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Sample records for selective morphologic alterations

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Fritzsch, Bernd; Straka, Hans

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Fritzsch, Bernd; Straka, Hans

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Maćczak, Aneta; Bukowska, Bożena; Michałowicz, Jaromir

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Cerebellar dentate nuclei lesions alter prefrontal cortex dendritic spine morphology.

    PubMed

    Bauer, David J; Peterson, Todd C; Swain, Rodney A

    2014-01-28

    Anatomical tracing studies in primates have revealed neural tracts from the cerebellar dentate nuclei to prefrontal cortex, implicating a cerebellar role in nonmotor processes. Experiments in rats examining the functional role of this cerebellothalamocortical pathway have demonstrated the development of visuospatial and motivational deficits following lesions of the dentate nuclei, in the absence of motor impairment. These behavioral deficits possibly occur due to structural modifications of the cerebral cortex secondary to loss of cerebellar input. The current study characterized morphological alterations in prefrontal cortex important for visuospatial and motivational processes following bilateral cerebellar dentate nuclei lesions. Rats received either bilateral electrolytic cerebellar dentate nuclei lesions or sham surgery followed by a 30-day recovery. Randomly selected Golgi-impregnated neurons in prefrontal cortex were examined for analysis. Measures of branch length and spine density revealed no differences between lesioned and sham rats in either apical or basilar arbors; however, the proportion of immature to mature spines significantly decreased in lesioned rats as compared to sham controls, with reductions of 33% in the basilar arbor and 28% in the apical arbor. Although expected pruning of branches and spines did not occur, the results are consistent with the hypothesis that cerebellar lesions influence prefrontal morphology and support the possibility that functional deficits following cerebellar dentate nuclei lesions are related to prefrontal morphological alteration.

  7. Diabetic rat testes: morphological and functional alterations.

    PubMed

    Ricci, G; Catizone, A; Esposito, R; Pisanti, F A; Vietri, M T; Galdieri, M

    2009-12-01

    Reproductive dysfunction is a consequence of diabetes, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. This study investigated the histological and molecular alterations in the testes of rats injected with streptozotocin at prepuperal (SPI rats) and adult age (SAI rats) to understand whether diabetes affects testicular tissue with different severity depending on the age in which this pathological condition starts. The testes of diabetic animals showed frequent abnormal histology, and seminiferous epithelium cytoarchitecture appeared altered as well as the occludin distribution pattern. The early occurrence of diabetes increased the percentage of animals with high number of damaged tubules. The interstitial compartment of the testes was clearly hypertrophic in several portions of the organs both in SPI and SAI rats. Interestingly, fully developed Leydig cells were present in all the treated animals although abnormally distributed. Besides the above-described damages, we found a similar decrease in plasma testosterone levels both in SPI and SAI rats. Oxidative stress (OS) is involved in the pathogenesis of various diabetic complications, and in our experimental models we found that manganese superoxide dismutase was reduced in diabetic animals. We conclude that in STZ-induced diabetes, the altered spermatogenesis, more severe in SPI animals, is possibly due to the effect of OS on Leydig cell function which could cause the testosterone decrease responsible for the alterations found in the seminiferous epithelium of diabetic animals.

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

    PubMed

    Thompson, Ken A; Johnson, Marc T J

    2016-04-01

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

  9. Astragalar Morphology of Selected Giraffidae

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Quantifying morphological alteration of RBC population from light scattering data.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Raghwendra; Sarkar, Debasish; Bhattacharya, Sourav; Mallick, Sanjaya; Chakraborty, Mousumi; Mukherjee, Debarati; Kar, Manoj; Mishra, Roshnara

    2015-01-01

    Studies of RBC morphological alterations, despite their potential clinical and experimental application, are compromised due to lack of simple and rapid techniques. As a complementary approach toward quantitative microscopy, we have reconstituted morphological information from light scattering data obtained from flow cytometer. Normal and poikilocytic agent treated samples were analyzed by microscopy and respective morphological index (MI) was calculated from the morphology based scores assigned to RBC. The samples were simultaneously analyzed by flowcytometer and the scatter data were obtained. Accordingly, the best correlated parameters of both forward scatter and side scatter were chosen to formulate a suitable regression model with MI as response. Flow cytometry data was also verified with another instrument (BD FACS Verse) and the equation obtained was validated with separate set of samples. The multivariate regression analysis yields a quadratic model with MI as response (R2 = 0.96, p <  0.001). The flow cytometric data from both instruments were in good agreement (Intra class correlation ∼0.9, p <  0.001). The model was found to simulate the sample MI with high accuracy (R2 = 0.97, p <  0.001). This proposed method was verified to be simple, rapid, quantitative and cost effective for the measurement of morphological alteration of RBC.

  11. Inactivation of AMPKα1 induces asthenozoospermia and alters spermatozoa morphology.

    PubMed

    Tartarin, Pauline; Guibert, Edith; Touré, Aminata; Ouiste, Claire; Leclerc, Jocelyne; Sanz, Nieves; Brière, Sylvain; Dacheux, Jean-Louis; Delaleu, Bernadette; McNeilly, Judith R; McNeilly, Alan S; Brillard, Jean-Pierre; Dupont, Joëlle; Foretz, Marc; Viollet, Benoit; Froment, Pascal

    2012-07-01

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a key regulator of cellular energy homeostasis, is present in metabolic tissues (muscle and liver) and has been identified as a modulator of the female reproductive functions. However, its function in the testis has not yet been clearly defined. We have investigated the potential role of AMPK in male reproduction by using transgenic mice lacking the activity of AMPK catalytic subunit α1 gene [α1AMPK knockout (KO)]. In the testis, the α1AMPK subunit is expressed in germ cells and also in somatic cells (Sertoli and Leydig cells). α1AMPK KO male mice show a decrease in fertility, despite no clear alteration in the testis morphology or sperm production. However, in α1AMPK(-/-) mice, we demonstrate that spermatozoa have structural abnormalities and are less motile than in control mice. These spermatozoa alterations are associated with a 50% decrease in mitochondrial activity, a 60% decrease in basal oxygen consumption, and morphological defects. The α1AMPK KO male mice had high androgen levels associated with a 5- and 3-fold increase in intratesticular cholesterol and testosterone concentrations, respectively. High concentrations of proteins involved in steroid production (3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, cytochrome steroid 17 alpha-hydroxylase/17,20 lysate, and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein) were also detected in α1AMPK(-/-) testes. In the pituitary, the LH and FSH concentrations tended to be lower in α1AMPK(-/-) male mice, probably due to the negative feedback of the high testosterone levels. These results suggest that total α1AMPK deficiency in male mice affects androgen production and quality of spermatozoa, leading to a decrease in fertility.

  12. Oxidative stress alters physiological and morphological neuronal properties.

    PubMed

    Hasan, Sonia M; Joe, Mary; Alshuaib, Waleed B

    2007-07-01

    We investigated the effects of H(2)O(2)-induced oxidative stress on the delayed-rectifier current (IK(DR)), neuronal physiological and morphological properties. Measurements were obtained from hippocampal CA1 neurons in control solution and from the same neurons after exposure to oxidative stress (short- and long-term H(2)O(2) external applications at 0.1, 1, and 10 mM). With short-term (6 min) H(2)O(2) (1 mM) treatment, IK(DR) measured in the H(2)O(2)-containing solution (778 +/- 23 pA, n=20), was smaller than that measured in the control Ca(2+)-free Hepes solution (1,112 +/- 38 pA, n=20). Coenzyme Q(10) (0.1 mM) pretreatment prevented the H(2)O(2)-induced inhibition of IK(DR). With long-term (40, 80 min) H(2)O(2) (0.1, 10 mM) treatment, the neuron lost its distinctive shape (rounded up) and the neurite almost disappeared. These results suggest that oxidative stress, which inhibits IK(DR), can alter neural activity. The morphological changes caused by H(2)O(2) support the idea that oxidative stress causes intracellular damage and compromises neural function.

  13. Altered selectivity in an Arabidopsis metal transporter.

    PubMed

    Rogers, E E; Eide, D J; Guerinot, M L

    2000-10-24

    Plants require metals for essential functions ranging from respiration to photosynthesis. These metals also contribute to the nutritional value of plants for both humans and livestock. Additionally, plants have the ability to accumulate nonessential metals such as cadmium and lead, and this ability could be harnessed to remove pollutant metals from the environment. Designing a transporter that specifically accumulates certain cations while excluding others has exciting applications in all of these areas. The Arabidopsis root membrane protein IRT1 is likely to be responsible for uptake of iron from the soil. Like other Fe(II) transporters identified to date, IRT1 transports a variety of other cations, including the essential metals zinc and manganese as well as the toxic metal cadmium. By heterologous expression in yeast, we show here that the replacement of a glutamic acid residue at position 103 in wild-type IRT1 with alanine increases the substrate specificity of the transporter by selectively eliminating its ability to transport zinc. Two other mutations, replacing the aspartic acid residues at either positions 100 or 136 with alanine, also increase IRT1 metal selectivity by eliminating transport of both iron and manganese. A number of other conserved residues in or near transmembrane domains appear to be essential for all transport function. Therefore, this study identifies at least some of the residues important for substrate selection and transport in a protein belonging to the ZIP gene family, a large transporter family found in a wide variety of organisms.

