the maneuver) and C1 (immediately after tracheal aspiration) in both the maneuver with the valve (p = 0.001 and p = 0.009) and without the valve (p = 0.026 and p = 0.001), respectively. There was also an increase in expiratory resistance between time-points A5 and C1 (p = 0.044). Conclusion Lung volumes increased when performing the maneuver with and without the valve, with a significant difference in the first minute after aspiration. There was a significant difference in expiratory resistance between the time-points A5 (before the maneuver) and C1 (immediately after tracheal aspiration) in the first minute after aspiration within each maneuver. PMID:27737427

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  3. Mechanisms underlying social inequality in post-menopausal breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Hvidtfeldt, Ulla Arthur

    2014-10-01

    This thesis is based on studies conducted in the period 2010-2014 at Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen and at Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York. The results are presented in three scientific papers and a synopsis. The main objective of the thesis was to determine mechanisms underlying social inequality (defined by educational level) in postmenopausal breast cancer (BC) by addressing mediating effects through hormone therapy (HT) use, BMI, lifestyle and reproductive factors. The results of previous studies suggest that the higher risk of postmenopausal BC among women of high socioeconomic position (SEP) may be explained by reproductive factors and health behaviors. Women of higher SEP generally have fewer children and give birth at older ages than women of low SEP, and these factors have been found to affect the risk of BC - probably through altered hormone levels. Adverse effects on BC risk have also been documented for modifiable health behaviors that may affect hormone levels, such as alcohol consumption, high BMI, physical inactivity, and HT use. Alcohol consumption and HT use are likewise more common among women of higher SEP. The analyses were based on the Social Inequality in Cancer (SIC) cohort and a subsample of the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study (WHI-OS). The SIC cohort was derived by pooling 6 individual studies from the Copenhagen area including 33,562 women (1,733 BC cases) aged 50-70 years at baseline. The subsample of WHI-OS consisted of two case-cohort studies with measurements of endogenous estradiol (N = 1,601) and insulin (N = 791). Assessment of mediation often relies on comparing multiplicative models with and without the potential mediator. Such approaches provide potentially biased results, because they do not account for mediator-outcome confounding, exposure-dependent mediator-outcome confounding, exposure-mediator interaction and interactions

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kieu, Tri Minh

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gold, Brian T

    2015-03-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-28

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

  17. Mechanisms underlying the sperm quality advantage in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Pattarini, James M; Starmer, William T; Bjork, Adam; Pitnick, Scott

    2006-10-01

    Contrary to early predictions of sperm competition theory, postcopulatory sexual selection favoring increased investment per sperm (e.g., sperm size, sperm quality) has been demonstrated in numerous organisms. We empirically demonstrate for Drosophila melanogaster that both sperm quality and sperm quantity independently contribute to competitive male fertilization success. In addition to these independent effects, there was a significant interaction between sperm quality and quantity that suggests an internal positive reinforcement on selection for sperm quality, with selection predicted to intensify as investment per sperm increases and the number of sperm competing declines. The mechanism underlying the sperm quality advantage is elucidated through examination of the relationship between female sperm-storage organ morphology and the differential organization of different length sperm within the organ. Our results exemplify that primary sex cells can bear secondary sexual straits.

  18. Neural mechanisms underlying human consensus decision-making

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Shinsuke; Adachi, Ryo; Dunne, Simon; Bossaerts, Peter; O'Doherty, John P.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Consensus building in a group is a hallmark of animal societies, yet little is known about its underlying computational and neural mechanisms. Here, we applied a novel computational framework to behavioral and fMRI data from human participants performing a consensus decision-making task with up to five other participants. We found that participants reached consensus decisions through integrating their own preferences with information about the majority of group-members’ prior choices, as well as inferences about how much each option was stuck to by the other people. These distinct decision variables were separately encoded in distinct brain areas: the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, posterior superior temporal sulcus/temporoparietal junction and intraparietal sulcus, and were integrated in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. Our findings provide support for a theoretical account in which collective decisions are made through integrating multiple types of inference about oneself, others and environments, processed in distinct brain modules. PMID:25864634

  19. Mechanisms underlying allergy vaccination with recombinant hypoallergenic allergen derivatives.

    PubMed

    Linhart, Birgit; Valenta, Rudolf

    2012-06-19

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

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

    PubMed

    Klein, Alice Victoria; Kiat, Hosen

    2015-05-01

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

  1. Mechanisms Underlying Development of Visual Maps and Receptive Fields

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Data on the mechanisms underlying succinate-induced aortic contraction.

    PubMed

    Gonzaga, Natália A; Simplicio, Janaina A; Leite, Letícia N; Vale, Gabriel T; Carballido, José M; Alves-Filho, José C; Tirapelli, Carlos R

    2016-12-01

    We describe the mechanisms underlying the vascular contraction induced by succinate. The data presented here are related to the article entitled "Pharmacological characterization of the mechanisms underlying the vascular effects of succinate" (L.N. Leite, N.A. Gonzaga, J.A. Simplicio, G.T. Vale, J.M. Carballido, J.C. Alves-Filho, C.R. Tirapelli, 2016) [1]. Succinate acts as a signaling molecule by binding to a G-protein-coupled receptor termed GPR91, "Citric acid cycle intermediates as ligands for orphan G-protein-coupled receptors" (W. He, F.J. Miao, D.C. Lin, R.T. Schwandner, Z. Wang, J. Gao, J.L. Chen, H. Tian, L. Ling, 2004) [2]. Here we include data on the contractile effect of succinate in the aorta. Succinate contracted both endothelium-intact and endothelium-denuded aortic rings isolated from male Wistar rats or C57BL/6 mice. Succinate was less effective at inducing contraction in arteries isolated from GPR91-deficient mice, when compared to its vascular effect in aortas from wild type mice. SB203508 (p38MAK inhibitor), SP600125 (JNK inhibitor) and Y27632 (Rho-kinase inhibitor) reduced succinate-induced contraction in both endothelium-intact and endothelium-denuded rat aortic rings, while PD98059 (ERK1/2 inhibitor) did not affect succinate-induced contraction. The contractile response induced by succinate on endothelium-intact and endothelium-denuded rat aortic rings was reduced by indomethacin (non-selective cyclooxygenase inhibitor), H7 (protein kinase C inhibitor), verapamil (Ca(2+) channel blocker) and tiron (superoxide anion scavenger). PMID:27656674

  3. Data on the mechanisms underlying succinate-induced aortic contraction.

    PubMed

    Gonzaga, Natália A; Simplicio, Janaina A; Leite, Letícia N; Vale, Gabriel T; Carballido, José M; Alves-Filho, José C; Tirapelli, Carlos R

    2016-12-01

    We describe the mechanisms underlying the vascular contraction induced by succinate. The data presented here are related to the article entitled "Pharmacological characterization of the mechanisms underlying the vascular effects of succinate" (L.N. Leite, N.A. Gonzaga, J.A. Simplicio, G.T. Vale, J.M. Carballido, J.C. Alves-Filho, C.R. Tirapelli, 2016) [1]. Succinate acts as a signaling molecule by binding to a G-protein-coupled receptor termed GPR91, "Citric acid cycle intermediates as ligands for orphan G-protein-coupled receptors" (W. He, F.J. Miao, D.C. Lin, R.T. Schwandner, Z. Wang, J. Gao, J.L. Chen, H. Tian, L. Ling, 2004) [2]. Here we include data on the contractile effect of succinate in the aorta. Succinate contracted both endothelium-intact and endothelium-denuded aortic rings isolated from male Wistar rats or C57BL/6 mice. Succinate was less effective at inducing contraction in arteries isolated from GPR91-deficient mice, when compared to its vascular effect in aortas from wild type mice. SB203508 (p38MAK inhibitor), SP600125 (JNK inhibitor) and Y27632 (Rho-kinase inhibitor) reduced succinate-induced contraction in both endothelium-intact and endothelium-denuded rat aortic rings, while PD98059 (ERK1/2 inhibitor) did not affect succinate-induced contraction. The contractile response induced by succinate on endothelium-intact and endothelium-denuded rat aortic rings was reduced by indomethacin (non-selective cyclooxygenase inhibitor), H7 (protein kinase C inhibitor), verapamil (Ca(2+) channel blocker) and tiron (superoxide anion scavenger).

  4. [Elucidation of mechanisms underlying docosahexaenoic acid-induced antinociception].

    PubMed

    Nishinaka, Takashi; Matsumoto, Kengo; Nakamoto, Kazuo; Anbo, Akihiro; Mankura, Mitsumasa; Koyama, Yutaka; Tokuyama, Shogo

    2013-01-01

    Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a predominant of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), has numerous beneficial physiological effects, including neuroprotection and cardiovascular protection. Recently, a possible involvement of n-3 PUFA in pain control has gathered considerable attention because numerous studies have reported a regulatory role of n-3 PUFAs. However, the mechanisms underlying how DHA exerts antinociceptive effect remain unknown. Here, we performed elucidation of mechanisms underlying DHA-induced antinociception. DHA administration dose-dependently exerted an antinociceptive effect. This effect was abolished by pretreated with the β-funaltrexamine (β-FNA), a μ-opioid receptor antagonist, and the nartrindole (NTI), a δ-opioid receptor antagonist, but not by the nor-binaltorphimine (nor-BNI), a κ-opioid receptor antagonist. In the radioligand binding assay, DHA itself did not have the affinity for μ-, δ- and κ- opioid receptor. Furthermore, the pretreatment of anti β-endorphin antiserum inhibited DHA-induced antinociception. The plasma levels of β-endorphin increased 30 min after DHA administration. The β-endorphin immunoreactivity in the brain increased at 30 min after DHA treatment. Expression of GPR40 protein was widely observed in the brain as well as the spinal cord. The intracerebroventricular but not intrathecal injection of DHA and GW9508, a GPR40/GPR120 agonist, significantly reduced formalin-induced pain behavior. The β-endorphin immunoreactivity in the brain increased at 10 and 20 min after intracerebroventricular injection of DHA and GW9508. These findings suggest that DHA-induced antinociception via β-endorphin release may be mediated through GPR40 signaling in the supraspinal area. PMID:23649389

  5. Implicit Misattribution as a Mechanism Underlying Evaluative Conditioning

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Understanding ultrasound induced sonoporation: definitions and underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Lentacker, I; De Cock, I; Deckers, R; De Smedt, S C; Moonen, C T W

    2014-06-01

    In the past two decades, research has underlined the potential of ultrasound and microbubbles to enhance drug delivery. However, there is less consensus on the biophysical and biological mechanisms leading to this enhanced delivery. Sonoporation, i.e. the formation of temporary pores in the cell membrane, as well as enhanced endocytosis is reported. Because of the variety of ultrasound settings used and corresponding microbubble behavior, a clear overview is missing. Therefore, in this review, the mechanisms contributing to sonoporation are categorized according to three ultrasound settings: i) low intensity ultrasound leading to stable cavitation of microbubbles, ii) high intensity ultrasound leading to inertial cavitation with microbubble collapse, and iii) ultrasound application in the absence of microbubbles. Using low intensity ultrasound, the endocytotic uptake of several drugs could be stimulated, while short but intense ultrasound pulses can be applied to induce pore formation and the direct cytoplasmic uptake of drugs. Ultrasound intensities may be adapted to create pore sizes correlating with drug size. Small molecules are able to diffuse passively through small pores created by low intensity ultrasound treatment. However, delivery of larger drugs such as nanoparticles and gene complexes, will require higher ultrasound intensities in order to allow direct cytoplasmic entry.

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

    PubMed Central

    Bechtel, William

    2005-01-01

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

  8. Continuing to illuminate the mechanisms underlying UV-mediated melanomagenesis

    PubMed Central

    Dellinger, Ryan W.; Liu-Smith, Feng; Meyskens, Frank L.

    2014-01-01

    The incidence of melanoma is one of the fastest growing of all tumor types in the United States and the number of cases worldwide has doubled in the past 30 years. Melanoma, which arises from melanocytes, is an extremely aggressive tumor that invades the vascular and lymphatic systems to establish tumors elsewhere in the body. Melanoma is a particularly resilient cancer and systemic therapy approaches have achieved minimal success against metastatic melanoma resulting in only a few FDA-approved treatments with limited benefit. Leading treatments offer minimal efficacy with response rates generally under 15% in the long term with no clear effect on melanoma-related mortality. Even the recent success of the specific BRAF mutant inhibitor vemurafenib has been tempered somewhat since acquired resistance is rapidly observed. Thus, understanding the mechanism(s) of melanoma carcinogenesis is paramount to combating this deadly disease. Not only for the treatment of melanoma but, ultimately, for prevention. In this report, we will summarize our work to date regarding the characterization of ultraviolet radiation (UVR)-mediated melanomagenesis and highlight several promising avenues of ongoing research. PMID:25022944

  9. Understanding mechanisms underlying human gene expression variation with RNA sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Pickrell, Joseph K.; Marioni, John C.; Pai, Athma A.; Degner, Jacob F.; Engelhardt, Barbara E.; Nkadori, Everlyne; Veyrieras, Jean-Baptiste; Stephens, Matthew; Gilad, Yoav; Pritchard, Jonathan K.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the genetic mechanisms underlying natural variation in gene expression is a central goal of both medical and evolutionary genetics, and studies of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) have become an important tool for achieving this goal1. Although all eQTL studies so far have assayed messenger RNA levels using expression microarrays, recent advances in RNA sequencing enable the analysis of transcript variation at unprecedented resolution. We sequenced RNA from 69 lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from unrelated Nigerian individuals that have been extensively genotyped by the International HapMap Project2. By pooling data from all individuals, we generated a map of the transcriptional landscape of these cells, identifying extensive use of unannotated untranslated regions and more than 100 new putative protein-coding exons. Using the genotypes from the HapMap project, we identified more than a thousand genes at which genetic variation influences overall expression levels or splicing. We demonstrate that eQTLs near genes generally act by a mechanism involving allele-specific expression, and that variation that influences the inclusion of an exon is enriched within and near the consensus splice sites. Our results illustrate the power of high-throughput sequencing for the joint analysis of variation in transcription, splicing and allele-specific expression across individuals. PMID:20220758

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-14

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

  11. Electron transport properties of single molecular junctions under mechanical modulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Jianfeng; Guo, Cunlan; Xu, Bingqian

    2012-04-01

    Electron transport behaviors of single molecular junctions are very sensitive to the atomic scale molecule-metal electrode contact interfaces, which have been difficult to control. We used a modified scanning probe microscope-break junction technique (SPM-BJT) to control the dynamics of the contacts and simultaneously monitor both the conductance and force. First, by fitting the measured data into a modified multiple tunneling barrier model, the static contact resistances, corresponding to the different contact conformations of single alkanedithiol and alkanediamine molecular junctions, were identified. Second, the changes of contact decay constant were measured under mechanical extensions of the molecular junctions, which helped to classify the different single molecular conductance sets into specific microscopic conformations of the molecule-electrode contacts. Third, by monitoring the changes of force and contact decay constant with the mechanical extensions, the changes of conductance were found to be caused by the changes of contact bond length and by the atomic reorganizations near the contact bond. This study provides a new insight into the understanding of the influences of contact conformations, especially the effect of changes of dynamic contact conformation on electron transport through single molecular junctions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-14

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

  13. Using Drosophila to discover mechanisms underlying type 2 diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Alfa, Ronald W.; Kim, Seung K.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ching, Chee Leong; Ng, Wei Khim

    2013-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Young, Jared W.; Dulcis, Davide

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Possible mechanisms underlying the testicular toxicity of oxfendazole in rats.

    PubMed

    Okamura, Miwa; Watanabe, Takao; Kashida, Yoko; Machida, Noboru; Mitsumori, Kunitoshi

    2004-01-01

    To clarify the mechanisms underlying the testicular toxicity of oxfendazole (OX), adult Wistar rats were orally administered a dose of 100 mg/kg/day for 3, 7, or 14 days. Assays of sex-related hormones showed a significant decrease in only the estradiol serum level at days 3 and 7, as compared with the control group. Histopathologically, marked degeneration of meiotic spermatocytes was observed in stage XIV-I seminiferous tubules from day 3 onwards, and these spermatocytes gave positive results on terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL). Abnormalities of spermiogenesis such as megakaryospermatids and binucleated spermatids were also observed in the testes of OX-treated rats. Under the electron microscope, lipid accumulation and dilatation of the endoplasmic reticulum were frequently found in the cytoplasm of the Sertoli cells on day 3. These results strongly suggest that OX induces both apoptosis of meiotic spermatocytes, most probably due to disruption of the microtubules, and degeneration of the Sertoli cells, characterized by distended endoplasmic reticulum and prominent cytosolic lipid accumulation.

  17. Early-life stress interactions with the epigenome: potential mechanisms driving vulnerability toward psychiatric illness.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Candace R; Olive, M Foster

    2014-09-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maddocks, Jason R.

    1995-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Cachexia and sarcopenia: mechanisms and potential targets for intervention.

    PubMed

    Argilés, Josep M; Busquets, Silvia; Stemmler, Britta; López-Soriano, Francisco J

    2015-06-01

    Cachexia is a multi-organ syndrome associated with cancer and other chronic diseases, characterized by body weight loss, muscle and adipose tissue wasting and inflammation, being often associated with anorexia. Skeletal muscle tissue represents more than 40% of body weight and seems to be one of the main tissues involved in the wasting that occurs during cachexia. Sarcopenia is a degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass, quality, and strength associated with healthy ageing. The molecular mechanisms behind cachexia and sarcopenia share some common trends. Muscle wasting is the result of a combination of an imbalance between synthetic and degradative protein pathways together with increased myocyte apoptosis and decreased regenerative capacity. Oxidative pathways are also altered in skeletal muscle during muscle wasting and this seems to be a consequence of mitochondrial abnormalities that include altered morphology and function, decreased ATP synthesis and uncoupling. The aim of the present review is to analyse common molecular pathways between cachexia and sarcopenia in order to put forward potential targets for intervention.

  1. Mechanisms of action and potential therapeutic uses of thalidomide.

    PubMed

    Mujagić, Hamza; Chabner, Bruce A; Mujagić, Zlata

    2002-06-01

    Thalidomide was first introduced to the market in Germany under the brand name of Contergan in 1956, as a non-barbiturate hypnotic, advocated to ensure a good nights sleep and to prevent morning sickness in pregnancy. It was advertised for its prompt action, lack of hangover, and apparent safety. It has been banned from the market since 1963 after it caused the worldwide teratogenic disaster: babies exposed to thalidomide in utero during the first 34-50 days of pregnancy were born with severe life-threatening birth defects. Despite its unfortunate history, thalidomide has attracted scientific interest again because of its recently discovered action against inflammatory diseases and cancer. Its broad range of biological activities stems from its ability to moderate cytokine action in cancer and inflammatory diseases. Early studies examined its anxiolytic, mild hypnotic, antiemetic, and adjuvant analgesic properties. Subsequently, thalidomide was found to be highly effective in managing the cutaneous manifestations of leprosy, being superior to Aspirin in controlling leprosy-associated fever. Recent research has shown promising results with thalidomide in patients with myeloma, myelodysplastic syndrome, a variety of infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and progressive body weight loss related to advanced cancer and AIDS. Here we review the history of its development, pharmacokinetics, metabolism, biologic effects, and the results of clinical trials conducted thus far. Further research in this field should be directed towards better understanding of thalidomide metabolism, its mechanism of action, and the development of less toxic and more active analogs. PMID:12035132

  2. Mechanisms of action and potential therapeutic uses of thalidomide.

    PubMed

    Mujagić, Hamza; Chabner, Bruce A; Mujagić, Zlata

    2002-06-01

    Thalidomide was first introduced to the market in Germany under the brand name of Contergan in 1956, as a non-barbiturate hypnotic, advocated to ensure a good nights sleep and to prevent morning sickness in pregnancy. It was advertised for its prompt action, lack of hangover, and apparent safety. It has been banned from the market since 1963 after it caused the worldwide teratogenic disaster: babies exposed to thalidomide in utero during the first 34-50 days of pregnancy were born with severe life-threatening birth defects. Despite its unfortunate history, thalidomide has attracted scientific interest again because of its recently discovered action against inflammatory diseases and cancer. Its broad range of biological activities stems from its ability to moderate cytokine action in cancer and inflammatory diseases. Early studies examined its anxiolytic, mild hypnotic, antiemetic, and adjuvant analgesic properties. Subsequently, thalidomide was found to be highly effective in managing the cutaneous manifestations of leprosy, being superior to Aspirin in controlling leprosy-associated fever. Recent research has shown promising results with thalidomide in patients with myeloma, myelodysplastic syndrome, a variety of infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and progressive body weight loss related to advanced cancer and AIDS. Here we review the history of its development, pharmacokinetics, metabolism, biologic effects, and the results of clinical trials conducted thus far. Further research in this field should be directed towards better understanding of thalidomide metabolism, its mechanism of action, and the development of less toxic and more active analogs.

  3. Oxymetazoline: potential mechanisms of inhibitory effects on aqueous humor dynamics.

    PubMed

    Chu, T C; Ogidigben, M J; Potter, D E

    1996-10-01

    Oxymetazoline, an alpha 2 agonist, was active in lowering intraocular pressure in normal and sympathetically denervated rabbit eyes. Ocular hypotension was accompanied by decreased aqueous humor inflow. Topical pretreatment with rauwolscine, an alpha 2 antagonist, reduced the oxymetazoline-induced hypotensive effect more in contralateral than in ipsilateral eyes indicating the possible involvement of central alpha 2 adrenoceptors. Efaroxan, a relatively selective imidazoline antagonist, and diclofenac, a cyclooxygenase inhibitor, failed to inhibit the oxymetazoline-induced ocular hypotensive response. Oxymetazoline induced mydriasis in treated eyes at all doses. In in vitro studies, oxymetazoline inhibited isoproterenol-stimulated cAMP production in rabbit iris-ciliary bodies and cultured rabbit nonpigmented ciliary epithelial cells. The inhibition of cAMP accumulation induced by oxymetazoline was antagonized by rauwolscine or by BRL-44408, a relatively selective alpha 2A-adrenoceptor antagonist. These data indicate that oxymetazoline lowered intraocular pressure by activating alpha 2A receptors (ciliary epithelium) and that the ocular hypotensive effect was not totally dependent on intact sympathetic nerves. Results suggest that mechanisms involving centrally mediated effects of oxymetazoline are probable and this possibility is currently under investigation.

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

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hui-Chen; Lee, Wen-Sen

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Parekh, Puja K.; McClung, Colleen A.

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Underlying Mechanisms of Tinnitus: Review and Clinical Implications

    PubMed Central

    Henry, James A.; Roberts, Larry E.; Caspary, Donald M.; Theodoroff, Sarah M.; Salvi, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    Background The study of tinnitus mechanisms has increased tenfold in the last decade. The common denominator for all of these studies is the goal of elucidating the underlying neural mechanisms of tinnitus with the ultimate purpose of finding a cure. While these basic science findings may not be immediately applicable to the clinician who works directly with patients to assist them in managing their reactions to tinnitus, a clear understanding of these findings is needed to develop the most effective procedures for alleviating tinnitus. Purpose The goal of this review is to provide audiologists and other health-care professionals with a basic understanding of the neurophysiological changes in the auditory system likely to be responsible for tinnitus. Results It is increasingly clear that tinnitus is a pathology involving neuroplastic changes in central auditory structures that take place when the brain is deprived of its normal input by pathology in the cochlea. Cochlear pathology is not always expressed in the audiogram but may be detected by more sensitive measures. Neural changes can occur at the level of synapses between inner hair cells and the auditory nerve and within multiple levels of the central auditory pathway. Long-term maintenance of tinnitus is likely a function of a complex network of structures involving central auditory and nonauditory systems. Conclusions Patients often have expectations that a treatment exists to cure their tinnitus. They should be made aware that research is increasing to discover such a cure and that their reactions to tinnitus can be mitigated through the use of evidence-based behavioral interventions. PMID:24622858

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

    PubMed

    Parekh, Puja K; McClung, Colleen A

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Mechanisms underlying reduced fertility in anovular dairy cows.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  10. Investigation of Nucleate Boiling Mechanisms Under Microgravity Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dhir, Vijay K.

    1996-01-01

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

  12. Mechanical behavior of aluminum deformed under hot-working conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Puchi, E.S.; Staia, M.H.

    1995-11-01

    The stress-strain behavior of aluminum 3-9 purity deformed at elevated temperatures has been analyzed on a rational basis. Emphasis has been given to the analysis of the curves corresponding to typical deformation conditions of interest for hot rolling of commercial aluminum alloys. The strain-hardening behavior has been modeled assuming the validity of the typical saturation exponential equation earlier proposed by Voce. The temperature and strain dependence of the flow stress parameters involved in such an equation has been introduced by means of a model based on the power law relationship, where the stress-sensitivity exponent of the strain rate is considered to be temperature dependent. The final constitutive equation derived provides a satisfactory reproduction of the experimental values of the flow stress and follow quite closely the strain-hardening behavior. The mean activation energy determined by the different models confirmed the predominance of both climb of edge dislocation segments and motion of jogged screw dislocations as the rate-controlling mechanisms during deformation of this material under hot-working conditions. The use of a constitutive equation which expresses the flow stress of the material in terms of the applied strain, rate of straining, and deformation temperature to calculate the power dissipation efficiency of the material ({eta}) deformed under hot-rolling conditions has shown that it could be strongly strain dependent, particularly toward the end of the rolling schedule. Hence, it has been concluded that the calculation of both the power co-content as defined in dynamic material modeling (DMM) and its maximum value, taking into consideration the constitutive equation previously developed, represents a more plausible and soundly based approach toward the determination of {eta}.

  13. The potential biological mechanisms of arsenic-induced diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Chin-Hsiao

    2004-06-01

    Although epidemiologic studies carried out in Taiwan, Bangladesh, and Sweden have demonstrated a diabetogenic effect of arsenic, the mechanisms remain unclear and require further investigation. This paper reviewed the potential biological mechanisms of arsenic-induced diabetes mellitus based on the current knowledge of the biochemical properties of arsenic. Arsenate can substitute phosphate in the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and other phosphate intermediates involved in glucose metabolism, which could theoretically slow down the normal metabolism of glucose, interrupt the production of energy, and interfere with the ATP-dependent insulin secretion. However, the concentration of arsenate required for such reaction is high and not physiologically relevant, and these effects may only happen in acute intoxication and may not be effective in subjects chronically exposed to low-dose arsenic. On the other hand, arsenite has high affinity for sulfhydryl groups and thus can form covalent bonds with the disulfide bridges in the molecules of insulin, insulin receptors, glucose transporters (GLUTs), and enzymes involved in glucose metabolism (e.g., pyruvate dehydrogenase and alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase). As a result, the normal functions of these molecules can be hampered. However, a direct effect on these molecules caused by arsenite at physiologically relevant concentrations seems unlikely. Recent evidence has shown that treatment of arsenite at lower and physiologically relevant concentrations can stimulate glucose transport, in contrary to an inhibitory effect exerted by phenylarsine oxide (PAO) or by higher doses of arsenite. Induction of oxidative stress and interferences in signal transduction or gene expression by arsenic or by its methylated metabolites are the most possible causes to arsenic-induced diabetes mellitus through mechanisms of induction of insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunction. Recent studies have shown that, in subjects with

  14. Shifts in a single muscle's control potential of body dynamics are determined by mechanical feedback

    PubMed Central

    Sponberg, Simon; Libby, Thomas; Mullens, Chris H.; Full, Robert J.

    2011-01-01

    Muscles are multi-functional structures that interface neural and mechanical systems. Muscle work depends on a large multi-dimensional space of stimulus (neural) and strain (mechanical) parameters. In our companion paper, we rewrote activation to individual muscles in intact, behaving cockroaches (Blaberus discoidalis L.), revealing a specific muscle's potential to control body dynamics in different behaviours. Here, we use those results to provide the biologically relevant parameters for in situ work measurements. We test four hypotheses about how muscle function changes to provide mechanisms for the observed control responses. Under isometric conditions, a graded increase in muscle stress underlies its linear actuation during standing behaviours. Despite typically absorbing energy, this muscle can recruit two separate periods of positive work when controlling running. This functional change arises from mechanical feedback filtering a linear increase in neural activation into nonlinear work output. Changing activation phase again led to positive work recruitment, but at different times, consistent with the muscle's ability to also produce a turn. Changes in muscle work required considering the natural sequence of strides and separating swing and stance contributions of work. Both in vivo control potentials and in situ work loops were necessary to discover the neuromechanical coupling enabling control. PMID:21502130

  15. The Effects of Calorie Restriction in Depression and Potential Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yifan; Liu, Changhong; Zhao, Yinghao; Zhang, Xingyi; Li, Bingjin; Cui, Ranji

    2015-01-01

    Depression, also called major depressive disorder, is a neuropsychiatric disorder jeopardizing an increasing number of the population worldwide. To date, a large number of studies have devoted great attention to this problematic condition and raised several hypotheses of depression. Based on these theories, many antidepressant drugs were developed for the treatment of depression. Yet, the depressed patients are often refractory to the antidepressant therapies. Recently, increasing experimental evidences demonstrated the effects of calorie restriction in neuroendocrine system and in depression. Both basic and clinical investigations indicated that short-term calorie restriction might induce an antidepressant efficacy in depression, providing a novel avenue for treatment. Molecular basis underlying the antidepressant actions of calorie restriction might involve multiple physiological processes, primarily including orexin signaling activation, increased CREB phosphorylation and neurotrophic effects, release of endorphin and ketone production. However, the effects of chronic calorie restriction were quite controversial, in the cases that it often resulted in the long-term detrimental effects via inhibiting the function of 5-HT system and decreasing leptin levels. Here we review such dual effects of calorie restriction in depression and potential molecular basis behind these effects, especially focusing on antidepressant effects. PMID:26412073

  16. The Effects of Calorie Restriction in Depression and Potential Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yifan; Liu, Changhong; Zhao, Yinghao; Zhang, Xingyi; Li, Bingjin; Cui, Ranji

    2015-01-01

    Depression, also called major depressive disorder, is a neuropsychiatric disorder jeopardizing an increasing number of the population worldwide. To date, a large number of studies have devoted great attention to this problematic condition and raised several hypotheses of depression. Based on these theories, many antidepressant drugs were developed for the treatment of depression. Yet, the depressed patients are often refractory to the antidepressant therapies. Recently, increasing experimental evidences demonstrated the effects of calorie restriction in neuroendocrine system and in depression. Both basic and clinical investigations indicated that short-term calorie restriction might induce an antidepressant efficacy in depression, providing a novel avenue for treatment. Molecular basis underlying the antidepressant actions of calorie restriction might involve multiple physiological processes, primarily including orexin signaling activation, increased CREB phosphorylation and neurotrophic effects, release of endorphin and ketone production. However, the effects of chronic calorie restriction were quite controversial, in the cases that it often resulted in the long-term detrimental effects via inhibiting the function of 5-HT system and decreasing leptin levels. Here we review such dual effects of calorie restriction in depression and potential molecular basis behind these effects, especially focusing on antidepressant effects.

  17. The Effects of Calorie Restriction in Depression and Potential Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yifan; Liu, Changhong; Zhao, Yinghao; Zhang, Xingyi; Li, Bingjin; Cui, Ranji

    2015-01-01

    Depression, also called major depressive disorder, is a neuropsychiatric disorder jeopardizing an increasing number of the population worldwide. To date, a large number of studies have devoted great attention to this problematic condition and raised several hypotheses of depression. Based on these theories, many antidepressant drugs were developed for the treatment of depression. Yet, the depressed patients are often refractory to the antidepressant therapies. Recently, increasing experimental evidences demonstrated the effects of calorie restriction in neuroendocrine system and in depression. Both basic and clinical investigations indicated that short-term calorie restriction might induce an antidepressant efficacy in depression, providing a novel avenue for treatment. Molecular basis underlying the antidepressant actions of calorie restriction might involve multiple physiological processes, primarily including orexin signaling activation, increased CREB phosphorylation and neurotrophic effects, release of endorphin and ketone production. However, the effects of chronic calorie restriction were quite controversial, in the cases that it often resulted in the long-term detrimental effects via inhibiting the function of 5-HT system and decreasing leptin levels. Here we review such dual effects of calorie restriction in depression and potential molecular basis behind these effects, especially focusing on antidepressant effects. PMID:26412073

  18. Understanding the Mechanisms Underlying Gambling Behaviour and Sleep.

    PubMed

    Loft, Marisa H; Loo, Jasmine M Y

    2015-12-01

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

  19. Metal uptake by microalgae: underlying mechanisms and practical applications.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Cristina M; Castro, Paula M L; Malcata, F Xavier

    2012-01-01

    Metal contamination of a few aquatic, atmospheric, and soil ecosystems has increased ever since the industrial revolution, owing to discharge of such elements via the effluents of some industrial facilities. Their presence to excessive levels in the environment will eventually lead to serious health problems in higher animals owing to accumulation throughout the food web. Current physicochemical methods available for recovery of metal pollutants (e.g., chemical precipitation, oxidation/reduction, or physical ion exchange) are either expensive or inefficient when they are present at very low concentrations. Consequently, removal of toxic metals by microorganisms has emerged as a potentially more economical alternative. Microalgae (in terms of both living and nonliving biomass) are an example of microorganisms suitable to recover metals and able to attain noteworthy percent removals. Their relatively high metal-binding capacities arise from the intrinsic composition of their cell walls, which contain negatively charged functional groups. Consequently, microalgal cells are particularly efficient in uptake of those contaminants when at low levels. Self-defense mechanisms developed by microalgal cells to survive in metal-containing media and environmental factors that affect their removal (e.g., pH, temperature, and biomass concentration) are reviewed here in a comprehensive way and further discussed in attempts to rationalize this form of remediation vis-a-vis with conventional nonbiological alternatives. PMID:22228490

  20. Metabolite Recognition Principles and Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Riboswitch Function

    PubMed Central

    Serganov, Alexander; Patel, Dinshaw J.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  4. Cellular mechanisms underlying spatiotemporal features of cholinergic retinal waves.

    PubMed

    Ford, Kevin J; Félix, Aude L; Feller, Marla B

    2012-01-18

    Before vision, a transient network of recurrently connected cholinergic interneurons, called starburst amacrine cells (SACs), generates spontaneous retinal waves. Despite an absence of robust inhibition, cholinergic retinal waves initiate infrequently and propagate within finite boundaries. Here, we combine a variety of electrophysiological and imaging techniques and computational modeling to elucidate the mechanisms underlying these spatial and temporal properties of waves in developing mouse retina. Waves initiate via rare spontaneous depolarizations of SACs. Waves propagate through recurrent cholinergic connections between SACs and volume release of ACh as demonstrated using paired recordings and a cell-based ACh optical sensor. Perforated-patch recordings and two-photon calcium imaging reveal that individual SACs have slow afterhyperpolarizations that induce SACs to have variable depolarizations during sequential waves. Using a computational model in which the properties of SACs are based on these physiological measurements, we reproduce the slow frequency, speed, and finite size of recorded waves. This study represents a detailed description of the circuit that mediates cholinergic retinal waves and indicates that variability of the interneurons that generate this network activity may be critical for the robustness of waves across different species and stages of development.

  5. [Underlying Mechanisms and Management of Refractory Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease].

    PubMed

    Lee, Kwang Jae

    2015-08-01

    The prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in South Korea has increased over the past 10 years. Patients with erosive reflux disease (ERD) shows better response to proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) than those with non-erosive reflux disease (NERD). NERD is a heterogeneous condition, showing pathological gastroesophageal reflux or esophageal hypersensitivity to reflux contents. NERD patients with pathological gastroesophageal reflux or hypersensitivity to acid may respond to PPIs. However, many patients with esophageal hypersensitivity to nonacid or functional heartburn do not respond to PPIs. Therefore, careful history and investigations are required when managing patients with refractory GERD who show poor response to conventional dose PPIs. Combined pH-impedance studies and a PPI diagnostic trial are recommended to reveal underlying mechanisms of refractory symptoms. For those with ongoing reflux-related symptoms, split dose administration, change to long-acting PPIs or PPIs less influenced by CYP2C19 genotypes, increasing dose of PPIs, and the addition of alginate preparations, prokinetics, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or tricyclic antidepressants can be considered. Pain modulators, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or tricyclic antidepressants are more likely to be effective for those with reflux-unrelated symptoms. Surgery or endoscopic per oral fundoplication may be effective in selected patients.

  6. Mechanisms underlying heterologous skin scaffold-mediated tissue remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Mimura, Kallyne K. O.; Moraes, Andréia R.; Miranda, Aline C.; Greco, Rebecca; Ansari, Tahera; Sibbons, Paul; Greco, Karin V.; Oliani, Sonia M.

    2016-01-01

    Biocompatibility of two newly developed porcine skin scaffolds was assessed after 3, 14, 21 and 90 days of implantation in rats. Both scaffolds showed absence of cells, preservation of ECM and mechanical properties comparable to non-decellularised skin before implantation. Host cell infiltration was much prominent on both scaffolds when compared to Permacol (surgical control). At day 3, the grafts were surrounded by polymorphonuclear cells, which were replaced by a notable number of IL-6-positive cells at day 14. Simultaneously, the number of pro-inflammatory M1-macrophage was enhanced. Interestingly, a predominant pro-remodeling M2 response, with newly formed vessels, myofibroblasts activation and a shift on the type of collagen expression was sequentially delayed (around 21 days). The gene expression of some trophic factors involved in tissue remodeling was congruent with the cellular events. Our findings suggested that the responsiveness of macrophages after non-crosslinked skin scaffolds implantation seemed to intimately affect various cell responses and molecular events; and this range of mutually reinforcing actions was predictive of a positive tissue remodeling that was essential for the long-standing success of the implants. Furthermore, our study indicates that non-crosslinked biologic scaffold implantation is biocompatible to the host tissue and somehow underlying molecular events involved in tissue repair. PMID:27725772

  7. Neural mechanisms underlying the induction and relief of perceptual curiosity.

    PubMed

    Jepma, Marieke; Verdonschot, Rinus G; van Steenbergen, Henk; Rombouts, Serge A R B; Nieuwenhuis, Sander

    2012-01-01

    Curiosity is one of the most basic biological drives in both animals and humans, and has been identified as a key motive for learning and discovery. Despite the importance of curiosity and related behaviors, the topic has been largely neglected in human neuroscience; hence little is known about the neurobiological mechanisms underlying curiosity. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate what happens in our brain during the induction and subsequent relief of perceptual curiosity. Our core findings were that (1) the induction of perceptual curiosity, through the presentation of ambiguous visual input, activated the anterior insula and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), brain regions sensitive to conflict and arousal; (2) the relief of perceptual curiosity, through visual disambiguation, activated regions of the striatum that have been related to reward processing; and (3) the relief of perceptual curiosity was associated with hippocampal activation and enhanced incidental memory. These findings provide the first demonstration of the neural basis of human perceptual curiosity. Our results provide neurobiological support for a classic psychological theory of curiosity, which holds that curiosity is an aversive condition of increased arousal whose termination is rewarding and facilitates memory.