  14. Alterations of erythrocyte morphology and lipid composition by hyperbilirubinemia.

    PubMed

    Brito, M A; Silva, R M; Matos, D C; da Silva, A T; Brites, D T

    1996-05-30

    Morphology and membrane lipid composition of erythrocytes from neonates (jaundiced and healthy) and adults (before and after incubation with bilirubin) were studied. The morphological index, expressing the relative proportions of the different stages of cell distortion, and the membrane cholesterol, phospholipids and cholesterol/phospholipids molar ratio, were determined. In jaundiced neonates a significant increase in the morphological index (P < 0.01) was found. After incubation with bilirubin, adult erythrocytes also showed an increase in the morphological index (P < 0.01). Hemolysis occurred under these conditions, and the red cell ghosts obtained (vesicles) showed a rounded morphology. Higher cholesterol/phospholipid ratio and lower phospholipid content were found in jaundiced neonates compared with healthy babies (P < 0.05) and adults (P < 0.01), as well as in the cells (P < 0.05) and vesicles (P < 0.01) obtained after bilirubin incubation. Bilirubin cytotoxicity may occur in a stepwise manner: deposition of bilirubin in membrane produces echinocytosis, which is followed by disintegration of the lipid bilayer with loss of phospholipids from the membrane.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Select noxious stimuli induce changes on corneal nerve morphology.

    PubMed

    Hegarty, Deborah M; Hermes, Sam M; Yang, Katherine; Aicher, Sue A

    2017-06-01

    The surface of the cornea contains the highest density of nociceptive nerves of any tissue in the body. These nerves are responsive to a variety of modalities of noxious stimuli and can signal pain even when activated by low threshold stimulation. Injury of corneal nerves can lead to altered nerve morphology, including neuropathic changes which can be associated with chronic pain. Emerging technologies that allow imaging of corneal nerves in vivo are spawning questions regarding the relationship between corneal nerve density, morphology, and function. We tested whether noxious stimulation of the corneal surface can alter nerve morphology and neurochemistry. We used concentrations of menthol, capsaicin, and hypertonic saline that evoked comparable levels of nocifensive eye wipe behaviors when applied to the ocular surface of an awake rat. Animals were sacrificed and corneal nerves were examined using immunocytochemistry and three-dimensional volumetric analyses. We found that menthol and capsaicin both caused a significant reduction in corneal nerve density as detected with β-tubulin immunoreactivity 2 hr after stimulation. Hypertonic saline did not reduce nerve density, but did cause qualitative changes in nerves including enlarged varicosities that were also seen following capsaicin and menthol stimulation. All three types of noxious stimuli caused a depletion of CGRP from corneal nerves, indicating that all modalities of noxious stimuli evoked peptide release. Our findings suggest that studies aimed at understanding the relationship between corneal nerve morphology and chronic disease may also need to consider the effects of acute stimulation on corneal nerve morphology.

  18. Morphological alterations induced by boric acid and fipronil in the midgut of worker honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) larvae : Morphological alterations in the midgut of A. mellifera.

    PubMed

    da Silva Cruz, Aline; da Silva-Zacarin, Elaine C M; Bueno, Odair C; Malaspina, Osmar

    2010-04-01

    Morphological alterations, by means of histological and ultrastructural analysis, have been used to determine the effects of boric acid and fipronil on midgut tissues of honeybee worker, Apis mellifera L. larvae. In order to observe possible morphological alterations in the midgut, two groups of bioassays were performed. In the first one, the larvae were chronically treated with different concentrations of boric acid added to the food (1.0, 2.5 and 7.5 mg/g). In the second group, the larvae were fed with diets containing different concentrations of fipronil (0.1 and 1 microg/g) and compared with control groups without these chemical compounds. In the first bioassay, the larvae were collected on day 3 and in the second bioassay on day 4, when the mortality rate obtained in the toxicological bioassay was not very high. The larval midguts were removed and processed for morphological analyses using a light and transmission electron microscopy. We observed cytoplasmic vacuolizations, with the absence of autophagic vacuoles, and chromatinic compacting in most of the cells in the groups treated with pesticides. The morphological alterations were far greater in the larvae treated with boric acid than in the larvae treated with fipronil. Our data suggest that the midgut cell death observed was in response to boric acid and fipronil action. This study significantly improves the understanding of the toxicological effect of these insecticides from the ecotoxicological perspective.

  19. Actin-Dependent Alterations of Dendritic Spine Morphology in Shankopathies

    PubMed Central

    Sarowar, Tasnuva

    2016-01-01

    Shank proteins (Shank1, Shank2, and Shank3) act as scaffolding molecules in the postsynaptic density of many excitatory neurons. Mutations in SHANK genes, in particular SHANK2 and SHANK3, lead to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in both human and mouse models. Shank3 proteins are made of several domains—the Shank/ProSAP N-terminal (SPN) domain, ankyrin repeats, SH3 domain, PDZ domain, a proline-rich region, and the sterile alpha motif (SAM) domain. Via various binding partners of these domains, Shank3 is able to bind and interact with a wide range of proteins including modulators of small GTPases such as RICH2, a RhoGAP protein, and βPIX, a RhoGEF protein for Rac1 and Cdc42, actin binding proteins and actin modulators. Dysregulation of all isoforms of Shank proteins, but especially Shank3, leads to alterations in spine morphogenesis, shape, and activity of the synapse via altering actin dynamics. Therefore, here, we highlight the role of Shank proteins as modulators of small GTPases and, ultimately, actin dynamics, as found in multiple in vitro and in vivo models. The failure to mediate this regulatory role might present a shared mechanism in the pathophysiology of autism-associated mutations, which leads to dysregulation of spine morphogenesis and synaptic signaling. PMID:27795858

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Campbell, Diane R; Powers, John M

    2015-06-07

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Diane R.; Powers, John M.

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Morphology selection via geometric frustration in chiral filament bundles.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    In assemblies, the geometric frustration of a locally preferred packing motif leads to anomalous behaviours, from self-limiting growth to defects in the ground state. Here, we demonstrate that geometric frustration selects the equilibrium morphology of cohesive bundles of chiral filaments, an assembly motif critical to a broad range of biological and synthetic nanomaterials. Frustration of inter-filament spacing leads to optimal shapes of self-twisting bundles that break the symmetries of packing and of the underlying inter-filament forces, paralleling a morphological instability in spherical two-dimensional crystals. Equilibrium bundle morphology is controlled by a parameter that characterizes the relative costs of filament bending and the straining of cohesive bonds between filaments. This parameter delineates the boundaries between stable, isotropic cylindrical bundles and anisotropic, twisted-tape bundles. We also show how the mechanical and interaction properties of constituent amyloid fibrils may be extracted from the mesoscale dimensions of the anisotropic bundles that they form.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Selective Induced Altered Coccidians to Immunize and Prevent Enteritis

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Microbiomic flora in digestive tract is pivotal to the state of our health and disease. Antibiotics affect GI, control composition of microbiome, and shift equilibrium from health into disease status. Coccidiosis causes gastrointestinal inflammation. Antibiotic additives contaminate animal products and enter food chain, consumed by humans with possible allergic, antibiotic resistance and enigmatic side effects. Purposed study induced nonpathogenic, immunogenic organisms to protect against disease and abolish antibiotics' use in food animals and side effects in man. Diverse species of Coccidia were used as model. Immature organisms were treated with serial purification procedure prior to developmental stages to obtain altered strains. Chicks received oral gavage immunized with serial low doses of normal or altered organisms or sham treatment and were challenged with high infective normal organisms to compare pathogenicity and immunogenicity. Mature induced altered forms of E. tenella and E. necatrix lacked developmental stage of “sporocysts” and contained free sporozoites. In contrast, E. maxima progressed to normal forms or did not mature at all. Animals that received altered forms were considerably protected with higher weight gain and antibody titers against challenge infection compared to those that received normal organisms (p < 0.05). This is the first report to induce selected protective altered organisms for possible preventive measures to minimize antibiotic use in food animals. PMID:27721824

  9. The role of GRASPs in morphological alterations of Golgi apparatus: mechanisms and effects.

    PubMed

    Ji, Guang; Ji, Hui; Mo, Xiaoye; Li, Ting; Yu, Yaduo; Hu, Zhiping

    2013-01-01

    The Golgi apparatus (GA) is a pivotal organelle in cell metabolism, functioning not only in the processing and transportation of cargoes but also in ion homeostasis, cell apoptosis, and stress sensing. We are interested in the intricate role of GA and the recently present novel concept of 'GA stress'. GA shows various morphological alterations in many neurodegenerative diseases and cell apoptosis induced by biochemical reagents, mechanisms in which oxidative stress is strongly involved. In turn, the structural changes and morphological alterations of the GA could also transduce stress signals. Therefore, besides the biochemical changes, more attention should be paid to the morphological alterations of the GA itself during pathological processes and diseases. The Golgi reassembly and stacking proteins (GRASPs) have been identified as important components acting in the transformation of Golgi structure, and they may thus affect the Golgi functions and cell behavior. In this review, we will discuss the intricate role of the GRASPs in remodeling the GA morphology and focus on their mechanisms and effects in the processes of Golgi stacking, mitosis, cell apoptosis, and cargo secretion. We would also like to provide a further prospective of their potential biological values in neurodegenerative diseases.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  12. Mitochondrial morphology is altered in atrophied skeletal muscle of aged mice.