  8. Cellular mechanisms underlying spatiotemporal features of cholinergic retinal waves

    PubMed Central

    Ford, Kevin J.; Félix, Aude L.; Feller, Marla B.

    2012-01-01

    Prior to vision, a transient network of recurrently connected cholinergic interneurons, called starburst amacrine cells (SACs), generates spontaneous retinal waves. Despite an absence of robust inhibition, cholinergic retinal waves initiate infrequently and propagate within finite boundaries. Here we combine a variety of electrophysiological and imaging techniques and computational modeling to elucidate the mechanisms underlying these spatial and temporal properties of waves in developing mouse retina. Waves initiate via rare spontaneous depolarizations of SACs. Waves propagate through recurrent cholinergic connections between SACs and volume release of ACh as demonstrated using paired recordings and a cell-based ACh optical sensor. Perforated patch recordings and two-photon calcium imaging reveal that individual SACs have slow afterhyperpolarizations that induce SACs to have variable depolarizations during sequential waves. Using a computational model in which the properties of SACs are based on these physiological measurements, we reproduce the slow frequency, speed, and finite size of recorded waves. This study represents a detailed description of the circuit that mediates cholinergic retinal waves and indicates that variability of the interneurons that generate this network activity may be critical for the robustness of waves across different species and stages of development. PMID:22262883

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

    PubMed

    Higuchi, Osamu; Yamanashi, Yuji

    2011-07-01

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

  10. Integrated random-aligned carbon nanotube layers: deformation mechanism under compression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Zhiping; Gui, Xuchun; Gan, Qiming; Lin, Zhiqiang; Zhu, Yuan; Zhang, Wenhui; Xiang, Rong; Cao, Anyuan; Tang, Zikang

    2014-01-01

    Carbon nanotubes have the potential to construct highly compressible and elastic macroscopic structures such as films, aerogels and sponges. The structure-related deformation mechanism determines the mechanical behavior of those structures and niche applications. Here, we show a novel strategy to integrate aligned and random nanotube layers and reveal their deformation mechanism under uniaxial compression with a large range of strain and cyclic testing. Integrated nanotube layers deform sequentially with different mechanisms due to the distinct morphology of each layer. While the aligned layer forms buckles under compression, nanotubes in the random layer tend to be parallel and form bundles, resulting in the integration of quite different properties (strength and stiffness) and correspondingly distinct plateau regions in the stress-strain curves. Our results indicate a great promise of constructing hierarchical carbon nanotube structures with tailored energy absorption properties, for applications such as cushioning and buffering layers in microelectromechanical systems.Carbon nanotubes have the potential to construct highly compressible and elastic macroscopic structures such as films, aerogels and sponges. The structure-related deformation mechanism determines the mechanical behavior of those structures and niche applications. Here, we show a novel strategy to integrate aligned and random nanotube layers and reveal their deformation mechanism under uniaxial compression with a large range of strain and cyclic testing. Integrated nanotube layers deform sequentially with different mechanisms due to the distinct morphology of each layer. While the aligned layer forms buckles under compression, nanotubes in the random layer tend to be parallel and form bundles, resulting in the integration of quite different properties (strength and stiffness) and correspondingly distinct plateau regions in the stress-strain curves. Our results indicate a great promise of

  11. Biochar Mechanisms of Heavy Metal Sorption and Potential Utility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ippolito, J.

    2015-12-01

    Mining-affected lands are a global issue; in the USA alone there are an estimated 500,000 abandoned mines encompassing hundreds of thousands of hectares. Many of these sites generate acidic mine drainage that causes release of heavy metals, and subsequently degradation in environmental quality. Because of its potential liming characteristics, biochar may play a pivotal role as a soil amendment in future mine land reclamation. However, to date, most studies have focused on the use of biochar to sorb metals from solution. Previous studies suggest that metals are complexed by biochar surface function groups (leading to ion exchange, complexation), coordination with Pi electrons (C=C) of carbon, and precipitation of inorganic mineral phases. Several recent studies have focused on the use of biochar for amending mine land soils, showing that biochar can indeed reduce heavy metal lability, yet the mechanism(s) behind labile metal reduction have yet to be established. In a proof-of-concept study, we added lodgepole pine, tamarisk, and switchgrass biochar (0, 5, 10, 15% by weight; 500 oC) to four different western US mine land soils affected by various heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Mn, Pb, Zn). Extraction with 0.01M CaCl2 showed that increasing biochar application rate significantly decreased 'bioaccessible' metals in almost all instances. A concomitant increase in solution pH was observed, suggesting that metals may be rendered bio-inaccessible through precipitation as carbonate or (hydr)oxide phases, or sorbed onto mineral surfaces. However, this was only supposition and required further research. Thus, following the 0.01M CaCl2 extraction, biochar-soil mixtures were air-dried and metals were further extracted using the four-step BCR sequential removal procedure. Results from selective extraction suggest that, as compared to the controls, most metals in the biochar-amended mine land soils were associated with exchange sites, carbonate, and oxide phases. Biochar may play a

  12. Androgen dependence in hamsters: overdose, tolerance, and potential opioidergic mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Peters, K D; Wood, R I

    2005-01-01

    Anabolic steroids are drugs of abuse. However, the potential for steroid reward and addiction remains largely unexplored. This study used i.c.v. testosterone self-administration and controlled infusions of testosterone or vehicle in hamsters to explore central mechanisms of androgen overdose. Forty-two hamsters used nose-pokes to self-administer 1 microg/microl testosterone i.c.v. 4 h/day in an operant chamber. During 1-56 days of androgen self-administration, 10 (24%) hamsters died. Deaths correlated with peak daily intake of testosterone. Of the hamsters that self-administered a peak intake of <20 microg/day, there was 100% survival (10/10). Survival decreased to 86% (19/22) when daily testosterone intake peaked at 20-60 microg/day. Only 30% (three of 10) survived when daily testosterone intake exceeded 60 microg/day. Deaths are not due to volume or vehicle because i.c.v. infusions of 80 mul vehicle had no effect. Testosterone overdose resembles opiate intoxication. When male hamsters received infusions of 40 microg testosterone, locomotion (25.1+/-18.8 grid-crossings/10 min), respiration (72.7+/-5.4 breaths/min) and body temperature (33.5+/-0.4 degrees C) were significantly reduced, compared with males receiving vehicle infusions (186.1+/-8.1 crossings/10 min, 117.6+/-1.0 breaths/min, 35.9+/-0.1 degrees C, P<0.05). However, males developed tolerance to continued daily testosterone infusion. After 15 days, locomotion (170.2+/-6.3 crossings), respiration (118.4+/-1.3 breaths/min), and body temperature (35.3+/-0.3 degrees C) in testosterone-infused males were equivalent to that in vehicle controls (P>0.05). The depressive effects of testosterone infusion are blocked by the opioid antagonist, naltrexone. With naltrexone pre-treatment (10 mg/kg s.c.), locomotion (183.7+/-1.8 crossings/10 min), respiration (116.9+/-0.3 breaths/min), and body temperature (36.1+/-0.4 degrees C) during testosterone infusion were equivalent to vehicle controls. Likewise, naltrexone

  13. Recent experimental developments concerning the mechanisms underlying dust emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKenna Neuman, C. L.; Sanderson, R. S.; O'Brien, P.

    2012-12-01

    Field based studies have been invaluable in elucidating the great variability and complexity in natural surfaces that emit dust. Spanning hours to days, and meters to kilometers, measurements of the regional and global characteristics of dust emission and transport are contributing to a clearer understanding of these phenomena. This work has been complimented by the development of increasingly more sophisticated atmospheric dispersion models. Only very recently, however, has much attention been paid to the physics of dust emission from the bed surface that necessarily require precise, high frequency measurements over fractions of millimeters under carefully manipulated conditions. This paper provides an overview of recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms of dust emission, as derived from experiments carried out in the Trent boundary layer wind tunnel by a variety of workers. Energy transfer to the bed surface through the impacts of saltating particles has long been recognized as crucial for the ejection of silt and clay sized particles from surfaces where interparticle bonding is significant. Using Particle Tracking Velocimetry (PTV) and laser Doppler anemometry (LDA), we are now able to measure the energy transfer to the surface and the consequent deformation/rupture for both loose and consolidated beds of silt. The coefficient of restitution is found to decrease with particle impact speed, although some compaction may also occur with plowing and displacement of loose bed material (Gordon and McKenna Neuman, 2009). Further consideration is given to wind pumping as an alternate mechanism for dust entrainment from surfaces that are armored; that is, where insufficient sand supply is available to the support the development of a saltation cloud. LDA and pressure tap measurements confirm that turbulent structures measured in the atmospheric boundary layer are able to penetrate into the pores of gravel sized material, and specifically, the smelter waste

  14. Potential effects of intrinsic heart pacemaker cell mechanisms on dysrhythmic cardiac action potential firing

    PubMed Central

    Yaniv, Yael; Tsutsui, Kenta; Lakatta, Edward G.

    2015-01-01

    The heart's regular electrical activity is initiated by specialized cardiac pacemaker cells residing in the sinoatrial node. The rate and rhythm of spontaneous action potential firing of sinoatrial node cells are regulated by stochastic mechanisms that determine the level of coupling of chemical to electrical clocks within cardiac pacemaker cells. This coupled-clock system is modulated by autonomic signaling from the brain via neurotransmitter release from the vagus and sympathetic nerves. Abnormalities in brain-heart clock connections or in any molecular clock activity within pacemaker cells lead to abnormalities in the beating rate and rhythm of the pacemaker tissue that initiates the cardiac impulse. Dysfunction of pacemaker tissue can lead to tachy-brady heart rate alternation or exit block that leads to long atrial pauses and increases susceptibility to other cardiac arrhythmia. Here we review evidence for the idea that disturbances in the intrinsic components of pacemaker cells may be implemented in arrhythmia induction in the heart. PMID:25755643

  15. Formation of nucleoside 5'-polyphosphates under potentially prebiological conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lohrmann, R.

    1976-01-01

    The characteristics and efficiencies of biochemical reactions involving nucleoside 5'-diphosphates and -triphosphates (important substrates of RNA and DNA synthesis) under conditions corresponding to the primitive prebiotic earth are investigated. Urea catalysis of the formation of linear inorganic polyphosphates and metal ions promoting the reactions are discussed. Linear polyphosphate was incubated with Mg(++) in the presence of a nucleoside 5'-phosphate, to yield nucleoside 5'-polyphosphates when products are dried, while Mg(++) prompts depolymerization to trimetaphosphate in aqueous solutions. Plausible biogenetic pathways are examined.

  16. Study of mechanical behavior of AFM silicon tips under mechanical load

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopycinska-Mueller, M.; Gluch, J.; Köhler, B.

    2016-11-01

    In this paper we address critical issues concerning calibration of AFM based methods used for nanoscale mechanical characterization of materials. It has been shown that calibration approaches based on macroscopic models for contact mechanics may yield excellent results in terms of the indentation modulus of the sample, but fail to provide a comprehensive and actual information concerning the tip–sample contact radius or the mechanical properties of the tip. Explanations for the severely reduced indentation modulus of the tip included the inadequacies of the models used for calculations of the tip–sample contact stiffness, discrepancies in the actual and ideal shape of the tip, presence of the amorphous silicon phase within the silicon tip, as well as negligence of the actual size of the stress field created in the tip during elastic interactions. To clarify these issues, we investigated the influence of the mechanical load applied to four AFM silicon tips on their crystalline state by exposing them to systematically increasing loads, evaluating the character of the tip–sample interactions via the load-unload stiffness curves, and assessing the state of the tips from HR-TEM images. The results presented in this paper were obtained in a series of relatively simple and basic atomic force acoustic microscopy (AFAM) experiments. The novel combination of TEM imaging of the AFM tips with the analysis of the load-unload stiffness curves gave us a detailed insight into their mechanical behavior under load conditions. We were able to identify the limits for the elastic interactions, as well as the hallmarks for phase transformation and dislocation formation and movement. The comparison of the physical dimensions of the AFM tips, geometry parameters determined from the values of the contact stiffness, and the information on the crystalline state of the tips allowed us a better understanding of the nanoscale contact.

  17. Potential self-regulatory mechanisms of yoga for psychological health

    PubMed Central

    Gard, Tim; Noggle, Jessica J.; Park, Crystal L.; Vago, David R.; Wilson, Angela

    2014-01-01

    Research suggesting the beneficial effects of yoga on myriad aspects of psychological health has proliferated in recent years, yet there is currently no overarching framework by which to understand yoga’s potential beneficial effects. Here we provide a theoretical framework and systems-based network model of yoga that focuses on integration of top-down and bottom-up forms of self-regulation. We begin by contextualizing yoga in historical and contemporary settings, and then detail how specific components of yoga practice may affect cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and autonomic output under stress through an emphasis on interoception and bottom-up input, resulting in physical and psychological health. The model describes yoga practice as a comprehensive skillset of synergistic process tools that facilitate bidirectional feedback and integration between high- and low-level brain networks, and afferent and re-afferent input from interoceptive processes (somatosensory, viscerosensory, chemosensory). From a predictive coding perspective we propose a shift to perceptual inference for stress modulation and optimal self-regulation. We describe how the processes that sub-serve self-regulation become more automatized and efficient over time and practice, requiring less effort to initiate when necessary and terminate more rapidly when no longer needed. To support our proposed model, we present the available evidence for yoga affecting self-regulatory pathways, integrating existing constructs from behavior theory and cognitive neuroscience with emerging yoga and meditation research. This paper is intended to guide future basic and clinical research, specifically targeting areas of development in the treatment of stress-mediated psychological disorders. PMID:25368562

  18. Mechanical and electronic properties of monolayer and bilayer phosphorene under uniaxial and isotropic strains.

    PubMed

    Hu, Ting; Han, Yang; Dong, Jinming

    2014-11-14

    The mechanical and electronic properties of both the monolayer and bilayer phosphorenes under either isotropic or uniaxial strain have been systematically investigated using first-principles calculations. It is interesting to find that: 1) Under a large enough isotropic tensile strain, the monolayer phosphorene would lose its pucker structure and transform into a flat hexagonal plane, while two inner sublayers of the bilayer phosphorene could be bonded due to its interlayer distance contraction. 2) Under the uniaxial tensile strain along a zigzag direction, the pucker distance of each layer in the bilayer phosphorene can exhibit a specific negative Poisson's ratio. 3) The electronic properties of both the monolayer and bilayer phosphorenes are sensitive to the magnitude and direction of the applied strains. Their band gaps decrease more rapidly under isotropic compressive strain than under uniaxial strain. Also, their direct-indirect band gap transitions happen at the larger isotropic tensile strains compared with that under uniaxial strain. 4) Under the isotropic compressive strain, the bilayer phosphorene exhibits a transition from a direct-gap semiconductor to a metal. In contrast, the monolayer phosphorene initially has the direct-indirect transition and then transitions to a metal. However, under isotropic tensile strain, both the bilayer and monolayer phosphorene show the direct-indirect transition and, finally, the transition to a metal. Our numerical results may open new potential applications of phosphorene in nanoelectronics and nanomechanical devices by external isotropic strain or uniaxial strain along different directions.

  19. Sex differences in the mechanisms underlying long QT syndrome.

    PubMed

    Salama, Guy; Bett, Glenna C L

    2014-09-01

    Sexual dimorphism is a well-established phenomenon, but its degree varies tremendously among species. Since the early days of Einthoven's development of the three-lead galvanometer ECG, we have known there are marked differences in QT intervals of men and women. It required over a century to appreciate the profound implications of sex-based electrophysiological differences in QT interval on the panoply of sex differences with respect to arrhythmia risk, drug sensitivity, and treatment modalities. Little is known about the fundamental mechanism responsible for sex differences in electrical substrate of the human heart, in large part due to the lack of tissue availability. Animal models are an important research tool, but species differences in the sexual dimorphism of the QT interval, the ionic currents underlying the cardiac repolarization, and effects of sex steroids make it difficult to interpolate animal to human sex differences. In addition, in some species, different strains of the same animal model yield conflicting data. Each model has its strengths, such as ease of genetic manipulation in mice or size in dogs. However, many animals do not reproduce the sexual dimorphism of QT seen in humans. To match sex linked prolongation of QT interval and arrhythmogenic phenotype, the current data suggest that the rabbit may be best suited to provide insight into sex differences in humans. In the future, emerging technologies such as induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiac myocyte systems may offer the opportunity to study sex differences in a controlled hormonal situation in the context of a sex specific human model system.

  20. Mechanisms underlying obesity resistance associated with high spontaneous physical activity.

    PubMed

    Teske, J A; Billington, C J; Kotz, C M

    2014-01-01

    Obesity resistance due to elevated orexin signaling is accompanied by high levels of spontaneous physical activity (SPA). The behavioral and neural mechanisms underlying this observation have not been fully worked out. We determined the contribution of hypothalamic orexin receptors (OXRs) to SPA stimulated by orexin A (OXA), whether OXA-stimulated SPA was secondary to arousal and whether voluntary wheel running led to compensations in 24-h SPA. We further tested whether orexin action on dopamine one receptors (DA1R) in the substantia nigra (SN) plays an important role in the generation of SPA. To test this, SPA response was determined in lean and obese rats with cannulae targeted toward the rostral lateral hypothalamus (rLH) or SN. Sleep/wake states were also measured in rats with rLH cannula and electroencephalogram/electromyogram radiotelemetry transmitters. SPA in lean rats was more sensitive to antagonism of the OX1R and in the early response to the orexin 2 agonist. OXA increased arousal equally in lean and obese rodents, which is discordant from the greater SPA response in lean rats. Obesity-resistant rats ran more and wheel running was directly related to 24-h SPA levels. The OX1R antagonist, SB-334867-A, and the DA1R antagonist, SCH3390, in SN more effectively reduced SPA stimulated by OXA in obesity-resistant rats. These data suggest OXA-stimulated SPA is not secondary to enhanced arousal, propensity for SPA parallels inclination to run and that orexin action on dopaminergic neurons in SN may participate in the mediation of SPA and running wheel activity.

  1. Cognitive mechanisms underlying instructed choice exploration of small city maps.

    PubMed

    Sakellaridi, Sofia; Christova, Peka; Christopoulos, Vassilios N; Vialard, Alice; Peponis, John; Georgopoulos, Apostolos P

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the cognitive mechanisms underlying the exploration and decision-making in realistic and novel environments. Twelve human subjects were shown small circular U.S. city maps with two locations highlighted on the circumference, as possible choices for a post office ("targets"). At the beginning of a trial, subjects fixated a spot at the center of the map and ultimately chose one of the two locations. A space syntax analysis of the map paths (from the center to each target) revealed that the chosen location was associated with the less convoluted path, as if subjects navigated mentally the paths in an "ant's way," i.e., by staying within street boundaries, and ultimately choosing the target that could be reached from the center in the shortest way, and the fewest turns and intersections. The subjects' strategy for map exploration and decision making was investigated by monitoring eye position during the task. This revealed a restricted exploration of the map delimited by the location of the two alternative options and the center of the map. Specifically, subjects explored the areas around the two target options by repeatedly looking at them before deciding which one to choose, presumably implementing an evaluation and decision-making process. The ultimate selection of a specific target was significantly associated with the time spent exploring the area around that target. Finally, an analysis of the sequence of eye fixations revealed that subjects tended to look systematically toward the target ultimately chosen even from the beginning of the trial. This finding indicates an early cognitive selection bias for the ensuing decision process.

  2. Sex differences in the mechanisms underlying long QT syndrome.

    PubMed

    Salama, Guy; Bett, Glenna C L

    2014-09-01

    Sexual dimorphism is a well-established phenomenon, but its degree varies tremendously among species. Since the early days of Einthoven's development of the three-lead galvanometer ECG, we have known there are marked differences in QT intervals of men and women. It required over a century to appreciate the profound implications of sex-based electrophysiological differences in QT interval on the panoply of sex differences with respect to arrhythmia risk, drug sensitivity, and treatment modalities. Little is known about the fundamental mechanism responsible for sex differences in electrical substrate of the human heart, in large part due to the lack of tissue availability. Animal models are an important research tool, but species differences in the sexual dimorphism of the QT interval, the ionic currents underlying the cardiac repolarization, and effects of sex steroids make it difficult to interpolate animal to human sex differences. In addition, in some species, different strains of the same animal model yield conflicting data. Each model has its strengths, such as ease of genetic manipulation in mice or size in dogs. However, many animals do not reproduce the sexual dimorphism of QT seen in humans. To match sex linked prolongation of QT interval and arrhythmogenic phenotype, the current data suggest that the rabbit may be best suited to provide insight into sex differences in humans. In the future, emerging technologies such as induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiac myocyte systems may offer the opportunity to study sex differences in a controlled hormonal situation in the context of a sex specific human model system. PMID:24973386

  3. Plant-insect interactions under bacterial influence: ecological implications and underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Sugio, Akiko; Dubreuil, Géraldine; Giron, David; Simon, Jean-Christophe

    2015-02-01

    Plants and insects have been co-existing for more than 400 million years, leading to intimate and complex relationships. Throughout their own evolutionary history, plants and insects have also established intricate and very diverse relationships with microbial associates. Studies in recent years have revealed plant- or insect-associated microbes to be instrumental in plant-insect interactions, with important implications for plant defences and plant utilization by insects. Microbial communities associated with plants are rich in diversity, and their structure greatly differs between below- and above-ground levels. Microbial communities associated with insect herbivores generally present a lower diversity and can reside in different body parts of their hosts including bacteriocytes, haemolymph, gut, and salivary glands. Acquisition of microbial communities by vertical or horizontal transmission and possible genetic exchanges through lateral transfer could strongly impact on the host insect or plant fitness by conferring adaptations to new habitats. Recent developments in sequencing technologies and molecular tools have dramatically enhanced opportunities to characterize the microbial diversity associated with plants and insects and have unveiled some of the mechanisms by which symbionts modulate plant-insect interactions. Here, we focus on the diversity and ecological consequences of bacterial communities associated with plants and herbivorous insects. We also highlight the known mechanisms by which these microbes interfere with plant-insect interactions. Revealing such mechanisms in model systems under controlled environments but also in more natural ecological settings will help us to understand the evolution of complex multitrophic interactions in which plants, herbivorous insects, and micro-organisms are inserted.

  4. Evolutionary potential of marine phytoplankton under ocean acidification

    PubMed Central

    Collins, Sinéad; Rost, Björn; Rynearson, Tatiana A

    2014-01-01

    Marine phytoplankton have many obvious characters, such as rapid cell division rates and large population sizes, that give them the capacity to evolve in response to global change on timescales of weeks, months or decades. However, few studies directly investigate if this adaptive potential is likely to be realized. Because of this, evidence of to whether and how marine phytoplankton may evolve in response to global change is sparse. Here, we review studies that help predict evolutionary responses to global change in marine phytoplankton. We find limited support from experimental evolution that some taxa of marine phytoplankton may adapt to ocean acidification, and strong indications from studies of variation and structure in natural populations that selection on standing genetic variation is likely. Furthermore, we highlight the large body of literature on plastic responses to ocean acidification available, and evolutionary theory that may be used to link plastic and evolutionary responses. Because of the taxonomic breadth spanned by marine phytoplankton, and the diversity of roles they fill in ocean ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles, we stress the necessity of treating taxa or functional groups individually. PMID:24454553

  5. Under Pressure: Mechanical Stress Management in the Nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Belaadi, Néjma; Aureille, Julien; Guilluy, Christophe

    2016-01-01

    Cells are constantly adjusting to the mechanical properties of their surroundings, operating a complex mechanochemical feedback, which hinges on mechanotransduction mechanisms. Whereas adhesion structures have been shown to play a central role in mechanotransduction, it now emerges that the nucleus may act as a mechanosensitive structure. Here, we review recent advances demonstrating that mechanical stress emanating from the cytoskeleton can activate pathways in the nucleus which eventually impact both its structure and the transcriptional machinery. PMID:27314389

  6. Acousto-optically generated potential energy landscapes: potential mapping using colloids under flow.

    PubMed

    Juniper, Michael P N; Besseling, Rut; Aarts, Dirk G A L; Dullens, Roel P A

    2012-12-17

    Optical potential energy landscapes created using acousto-optical deflectors are characterized via solvent-driven colloidal particles. The full potential energy of both single optical traps and complex landscapes composed of multiple overlapping traps are determined using a simple force balance argument. The potential of a single trap is shown to be well described by a Gaussian trap with stiffness found to be consistent with those obtained by a thermal equilibrium method. We also obtain directly the depth of the well, which (as with stiffness) varies with laser power. Finally, various complex systems ranging from double-well potentials to random landscapes are generated from individually controlled optical traps. Predictions of these landscapes as a sum of single Gaussian wells are shown to be a good description of experimental results, offering the potential for fully controlled design of optical landscapes, constructed from single optical traps.

  7. Semiclassical stochastic mechanics for the Coulomb potential with applications to modelling dark matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neate, Andrew; Truman, Aubrey

    2016-05-01

    Little is known about dark matter particles save that their most important interactions with ordinary matter are gravitational and that, if they exist, they are stable, slow moving and relatively massive. Based on these assumptions, a semiclassical approximation to the Schrödinger equation under the action of a Coulomb potential should be relevant for modelling their behaviour. We investigate the semiclassical limit of the Schrödinger equation for a particle of mass M under a Coulomb potential in the context of Nelson's stochastic mechanics. This is done using a Freidlin-Wentzell asymptotic series expansion in the parameter ɛ = √{ ħ / M } for the Nelson diffusion. It is shown that for wave functions ψ ˜ exp((R + iS)/ɛ2) where R and S are real valued, the ɛ = 0 behaviour is governed by a constrained Hamiltonian system with Hamiltonian Hr and constraint Hi = 0 where the superscripts r and i denote the real and imaginary parts of the Bohr correspondence limit of the quantum mechanical Hamiltonian, independent of Nelson's ideas. Nelson's stochastic mechanics is restored in dealing with the nodal surface singularities and by computing (correct to first order in ɛ) the relevant diffusion process in terms of Jacobi fields thereby revealing Kepler's laws in a new light. The key here is that the constrained Hamiltonian system has just two solutions corresponding to the forward and backward drifts in Nelson's stochastic mechanics. We discuss the application of this theory to modelling dark matter particles under the influence of a large gravitating point mass.

  8. [Neural mechanism underlying autistic savant and acquired savant syndrome].

    PubMed

    Takahata, Keisuke; Kato, Motoichiro

    2008-07-01

    , especially that of the prefrontal cortex and the posterior regions of the brain. (3) Autistic models, including those based on weak central coherence theory (Frith, 1989), that focus on how savant skills emerge from an autistic brain. Based on recent neuroimaging studies of ASD, Just et al. (2004) suggested the underconnectivity theory, which emphasizes the disruption of long-range connectivity and the relative intact or even more enhanced local connectivity in the autistic brain. All the models listed above have certain advantages and shortcomings. At the end of this review, we propose another integrative model of savant syndrome. In this model, we predict an altered balance of local/global connectivity patterns that contribute to an altered functional segregation/integration ratio. In particular, we emphasize the crucial role played by the disruption of global connectivity in a parallel distributed cortical network, which might result in impairment in integrated cognitive processing, such as impairment in executive function and social cognition. On the other hand, the reduced inter-regional collaboration could lead to a disinhibitory enhancement of neural activity and connectivity in local cortical regions. In addition, enhanced connectivity in the local brain regions is partly due to the abnormal organization of the cortical network as a result of developmental and pathological states. This enhanced local connectivity results in the specialization and facilitation of low-level cognitive processing. The disruption of connectivity between the prefrontal cortex and other regions is considered to be a particularly important factor because the prefrontal region shows the most influential inhibitory control on other cortical areas. We propose that these neural mechanisms as the underlying causes for the emergence of savant ability in ASD and FTD patients.

  9. The conundrum of inhibitory signaling by ITAM-containing immunoreceptors: potential molecular mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Waterman, Paul M.; Cambier, John C.

    2010-01-01

    Immunoreceptor signals must be appropriately transduced and regulated to achieve effective immunity while controlling inflammation and autoimmunity. It is generally held that these processes are mediated by the interplay of distinct activating and inhibitory receptors via conserved activating (ITAM) and inhibitory (ITIM) signaling motifs. However, recent evidence indicates that under certain conditions incomplete phosphorylation of ITAM tyrosines leads to inhibitory signals. This new regulatory function of ITAMs has been termed ITAMi (inhibitory ITAM). Here we discuss the potential molecular mechanisms of inhibitory signaling by ITAM-containing receptors. PMID:20875413

  10. Mechanisms underlying differential food-allergic response to heated egg

    PubMed Central

    Martos, Gustavo; Lopez-Exposito, Ivan; Bencharitiwong, Ramon; Berin, Cecilia; Nowak-Węgrzyn, Anna

    2011-01-01

    Background Egg white proteins are usually subjected to heating, making them edible for the majority of egg-allergic children. Objective We sought to investigate the underlying mechanisms responsible for the reduced allergenicity displayed by heat-treated egg white allergens. Methods C3H/HeJ mice were orally sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) or ovomucoid (OM) and challenged with native or heated proteins to evaluate their allergenicity. Immunoreactivity was assessed by immunoblotting using sera from egg-allergic children. In vitro gastrointestinal digestion of native and heated OVA and OM was studied by SDS-PAGE and liquid chromatography. Intestinal uptake of intact native and heated OVA and OM by human intestinal epithelial (Caco-2) cells was investigated. Rat basophil leukemia (RBL) cells passively sensitized with mouse serum and human basophils passively sensitized with egg-allergic children’s serum were used to assess the effector cell activation by heated, digested and transported OVA and OM. Results Heated OVA and OM did not induce symptoms of anaphylaxis in sensitized mice when administered orally. Heating did not completely destroy IgE-binding capacity of OVA or OM but enhanced in vitro digestibility of OVA. Digestion of both OVA and OM diminished mediator release in RBL assay and basophil activation. Heating of allergens prevented transport across human intestinal epithelial cells in a form capable of triggering basophil activation or T cell activation. Conclusions Heat treatment reduces allergenicity of OVA and OM. This is partially due to the enhanced gastrointestinal digestibility of heated OVA and the inability of heated OVA or OM to be absorbed in a form capable of triggering basophils. Clinical implications Reduced allergenicity of heated egg white proteins partially resulting from altered digestion and absorption in the gastrointestinal tract may explain the clinical tolerance of extensively heated egg in the majority of egg-allergic children

  11. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying learning and the inheritance of learned behaviors.

    PubMed

    Dias, Brian G; Maddox, Stephanie A; Klengel, Torsten; Ressler, Kerry J

    2015-02-01

    Gene expression and regulation is an important sculptor of the behavior of organisms. Epigenetic mechanisms regulate gene expression not by altering the genetic alphabet but rather by the addition of chemical modifications to proteins associated with the alphabet or of methyl marks to the alphabet itself. Being dynamic, epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation serve as an important bridge between environmental stimuli and genotype. In this review, we outline epigenetic mechanisms by which gene expression is regulated in animals and humans. Using fear learning as a framework, we then delineate how such mechanisms underlie learning and stress responsiveness. Finally, we discuss how epigenetic mechanisms might inform us about the transgenerational inheritance of behavioral traits that are being increasingly reported.

  12. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying learning and the inheritance of learned behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Klengel, Torsten; Ressler, Kerry J

    2014-01-01

    Gene expression and regulation is an important sculptor of the behavior of organisms. Epigenetic mechanisms regulate gene expression not by altering the genetic alphabet but rather by the addition of chemical modifications to proteins associated with the alphabet or of methyl marks to the alphabet itself. Being dynamic, epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation serve as an important bridge between environmental stimuli and genotype. In this review, we outline epigenetic mechanisms by which gene expression is regulated in animals and humans. Using fear learning as a framework, we then delineate how such mechanisms underlie learning and stress responsiveness. Finally, we discuss how epigenetic mechanisms might inform us about the transgenerational inheritance of behavioral traits that are being increasingly reported. PMID:25544352

  13. Mechanisms and pharmacogenetic signals underlying thiazide diuretics blood pressure response.

    PubMed

    Shahin, Mohamed H; Johnson, Julie A

    2016-04-01

    Thiazide (TZD) diuretics are among the most commonly prescribed antihypertensives globally; however their chronic blood pressure (BP) lowering mechanism remains unclear. Herein we discuss the current evidence regarding specific mechanisms regulating the antihypertensive effects of TZDs, suggesting that TZDs act via multiple complex and interacting mechanisms, including natriuresis with short term use and direct vasodilatory effects chronically. Additionally, we review pharmacogenomics signals that have been associated with TZDs BP-response in several cohorts (i.e. NEDD4L, PRKCA, EDNRA-GNAS, and YEATS4) and discuss how these genes might be related to TZD BP-response mechanism. Understanding the association between these genes and TZD BP mechanism might facilitate the development of new drugs and therapeutic approaches based on a deeper understanding of the determinants of BP-response.

  14. Cadmium transfer and detoxification mechanisms in a soil-mulberry-silkworm system: phytoremediation potential.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Lingyun; Zhao, Ye; Wang, Shuifeng

    2015-11-01

    Phytoremediation has been proven to be an environmentally sound alternative for the recovery of contaminated soils, and the economic profit that comes along with the process might stimulate its field use. This study investigated cadmium (Cd) transfer and detoxification mechanisms in a soil-mulberry-silkworm system to estimate the suitability of the mulberry and silkworm as an alternative method for the remediation of Cd-polluted soil; it also explored the underlying mechanisms regulating the trophic transfer of Cd. The results show that both the mulberry and silkworm have high Cd tolerance. The transfer factor suggests that the mulberry has high potential for Cd extraction from polluted soil. The subcellular distribution and chemical forms of Cd in mulberry leaves show that cell wall deposition and vacuolar compartmentalization play important role in Cd tolerance. In the presence of increasing Cd concentrations in silkworm food, detoxification mechanisms (excretion and homeostasis) were activated so that excess Cd was excreted in fecal balls, and metallothionein levels in the mid-gut, the posterior of the silk gland, and the fat body of silkworms were enhanced. And, the Cd concentrations in silk are at a low level, ranging from 0.02 to 0.21 mg kg(-1). Therefore, these mechanisms of detoxification can regulate Cd trophic transfer, and mulberry planting and silkworm breeding has high phytoremediation potential for Cd-contaminated soil.

  15. A potential mechanism for allometric trabecular bone scaling in terrestrial mammals.

    PubMed

    Christen, Patrik; Ito, Keita; van Rietbergen, Bert

    2015-03-01

    Trabecular bone microstructural parameters, including trabecular thickness, spacing, and number, have been reported to scale with animal size with negative allometry, whereas bone volume fraction is animal size-invariant in terrestrial mammals. As for the majority of scaling patterns described in animals, its underlying mechanism is unknown. However, it has also been found that osteocyte density is inversely related to animal size, possibly adapted to metabolic rate, which shows a negative relationship as well. In addition, the signalling reach of osteocytes is limited by the extent of the lacuno-canalicular network, depending on trabecular dimensions and thus also on animal size. Here we propose animal size-dependent variations in osteocyte density and their signalling influence distance as a potential mechanism for negative allometric trabecular bone scaling in terrestrial mammals. Using an established and tested computational model of bone modelling and remodelling, we run simulations with different osteocyte densities and influence distances mimicking six terrestrial mammals covering a large range of body masses. Simulated trabecular structures revealed negative allometric scaling for trabecular thickness, spacing, and number, constant bone volume fraction, and bone turnover rates inversely related to animal size. These results are in agreement with previous observations supporting our proposal of osteocyte density and influence distance variation as a potential mechanism for negative allometric trabecular bone scaling in terrestrial mammals. The inverse relationship between bone turnover rates and animal size further indicates that trabecular bone scaling may be linked to metabolic rather than mechanical adaptations.

  16. Deciphering the underlying mechanisms of Diesun Miaofang in traumatic injury from a systems pharmacology perspective.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Chun-Song; Fu, Chang-Long; Pan, Cai-Bin; Bao, Hong-Juan; Chen, Xing-Qiang; Ye, Hong-Zhi; Ye, Jin-Xia; Wu, Guang-Wen; Li, Xi-Hai; Xu, Hui-Feng; Xu, Xiao-Jie; Liu, Xian-Xiang

    2015-08-01

    Diesun Miaofang (DSMF) is a traditional herbal formula, which has been reported to activate blood, remove stasis, promote qi circulation and relieve pain. DSMF holds a great promise for the treatment of traumatic injury in an integrative and holistic manner. However, its underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated. In the present study, a systems pharmacology model, which integrated cluster ligands, human intestinal absorption and aqueous solution prediction, chemical space mapping, molecular docking and network pharmacology techniques were used. The compounds from DSMF were diverse in the clusters and chemical space. The majority of the compounds exhibited drug-like properties. A total of 59 compounds were identified to interact with 16 potential targets. In the herb-compound-target network, the majority of compounds acted on only one target; however, a small number of compounds acted on a large number of targets, up to a maximum of 12. The comparison of key topological properties in compound-target networks associated with the above efficacy intuitively demonstrated that potential active compounds possessed diverse functions. These results successfully explained the polypharmacological mechanism underlying the efficiency of DSMF for the treatment of traumatic injury as well as provided insight into potential novel therapeutic strategies for traumatic injury from herbal medicine. PMID:25891262

  17. Mechanisms underlying the early phase of spike frequency adaptation in mouse spinal motoneurones.

    PubMed

    Miles, G B; Dai, Y; Brownstone, R M

    2005-07-15

    Spike frequency adaptation (SFA) is a fundamental property of repetitive firing in motoneurones (MNs). Early SFA (occurring over several hundred milliseconds) is thought to be important in the initiation of muscular contraction. To date the mechanisms underlying SFA in spinal MNs remain unclear. In the present study, we used both whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of MNs in lumbar spinal cord slices prepared from motor functionally mature mice and computer modelling of spinal MNs to investigate the mechanisms underlying SFA. Pharmacological blocking agents applied during whole-cell recordings in current-clamp mode demonstrated that the medium AHP conductance (apamin), BK-type Ca2+ -dependent K+ channels (iberiotoxin), voltage-activated Ca2+ channels (CdCl2), M-current (linopirdine) and persistent Na+ currents (riluzole) are all unnecessary for SFA. Measurements of Na+ channel availability including action potential amplitude, action potential threshold and maximum depolarization rate of the action potential were found to correlate with instantaneous firing frequency suggesting that the availability of fast, inactivating Na+ channels is involved in SFA. Characterization of this Na+ conductance in voltage-clamp mode demonstrated that it undergoes slow inactivation with a time course similar to that of SFA. When experimentally measured parameters for the fast, inactivating Na+ conductance (including slow inactivation) were incorporated into a MN model, SFA could be faithfully reproduced. The removal of slow inactivation from this model was sufficient to remove SFA. These data indicate that slow inactivation of the fast, inactivating Na+ conductance is likely to be the key mechanism underlying early SFA in spinal MNs.

  18. Bolted Double-Lap Composite Joints Under Mechanical and Thermal Loading

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kradinov, V.; Barut, A.; Madenci, E.; Walker, Sandra P. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    This study concerns the determination of the contact stresses and contact region around bolt holes and the bolt load distribution in single- and double-lap joints of composite laminates with arbitrarily located bolts under general mechanical loading conditions and uniform temperature change. The unknown contact stress distribution and contact region between the bolt and laminates and the interaction among the bolts require the bolt load distribution, as well as the contact stresses, to be as part of the solution. The present method is based on the complex potential theory and the variational formulation in order to account for bolt stiffness, bolt-hole clearance, and finite geometry of the composite laminates.

  19. Mechanical fatigue performance of PCL-chondroprogenitor constructs after cell culture under bioreactor mechanical stimulus.

    PubMed

    Panadero, Juan Alberto; Sencadas, Vitor; Silva, Sonia C M; Ribeiro, Clarisse; Correia, Vitor; Gama, Francisco M; Gomez Ribelles, José Luis; Lanceros-Mendez, Senentxu

    2016-02-01

    In tissue engineering of cartilage, polymeric scaffolds are implanted in the damaged tissue and subjected to repeated compression loading cycles. The possibility of failure due to mechanical fatigue has not been properly addressed in these scaffolds. Nevertheless, the macroporous scaffold is susceptible to failure after repeated loading-unloading cycles. This is related to inherent discontinuities in the material due to the micropore structure of the macro-pore walls that act as stress concentration points. In this work, chondrogenic precursor cells have been seeded in poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) scaffolds with fibrin and some were submitted to free swelling culture and others to cyclic loading in a bioreactor. After cell culture, all the samples were analyzed for fatigue behavior under repeated loading-unloading cycles. Moreover, some components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) were identified. No differences were observed between samples undergoing free swelling or bioreactor loading conditions, neither respect to matrix components nor to mechanical performance to fatigue. The ECM did not achieve the desired preponderance of collagen type II over collagen type I which is considered the main characteristic of hyaline cartilage ECM. However, prediction in PCL with ECM constructs was possible up to 600 cycles, an enhanced performance when compared to previous works. PCL after cell culture presents an improved fatigue resistance, despite the fact that the measured elastic modulus at the first cycle was similar to PCL with poly(vinyl alcohol) samples. This finding suggests that fatigue analysis in tissue engineering constructs can provide additional information missed with traditional mechanical measurements.

  20. Poroelastic Mechanical Effects of Hemicelluloses on Cellulosic Hydrogels under Compression

    PubMed Central

    Lopez-Sanchez, Patricia; Cersosimo, Julie; Wang, Dongjie; Flanagan, Bernadine; Stokes, Jason R.; Gidley, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Hemicelluloses exhibit a range of interactions with cellulose, the mechanical consequences of which in plant cell walls are incompletely understood. We report the mechanical properties of cell wall analogues based on cellulose hydrogels to elucidate the contribution of xyloglucan or arabinoxylan as examples of two hemicelluloses displaying different interactions with cellulose. We subjected the hydrogels to mechanical pressures to emulate the compressive stresses experienced by cell walls in planta. Our results revealed that the presence of either hemicellulose increased the resistance to compression at fast strain rates. However, at slow strain rates, only xyloglucan increased composite strength. This behaviour could be explained considering the microstructure and the flow of water through the composites confirming their poroelastic nature. In contrast, small deformation oscillatory rheology showed that only xyloglucan decreased the elastic moduli. These results provide evidence for contrasting roles of different hemicelluloses in plant cell wall mechanics and man-made cellulose-based composite materials. PMID:25794048

  1. New insights on neurobiological mechanisms underlying alcohol addiction.

    PubMed

    Cui, Changhai; Noronha, Antonio; Morikawa, Hitoshi; Alvarez, Veronica A; Stuber, Garret D; Szumlinski, Karen K; Kash, Thomas L; Roberto, Marisa; Wilcox, Mark V

    2013-04-01

    Alcohol dependence/addiction is mediated by complex neural mechanisms that involve multiple brain circuits and neuroadaptive changes in a variety of neurotransmitter and neuropeptide systems. Although recent studies have provided substantial information on the neurobiological mechanisms that drive alcohol drinking behavior, significant challenges remain in understanding how alcohol-induced neuroadaptations occur and how different neurocircuits and pathways cross-talk. This review article highlights recent progress in understanding neural mechanisms of alcohol addiction from the perspectives of the development and maintenance of alcohol dependence. It provides insights on cross talks of different mechanisms and reviews the latest studies on metaplasticity, structural plasticity, interface of reward and stress pathways, and cross-talk of different neural signaling systems involved in binge-like drinking and alcohol dependence. PMID:23159531

  2. Behavior of cracked cylinders under combined thermal and mechanical loading

    SciTech Connect

    Ignaccolo, S.

    1996-12-01

    Nuclear pressure vessels and pipings can be submitted in their life to severe mechanical and thermal loadings. Engineering methods easy to apply, but sufficiently accurate, are needed to assess the flaws. In the field of non-linear fracture mechanics a lot of work has been achieved for structures submitted to mechanical loadings. But for thermal loadings, and particularly for thermal gradients, only few contributions are available. The authors propose, here, to present the main results of a complete set of finite element computations, conducted in France by CEA, EDF and FRAMATOME, on cracked cylinders submitted to combined mechanical and thermal loads. The interaction between these two types of loads is analyzed in the cases of austenitic and ferritic structures. Moreover, these results are compared to the predictions obtained by simplified engineering methods (R6 procedure, J{sub SA16}, and J{sub EDF} approaches). Their domain of validity is also discussed.

  3. The role of TRPA1 in muscle pain and mechanical hypersensitivity under inflammatory conditions in rats.

    PubMed

    Asgar, J; Zhang, Y; Saloman, J L; Wang, S; Chung, M-K; Ro, J Y

    2015-12-01

    Transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily A, member 1 (TRPA1) is expressed in muscle afferents and direct activation of these receptors induces acute mechanical hypersensitivity. However, the functional role of TRPA1 under pathological muscle pain conditions and mechanisms by which TRPA1 mediate muscle pain and hyperalgesia are not clearly understood. Two rodent behavioral models validated to assess craniofacial muscle pain conditions were used to study ATP- and N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced acute mechanical hypersensitivity and complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)-induced persistent mechanical hypersensitivity. The rat grimace scale (RGS) was utilized to assess inflammation-induced spontaneous muscle pain. Behavioral pharmacology experiments were performed to assess the effects of AP18, a selective TRPA1 antagonist under these conditions. TRPA1 expression levels in trigeminal ganglia (TG) were examined before and after CFA treatment in the rat masseter muscle. Pre-treatment of the muscle with AP18 dose-dependently blocked the development of acute mechanical hypersensitivity induced by NMDA and α,β-methylene adenosine triphosphate (αβmeATP), a specific agonist for NMDA and P2X3 receptor, respectively. CFA-induced mechanical hypersensitivity and spontaneous muscle pain responses were significantly reversed by post-treatment of the muscle with AP18 when CFA effects were most prominent. CFA-induced myositis was accompanied by significant up-regulation of TRPA1 expression in TG. Our findings showed that TRPA1 in muscle afferents plays an important role in the development of acute mechanical hypersensitivity and in the maintenance of persistent muscle pain and hypersensitivity. Our data suggested that TRPA1 may serve as a downstream target of pro-nociceptive ion channels, such as P2X3 and NMDA receptors in masseter afferents, and that increased TRPA1 expression under inflammatory conditions may contribute to the maintenance of persistent muscle pain

  4. Identifying Potential Mechanisms Enabling Acidophily in the Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaeon “Candidatus Nitrosotalea devanaterra”

    PubMed Central

    Sayavedra-Soto, Luis A.; Gallois, Nicolas; Schouten, Stefan; Stein, Lisa Y.; Prosser, James I.; Nicol, Graeme W.

    2016-01-01

    Ammonia oxidation is the first and rate-limiting step in nitrification and is dominated by two distinct groups of microorganisms in soil: ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB). AOA are often more abundant than AOB and dominate activity in acid soils. The mechanism of ammonia oxidation under acidic conditions has been a long-standing paradox. While high rates of ammonia oxidation are frequently measured in acid soils, cultivated ammonia oxidizers grew only at near-neutral pH when grown in standard laboratory culture. Although a number of mechanisms have been demonstrated to enable neutrophilic AOB growth at low pH in the laboratory, these have not been demonstrated in soil, and the recent cultivation of the obligately acidophilic ammonia oxidizer “Candidatus Nitrosotalea devanaterra” provides a more parsimonious explanation for the observed high rates of activity. Analysis of the sequenced genome, transcriptional activity, and lipid content of “Ca. Nitrosotalea devanaterra” reveals that previously proposed mechanisms used by AOB for growth at low pH are not essential for archaeal ammonia oxidation in acidic environments. Instead, the genome indicates that “Ca. Nitrosotalea devanaterra” contains genes encoding both a predicted high-affinity substrate acquisition system and potential pH homeostasis mechanisms absent in neutrophilic AOA. Analysis of mRNA revealed that candidate genes encoding the proposed homeostasis mechanisms were all expressed during acidophilic growth, and lipid profiling by high-performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) demonstrated that the membrane lipids of “Ca. Nitrosotalea devanaterra” were not dominated by crenarchaeol, as found in neutrophilic AOA. This study for the first time describes a genome of an obligately acidophilic ammonia oxidizer and identifies potential mechanisms enabling this unique phenotype for future biochemical characterization. PMID:26896134

  5. Identifying Potential Mechanisms Enabling Acidophily in the Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaeon "Candidatus Nitrosotalea devanaterra".

    PubMed

    Lehtovirta-Morley, Laura E; Sayavedra-Soto, Luis A; Gallois, Nicolas; Schouten, Stefan; Stein, Lisa Y; Prosser, James I; Nicol, Graeme W

    2016-05-01

    Ammonia oxidation is the first and rate-limiting step in nitrification and is dominated by two distinct groups of microorganisms in soil: ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB). AOA are often more abundant than AOB and dominate activity in acid soils. The mechanism of ammonia oxidation under acidic conditions has been a long-standing paradox. While high rates of ammonia oxidation are frequently measured in acid soils, cultivated ammonia oxidizers grew only at near-neutral pH when grown in standard laboratory culture. Although a number of mechanisms have been demonstrated to enable neutrophilic AOB growth at low pH in the laboratory, these have not been demonstrated in soil, and the recent cultivation of the obligately acidophilic ammonia oxidizer "Candidatus Nitrosotalea devanaterra" provides a more parsimonious explanation for the observed high rates of activity. Analysis of the sequenced genome, transcriptional activity, and lipid content of "Ca Nitrosotalea devanaterra" reveals that previously proposed mechanisms used by AOB for growth at low pH are not essential for archaeal ammonia oxidation in acidic environments. Instead, the genome indicates that "Ca Nitrosotalea devanaterra" contains genes encoding both a predicted high-affinity substrate acquisition system and potential pH homeostasis mechanisms absent in neutrophilic AOA. Analysis of mRNA revealed that candidate genes encoding the proposed homeostasis mechanisms were all expressed during acidophilic growth, and lipid profiling by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) demonstrated that the membrane lipids of "Ca Nitrosotalea devanaterra" were not dominated by crenarchaeol, as found in neutrophilic AOA. This study for the first time describes a genome of an obligately acidophilic ammonia oxidizer and identifies potential mechanisms enabling this unique phenotype for future biochemical characterization. PMID:26896134

  6. Reaction mechanism underlying the in vitro transformation of thioarsenicals

    SciTech Connect

    Naranmandura, Hua; Suzuki, Noriyuki; Suzuki, Kazuo T.

    2008-09-15

    Thioarsenicals have been paid much attention due to the toxicity of arsenic, since some of them are highly toxic and commonly found in the urine of mammals. We previously reported that thioarsenicals might be produced in red blood cells (RBCs). Here, we further characterized the mechanism underlying the production and metabolism of thioarsenicals in RBCs using {sup 34}S-labeled dimethylmonothioarsinic acid ({sup 34}S-DMMTA{sup V}) and purified rat hemoglobin (Hb) or a rat RBC lysate. {sup 34}S-DMMTA{sup V} did not bind to Hb on incubation with purified rat Hb, remaining in its original form. However, when {sup 34}S-DMMTA{sup V} was incubated with a rat RBC lysate, only arsenic, i.e., not sulfur ({sup 34}S), was detected in a form bound to Hb (As-Hb). In addition, another arsenic product containing sulfur ({sup 34}S) in the molar ratio of {sup 34}S/As = 2 was detected, which was assigned as dimethyldithioarsinic acid (DMDTA{sup V}), suggesting that arsenic does not bind to Hb in the form of {sup 34}S-DMMTA{sup V} but does so in the form of dimethylarsinous acid (DMA{sup III}). Namely, DMMTA{sup V} appeared to be hydrolyzed into dimethylarsinic acid (DMA{sup V}) and H{sup 34}S{sup -}, and the released H{sup 34}S{sup -} reacted with DMMTA{sup V} to produce DMDTA{sup V}. Thus, DMMTA{sup V} was transformed into DMDTA{sup V} and DMA{sup V} (2DMMTA{sup V} - > DMDTA{sup V} + DMA{sup V}), the latter product being reduced to DMA{sup III} in the presence of GSH and bound to Hb. In a separate experiment, {sup 34}S-DMMTA{sup V} was incubated with sulfide (Na{sub 2}S) and GSH. Although DMMTA{sup V} was not transformed into DMDTA{sup V} in the presence of only Na{sub 2}S or GSH, it was transformed into DMDTA{sup V} in the presence of both Na{sub 2}S and GSH. Our results suggest that DMMTA{sup V} is hydrolyzed enzymatically into DMA{sup V} and sulfide, the former being reduced to DMA{sup III} and bound to Hb, and the latter reacting with DMMTA{sup V} to yield DMDTA{sup V}. Thus

  7. Mechanical Behavior of Tissue Simulants and Soft Tissues Under Extreme Loading Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalcioglu, Zeynep Ilke

    Recent developments in computer-integrated surgery and in tissue-engineered constructs necessitate advances in experimental and analytical techniques in characterizing properties of mechanically compliant materials such as gels and soft tissues, particularly for small sample volumes. One goal of such developments is to quantitatively predict and mimic tissue deformation due to high rate impact events typical of industrial accidents and ballistic insults. This aim requires advances in mechanical characterization to establish tools and design principles for tissue simulant materials that can recapitulate the mechanical responses of hydrated soft tissues under dynamic contact-loading conditions. Given this motivation, this thesis studies the mechanical properties of compliant synthetic materials developed for tissue scaffold applications and of soft tissues, via modifying an established contact based technique for accurate, small scale characterization under fully hydrated conditions, and addresses some of the challenges in the implementation of this method. Two different engineered material systems composed of physically associating block copolymer gels, and chemically crosslinked networks including a solvent are presented as potential tissue simulants for ballistic applications, and compared directly to soft tissues from murine heart and liver. In addition to conventional quasistatic and dynamic bulk mechanical techniques that study macroscale elastic and viscoelastic properties, new methodologies are developed to study the small scale mechanical response of the aforementioned material systems to concentrated impact loading. The resistance to penetration and the energy dissipative constants are quantified in order to compare the deformation of soft tissues and mechanically optimized simulants, and to identify the underlying mechanisms by which the mechanical response of these tissue simulant candidates are modulated. Finally, given that soft tissues are biphasic in

  8. Physiological mechanisms and therapeutic potential of bone mechanosensing

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Zhousheng

    2016-01-01

    Skeletal loading is an important physiological regulator of bone mass. Theoretically, mechanical forces or administration of drugs that activate bone mechanosensors would be a novel treatment for osteoporotic disorders, particularly age-related osteoporosis and other bone loss caused by skeletal unloading. Uncertainty regarding the identity of the molecular targets that sense and transduce mechanical forces in bone, however, has limited the therapeutic exploitation of mechanosesning pathways to control bone mass. Recently, two evolutionally conserved mechanosensing pathways have been shown to function as “physical environment” sensors in cells of the osteoblasts lineage. Indeed, polycystin–1 (Pkd1, or PC1) and polycystin–2 (Pkd2, or PC2, or TRPP2), which form a flow sensing receptor channel complex, and TAZ (transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif, or WWTR1), which responds to the extracellular matrix microenvironment act in concert to reciprocally regulate osteoblastogenesis and adipogenesis through co-activating Runx2 and a co-repressing PPARγ activities. Interactions of polycystins and TAZ with other putative mechanosensing mechanism, such as primary cilia, integrins and hemichannels, may create multifaceted mechanosensing networks in bone. Moreover, modulation of polycystins and TAZ interactions identify novel molecular targets to develop small molecules that mimic the effects of mechanical loading on bone. PMID:26038304

  9. Numerical investigation of pulmonary drug delivery under mechanical ventilation conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banerjee, Arindam; van Rhein, Timothy

    2012-11-01

    The effects of mechanical ventilation waveform on fluid flow and particle deposition were studied in a computer model of the human airways. The frequency with which aerosolized drugs are delivered to mechanically ventilated patients demonstrates the importance of understanding the effects of ventilation parameters. This study focuses specifically on the effects of mechanical ventilation waveforms using a computer model of the airways of patient undergoing mechanical ventilation treatment from the endotracheal tube to generation G7. Waveforms were modeled as those commonly used by commercial mechanical ventilators. Turbulence was modeled with LES. User defined particle force models were used to model the drag force with the Cunningham correction factor, the Saffman lift force, and Brownian motion force. The endotracheal tube (ETT) was found to be an important geometric feature, causing a fluid jet towards the right main bronchus, increased turbulence, and a recirculation zone in the right main bronchus. In addition to the enhanced deposition seen at the carinas of the airway bifurcations, enhanced deposition was also seen in the right main bronchus due to impaction and turbulent dispersion resulting from the fluid structures created by the ETT. Authors acknowledge financial support through University of Missouri Research Board Award.

  10. Mechanisms underlying the inhibition of interferon signaling by viruses.

    PubMed

    Devasthanam, Anand S

    2014-02-15

    A hallmark of the antiviral response is the induction of interferons. First discovered in 1957 by Issac and Lindeman, interferons are noted for their ability to interfere with viral replication. Interferons act via autocrine and paracrine pathways to induce an antiviral state in infected cells and in neighboring cells containing interferon receptors. Interferons are the frontline defenders against viral infection and their primary function is to locally restrict viral propagation. Viruses have evolved mechanisms to escape the host interferon response, thus gaining a replicative advantage in host cells. This review will discuss recent findings on the mechanisms viruses use to evade the host interferon response. This knowledge is important because the treatment of viral infections is a challenge of global proportions and a better understanding of the mechanisms viruses use to persist in the host may uncover valuable insights applicable to the discovery of novel drug targets.

  11. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurogenetic diseases.

    PubMed

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2014-10-01

    There have been considerable advances in uncovering the complex genetic mechanisms that underlie nervous system disease pathogenesis, particularly with the advent of exome and whole genome sequencing techniques. The emerging field of epigenetics is also providing further insights into these mechanisms. Here, we discuss our understanding of the interplay that exists between genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in these disorders, highlighting the nascent field of epigenetic epidemiology-which focuses on analyzing relationships between the epigenome and environmental exposures, development and aging, other health-related phenotypes, and disease states-and next-generation research tools (i.e., those leveraging synthetic and chemical biology and optogenetics) for examining precisely how epigenetic modifications at specific genomic sites affect disease processes.

  12. Chronic nausea and vomiting: insights into underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Törnblom, H; Abrahamsson, H

    2016-05-01

    Chronic nausea and vomiting are common and debilitating symptoms in adults. There are some fundamental problems that make our understanding of mechanisms difficult, diagnostic definitions of patient-cohorts being central. As there is no unifying mechanism with a direct link to chronic nausea or vomiting, it is most likely that several mechanisms interact, e.g., pylorus function and its relation to gastric emptying, or gastric sensory and motor function. In this mini-review, we highlight the roles and evidence for brain-gut interactions as well as gastrointestinal neurophysiologic, motor, sensory, and hormonal factors involved in the pathophysiology of chronic nausea and vomiting. There are factors not mentioned in the text, mostly as they are not well characterized in the setting of chronic symptoms or only in animal models. PMID:27106677

  13. Is eating behavior manipulated by the gastrointestinal microbiota? Evolutionary pressures and potential mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Alcock, Joe; Maley, Carlo C; Aktipis, C Athena

    2014-01-01

    Microbes in the gastrointestinal tract are under selective pressure to manipulate host eating behavior to increase their fitness, sometimes at the expense of host fitness. Microbes may do this through two potential strategies: (i) generating cravings for foods that they specialize on or foods that suppress their competitors, or (ii) inducing dysphoria until we eat foods that enhance their fitness. We review several potential mechanisms for microbial control over eating behavior including microbial influence on reward and satiety pathways, production of toxins that alter mood, changes to receptors including taste receptors, and hijacking of the vagus nerve, the neural axis between the gut and the brain. We also review the evidence for alternative explanations for cravings and unhealthy eating behavior. Because microbiota are easily manipulatable by prebiotics, probiotics, antibiotics, fecal transplants, and dietary changes, altering our microbiota offers a tractable approach to otherwise intractable problems of obesity and unhealthy eating. PMID:25103109

  14. Nematodynamics modelling under extreme mechanical and electric stresses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amoddeo, Antonino

    2015-01-01

    Nematic liquid crystals confined in asymmetric π-cells and subjected to intense electrical and mechanical stresses undergo strong distortions which can be relaxed by means of the order reconstruction, a fast switching mechanism connecting topologically different textures, assuming bulk and/or surface characteristics depending on both amplitude of the applied electric fields and anchoring angles of the nematic molecules on the confining surfaces. In the frame of the Landau-de Gennes order tensor theory, we provide a numerical model implemented with a moving mesh finite element method appropriate to describe the nematic order dynamics, allowing to map the switching properties of the nematic texture.

  15. A Hypothesis Regarding the Molecular Mechanism Underlying Dietary Soy-Induced Effects on Seizure Propensity

    PubMed Central

    Westmark, Cara Jean

    2014-01-01

    Numerous neurological disorders including fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease are co-morbid with epilepsy. We have observed elevated seizure propensity in mouse models of these disorders dependent on diet. Specifically, soy-based diets exacerbate audiogenic-induced seizures in juvenile mice. We have also found potential associations between the consumption of soy-based infant formula and seizure incidence, epilepsy comorbidity, and autism diagnostic scores in autistic children by retrospective analyses of medical record data. In total, these data suggest that consumption of high levels of soy protein during postnatal development may affect neuronal excitability. Herein, we present our theory regarding the molecular mechanism underlying soy-induced effects on seizure propensity. We hypothesize that soy phytoestrogens interfere with metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling through an estrogen receptor-dependent mechanism, which results in elevated production of key synaptic proteins and decreased seizure threshold. PMID:25232349

  16. Mechanically interlocked calix[4]arene dimers display reversible bond breakage under force

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janke, Matthias; Rudzevich, Yuliya; Molokanova, Olena; Metzroth, Thorsten; Mey, Ingo; Diezemann, Gregor; Marszalek, Piotr E.; Gauss, Jürgen; Böhmer, Volker; Janshoff, Andreas

    2009-04-01

    The physics of nanoscopic systems is strongly governed by thermal fluctuations that produce significant deviations from the behaviour of large ensembles. Stretching experiments of single molecules offer a unique way to study fundamental theories of statistical mechanics, as recently shown for the unzipping of RNA hairpins. Here, we report a molecular design based on oligo calix[4]arene catenanes-calixarene dimers held together by 16 hydrogen bridges-in which loops within the molecules limit how far the calixarene nanocapsules can be separated. This mechanically locked structure tunes the energy landscape of dimers, thus permitting the reversible rupture and rejoining of the individual nanocapsules. Experimental evidence, supported by molecular dynamics simulations, reveals the presence of an intermediate state involving the concerted rupture of the 16 hydrogen bridges. Stochastic modelling using a three-well potential under external load allows reconstruction of the energy landscape.

  17. Fatigue responses of lead zirconate titanate stacks under semibipolar electric cycling with mechanical preload

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hong; Cooper, Thomas A.; Lin, Hua-Tay; Wereszczak, Andrew A.

    2010-10-01

    Lead zirconate titanate (PZT) stacks that had an interdigital internal electrode configuration were tested to more than 108 cycles. A 100 Hz semibipolar sine wave with a field range of +4.5/-0.9 kV/mm was used in cycling with a concurrently-applied 20 MPa preload. Significant reductions in piezoelectric and dielectric responses were observed during the cycling depending on the measuring condition. Extensive partial discharges were also observed. These surface events resulted in the erosion of external electrode and the exposure of internal electrodes. Sections prepared by sequential polishing technique revealed a variety of damage mechanisms including delaminations, pores, and etch grooves. The scale of damage was correlated with the degree of fatigue-induced reduction in piezoelectric and dielectric responses. The results from this study demonstrate the feasibility of using a semibipolar mode to drive a PZT stack under a mechanical preload and illustrate the potential fatigue and damages of the stack in service.

  18. Ladder Operators for Some Spherically Symmetric Potentials in Quantum Mechanics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newmarch, J. D.; Golding, R. M.

    1978-01-01

    The energy levels of the free field, Coulomb potential, and the three-dimensional harmonic oscillator are found using the Dirac operator formalism by the construction of suitable ladder operators. The degeneracy of each level is also discussed. (Author/GA)

  19. Epilepsy drugs and effects on fetal development: Potential mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Etemad, Leila; Moshiri, Mohammad; Moallem, Seyed Adel

    2012-01-01

    Approximately 1% of all pregnancies are in woman with epilepsy. Although, the majority of children born to women with epilepsy are normal, they are at increased risk for malformations. Notably, the teratogenicity of antiepileptic drugs is a well-defined subject. The incidence of major malformations in offspring of mothers with epilepsy who were treated with AEDs is higher than women with untreated epilepsy and in the general population. These malformations include spina bifida, cleft palate, limb reduction defects, cardiac abnormalities, hypospadias, and gastrointestinal atresia. The exact mechanism by which the AEDs mediate abnormalities in the fetus is uncertain. However, there are several hypotheses to explain them. Some of the most important include folate-related actions, ischemia, reactive intermediates (e.g., free radicals), and genetic susceptibility. Thus, understanding the mechanisms of AED-related abnormalities is of vital importance for the care of epileptic women and their offspring. PMID:23826017

  20. Epilepsy drugs and effects on fetal development: Potential mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Etemad, Leila; Moshiri, Mohammad; Moallem, Seyed Adel

    2012-09-01

    Approximately 1% of all pregnancies are in woman with epilepsy. Although, the majority of children born to women with epilepsy are normal, they are at increased risk for malformations. Notably, the teratogenicity of antiepileptic drugs is a well-defined subject. The incidence of major malformations in offspring of mothers with epilepsy who were treated with AEDs is higher than women with untreated epilepsy and in the general population. These malformations include spina bifida, cleft palate, limb reduction defects, cardiac abnormalities, hypospadias, and gastrointestinal atresia. The exact mechanism by which the AEDs mediate abnormalities in the fetus is uncertain. However, there are several hypotheses to explain them. Some of the most important include folate-related actions, ischemia, reactive intermediates (e.g., free radicals), and genetic susceptibility. Thus, understanding the mechanisms of AED-related abnormalities is of vital importance for the care of epileptic women and their offspring. PMID:23826017

  1. Plant-Microbial Interactions Define Potential Mechanisms of Organic Matter Priming in the Rhizosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhalnina, K.; Cho, H. J.; Hao, Z.; Mansoori, N.; Karaoz, U.; Jenkins, S.; White, R. A., III; Lipton, M. S.; Deng, K.; Zhou, J.; Pett-Ridge, J.; Northen, T.; Firestone, M. K.; Brodie, E.

    2015-12-01

    In the rhizosphere, metabolic processes of plants and microorganisms are closely coupled, and together with soil minerals, their interactions regulate the turnover of soil organic C (SOC). Plants provide readily assimilable metabolites for microorganisms through exudation, and it has been hypothesized that increasing concentrations of exudate C may either stimulate or suppress rates of SOC mineralization (rhizosphere priming). Both positive and negative rhizosphere priming has been widely observed, however the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. To begin to identify the molecular mechanisms underlying rhizosphere priming, we isolated a broad range of soil bacteria from a Mediterranean grassland dominated by annual grass. Thirty-nine heterotrophic bacteria were selected for genome sequencing and both rRNA gene analysis and metagenome coverage suggest that these isolates represent naturally abundant strain variants. We analyzed their genomes for potential metabolic traits related to life in the rhizosphere and the decomposition of polymeric SOC. While the two dominant groups, Alphaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria, were enriched in polymer degrading enzymes, Alphaproteobacterial isolates contained greater gene copies of transporters related to amino acid, organic acid and auxin uptake or export, suggesting an enhanced metabolic potential for life in the root zone. To verify this metabolic potential, we determined the enzymatic activities of these isolates and revealed preferences of strains to degrade certain polymers (xylan, cellulose or lignin). Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy is being used to determine which polymeric components of plant roots are targeted by specific strains and how exudates may impact their degradation. To verify the potential of isolates to assimilate root exudates and export key metabolites we are using LC-MS/MS based exometabolomic profiling. The traits hypothesized and verified here (transporters, enzymes, exudate uptake

  2. Diagnosing and treating chronic musculoskeletal pain based on the underlying mechanism(s).

    PubMed

    Clauw, Daniel J

    2015-02-01

    Until recently, most clinicians considered chronic pain to be typically due to ongoing peripheral nociceptive input (i.e., damage or inflammation) in the region of the body where the individual is experiencing pain. Clinicians are generally aware of a few types of pain (e.g., headache and phantom limb pain) where chronic pain is not due to such causes, but most do not realize there is not a single chronic pain state where any radiographic, surgical, or pathological description of peripheral nociceptive damage has been reproducibly shown to be related to the presence or severity of pain. The primary reason for this appears to be that both the peripheral and central nervous systems play a critical role in determining which nociceptive input being detected by sensory nerves in the peripheral tissues will lead to the perception of pain in humans. This manuscript reviews some of the latest findings regarding the neural processing of pain, with a special focus on how clinicians can use information gleaned from the history and physical examination to assess which mechanisms are most likely to be responsible for pain in a given individual, and tailors therapy appropriately. A critical construct is that, within any specific diagnostic category (e.g., fibromyalgia (FM), osteoarthritis (OA), and chronic low back pain (CLBP) are specifically reviewed), individual patients may have markedly different peripheral/nociceptive and neural contributions to their pain. Thus, just as low back pain has long been acknowledged to have multiple potential mechanisms, so also is this true of all chronic pain states, wherein some individuals will have pain primarily due to peripheral nociceptive input, whereas in others peripheral (e.g., peripheral sensitization) or central nervous system factors ("central sensitization" or "centralization" of pain via augmented pain processing in spinal and brain) may be playing an equally or even more prominent role in their pain and other symptoms. PMID

  3. VDAC electronics: 2. A new, anaerobic mechanism of generation of the membrane potentials in mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Lemeshko, Victor V

    2014-07-01

    Mitochondrial hexokinase (HK) and creatine kinase (CK) known to form complexes with a voltage dependent anion channel (VDAC) have been reported to increase cell death resistance under hypoxia/anoxia. In this work we propose a new, non-Mitchell mechanism of generation of the inner and outer membrane potentials at anaerobic conditions. The driving force is provided by the Gibbs free energy of the HK and CK reactions associated with the VDAC-HK and the ANT (adenine nucleotide translocator)-CK-VDAC complexes, respectively, both functioning as voltage generators. In the absence of oxygen, the cytosolic creatine phosphate can be directly used by the ANT-CK-VDAC contact sites to produce ATP from ADP in the mitochondrial matrix. After that, ATP released through the fraction of unbound ANTs in exchange for ADP is used in the mitochondrial intermembrane space by the outer membrane VDAC-HK electrogenic complexes to convert cytosolic glucose into glucose-6-phosphate. A simple computational model based on the application of Ohm's law to an equivalent electrical circuit showed a possibility of generation of the inner membrane potential up to -160mV, under certain conditions, and of relatively high outer membrane potential without wasting of ATP that normally leads to cell death. The calculated membrane potentials depended on the restriction of ATP/ADP diffusion in narrow cristae and through the cristae junctions. We suggest that high inner membrane potential and calcium extrusion from the mitochondrial intermembrane space by generated positive outer membrane potential prevent mitochondrial permeability transition, thus allowing the maintenance of mitochondrial integrity and cell survival in the absence of oxygen.

  4. Mechanisms defining the electrotonic potential abnormalities in simulated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Stephanova, D I; Krustev, S M; Negrev, N

    2012-06-01

    Electrotonic potentials allow the accommodative processes to polarizing stimuli to be assessed. Electrotonic potential transients in response to applied polarizing stimuli are caused by the kinetics of underlying axonal conductances. Here, we study these transients using our multi-layered model of the human motor nerve, in three simulated cases of the motor neuron disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): ALS1, ALS2 and ALS3 are three consecutively greater degrees of uniform axonal dysfunctions along the human motor nerve fibre. The results show that the responses in the ALS1 case are quite similar to the normal case. In contrast, in the ALS2 and ALS3 cases, long-lasting (100 ms) subthreshold depolarizing stimuli activate the classical "transient" Na(+) channels in the nodal and in the internodal axolemma beneath the myelin sheath; this leads to action potential generation during the early parts of the electrotonic responses in all compartments along the fibre length. The results also show that the electrotonic potentials in response to long-lasting (100 ms) subthreshold hyperpolarizing stimuli in the ALS1 and ALS2 cases are quiet similar to those of the normal case. However, the current kinetics in the ALS3 case differs from the normal case after the termination of the long-lasting hyperpolarizing stimuli. In the most abnormal ALS3 case, the activation of the Na(+) channels in the nodal and in the internodal axolemma leads to repetitive action potential generation in the late parts (100-200 ms) of the hyperpolarizing electrotonic responses. The results show that the repetitive firing, due to the progressively increased nodal and internodal ion channel dysfunction, are consistent with the loss of functional potassium channels involving both the fast and the slow potassium channel types. The results confirm that the electrotonic potentials in the three simulated ALS cases are specific indicators for the motor neuron disease ALS. The mechanisms underlying the

  5. Molecular Mechanisms and Potential Clinical Applications of Campylobacter jejuni Cytolethal Distending Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Cheng-Kuo; Chen, Yu-An; Lin, Chun-Jung; Lin, Hwai-Jeng; Kao, Min-Chuan; Huang, Mei-Zi; Lin, Yu-Hsin; Chiang-Ni, Chuan; Chen, Chih-Jung; Lo, U-Ging; Lin, Li-Chiung; Lin, Ho; Hsieh, Jer-Tsong; Lai, Chih-Ho

    2016-01-01

    Cytolethal distending toxin (CDT), a genotoxin produced by Campylobacter jejuni, is composed of three subunits: CdtA, CdtB, and CdtC. CdtB is a DNase that causes DNA double-strand breaks (DSB) in the nucleus resulting in cell cycle arrest at the G2/M stage and apoptosis. CdtA and CdtC bind to cholesterol-rich microdomains on the cytoplasmic membrane, a process required for the delivery of CdtB to cells. Although a unique motif associated with cholesterol-binding activity has been identified in other pathogens, the mechanism underlying the interaction between the CdtA and CdtC subunits and membrane cholesterol remains unclear. Also, the processes of cell uptake and delivery of CdtB in host cells and the translocation of CdtB into the nucleus are only partially understood. In this review, we focus on the underlying relationship among CDT, membrane cholesterol, and the intracellular trafficking pathway as a unique mechanism for C. jejuni-induced pathogenesis. Moreover, we discuss the clinical aspects of a possible therapeutic application of CDT in cancer therapy. Understanding the molecular mechanism of CDT-host interactions may provide insights into novel strategies to control C. jejuni infection and the development of potential clinical applications of CDT. PMID:26904508

  6. Mechanical and thermal buckling analysis of rectangular sandwich panels under different edge conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ko, William L.