    PubMed

    Leduc-Gaudet, Jean-Philippe; Picard, Martin; St-Jean Pelletier, Félix; Sgarioto, Nicolas; Auger, Marie-Joëlle; Vallée, Joanne; Robitaille, Richard; St-Pierre, David H; Gouspillou, Gilles

    2015-07-20

    Skeletal muscle aging is associated with a progressive decline in muscle mass and strength, a process termed sarcopenia. Evidence suggests that accumulation of mitochondrial dysfunction plays a causal role in sarcopenia, which could be triggered by impaired mitophagy. Mitochondrial function, mitophagy and mitochondrial morphology are interconnected aspects of mitochondrial biology, and may coordinately be altered with aging. However, mitochondrial morphology has remained challenging to characterize in muscle, and whether sarcopenia is associated with abnormal mitochondrial morphology remains unknown. Therefore, we assessed the morphology of SubSarcolemmal (SS) and InterMyoFibrillar (IMF) mitochondria in skeletal muscle of young (8-12wk-old) and old (88-96wk-old) mice using a quantitative 2-dimensional transmission electron microscopy approach. We show that sarcopenia is associated with larger and less circular SS mitochondria. Likewise, aged IMF mitochondria were longer and more branched, suggesting increased fusion and/or decreased fission. Accordingly, although no difference in the content of proteins regulating mitochondrial dynamics (Mfn1, Mfn2, Opa1 and Drp1) was observed, a mitochondrial fusion index (Mfn2-to-Drp1 ratio) was significantly increased in aged muscles. Our results reveal that sarcopenia is associated with complex changes in mitochondrial morphology that could interfere with mitochondrial function and mitophagy, and thus contribute to aging-related accumulation of mitochondrial dysfunction and sarcopenia.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1997-01-01

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

  15. Impaired Cognitive Function and Altered Hippocampal Synapse Morphology in Mice Lacking Lrrtm1, a Gene Associated with Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Sakoori, Kazuto; Akagi, Takumi; Hashikawa, Tsutomu; Morimura, Naoko; Yamada, Kazuyuki; Aruga, Jun

    2011-01-01

    Recent genetic linkage analysis has shown that LRRTM1 (Leucine rich repeat transmembrane neuronal 1) is associated with schizophrenia. Here, we characterized Lrrtm1 knockout mice behaviorally and morphologically. Systematic behavioral analysis revealed reduced locomotor activity in the early dark phase, altered behavioral responses to novel environments (open-field box, light-dark box, elevated plus maze, and hole board), avoidance of approach to large inanimate objects, social discrimination deficit, and spatial memory deficit. Upon administration of the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801, Lrrtm1 knockout mice showed both locomotive activities in the open-field box and responses to the inanimate object that were distinct from those of wild-type mice, suggesting that altered glutamatergic transmission underlay the behavioral abnormalities. Furthermore, administration of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (fluoxetine) rescued the abnormality in the elevated plus maze. Morphologically, the brains of Lrrtm1 knockout mice showed reduction in total hippocampus size and reduced synaptic density. The hippocampal synapses were characterized by elongated spines and diffusely distributed synaptic vesicles, indicating the role of Lrrtm1 in maintaining synaptic integrity. Although the pharmacobehavioral phenotype was not entirely characteristic of those of schizophrenia model animals, the impaired cognitive function may warrant the further study of LRRTM1 in relevance to schizophrenia. PMID:21818371

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  17. Morphological and Molecular Alterations in 1,2 Dimethylhydrazine and Azoxymethane Induced Colon Carcinogenesis in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Perše, Martina; Cerar, Anton

    2011-01-01

    The dimethyhydrazine (DMH) or azoxymethane (AOM) model is a well-established, well-appreciated, and widely used model of experimental colon carcinogenesis. It has many morphological as well as molecular similarities to human sporadic colorectal cancer (CC), which are summarized and discussed in this paper. In addition, the paper combines present knowledge of morphological and molecular features in the multistep development of CC recognized in the DMH/AOM rat model. This understanding is necessary in order to accurately identify and interpret alterations that occur in the colonic mucosa when evaluating natural or pharmacological compounds in DMH/AOM rat colon carcinogenesis. The DMH/AOM model provides a wide range of options for investigating various initiating and environmental factors, the role of specific dietary and genetic factors, and therapeutic options in CC. The limitations of this model and suggested areas in which more research is required are also discussed. PMID:21253581

  18. Phosphatidylethanolamine deficiency in Mammalian mitochondria impairs oxidative phosphorylation and alters mitochondrial morphology.

    PubMed

    Tasseva, Guergana; Bai, Helin Daniel; Davidescu, Magdalena; Haromy, Alois; Michelakis, Evangelos; Vance, Jean E

    2013-02-08

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is implicated in neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, and metabolic disorders, but the role of phospholipids, particularly the nonbilayer-forming lipid phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), in mitochondrial function is poorly understood. Elimination of mitochondrial PE (mtPE) synthesis via phosphatidylserine decarboxylase in mice profoundly alters mitochondrial morphology and is embryonic lethal (Steenbergen, R., Nanowski, T. S., Beigneux, A., Kulinski, A., Young, S. G., and Vance, J. E. (2005) J. Biol. Chem. 280, 40032-40040). We now report that moderate <30% depletion of mtPE alters mitochondrial morphology and function and impairs cell growth. Acute reduction of mtPE by RNAi silencing of phosphatidylserine decarboxylase and chronic reduction of mtPE in PSB-2 cells that have only 5% of normal phosphatidylserine synthesis decreased respiratory capacity, ATP production, and activities of electron transport chain complexes (C) I and CIV but not CV. Blue native-PAGE analysis revealed defects in the organization of CI and CIV into supercomplexes in PE-deficient mitochondria, correlated with reduced amounts of CI and CIV proteins. Thus, mtPE deficiency impairs formation and/or membrane integration of respiratory supercomplexes. Despite normal or increased levels of mitochondrial fusion proteins in mtPE-deficient cells, and no reduction in mitochondrial membrane potential, mitochondria were extensively fragmented, and mitochondrial ultrastructure was grossly aberrant. In general, chronic reduction of mtPE caused more pronounced mitochondrial defects than did acute mtPE depletion. The functional and morphological changes in PSB-2 cells were largely reversed by normalization of mtPE content by supplementation with lyso-PE, a mtPE precursor. These studies demonstrate that even a modest reduction of mtPE in mammalian cells profoundly alters mitochondrial functions.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Morph-X-Select: Morphology-based tissue aptamer selection for ovarian cancer biomarker discovery

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hongyu; Li, Xin; Volk, David E.; Lokesh, Ganesh L.-R.; Elizondo-Riojas, Miguel-Angel; Li, Li; Nick, Alpa M.; Sood, Anil K.; Rosenblatt, Kevin P.; Gorenstein, David G.

    2016-01-01

    High affinity aptamer-based biomarker discovery has the advantage of simultaneously discovering an aptamer affinity reagent and its target biomarker protein. Here, we demonstrate a morphology-based tissue aptamer selection method that enables us to use tissue sections from individual patients and identify high-affinity aptamers and their associated target proteins in a systematic and accurate way. We created a combinatorial DNA aptamer library that has been modified with thiophosphate substitutions of the phosphate ester backbone at selected 5′dA positions for enhanced nuclease resistance and targeting. Based on morphological assessment, we used image-directed laser microdissection (LMD) to dissect regions of interest bound with the thioaptamer (TA) library and further identified target proteins for the selected TAs. We have successfully identified and characterized the lead candidate TA, V5, as a vimentin-specific sequence that has shown specific binding to tumor vasculature of human ovarian tissue and human microvascular endothelial cells. This new Morph-X-Select method allows us to select high-affinity aptamers and their associated target proteins in a specific and accurate way, and could be used for personalized biomarker discovery to improve medical decision-making and to facilitate the development of targeted therapies to achieve more favorable outcomes. PMID:27839510

  1. Alterations in zebrafish development induced by simvastatin: Comprehensive morphological and physiological study, focusing on muscle.

    PubMed

    Campos, Laise M; Rios, Eduardo A; Guapyassu, Livia; Midlej, Victor; Atella, Georgia C; Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Benchimol, Marlene; Mermelstein, Claudia; Costa, Manoel L

    2016-11-01

    The cholesterol synthesis inhibitor simvastatin, which is used to treat cardiovascular diseases, has severe collateral effects. We decided to comprehensively study the effects of simvastatin in zebrafish development and in myogenesis, because zebrafish has been used as a model to human diseases, due to its handling easiness, the optical clarity of its embryos, and the availability of physiological and structural methodologies. Furthermore, muscle is an important target of the drug. We used several simvastatin concentrations at different zebrafish developmental stages and studied survival rate, morphology, and physiology of the embryos. Our results show that high levels of simvastatin induce structural damage whereas low doses induce minor structural changes, impaired movements, and reduced heart beating. Morphological alterations include changes in embryo and somite size and septa shape. Physiological changes include movement reduction and slower heartbeat. These effects could be reversed by the addition of exogenous cholesterol. Moreover, we quantified the total cell number during zebrafish development and demonstrated a large reduction in cell number after statin treatment. Since we could classify the alterations induced by simvastatin in three distinct phenotypes, we speculate that simvastatin acts through more than one mechanism and could affect both cell replication and/or cell death and muscle function. Our data can contribute to the understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of the mechanisms of action of simvastatin.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  3. Aging causes morphological alterations in astrocytes and microglia in human substantia nigra pars compacta.

    PubMed

    Jyothi, H J; Vidyadhara, D J; Mahadevan, Anita; Philip, Mariamma; Parmar, Suresh Kumar; Manohari, S Gowri; Shankar, S K; Raju, Trichur R; Alladi, Phalguni Anand

    2015-12-01

    Age being a risk factor for Parkinson's disease, assessment of age-related changes in the human substantia nigra may elucidate its pathogenesis. Increase in Marinesco bodies, α-synuclein, free radicals and so forth in the aging nigral neurons are clear indicators of neurodegeneration. Here, we report the glial responses in aging human nigra. The glial numbers were determined on Nissl-stained sections. The expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein, S100β, 2', 3'-cyclic nucleotide 3' phosphodiesterase, and Iba1 was assessed on cryosections of autopsied midbrains by immunohistochemistry and densitometry. The glial counts showed a biphasic increase, of which, the first prominent phase from fetal age to birth could be physiological gliogenesis whereas the second one after middle age may reflect mild age-related gliosis. Astrocytic morphology was altered, but glial fibrillary acidic protein expression increased only mildly. Presence of type-4 microglia suggests possibility of neuroinflammation. Mild reduction in 2', 3'-cyclic nucleotide 3' phosphodiesterase-labeled area denotes subtle demyelination. Stable age-related S100β expression indicates absence of calcium overload. Against the expected prominent gliosis, subtle age-related morphological alterations in human nigral glia attribute them a participatory role in aging.

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

    PubMed Central

    Franssen, Nathan R

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

  6. Morphological alterations of Vero cell exposed to coplanar PCB 126 and noncoplanar PCB 153.

    PubMed

    Shen, Kaili; Shen, Chaofeng; Chen, Lei; Chen, Xincai; Chen, Yingxu

    2012-01-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are widespread, persistent environmental contaminants that display a complex spectrum of toxicological properties. Exposure to PCBs has been associated with morphological anomalies in cell cultures. However, most mechanistic studies of PCBs' toxic activity have been focused on coplanar congeners. It is of importance to determine whether PCB treatment would influence cell configuration and whether these changes would depend on the structural characteristics of PCBs. In this study, we investigated cell morphological alteration in Vero cell cultures after exposure to coplanar PCB 126 and noncoplanar PCB 153. The survival of Vero cells was measured through the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) test. Cytotoxicity results suggested that PCB congeners had a toxic, antiproliferative effect on Vero cells. Morphological studies described structural modifications and provided evidence that apoptosis might be the main cell death pathway in PCB 153-treated cells. The comparison between PCB 126 and PCB 153 indicated that the cell death mechanisms involved in coplanar or noncoplanar PCB congener exposure were different in Vero cells.

  7. Morphological alterations in mouse testis by a single dose of malathion.

    PubMed

    Contreras, H R; Bustos-Obregón, E

    1999-08-01

    Malathion((R)) is a widely used organophosphorate agropesticide. In spite of its low toxicity for mammalian cells, it provokes cytogenetic and genotoxic damage both in vivo and in vitro. The effect of Malathion was analyzed in CF-1 young adult male mice. Commercial Malathion (96.6% purity) was injected intraperitoneally in a single dose (250 mg/kg body weight corresponding to 1/12 LD50). Four, 14, 18, and 26 days after injection animals were sacrificed to study epididymal sperm (count and morphology), testicular histology (percentage of depleted seminiferous tubules), and ultrastructural alterations in the germinal epithelium. The effect of Malathion on different germinal cell populations was studied. Teratozoospermia was induced by Malathion at all times studied. Spermatozoa midpiece and flagella were the most affected and at day 18 we observed less alterations of the head. The sperm count at different time intervals was significatively increased compared to controls and there was a parallel increase in depletion of the seminiferous tubules. In conclusion, all germinal cell populations studied were affected by Malathion. Malathion has a teratogenic effect on mice spermatid differentiation, which compromises mostly the flagella, perhaps due to an alkylating effect that disturbs the normal assembling of tail structural protein components. Apparently, the pachytene spermatocyte stage may be relatively more resistant to the pesticide. The Sertoli cells were affected by the insecticide and their damage at an ultrastructural level is highly significant. Cytoplasmatic vacuolization probably revealed metabolic alteration of these cells.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  9. The association between regular cannabis exposure and alterations of human brain morphology: an updated review of the literature.

    PubMed

    Lorenzetti, Valentina; Solowij, Nadia; Fornito, Alex; Lubman, Dan Ian; Yucel, Murat

    2014-01-01

    Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug worldwide, though it is unclear whether its regular use is associated with persistent alterations in brain morphology. This review examines evidence from human structural neuroimaging investigations of regular cannabis users and focuses on achieving three main objectives. These include examining whether the literature to date provides evidence that alteration of brain morphology in regular cannabis users: i) is apparent, compared to non-cannabis using controls; ii) is associated with patterns of cannabis use; and with iii) measures of psychopathology and neurocognitive performance. The published findings indicate that regular cannabis use is associated with alterations in medial temporal, frontal and cerebellar brain regions. Greater brain morphological alterations were evident among samples that used at higher doses for longer periods. However, the evidence for an association between brain morphology and cannabis use parameters was mixed. Further, there is poor evidence for an association between measures of brain morphology and of psychopathology symptoms/neurocognitive performance. Overall, numerous methodological issues characterize the literature to date. These include investigation of small sample sizes, heterogeneity across studies in sample characteristics (e.g., sex, comorbidity) and in employed imaging techniques, as well as the examination of only a limited number of brain regions. These factors make it difficult to draw firm conclusions from the existing findings. Nevertheless, this review supports the notion that regular cannabis use is associated with alterations of brain morphology, and highlights the need to consider particular methodological issues when planning future cannabis research.

  10. Sleep Deprivation Alters Rat Ventral Prostate Morphology, Leading to Glandular Atrophy: A Microscopic Study Contrasted with the Hormonal Assays

    PubMed Central

    Venâncio, Daniel P.; Andersen, Monica L.; Vilamaior, Patricia S. L.; Santos, Fernanda C.; Zager, Adriano; Tufik, Sérgio; Taboga, Sebastião R.; De Mello, Marco T.

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the effect of 96 h paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD) and 21-day sleep restriction (SR) on prostate morphology using stereological assays in male rats. After euthanasia, the rat ventral prostate was removed, weighed, and prepared for conventional light microscopy. Microscopic analysis of the prostate reveals that morphology of this gland was altered after 96 h of PSD and 21 days of SR, with the most important alterations occurring in the epithelium and stroma in the course of both procedures compared with the control group. Both 96 h PSD and 21-day SR rats showed lower serum testosterone and higher corticosterone levels than control rats. The significance of our result referring to the sleep deprivation was responsible for deep morphological alterations in ventral prostate tissue, like to castration microscopic modifications. This result is due to the marked alterations in hormonal status caused by PSD and SR. PMID:22927719

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  13. Red blood cells in Rett syndrome: oxidative stress, morphological changes and altered membrane organization.

    PubMed

    Ciccoli, Lucia; De Felice, Claudio; Leoncini, Silvia; Signorini, Cinzia; Cortelazzo, Alessio; Zollo, Gloria; Pecorelli, Alessandra; Rossi, Marcello; Hayek, Joussef

    2015-11-01

    In this review, we summarize the current evidence on the erythrocyte as a previously unrecognized target cell in Rett syndrome, a rare (1:10 000 females) and devastating neurodevelopmental disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations in a single gene (i.e. MeCP2, CDKL5, or rarely FOXG1). In particular, we focus on morphological changes, membrane oxidative damage, altered membrane fatty acid profile, and aberrant skeletal organization in erythrocytes from patients with typical Rett syndrome and MeCP2 gene mutations. The beneficial effects of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are also summarized for this condition to be considered as a 'model' condition for autism spectrum disorders.

  14. CRSBP-1/LYVE-1-null Mice Exhibit Identifiable Morphological and Functional Alterations of Lymphatic Capillary Vessels

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Shuan S.; Liu, I-Hua; Smith, Tracy; Shah, Maulik R.; Johnson, Frank E.; Huang, Jung S.

    2010-01-01

    CRSBP-1, a membrane glycoprotein, can mediate cell-surface retention of secreted growth factors containing CRS motifs such as PDGF-BB. CRSBP-1 has recently been found to be identical to LYVE-1, a specific marker for lymphatic capillary endothelial cells. The in vivo role of CRSBP-1/LYVE-1 is unknown. CRSBP-1-null mice are overtly normal and fertile but exhibit identifiable morphological and functional alterations of lymphatic capillary vessels in certain tissues, marked by the constitutively increased interstitial-lymphatic flow and lack of typical irregularly-shaped lumens. The CRSBP-1 ligands PDGF-BB and HA enhance interstitial-lymphatic flow in wild-type mice but not in CRSBP-1-null animals. PMID:17070806

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Functional and morphological alterations associated with working memory dysfunction in patients with generalized anxiety disorder.

    PubMed

    Moon, Chung-Man; Jeong, Gwang-Woo

    2017-03-01

    Background Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) has been related to functional brain activities and structural brain abnormalities. Purpose To investigate the neural mechanism on working memory dysfunction in patients with GAD in terms of the combined functional and morphological brain abnormalities. Material and Methods Patients with GAD and healthy controls matched for age, sex, and education level underwent high-resolution T1-weighted (T1W) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and functional MRI (fMRI). In this study, fMRI and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) were used for assessing the differential brain activation patterns, as well as for comparing the morphological alterations between the two groups. Results In response to the neutral distractors, the patients showed significantly lower activities in the regions of the fusiform gyrus (FuG), superior parietal gyrus (SPG), precuneus (PCu), superior occipital gyrus (SOG), lingual gyrus (LiG), cuneus (Cun), calcarine cortex (CaC), parahippocampal gyrus (PHG) and cerebellar cortex (Cb) compared to the controls. In response to the anxiety-inducing distractors, the patients showed significantly higher activity in the hippocampus and lower activities in the regions of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), FuG, SPG, PCu, SOG, and Cb. Also, the patients showed a significant reduction of the white matter volumes in the DLPFC, anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC) and midbrain. Conclusion This study provides the first evidence for the association between the morphometric alterations and functional deficit in the working memory processing with the neutral and anxiety-inducing distractors in GAD patients. These findings would be helpful to understand the neural mechanisms on working memory impairment in connection with GAD symptoms.