    1994-01-01

    The combined load (mechanical or thermal load) buckling equations were established for orthotropic rectangular sandwich panels under four different edge conditions by using the Rayleigh-Ritz method of minimizing the total potential energy of a structural system. Two-dimensional buckling interaction curves and three-dimensional buckling interaction surfaces were constructed for high-temperature honeycomb-core sandwich panels supported under four different edge conditions. The interaction surfaces provide overall comparison of the panel buckling strengths and the domains of symmetrical and antisymmetrical buckling associated with the different edge conditions. In addition, thermal buckling curves of these sandwich panels are presented. The thermal buckling conditions for the cases with and without thermal moments were found to be identical for the small deformation theory.

  7. Structural transformation features in titanium crystallite under mechanical loading

    SciTech Connect

    Kryzhevich, Dmitrij S.

    2015-10-27

    The features of defect structure generation and development in titanium crystallites were studied on the basis of molecular dynamics method. Interatomic interaction was described using many-body potentials calculated in the approximation of the embedded atom method. It is shown that local structural changes begin to occur in the crystallite at the achievement of a threshold strain value, which is accompanied by a dramatic decrease of potential energy. The features of the formation of local structural changes, which are precursors of classical stacking faults, were studied.

  8. Early Damage Mechanisms in Nuclear Grade Graphite under Irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Eapen, Dr. Jacob; Krishna, Dr Ram; Burchell, Timothy D; Murty, Prof K.L.

    2014-01-01

    Using Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy,we delineate the bond and defect structures in nuclear block graphite (NBG-18) under neutron and ion irradiation. The strengthening of the defect (D) peak in the Raman spectra under irradiation is attributed to an increase in the topological, sp2-hybridized defects. Using transmission electron microscopy, we provide evidence for prismatic dislocations as well as a number of basal dislocations dissociating into Shockley partials. The non-vanishing D peak in the Raman spectra, together with a generous number of dislocations, even at low irradiation doses, indicates a dislocation-mediated amorphization process in graphite.

  9. Dislocation mechanism of deuterium retention in tungsten under plasma implantation.

    PubMed

    Dubinko, V I; Grigorev, P; Bakaev, A; Terentyev, D; van Oost, G; Gao, F; Van Neck, D; Zhurkin, E E

    2014-10-01

    We have developed a new theoretical model for deuterium (D) retention in tungsten-based alloys on the basis of its being trapped at dislocations and transported to the surface via the dislocation network with parameters determined by ab initio calculations. The model is used to explain experimentally observed trends of D retention under sub-threshold implantation, which does not produce stable lattice defects to act as traps for D in conventional models. Saturation of D retention with implantation dose and effects due to alloying of tungsten with, e.g. tantalum, are evaluated, and comparison of the model predictions with experimental observations under high-flux plasma implantation conditions is presented.

  10. (Metabolic mechanisms of plant growth at low-water potentials)

    SciTech Connect

    Boyer, J.S.

    1989-01-01

    For the year 1989, the progress made on this DOE sponsored research will be described by considering the questions presented in the original proposal and describing the work on each one. We used soybean seedlings grown in vermiculite in a dark, humid environment because they are convenient to grow, undergo most of the physiological changes induced by low water potentials in large plants, and have exposed growing regions on which molecular experiments can be done.

  11. Biomedical applications and potential health risks of nanomaterials: molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Lanone, Sophie; Boczkowski, Jorge

    2006-09-01

    Nanotechnologies, defined as techniques aimed to conceive, characterize and produce material at the nanometer scale, represent a fully expanding domain, and one can predict without risk that production and utilization of nanomaterials will increase exponentially in the coming years. Applications of nanotechnologies are numerous, in constant development, and their potential use in the medical field as diagnosis and therapeutics tools is very attractive. The size particularity of these nanomaterials gives them novel properties, allowing them to adopt new comportments because of the laws of quantum physics that exist at this scale. However, worries are expressed regarding the exact properties that make these nanomaterials attractive, and questions are raised regarding their potential toxicity, their long-term secondary effects or their biodegradability, particularly when thinking of their use in the (nano)medical field. These questions are justified by the knowledge of the toxic effects of atmospheric pollution micrometric particles on health, and the fear to get an amplification of these effects because of the size of the materials blamed. In this paper, we first expose the sensed medical applications of nanomaterials, and the physicochemical and molecular determinants potentially responsible for nanomaterials biological effects. Finally, we present a synthesis of the actual knowledge regarding toxicological effects of nanomaterials. It is clear that, in regard to the almost empty field of what is known on the subject, there's an urge to better understand biological effects of nanomaterials, which will allow their safe use, in particular in the nanomedicine field.

  12. Neural mechanisms underlying food motivation in children and adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Holsen, Laura M.; Zarcone, Jennifer R.; Thompson, Travis I.; Brooks, William M.; Anderson, Mary F.; Ahluwalia, Jasjit S.; Nollen, Nicole L.; Savage, Cary R.

    2006-01-01

    Dramatic increases in childhood obesity necessitate a more complete understanding of neural mechanisms of hunger and satiation in pediatric populations. In this study, normal weight children and adolescents underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning before and after eating a meal. Participants showed increased activation to visual food stimuli in the amygdala, medial frontal/orbitofrontal cortex, and insula in the pre-meal condition; no regions of interest responded in the post-meal condition. These results closely parallel previous findings in adults. In addition, we found evidence for habituation to food stimuli in the amygdala within the pre-meal session. These findings provide evidence that normal patterns of neural activity related to food motivation begin in childhood. Results have implications for obese children and adults, who may have abnormal hunger and satiation mechanisms. PMID:15993629

  13. Huntington’s disease: underlying molecular mechanisms and emerging concepts

    PubMed Central

    Labbadia, John; Morimoto, Richard I.

    2013-01-01

    Huntington’s disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder for which no disease modifying treatments exist. Many molecular changes and cellular consequences that underlie HD are observed in other neurological disorders suggesting that common pathological mechanisms and pathways may exist. Recent findings have enhanced our understanding of the way cells regulate and respond to expanded polyglutamine proteins such as mutant huntingtin. These studies demonstrate that in addition to effects on folding, aggregation, and clearance pathways, a general transcriptional mechanism also dictates the expression of polyglutamine proteins. Here we summarize the key pathways and networks that are important in HD in the context of recent therapeutic advances and highlight how their interplay may be of relevance to other protein folding disorders. PMID:23768628

  14. Mechanism of K-phase growth under magnesium combustion

    SciTech Connect

    Florko, A.V.; Golovko, V.V.; Kondrat`ev, E.N.

    1995-09-01

    A model is proposed for magnesia crystal growth during the combustion of single magnesium particles and in the front of laminar diffusion two-phase flame. It is shown that the basic mechanism limiting the condensation rate is the formation of Schottky defects. The energy of their formation has been determined. The results of dispersion analysis of combustion products at air pressures of (0.1-1) {sm_bullet} 10{sup 5} Pa are in good agreement with the calculation data.

  15. Grained composite materials prepared by combustion synthesis under mechanical pressure

    DOEpatents

    Dunmead, Stephen D.; Holt, Joseph B.; Kingman, Donald D.; Munir, Zuhair A.

    1990-01-01

    Dense, finely grained composite materials comprising one or more ceramic phase or phase and one or more metallic and/or intermetallic phase or phases are produced by combustion synthesis. Spherical ceramic grains are homogeneously dispersed within the matrix. Methods are provided, which include the step of applying mechanical pressure during or immediately after ignition, by which the microstructures in the resulting composites can be controllably selected.

  16. Anti-tumor effect of β-glucan from Lentinus edodes and the underlying mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Hui; Zou, Siwei; Xu, Xiaojuan; Zhang, Lina

    2016-01-01

    β-Glucans are well known for its various bioactivities, but the underlying mechanism has not been fully understood. This study focuses on the anti-tumor effect and the potential mechanism of a branched β-(1, 3)-glucan (LNT) extracted from Lentinus edodes. The in vivo data indicated that LNT showed a profound inhibition ratio of ~75% against S-180 tumor growth, even significantly higher than the positive control of Cytoxan (~54%). Interestingly, LNT sharply promoted immune cells accumulation into tumors accompanied by cell apoptosis and inhibition of cell proliferation during tumor development. Furthermore, LNT not only up-regulated expressions of the tumor suppressor p53, cell cycle arrestin p21 and pro-apoptotic proteins of Bax and caspase 3/9, but also down-regulated PARP1 and anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 expressions in tumor tissues. It was first found that LNT initiated p53-dependent signaling pathway to suppress cell proliferation in vitro, and the caspase-dependent pathway to induce cell apoptosis in vivo. The underlying anti-tumor mechanism was proposed that LNT activated immune responses to induce cell apoptosis through caspase 3-dependent signaling pathway and to inhibit cell proliferation possibly via p53-dependent signaling pathway in vivo. Besides, LNT inhibited angiogenesis by suppressing VEGF expression, leading to slow progression of tumors. PMID:27353254

  17. Music and literature: are there shared empathy and predictive mechanisms underlying their affective impact?

    PubMed

    Omigie, Diana

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that music and language had a shared evolutionary precursor before becoming mainly responsible for the communication of emotive and referential meaning respectively. However, emphasis on potential differences between music and language may discourage a consideration of the commonalities that music and literature share. Indeed, one possibility is that common mechanisms underlie their affective impact, and the current paper carefully reviews relevant neuroscientific findings to examine such a prospect. First and foremost, it will be demonstrated that considerable evidence of a common role of empathy and predictive processes now exists for the two domains. However, it will also be noted that an important open question remains: namely, whether the mechanisms underlying the subjective experience of uncertainty differ between the two domains with respect to recruitment of phylogenetically ancient emotion areas. It will be concluded that a comparative approach may not only help to reveal general mechanisms underlying our responses to music and literature, but may also help us better understand any idiosyncrasies in their capacity for affective impact.

  18. Music and literature: are there shared empathy and predictive mechanisms underlying their affective impact?

    PubMed Central

    Omigie, Diana

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that music and language had a shared evolutionary precursor before becoming mainly responsible for the communication of emotive and referential meaning respectively. However, emphasis on potential differences between music and language may discourage a consideration of the commonalities that music and literature share. Indeed, one possibility is that common mechanisms underlie their affective impact, and the current paper carefully reviews relevant neuroscientific findings to examine such a prospect. First and foremost, it will be demonstrated that considerable evidence of a common role of empathy and predictive processes now exists for the two domains. However, it will also be noted that an important open question remains: namely, whether the mechanisms underlying the subjective experience of uncertainty differ between the two domains with respect to recruitment of phylogenetically ancient emotion areas. It will be concluded that a comparative approach may not only help to reveal general mechanisms underlying our responses to music and literature, but may also help us better understand any idiosyncrasies in their capacity for affective impact. PMID:26379583

  19. Social inequalities in health disentangling the underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Goldman, N

    2001-12-01

    Differentials in health and longevity by socioeconomic status and by the nature of social relationships have been found in innumerable studies in the social and medical sciences. Three categories of explanations for the observed patterns have been proposed: causal mechanisms through which the social environment affects health status or the risk of dying; selection or reverse causal pathways whereby a person's health status affects their social position; and artifactual mechanisms, such as measurement error. The general consensus among researchers is that the observed disparities in health are driven largely by a complex set of causal processes rather than by selection or by artifactual mechanisms. This paper explores the set of arguments and strategies that researchers have used to arrive at this conclusion. As part of this undertaking, we assess whether inferences regarding the minor contribution of selection to the overall association between social factors and health are justifiable. In addition, we identify current avenues of research that are providing new insights into the causal pathways linking social factors and health.

  20. Strain-driven criticality underlies nonlinear mechanics of fibrous networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, A.; Licup, A. J.; Rens, R.; Vahabi, M.; Jansen, K. A.; Koenderink, G. H.; MacKintosh, F. C.

    2016-10-01

    Networks with only central force interactions are floppy when their average connectivity is below an isostatic threshold. Although such networks are mechanically unstable, they can become rigid when strained. It was recently shown that the transition from floppy to rigid states as a function of simple shear strain is continuous, with hallmark signatures of criticality [Sharma et al., Nature Phys. 12, 584 (2016), 10.1038/nphys3628]. The nonlinear mechanical response of collagen networks was shown to be quantitatively described within the framework of such mechanical critical phenomenon. Here, we provide a more quantitative characterization of critical behavior in subisostatic networks. Using finite-size scaling we demonstrate the divergence of strain fluctuations in the network at well-defined critical strain. We show that the characteristic strain corresponding to the onset of strain stiffening is distinct from but related to this critical strain in a way that depends on critical exponents. We confirm this prediction experimentally for collagen networks. Moreover, we find that the apparent critical exponents are largely independent of the spatial dimensionality. With subisostaticity as the only required condition, strain-driven criticality is expected to be a general feature of biologically relevant fibrous networks.

  1. Potentiation of antidepressant-like activity with lithium: mechanism involved.

    PubMed

    Chenu, Franck; Bourin, Michel

    2006-02-01

    In the last decade, many augmentation strategies have been developed to increase the activity of antidepressant drugs or to reduce their long onset of action by acting on different targets. One of the first augmentation strategy used in psychiatric disorders is coadministration of lithium and antidepressant drugs. However, the underlaying mechanism of action involved in the potentiatory effect of lithium is still unclear and many hypotheses have been suggested such as activity on BDNF, ACTH, thyroid hormones and serotonin neurotransmission. All these systems being embedded in each other, we focused on the 5-HT neurotransmission-increase induced by lithium treatment. Based on neurobiochemical and behavioral results we tried to better understand its mechanism of action and we concluded that effect of lithium on 5-HT neurotransmission could be linked to a partial agonist activity on 5-HT1B autoreceptors, or to a modulatory activity on these receptors, located in the cortical area in the case of a short term treatment, or in the hippocampus in the case of a long term treatment. We also suggested that the anti-manic effect of lithium was linked to this activity on 5-HT1B receptors, occurring this time on 5-HT1B postsynaptic (heteroreceptors on dopaminergic pathways) receptors levels.

  2. Mechanisms of cardiac radiation injury and potential preventive approaches.

    PubMed

    Slezak, Jan; Kura, Branislav; Ravingerová, Táňa; Tribulova, Narcisa; Okruhlicova, Ludmila; Barancik, Miroslav

    2015-09-01

    In addition to cytostatic treatment and surgery, the most common cancer treatment is gamma radiation. Despite sophisticated radiological techniques however, in addition to irradiation of the tumor, irradiation of the surrounding healthy tissue also takes place, which results in various side-effects, depending on the absorbed dose of radiation. Radiation either damages the cell DNA directly, or indirectly via the formation of oxygen radicals that in addition to the DNA damage, react with all cell organelles and interfere with their molecular mechanisms. The main features of radiation injury besides DNA damage is inflammation and increased expression of pro-inflammatory genes and cytokines. Endothelial damage and dysfunction of capillaries and small blood vessels plays a particularly important role in radiation injury. This review is focused on summarizing the currently available data concerning the mechanisms of radiation injury, as well as the effectiveness of various antioxidants, anti-inflammatory cytokines, and cytoprotective substances that may be utilized in preventing, mitigating, or treating the toxic effects of ionizing radiation on the heart. PMID:26030720

  3. The Cardioprotective Effects of Hydrogen Sulfide in Heart Diseases: From Molecular Mechanisms to Therapeutic Potential.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yaqi; Shen, Zhuqing; Luo, Shanshan; Guo, Wei; Zhu, Yi Zhun

    2015-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is now recognized as a third gaseous mediator along with nitric oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO), though it was originally considered as a malodorous and toxic gas. H2S is produced endogenously from cysteine by three enzymes in mammalian tissues. An increasing body of evidence suggests the involvement of H2S in different physiological and pathological processes. Recent studies have shown that H2S has the potential to protect the heart against myocardial infarction, arrhythmia, hypertrophy, fibrosis, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and heart failure. Some mechanisms, such as antioxidative action, preservation of mitochondrial function, reduction of apoptosis, anti-inflammatory responses, angiogenic actions, regulation of ion channel, and interaction with NO, could be responsible for the cardioprotective effect of H2S. Although several mechanisms have been identified, there is a need for further research to identify the specific molecular mechanism of cardioprotection in different cardiac diseases. Therefore, insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying H2S action in the heart may promote the understanding of pathophysiology of cardiac diseases and lead to new therapeutic targets based on modulation of H2S production.

  4. The Cardioprotective Effects of Hydrogen Sulfide in Heart Diseases: From Molecular Mechanisms to Therapeutic Potential

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Yaqi; Shen, Zhuqing; Luo, Shanshan; Guo, Wei; Zhu, Yi Zhun

    2015-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is now recognized as a third gaseous mediator along with nitric oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO), though it was originally considered as a malodorous and toxic gas. H2S is produced endogenously from cysteine by three enzymes in mammalian tissues. An increasing body of evidence suggests the involvement of H2S in different physiological and pathological processes. Recent studies have shown that H2S has the potential to protect the heart against myocardial infarction, arrhythmia, hypertrophy, fibrosis, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and heart failure. Some mechanisms, such as antioxidative action, preservation of mitochondrial function, reduction of apoptosis, anti-inflammatory responses, angiogenic actions, regulation of ion channel, and interaction with NO, could be responsible for the cardioprotective effect of H2S. Although several mechanisms have been identified, there is a need for further research to identify the specific molecular mechanism of cardioprotection in different cardiac diseases. Therefore, insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying H2S action in the heart may promote the understanding of pathophysiology of cardiac diseases and lead to new therapeutic targets based on modulation of H2S production. PMID:26078822

  5. Salicylic acid-induced abiotic stress tolerance and underlying mechanisms in plants

    PubMed Central

    Khan, M. Iqbal R.; Fatma, Mehar; Per, Tasir S.; Anjum, Naser A.; Khan, Nafees A.

    2015-01-01

    Abiotic stresses (such as metals/metalloids, salinity, ozone, UV-B radiation, extreme temperatures, and drought) are among the most challenging threats to agricultural system and economic yield of crop plants. These stresses (in isolation and/or combination) induce numerous adverse effects in plants, impair biochemical/physiological and molecular processes, and eventually cause severe reductions in plant growth, development and overall productivity. Phytohormones have been recognized as a strong tool for sustainably alleviating adverse effects of abiotic stresses in crop plants. In particular, the significance of salicylic acid (SA) has been increasingly recognized in improved plant abiotic stress-tolerance via SA-mediated control of major plant-metabolic processes. However, the basic biochemical/physiological and molecular mechanisms that potentially underpin SA-induced plant-tolerance to major abiotic stresses remain least discussed. Based on recent reports, this paper: (a) overviews historical background and biosynthesis of SA under both optimal and stressful environments in plants; (b) critically appraises the role of SA in plants exposed to major abiotic stresses; (c) cross-talks potential mechanisms potentially governing SA-induced plant abiotic stress-tolerance; and finally (d) briefly highlights major aspects so far unexplored in the current context. PMID:26175738

  6. Mechanical response of unidirectional boron/aluminum under combined loading

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Becker, Wolfgang; Pindera, Marek-Jerzy; Herakovich, Carl T.

    1987-01-01

    Three test methods were employed to characterize the response of unidirectional Boron/Aluminum metal matrix composite material under monotonic and cyclic loading conditions, namely, losipescu shear, off-axis tension and compression. The characterization of the elastic and plastic response includes the elastic material properties, yielding and subsequent hardening of the unidirectional composite under different stress ratios in the material principal coordinate system. Yield loci generated for different stress ratios are compared for the three different test methods, taking into account residual stresses and specimen geometry. Subsequently, the yield locus for in-plane shear is compared with the prediction of an analytical, micromechanical model. The influence of the scatter in the experimental data on the predicted yield surface is also analyzed. Lastly, the experimental material strengths in tension and compression are correlated with the maximum stress and the Tsai-Wu failure criterion.

  7. Neural mechanisms underlying auditory feedback control of speech.

    PubMed

    Tourville, Jason A; Reilly, Kevin J; Guenther, Frank H

    2008-02-01

    The neural substrates underlying auditory feedback control of speech were investigated using a combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and computational modeling. Neural responses were measured while subjects spoke monosyllabic words under two conditions: (i) normal auditory feedback of their speech and (ii) auditory feedback in which the first formant frequency of their speech was unexpectedly shifted in real time. Acoustic measurements showed compensation to the shift within approximately 136 ms of onset. Neuroimaging revealed increased activity in bilateral superior temporal cortex during shifted feedback, indicative of neurons coding mismatches between expected and actual auditory signals, as well as right prefrontal and Rolandic cortical activity. Structural equation modeling revealed increased influence of bilateral auditory cortical areas on right frontal areas during shifted speech, indicating that projections from auditory error cells in posterior superior temporal cortex to motor correction cells in right frontal cortex mediate auditory feedback control of speech.

  8. Rainbow-shift mechanism behind discrete optical-potential ambiguities

    SciTech Connect

    Brandan, M.E. ); McVoy, K.W. )

    1991-03-01

    Some years ago, Drisko {ital et} {ital al}. suggested that the discrete ambiguity often encountered for elastic scattering optical potentials could be understood as being due to the interior or small-{ital l} {ital S}-matrix elements for two equivalent'' potentials differing in phase by 2{pi}, {ital l}-by-{ital l}. We point out that the {ital absence} of this phase change for peripheral partial waves is equally essential, and suggest that a deeper understanding of the ambiguity may be achieved by viewing it as a consequence of a farside interference between interior and peripheral partial waves. It is this interference which produces the broad Airy maxima'' of a nuclear rainbow, and we show that a Drisko-type phase-shift increment {delta}{sub {ital l}}{r arrow}({delta}{sub {ital l}}+{pi}) for low-{ital l} phases relative to the high-{ital l} ones is exactly what is needed to shift a farside rainbow pattern by one Airy maximum, thus providing an equivalent rainbow-shift'' interpretation of the discrete ambiguity. The physical importance of both interpretations lies in the fact that the existence of discrete ambiguities (as well as of nuclear rainbows) is explicit evidence for low-{ital l} transparency in nucleus-nucleus collisions. The essential role played by low partial waves explains why peripheral reactions have generally not proven helpful in resolving this ambiguity.

  9. Childhood Abuse and Migraine: Epidemiology, Sex Differences, and Potential Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Tietjen, Gretchen E.; Peterlin, B. Lee

    2014-01-01

    Migraine and maltreatment are both common conditions that are more prevalent in women. Epidemiological evidence supports an association between childhood abuse and headache, as well as pain in general, although some controversy exists based on methodological concerns of studying the influence of remote, traumatic, stigmatizing events in an often depressed population. There is a growing scientific body of knowledge regarding the neurobiological effects of abuse on brain function and structure that suggest a possible role of early life stress in the pathogenesis of migraine, and a differential impact based on sex. Advances in our understanding of the basic mechanisms by which an adverse environment interacts with and changes the genome, may suggest new treatment strategies. PMID:21631473

  10. Comparing potential copper chelation mechanisms in Parkinson's disease protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rose, Frisco; Hodak, Miroslav; Bernholc, Jerry

    2011-03-01

    We have implemented the nudged elastic band (NEB) as a guided dynamics framework for our real-space multigrid method of DFT-based quantum simulations. This highly parallel approach resolves a minimum energy pathway (MEP) on the energy hypersurface by relaxing intermediates in a chain-of-states. As an initial application we present an investigation of chelating agents acting on copper ion bound to α -synuclein, whose misfolding is implicated in Parkinson's disease (PD). Copper ions are known to act as highly effective misfolding agents in a-synuclein and are thus an important target in understanding PD. Furthermore, chelation therapy has shown promise in the treatment of Alzheimer's and other neuro-degenerative diseases with similar metal-correlated pathologies. At present, our candidate chelating agents include nicotine, curcumin and clioquinol. We examine their MEP activation barriers in the context of a PD onset mechanism to assess the viability of various chelators for PD remediation.

  11. Cellular mechanisms underlying growth asymmetry during stem gravitropism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cosgrove, D. J.

    1997-01-01

    Plant stems respond to gravitropic stimulation with a rapid, local and reversible change in cell growth rate (elongation), generally on both the upper and lower sides of the stem. The cellular and biochemical mechanisms for this differential growth are reviewed. Considerable evidence implicates an asymmetry in wall pH in the growth response. The strengths and weaknesses of the wall "loosening enzyme" concept are reviewed and the possibility of expansin involvement in the bending response of stems is considered. Also discussed is the possibility that wall stiffening processes, e.g. phenolic coupling driven by oxidative bursts or altered orientation of newly deposited cellulose, might mediate the growth responses during gravitropism.

  12. Molecular and Electrophysiological Mechanisms Underlying Cardiac Arrhythmogenesis in Diabetes Mellitus

    PubMed Central

    Tse, Vivian; Yeo, Jie Ming

    2016-01-01

    Diabetes is a common endocrine disorder with an ever increasing prevalence globally, placing significant burdens on our healthcare systems. It is associated with significant cardiovascular morbidities. One of the mechanisms by which it causes death is increasing the risk of cardiac arrhythmias. The aim of this article is to review the cardiac (ion channel abnormalities, electrophysiological and structural remodelling) and extracardiac factors (neural pathway remodelling) responsible for cardiac arrhythmogenesis in diabetes. It is concluded by an outline of molecular targets for future antiarrhythmic therapy for the diabetic population. PMID:27642609

  13. Electronic, mechanical and dielectric properties of silicane under tensile strain

    SciTech Connect

    Jamdagni, Pooja Sharma, Munish; Ahluwalia, P. K.; Kumar, Ashok; Thakur, Anil

    2015-05-15

    The electronic, mechanical and dielectric properties of fully hydrogenated silicene i.e. silicane in stable configuration are studied by means of density functional theory based calculations. The band gap of silicane monolayer can be flexibly reduced to zero when subjected to bi-axial tensile strain, leading to semi-conducting to metallic transition, whereas the static dielectric constant for in-plane polarization increases monotonically with increasing strain. Also the EEL function show the red shift in resonance peak with tensile strain. Our results offer useful insight for the application of silicane monolayer in nano-optical and electronics devices.

  14. Electronic, mechanical and dielectric properties of silicane under tensile strain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jamdagni, Pooja; Kumar, Ashok; Sharma, Munish; Thakur, Anil; Ahluwalia, P. K.

    2015-05-01

    The electronic, mechanical and dielectric properties of fully hydrogenated silicene i.e. silicane in stable configuration are studied by means of density functional theory based calculations. The band gap of silicane monolayer can be flexibly reduced to zero when subjected to bi-axial tensile strain, leading to semi-conducting to metallic transition, whereas the static dielectric constant for in-plane polarization increases monotonically with increasing strain. Also the EEL function show the red shift in resonance peak with tensile strain. Our results offer useful insight for the application of silicane monolayer in nano-optical and electronics devices.

  15. Molecular and Electrophysiological Mechanisms Underlying Cardiac Arrhythmogenesis in Diabetes Mellitus.

    PubMed

    Tse, Gary; Lai, Eric Tsz Him; Tse, Vivian; Yeo, Jie Ming

    2016-01-01

    Diabetes is a common endocrine disorder with an ever increasing prevalence globally, placing significant burdens on our healthcare systems. It is associated with significant cardiovascular morbidities. One of the mechanisms by which it causes death is increasing the risk of cardiac arrhythmias. The aim of this article is to review the cardiac (ion channel abnormalities, electrophysiological and structural remodelling) and extracardiac factors (neural pathway remodelling) responsible for cardiac arrhythmogenesis in diabetes. It is concluded by an outline of molecular targets for future antiarrhythmic therapy for the diabetic population. PMID:27642609

  16. Self-DNA inhibitory effects: Underlying mechanisms and ecological implications

    PubMed Central

    Cartenì, Fabrizio; Bonanomi, Giuliano; Giannino, Francesco; Incerti, Guido; Vincenot, Christian Ernest; Chiusano, Maria Luisa; Mazzoleni, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT DNA is usually known as the molecule that carries the instructions necessary for cell functioning and genetic inheritance. A recent discovery reported a new functional role for extracellular DNA. After fragmentation, either by natural or artificial decomposition, small DNA molecules (between ∼50 and ∼2000 bp) exert a species specific inhibitory effect on individuals of the same species. Evidence shows that such effect occurs for a wide range of organisms, suggesting a general biological process. In this paper we explore the possible molecular mechanisms behind those findings and discuss the ecological implications, specifically those related to plant species coexistence. PMID:26950417

  17. Molecular and Electrophysiological Mechanisms Underlying Cardiac Arrhythmogenesis in Diabetes Mellitus

    PubMed Central

    Tse, Vivian; Yeo, Jie Ming

    2016-01-01

    Diabetes is a common endocrine disorder with an ever increasing prevalence globally, placing significant burdens on our healthcare systems. It is associated with significant cardiovascular morbidities. One of the mechanisms by which it causes death is increasing the risk of cardiac arrhythmias. The aim of this article is to review the cardiac (ion channel abnormalities, electrophysiological and structural remodelling) and extracardiac factors (neural pathway remodelling) responsible for cardiac arrhythmogenesis in diabetes. It is concluded by an outline of molecular targets for future antiarrhythmic therapy for the diabetic population.

  18. Sequential mechanisms underlying concentration invariance in biological olfaction

    PubMed Central

    Cleland, Thomas A.; Chen, Szu-Yu T.; Hozer, Katarzyna W.; Ukatu, Hope N.; Wong, Kevin J.; Zheng, Fangfei

    2011-01-01

    Concentration invariance—the capacity to recognize a given odorant (analyte) across a range of concentrations—is an unusually difficult problem in the olfactory modality. Nevertheless, humans and other animals are able to recognize known odors across substantial concentration ranges, and this concentration invariance is a highly desirable property for artificial systems as well. Several properties of olfactory systems have been proposed to contribute to concentration invariance, but none of these alone can plausibly achieve full concentration invariance. We here propose that the mammalian olfactory system uses at least six computational mechanisms in series to reduce the concentration-dependent variance in odor representations to a level at which different concentrations of odors evoke reasonably similar representations, while preserving variance arising from differences in odor quality. We suggest that the residual variance then is treated like any other source of stimulus variance, and categorized appropriately into “odors” via perceptual learning. We further show that naïve mice respond to different concentrations of an odorant just as if they were differences in quality, suggesting that, prior to odor categorization, the learning-independent compensatory mechanisms are limited in their capacity to achieve concentration invariance. PMID:22287949

  19. Molecular mechanisms underlying the exceptional adaptations of batoid fins

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tetsuya; Klomp, Jeff; Pieretti, Joyce; Schneider, Igor; Gehrke, Andrew R.; Shubin, Neil H.

    2015-01-01

    Extreme novelties in the shape and size of paired fins are exemplified by extinct and extant cartilaginous and bony fishes. Pectoral fins of skates and rays, such as the little skate (Batoid, Leucoraja erinacea), show a strikingly unique morphology where the pectoral fin extends anteriorly to ultimately fuse with the head. This results in a morphology that essentially surrounds the body and is associated with the evolution of novel swimming mechanisms in the group. In an approach that extends from RNA sequencing to in situ hybridization to functional assays, we show that anterior and posterior portions of the pectoral fin have different genetic underpinnings: canonical genes of appendage development control posterior fin development via an apical ectodermal ridge (AER), whereas an alternative Homeobox (Hox)–Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf)–Wingless type MMTV integration site family (Wnt) genetic module in the anterior region creates an AER-like structure that drives anterior fin expansion. Finally, we show that GLI family zinc finger 3 (Gli3), which is an anterior repressor of tetrapod digits, is expressed in the posterior half of the pectoral fin of skate, shark, and zebrafish but in the anterior side of the pelvic fin. Taken together, these data point to both highly derived and deeply ancestral patterns of gene expression in skate pectoral fins, shedding light on the molecular mechanisms behind the evolution of novel fin morphologies. PMID:26644578

  20. Molecular mechanisms underlying the exceptional adaptations of batoid fins.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Tetsuya; Klomp, Jeff; Pieretti, Joyce; Schneider, Igor; Gehrke, Andrew R; Shubin, Neil H

    2015-12-29

    Extreme novelties in the shape and size of paired fins are exemplified by extinct and extant cartilaginous and bony fishes. Pectoral fins of skates and rays, such as the little skate (Batoid, Leucoraja erinacea), show a strikingly unique morphology where the pectoral fin extends anteriorly to ultimately fuse with the head. This results in a morphology that essentially surrounds the body and is associated with the evolution of novel swimming mechanisms in the group. In an approach that extends from RNA sequencing to in situ hybridization to functional assays, we show that anterior and posterior portions of the pectoral fin have different genetic underpinnings: canonical genes of appendage development control posterior fin development via an apical ectodermal ridge (AER), whereas an alternative Homeobox (Hox)-Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf)-Wingless type MMTV integration site family (Wnt) genetic module in the anterior region creates an AER-like structure that drives anterior fin expansion. Finally, we show that GLI family zinc finger 3 (Gli3), which is an anterior repressor of tetrapod digits, is expressed in the posterior half of the pectoral fin of skate, shark, and zebrafish but in the anterior side of the pelvic fin. Taken together, these data point to both highly derived and deeply ancestral patterns of gene expression in skate pectoral fins, shedding light on the molecular mechanisms behind the evolution of novel fin morphologies. PMID:26644578

  1. Femoral nerve regeneration and its accuracy under different injury mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Aikeremujiang Muheremu; Ao, Qiang; Wang, Yu; Cao, Peng; Peng, Jiang

    2015-10-01

    Surgical accuracy has greatly improved with the advent of microsurgical techniques. However, complete functional recovery after peripheral nerve injury has not been achieved to date. The mechanisms hindering accurate regeneration of damaged axons after peripheral nerve injury are in urgent need of exploration. The present study was designed to explore the mechanisms of peripheral nerve regeneration after different types of injury. Femoral nerves of rats were injured by crushing or freezing. At 2, 3, 6, and 12 weeks after injury, axons were retrogradely labeled using 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (Dil) and True Blue, and motor and sensory axons that had regenerated at the site of injury were counted. The number and percentage of Dil-labeled neurons in the anterior horn of the spinal cord increased over time. No significant differences were found in the number of labeled neurons between the freeze and crush injury groups at any time point. Our results confirmed that the accuracy of peripheral nerve regeneration increased with time, after both crush and freeze injury, and indicated that axonal regeneration accuracy was still satisfactory after freezing, despite the prolonged damage. PMID:26692867

  2. Neuropharmacological Mechanisms Underlying the Neuroprotective Effects of Methylphenidate

    PubMed Central

    Volz, T.J

    2008-01-01

    Methylphenidate is a psychostimulant that inhibits the neuronal dopamine transporter. In addition, methylphenidate has the intriguing ability to provide neuroprotection from the neurotoxic effects of methamphetamine and perhaps also Parkinson’s disease; both of which may likely involve the abnormal accumulation of cytoplasmic dopamine inside dopaminergic neurons and the resulting formation of dopamine-associated reactive oxygen species. As delineated in this review, the neuroprotective effects of methylphenidate are due, at least in part, to its ability to attenuate or prevent this abnormal cytoplasmic dopamine accumulation through several possible neuropharmacological mechanisms. These may include 1) direct interactions between methylphenidate and the neuronal dopamine transporter which may attenuate or prevent the entry of methamphetamine into dopaminergic neurons and may also decrease the synthesis of cytoplasmic dopamine through a D2 receptor-mediated signal cascade process, and 2) indirect effects upon the functioning of the vesicular monoamine transporter-2 which may increase vesicular dopamine sequestration through both vesicle trafficking and the kinetic upregulation of the vesicular monoamine transporter-2 protein. Understanding these neuropharmacological mechanisms of methylphenidate neuroprotection may provide important insights into the physiologic regulation of dopaminergic systems as well as the pathophysiology of a variety of disorders involving abnormal dopamine disposition ranging from substance abuse to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. PMID:19587858

  3. Mechanisms Underlying Carotenoid Absorption in Oxygenic Photosynthetic Proteins*

    PubMed Central

    Mendes-Pinto, Maria M.; Galzerano, Denise; Telfer, Alison; Pascal, Andrew A.; Robert, Bruno; Ilioaia, Cristian

    2013-01-01

    The electronic properties of carotenoid molecules underlie their multiple functions throughout biology, and tuning of these properties by their in vivo locus is of vital importance in a number of cases. This is exemplified by photosynthetic carotenoids, which perform both light-harvesting and photoprotective roles essential to the photosynthetic process. However, despite a large number of scientific studies performed in this field, the mechanism(s) used to modulate the electronic properties of carotenoids remain elusive. We have chosen two specific cases, the two β-carotene molecules in photosystem II reaction centers and the two luteins in the major photosystem II light-harvesting complex, to investigate how such a tuning of their electronic structure may occur. Indeed, in each case, identical molecular species in the same protein are seen to exhibit different electronic properties (most notably, shifted absorption peaks). We assess which molecular parameters are responsible for this in vivo tuning process and attempt to assign it to specific molecular events imposed by their binding pockets. PMID:23720734

  4. Mechanisms underlying carotenoid absorption in oxygenic photosynthetic proteins.

    PubMed

    Mendes-Pinto, Maria M; Galzerano, Denise; Telfer, Alison; Pascal, Andrew A; Robert, Bruno; Ilioaia, Cristian

    2013-06-28

    The electronic properties of carotenoid molecules underlie their multiple functions throughout biology, and tuning of these properties by their in vivo locus is of vital importance in a number of cases. This is exemplified by photosynthetic carotenoids, which perform both light-harvesting and photoprotective roles essential to the photosynthetic process. However, despite a large number of scientific studies performed in this field, the mechanism(s) used to modulate the electronic properties of carotenoids remain elusive. We have chosen two specific cases, the two β-carotene molecules in photosystem II reaction centers and the two luteins in the major photosystem II light-harvesting complex, to investigate how such a tuning of their electronic structure may occur. Indeed, in each case, identical molecular species in the same protein are seen to exhibit different electronic properties (most notably, shifted absorption peaks). We assess which molecular parameters are responsible for this in vivo tuning process and attempt to assign it to specific molecular events imposed by their binding pockets.