  17. Histological and morphological alterations induced by copper exposure in Laeonereis acuta (Polychaeta, Nereididae).

    PubMed

    Geracitano, L A; Luquet, C; Monserrat, J M; Bianchini, A

    2004-01-01

    Laeonereis acuta (Polychaeta, Nereididae) was collected in an unpolluted (UP) and an polluted (P) site at the Patos Lagoon estuary (Southern Brazil) and maintained under control conditions (UPC and PC, respectively) or exposed to waterborne copper (UPCu and PCu; 500 microg Cu/l), for 48 h. Four groups (aaUPC, aaPC, aaUPCu, and aaPCu) were also pre-exposed for 48 h to ascorbic acid (aa; 0.1 mM) before copper exposure. Histological and morphological alterations, as well as oxygen consumption changes were evaluated. Independently of the sampling site and the pre-exposure to the ascorbic acid, morphological abnormalities were evident in more than 80% of worms exposed to copper. Conspicuous histological changes (coeloma obliteration, cuticle separation from the epidermis, and absence of dorsal vessel) were also observed. In addition, PCu worms showed loss of the digestive epithelium and coiling behavior. Similar oxygen consumption values were observed in control and copper exposed worms.

  18. Transcorneal electrical stimulation alters morphology and survival of retinal ganglion cells after optic nerve damage.

    PubMed

    Henrich-Noack, Petra; Voigt, Nadine; Prilloff, Sylvia; Fedorov, Anton; Sabel, Bernhard A

    2013-05-24

    Traumatic optic nerve injury leads to retrograde death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), but transcorneal electrical stimulation (TES) can increase the cell survival rate. To understand the mechanisms and to further define the TES-induced effects we monitored in living animals RGC morphology and survival after optic nerve crush (ONC) in real time by using in vivo confocal neuroimaging (ICON) of the retina. ONC was performed in rats and ICON was performed before crush and on post-lesion days 3, 7 and 15 which allowed us to repeatedly record RGC number and size. TES or sham-stimulation were performed immediately after the crush and on post-injury day 11. Three days after ONC we detected a higher percentage of surviving RGCs in the TES group as compared to sham-treated controls. However, the difference was below significance level on day 7 and disappeared completely by day 15. The death rate was more variable amongst the TES-treated rats than in the control group. Morphological analysis revealed that average cell size changed significantly in the control group but not in stimulated animals and the morphological alterations of surviving neurons were smaller in TES-treated compared to control cells. In conclusion, TES delays post-traumatic cell death significantly. Moreover, we found "responder animals" which also benefited in the long-term from the treatment. Our in vivo cellular imaging results provide evidence that TES reduces ONC-associated neuronal swelling and shrinkage especially in RGCs which survived long-term. Further studies are now needed to determine the differences of responders vs. non-responders.

  19. Actin-myosin network influences morphological response of neuronal cells to altered osmolarity.

    PubMed

    Bober, Brian G; Love, James M; Horton, Steven M; Sitnova, Mariya; Shahamatdar, Sina; Kannan, Ajay; Shah, Sameer B

    2015-04-01

    Acute osmotic fluctuations in the brain occur during a number of clinical conditions and can result in a variety of adverse neurological symptoms. Osmotic perturbation can cause changes in the volumes of intra- and extracellular fluid and, due to the rigidity of the skull, can alter intracranial pressure thus making it difficult to analyze purely osmotic effects in vivo. The present study aims to determine the effects of changes in osmolarity on SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells in vitro, and the role of the actin-myosin network in regulating this response. Cells were exposed to hyper- or hypoosmotic media and morphological and cytoskeletal responses were recorded. Hyperosmotic shock resulted in a drop in cell body volume and planar area, a persisting shape deformation, and increases in cellular translocation. Hypoosmotic shock did not significantly alter planar area, but caused a transient increase in cell body volume and an increase in cellular translocation via the development of small protrusions rich in actin. Disruption of the actin-myosin network with latrunculin and blebbistatin resulted in changes to volume and shape regulation, and a decrease in cellular translocation. In both osmotic perturbations, no apparent disruptions to cytoskeletal integrity were observed by light microscopy. Overall, because osmotically induced changes persisted even after volume regulation occurred, it is possible that osmotic stress may play a larger role in neurological dysfunction than currently believed.

  20. Oestradiol and progesterone differentially alter cytoskeletal protein expression and flame cell morphology in Taenia crassiceps.

    PubMed

    Ambrosio, Javier R; Ostoa-Saloma, Pedro; Palacios-Arreola, M Isabel; Ruíz-Rosado, Azucena; Sánchez-Orellana, Pedro L; Reynoso-Ducoing, Olivia; Nava-Castro, Karen E; Martínez-Velázquez, Nancy; Escobedo, Galileo; Ibarra-Coronado, Elizabeth G; Valverde-Islas, Laura; Morales-Montor, Jorge

    2014-09-01

    We examined the effects of oestradiol (E2) and progesterone (P4) on cytoskeletal protein expression in the helminth Taenia crassiceps - specifically actin, tubulin and myosin. These proteins assemble into flame cells, which constitute the parasite excretory system. Total protein extracts were obtained from E2- and P4-treated T. crassiceps cysticerci and untreated controls, and analysed by one- and two-dimensional protein electrophoresis, flow cytometry, immunofluorescence and videomicroscopy. Exposure of T. crassiceps cysticerci to E2 and P4 induced differential protein expression patterns compared with untreated controls. Changes in actin, tubulin and myosin expression were confirmed by flow cytometry of parasite cells and immunofluorescence. In addition, parasite morphology was altered in response to E2 and P4 versus controls. Flame cells were primarily affected at the level of the ciliary tuft, in association with the changes in actin, tubulin and myosin. We conclude that oestradiol and progesterone act directly on T. crassiceps cysticerci, altering actin, tubulin and myosin expression and thus affecting the assembly and function of flame cells. Our results increase our understanding of several aspects of the molecular crosstalk between host and parasite, which might be useful in designing anthelmintic drugs that exclusively impair parasitic proteins which mediate cell signaling and pathogenic reproduction and establishment.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  3. ACTIVE REGION MORPHOLOGIES SELECTED FROM NEAR-SIDE HELIOSEISMIC DATA

    SciTech Connect

    MacDonald, G. A.; McAteer, R. T. J.; Henney, C. J.; Arge, C. N.; Díaz Alfaro, M.; González Hernández, I.; Lindsey, C.

    2015-07-01

    We estimate the morphology of near-side active regions using near-side helioseismology. Active regions from two data sets, Air Force Data Assimilative Photospheric flux Transport synchronic maps and Global Oscillation Network Group near-side helioseismic maps, were matched and their morphologies compared. Our algorithm recognizes 382 helioseismic active regions between 2002 April 25 and 2005 December 31 and matches them to their corresponding magnetic active regions with 100% success. A magnetic active region occupies 30% of the area of its helioseismic signature. Recovered helioseismic tilt angles are in good agreement with magnetic tilt angles. Approximately 20% of helioseismic active regions can be decomposed into leading and trailing polarity. Leading polarity components show no discernible scaling relationship, but trailing magnetic polarity components occupy approximately 25% of the area of the trailing helioseismic component. A nearside phase-magnetic calibration is in close agreement with a previous far-side helioseismic calibration and provides confidence that these morphological relationships can be used with far-side helioseismic data. Including far-side active region morphology in synchronic maps will have implications for coronal magnetic topology predictions and solar wind forecasts.

  4. Active Region Morphologies Selected From Near-side Helioseismic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, Gordon Andrew; Henney, Carl; Diaz Alfaro, Manuel; Gonzalez Hernandez, Irene; Arge, Nick; Lindsey, Charles; McAteer, James

    2015-04-01

    We estimate the morphology of near-side active regions using near-side helioseismology. Active regions from two data sets, ADAPT synchronic maps and GONG near-side helioseismic maps, were matched and their morphologies compared. Our algorithm recognizes 382 helioseismic active regions between 2002 April 25 and 2005 December 31 and matches them to their corresponding magnetic active regions with 100% success. A magnetic active region occupies 30% of the area of its helioseismic signature. Recovered helioseismic tilt angles are in good agreement with magnetic tilt angles. Approximately 20% of helioseismic active regions can be decomposed into leading and trailing polarity. Leading polarity components show no discernible scaling relationship, but trailing magnetic polarity components occupy approximately 25% of the area of the trailing helioseismic component. A nearside phase-magnetic calibration is in close agreement with a previous far-side helioseismic calibration and provides confidence that these morphological relationships can be used with far-side helioseismic data. Including far-side active region morphology in synchronic maps will have implications for coronal magnetic topology predictions and solar wind forecasts.

  5. Active Region Morphologies Selected from Near-side Helioseismic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, G. A.; Henney, C. J.; Díaz Alfaro, M.; González Hernández, I.; Arge, C. N.; Lindsey, C.; McAteer, R. T. J.

    2015-07-01

    We estimate the morphology of near-side active regions using near-side helioseismology. Active regions from two data sets, Air Force Data Assimilative Photospheric flux Transport synchronic maps and Global Oscillation Network Group near-side helioseismic maps, were matched and their morphologies compared. Our algorithm recognizes 382 helioseismic active regions between 2002 April 25 and 2005 December 31 and matches them to their corresponding magnetic active regions with 100% success. A magnetic active region occupies 30% of the area of its helioseismic signature. Recovered helioseismic tilt angles are in good agreement with magnetic tilt angles. Approximately 20% of helioseismic active regions can be decomposed into leading and trailing polarity. Leading polarity components show no discernible scaling relationship, but trailing magnetic polarity components occupy approximately 25% of the area of the trailing helioseismic component. A nearside phase-magnetic calibration is in close agreement with a previous far-side helioseismic calibration and provides confidence that these morphological relationships can be used with far-side helioseismic data. Including far-side active region morphology in synchronic maps will have implications for coronal magnetic topology predictions and solar wind forecasts.