  5. Mechanisms underlying vertebrate limb regeneration: lessons from the salamander.

    PubMed

    Brockes, Jeremy P; Gates, Phillip B

    2014-06-01

    Limb regeneration in adult salamanders proceeds by formation of a mound of progenitor cells called the limb blastema. It provides several pointers for regenerative medicine. These include the role of differentiated cells in the origin of the blastema, the role of regenerating axons of peripheral nerves and the importance of cell specification in conferring morphogenetic autonomy on the blastema. One aspect of regeneration that has received less attention is the ability to undergo multiple episodes without detectable change in the outcome, and with minimal effect of aging. We suggest that, although such pointers are valuable, it is important to understand why salamanders are the only adult tetrapod vertebrates able to regenerate their limbs. Although this remains a controversial issue, the existence of salamander-specific genes that play a significant role in the mechanism of regeneration provides evidence for the importance of local evolution, rather than a purely ancestral mechanism. The three-finger protein called Prod1 is discussed in the present article as an exemplar of this approach.

  6. Signaling mechanism underlying the histamine-modulated action of hypoglossal motoneurons.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zi-Long; Wu, Xu; Luo, Yan-Jia; Wang, Lu; Qu, Wei-Min; Li, Shan-Qun; Huang, Zhi-Li

    2016-04-01

    Histamine, an important modulator of the arousal states of the central nervous system, has been reported to contribute an excitatory drive at the hypoglossal motor nucleus to the genioglossus (GG) muscle, which is involved in the pathogenesis of obstructive sleep apnea. However, the effect of histamine on hypoglossal motoneurons (HMNs) and the underlying signaling mechanisms have remained elusive. Here, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were conducted using neonatal rat brain sections, which showed that histamine excited HMNs with an inward current under voltage-clamp and a depolarization membrane potential under current-clamp via histamine H1 receptors (H1Rs). The phospholipase C inhibitor U-73122 blocked H1Rs-mediated excitatory effects, but protein kinase A inhibitor and protein kinase C inhibitor did not, indicating that the signal transduction cascades underlying the excitatory action of histamine on HMNs were H1R/Gq/11 /phospholipase C/inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3). The effects of histamine were also dependent on extracellular Na(+) and intracellular Ca(2+), which took place via activation of Na(+)-Ca(2+) exchangers. These results identify the signaling molecules associated with the regulatory effect of histamine on HMNs. The findings of this study may provide new insights into therapeutic approaches in obstructive sleep apnea. We proposed the post-synaptic mechanisms underlying the modulation effect of histamine on hypoglossal motoneuron. Histamine activates the H1Rs via PLC and IP3, increases Ca(2+) releases from intracellular stores, promotes Na(+) influx and Ca(2+) efflux via the NCXs, and then produces an inward current and depolarizes the neurons. Histamine modulates the excitability of HMNs with other neuromodulators, such as noradrenaline, serotonin and orexin. We think that these findings should provide an important new direction for drug development for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.

  7. Constitutive response of Rene 80 under thermal mechanical loads

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, K. S.; Cook, T. S.; Mcknight, R. L.

    1988-01-01

    The applicability of a classical constitutive model for stress-strain analysis of a nickel base superalloy, Rene' 80, in the gas turbine thermomechanical fatigue (TMF) environment is examined. A variety of tests were conducted to generate basic material data and to investigate the material response under cyclic thermomechanical loading. Isothermal stress-strain data were acquired at a variety of strain rates over the TMF temperature range. Creep curves were examined at 2 temperature ranges, 871 to 982 C and 760 to 871 C. The results provide optimism on the ability of the classical constitutive model for high temperature applications.

  8. Potential Mechanism Leading to Impaired Thermoregulation Following Microgravity Exposure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crandall, C. G.; Etzel, R. A.

    1999-01-01

    Prolonged exposure to microgravity or its analogues impairs thermoregulation in humans evidenced by higher internal temperatures following the exposure during a thermal challenge. Although the mechanism leading to this response has not been clearly delineated, we identified that prolonged head-down tilt (HDT) markedly impairs thermoregulatory reflex control of skin blood flow, as demonstrated by an increased internal temperature threshold for cutaneous vasodilation, and by a reduced slope of the relationship between the elevation in skin blood flow relative to the elevation in internal temperature. Recently, Fortney et al. identified similar responses in two individuals following 115 days of microgravity exposure. One possible mechanism leading to altered cutaneous vasodilation during a thermal challenge following actual or simulated microgravity exposure may be associated with baroreflex-mediated attenuation in the elevation of skin blood flow. During a heat stress the elevation in skin blood flow is accomplished through a combination of increased cutaneous vascular conductance and cardiac output, both of which result in central venous pressure (CVP) decreasing 2-6 mmHg. Reductions in CVP of this magnitude in normothermia decrease muscle blood flow and skin blood flow presumably through unloading the cardiopulmonary baroreceptors. It is unclear whether the reduction in CVP, and accompanying cardiopulmonary baroreceptor unloading, during passive heating buffers the elevation in skin blood flow. That is, would the elevation in skin blood flow be greater if CVP did not decrease, or decreased to a lesser extent during the heat stress? Conversely, if CVP decreased to a greater extend during a thermal challenge following a perturbation such as prolonged HDT, would the elevation in skin blood flow be attenuated during that thermal challenge? Given that prolonged HDT decreases plasma volume and central venous pressure, such a finding would provide a plausible hypothesis

  9. Mechanical properties of jammed packings of frictionless spheres under an applied shear stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Hao; Tong, Hua; Xu, Ning

    2014-11-01

    By minimizing a thermodynamic-like potential, we unbiasedly sample the potential energy landscape of soft and frictionless spheres under a constant shear stress. We obtain zero-temperature jammed states under desired shear stresses and investigate their mechanical properties as a function of the shear stress. As a comparison, we also obtain the jammed states from the quasistatic-shear sampling in which the shear stress is not well-controlled. Although the yield stresses determined by both samplings show the same power-law scaling with the compression from the jamming transition point J at zero temperature and shear stress, for finite size systems the quasistatic-shear sampling leads to a lower yield stress and a higher critical volume fraction at point J. The shear modulus of the jammed solids decreases with increasing shear stress. However, the shear modulus does not decay to zero at yielding. This discontinuous change of the shear modulus implies the discontinuous nature of the unjamming transition under nonzero shear stress, which is further verified by the observation of a discontinuous jump in the pressure from the jammed solids to the shear flows. The pressure jump decreases upon decompression and approaches zero at the critical-like point J, in analogy with the well-known phase transitions under an external field. The analysis of the force networks in the jammed solids reveals that the force distribution is more sensitive to the increase of the shear stress near point J. The force network anisotropy increases with increasing shear stress. The weak particle contacts near the average force and under large shear stresses it exhibit an asymmetric angle distribution.

  10. Parametric study of control mechanism of cortical bone remodeling under mechanical stimulus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yanan; Qin, Qing-Hua

    2010-03-01

    The control mechanism of mechanical bone remodeling at cellular level was investigated by means of an extensive parametric study on a theoretical model described in this paper. From a perspective of control mechanism, it was found that there are several control mechanisms working simultaneously in bone remodeling which is a complex process. Typically, an extensive parametric study was carried out for investigating model parameter space related to cell differentiation and apoptosis which can describe the fundamental cell lineage behaviors. After analyzing all the combinations of 728 permutations in six model parameters, we have identified a small number of parameter combinations that can lead to physiologically realistic responses which are similar to theoretically idealized physiological responses. The results presented in the work enhanced our understanding on mechanical bone remodeling and the identified control mechanisms can help researchers to develop combined pharmacological-mechanical therapies to treat bone loss diseases such as osteoporosis.

  11. Reliability of piezoceramic patch sensors under cyclic mechanical loading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thielicke, Bärbel; Gesang, Thomas; Wierach, Peter

    2003-12-01

    Piezoceramic patch sensors have to withstand the primary stresses and strains of a structure during operation. In the leading project 'Adaptronics' a lifespan of 106 cycles at 0.1% strain was required for sensors applied on components of steel and carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). In order to test the reliability of the patches themselves and of their adhesion on the substrate, special four-point bending tests were carried out under quasistatic loading and under cyclic loading at different strain levels. The specimens consisted in sheets of steel and CFRP as substrates on which the newly developed patches with embedded piezoelectric foils and fibres were glued. In the quasistatic bending tests the performance of each sensor was characterized by measuring the sensor signal (charge) as a function of strain before and after cycling. Damage of the specimens would result in a decreasing slope of the charge-strain-curve after cycling. However, all the specimens tested survived 107 cycles up to 0.12% strain without marked loss of performance.

  12. Mechanical Behaviour of Reservoir Rock Under Brine Saturation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shukla, Richa; Ranjith, P. G.; Choi, S. K.; Haque, A.; Yellishetty, Mohan; Hong, Li

    2013-01-01

    Acoustic emissions (AE) and stress-strain curve analysis are well accepted ways of analysing crack propagation and monitoring the various failure stages (such as crack closure, crack initiation level during rock failure under compression) of rocks and rock-like materials. This paper presents details and results of experimental investigations conducted for characterizing the brittle failure processes induced in a rock due to monocyclic uniaxial compression on loading of two types of sandstone core samples saturated in NaCl brines of varying concentration (0, 2, 5, 10 and 15 % NaCl by weight). The two types of sandstone samples were saturated under vacuum for more than 45 days with the respective pore fluid to allow them to interact with the rocks. It was observed that the uniaxial compressive strength and stress-strain behaviour of the rock specimens changed with increasing NaCl concentration in the saturating fluid. The acoustic emission patterns also varied considerably for increasing ionic strength of the saturating brines. These observations can be attributed to the deposition of NaCl crystals in the rock's pore spaces as well some minor geo-chemical interactions between the rock minerals and the brine. The AE pattern variations could also be partly related to the higher conductivity of the ionic strength of the high-NaCl concentration brine as it is able to transfer more acoustic energy from the cracks to the AE sensors.

  13. Ecological mechanisms underlying arthropod species diversity in grasslands.

    PubMed

    Joern, Anthony; Laws, Angela N

    2013-01-01

    Arthropods are an important component of grassland systems, contributing significantly to biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function. Climate, fire, and grazing by large herbivores are important drivers in grasslands worldwide. Arthropod responses to these drivers are highly variable and clear patterns are difficult to find, but responses are largely indirect with respect to changes in resources, species interactions, habitat structure, and habitat heterogeneity resulting from interactions among fire, grazing, and climate. Here, we review these ecological mechanisms influencing grassland arthropod diversity. We summarize hypotheses describing species diversity at local and regional scales and then discuss specific factors that may affect arthropod diversity in grassland systems. These factors include direct and indirect effects of grazing, fire, and climate, species interactions, above- and belowground interactions, and landscape-level effects.

  14. Aging and emotional memory: cognitive mechanisms underlying the positivity effect.

    PubMed

    Spaniol, Julia; Voss, Andreas; Grady, Cheryl L

    2008-12-01

    Younger adults tend to remember negative information better than positive or neutral information (negativity bias). The negativity bias is reduced in aging, with older adults occasionally exhibiting superior memory for positive, as opposed to negative or neutral, information (positivity bias). Two experiments with younger (N=24 in Experiment 1, N=25 in Experiment 2; age range: 18-35 years) and older adults (N=24 in both experiments; age range: 60-85 years) investigated the cognitive mechanisms responsible for age-related differences in recognition memory for emotional information. Results from diffusion model analyses (R. Ratcliff, 1978) indicated that the effects of valence on response bias were similar in both age groups but that Age x Valence interactions emerged in memory retrieval. Specifically, older adults experienced greater overall familiarity for positive items than younger adults. We interpret this finding in terms of an age-related increase in the accessibility of positive information in long-term memory. PMID:19140656

  15. Mechanisms underlying the antimotion sickness effects of psychostimulants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kohl, Randall L.; Lewis, Michael R.

    1987-01-01

    Data related to the mechanism responsible for the antimotion sickness effects of psychostimulants such as amphetamine are examined. From the analysis of current literature and new evidence, the following three hypotheses are suggested: (1) selective enhancement of dopaminergic, but not noradrenergic, transmission is sufficient to account for amphetamine-induced resistance and, perhaps, for natural resistance to motion sickness; (2) the site of this enhanced dopaminergic transmission is probably within the basal ganglia; and (3) the neuropharmacology of the basal ganglia, but not of the brain-stem vestibular areas, can account for the therapeutic synergism of scopolamine and amphetamine. The therapeutic action of psychostimulants may be dissociable from some of their side effects, particularly cardiovascular effects related to peripheral norepinephrine release.

  16. Circuit Mechanisms Underlying Motor Memory Formation in the Cerebellum

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Ka Hung; Mathews, Paul J.; Reeves, Alexander M.B.; Choe, Katrina Y.; Jami, Shekib A.; Serrano, Raul E.; Otis, Thomas S.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY The cerebellum stores associative motor memories essential for properly timed movement; however, the mechanisms by which these memories form and are acted upon remain unclear. To determine how cerebellar activity relates to movement and motor learning, we used optogenetics to manipulate spontaneously firing Purkinje neurons (PNs) in mouse simplex lobe. Using high-speed videography and motion tracking, we found that altering PN activity produced rapid forelimb movement. PN inhibition drove movements time-locked to stimulus onset, whereas PN excitation drove delayed movements time-locked to stimulus offset. Pairing either PN inhibition or excitation with sensory stimuli triggered the formation of robust, associative motor memories; however, PN excitation led to learned movements whose timing more closely matched training intervals. These findings implicate inhibition of PNs as a teaching signal, consistent with a model whereby learning leads first to reductions in PN firing that subsequently instruct circuit changes in the cerebellar nucleus. PMID:25843404

  17. Multiple mechanisms underlying troglitazone-induced mitochondrial permeability transition

    SciTech Connect

    Okuda, Takuya; Norioka, Misaki; Shitara, Yoshihisa; Horie, Toshiharu

    2010-11-01

    Troglitazone, a thiazolidinedione class antidiabetic drug, was withdrawn from the market because of its severe idiosyncratic hepatotoxicity. It causes a mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT), which may in part contribute to its hepatotoxicity. In the present study, the mechanism of troglitazone mitochondrial toxicity was investigated in isolated rat liver mitochondria. Mitochondrial swelling induced by 10 {mu}M troglitazone was attenuated by bromoenol lactone (BEL), an inhibitor of Ca{sup 2+}-independent phospholipase A{sub 2} (iPLA{sub 2}). In contrast, that induced by 50 {mu}M troglitazone was exacerbated by BEL. This exacerbation was diminished by addition of 2 mM glutathione, an antioxidant. Oxygen consumption by state 3 respiration in isolated mitochondria was also decreased by troglitazone, but it was not affected by BEL. Mitochondrial swelling induced by 10 {mu}M troglitazone was completely attenuated in the absence of Ca{sup 2+} while that induced by 50 {mu}M troglitazone was not affected. Addition of 1 {mu}M cyclosporin A (CsA), an inhibitor of MPT pores, completely attenuated swelling induced by 10 {mu}M troglitazone while it only partly diminished that induced by 50 {mu}M troglitazone. Thus, the MPT induced by 10 and 50 {mu}M troglitazone are regulated by different mechanism; the MPT induced by 10 {mu}M troglitazone is regulated by the activation of iPLA{sub 2} and caused by the opening of CsA-regulating MPT pores followed by accumulation of Ca{sup 2+} in mitochondria, while that induced by 50 {mu}M troglitazone is partly regulated by reactive oxygen species and mainly caused by the opening of CsA-insensitive MPT pores.

  18. Breather mechanism of the void ordering in crystals under irradiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubinko, Vladimir

    2009-09-01

    The void ordering has been observed in very different radiation environments ranging from metals to ionic crystals. In the present paper the ordering phenomenon is considered as a consequence of the energy transfer along the close packed directions provided by self-focusing discrete breathers. The self-focusing breathers are energetic, mobile and highly localized lattice excitations that propagate great distances in atomic-chain directions in crystals. This points to the possibility of atoms being ejected from the void surface by the breather-induced mechanism, which is similar to the focuson-induced mechanism of vacancy emission from voids proposed in our previous paper. The main difference between focusons and breathers is that the latter are stable against thermal motion. There is evidence that breathers can occur in various crystals, with path lengths ranging from 104 to 107 unit cells. Since the breather propagating range can be larger than the void spacing, the voids can shield each other from breather fluxes along the close packed directions, which provides a driving force for the void ordering. Namely, the vacancy emission rate for "locally ordered" voids (which have more immediate neighbors along the close packed directions) is smaller than that for the "interstitial" ones, and so they have some advantage in growth. If the void number density is sufficiently high, the competition between them makes the "interstitial" voids shrink away resulting in the void lattice formation. The void ordering is intrinsically connected with a saturation of the void swelling, which is shown to be another important consequence of the breather-induced vacancy emission from voids.

  19. Mechanical characterization of stomach tissue under uniaxial tensile action.

    PubMed

    Jia, Z G; Li, W; Zhou, Z R

    2015-02-26

    In this article, the tensile properties of gastric wall were investigated by using biomechanical test and theoretical analysis. The samples of porcine stomach strips from smaller and greater curvature of the stomach were cut in longitudinal and circumferential direction, respectively. The loading-unloading, stress relaxation, strain creep, tensile fracture tests were performed at mucosa-submucosa, serosa-muscle and intact layer, respectively. Results showed that the biomechanical properties of the porcine stomach depended on the layers, orientations and locations of the gastric wall and presented typical viscoelastic, nonlinear and anisotropic mechanical properties. During loading-unloading test, the stress of serosa-muscle layer in the longitudinal direction was 15-20% more than that in the circumferential direction at 12% stretch ratio, while it could reach about 40% for the intact layer and 50% for the mucosa-submucosa layer. The results of stress relaxation and strain creep showed that the variation degree was obviously faster in the circumferential direction than that in the longitudinal direction, and the ultimate residual values were also different for the different layers, orientations and locations. In the process of fracture test, the serosa-muscle layer fractured firstly followed by the mucosa-submucosa layer when the intact layer was tested, the longitudinal strips firstly began to fracture and the required stress value was about twice as much as that in the circumferential strips. The anisotropy and heterogeneity of mechanical characterization of the porcine stomach were related to its complicated geometry, structure and functions. The results would help us to understand the biomechanics of soft organ tissue.

  20. Barrier formation: potential molecular mechanism of enamel fluorosis.

    PubMed

    Lyaruu, D M; Medina, J F; Sarvide, S; Bervoets, T J M; Everts, V; Denbesten, P; Smith, C E; Bronckers, A L J J

    2014-01-01

    Enamel fluorosis is an irreversible structural enamel defect following exposure to supraoptimal levels of fluoride during amelogenesis. We hypothesized that fluorosis is associated with excess release of protons during formation of hypermineralized lines in the mineralizing enamel matrix. We tested this concept by analyzing fluorotic enamel defects in wild-type mice and mice deficient in anion exchanger-2a,b (Ae2a,b), a transmembrane protein in maturation ameloblasts that exchanges extracellular Cl(-) for bicarbonate. Defects were more pronounced in fluorotic Ae2a,b (-/-) mice than in fluorotic heterozygous or wild-type mice. Phenotypes included a hypermineralized surface, extensive subsurface hypomineralization, and multiple hypermineralized lines in deeper enamel. Mineral content decreased in all fluoride-exposed and Ae2a,b(-/-) mice and was strongly correlated with Cl(-). Exposure of enamel surfaces underlying maturation-stage ameloblasts to pH indicator dyes suggested the presence of diffusion barriers in fluorotic enamel. These results support the concept that fluoride stimulates hypermineralization at the mineralization front. This causes increased release of protons, which ameloblasts respond to by secreting more bicarbonates at the expense of Cl(-) levels in enamel. The fluoride-induced hypermineralized lines may form barriers that impede diffusion of proteins and mineral ions into the subsurface layers, thereby delaying biomineralization and causing retention of enamel matrix proteins.

  1. Ambient particle inhalation and the cardiovascular system: potential mechanisms.

    PubMed Central

    Donaldson, K; Stone, V; Seaton, A; MacNee, W

    2001-01-01

    Well-documented air pollution episodes throughout recent history have led to deaths among individuals with cardiovascular and respiratory disease. Although the components of air pollution that cause the adverse health effects in these individuals are unknown, a small proportion by mass but a large proportion by number of the ambient air particles are ultrafine, i.e., less than 100 nm in diameter. This ultrafine component of particulate matter with a mass median aerodynamic diameter less than 10 microm (PM(10) may mediate some of the adverse health effects reported in epidemiologic studies and for which there is toxicologic evidence to support this contention. The exact mechanism by which ultrafine particles have adverse effects is unknown, but these particles have recently been shown to enhance calcium influx on contact with macrophages. Oxidative stress is also to be anticipated at the huge particle surface; this can be augmented by oxidants generated by recruited inflammatory leukocytes. Atheromatous plaques form in the coronary arteries and are major causes of morbidity and death associated epidemiologically with particulate air pollution. In populations exposed to air pollution episodes, blood viscosity, fibrinogen, and C-reactive protein (CRP) were higher. More recently, increases in heart rate in response to rising air pollution have been described and are most marked in individuals who have high blood viscosity. In our study of elderly individuals, there were significant rises in CRP, an index of inflammation. In this present review, we consider the likely interactions between the ultrafine particles the acute phase response and cardiovascular disease. PMID:11544157

  2. Algorithmic mechanisms for reliable crowdsourcing computation under collusion.

    PubMed

    Fernández Anta, Antonio; Georgiou, Chryssis; Mosteiro, Miguel A; Pareja, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    We consider a computing system where a master processor assigns a task for execution to worker processors that may collude. We model the workers' decision of whether to comply (compute the task) or not (return a bogus result to save the computation cost) as a game among workers. That is, we assume that workers are rational in a game-theoretic sense. We identify analytically the parameter conditions for a unique Nash Equilibrium where the master obtains the correct result. We also evaluate experimentally mixed equilibria aiming to attain better reliability-profit trade-offs. For a wide range of parameter values that may be used in practice, our simulations show that, in fact, both master and workers are better off using a pure equilibrium where no worker cheats, even under collusion, and even for colluding behaviors that involve deviating from the game. PMID:25793524

  3. Algorithmic Mechanisms for Reliable Crowdsourcing Computation under Collusion

    PubMed Central

    Fernández Anta, Antonio; Georgiou, Chryssis; Mosteiro, Miguel A.; Pareja, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    We consider a computing system where a master processor assigns a task for execution to worker processors that may collude. We model the workers’ decision of whether to comply (compute the task) or not (return a bogus result to save the computation cost) as a game among workers. That is, we assume that workers are rational in a game-theoretic sense. We identify analytically the parameter conditions for a unique Nash Equilibrium where the master obtains the correct result. We also evaluate experimentally mixed equilibria aiming to attain better reliability-profit trade-offs. For a wide range of parameter values that may be used in practice, our simulations show that, in fact, both master and workers are better off using a pure equilibrium where no worker cheats, even under collusion, and even for colluding behaviors that involve deviating from the game. PMID:25793524

  4. Cellular mechanisms underlying oxidative stress in human exercise.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Malcolm J; Vasilaki, Aphrodite; McArdle, Anne

    2016-09-01

    A relative increase in oxidation of lipids, proteins and DNA has been recognised to occur in the circulation and tissues of exercising humans and animals since the late 1970s and throughout the ensuing 40 years a great deal of work has been undertaken to elucidate the potential source(s) of this exercise-induced "oxidative stress". Specific aspects of physical exercise (e.g. contractile activity, relative hypoxia, hyperaemia) may theoretically induce increased generation of reactive oxygen species in a number of potential tissues, but data strongly indicate that contractile activity of skeletal muscle predominates as the source of oxidants and contributes to local oxidation and that of extracellular biomaterials. Taken together with the relatively large mass of muscle compared with other tissues and cells it appears that muscle fibres are the major contributor to the relative increase in whole body "oxidative stress" during some forms of exercise. The sub-cellular sources of this increased oxidation have also been the subject of considerable research with early studies predominantly indicating that muscle mitochondria were the likely increased source of oxidants, such as hydrogen peroxide, but assessments of the relative concentrations of hydrogen peroxide in skeletal muscle fibres at rest and during contractile activity do not support this possibility. In contrast, several recent studies have identified NADPH oxidase enzymes in skeletal muscle that appear to play a signalling role in physiological responses exercise and together with xanthine oxidase enzymes may contribute to the relative increase in whole body oxidation. A fuller understanding of the relative roles of these sources and the function(s) of the species generated appears increasingly important in attempts to harness the beneficial effects of exercise for maintenance of health in aging and a variety of chronic conditions.

  5. PARENTAL FAMILISM AND ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIORS: DEVELOPMENT, GENDER AND POTENTIAL MECHANISMS

    PubMed Central

    Morcillo, Carmen; Duarte, Cristiane S.; Shen, Sa; Blanco, Carlos; Canino, Glorisa; Bird, Hector R.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To examine the relationship between parental familism (strong values of attachment to nuclear and extended family members) with youth antisocial behaviors over time. Method Sample: Puerto Rican children aged 5-13 years at baseline residing in the South Bronx in New York (n=1,138) and in the Standard Metropolitan Area in San Juan and Caguas, Puerto Rico (n=1,353) and followed up over 2 waves one year apart from 2000 to 2003. Measures Parental familism was assessed using an adaptation of Sabogal’s Familism Scale. Level of youth past year antisocial behaviors was measured by the antisocial behavior index (ASBI). The association between familism and ASBI over three waves was examined through mixed models stratified by age and gender, adjusted by site (South Bronx or San Juan), propensity scores reflecting site differences in family income, maternal age and education, plus environmental and child risk factors. Specific family processes were examined as potential mediators. Results Parental familism was protective against antisocial behaviors among girls [estimate(SE)=-0.11(0.03), p<0.001 for 5-9 year-old; estimate(SE)=-0.15(0.03), p<0.0001 for 10 or older]. For boys, parental familism was only protective among 5-9 year-olds [estimate (SE) =-0.09(0.03), p=0.0008]. The protective effect of parental familism on antisocial behaviors operated mostly through parent-child relationships for 5-9 year old children and parental attitudes/behaviors towards youth high-risk behaviors for both age groups. Conclusions Familism may protect youth against increasing levels of antisocial behaviors (except for boys who are 10 years or older). Incorporating familism as part of therapeutic approaches addressing antisocial behaviors for youth may be helpful. PMID:21515196

  6. Determining polarizable force fields with electrostatic potentials from quantum mechanical linear response theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hao; Yang, Weitao

    2016-06-01

    We developed a new method to calculate the atomic polarizabilities by fitting to the electrostatic potentials (ESPs) obtained from quantum mechanical (QM) calculations within the linear response theory. This parallels the conventional approach of fitting atomic charges based on electrostatic potentials from the electron density. Our ESP fitting is combined with the induced dipole model under the perturbation of uniform external electric fields of all orientations. QM calculations for the linear response to the external electric fields are used as input, fully consistent with the induced dipole model, which itself is a linear response model. The orientation of the uniform external electric fields is integrated in all directions. The integration of orientation and QM linear response calculations together makes the fitting results independent of the orientations and magnitudes of the uniform external electric fields applied. Another advantage of our method is that QM calculation is only needed once, in contrast to the conventional approach, where many QM calculations are needed for many different applied electric fields. The molecular polarizabilities obtained from our method show comparable accuracy with those from fitting directly to the experimental or theoretical molecular polarizabilities. Since ESP is directly fitted, atomic polarizabilities obtained from our method are expected to reproduce the electrostatic interactions better. Our method was used to calculate both transferable atomic polarizabilities for polarizable molecular mechanics' force fields and nontransferable molecule-specific atomic polarizabilities.

  7. Determining polarizable force fields with electrostatic potentials from quantum mechanical linear response theory.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hao; Yang, Weitao

    2016-06-14

    We developed a new method to calculate the atomic polarizabilities by fitting to the electrostatic potentials (ESPs) obtained from quantum mechanical (QM) calculations within the linear response theory. This parallels the conventional approach of fitting atomic charges based on electrostatic potentials from the electron density. Our ESP fitting is combined with the induced dipole model under the perturbation of uniform external electric fields of all orientations. QM calculations for the linear response to the external electric fields are used as input, fully consistent with the induced dipole model, which itself is a linear response model. The orientation of the uniform external electric fields is integrated in all directions. The integration of orientation and QM linear response calculations together makes the fitting results independent of the orientations and magnitudes of the uniform external electric fields applied. Another advantage of our method is that QM calculation is only needed once, in contrast to the conventional approach, where many QM calculations are needed for many different applied electric fields. The molecular polarizabilities obtained from our method show comparable accuracy with those from fitting directly to the experimental or theoretical molecular polarizabilities. Since ESP is directly fitted, atomic polarizabilities obtained from our method are expected to reproduce the electrostatic interactions better. Our method was used to calculate both transferable atomic polarizabilities for polarizable molecular mechanics' force fields and nontransferable molecule-specific atomic polarizabilities.

  8. An AT-barrier mechanically controls DNA reannealing under tension.

    PubMed

    Bongini, L; Pongor, C; Falorsi, G; Pertici, I; Kellermayer, M; Lombardi, V; Bianco, P

    2016-09-19

    Regulation of genomic activity occurs through the manipulation of DNA by competent mechanoenzymes. Force-clamp optical tweezers that allow the structural dynamics of the DNA molecule to be measured were used here to investigate the kinetics of mechanically-driven strand reannealing. When the force on the torsionally unconstrained λ-phage DNA is decreased stepwise from above to below the overstretching transition, reannealing occurs via discrete shortening steps separated by exponentially distributed time intervals. Kinetic analysis reveals a transition barrier 0.58 nm along the reaction coordinate and an average reannealing-step size of ∼750 bp, consistent with the average bp interval separating segments of more than 10 consecutive AT bases. In an AT-rich DNA construct, in which the distance between segments of more than 10 consecutive AT is reduced to ∼210 bps, the reannealing step reduces accordingly without changes in the position of the transition barrier. Thus, the transition barrier for reannealing is determined by the presence of segments of more than 10 consecutive AT bps independent of changes in sequence composition, while the length of the reannealing strand changes according to the distance between poly-AT segments at least 10 bps long. PMID:27378772

  9. Neural mechanisms underlying social conformity in an ultimatum game

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Zhenyu; Zhao, Zhiying; Zheng, Yong

    2013-01-01

    When individuals’ actions are incongruent with those of the group they belong to, they may change their initial behavior in order to conform to the group norm. This phenomenon is known as “social conformity.” In the present study, we used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate brain activity in response to group opinion during an ultimatum game. Results showed that participants changed their choices when these choices conflicted with the normative opinion of the group they were members of, especially in conditions of unfair treatment. The fMRI data revealed that a conflict with group norms activated the brain regions involved in norm violations and behavioral adjustment. Furthermore, in the reject-unfair condition, we observed that a conflict with group norms activated the medial frontal gyrus. These findings contribute to recent research examining neural mechanisms involved in detecting violations of social norms, and provide information regarding the neural representation of conformity behavior in an economic game. PMID:24399954

  10. A candidate mechanism underlying the variance of interictal spike propagation

    PubMed Central

    Sabolek, Helen R; Swiercz, Waldemar B.; Lillis, Kyle; Cash, Sydney S.; Huberfeld, Gilles; Zhao, Grace; Marie, Linda Ste.; Clemenceau, Stéphane; Barsh, Greg; Miles, Richard; Staley, Kevin J.

    2012-01-01

    Synchronous activation of neural networks is an important physiological mechanism, and dysregulation of synchrony forms the basis of epilepsy. We analyzed the propagation of synchronous activity through chronically epileptic neural networks. Electrocortigraphic recordings from epileptic patients demonstrate remarkable variance in the pathways of propagation between sequential interictal spikes (IIS). Calcium imaging in chronically epileptic slice cultures demonstrates that pathway variance depends on the presence of GABAergic inhibition and that spike propagation becomes stereotyped following GABA-R blockade. Computer modeling suggests that GABAergic quenching of local network activations leaves behind regions of refractory neurons, whose late recruitment forms the anatomical basis of variability during subsequent network activation. Targeted path scanning of slice cultures confirmed local activations, while ex vivo recordings of human epileptic tissue confirmed the dependence of interspike variance on GABA-mediated inhibition. These data support the hypothesis that the paths by which synchronous activity spread through an epileptic network change with each activation, based on the recent history of localized activity that has been successfully inhibited. PMID:22378874

  11. Molecular mechanisms underlying genotype-dependent responses to dietary restriction

    PubMed Central

    Schleit, Jennifer; Johnson, Simon C.; Bennett, Christopher F.; Simko, Marissa; Trongtham, Natalie; Castanza, Anthony; Hsieh, Edward J.; Moller, Richard M.; Wasko, Brian M.; Delaney, Joe R.; Sutphin, George L.; Carr, Daniel; Murakami, Christopher J.; Tocchi, Autumn; Xian, Bo; Chen, Weiyang; Yu, Tao; Goswami, Sarani; Higgins, Sean; Holmberg, Mollie; Jeong, Ki-Soo; Kim, Jin R.; Klum, Shannon; Liao, Eric; Lin, Michael S.; Lo, Winston; Miller, Hillary; Olsen, Brady; Peng, Zhao J.; Pollard, Tom; Pradeep, Prarthana; Pruett, Dillon; Rai, Dilreet; Ros, Vanessa; Singh, Minnie; Spector, Benjamin L.; Wende, Helen Vander; An, Elroy H.; Fletcher, Marissa; Jelic, Monika; Rabinovitch, Peter S.; MacCoss, Michael J.; Han, Jing-Dong J.; Kennedy, Brian K.; Kaeberlein, Matt

    2013-01-01

    Summary Dietary restriction (DR) increases lifespan and attenuates age-related phenotypes in many organisms; however, the effect of DR on longevity of individuals in genetically heterogeneous populations is not well characterized. Here we describe a large-scale effort to define molecular mechanisms that underlie genotype-specific responses to DR. The effect of DR on lifespan was determined for 166 single-gene deletion strains in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Resulting changes in mean lifespan ranged from a reduction of 79% to an increase of 103%. Vacuolar pH homeostasis, superoxide dismutase activity, and mitochondrial proteostasis were found to be strong determinants of the response to DR. Proteomic analysis of cells deficient in prohibitins revealed induction of a mitochondrial unfolded protein response (mtUPR) which has not previously been described in yeast. Mitochondrial proteotoxic stress in prohibitin mutants was suppressed by DR via reduced cytoplasmic mRNA translation. A similar relationship between prohibitins, the mtUPR, and longevity was also observed in Caenorhabditis elegans. These observations define conserved molecular processes that underlie genotype-dependent effects of DR that may be important modulators of DR in higher organisms. PMID:23837470

  12. Common Neural Mechanisms Underlying Reversal Learning by Reward and Punishment

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Gui; Xue, Feng; Droutman, Vita; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Bechara, Antoine; Read, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Impairments in flexible goal-directed decisions, often examined by reversal learning, are associated with behavioral abnormalities characterized by impulsiveness and disinhibition. Although the lateral orbital frontal cortex (OFC) has been consistently implicated in reversal learning, it is still unclear whether this region is involved in negative feedback processing, behavioral control, or both, and whether reward and punishment might have different effects on lateral OFC involvement. Using a relatively large sample (N = 47), and a categorical learning task with either monetary reward or moderate electric shock as feedback, we found overlapping activations in the right lateral OFC (and adjacent insula) for reward and punishment reversal learning when comparing correct reversal trials with correct acquisition trials, whereas we found overlapping activations in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) when negative feedback signaled contingency change. The right lateral OFC and DLPFC also showed greater sensitivity to punishment than did their left homologues, indicating an asymmetry in how punishment is processed. We propose that the right lateral OFC and anterior insula are important for transforming affective feedback to behavioral adjustment, whereas the right DLPFC is involved in higher level attention control. These results provide insight into the neural mechanisms of reversal learning and behavioral flexibility, which can be leveraged to understand risky behaviors among vulnerable populations. PMID:24349211

  13. Comparative analysis reveals the underlying mechanism of vertebrate seasonal reproduction.

    PubMed

    Ikegami, Keisuke; Yoshimura, Takashi

    2016-02-01

    Animals utilize photoperiodic changes as a calendar to regulate seasonal reproduction. Birds have highly sophisticated photoperiodic mechanisms and functional genomics analysis in quail uncovered the signal transduction pathway regulating avian seasonal reproduction. Birds detect light with deep brain photoreceptors. Long day (LD) stimulus induces secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pars tuberalis (PT) of the pituitary gland. PT-derived TSH locally activates thyroid hormone (TH) in the hypothalamus, which induces gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and hence gonadotropin secretion. However, during winter, low temperatures increase serum TH for adaptive thermogenesis, which accelerates germ cell apoptosis by activating the genes involved in metamorphosis. Therefore, TH has a dual role in the regulation of seasonal reproduction. Studies using TSH receptor knockout mice confirmed the involvement of PT-derived TSH in mammalian seasonal reproduction. In addition, studies in mice revealed that the tissue-specific glycosylation of TSH diversifies its function in the circulation to avoid crosstalk. In contrast to birds and mammals, one of the molecular machineries necessary for the seasonal reproduction of fish are localized in the saccus vasculosus from the photoreceptor to the neuroendocrine output. Thus, comparative analysis is a powerful tool to uncover the universality and diversity of fundamental properties in various organisms.