  6. Serine racemase deletion disrupts memory for order and alters cortical dendritic morphology

    PubMed Central

    DeVito, Loren M.; Balu, Darrick T.; Kanter, Benjamin R.; Lykken, Christine; Basu, Alo C.; Coyle, Joseph T.; Eichenbaum, Howard

    2012-01-01

    There is substantial evidence implicating N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) in memory and cognition. It has also been suggested that NMDAR hypofunction might underlie the cognitive deficits observed in schizophrenia since morphological changes, including alterations in the dendritic architecture of pyramidal neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), have been reported in the schizophrenic brain post mortem. Here, we used a genetic model of NMDAR hypofunction, a serine racemase knockout (SR−/−) mouse in which the first coding exon of the mouse serine racemase gene has been deleted, to explore the role of d-serine in regulating cognitive functions as well as dendritic architecture. SR −/− mice exhibited a significantly disrupted representation of the order of events in distinct experiences as revealed by object recognition and odor sequence tests; however, SR −/− animals were unimpaired in the detection of novel objects and in spatial displacement, and showed intact relational memory in a test of transitive inference. In addition, SR −/− mice exhibited normal sociability and preference for social novelty. Neurons in the medial PFC of SR−/− mice displayed reductions in the complexity, total length, and spine density of apical dendrites. These findings demonstrate that d-serine is important for specific aspects of cognition, as well as in regulating dendritic morphology of pyramidal neurons in the mPFC. Moreover, they suggest that NMDAR hypofunction might, in part, be responsible for the cognitive deficits and synaptic changes associated with schizophrenia, and highlight this signaling pathway as a potential target for therapeutic intervention. PMID:21029376

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Growth Inhibition and Morphological Alteration of Fusarium sporotrichioides by Mentha piperita Essential Oil

    PubMed Central

    Rachitha, P.; Krupashree, K.; Jayashree, G. V.; Gopalan, Natarajan; Khanum, Farhath

    2017-01-01

    Objective: The aim of this study is to determine the phytochemical composition, antifungal activity of Mentha piperita essential oil (MPE) against Fusarium sporotrichioides. Methods: The phytochemical composition was conducted by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC MS) analysis and mycelia growth inhibition was determined by minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC), the morphological characterization was observed by scanning electron microscopy. Finally, the membrane permeability was determined by the release of extracellular constituents, pH, and total lipid content. Result: In GC MS analysis, 22 metabolites were identified such as menthol, l menthone, pulegone, piperitone, caryophyllene, menthol acetate, etc. The antifungal activity against targeted pathogen, with MIC and MFC 500 μg/mL and 1000 μg/mL, respectively. The MPE altered the morphology of F. sporotrichoides hyphae with the loss of cytoplasm content and contorted the mycelia. The increasing concentration of MPE showed increase in membrane permeability of F. sporotrichoides as evidenced by the release of extracellular constituents and pH with the disruption of cell membrane indicating decrease in lipid content of F. sporotrichoides. Conclusion: The observed results showed that MPE exhibited promising new antifungal agent against Fusarium sporotrichioides. SUMMARY F. sporotrichioides, filamentous fungi contaminate to corn and corn--based productsF. sporotrichioides mainly responsible for the production of T-2 toxinPhytochemical composition was conducted by gas chromatography--mass spectrometry analysisMentha piperita essential oil (MPE) is commonly known as peppermintThe F. sporotrichioides growth was inhibited by MPE (minimum inhibitory concentration, minimum fungicidal concentration)Morphological observation by scanning electron microscope. Abbreviations Used: Cfu: Colony forming unit; DMSO: Dimethyl sulfoxide, °C: Degree celsius; F. Sporotrichoides

  9. Synthesis of morphology-controlled bismutite for selective applications.

    PubMed

    Selvamani, Thangavel; Gnana Sundara Raj, Balasubramaniam; Anandan, Sambandam; Wu, Jerry J; Ashokkumar, Muthupandian

    2016-03-21

    Bismutite (Bi2O2CO3) possessing diverse morphologies, namely nanosheets, nanodiscs and nanoplatelets, was synthesized by a simple controllable method using bismuth nitrate pentahydrate and urea as precursors in a water/ethylene glycol mixture. The as-synthesized samples showed unique physical and chemical properties, such as varying morphology, phase identification, chemical composition, surface area and surface potential. Bi2O2CO3 nanosheets exhibited excellent adsorption capabilities for anionic dyes (acid orange 7 and methyl orange) and high photocatalytic performance for the decolorization of cationic dyes (rhodamine B and methylene blue) under simulated solar illumination. Furthermore, the electrochemical performance of Bi2O2CO3 nanosheets showed good capacitance properties and hence could be a potential candidate for electrode materials in energy related applications.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-29

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-13

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

  13. Morphological alterations of central nervous system (CNS) myelin in vanadium (V)-exposed adult rats.

    PubMed

    García, Graciela B; Quiroga, Ariel D; Stürtz, Nelson; Martinez, Alejandra I; Biancardi, María E

    2004-08-01

    In the present work we show morphological data of the in vivo susceptibility of CNS myelin to sodium metavanadate [V(+5)] in adult rats. The possible role of vanadium in behavioral alterations and in brain lipid peroxidation was also investigated. Animals were injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) with 3 mg/kg body weight (bw) of sodium metavanadate [1.25 V/kg bw/day] for 5 consecutive days. Open field and rotarod tests were performed the day after the last dose had been administered and then animals were sacrificed by different methods for histological and lipid peroxidation studies. The present results show that intraperitoneal administration of V(+5) to adult rats resulted in changes in locomotor activity, specific myelin stainings and lipid peroxidation in some brain areas. They support the notion that CNS myelin could be a preferential target of V(+5)-mediated lipid peroxidation in adult rats. The mechanisms underlying this action could affect the myelin sheath leading to behavioral perturbations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  15. Acute nephropathy induced by gold sodium thiomalate: alterations in renal heme metabolism and morphology.

    PubMed

    Eiseman, J L; Ribas, J L; Knight, E; Alvares, A P

    1987-11-01

    Gold compounds are used clinically in rheumatoid arthritis therapy. Acute renal toxicity is observed in some patients receiving chrysotherapy. The present study addresses morphofunctional and biochemical changes in rat kidneys during the first 8 days following a single ip injection of gold sodium thiomalate (AuTM), one of the gold compounds presently in clinical use. Compared to controls, AuTM pretreatment resulted in increased urine output and elevated serum creatinine and urea nitrogen concentrations. Also, by Day 8, treated rats had decreased body weights and increased kidney weights. Postmortem examination on Day 1 showed pale and mottled kidneys and diffusely pale inner cortex. Microscopically, there was severe coagulative necrosis of the proximal tubular epithelium. Epithelial regeneration was prominent by Day 4 and was nearly complete by Day 8. The regenerating epithelium was hyperplastic with basophilic cytoplasm and pleomorphic nuclei. Alterations in renal heme biosynthesis and drug metabolism paralleled the morphologic changes. The activity of delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase and benzo[a]pyrene hydroxylase were inhibited on Days 1, 2, and 4 following AuTM administration. Decreases in monooxygenase activity were accompanied by decreases in renal cytochrome P-450 levels. In contrast, renal microsomal heme oxygenase activity was elevated 9.5-fold on Day 1 and 2.5-fold on Day 2. By Day 8, all renal enzymatic activities assayed for were similar to those obtained with untreated rats.

  16. Overexpression of a type-A response regulator alters rice morphology and cytokinin metabolism.

    PubMed

    Hirose, Naoya; Makita, Nobue; Kojima, Mikiko; Kamada-Nobusada, Tomoe; Sakakibara, Hitoshi

    2007-03-01

    Genome-wide analyses of rice (Oryza sativa L.) cytokinin (CK)-responsive genes using the Affymetrix GeneChip(R) rice genome array were conducted to define the spectrum of genes subject to regulation by CK in monocotyledonous plants. Application of trans-zeatin modulated the expression of a wide variety of genes including those involved in hormone signaling and metabolism, transcriptional regulation, macronutrient transport and protein synthesis. To understand further the function of CK in rice plants, we examined the effects of in planta manipulation of a putative CK signaling factor on morphology, CK metabolism and expression of CK-responsive genes. Overexpression of the CK-inducible type-A response regulator OsRR6 abolished shoot regeneration, suggesting that OsRR6 acts as a negative regulator of CK signaling. Transgenic lines overexpressing OsRR6 (OsRR6-ox) had dwarf phenotypes with poorly developed root systems and panicles. Increased content of trans-zeatin-type CKs in OsRR6-ox lines indicates that homeostatic control of CK levels is regulated by OsRR6 signaling. Expression of genes encoding CK oxidase/dehydrogenase decreased in OsRR6-ox plants, possibly accounting for elevated CK levels in transgenic lines. Expression of a number of stress response genes was also altered in OsRR6-ox plants.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Study of laser uncaging induced morphological alteration of rat cortical neurites using atomic force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Tian, Jian; Tu, Chunlong; Liang, Yitao; Zhou, Jian; Ye, Xuesong

    2015-09-30

    Activity-dependent structural remodeling is an important aspect of neuronal plasticity. In the previous researches, neuronal structure variations resulting from external interventions were detected by the imaging instruments such as the fluorescence microscopy, the scanning/transmission electron microscopy (SEM/TEM) and the laser confocal microscopy. In this article, a new platform which combined the photochemical stimulation with atomic force microscopy (AFM) was set up to detect the activity-dependent structural remodeling. In the experiments, the cortical neurites on the glass coverslips were stimulated by locally uncaged glutamate under the ultraviolet (UV) laser pulses, and a calcium-related structural collapse of neurites (about 250 nm height decrease) was observed by an AFM. This was the first attempt to combine the laser uncaging with AFM in living cell researches. With the advantages of highly localized stimulation (<5 μm), super resolution imaging (<3.8 nm), and convenient platform building, this system was suitable for the quantitative observation of the neuron mechanical property variations and morphological alterations modified by neural activities under different photochemical stimulations, which would be helpful for studying physiological and pathological mechanisms of structural and functional changes induced by the biomolecule acting.