  14. Mechanisms underlying the neuronal-based symptoms of allergy.

    PubMed

    Undem, Bradley J; Taylor-Clark, Thomas

    2014-06-01

    Persons with allergies present with symptoms that often are the result of alterations in the nervous system. Neuronally based symptoms depend on the organ in which the allergic reaction occurs but can include red itchy eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, coughing, bronchoconstriction, airway mucus secretion, dysphagia, altered gastrointestinal motility, and itchy swollen skin. These symptoms occur because mediators released during an allergic reaction can interact with sensory nerves, change processing in the central nervous system, and alter transmission in sympathetic, parasympathetic, and enteric autonomic nerves. In addition, evidence supports the idea that in some subjects this neuromodulation is, for reasons poorly understood, upregulated such that the same degree of nerve stimulus causes a larger effect than seen in healthy subjects. There are distinctions in the mechanisms and nerve types involved in allergen-induced neuromodulation among different organ systems, but general principles have emerged. The products of activated mast cells, other inflammatory cells, and resident cells can overtly stimulate nerve endings, cause long-lasting changes in neuronal excitability, increase synaptic efficacy, and also change gene expression in nerves, resulting in phenotypically altered neurons. A better understanding of these processes might lead to novel therapeutic strategies aimed at limiting the suffering of those with allergies.

  15. An AT-barrier mechanically controls DNA reannealing under tension

    PubMed Central

    Bongini, L.; Pongor, C.; Falorsi, G.; Pertici, I.; Kellermayer, M.; Lombardi, V.; Bianco, P.

    2016-01-01

    Regulation of genomic activity occurs through the manipulation of DNA by competent mechanoenzymes. Force-clamp optical tweezers that allow the structural dynamics of the DNA molecule to be measured were used here to investigate the kinetics of mechanically-driven strand reannealing. When the force on the torsionally unconstrained λ-phage DNA is decreased stepwise from above to below the overstretching transition, reannealing occurs via discrete shortening steps separated by exponentially distributed time intervals. Kinetic analysis reveals a transition barrier 0.58 nm along the reaction coordinate and an average reannealing-step size of ∼750 bp, consistent with the average bp interval separating segments of more than 10 consecutive AT bases. In an AT-rich DNA construct, in which the distance between segments of more than 10 consecutive AT is reduced to ∼210 bps, the reannealing step reduces accordingly without changes in the position of the transition barrier. Thus, the transition barrier for reannealing is determined by the presence of segments of more than 10 consecutive AT bps independent of changes in sequence composition, while the length of the reannealing strand changes according to the distance between poly-AT segments at least 10 bps long. PMID:27378772

  16. Escape rate of Brownian particles from a metastable potential well under time derivative Ornstein-Uhlenbeck noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bai, Zhan-Wu; Wang, Ping

    2016-03-01

    We investigate the escape rate of Brownian particles that move in a cubic metastable potential subjected to an internal time derivative Ornstein-Uhlenbeck noise (DOUN). This noise can induce the ballistic diffusion of force-free Brownian particles. Some new features are found. The escape rate for DOUN shows qualitative different dependence on potential well width compared with OUN which induces normal diffusion. As the potential barrier height decreases, the escape rate of DOUN deviates from Arrhenius law considerably earlier than that of Ornstein-Uhlenbeck noise (OUN). The Brownian particles escape faster under DOUN than that under OUN. A quasi-periodic oscillation occurs in transient state. A solvable case is presented to demonstrate the significant cancellation behavior in the barrier region that governs most of these phenomena. The physical mechanism of the findings can be clarified by the noise features. These characteristics should be common for internal noises that induce superdiffusion, especially the ballistic diffusion.

  17. Mechanisms underlying rhythmic locomotion: dynamics of muscle activation

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jun; Tian, Jianghong; Iwasaki, Tetsuya; Friesen, W. Otto

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY We have studied the dynamical properties of tension development in leech longitudinal muscle during swimming. A new method is proposed for modeling muscle properties under functionally relevant conditions where the muscle is subjected to both periodic activation and rhythmic length changes. The ‘dual-sinusoid’ experiments were conducted on preparations of leech nerve cord and body wall. The longitudinal muscle was activated periodically by injection of sinusoidal currents into an identified motoneuron. Simultaneously, sinusoidal length changes were imposed on the body wall with prescribed phase differences (12 values equally spaced over 2π radians) with respect to the current injection. Through the singular value decomposition of appropriately constructed tension data matrices, the leech muscle was found to have a multiplicative structure in which the tension was expressed as the product of activation and length factors. The time courses of activation and length factors were determined from the tension data and were used to develop component models. The proposed modeling method is a general one and is applicable to contractile elements for which the effects of series elasticity are negligible. PMID:21562183

  18. Mechanisms Underlying the Emergent Properties of Gecko-like Nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Autumn, Kellar

    2010-03-01

    Imagine the difficulties a gecko would encounter if it employed a conventional pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) on its toes. PSAs are soft viscoelastic polymers that degrade, foul, self-adhere, and attach accidentally to inappropriate surfaces. In contrast, gecko toes bear angled arrays of branched, hair-like setae formed from stiff, hydrophobic keratin that act as a bed of angled springs with similar effective stiffness to that of PSAs. We have discovered nine benchmark properties of the gecko adhesive over the past decade: 1) anisotropy, 2) strong attachment with minimal preload, 3) easy and rapid detachment, 4) material independence, 5) self-cleaning 6) anti-self-adhesion, and 7) nonadhesive default state. Most recently, we discovered 8) dynamic adhesion and 9) wear resistance. Rate dependent, wear-free friction and adhesion in a dry hard solid may emerge from uncorrelated stick-slip of the spatulae. We confirmed these predictions in a gecko-like synthetic adhesive (GSA) made from a hard silicone polymer. The GSA slid smoothly while adhering, and its velocity-dependence and stick-slip frequency matched the predictions of the model. There has been rapid progress in understanding the principles underlying these remarkable properties, and in applying the principles of gecko adhesion in the fabrication of GSAs. Properties 1-9 have all been achieved in GSAs (although not yet in a single material).

  19. Molecular mechanisms underlying a cellular analogue of operant reward learning

    PubMed Central

    Lorenzetti, Fred D.; Baxter, Douglas A.; Byrne, John H.

    2008-01-01

    SUMMARY Operant conditioning is a ubiquitous but mechanistically poorly understood form of associative learning in which an animal learns the consequences of its behavior. Using a single-cell analogue of operant conditioning in neuron B51 of Aplysia, we examined second-messenger pathways engaged by activity and reward and how they may provide a biochemical association underlying operant learning. Conditioning was blocked by Rp-cAMP, a peptide inhibitor of PKA, a PKC inhibitor and by expressing a dominant negative isoform of Ca2+-dependent PKC (apl-I). Thus, both PKA and PKC were necessary for operant conditioning. Injection of cAMP into B51 mimicked the effects of operant conditioning. Activation of PKC also mimicked conditioning, but was dependent on both cAMP and PKA, suggesting that PKC acted at some point upstream of PKA activation. Our results demonstrate how these molecules can interact to mediate operant conditioning in an individual neuron important for the expression of the conditioned behavior. PMID:18786364

  20. Mechanical Model for Dynamic Behavior of Concrete Under Impact Loading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Yuanxiang

    Concrete is a geo-material which is used substantively in the civil building and military safeguard. One coupled model of damage and plasticity to describe the complex behavior of concrete subjected to impact loading is proposed in this research work. The concrete is assumed as homogeneous continuum with pre-existing micro-cracks and micro-voids. Damage to concrete is caused due to micro-crack nucleation, growth and coalescence, and defined as the probability of fracture at a given crack density. It induces a decrease of strength and stiffness of concrete. Compaction of concrete is physically a collapse of the material voids. It produces the plastic strain in the concrete and, at the same time, an increase of the bulk modulus. In terms of crack growth model, micro-cracks are activated, and begin to propagate gradually. When crack density reaches a critical value, concrete takes place the smashing destroy. The model parameters for mortar are determined using plate impact experiment with uni-axial strain state. Comparison with the test results shows that the proposed model can give consistent prediction of the impact behavior of concrete. The proposed model may be used to design and analysis of concrete structures under impact and shock loading. This work is supported by State Key Laboratory of Explosion science and Technology, Beijing Institute of Technology (YBKT14-02).

  1. Neural mechanism underlying autobiographical memory modulated by remoteness and emotion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Ruiyang; Fu, Yan; Wang, DaHua; Yao, Li; Long, Zhiying

    2012-03-01

    Autobiographical memory is the ability to recollect past events from one's own life. Both emotional tone and memory remoteness can influence autobiographical memory retrieval along the time axis of one's life. Although numerous studies have been performed to investigate brain regions involved in retrieving processes of autobiographical memory, the effect of emotional tone and memory age on autobiographical memory retrieval remains to be clarified. Moreover, whether the involvement of hippocampus in consolidation of autobiographical events is time dependent or independent has been controversial. In this study, we investigated the effect of memory remoteness (factor1: recent and remote) and emotional valence (factor2: positive and negative) on neural correlates underlying autobiographical memory by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique. Although all four conditions activated some common regions known as "core" regions in autobiographical memory retrieval, there are some other regions showing significantly different activation for recent versus remote and positive versus negative memories. In particular, we found that bilateral hippocampal regions were activated in the four conditions regardless of memory remoteness and emotional valence. Thus, our study confirmed some findings of previous studies and provided further evidence to support the multi-trace theory which believes that the role of hippocampus involved in autobiographical memory retrieval is time-independent and permanent in memory consolidation.

  2. Quantal evoked depolarizations underlying the excitatory junction potential of the guinea-pig isolated vas deferens

    PubMed Central

    Manchanda, Rohit; Venkateswarlu, K

    1999-01-01

    directly that the quantal depolarizations underlying the EJP in syncytial smooth muscle are SEJP-like events. However, no unequivocal statement can be made about the mechanism by which heptanol unmasks QEJPs from EJPs. PMID:10523420

  3. Mechanisms underlying angiotensin II-induced calcium oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Aurélie; Pallone, Thomas L.

    2008-01-01

    To gain insight into the mechanisms that underlie angiotensin II (ANG II)-induced cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca]cyt) oscillations in medullary pericytes, we expanded a prior model of ion fluxes. ANG II stimulation was simulated by doubling maximal inositol trisphosphate (IP3) production and imposing a 90% blockade of K+ channels. We investigated two configurations, one in which ryanodine receptors (RyR) and IP3 receptors (IP3R) occupy a common store and a second in which they reside on separate stores. Our results suggest that Ca2+ release from stores and import from the extracellular space are key determinants of oscillations because both raise [Ca] in subplasmalemmal spaces near RyR. When the Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release (CICR) threshold of RyR is exceeded, the ensuing Ca2+ release is limited by Ca2+ reuptake into stores and export across the plasmalemma. If sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) pumps do not remain saturated and sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ stores are replenished, that phase is followed by a resumption of leak from internal stores that leads either to [Ca]cyt elevation below the CICR threshold (no oscillations) or to elevation above it (oscillations). Our model predicts that oscillations are more prone to occur when IP3R and RyR stores are separate because, in that case, Ca2+ released by RyR during CICR can enhance filling of adjacent IP3 stores to favor a high subsequent leak that generates further CICR events. Moreover, the existence or absence of oscillations depends on the set points of several parameters, so that biological variation might well explain the presence or absence of oscillations in individual pericytes. PMID:18562632

  4. Enhancement of sleep slow waves: underlying mechanisms and practical consequences

    PubMed Central

    Bellesi, Michele; Riedner, Brady A.; Garcia-Molina, Gary N.; Cirelli, Chiara; Tononi, Giulio

    2014-01-01

    Even modest sleep restriction, especially the loss of sleep slow wave activity (SWA), is invariably associated with slower electroencephalogram (EEG) activity during wake, the occurrence of local sleep in an otherwise awake brain, and impaired performance due to cognitive and memory deficits. Recent studies not only confirm the beneficial role of sleep in memory consolidation, but also point to a specific role for sleep slow waves. Thus, the implementation of methods to enhance sleep slow waves without unwanted arousals or lightening of sleep could have significant practical implications. Here we first review the evidence that it is possible to enhance sleep slow waves in humans using transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Since these methods are currently impractical and their safety is questionable, especially for chronic long-term exposure, we then discuss novel data suggesting that it is possible to enhance slow waves using sensory stimuli. We consider the physiology of the K-complex (KC), a peripheral evoked slow wave, and show that, among different sensory modalities, acoustic stimulation is the most effective in increasing the magnitude of slow waves, likely through the activation of non-lemniscal ascending pathways to the thalamo-cortical system. In addition, we discuss how intensity and frequency of the acoustic stimuli, as well as exact timing and pattern of stimulation, affect sleep enhancement. Finally, we discuss automated algorithms that read the EEG and, in real-time, adjust the stimulation parameters in a closed-loop manner to obtain an increase in sleep slow waves and avoid undesirable arousals. In conclusion, while discussing the mechanisms that underlie the generation of sleep slow waves, we review the converging evidence showing that acoustic stimulation is safe and represents an ideal tool for slow wave sleep (SWS) enhancement. PMID:25389394

  5. Untangling the web: mechanisms underlying ER network formation.

    PubMed

    Goyal, Uma; Blackstone, Craig

    2013-11-01

    The ER is a continuous membrane system consisting of the nuclear envelope, flat sheets often studded with ribosomes, and a polygonal network of highly-curved tubules extending throughout the cell. Although protein and lipid biosynthesis, protein modification, vesicular transport, Ca(2+)dynamics, and protein quality control have been investigated in great detail, mechanisms that generate the distinctive architecture of the ER have been uncovered only recently. Several protein families including the reticulons and REEPs/DP1/Yop1p harbor hydrophobic hairpin domains that shape high-curvature ER tubules and mediate intramembrane protein interactions. Members of the atlastin/RHD3/Sey1p family of dynamin-related GTPases interact with the ER-shaping proteins and mediate the formation of three-way junctions responsible for the polygonal structure of the tubular ER network, with Lunapark proteins acting antagonistically. Additional classes of tubular ER proteins including some REEPs and the M1 spastin ATPase interact with the microtubule cytoskeleton. Flat ER sheets possess a different complement of proteins such as p180, CLIMP-63 and kinectin implicated in shaping, cisternal stacking and cytoskeletal interactions. The ER is also in constant motion, and numerous signaling pathways as well as interactions among cytoskeletal elements, the plasma membrane, and organelles cooperate to position and shape the ER dynamically. Finally, many proteins involved in shaping the ER network are mutated in the most common forms of hereditary spastic paraplegia, indicating a particular importance for proper ER morphology and distribution in large, highly-polarized cells such as neurons. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Functional and structural diversity of endoplasmic reticulum. PMID:23602970

  6. Molecular mechanism underlying Akt activation in zinc-induced cardioprotection

    PubMed Central

    Lee, SungRyul; Chanoit, Guillaume; McIntosh, Rachel; Zvara, David A.; Xu, Zhelong

    2009-01-01

    Our previous study demonstrated that zinc prevents cardiac reperfusion injury by targeting the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) via Akt and glycogen synthetase kinase 3β (GSK-3β). We aimed to address the mechanism by which zinc activates Akt. Treatment of H9c2 cells with ZnCl2 (10 μM) in the presence of the zinc ionophore pyrithione (4 μM) for 20 min enhanced Akt phosphorylation (Ser473), indicating that zinc can rapidly activate Akt. Zinc did not alter either phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) phosphorylation and total PTEN protein levels or PTEN oxidation, implying that PTEN may not play a role in the action of zinc. However, zinc-induced Akt phosphorylation was blocked by both the nonselective receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitor genistein and the selective insulin-like growth factor-1 RTK (IGF-1RTK) inhibitor AG1024, indicating that zinc activates Akt via IGF-1RTK. Zinc-induced phosphorylation of protein tyrosine and Ser/Thr was also abolished by AG1024. In addition, zinc markedly enhanced phosphorylation of IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R), which was again reversed by genistein and AG1024. A confocal imaging study revealed that AG1024 abolished the preventive effect of zinc on oxidant-induced mPTP opening, confirming that IGF-1RTK plays a role in zinc-induced cardioprotection. Furthermore, zinc decreased the activity of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), a major protein Ser/Thr phosphatase, implying that protein Ser/Thr phosphatases may also play a role in the action of zinc on Akt activity. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that exogenous zinc activates Akt via IGF-1RTK and prevents the mPTP opening in cardiac cells. Inactivation of Ser/Thr protein phosphatases may also contribute to zinc-induced Akt activation. PMID:19525380

  7. Potential corrosion and degradation mechanisms of Zircaloy cladding on spent nuclear fuel in a tuff repository

    SciTech Connect

    Rothman, A.J.

    1984-09-01

    A literature review and analysis were made of corrosion and degradation processes applicable to Zircaloy cladding on spent nuclear fuel in a tuff repository. In particular, lifetime sought for the Zircaloy is 10,000 years. Among the potential failure mechanisms examined were: oxidation by steam, air, and water, including the effects of ions whose presence is anticipated in the water; mechanical overload; stress (creep) rupture; stress-corrosion cracking (SCC); and delayed failure due to hydride cracking. The conclusion is that failure due to oxidation is not credible, although a few experiments are suggested to confirm the effect of aqueous fluoride on the Zircaloy cladding. Mechanical overload is not a problem, and failure from stress-rupture does not appear likely based on a modified Larson-Miller analysis. Analysis shows that delayed hydride cracking is not anticipated for the bulk of spent fuel pins. However, for a minority of pins under high stress, there is some uncertainty in the analysis as a result of: (1) uncertainty about crack depths in spent fuel claddings and (2) the effect of slow cooling on the formation of radially oriented hydride precipitates. Experimental resolution is called for. Finally, insufficient information is currently available on stress-corrosion cracking. While evidence is presented that SCC failure is not likely to occur, it is difficult to demonstrate this conclusively because the process is not clearly understood and data are limited. Further experimental work on SCC susceptibility is especially needed.

  8. Particle behavior and char burnout mechanisms under pressurized combustion conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Bauer, C.M.; Spliethoff, H.; Hein, K.R.G.

    1999-07-01

    Combined cycle systems with coal-fired gas turbines promise highest cycle efficiencies for this fuel. Pressurized pulverized coal combustion, in particular, yields high cycle efficiencies due to the high flue gas temperatures possible. The main problem, however, is to ensure a flue gas clean enough to meet the high gas turbine standards with a dirty fuel like coal. On the one hand, a profound knowledge of the basic chemical and physical processes during fuel conversion under elevated pressures is required whereas on the other hand suitable hot gas cleaning systems need to be developed. The objective of this work was to provide experimental data to enable a detailed description of pressurized coal combustion processes. A series of experiments were performed with two German hvb coals, Ensdorf and Goettelborn, and one German brown coal, Garzweiler, using a semi-technical scale pressurized entrained flow reactor. The parameters varied in the experiments were pressure, gas temperature and bulk gas oxygen concentration. A two-color pyrometer was used for in-situ determination of particle surface temperatures and particle sizes. Flue gas composition was measured and solid residue samples taken and subsequently analyzed. The char burnout reaction rates were determinated varying the parameters pressure, gas temperature and initial oxygen concentration. Variation of residence time was achieved by taking the samples at different points along the reaction zone. The most influential parameters on char burnout reaction rates were found to be oxygen partial pressure and fuel volatile content. With increasing pressure the burn-out reactions are accelerated and are mostly controlled by product desorption and pore diffusion being the limiting processes. The char burnout process is enhanced by a higher fuel volatile content.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    In order to evaluate the following potential mechanisms underlying atypical gaze following in autism, impaired reflexive gaze following, difficulty integrating gaze and affect, or reduced understanding of the referential significance of gaze, we administered three paradigms to young children with autism (N = 21) and chronological (N = 21) and nonverbal mental age (N = 21) matched controls. Children with autism exhibited impaired reflexive gaze following. The absence of evidence of integration of gaze and affect, regardless of diagnosis, indicates ineffective measurement of this construct. Reduced gaze following was apparent among children with autism during eye-tracking and in-person assessments. Word learning from gaze cues was better explained by developmental level than autism. Thus, gaze following may traverse an atypical, rather than just delayed, trajectory in autism. PMID:23619947

  10. Potential mechanism for pentachlorophenol-induced carcinogenicity: a novel mechanism for metal-independent production of hydroxyl radicals.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Ben-Zhan; Shan, Guo-Qiang

    2009-06-01

    The hydroxyl radical ((*)OH) has been considered to be one of the most reactive oxygen species produced in biological systems. It has been shown that (*)OH can cause DNA, protein, and lipid oxidation. One of the most widely accepted mechanisms for (*)OH production is through the transition metal-catalyzed Fenton reaction. Pentachlorophenol (PCP) was one of the most widely used biocides, primarily for wood preservation. PCP is now ubiquitously present in our environment and even found in people who are not occupationally exposed to it. PCP has been listed as a priority pollutant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and classified as a group 2B environmental carcinogen by the International Association for Research on Cancer (IARC). The genotoxicity of PCP has been attributed to its two major quinoid metabolites: tetrachlorohydroquinone and tetrachloro-1,4-benzoquinone (TCBQ). Although the redox cycling of PCP quinoid metabolites to generate reactive oxygen species is believed to play an important role, the exact molecular mechanism underlying PCP genotoxicity is not clear. Using the salicylate hydroxylation assay and electron spin resonance (ESR) secondary spin-trapping methods, we found that (*)OH can be produced by TCBQ and H(2)O(2) independent of transition metal ions. Further studies showed that TCBQ, but not its corresponding semiquinone radical, the tetrachlorosemiquinone radical (TCSQ(*)), is essential for (*)OH production. The major reaction product between TCBQ and H(2)O(2) was identified to be trichloro-hydroxy-1,4-benzoquinone (TrCBQ-OH), and H(2)O(2) was found to be the source and origin of the oxygen atom inserted into this reaction product. On the basis of these data, we propose that (*)OH production by TCBQ and H(2)O(2) is not through a semiquinone-dependent organic Fenton reaction but rather through the following novel mechanism: a nucleophilic attack of H(2)O(2) to TCBQ, leading to the formation of an unstable trichloro-hydroperoxyl-1

  11. Potential mechanism for pentachlorophenol-induced carcinogenicity: a novel mechanism for metal-independent production of hydroxyl radicals.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Ben-Zhan; Shan, Guo-Qiang

    2009-06-01

    The hydroxyl radical ((*)OH) has been considered to be one of the most reactive oxygen species produced in biological systems. It has been shown that (*)OH can cause DNA, protein, and lipid oxidation. One of the most widely accepted mechanisms for (*)OH production is through the transition metal-catalyzed Fenton reaction. Pentachlorophenol (PCP) was one of the most widely used biocides, primarily for wood preservation. PCP is now ubiquitously present in our environment and even found in people who are not occupationally exposed to it. PCP has been listed as a priority pollutant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and classified as a group 2B environmental carcinogen by the International Association for Research on Cancer (IARC). The genotoxicity of PCP has been attributed to its two major quinoid metabolites: tetrachlorohydroquinone and tetrachloro-1,4-benzoquinone (TCBQ). Although the redox cycling of PCP quinoid metabolites to generate reactive oxygen species is believed to play an important role, the exact molecular mechanism underlying PCP genotoxicity is not clear. Using the salicylate hydroxylation assay and electron spin resonance (ESR) secondary spin-trapping methods, we found that (*)OH can be produced by TCBQ and H(2)O(2) independent of transition metal ions. Further studies showed that TCBQ, but not its corresponding semiquinone radical, the tetrachlorosemiquinone radical (TCSQ(*)), is essential for (*)OH production. The major reaction product between TCBQ and H(2)O(2) was identified to be trichloro-hydroxy-1,4-benzoquinone (TrCBQ-OH), and H(2)O(2) was found to be the source and origin of the oxygen atom inserted into this reaction product. On the basis of these data, we propose that (*)OH production by TCBQ and H(2)O(2) is not through a semiquinone-dependent organic Fenton reaction but rather through the following novel mechanism: a nucleophilic attack of H(2)O(2) to TCBQ, leading to the formation of an unstable trichloro-hydroperoxyl-1

  12. Corticonic models of brain mechanisms underlying cognition and intelligence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farhat, Nabil H.

    underlying intelligence and other higher level brain functions.

  13. In situ investigation of Geobacillus stearothermophilus spore germination and inactivation mechanisms under moderate high pressure.

    PubMed

    Georget, Erika; Kapoor, Shobhna; Winter, Roland; Reineke, Kai; Song, Youye; Callanan, Michael; Ananta, Edwin; Heinz, Volker; Mathys, Alexander

    2014-08-01

    Bacterial spores are a major concern for food safety due to their high resistance to conventional preservation hurdles. Innovative hurdles can trigger bacterial spore germination or inactivate them. In this work, Geobacillus stearothermophilus spore high pressure (HP) germination and inactivation mechanisms were investigated by in situ infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and fluorometry. G. stearothermophilus spores' inner membrane (IM) was stained with Laurdan fluorescent dye. Time-dependent FT-IR and fluorescence spectra were recorded in situ under pressure at different temperatures. The Laurdan spectrum is affected by the lipid packing and level of hydration, and provided information on the IM state through the Laurdan generalized polarization. Changes in the -CH2 and -CH3 asymmetric stretching bands, characteristic of lipids, and in the amide I' band region, characteristic of proteins' secondary structure elements, enabled evaluation of the impact of HP on endospores lipid and protein structures. These studies were complemented by ex situ analyses (plate counts and microscopy). The methods applied showed high potential to identify germination mechanisms, particularly associated to the IM. Germination up to 3 log10 was achieved at 200 MPa and 55 °C. A molecular-level understanding of these mechanisms is important for the development and validation of multi-hurdle approaches to achieve commercial sterility.

  14. Change of plans: an evaluation of the effectiveness and underlying mechanisms of successful talent transfer.

    PubMed

    Collins, Rosie; Collins, Dave; MacNamara, Aine; Jones, Martin Ian

    2014-01-01

    Talent transfer (TT) is a recently formalised process used to identify and develop talented athletes by selecting individuals who have already succeeded in one sport and transferring them to another. Despite the increasing popularity of TT amongst national organisations and sport governing body professionals, however, there is little empirical evidence as to its efficacy or how it may be most efficiently employed. Accordingly, this investigation was designed to gain a deeper understanding of the effectiveness and underlying mechanisms of TT, achieved through a two-part study. Stage 1 provided a quantitative analysis of the incidence and distribution or, in this respect, epidemiology of TT, finding the most popular transfer to be sprinting to bobsleigh, with an average transfer age of 19 years. Stage 2 scrutinised the TT process and explored the specific cases revealed in stage 1 by examining the perceptions of four sport science support specialists who had worked in TT settings, finding several emergent themes which, they felt, could explain the TT processes. The most prominent theme was the psychosocial mechanism of TT, an aspect currently missing from TT initiatives, suggesting that current TT systems are poorly structured and should redress their approach to develop a more integrated scheme that encompasses all potential mechanisms of transfer.

  15. Biological mechanisms underlying the role of physical fitness in health and resilience.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Marni N; Deuster, Patricia A

    2014-10-01

    Physical fitness, achieved through regular exercise and/or spontaneous physical activity, confers resilience by inducing positive psychological and physiological benefits, blunting stress reactivity, protecting against potentially adverse behavioural and metabolic consequences of stressful events and preventing many chronic diseases. In this review, we discuss the biological mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of physical fitness on mental and physical health. Physical fitness appears to buffer against stress-related disease owing to its blunting/optimizing effects on hormonal stress responsive systems, such as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic nervous system. This blunting appears to contribute to reduced emotional, physiological and metabolic reactivity as well as increased positive mood and well-being. Another mechanism whereby regular exercise and/or physical fitness may confer resilience is through minimizing excessive inflammation. Chronic psychological stress, physical inactivity and abdominal adiposity have been associated with persistent, systemic, low-grade inflammation and exert adverse effects on mental and physical health. The anti-inflammatory effects of regular exercise/activity can promote behavioural and metabolic resilience, and protect against various chronic diseases associated with systemic inflammation. Moreover, exercise may benefit the brain by enhancing growth factor expression and neural plasticity, thereby contributing to improved mood and cognition. In summary, the mechanisms whereby physical fitness promotes increased resilience and well-being and positive psychological and physical health are diverse and complex. PMID:25285199

  16. Defect induced plasticity and failure mechanism of boron nitride nanotubes under tension

    SciTech Connect

    Anoop Krishnan, N. M. Ghosh, Debraj

    2014-07-28

    The effects of Stone-Wales (SW) and vacancy defects on the failure behavior of boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) under tension are investigated using molecular dynamics simulations. The Tersoff-Brenner potential is used to model the atomic interaction and the temperature is maintained close to 300 K. The effect of a SW defect is studied by determining the failure strength and failure mechanism of nanotubes with different radii. In the case of a vacancy defect, the effect of an N-vacancy and a B-vacancy is studied separately. Nanotubes with different chiralities but similar diameter is considered first to evaluate the chirality dependence. The variation of failure strength with the radius is then studied by considering nanotubes of different diameters but same chirality. It is observed that the armchair BNNTs are extremely sensitive to defects, whereas the zigzag configurations are the least sensitive. In the case of pristine BNNTs, both armchair and zigzag nanotubes undergo brittle failure, whereas in the case of defective BNNTs, only the zigzag ones undergo brittle failure. An interesting defect induced plastic behavior is observed in defective armchair BNNTs. For this nanotube, the presence of a defect triggers mechanical relaxation by bond breaking along the closest zigzag helical path, with the defect as the nucleus. This mechanism results in a plastic failure.

  17. In situ investigation of Geobacillus stearothermophilus spore germination and inactivation mechanisms under moderate high pressure.

    PubMed

    Georget, Erika; Kapoor, Shobhna; Winter, Roland; Reineke, Kai; Song, Youye; Callanan, Michael; Ananta, Edwin; Heinz, Volker; Mathys, Alexander

    2014-08-01

    Bacterial spores are a major concern for food safety due to their high resistance to conventional preservation hurdles. Innovative hurdles can trigger bacterial spore germination or inactivate them. In this work, Geobacillus stearothermophilus spore high pressure (HP) germination and inactivation mechanisms were investigated by in situ infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and fluorometry. G. stearothermophilus spores' inner membrane (IM) was stained with Laurdan fluorescent dye. Time-dependent FT-IR and fluorescence spectra were recorded in situ under pressure at different temperatures. The Laurdan spectrum is affected by the lipid packing and level of hydration, and provided information on the IM state through the Laurdan generalized polarization. Changes in the -CH2 and -CH3 asymmetric stretching bands, characteristic of lipids, and in the amide I' band region, characteristic of proteins' secondary structure elements, enabled evaluation of the impact of HP on endospores lipid and protein structures. These studies were complemented by ex situ analyses (plate counts and microscopy). The methods applied showed high potential to identify germination mechanisms, particularly associated to the IM. Germination up to 3 log10 was achieved at 200 MPa and 55 °C. A molecular-level understanding of these mechanisms is important for the development and validation of multi-hurdle approaches to achieve commercial sterility. PMID:24750808

  18. Chloride current in mammalian cardiac myocytes. Novel mechanism for autonomic regulation of action potential duration and resting membrane potential

    PubMed Central

    1990-01-01

    The properties of the autonomically regulated chloride current (ICl) were studied in isolated guinea pig ventricular myocytes. This current was elicited upon exposure to isoproterenol (ISO) and reversed upon concurrent exposure to acetylcholine (ACh). ICl was time independent and exhibited outward rectification. The responses to ISO and ACh could be blocked by propranolol and atropine, respectively, and ICl was also elicited by forskolin, 8-bromoadenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate, and 3-isobutyl-l-methylxanthine, indicating that the current is regulated through a cAMP-dependent pathway. The reversal potential of the ISO- induced current followed the predicted chloride equilibrium potential, consistent with it being carried predominantly by Cl-. Activation of ICl produced changes in the resting membrane potential and action potential duration, which were Cl- gradient dependent. These results indicate that under physiological conditions ICl may play an important role in regulating action potential duration and resting membrane potential in mammalian cardiac myocytes. PMID:2165130

  19. Deciphering the stem cell machinery as a basis for understanding the molecular mechanism underlying reprogramming

    PubMed Central

    Bosnali, Manal; Münst, Bernhard; Thier, Marc

    2009-01-01

    Stem cells provide fascinating prospects for biomedical applications by combining the ability to renew themselves and to differentiate into specialized cell types. Since the first isolation of embryonic stem (ES) cells about 30 years ago, there has been a series of groundbreaking discoveries that have the potential to revolutionize modern life science. For a long time, embryos or germ cell-derived cells were thought to be the only source of pluripotency—a dogma that has been challenged during the last decade. Several findings revealed that cell differentiation from (stem) cells to mature cells is not in fact an irreversible process. The molecular mechanism underlying cellular reprogramming is poorly understood thus far. Identifying how pluripotency maintenance takes place in ES cells can help us to understand how pluripotency induction is regulated. Here, we review recent advances in the field of stem cell regulation focusing on key transcription factors and their functional interplay with non-coding RNAs. PMID:19662495

  20. Histone deacetylases govern cellular mechanisms underlying behavioral and synaptic plasticity in the developing and adult brain

    PubMed Central

    Morris, Michael J.; Karra, Aroon S.; Monteggia, Lisa M.

    2010-01-01

    Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are a family of enzymes that alter gene expression patterns by modifying chromatin architecture. There are 11 mammalian HDACs that are classified by homology into four subfamilies, all with distinct expression patterns in brain. Through the use of pharmacological HDAC inhibitors, and more recently HDAC knockout mice, the role of these enzymes in the central nervous system are starting to be elucidated. We will discuss the latest findings on the specific or redundant roles of individual HDACs in brain as well as the impact of HDAC function on complex behavior, with a focus on learning, memory formation, and affective behavior. Potential HDAC-mediated cellular mechanisms underlying those behaviors are discussed. PMID:20555253

  1. Understanding Cellular Mechanisms Underlying Airway Epithelial Repair: Selecting the Most Appropriate Animal Models

    PubMed Central

    Yahaya, B.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms underlying the process of regeneration and repair of airway epithelial structures demands close characterization of the associated cellular and molecular events. The choice of an animal model system to study these processes and the role of lung stem cells is debatable since ideally the chosen animal model should offer a valid comparison with the human lung. Species differences may include the complex three-dimensional lung structures, cellular composition of the lung airway as well as transcriptional control of the molecular events in response to airway epithelium regeneration, and repair following injury. In this paper, we discuss issues related to the study of the lung repair and regeneration including the role of putative stem cells in small- and large-animal models. At the end of this paper, the author discuss the potential for using sheep as a model which can help bridge the gap between small-animal model systems and humans. PMID:23049478

  2. Coupled mechanical-electrical-thermal modeling for short-circuit prediction in a lithium-ion cell under mechanical abuse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Chao; Santhanagopalan, Shriram; Sprague, Michael A.; Pesaran, Ahmad A.

    2015-09-01

    In order to better understand the behavior of lithium-ion batteries under mechanical abuse, a coupled modeling methodology encompassing the mechanical, electrical and thermal response is presented for predicting short-circuit under external crush. The combined mechanical-electrical-thermal response is simulated in a commercial finite element software LS-DYNA® using a representative-sandwich finite-element model, where electrical-thermal modeling is conducted after an instantaneous mechanical crush. The model includes an explicit representation of each individual component such as the active material, current collector, separator, etc., and predicts their mechanical deformation under quasi-static indentation. Model predictions show good agreement with experiments: the fracture of the battery structure under an indentation test is accurately predicted. The electrical-thermal simulation predicts the current density and temperature distribution in a reasonable manner. Whereas previously reported models consider the mechanical response exclusively, we use the electrical contact between active materials following the failure of the separator as a criterion for short-circuit. These results are used to build a lumped representative sandwich model that is computationally efficient and captures behavior at the cell level without resolving the individual layers.

  3. Neural mechanisms underlying the integration of situational information into attribution outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Brosch, Tobias; Schiller, Daniela; Mojdehbakhsh, Rachel; Uleman, James S.; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

    2013-01-01

    When forming impressions and trying to figure out why other people behave the way they do, we should take into account not only dispositional factors (i.e. personality traits) but also situational constraints as potential causes for a behavior. However, in their attributions, people often ignore the importance of situational factors. To investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the integration of situational information into attributions, we decomposed the attribution process by separately presenting information about behaviors and about the situational circumstances in which they occur. After reading the information, participants judged whether dispositional or situational causes explained the behavior (attribution), and how much they liked the person described in the scenario (affective evaluation). The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex showed increased blood oxygenation-level-dependent activation during the encoding of situational information when the resulting attribution was situational, relative to when the attribution was dispositional, potentially reflecting a controlled process that integrates situational information into attributions. Interestingly, attributions were strongly linked to subsequent affective evaluations, with the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex emerging as potential substrate of the integration of attributions and affective evaluations. Our findings demonstrate how top-down control processes regulate impression formation when situational information is taken into account to understand others. PMID:23446840

  4. Neural mechanisms underlying the integration of situational information into attribution outcomes.

    PubMed

    Brosch, Tobias; Schiller, Daniela; Mojdehbakhsh, Rachel; Uleman, James S; Phelps, Elizabeth A

    2013-08-01

    When forming impressions and trying to figure out why other people behave the way they do, we should take into account not only dispositional factors (i.e., personality traits) but also situational constraints as potential causes for a behavior. However, in their attributions, people often ignore the importance of situational factors. To investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the integration of situational information into attributions, we decomposed the attribution process by separately presenting information about behaviors and about the situational circumstances in which they occur. After reading the information, participants judged whether dispositional or situational causes explained the behavior (attribution), and how much they liked the person described in the scenario (affective evaluation). The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex showed increased blood oxygenation-level-dependent activation during the encoding of situational information when the resulting attribution was situational, relative to when the attribution was dispositional, potentially reflecting a controlled process that integrates situational information into attributions. Interestingly, attributions were strongly linked to subsequent affective evaluations, with the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex emerging as potential substrate of the integration of attributions and affective evaluations. Our findings demonstrate how top-down control processes regulate impression formation when situational information is taken into account to understand others.