  19. Air pollution impairs cognition, provokes depressive-like behaviors and alters hippocampal cytokine expression and morphology.

    PubMed

    Fonken, L K; Xu, X; Weil, Z M; Chen, G; Sun, Q; Rajagopalan, S; Nelson, R J

    2011-10-01

    Particulate matter air pollution is a pervasive global risk factor implicated in the genesis of pulmonary and cardiovascular disease. Although the effects of prolonged exposure to air pollution are well characterized with respect to pulmonary and cardiovascular function, comparatively little is known about the impact of particulate matter on affective and cognitive processes. The central nervous system may be adversely affected by activation of reactive oxygen species and pro-inflammatory pathways that accompany particulate matter pollution. Thus, we investigated whether long-term exposure to ambient fine airborne particulate matter (<2.5 μm (PM(2.5))) affects cognition, affective responses, hippocampal inflammatory cytokines and neuronal morphology. Male mice were exposed to either PM(2.5) or filtered air (FA) for 10 months. PM(2.5) mice displayed more depressive-like responses and impairments in spatial learning and memory as compared with mice exposed to FA. Hippocampal pro-inflammatory cytokine expression was elevated among PM(2.5) mice. Apical dendritic spine density and dendritic branching were decreased in the hippocampal CA1 and CA3 regions, respectively, of PM(2.5) mice. Taken together, these data suggest that long-term exposure to particulate air pollution levels typical of exposure in major cities around the globe can alter affective responses and impair cognition.

  20. Morphological and molecular characterization of selected Ramaria mycorrhizae.

    PubMed

    Nouhra, Eduardo R; Horton, Thomas R; Cazares, Efren; Castellano, Michael

    2005-01-01

    Ramaria species are conspicuous mycorrhizal symbionts of conifers in the Pacific Northwest. Here we collected and identified sporocarps and associated ectomycorrhizae of Ramaria acrisiccescens Marr & Stuntz, R. cyaneigranosa Marr & Stuntz, R. sandaracina Marr & Stuntz, R. celerivirescens Marr & Stuntz, and R. flavobrunnescens var. aromatica Marr & Stuntz. An internal transcribed spacer (ITS)- restriction fragment length polymorphism pattern was observed for each of the Ramaria species and used as a diagnostic tool to support the identification of mycorrhizae occurring in mats below the sporocarps. We provide a description of ectomycorrhizae of Ramaria, which exhibit similar macro- and microscopic characteristics such as ramification pattern, coloration, abundance of mycelial strands and emanating hyphae, mantle morphology and chemical reactions of mantle and mycelial strands with KOH, FeSO4 and Melzer's reagent. Sequences of the ITS region for each of the species are deposited in the GenBank.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  2. Invertebrate predation selects for the loss of a morphological antipredator trait.

    PubMed

    Mikolajewski, Dirk Johannes; Johansson, Frank; Wohlfahrt, Bianca; Stoks, Robby

    2006-06-01

    Antagonistic selection by different predators has been suggested to underlie variation in morphological antipredator traits among and within species. Direct empirical proof is equivocal, however, given the potential interrelationships of morphological and behavioral traits. Here, we tested whether spines in larvae of the dragonfly Leucorrhinia caudalis, which are selected for by fish predators, are selected against by invertebrate aeshnid predators. Using a manipulative approach by cutting spines instead of making comparisons among species or inducing spines, we were able to decouple the presence of spines from other potentially covarying morphological antipredator traits. Results showed survival selection for the loss of spines imposed by invertebrate predation. Moreover, spined and nonspined larval L. caudalis did not differ in the key antipredator behaviors, activity level, and escape burst swimming speed. The observed higher mortality of spined larvae can therefore be directly linked to selection by aeshnid predation against spines.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-01-05

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. The quick and the dead: correlational selection on morphology, performance, and habitat use in island lizards.

    PubMed

    Calsbeek, Ryan; Irschick, Duncan J

    2007-11-01

    Natural selection is an important driver of microevolution. Yet, despite significant theoretical debate, we still have a poor understanding of how selection operates on interacting traits (i.e., morphology, performance, habitat use). Locomotor performance is often assumed to impact survival because of its key role in foraging, predator escape, and social interactions, and shows strong links with morphology and habitat use within and among species. In particular, decades of study suggest, but have not yet demonstrated, that natural selection on locomotor performance has shaped the diversification of Anolis lizards in the Greater Antilles. Here, we estimate natural selection on sprinting speed and endurance in small replicate island populations of Anolis sagrei. Consistent with past correlational studies, long-limbed lizards ran faster on broad surfaces but also had increased sprint sensitivity on narrow surfaces. Moreover, performance differences were adaptive in the wild. Selection favored long-limbed lizards that were fast on broad surfaces, and preferred broad substrates in nature, and also short-limbed lizards that were less sprint sensitive on narrow surfaces, and preferred narrow perches in nature. This finding is unique in showing that selection does not act on performance alone, but rather on unique combinations of performance, morphology, and habitat use. Our results support the long-standing hypothesis that correlated selection on locomotor performance, morphology, and habitat use drives the evolution of ecomorphological correlations within Caribbean Anolis lizards, potentially providing a microevolutionary mechanism for their remarkable adaptive radiation.

  8. Thermally contingent plasticity: temperature alters expression of predator-induced colour and morphology in a Neotropical treefrog tadpole.

    PubMed

    Touchon, Justin Charles; Warkentin, Karen Michelle

    2011-01-01

    1. Behavioural, morphological and coloration plasticity are common responses of prey to predation risk. Theory predicts that prey should respond to the relative magnitude of risk, rather than a single level of response to any risk level. In addition to conspecific and predator densities, prey growth and differentiation rates affect the duration of vulnerability to size- and stage-limited predators and therefore the relative value of defences. 2. We reared tadpoles of the Neotropical treefrog Dendropsophus ebraccatus with or without cues from a predator (Belostoma sp.) in ecologically relevant warm or cool temperatures. To track phenotypic changes, we measured morphology, tail coloration and developmental stage at three points during the larval period. 3. Cues from predators interacted with growth conditions causing tadpoles to alter their phenotype, changing only tail colour in response to predators in warm water, but both morphology and colour in cool growth conditions. Tadpoles with predators in warm water altered coloration early but converged on the morphology of predator-free controls. Water temperature alone had no effect on tadpole phenotype. 4. We demonstrate that seemingly small variation in abiotic environmental conditions can alter the expression of phenotypic plasticity, consistent with predictions about how growth rate affects risk. Predator-induced tadpole phenotypes depended on temperature, with strong expression only in temperatures that slow development. Thermal modulation of plastic responses to predators may be broadly relevant to poikilotherm development. It is important to include a range of realistic growth conditions in experiments to more fully understand the ecological and evolutionary significance of plasticity.

  9. Arabidopsis ERECTA-family receptor kinases mediate morphological alterations stimulated by activation of NB-LRR-type UNI proteins.

    PubMed

    Uchida, Naoyuki; Igari, Kadunari; Bogenschutz, Naomi L; Torii, Keiko U; Tasaka, Masao

    2011-05-01

    Shoot apical meristems (SAMs), which maintain stem cells at the tips of stems, and axillary meristems (AMs), which arise at leaf axils for branch formation, play significant roles in the establishment of plant architecture. Previously, we showed that, in Arabidopsis thaliana, activation of NB-LRR (nucleotide-binding site-leucine-rich repeat)-type UNI proteins affects plant morphology through modulation of the regulation of meristems. However, information about genes involved in the processes was still lacking. Here, we report that ERECTA (ER) receptor kinase family members cooperatively mediate the morphological alterations that are stimulated by activation of UNI proteins. uni-1D is a gain-of-function mutation in the UNI gene and uni-1D mutants exhibit early termination of inflorescence stem growth and also formation of extra AMs at leaf axils. The former defect involves modulation of the SAM activity and is suppressed by er mutation. Though the AM phenotype is not affected by a single er mutation, it is suppressed by simultaneous mutations of ER-family members. It was previously shown that trans-zeatin (tZ)-type cytokinins were involved in the morphological phenotypes of uni-1D mutants and that expression of CYP735A2, which is essential for biosynthesis of tZ-type cytokinins, was modulated in uni-1D mutants. We show that this modulation of CYP735A2 expression requires activities of ER-family members. Moreover, the ER activity in UNI-expressing cells contributes to all morphological phenotypes of uni-1D mutants, suggesting that a cross-talk between ER-family-dependent and UNI-triggered signaling pathways plays a significant role in the morphological alterations observed in uni-1D mutants.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-15

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

  11. Aminothiol WR-1065 protects endothelial cell morphology against alterations induced by lipopolysaccharide.

    PubMed

    Podolski, J L; Mooteri, S N; Drab-Weiss, E A; Onoda, J M; Saclarides, T J; Rubin, D B