  5. Neural mechanisms underlying the integration of situational information into attribution outcomes.

    PubMed

    Brosch, Tobias; Schiller, Daniela; Mojdehbakhsh, Rachel; Uleman, James S; Phelps, Elizabeth A

    2013-08-01

    When forming impressions and trying to figure out why other people behave the way they do, we should take into account not only dispositional factors (i.e., personality traits) but also situational constraints as potential causes for a behavior. However, in their attributions, people often ignore the importance of situational factors. To investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the integration of situational information into attributions, we decomposed the attribution process by separately presenting information about behaviors and about the situational circumstances in which they occur. After reading the information, participants judged whether dispositional or situational causes explained the behavior (attribution), and how much they liked the person described in the scenario (affective evaluation). The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex showed increased blood oxygenation-level-dependent activation during the encoding of situational information when the resulting attribution was situational, relative to when the attribution was dispositional, potentially reflecting a controlled process that integrates situational information into attributions. Interestingly, attributions were strongly linked to subsequent affective evaluations, with the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex emerging as potential substrate of the integration of attributions and affective evaluations. Our findings demonstrate how top-down control processes regulate impression formation when situational information is taken into account to understand others. PMID:23446840

  6. Bounds on potential risks and causal risk differences under assumptions about confounding parameters.

    PubMed

    Chiba, Yasutaka; Sato, Tosiya; Greenland, Sander

    2007-12-10

    Nonparametric bounds on causal effects in observational studies are available under deterministic potential-outcome models. We derive narrower bounds by adding assumptions regarding bias due to confounding. This bias is defined as the difference between the expectation of potential outcomes for the exposed group and that for the unexposed group. We show that crude effect measures bound causal effects under the given assumptions. We then derive bounds for randomized studies with noncompliance, which are given by the per protocol effect. With perfect compliance in one treatment group, the direction of effect becomes identifiable under our assumptions. Although the assumptions are not themselves identifiable, they are nonetheless reasonable in some situations.

  7. Multiple NSAID-Induced Hits Injure the Small Intestine: Underlying Mechanisms and Novel Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Boelsterli, Urs A.

    2013-01-01

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) injury including jejunal/ileal mucosal ulceration, bleeding, and even perforation in susceptible patients. The underlying mechanisms are largely unknown, but they are distinct from those related to gastric injury. Based on recent insights from experimental models, including genetics and pharmacology in rodents typically exposed to diclofenac, indomethacin, or naproxen, we propose a multiple-hit pathogenesis of NSAID enteropathy. The multiple hits start with an initial pharmacokinetic determinant caused by vectorial hepatobiliary excretion and delivery of glucuronidated NSAID or oxidative metabolite conjugates to the distal small intestinal lumen, where bacterial β-glucuronidase produces critical aglycones. The released aglycones are then taken up by enterocytes and further metabolized by intestinal cytochrome P450s to potentially reactive intermediates. The “first hit” is caused by the NSAID and/or oxidative metabolites that induce severe endoplasmic reticulum stress or mitochondrial stress and lead to cell death. The “second hit” is created by the significant subsequent inflammatory response that would follow such a first-hit injury. Based on these putative mechanisms, strategies have been developed to protect the enterocytes from being exposed to the parent NSAID and/or oxidative metabolites. Among these, a novel strategy already demonstrated in a murine model is the selective disruption of bacteria-specific β-glucuronidases with a novel small molecule inhibitor that does not harm the bacteria and that alleviates NSAID-induced enteropathy. Such mechanism-based strategies require further investigation but provide potential avenues for the alleviation of the GI toxicity caused by multiple NSAID hits. PMID:23091168

  8. Multiple NSAID-induced hits injure the small intestine: underlying mechanisms and novel strategies.

    PubMed

    Boelsterli, Urs A; Redinbo, Matthew R; Saitta, Kyle S

    2013-02-01

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) injury including jejunal/ileal mucosal ulceration, bleeding, and even perforation in susceptible patients. The underlying mechanisms are largely unknown, but they are distinct from those related to gastric injury. Based on recent insights from experimental models, including genetics and pharmacology in rodents typically exposed to diclofenac, indomethacin, or naproxen, we propose a multiple-hit pathogenesis of NSAID enteropathy. The multiple hits start with an initial pharmacokinetic determinant caused by vectorial hepatobiliary excretion and delivery of glucuronidated NSAID or oxidative metabolite conjugates to the distal small intestinal lumen, where bacterial β-glucuronidase produces critical aglycones. The released aglycones are then taken up by enterocytes and further metabolized by intestinal cytochrome P450s to potentially reactive intermediates. The "first hit" is caused by the NSAID and/or oxidative metabolites that induce severe endoplasmic reticulum stress or mitochondrial stress and lead to cell death. The "second hit" is created by the significant subsequent inflammatory response that would follow such a first-hit injury. Based on these putative mechanisms, strategies have been developed to protect the enterocytes from being exposed to the parent NSAID and/or oxidative metabolites. Among these, a novel strategy already demonstrated in a murine model is the selective disruption of bacteria-specific β-glucuronidases with a novel small molecule inhibitor that does not harm the bacteria and that alleviates NSAID-induced enteropathy. Such mechanism-based strategies require further investigation but provide potential avenues for the alleviation of the GI toxicity caused by multiple NSAID hits.

  9. Atomic and global mechanical properties of systems described by the Stillinger-Weber potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voyiatzis, Evangelos; Böhm, Michael C.

    2016-08-01

    Analytical expressions for the stress and elasticity tensors of materials, in which the interactions are described by the Stillinger-Weber potential, are derived in the context of the stress fluctuation formalism. The derived formulas can be used both in Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations. As an example of possible applications, they are employed to calculate the influence of the temperature and system size on the mechanical properties of crystalline cubic boron nitride. The system has been studied by molecular dynamics simulations. The computed mechanical properties are in good agreement with available experimental data and first principle calculations. In the studied crystalline cubic boron nitride system, the employed formalism is of higher accuracy than the ‘small-strain’ non-equilibrium method. The dominant contributions to the elastic constants stem from the Born and stress fluctuation terms. An increase in the system size reduces the statistical uncertainties in the computation of the mechanical properties. A rise of the temperature leads to a slight increase in the observed uncertainties. The derived expressions for the stress and elasticity tensors are further decomposed into sums of atomic level stress and atomic level elasticity tensors. The developed factorization enables us (i) to quantify the contribution of the various chemical groups, in the case under consideration of the different atoms, to the observed mechanical properties and (ii) to determine the elastic constants with reduced computational uncertainties. The reason is that the exact values of some terms of the proposed factorization can be determined theoretically beforehand. Thus, they can be substituted in the derived formulas leading to an enhanced convergence.

  10. Atomic and global mechanical properties of systems described by the Stillinger–Weber potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voyiatzis, Evangelos; Böhm, Michael C.

    2016-08-01

    Analytical expressions for the stress and elasticity tensors of materials, in which the interactions are described by the Stillinger–Weber potential, are derived in the context of the stress fluctuation formalism. The derived formulas can be used both in Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations. As an example of possible applications, they are employed to calculate the influence of the temperature and system size on the mechanical properties of crystalline cubic boron nitride. The system has been studied by molecular dynamics simulations. The computed mechanical properties are in good agreement with available experimental data and first principle calculations. In the studied crystalline cubic boron nitride system, the employed formalism is of higher accuracy than the ‘small-strain’ non-equilibrium method. The dominant contributions to the elastic constants stem from the Born and stress fluctuation terms. An increase in the system size reduces the statistical uncertainties in the computation of the mechanical properties. A rise of the temperature leads to a slight increase in the observed uncertainties. The derived expressions for the stress and elasticity tensors are further decomposed into sums of atomic level stress and atomic level elasticity tensors. The developed factorization enables us (i) to quantify the contribution of the various chemical groups, in the case under consideration of the different atoms, to the observed mechanical properties and (ii) to determine the elastic constants with reduced computational uncertainties. The reason is that the exact values of some terms of the proposed factorization can be determined theoretically beforehand. Thus, they can be substituted in the derived formulas leading to an enhanced convergence.

  11. Carbon dioxide emissions under different soil tillage systems in mechanically harvested sugarcane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva-Olaya, A. M.; Cerri, C. E. P.; La Scala, N., Jr.; Dias, C. T. S.; Cerri, C. C.

    2013-03-01

    Soil tillage and other methods of soil management may influence CO2 emissions because they accelerate the mineralization of organic carbon in the soil. This study aimed to quantify the CO2 emissions under conventional tillage (CT), minimum tillage (MT) and reduced tillage (RT) during the renovation of sugarcane fields in southern Brazil. The experiment was performed on an Oxisol in the sugarcane-planting area with mechanical harvesting. An undisturbed or no-till (NT) plot was left as a control treatment. The CO2 emissions results indicated a significant interaction (p < 0.001) between tillage method and time after tillage. By quantifying the accumulated emissions over the 44 days after soil tillage, we observed that tillage-induced emissions were higher after the CT system than the RT and MT systems, reaching 350.09 g m-2 of CO2 in CT, and 51.7 and 5.5 g m-2 of CO2 in RT and MT respectively. The amount of C lost in the form of CO2 due to soil tillage practices was significant and comparable to the estimated value of potential annual C accumulation resulting from changes in the harvesting system in Brazil from burning of plant residues to the adoption of green cane harvesting. The CO2 emissions in the CT system could respond to a loss of 80% of the potential soil C accumulated over one year as result of the adoption of mechanized sugarcane harvesting. Meanwhile, soil tillage during the renewal of the sugar plantation using RT and MT methods would result in low impact, with losses of 12% and 2% of the C that could potentially be accumulated during a one year period.

  12. Investigation on Burden Particle Softening and Melting Process under High Reduction Potential Condition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Wentao; Xue, Qingguo; Liu, Yingli; She, Xuefeng; Wang, Jingsong

    2016-09-01

    The present study using a single-particle softening under a load equipment was designed to better understand the softening and melting process of pellet, sinter and a mixture of both under a high reduction potential condition. Additionally, the experiment was interrupted at different shrinkage stages, and the evolvement of particle structure was analyzed. The softening and melting behavior of ferrous burden in high reduction potential compared with the general conditions was ascertained. In comparison with the general case, the thickness of the iron shell and the fineness of the metallic iron phase increased in high reduction potential. In the general condition the melting process is impacted by the low melting point of the slag with wustite outflow from the metallic iron shell, while in high reduction potential, the higher melting point of the slag without wustite exuded from the metallic iron phase. Under high reduction potential, the liquid slag was distributed in the metallic iron phase, which hindered the interaction between pellet and sinter. Thus, the temperature of interaction in high reduction potential is obviously higher than that in the general condition. The thicker iron shell and the higher melting point of slag lead to the improvement of the softening behavior under high reduction potential.

  13. Mechanism of densification in silica glass under pressure as revealed by a bottom-up pairwise effective interaction model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Izvekov, Sergei; Rice, Betsy M.

    2012-04-01

    A new short-range pairwise numerical potential for silica is presented. The potential is derived from a single ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulation of molten silica using the force-matching method with the forces being represented numerically by piecewise functions (splines). The AIMD simulation is performed using the Born-Oppenheimer method with the generalized gradient approximation (BLYP) for the XC energy functional. The new effective potential includes a soft-repulsive shoulder to describe the interactions of oxygen ions at short separations. The new potential, despite being short-ranged and derived from single-phase data, exhibits a good transferability to silica crystalline polymorphs and amorphous silica. The importance of the O-O soft-repulsive shoulder interaction on glass densification under cold and shock compressions is assessed from MD simulations of silica glass under room and shock Hugoniot conditions, respectively. Results from these simulations indicate that the appearance of oxygen complexes (primarily pairs) interacting through soft-repulsive shoulder potential occurs at 8-10 GPa, and under cold compression conditions becomes notable at 40 GPa, essentially coinciding with the transition to a Si sixfold coordination state. An analysis of changes in system structure in compressed and shocked states reveals that the O ions interacting through the soft-repulsive shoulder potential in denser states of silica glass may create a mechanical multi-stability under elevated pressures and thus to contribute to the observed anomalous densification.

  14. Brain potentials associated with eye fixations during visual tasks under different lighting systems.

    PubMed

    Yagi, A; Imanishi, S; Konishi, H; Akashi, Y; Kanaya, S

    1998-05-01

    The variations of eye fixation related potentials (EFRPs) were examined in two tasks under three lighting conditions for assessment of lighting environments. Sixteen subjects participated in two tasks; a difficult and an easy reading task under three lighting conditions: Spot light (S), General light (G) and Mixed light (M). EEG (Oz) and EOG were recorded. EEG epochs time-locked to onset of eye fixations were collected at random and averaged separately in two arrays to obtain a pair of EFRPs. Two wave forms under the S were similar, although those under the G showed the disparity, the largest disparity being in the easy task under the G. Under the S, wave forms of EFRPs were stable in the difficult task. The amplitude changed with the task load. The results suggested that EFRPs might be an index of the work load under lighting conditions.

  15. Activation of lipid peroxidation as a mechanism of plant cell rearrangements under microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baranenko, V. V.

    Activation of the lipid peroxidation (LP) is a universal process perturbating cell membranes under different unfavourable conditions. It is suggested that the LP can be one of the important mechanisms of plant cell rearrangements under altered gravity as well. The purpose of this investigation is to study the LP intensity in pea leaves and chloroplasts under 7- and 14-day clinorotation. The intensification of the LP under both terms of clinorotation particularly under more prolonged, is detected. The adaptive increase in the unsaturated fatty acid content under 7-day clinorotation and their minor decrease under 14-day clinorotation are revealed. The lowering of electron transport rate in both photosystems, particularly in PSI, is established. The results confirm that the LPmay be one of the mechanisms of plant cell rearrangements under microgravity.

  16. Humor as a reward mechanism: event-related potentials in the healthy and diseased brain.

    PubMed

    Mensen, Armand; Poryazova, Rositsa; Schwartz, Sophie; Khatami, Ramin

    2014-01-01

    Humor processing involves distinct processing stages including incongruity detection, emotional response, and engagement of mesolimbic reward regions. Dysfunctional reward processing and clinical symptoms in response to humor have been previously described in both hypocretin deficient narcolepsy-cataplexy (NC) and in idiopathic Parkinson disease (PD). For NC patients, humor is the strongest trigger for cataplexy, a transient loss of muscle tone, whereas dopamine-deficient PD-patients show blunted emotional responses to humor. To better understand the role of reward system and the various contributions of hypocretinergic and dopaminergic mechanisms to different stages of humor processing we examined the electrophysiological response to humorous and neutral pictures when given as reward feedback in PD, NC and healthy controls. Humor compared to neutral feedback demonstrated modulation of early ERP amplitudes likely corresponding to visual processing stages, with no group differences. At 270 ms post-feedback, conditions showed topographical and amplitudinal differences for frontal and left posterior electrodes, in that humor feedback was absent in PD patients but increased in NC patients. We suggest that this effect relates to a relatively early affective response, reminiscent of increased amygdala response reported in NC patients. Later ERP differences, corresponding to the late positive potential, revealed a lack of sustained activation in PD, likely due to altered dopamine regulation in reward structures in these patients. This research provides new insights into the temporal dynamics and underlying mechanisms of humor detection and appreciation in health and disease.

  17. Lifelong Bilingualism and Neural Reserve against Alzheimer’s disease: A Review of Findings and Potential Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Gold, Brian T.

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Microbial community responses to temperature increase the potential for soil carbon losses under climate change.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartley, Iain; Karhu, Kristiina; Auffret, Marc; Hopkins, David; Prosser, Jim; Singh, Brajesh; Subke, Jens-Arne; Wookey, Philip; Ågren, Göran

    2014-05-01

    There are concerns that global warming may stimulate decomposition rates in soils, with the extra CO2 released representing a positive feedback to climate change. However, there is growing recognition that adaptation of soil microbial communities to temperature changes may alter the potential rate of carbon release. Critically, recent studies have produced conflicting results in terms of whether the medium-term soil microbial community response to temperature reduces (compensatory thermal adaptation) or enhances (enhancing thermal adaptation) the instantaneous direct positive effects of temperature on microbial activity. This lack of understanding adds considerably to uncertainty in predictions of the magnitude and direction of carbon-cycle feedbacks to climate change. In this talk, I present results from one of the most extensive investigations ever undertaken into the role that microbial adaptation plays in controlling the temperature sensitivity of decomposition. Soils were collected from a range of ecosystem types, representing a thermal gradient from the Arctic to the Amazon. Our novel soil-cooling approach minimises issues associated with substrate depletion in warming studies, but still tests whether adaptation enhances or reduces the direct impact of temperature changes on microbial activity. We also investigated the mechanisms underlying changes in microbial respiration by quantifying changes in microbial community composition, microbial biomass, mass-specific activity, carbon-use efficiency, and enzyme activities. Our results indicate that enhancing responses are much more common than compensatory thermal acclimation, with the latter being observed in less than 10% of cases. However, identifying the mechanisms underlying enhancing and compensatory adaptation remained elusive. No consistent changes were observed in terms of mass-specific activity, biomass or enzyme activity, indicating that current theory is inadequate in explaining observed patterns

  19. Eggs under pressure: components of water potential of chameleon eggs during incubation.

    PubMed

    Adams, Geoffrey K; Andrews, Robin M; Noble, Lydia M

    2010-01-01

    Water exchange of squamate eggs is driven by the difference between the water potentials of eggs and of their nest environment. While osmotic potential is generally assumed to dominate the net water potential of eggs, resistance of the eggshell to stretching also affects egg water potential. We therefore determined osmotic potentials and pressure potentials (mechanical pressure) of eggs of the veiled chameleon Chamaeleo calyptratus over the course of incubation. Because embryos are diapausing gastrulae when eggs are laid and diapause persists several months, the water potential of eggs can be evaluated before it is influenced by the developing embryo. Water uptake during the first 2 wk of incubation was rapid as a result of the large difference between the total water potential of the egg (-848 kPa) and that of its incubation substrate. After about 2 wk, water potential of the egg stabilized at -460 kPa. By day 80 of incubation, the developing embryo and allantois affected water exchange of the egg. The allantoic fluid was initially very dilute, but its osmotic potential decreased to about -200 kPa by the end of incubation. Pressure potential of the egg averaged 25 kPa, with no systematic trend during incubation. The pressure potential exerted by the eggshell reduced the difference between the water potential of the egg and the water potential of the environment, that is, the ability of eggs to take up water. At the time of oviposition, this effect was relatively small, producing a 4%-6% reduction in water potential difference. Once the yolk osmotic potential stabilized, however, the reduction was 12% or more. This observation means that the dynamics of water uptake by squamate eggs cannot be fully understood without consideration of the pressure that is exerted on the contents of eggs by their shells.

  20. Skylab fluid mechanics simulations: Oscillation, rotation, collision and coalescence of water droplets under low-gravity environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vaughan, O. H., Jr.; Hung, R. J.

    1975-01-01

    Skylab 4 crew members performed a series of demonstrations showing the oscillations, rotations, as well as collision coalescence of water droplets which simulate various physical models of fluids under low gravity environment. The results from Skylab demonstrations provide information and illustrate the potential of an orbiting space-oriented research laboratory for the study of more sophisticated fluid mechanic experiments. Experiments and results are discussed.

  1. Fundamental study of failure mechanisms of pressure vessels under thermo-mechanical cycling in multiphase environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penso Mula, Jorge Antonio

    Cracking and bulging in welded and internally lined pressure vessels that work in thermal-mechanical cycling services have been well known problems in the petrochemical, power and nuclear industries. Published literature and industry surveys show that similar problems have been occurring during the last 50 years. Understanding the causes of cracking and bulging would lead to improvements in the reliability of these pressure vessels. This study attempts to add information required for improving the knowledge and fundamental understanding of these problems. Cracking and bulging, most often in the weld areas, commonly experienced in delayed coking units (e.g. coke drums) in oil refineries are typical examples. The coke drum was selected for this study because of the existing field experience and past industrial investigation results that were available to serve as the baseline references for the analytical studies performed for this dissertation. Another reason for selecting the delayed coking units for this study was due to their high economical yields. Shutting down these units would cause a high negative economic impact on the refinery operations. Several failure mechanisms were hypothesized. The finite element method was used to analyze these significant variables and to verify the hypotheses. In conclusion, a fundamental explanation of the occurrence of bulging and cracking in pressure vessels in multiphase environments has been developed. Several important factors have been identified, including the high convection coefficient of the boiling layer during filling and quenching, the mismatch in physical, thermal and mechanical properties in the dissimilar weld of the clad plates and process conditions such as heating and quenching rate and warming time. Material selection for coke drums should consider not only fatigue strength but also corrosion resistance at high temperatures and low temperatures. Cracking occurs due to low cycle fatigue and corrosion. The FEA

  2. Laboratory and 3-D-distinct element analysis of failure mechanism of slope under external surcharge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, N.; Cheng, Y. M.

    2014-09-01

    Landslide is a major disaster resulting in considerable loss of human lives and property damages in hilly terrain in Hong Kong, China and many other countries. The factor of safety and the critical slip surface for slope stabilization are the main considerations for slope stability analysis in the past, while the detailed post-failure conditions of the slopes have not been considered in sufficient details. There are however increasing interest on the consequences after the initiation of failure which includes the development and propagation of the failure surfaces, the amount of failed mass and runoff and the affected region. To assess the development of slope failure in more details and to consider the potential danger of slopes after failure has initiated, the slope stability problem under external surcharge is analyzed by the distinct element method (DEM) and laboratory model test in the present research. A more refined study about the development of failure, microcosmic failure mechanism and the post-failure mechanism of slope will be carried out. The numerical modeling method and the various findings from the present work can provide an alternate method of analysis of slope failure which can give additional information not available from the classical methods of analysis.

  3. A connectionist modeling study of the neural mechanisms underlying pain's ability to reorient attention.

    PubMed

    Dowman, Robert; Ritz, Benjamin; Fowler, Kathleen

    2016-08-01

    Connectionist modeling was used to investigate the brain mechanisms responsible for pain's ability to shift attention away from another stimulus modality and toward itself. Different connectionist model architectures were used to simulate the different possible brain mechanisms underlying this attentional bias, where nodes in the model simulated the brain areas thought to mediate the attentional bias, and the connections between the nodes simulated the interactions between the brain areas. Mathematical optimization techniques were used to find the model parameters, such as connection strengths, that produced the best quantitative fits of reaction time and event-related potential data obtained in our previous work. Of the several architectures tested, two produced excellent quantitative fits of the experimental data. One involved an unexpected pain stimulus activating somatic threat detectors in the dorsal posterior insula. This threat detector activity was monitored by the medial prefrontal cortex, which in turn evoked a phasic response in the locus coeruleus. The locus coeruleus phasic response resulted in a facilitation of the cortical areas involved in decision and response processes time-locked to the painful stimulus. The second architecture involved the presence of pain causing an increase in general arousal. The increase in arousal was mediated by locus coeruleus tonic activity, which facilitated responses in the cortical areas mediating the sensory, decision, and response processes involved in the task. These two neural network architectures generated competing predictions that can be tested in future studies. PMID:27112345

  4. 3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV): in vitro mechanisms of hepatotoxicity under normothermic and hyperthermic conditions.

    PubMed

    Valente, Maria João; Araújo, Ana Margarida; Silva, Renata; Bastos, Maria de Lourdes; Carvalho, Félix; Guedes de Pinho, Paula; Carvalho, Márcia

    2016-08-01

    Synthetic cathinones have emerged in recreational drug markets as legal alternatives for classical amphetamines. Though currently banned in several countries, 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) is one of the most commonly abused cathinone derivatives worldwide. We have recently reported the potential of MDPV to induce hepatocellular damage, but the underlying mechanisms responsible for such toxicity remain to be elucidated. Similar to amphetamines, a prominent toxic effect of acute intoxications by MDPV is hyperthermia. Therefore, the present in vitro study aimed to provide insights into cellular mechanisms involved in MDPV-induced hepatotoxicity and also evaluate the contribution of hyperthermia to the observed toxic effects. Primary cultures of rat hepatocytes were exposed to 0.2-1.6 mM MDPV for 48 h, at 37 or 40.5 °C, simulating the rise in body temperature that follows MDPV intake. Cell viability was measured through the MTT reduction and LDH leakage assays. Oxidative stress endpoints and cell death pathways were evaluated, namely the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS), intracellular levels of reduced (GSH) and oxidized (GSSG) glutathione, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and free calcium (Ca(2+)), as well as the activities of caspases 3, 8 and 9, and nuclear morphological changes with Hoechst 33342/PI double staining. At 37 °C, MDPV induced a concentration-dependent loss of cell viability that was accompanied by GSH depletion, as one of the first signs of toxicity, observed already at low concentrations of MDPV, with negligible changes on GSSG levels, followed by accumulation of ROS and RNS, depletion of ATP contents and increases in intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations. Additionally, activation of caspases 3, 8, and 9 and apoptotic nuclear morphological changes were found in primary rat hepatocytes exposed to MDPV, indicating that this cathinone derivative activates both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic death pathways. The

  5. Coarse-grained molecular dynamics studies of the translocation mechanism of polyarginines across asymmetric membrane under tension

    PubMed Central

    He, XiaoCong; Lin, Min; Sha, BaoYong; Feng, ShangSheng; Shi, XingHua; Qu, ZhiGuo; Xu, Feng

    2015-01-01

    Understanding interactions between cell-penetrating peptides and biomembrane under tension can help improve drug delivery and elucidate mechanisms underlying fundamental cellular events. As far as the effect of membrane tension on translocation, it is generally thought that tension should disorder the membrane structure and weaken its strength, thereby facilitating penetration. However, our coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulation results showed that membrane tension can restrain polyarginine translocation across the asymmetric membrane and that this effect increases with increasing membrane tension. We also analyzed the structural properties and lipid topology of the tensed membrane to explain the phenomena. Simulation results provide important molecular information on the potential translocation mechanism of peptides across the asymmetric membrane under tension as well as new insights in drug and gene delivery. PMID:26235300

  6. Mechanisms of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 activation and sensitization by allyl isothiocyanate.

    PubMed

    Gees, Maarten; Alpizar, Yeranddy A; Boonen, Brett; Sanchez, Alicia; Everaerts, Wouter; Segal, Andrei; Xue, Fenqin; Janssens, Annelies; Owsianik, Grzegorz; Nilius, Bernd; Voets, Thomas; Talavera, Karel

    2013-09-01

    Allyl isothiocyanate (AITC; aka, mustard oil) is a powerful irritant produced by Brassica plants as a defensive trait against herbivores and confers pungency to mustard and wasabi. AITC is widely used experimentally as an inducer of acute pain and neurogenic inflammation, which are largely mediated by the activation of nociceptive cation channels transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 and transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1). Although it is generally accepted that electrophilic agents activate these channels through covalent modification of cytosolic cysteine residues, the mechanism underlying TRPV1 activation by AITC remains unknown. Here we show that, surprisingly, AITC-induced activation of TRPV1 does not require interaction with cysteine residues, but is largely dependent on S513, a residue that is involved in capsaicin binding. Furthermore, AITC acts in a membrane-delimited manner and induces a shift of the voltage dependence of activation toward negative voltages, which is reminiscent of capsaicin effects. These data indicate that AITC acts through reversible interactions with the capsaicin binding site. In addition, we show that TRPV1 is a locus for cross-sensitization between AITC and acidosis in nociceptive neurons. Furthermore, we show that residue F660, which is known to determine the stimulation by low pH in human TRPV1, is also essential for the cross-sensitization of the effects of AITC and low pH. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that not all reactive electrophiles stimulate TRPV1 via cysteine modification and help understanding the molecular bases underlying the surprisingly large role of this channel as mediator of the algesic properties of AITC.

  7. Involvement of free radicals followed by the activation of phospholipase A2 in the mechanism that underlies the combined effects of methamphetamine and morphine on subacute toxicity or lethality in mice: comparison of the therapeutic potential of fullerene, mepacrine, and cooling.

    PubMed

    Mori, Tomohisa; Ito, Shinobu; Namiki, Mizuho; Suzuki, Tadashi; Kobayashi, Shizuko; Matsubayashi, Kenji; Sawaguchi, Toshiko

    2007-07-17

    An increase in polydrug abuse is a major problem worldwide. The coadministration of methamphetamine and morphine increased subacute toxicity or lethality in rodents. However, the underlying mechanisms by which lethality is increased by the coadministration of methamphetamine and morphine are not yet fully understood. Coadministered methamphetamine and morphine induced lethality by more than 80% in BALB/c mice, accompanied by the rupture of cells in the kidney and liver, and an increase in poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)-immunoreactive cells in the heart, kidney and liver. The lethal effect and the increase in the incidence of rupture or PARP-immunoreactive cells induced by the coadministration of methamphetamine and morphine was significantly attenuated by pretreatment with mepacrine (phospholipase A(2) inhibitor) or fullerene (a radical scavenger), or by cooling from 30 to 90 min after drug administration. Furthermore, based on the results of the electron spin resonance spin-trapping technique, hydroxyl radicals were increased by the administration of methamphetamine and morphine, and these increased hydroxyl radicals were potently attenuated by fullerene and cooling. These results suggest that hydroxyl radicals plays an important role in the increased lethality induced by the coadministration of methamphetamine plus morphine. The potency of cooling or drugs for decreasing the subacute toxicity or lethality induced by the coadministration of methamphetamine and morphine was in the order fullerene=cooling>mepacrine. These results indicate that fullerene and cooling are beneficial for preventing death that is induced by the coadministration of methamphetamine and morphine.

  8. Mechanical and thermal buckling analysis of sandwich panels under different edge conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ko, William L.

    1993-01-01

    By using the Rayleigh-Ritz method of minimizing the total potential energy of a structural system, combined load (mechanical or thermal load) buckling equations are established for orthotropic rectangular sandwich panels supported under four different edge conditions. Two-dimensional buckling interaction curves and three dimensional buckling interaction surfaces are constructed for high-temperature honeycomb-core sandwich panels supported under four different edge conditions. The interaction surfaces provide easy comparison of the panel buckling strengths and the domains of symmetrical and antisymmetrical buckling associated with the different edge conditions. Thermal buckling curves of the sandwich panels also are presented. The thermal buckling conditions for the cases with and without thermal moments were found to be identical for the small deformation theory. In sandwich panels, the effect of transverse shear is quite large, and by neglecting the transverse shear effect, the buckling loads could be overpredicted considerably. Clamping of the edges could greatly increase buckling strength more in compression than in shear.

  9. Imitation in Newborn Infants: Exploring the Range of Gestures Imitated and the Underlying Mechanisms.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meltzoff, Andrew N.; Moore, M. Keith

    1989-01-01

    Evaluated psychological mechanisms underlying imitation of facial actions in 40 newborn infants. Results showed imitation of head movement and a tongue-protrusion gesture. Subjects imitated from memory after displays had stopped. (RJC)

  10. [Defense mechanism to prevent ectopic activation of pancreatic digestive enzymes under physiological conditions and its breakdown in acute pancreatitis].

    PubMed

    Kaku, Midori; Otsuko, Makoto

    2004-11-01

    Independent of the etiology, acute pancreatitis is associated with significant morbidity and the potential for mortality. In most patients, acute pancreatitis follows an uncomplicated or mild course. Recent studies in hereditary pancreatitis have clearly revealed that trypsin is the key enzyme at the onset of pancreatitis. However, there are several defense mechanisms to prevent ectopic activation of trypsin under physiological conditions. If the defense mechanisms failed or activation of trypsin occurred over defense ability, trypsin would activate other digestive enzymes and self-digestion of the pancreas would occur.

  11. The Double-Well Potential in Quantum Mechanics: A Simple, Numerically Exact Formulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jelic, V.; Marsiglio, F.

    2012-01-01

    The double-well potential is arguably one of the most important potentials in quantum mechanics, because the solution contains the notion of a state as a linear superposition of "classical" states, a concept which has become very important in quantum information theory. It is therefore desirable to have solutions to simple double-well potentials…

  12. Bitter melon juice targets molecular mechanisms underlying gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Somasagara, Ranganatha R; Deep, Gagan; Shrotriya, Sangeeta; Patel, Manisha; Agarwal, Chapla; Agarwal, Rajesh

    2015-04-01

    Pancreatic cancer (PanC) is one of the most lethal malignancies, and resistance towards gemcitabine, the front-line chemotherapy, is the main cause for dismal rate of survival in PanC patients; overcoming this resistance remains a major challenge to treat this deadly malignancy. Whereas several molecular mechanisms are known for gemcitabine resistance in PanC cells, altered metabolism and bioenergetics are not yet studied. Here, we compared metabolic and bioenergetic functions between gemcitabine-resistant (GR) and gemcitabine-sensitive (GS) PanC cells and underlying molecular mechanisms, together with efficacy of a natural agent bitter melon juice (BMJ). GR PanC cells showed distinct morphological features including spindle-shaped morphology and a decrease in E-cadherin expression. GR cells also showed higher ATP production with an increase in oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and extracellular acidification rate (ECAR). Molecular studies showed higher expression of glucose transporters (GLUT1 and 4) suggesting an increase in glucose uptake by GR cells. Importantly, GR cells showed a significant increase in Akt and ERK1/2 phosphorylation and their inhibition decreased cell viability, suggesting their role in survival and drug resistance of these cells. Recently, we reported strong efficacy of BMJ against a panel of GS cells in culture and nude mice, which we expanded here and found that BMJ was also effective in decreasing both Akt and ERK1/2 phosphorylation and viability of GR PanC cells. Overall, we have identified novel mechanisms of gemcitabine resistance in PanC cells which are targeted by BMJ. Considering the short survival in PanC patients, our findings could have high translational potential in controlling this deadly malignancy. PMID:25672620

  13. Mechanisms Underlying Lexical Access in Native and Second Language Processing of Gender and Number Agreement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Romanova, Natalia

    2013-01-01

    Despite considerable evidence suggesting that second language (L2) learners experience difficulties when processing morphosyntactic aspects of L2 in online tasks, the mechanisms underlying these difficulties remain unknown. The aim of this dissertation is to explore possible causes for the difficulties by comparing attentional mechanisms engaged…

  14. Priming of Short-Term Potentiation and Synaptic Tagging/Capture Mechanisms by Ryanodine Receptor Activation in Rat Hippocampal CA1

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sajikumar, Sreedharan; Li, Qin; Abraham, Wickliffe C.; Xiao, Zhi Cheng

    2009-01-01

    Activity-dependent changes in synaptic strength such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) are considered to be cellular mechanisms underlying learning and memory. Strengthening of a synapse for a few seconds or minutes is termed short-term potentiation (STP) and is normally unable to take part in the processes of synaptic…

  15. The limit passage of space curvature in problems of celestial mechanics with the generalized Kepler and Hooke potentials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vozmishcheva, Tatiana

    2016-09-01

    The connection between the problems of celestial mechanics: the Kepler problem, the two-center problem and the two body problem in spaces of constant curvature with the generalized Kepler and Hooke potentials is investigated. The limit passage in the two-center and two body problems in the Lobachevsky space and on a sphere is carried out as λto0 (λ is the curvature of the corresponding space) for the two potentials. The potentials and metrics in spaces under study are written in the gnomonic coordinates. It is shown that as the curvature radius tends to infinity, the generalized gravitational and elastic potentials transform to the Kepler and Hooke forms in the Euclidean space.

  16. Investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying metastasis in prostate cancer by gene expression profiling

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xinghua; Yao, Xiaoli; Qin, Cong; Luo, Pengcheng; Zhang, Jie

    2016-01-01

    The present study aimed to screen potential genes associated with metastatic prostate cancer (PCa), in order to improve the understanding of the mechanisms underlying PCa metastasis. The GSE3325 microarray dataset, which was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database, consists of seven clinically localized PCa samples, six hormone-refractory metastatic PCa samples and six benign prostate tissue samples. The Linear Models for Microarray Data package was used to identify differentially-expressed genes (DEGs) and a hierarchical cluster analysis for DEGs was performed with the pheatmap package. Furthermore, potential functions for the DEGs were predicted by a functional enrichment analysis. Subsequently, microRNAs (miRNAs) potentially involved in the regulation of PCa metastasis were identified by WebGestalt software, and the miRNA-DEG regulatory network was visualized using Cytoscape. In addition, a pathway enrichment analysis for DEGs in the regulatory network was performed. A total of 306 and 2,073 genes were differentially expressed in the clinically localized PCa and the metastatic PCa groups, respectively, as compared with the benign prostate group, of which 174 were differentially expressed in both groups. A number of the DEGs, including CAMK2D and SH3BP4, were significantly enriched in the cell cycle, and others, such as MAF, were associated with the regulation of cell proliferation. Furthermore, some DEGs (CAMK2D and PCDH17) were observed to be regulated by miR-30, whereas others (ADCY2, MAF, SH3BP4 and PCDH17) were modulated by miR-182. Additionally, ADCY2 and CAMK2D were distinctly enriched in the calcium signaling pathway. The present study identified novel DEGs, including ADCY2, CAMK2D, MAF, SH3BP4 and PCDH17, that may be involved in the metastasis of PCa. PMID:27446297

  17. Dynamic polarizability and electric multipolar transitions in two electron atoms under exponential cosine screened coulomb potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaudhuri, Supriya K.; Modesto-Costa, Lucas; Mukherjee, Prasanta K.

    2016-05-01

    Detailed investigations on the frequency dependent polarizabilities, transition energies, oscillator strengths, and transition probabilities of two electron systems He, B e2 +, C4 + , and O6 + under electric dipolar (E1) and quadrupolar (E2) excitations have been performed using exponential cosine screened coulomb potential with a view to understand the structural behaviour of such systems due to external confinement produced by plasma environment. Time dependent coupled Hartree-Fock theory within a variational framework has been adopted for studying the first three low lying excited states 1 s2:1Se→1 s n p :1Po (n = 2, 3, 4) and 1 s n d :1De (n = 3, 4, 5) under such excitations. Quantitatively, the effect of confinement produced by the external plasma has been taken care of by considering the change in atomic potential through plasma screening, directly related to the coupling strength of the plasma with the atomic charge cloud. With increased plasma screening, a gradual destabilisation of the energy levels with subsequent reduction of the ionization potential and number of excited states has been observed. Behavioral pattern of the frequency dependent polarizabilities, excitation energies, oscillator strengths, and transition probabilities under systematic increase of the screening has been investigated. Results have been compared thoroughly with those available for free systems and under confinement by exponential cosine screened and screened Coulomb potential.

  18. The Use of Covariates and Random Effects in Evaluating Predictive Biomarkers Under a Potential Outcome Framework

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhiwei; Nie, Lei; Soon, Guoxing; Liu, Aiyi

    2016-01-01

    Predictive or treatment selection biomarkers are usually evaluated in a subgroup or regression analysis with focus on the treatment-by-marker interaction. Under a potential outcome framework (Huang, Gilbert and Janes [Biometrics 68 (2012) 687–696]), a predictive biomarker is considered a predictor for a desirable treatment benefit (defined by comparing potential outcomes for different treatments) and evaluated using familiar concepts in prediction and classification. However, the desired treatment benefit is un-observable because each patient can receive only one treatment in a typical study. Huang et al. overcome this problem by assuming monotonicity of potential outcomes, with one treatment dominating the other in all patients. Motivated by an HIV example that appears to violate the monotonicity assumption, we propose a different approach based on covariates and random effects for evaluating predictive biomarkers under the potential outcome framework. Under the proposed approach, the parameters of interest can be identified by assuming conditional independence of potential outcomes given observed covariates, and a sensitivity analysis can be performed by incorporating an unobserved random effect that accounts for any residual dependence. Application of this approach to the motivating example shows that baseline viral load and CD4 cell count are both useful as predictive biomarkers for choosing antiretroviral drugs for treatment-naive patients. PMID:26779295

  19. Numerical investigation of aerosolized drug delivery in the human lungs under mechanical ventilator conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanrhein, Timothy; Banerjee, Arindam

    2010-11-01

    Particle deposition for aerosolized drug delivery in the human airways is heavily dependent upon flow conditions. Numerical modeling techniques have proven valuable for determining particle deposition characteristics under steady flow conditions. For the case of patients under mechanical ventilation, however, flow conditions change drastically and there is an increased importance to understand particle deposition characteristics. This study focuses on mechanically ventilated conditions in the upper trachea-bronchial (TB) region of the human airways. Solution of the continuous phase flow is done under ventilator waveform conditions with a suitable turbulence model in conjunction with a realistic model of upper TB airways. A discrete phase Euler-Lagrange approach is applied to solve for particle deposition characteristics with a focus on the effect of the ventilator inlet waveform. The purpose of this study is to accurately model flow conditions in the upper TB airways under mechanically ventilated conditions with a focus on real-time patient specific targeted aerosolized drug delivery.

  20. Inhibitory Effects and Underlying Mechanism of 7-Hydroxyflavone Phosphate Ester in HeLa Cells

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Liguo; Chen, Xiaolan; Yang, Fang; Jin, Qi

    2012-01-01

    Chrysin and its phosphate ester have previously been shown to inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis in Hela cells; however, the underlying mechanism remains to be characterized. In the present study, we therefore synthesized diethyl flavon-7-yl phosphate (FP, C19H19O6P) by a simplified Atheron-Todd reaction, and explored its anti-tumor characteristics and mechanisms. Cell proliferation, cell cycle progression and apoptosis were measured by MTS, flow cytometry and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling techniques, respectively in human cervical cancer HeLa cells treated with 7-hydroxyflavone (HF) and FP. p21, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and cAMP levels in Hela cells were analyzed by western blot and radioimmunoassay. Both HF and FP inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in HeLa cells via induction of PCNA/p21 expression, cleaved caspase-3/poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)-1, elevation of cAMP levels, and cell cycle arrest with accumulation of cells in the G0/G1 fraction. The effects of FP were more potent than those of HF. The interactions of FP with Ca2+-calmodulin (CaM) and Ca2+-CaM-phosphodiesterase (PDE)1 were explored by electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry and fluorescence spectra. FP, but not HF, formed non-covalent complexes with Ca2+-CaM-PDE1, indicating that FP is an inhibitor of PDE1, and resulting in elevated cellular cAMP levels. It is possible that the elevated cAMP levels inhibit growth and induce apoptosis in Hela cells through induction of p21 and cleaved caspase-3/PARP-1 expression, and causing down-regulation of PCNA and cell cycle arrest with accumulation of cells in the G0/G1 and G2/M fractions. In conclusion, FP was shown to be a Ca2+-CaM-PDE inhibitor, which might account for its underlying anti-cancer mechanism in HeLa cells. These observations clearly demonstrate the special roles of phosphorylated flavonoids in biological processes, and suggest that FP might represent a potential

  1. Selective Automated Perimetry Under Photopic, Mesopic, and Scotopic Conditions: Detection Mechanisms and Testing Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Simunovic, Matthew P.; Moore, Anthony T.; MacLaren, Robert E.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Automated scotopic, mesopic, and photopic perimetry are likely to be important paradigms in the assessment of emerging treatments of retinal diseases, yet our knowledge of the photoreceptor mechanisms detecting targets under these conditions remains largely dependent on simian data. We therefore aimed to establish the photoreceptor/postreceptoral mechanisms detecting perimetric targets in humans under photopic, mesopic, and scotopic conditions and to make recommendations for suitable clinical testing strategies for selective perimetry. Methods Perimetric sensitivities within 30° of fixation were determined for eight wavelengths (410, 440, 480, 520, 560, 600, 640, and 680 nm) under scotopic, mesopic (1.3 cd.m−2) and photopic (10 cd.m−2) conditions. Data were fitted with vector combinations of rod, S-cone, nonopponent M+L-cone mechanism, and opponent M- versus L-cone mechanism templates. Results Scotopicperimetric sensitivity was determined by rods peripherally and by a combination of rods and cones at, and immediately around, fixation. Mesopic perimetric sensitivity was mediated by M+L-cones and S-cones centrally and by M+L-cones and rods more peripherally. Photopic perimetric sensitivity was determined by an opponent M- versus L-cone, a nonopponent M+L-cone, and an S-cone mechanism centrally and by a combination of an S-cone and an M+L-cone mechanism peripherally. Conclusions Under scotopic conditions, a 480-nm stimulus provides adequate isolation (≥28 dB) of the rod mechanism. Several mechanisms contribute to mesopic sensitivity: this redundancy in detection may cause both insensitivity to broadband white targets and ambiguity in determining which mechanism is being probed with short-wavelength stimuli. M- and L-cone–derived mechanisms are well isolated at 10 cd.m−2: these may be selectively probed by a stimulus at 640 nm (≥ 20 dB isolation). Translation Relevance In human observers, multiple mechanisms contribute to the detection of Goldmann

  2. Research of mechanics of the compact bone microvolume and porous ceramics under uniaxial compression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolmakova, T. V.; Buyakova, S. P.; Kul'kov, S. N.

    2015-11-01

    The research results of the mechanics are presented and the effective mechanical characteristics under uniaxial compression of the simulative microvolume of the compact bone are defined subject to the direction of the collagen-mineral fibers, porosity and mineral content. The experimental studies of the mechanics are performed and the effective mechanical characteristics of the produced porous zirconium oxide ceramics are defined. The recommendations are developed on the selection of the ceramic samples designed to replace the fragment of the compact bone of a definite structure and mineral content.

  3. Research of mechanics of the compact bone microvolume and porous ceramics under uniaxial compression

    SciTech Connect

    Kolmakova, T. V. Buyakova, S. P. Kul’kov, S. N.

    2015-11-17

    The research results of the mechanics are presented and the effective mechanical characteristics under uniaxial compression of the simulative microvolume of the compact bone are defined subject to the direction of the collagen-mineral fibers, porosity and mineral content. The experimental studies of the mechanics are performed and the effective mechanical characteristics of the produced porous zirconium oxide ceramics are defined. The recommendations are developed on the selection of the ceramic samples designed to replace the fragment of the compact bone of a definite structure and mineral content.

  4. The Kronig-Penney model extended to arbitrary potentials via numerical matrix mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavelich, R. L.; Marsiglio, F.

    2015-09-01

    The Kronig-Penney model is a common starting point for studying the quantum mechanics of electrons in a confining periodic potential. This model uses a square-well potential; the energies and eigenstates can be obtained analytically for a single well, and then Bloch's theorem allows one to extend these solutions to the periodically repeating potential. In this work, we describe how to obtain simple numerical solutions for the eigenvalues and eigenstates for any confining one-dimensional potential within a unit cell and then extend this procedure, with virtually no extra effort, to the case of arbitrary periodically repeating potentials. In this way, one can study the band structure effects that arise from differently shaped potentials. One of these effects is the electron-hole mass asymmetry; more realistic unit cell potentials generally give rise to higher electron-hole mass asymmetries.

  5. Potential Mechanisms Supporting the Value of Motor Cortex Stimulation to Treat Chronic Pain Syndromes

    PubMed Central

    DosSantos, Marcos F.; Ferreira, Natália; Toback, Rebecca L.; Carvalho, Antônio C.; DaSilva, Alexandre F.

    2016-01-01

    Throughout the first years of the twenty-first century, neurotechnologies such as motor cortex stimulation (MCS), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) have attracted scientific attention and been considered as potential tools to centrally modulate chronic pain, especially for those conditions more difficult to manage and refractory to all types of available pharmacological therapies. Interestingly, although the role of the motor cortex in pain has not been fully clarified, it is one of the cortical areas most commonly targeted by invasive and non-invasive neuromodulation technologies. Recent studies have provided significant advances concerning the establishment of the clinical effectiveness of primary MCS to treat different chronic pain syndromes. Concurrently, the neuromechanisms related to each method of primary motor cortex (M1) modulation have been unveiled. In this respect, the most consistent scientific evidence originates from MCS studies, which indicate the activation of top-down controls driven by M1 stimulation. This concept has also been applied to explain M1-TMS mechanisms. Nevertheless, activation of remote areas in the brain, including cortical and subcortical structures, has been reported with both invasive and non-invasive methods and the participation of major neurotransmitters (e.g., glutamate, GABA, and serotonin) as well as the release of endogenous opioids has been demonstrated. In this critical review, the putative mechanisms underlying the use of MCS to provide relief from chronic migraine and other types of chronic pain are discussed. Emphasis is placed on the most recent scientific evidence obtained from chronic pain research studies involving MCS and non-invasive neuromodulation methods (e.g., tDCS and TMS), which are analyzed comparatively. PMID:26903788

  6. Potential Mechanisms for Racial and Ethnic Differences in Antimüllerian Hormone and Ovarian Reserve

    PubMed Central

    Seifer, David B.

    2013-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that reproductive potential and function may be different across racial and ethnic groups. Racial differences have been demonstrated in pubertal timing, infertility, outcomes after assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment, and reproductive aging. Recently, racial differences have also been described in serum antimüllerian hormone (AMH), a sensitive biomarker of ovarian reserve, supporting the notion that ovarian reserve differs between racial/ethnic groups. The existence of such racial/ethnic differences in ovarian reserve, as reflected by AMH, may have important clinical implications for reproductive endocrinologists. However, the mechanisms which may underlie such racial differences in ovarian reserve are unclear. Various genetic factors and environmental factors such as obesity, smoking, and vitamin D deficiency which have been shown to correlate with serum AMH levels and also display significant racial/ethnic variations are discussed in this review. Improving our understanding of racial differences in ovarian reserve and their underlying causes may be essential for infertility treatment in minority women and lead to better reproductive planning, improved treatment outcomes, and timely interventions which may prolong reproductive lifespan in these women. PMID:24348557

  7. Seasonal hypoxia and its potential forming mechanisms in the Mirs Bay, the northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xu-Lu; Shi, Hua-Ming; Xia, Hua-Yong; Zhou, Yi-Pin; Qiu, Yao-Wen

    2014-06-01

    Hypoxia often occurs in the coastal waters of China. In the present study, data obtained from monthly cruises in the period 1998-2010 were used for analyzing temporal and spatial distributions of hypoxic bottom-water (BW) in the Mirs Bay, the northern South China Sea (NSCS). Also, potential forming mechanisms of the hypoxia were studied and depletion of the dissolved oxygen (DO) in the BW was quantitatively determined. The results showed that the BW hypoxia occurred each year in 10 years and mainly appeared from July to September in the bay within the 13-year study period. During summertime, strong density stratification formed due to both the T increase and S decrease in the surface-water in the bay. The coastal continental shelf BW had continuously intruded into and stably resided in the bay for months under influence of the NSCS southwestern monsoon. Quick biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen and phosphorus supported high phytoplankton productivity in the bay and then resulted in lots of particulate organic matter (POM) continuously to sink to the bottom. Degradation of the detritus POM, in which most was the autochthonous, resulted in DO depletion in the BW, which was estimated at about 3.6 mg L-1 in the inner Tolo Harbour and 2.9 mg L-1 in the main zone of the bay while the hypoxia events occurred.

  8. Neurocognitive mechanisms of statistical-sequential learning: what do event-related potentials tell us?

    PubMed Central

    Daltrozzo, Jerome; Conway, Christopher M.

    2014-01-01

    Statistical-sequential learning (SL) is the ability to process patterns of environmental stimuli, such as spoken language, music, or one’s motor actions, that unfold in time. The underlying neurocognitive mechanisms of SL and the associated cognitive representations are still not well understood as reflected by the heterogeneity of the reviewed cognitive models. The purpose of this review is: (1) to provide a general overview of the primary models and theories of SL, (2) to describe the empirical research – with a focus on the event-related potential (ERP) literature – in support of these models while also highlighting the current limitations of this research, and (3) to present a set of new lines of ERP research to overcome these limitations. The review is articulated around three descriptive dimensions in relation to SL: the level of abstractness of the representations learned through SL, the effect of the level of attention and consciousness on SL, and the developmental trajectory of SL across the life-span. We conclude with a new tentative model that takes into account these three dimensions and also point to several promising new lines of SL research. PMID:24994975

  9. 3-Hydroxybutyrate methyl ester as a potential drug against Alzheimer's disease via mitochondria protection mechanism.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Junyu; Cao, Qian; Li, Shaowu; Lu, Xiaoyun; Zhao, Yongxi; Guan, Ji-Song; Chen, Jin-Chun; Wu, Qiong; Chen, Guo-Qiang

    2013-10-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is induced by many reasons, including decreased cellular utilization of glucose and brain cell mitochondrial damages. Degradation product of microbially synthesized polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), namely, 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB), can be an alternative to glucose during sustained hypoglycemia. In this study, the derivative of 3HB, 3-hydroxybutyrate methyl ester (HBME), was used by cells as an alternative to glucose. HBME inhibited cell apoptosis under glucose deprivation, rescued activities of mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes that were impaired in AD patients and decreased the generation of ROS. Meanwhile, HBME stabilized the mitochondrial membrane potential. In vivo studies showed that HBME crossed the blood brain barrier easier compared with charged 3HB, resulting in a better bioavailability. AD mice treated with HBME performed significantly better (p < 0.05) in the Morris water maze compared with other groups, demonstrating that HBME has a positive in vivo pharmaceutical effect to improve the spatial learning and working memory of mice. A reduced amyloid-β deposition in mouse brains after intragastric administration of HBME was also observed. Combined with the in vitro and in vivo results, HBME was proposed to be a drug candidate against AD, its working mechanism appeared to be mediated by various effects of protecting mitochondrial damages.

  10. 17β-Estradiol Acutely Potentiates Glutamatergic Synaptic Transmission in the Hippocampus through Distinct Mechanisms in Males and Females

    PubMed Central

    Oberlander, Joseph G.

    2016-01-01

    Estradiol (E2) acutely potentiates glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the hippocampus of both male and female rats. Here, we investigated whether E2-induced synaptic potentiation occurs via presynaptic and/or postsynaptic mechanisms and which estrogen receptors (ERs) mediate E2's effects in each sex. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings of mEPSCs in CA1 pyramidal neurons showed that E2 increases both mEPSC frequency and amplitude within minutes, but often in different cells. This indicated that both presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms are involved, but that they occur largely at different synapses. Two-photon (2p) glutamate uncaging at individual dendritic spines showed that E2 increases the amplitude of uncaging-evoked EPSCs (2pEPSCs) and calcium transients (2pCaTs) at a subset of spines on a dendrite, demonstrating synapse specificity of E2's postsynaptic effects. All of these results were essentially the same in males and females. However, additional experiments using ER-selective agonists indicated sex differences in the mechanisms underlying E2-induced potentiation. In males, an ERβ agonist mimicked the postsynaptic effects of E2 to increase mEPSC, 2pEPSC, and 2pCaT amplitude, whereas in females, these effects were mimicked by an agonist of G protein-coupled ER-1. The presynaptic effect of E2, increased mEPSC frequency, was mimicked by an ERα agonist in males, whereas in females, an ERβ agonist increased mEPSC frequency. Thus, E2 acutely potentiates glutamatergic synapses similarly in both sexes, but distinct ER subtypes mediate the presynaptic and postsynaptic aspects of potentiation in each sex. This indicates a latent sex difference in which different molecular mechanisms converge to the same functional endpoint in males versus females. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Some sex differences in the brain may be latent differences, in which the same functional endpoint is achieved through distinct underlying mechanisms in males versus females. Here we report a

  11. A tool to assess potential for alien plant establishment and expansion under climate change.

    PubMed

    Roger, Erin; Duursma, Daisy Englert; Downey, Paul O; Gallagher, Rachael V; Hughes, Lesley; Steel, Jackie; Johnson, Stephen B; Leishman, Michelle R

    2015-08-15

    Predicting the influence of climate change on the potential distribution of naturalised alien plant species is an important and challenging task. While prioritisation of management actions for alien plants under current climatic conditions has been widely adopted, very few systems explicitly incorporate the potential of future changes in climate conditions to influence the distribution of alien plant species. Here, we develop an Australia-wide screening tool to assess the potential of naturalised alien plants to establish and spread under both current and future climatic conditions. The screening tool developed uses five spatially explicit criteria to establish the likelihood of alien plant population establishment and expansion under baseline climate conditions and future climates for the decades 2035 and 2065. Alien plants are then given a threat rating according to current and future threat to enable natural resource managers to focus on those species that pose the largest potential threat now and in the future. To demonstrate the screening tool, we present results for a representative sample of approximately 10% (n = 292) of Australia's known, naturalised alien plant species. Overall, most alien plant species showed decreases in area of habitat suitability under future conditions compared to current conditions and therefore the threat rating of most alien plant species declined between current and future conditions. Use of the screening tool is intended to assist natural resource managers in assessing the threat of alien plant establishment and spread under current and future conditions and thus prioritise detailed weed risk assessments for those species that pose the greatest threat. The screening tool is associated with a searchable database for all 292 alien plant species across a range of spatial scales, available through an interactive web-based portal at http://weedfutures.net/.

  12. Mechanisms Underlying Food-Drug Interactions: Inhibition of Intestinal Metabolism and Transport

    PubMed Central

    Won, Christina S.; Oberlies, Nicholas H.; Paine, Mary F.

    2012-01-01

    Food-drug interaction studies are critical to evaluate appropriate dosing, timing, and formulation of new drug candidates. These interactions often reflect prandial-associated changes in the extent and/or rate of systemic drug exposure. Physiologic and physicochemical mechanisms underlying food effects on drug disposition are well-characterized. However, biochemical mechanisms involving drug metabolizing enzymes and transport proteins remain underexplored. Several plant-derived beverages have been shown to modulate enzymes and transporters in the intestine, leading to altered pharmacokinetic (PK) and potentially negative pharmacodynamic (PD) outcomes. Commonly consumed fruit juices, teas, and alcoholic drinks contain phytochemicals that inhibit intestinal cytochrome P450 and phase II conjugation enzymes, as well as uptake and efflux transport proteins. Whereas myriad phytochemicals have been shown to inhibit these processes in vitro, translation to the clinic has been deemed insignificant or undetermined. An overlooked prerequisite for elucidating food effects on drug PK is thorough knowledge of causative bioactive ingredients. Substantial variability in bioactive ingredient composition and activity of a given dietary substance poses a challenge in conducting robust food-drug interaction studies. This confounding factor can be addressed by identifying and characterizing specific components, which could be used as marker compounds to improve clinical trial design and quantitatively predict food effects. Interpretation and integration of data from in vitro, in vivo, and in silico studies require collaborative expertise from multiple disciplines, from botany to clinical pharmacology (i.e., plant to patient). Development of more systematic methods and guidelines is needed to address the general lack of information on examining drug-dietary substance interactions prospectively. PMID:22884524

  13. Nutraceutical properties of Mediterranean diet and cognitive decline: possible underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Frisardi, Vincenza; Panza, Francesco; Seripa, Davide; Imbimbo, Bruno P; Vendemiale, Gianluigi; Pilotto, Alberto; Solfrizzi, Vincenzo

    2010-01-01

    Recent prospective studies provided evidence that higher adherence to a Mediterranean-type diet could be associated with slower cognitive decline, reduced risk of progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's disease (AD), reduced risk of AD, and decreased mortality in AD patients. Furthermore, the Mediterranean diet (MeDi) combines several foods, micro- and macronutrients already separately proposed as potential protective factors against dementia and predementia syndromes. At present, epidemiological evidence suggests a possible association between fish consumption, monounsaturated fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) (particularly, n-3 PUFA), and reduced risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Light to moderate alcohol use may be associated with a reduced risk of incident dementia and AD, while for vascular dementia, cognitive decline, and predementia syndromes, the current evidence is only suggestive of a protective effect. Finally, the limited epidemiological evidence available on fruit and vegetable consumption and cognition generally support a protective role of these macronutrients against cognitive decline, dementia, and AD. We reviewed evidence on the possible mechanisms underlying the suggested protective role of MeDi against age-related changes in cognitive function, predementia syndromes, and dementia, examining the possible role of macronutrients and food nutrients of the MeDi and their nutraceutical properties in modulating the risk of cognitive decline. Although vascular variables are likely to be in the causal pathway between MeDi and dementia syndromes and should be considered as possible mediators, other nonvascular biological mechanisms (i.e., metabolic, oxidative, and inflammatory) may be invoked to explain the complex epidemiological association between MeDi and cognitive decline.

  14. Characterization of polyelectrolyte multilayer films on polyethylene terephtalate vascular prostheses under mechanical stretching.

    PubMed

    Rinckenbach, Simon; Hemmerlé, Joseph; Dieval, Florence; Arntz, Youri; Kretz, Jean-Georges; Durand, Bernard; Chakfe, Nabil; Schaaf, Pierre; Voegel, Jean-Claude; Vautier, Dominique

    2008-03-01

    Layer-by-layer (LBL) polyelectrolyte films offer extensive potentials to enhance surface properties of vascular biomaterials. From the time of implantation, PET prostheses are continuously subjected to multiple mechanical stresses such as important distorsions and blood pressure. In this study, three LBL films, namely (1) poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate)/poly(allylamine hydrochloride), (2) poly(L-lysine)/hyaluronan, and (3) poly(L-lysine)/poly(L-glutamic acid) were built on to isolated PET filaments, thread, and vascular prostheses. The three LBL films uniformly covered the surface of the PET samples with rough, totally smooth, and "wrinkled" appearances respectively for (PAH/PSS)(24), (PLL/HA)(24), and (PLL/PGA)(24) systems. We then assessed the behavior of these LBL films, in an aqueous environment [by environmental scanning electronic microscopy (ESEM)], when subjected to unidirectional longitudinal stretches. We found that stretching induces ruptures in the multilayer films on isolated filaments for longitudinal stretches of 14% for (PSS/PAH)(24), 13% for (PLL/PGA)(24), and 30% for (PLL/HA)(24) films. On threads, the rupture limit is enhanced to be respectively 26, 20, and 28%. Most interestingly, we found that on vascular prosthesis no rupture is visible in any of the three multilayers types, even for elongations of 200% (200% undergone by the PET prostheses is representative of those encountered during graft deployment) which by far exceeds elongations observed under physiological conditions (10-20%, blood pressure). In term of mechanical behaviors, these preliminary data constitute a first step toward the possible use of LBL film to coat and functionalize vascular prosthesis. PMID:17618482

  15. When Events Change Their Nature: The Neurocognitive Mechanisms underlying Aspectual Coercion

    PubMed Central

    Paczynski, Martin; Jackendoff, Ray; Kuperberg, Gina

    2014-01-01

    The verb ‘pounce’ describes a single, near-instantaneous event. Yet, we easily understand that, “For several minutes the cat pounced…” describes a situation in which multiple pounces occurred, even though this interpretation is not overtly specified by the sentence’s syntactic structure or by any of its individual words—a phenomenon known as ‘aspectual coercion’. Previous psycholinguistic studies have reported processing costs in association with aspectual coercion, but the neurocognitive mechanisms giving rise to these costs remain contentious. Additionally, there is some controversy about whether readers commit to a full interpretation of the event when the aspectual information becomes available, or whether they leave it temporarily underspecified until later in the sentence. Using event-related potentials (ERPs), we addressed these questions in a design that fully crossed context type (punctive, durative, frequentative) with verb type (punctive, durative). We found a late, sustained negativity to punctive verbs in durative contexts, but not in frequentative (e.g. explicitly iterative) contexts. This effect was distinct from the N400 in both its time course and scalp distribution, suggesting that it reflected a different underlying neurocognitive mechanism. We also found that ERPs to durative verbs were unaffected by context type. Together, our results provide strong evidence that neural activity associated with aspectual coercion is driven by the engagement of a morphosyntactically unrealized semantic operator rather than by violations of real-world knowledge, more general shifts in event representation, or event iterativity itself. More generally, our results add to a growing body of evidence that a set of late-onset sustained negativities reflect elaborative semantic processing that goes beyond simply combining the meaning of individual words with syntactic structure to arrive at a final representation of meaning. PMID:24702457

  16. The Decision to Fight or Flee – Insights into Underlying Mechanism in Crickets

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Paul A.; Rillich, Jan

    2012-01-01

    Ritualized fighting between conspecifics is an inherently dangerous behavioral strategy, optimized to secure limited resources at minimal cost and risk. To be adaptive, potential rewards, and costs of aggression must be assessed to decide when it would be more opportune to fight or flee. We summarize insights into the proximate mechanisms underlying this decision-making process in field crickets. As in other animals, cricket aggression is enhanced dramatically by motor activity, winning, and the possession of resources. Pharmacological manipulations provide evidence that these cases of experience dependent enhancement of aggression are each mediated by octopamine, the invertebrate counterpart to adrenaline/noradrenaline. The data suggest that both physical exertion and rewarding aspects of experiences can activate the octopaminergic system, which increases the propensity to fight. Octopamine thus represents the motivational component of aggression in insects. For the decision to flee, animals are thought to assess information from agonistic signals exchanged during fighting. Cricket fights conform to the cumulative assessment model, in that they persist in fighting until the sum of their opponent’s actions accumulates to some threshold at which they withdraw. We discuss evidence that serotonin, nitric oxide, and some neuropeptides may promote an insect’s tendency to flee. We propose that the decision to fight or flee in crickets is controlled simply by relative behavioral thresholds. Rewarding experiences increase the propensity to fight to a level determined by the modulatory action of octopamine. The animal will then flee only when the accumulated sum of the opponent’s actions surpasses this level; serotonin and nitric oxide may be involved in this process. This concept is in line with the roles proposed for noradrenaline, serotonin, and nitric oxide in mammals and suggests that basic mechanisms of aggressive modulation may be conserved in phylogeny. PMID

  17. A Potential Role for Mechanical Forces in the Detachment of Podocytes and the Progression of CKD

    PubMed Central

    Lemley, Kevin V.

    2015-01-01

    Loss of podocytes underlies progression of CKD. Detachment of podocytes from the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) rather than apoptosis or necrosis seems to be the major mechanism of podocyte loss. Such detachment of viable podocytes may be caused by increased mechanical distending and shear forces and/or impaired adhesion to the GBM. This review considers the mechanical challenges that may lead to podocyte loss by detachment from the GBM under physiologic and pathophysiologic conditions, including glomerular hypertension, hyperfiltration, hypertrophy, and outflow of filtrate from subpodocyte spaces. Furthermore, we detail the cellular mechanisms by which podocytes respond to these challenges, discuss the protective effects of angiotensin blockade, and note the questions that must be addressed to better understand the relationship between podocyte detachment and progression of CKD. PMID:25060060

  18. Chemical and Biochemical Mechanisms Underlying the Cardioprotective Roles of Dietary Organopolysulfides

    PubMed Central

    Tocmo, Restituto; Liang, Dong; Lin, Yi; Huang, Dejian

    2015-01-01

    Foods that are rich in organosulfides are highly regarded for their broad range of functions in disease prevention and health promotion since ancient time yet modern scientific study, particularly clinical studies could not agree with traditional wisdom. One of the complexities is due to the labile nature of organosulfides, which are often transformed to different structures depending on the processing conditions. The recent evidence on polysulfides as H2S donors may open up a new avenue for establishing structure and health promotion activity relationship. To put this development into perspective, we carried out a review on the recent progress on the chemistry and biochemistry of organopolysulfides with emphasis on their cardioprotective property. First, we briefly surveyed the foods that are rich in polysulfides and their structural diversity. This is followed by in-depth discussion on the chemical transformations of polysulfides under various processing conditions. We further reviewed the potential action mechanisms of polysulfides in cardioprotection through: (a) hydrogen sulfide releasing activity; (b) radical scavenging activity; and (c) activity in enzyme inhibition and intervention of gene regulation pathways. Based on the literature trend, we can conclude that the emerging concept of organopolysulfides as naturally occurring H2S donors is intriguing and warrants further research to establish the structure and activity relationship of the organopolysulfides as H2S donors. PMID:25988131

  19. Improving Arithmetic Performance with Number Sense Training: An Investigation of Underlying Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Park, Joonkoo; Brannon, Elizabeth M.

    2014-01-01

    A nonverbal primitive number sense allows approximate estimation and mental manipulations on numerical quantities without the use of numerical symbols. In a recent randomized controlled intervention study in adults, we demonstrated that repeated training on a non-symbolic approximate arithmetic task resulted in improved exact symbolic arithmetic performance, suggesting a causal relationship between the primitive number sense and arithmetic competence. Here, we investigate the potential mechanisms underlying this causal relationship. We constructed multiple training conditions designed to isolate distinct cognitive components of the approximate arithmetic task. We then assessed the effectiveness of these training conditions in improving exact symbolic arithmetic in adults. We found that training on approximate arithmetic, but not on numerical comparison, numerical matching, or visuo-spatial short-term memory, improves symbolic arithmetic performance. In addition, a second experiment revealed that our approximate arithmetic task does not require verbal encoding of number, ruling out an alternative explanation that participants use exact symbolic strategies during approximate arithmetic training. Based on these results, we propose that nonverbal numerical quantity manipulation is one key factor that drives the link between the primitive number sense and symbolic arithmetic competence. Future work should explore implications from this finding that training young children on approximate arithmetic tasks even before they solidify the symbolic number understanding may be fruitful for improving readiness for math education. PMID:25044247

  20. Proposed Model of the Neurobiological Mechanisms Underlying Psychosocial Alcohol Interventions: The Example of Motivational Interviewing*

    PubMed Central

    Feldstein Ewing, Sarah W.; Filbey, Francesca M.; Hendershot, Christian S.; McEachern, Amber D.; Hutchison, Kent E.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: Despite the prevalence and profound consequences of alcohol use disorders, psychosocial alcohol interventions have widely varying outcomes. The range of behavior following psychosocial alcohol treatment indicates the need to gain a better understanding of active ingredients and how they may operate. Although this is an area of great interest, at this time there is a limited understanding of how in-session behaviors may catalyze changes in the brain and subsequent alcohol use behavior. Thus, in this review, we aim to identify the neurobiological routes through which psychosocial alcohol interventions may lead to post-session behavior change as well as offer an approach to conceptualize and evaluate these translational relationships. Method: PubMed and PsycINFO searches identified studies that successfully integrated functional magnetic resonance imaging and psychosocial interventions. Results: Based on this research, we identified potential neurobiological substrates through which behavioral alcohol interventions may initiate and sustain behavior change. In addition, we proposed a testable model linking within-session active ingredients to outside-of-session behavior change. Conclusions: Through this review, we present a testable translational model. Additionally, we illustrate how the proposed model can help facilitate empirical evaluations of psychotherapeutic factors and their underlying neural mechanisms, both in the context of motivational interviewing and in the treatment of alcohol use disorders. PMID:22051204

  1. The comprehensive mechanisms underlying nonhierarchical follicular development in geese (Anser cygnoides).

    PubMed

    Liu, Hehe; Zhang, Wenjie; Li, Qingqing; Liu, Junying; Zhang, Tao; Zhou, Tianyu; Li, Liang; Wang, Jiwen; Xu, Hengyong; He, Hua

    2015-08-01

    The laying performance of poultry primarily depends on the growth and development of the ovarian follicles. Yet, little is known about the underlying mechanisms responsible for nonhierarchical follicular development in avian species. The aim of the present study is identify genes that are differentially expressed during nonhierarchical follicular development in geese by performing a transcriptome screen. A sequencing depth of 13.9 and 14.9 million mapped tags was obtained in pools of small white follicles (SWF) and small yellow follicles (SYF), respectively, and a total of 160 differentially expressed genes were identified. The fold-changes of eight differentially expressed genes, identified using qRT-PCR, were consistent with the Digital Gene Expression Profiling (DGE) data. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genome (KEGG) analyses showed that lipid metabolism, steroid secretion, extracellular ligand reactions, enzyme activities, the cell cycle, ECM-receptor interactions and the extracellular matrix are involved in follicular development. The majority of the newly identified genes could be considered to be new candidate genes with potential roles in regulating follicular development. These results provide useful information for future in-depth studies associated with nonhierarchical follicular development in goose reproduction.

  2. Mechanical properties of gold twinned nanocubes under different triaxial tensile rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zailin; Zhang, Guowei; Luo, Gang; Sun, Xiaoqing; Zhao, Jianwei

    2016-08-01

    The gold twinned nanocubes under different triaxial tensile rates are explored by molecular dynamics simulation. Hydrostatic stress and Mises stress are defined in order to understand triaxial stresses. Twin boundaries prevent dislocations between twin boundaries from developing and dislocation angles are inconspicuous, which causes little difference between triaxial stresses. The mechanical properties of the nanocubes under low and high tensile rates are different. The curves of nanocubes under high tensile rates are more abrupt than those under low tensile rates. When the tensile rate is extremely big, the loadings are out of the nanocubes and there are not deformation and fracture in the internal nanocubes.

  3. Environment-assisted-cracking under measured and/or controlled ectrochemical potential

    SciTech Connect

    Roy, A

    1997-11-07

    Longer-term stress corrosion cracking (SCC) experiments, described in the activity plan E-20-56, are well underway at LLNL to evaluate the SCC susceptibility of candidate corrosion-resistant inner container materials in a 90°ºC acidic brine containing 5 weight percent (wt%) NaCl using fatigue-precracked wedge-loaded double-cantilever-beam (DCB) specimens. The results of a recent localized corrosion study have revealed that the propensity to pitting and crevice corrosion in susceptible alloys is characterized by "critical potentials" obtained from the cyclic potentiodynamic polarization (CPP) experiments described in the activity plan E-20-43/44. It is also well known that the tendency to SCC can be influenced by the electrochemical potential. But the role of electrochemistry in SCC has not been explored to a large extent. Therefore, the proposed activity is aimed at evaluating the SCC behavior of susceptible container materials under measured and/or controlled electrochemical potential in repository-relevant environments using DCB and slow-strain-rate (SSR) test specimens. The magnitude of the controlled potential will be selected based on the measured "critical potentials" obtained from the CPP experiment performed earlier in a similar environment. The resultant data will enable the mechanistic understanding of the cracking process in materials of interest under the synergistic influence of applied stress and corrosive medium, which will be utilized in developing and validating the SCC models for long-term performance assessment.

  4. Demonstration of two stable potential states in the squid giant axon under tetraethylammonium chloride.

    PubMed

    TASAKI, I; HAGIWAR, A S

    1957-07-20

    1. Intracellular injection of tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA) into a giant axon of the squid prolongs the duration of the action potential without changing the resting potential (Fig. 3). The prolongation is sometimes 100-fold or more. 2. The action potential of a giant axon treated with TEA has an initial peak followed by a plateau (Fig. 3). The membrane resistance during the plateau is practically normal (Fig. 4). Near the end of the action potential, there is an apparent increase in the membrane resistance (Fig. 5D and Fig. 6, right). 3. The phenomenon of abolition of action potentials was demonstrated in the squid giant axon treated with TEA (Fig. 7). Following an action potential abolished in its early phase, there is no refractoriness (Fig. 8). 4. By the method of voltage clamp, the voltage-current relation was investigated on normal squid axons as well as on axons treated with TEA (Figs. 9 and 10). 5. The presence of stable states of the membrane was demonstrated by clamping the membrane potential with two voltage steps (Fig. 11). Experimental evidence was presented showing that, in an "unstable" state, the membrane conductance is not uniquely determined by the membrane potential. 6. The effect of low sodium water was investigated in the axon treated with TEA (Fig. 12). 7. The similarity between the action potential of a squid axon under TEA and that of the vertebrate cardiac muscle was stressed. The experimental results were interpreted as supporting the view that there are two stable states in the membrane. Initiation and abolition of an action potential were explained as transitions between the two states.

  5. [Spray-dried plasma in diets for weaned piglets: influence on growth and underlying mechanisms].

    PubMed

    van Dijk, A J

    2002-09-01

    Spray-dried animal plasma (SDAP) is a by-product of slaughter plants. The plasma obtained from slaughtered pigs or ruminants is spray-dried and used for the production of human foodstuffs and animal feeds. SDAP added to the diet of weaned piglets has considerable positive effects on the growth performance of piglets. In a meta-analysis, it was calculated from 68 comparisons between SDAP-containing diets and control diets that the SDAP-induced change in average daily gain (ADG) and average daily feed intake (ADFI) in the first 2 weeks after weaning was +26.8% and +24.5%, respectively. Two experiments demonstrated that dietary SDAP can reduce post-weaning diarrhoea. The aim of the research described in this thesis was to learn more about the mechanisms underlying the growth- and health-promoting properties of SDAP i