    1998-12-01

    In septic patients, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) damages the vascular endothelium, which manifests as tissue edema and impaired healing. This pathology occurs when LPS distorts endothelial cell morphology partly by generating free radicals. A radioprotector that scavenges free radicals, the aminothiol WR-1065 ([N-2-mercaptoethyl]-1-3-diaminopropane) was found in a prior study to normalize the morphology of irradiated endothelial cells (Mooteri SN, Podolski JL, Drab EA, et al: Radiat Res 145:217-224, 1996). The aim of this study was to determine whether WR-1065 also normalized endothelial cell morphology following exposure to LPS. For this aim, portions of bovine aortic endothelial cell cultures were denuded and exposed to LPS at 1 ng/mL. After 30 min, the apical membrane expressed increased integrin receptor to fibronectin, alpha5beta1. After 5 h, the morphology of the cells at the leading edge was distorted, and cell-cell contact was lessened. Also, filamentous actin-containing stress fibers were dissipated; however, filamentous actin content per cell was unchanged. Treatment with 2 mM WR-1065 for 2 h prior to LPS exposure attenuated the increased expression of alpha5beta1 and promoted cell-cell contact in the migrating endothelial cells. WR-1065 also promoted the retention of stress fibers and actin cytoskeletal shape in cells treated with LPS. Thus, LPS distorted endothelial cell morphology after increasing apical membrane expression of alpha5beta1 and dissipating stress fibers, effects prevented by WR-1065.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  13. Knee Moment-Angle Characteristics and Semitendinosus Muscle Morphology in Children with Spastic Paresis Selected for Medial Hamstring Lengthening

    PubMed Central

    Haberfehlner, Helga; Jaspers, Richard T.; Rutz, Erich; Becher, Jules G.; Harlaar, Jaap; van der Sluijs, Johannes A.; Witbreuk, Melinda M.; Romkes, Jacqueline; Freslier, Marie; Brunner, Reinald

    2016-01-01

    To increase knee range of motion and improve gait in children with spastic paresis (SP), the semitendinosus muscle (ST) amongst other hamstring muscles is frequently lengthened by surgery, but with variable success. Little is known about how the pre-surgical mechanical and morphological characteristics of ST muscle differ between children with SP and typically developing children (TD). The aims of this study were to assess (1) how knee moment-angle characteristics and ST morphology in children with SP selected for medial hamstring lengthening differ from TD children, as well as (2) how knee moment-angle characteristics and ST morphology are related. In nine SP and nine TD children, passive knee moment-angle characteristics and morphology of ST (i.e. fascicle length, muscle belly length, tendon length, physiological cross-sectional area, and volume) were assessed by hand-held dynamometry and freehand 3D ultrasound, respectively. At net knee flexion moments above 0.5 Nm, more flexed knee angles were found for SP compared to TD children. The measured knee angle range between 0 and 4 Nm was 30% smaller in children with SP. Muscle volume, physiological cross-sectional area, and fascicle length normalized to femur length were smaller in SP compared to TD children (62%, 48%, and 18%, respectively). Sixty percent of the variation in knee angles at 4 Nm net knee moment was explained by ST fascicle length. Altered knee moment-angle characteristics indicate an increased ST stiffness in SP children. Morphological observations indicate that in SP children planned for medial hamstring lengthening, the longitudinal and cross-sectional growth of ST muscle fibers is reduced. The reduced fascicle length can partly explain the increased ST stiffness and, hence, a more flexed knee joint in these SP children. PMID:27861523

  14. Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin exposure alters radial arm maze performance and hippocampal morphology in female AhR mice.

    PubMed

    Powers, B E; Lin, T-M; Vanka, A; Peterson, R E; Juraska, J M; Schantz, S L

    2005-02-01

    Perinatal exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) has been reported to alter spatial learning in rats tested on a radial arm maze (RAM). TCDD is believed to exert most of its effects through binding to the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). To determine whether the AhR mediates TCDD-induced alterations in spatial learning, we tested male and female AhR-knockout (AhR-/-), heterozygous (AhR+/-) and wild-type (AhR+/+) mice on the RAM. AhR+/- male and female mice were time mated, and treated dams were dosed with 5 microg TCDD/kg body weight on day 13 of gestation. When offspring reached adulthood, male and female AhR+/+, AhR+/- and AhR-/- mice from TCDD-exposed and unexposed litters were tested on the eight-arm RAM. After testing, we examined hippocampal morphology as visualized by the Timm's silver sulfide stain. TCDD-exposed female AhR+/- mice made more errors than their respective controls on the RAM and exhibited a decrease in the size of the intra- and infrapyramidal mossy fiber (IIP-MF) field of the hippocampus. None of the other TCDD-exposed groups differed from their respective control groups with regard to maze performance or hippocampal morphology. The reduction of IIP-MF field indicates a possible morphological basis for the learning deficit that was observed in the female AhR+/- mice. It is hypothesized that the effect of TCDD exposure is AhR dependent and that TCDD may alter GABAergic activity in the hippocampus of female mice during development.

  15. Should the presence of minimal residual disease (MRD) in morphologic complete remission alter post-remission strategy in AML?

    PubMed

    Stone, Richard M

    2011-12-01

    Minimal residual disease (MRD) monitoring, particularly via multiparameter flow (MPF) cytometry assessed after chemotherapy, has been very useful in the prognostic and therapeutic approach for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. While many studies suggest that MRD monitoring (using MPF or other techniques that are more sensitive than morphologic examination) might be able to accurately predict patient outcome, there is very little data suggesting that treatment decisions should be altered based on such measurements. Proving that MPF-defined MRD should prompt a change in treatment plan optimally requires a contemporaneous control group or at least a historical control treated in standard fashion.

  16. Induced defences alter the strength and direction of natural selection on reproductive traits in common milkweed.

    PubMed

    Thompson, K A; Cory, K A; Johnson, M T J

    2017-01-30

    Evolutionary biologists have long sought to understand the ecological processes that generate plant reproductive diversity. Recent evidence indicates that constitutive antiherbivore defences can alter natural selection on reproductive traits, but it is unclear whether induced defences will have the same effect and whether reduced foliar damage in defended plants is the cause of this pattern. In a factorial field experiment using common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca L., we induced plant defences using jasmonic acid (JA) and imposed foliar damage using scissors. We found that JA-induced plants experienced selection for more inflorescences that were smaller in size (fewer flowers), whereas control plants only experienced a trend towards selection for larger inflorescences (more flowers); all effects were independent of foliar damage. Our results demonstrate that induced defences can alter both the strength and direction of selection on reproductive traits, and suggest that antiherbivore defences may promote the evolution of plant reproductive diversity.

  17. Adolescent nicotine alters dendritic morphology in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kelsey C; Ehlinger, Daniel G; Smith, Robert F

    2015-03-17

    Adolescent nicotine increases dendritic elaboration in several areas associated with the extended amygdala. It also increases anxiety-like behavior in adulthood. An unresolved question is whether adolescent nicotine alters dendritic structure in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), which may contribute to altered anxiety-like behavior. To investigate this possibility, adolescent male Sprague-Dawley rats were administered nicotine (0.5mg/kg/day) 3 days a week for 2 consecutive weeks, starting at postnatal day P (32). 17 days following the end of dosing, brains were processed for Golgi-Cox staining, and neurons were digitally reconstructed in three dimensions. Animals previously treated with nicotine exhibited an increase in the total number of branches and total length of dendrites on BNST neurons. Sholl analysis revealed an increase in the number of intersections with concentric spheres, increased amount of dendritic material within concentric spheres, and an increase of dendritic branching within concentric spheres occurring between 20 and 300 μm from the soma in dendrites. Collectively, our results show that adolescent nicotine alters dendritic structure (by triggering new branch growth), and, by inference, connectivity of the BNST, which may contribute to alterations in behavior induced by adolescent nicotine.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weiler, Brian

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Growth factor signaling alters the morphology of the zebrafish ethmoid plate.

    PubMed

    Cusack, Brian J; Parsons, Trish E; Weinberg, Seth M; Vieira, Alexandre R; Szabo-Rogers, Heather L

    2017-02-28

    Craniofacial development relies on coordinated tissue interactions that allow for patterning and growth of the face. We know a priori that the Wingless, fibroblast growth factor, Hedgehog and transforming growth factor-beta growth factor signaling pathways are required for the development of the face, but how they contribute to the shape of the face is largely untested. Here, we test how each signaling pathway contributes to the overall morphology of the zebrafish anterior neurocranium. We tested the contribution of each signaling pathway to the development of the ethmoid plate during three distinct time periods: the time of neural crest migration [10 hour post fertilization (hpf)]; once the neural crest is resident in the face (20 hpf); and finally at the time at which the cartilaginous condensations are being initiated (48 hpf). Using geometric morphometric analysis, we conclude that each signaling pathway contributes to the shape, size and morphology of the ethmoid plate in a dose-, and time-dependent fashion.

  20. Morphological alterations on Citrobacter freundii bacteria induced by erythrosine dye and laser light.

    PubMed

    Silva, Josmary R; Cardoso, Gleidson; Maciel, Rafael R G; de Souza, Nara C

    2015-01-01

    The effect of the laser irradiation (532 nm) on films prepared from Citrobacter freundii mixed with erythrosine dye was investigated by using atomic force microscopy. It was observed that morphological changes of bacterial surfaces after irradiations, which were attributed to cellular damage of the outer membranes, are a result of a photodynamic effect. The results suggested that the combination of erythrosine and laser light at 532 nm could be a candidate to a photodynamic therapy against C. freundii.

  1. Genomic variations leading to alterations in cell morphology of Campylobacter spp

    PubMed Central

    Esson, Diane; Mather, Alison E.; Scanlan, Eoin; Gupta, Srishti; de Vries, Stefan P. W.; Bailey, David; Harris, Simon R.; McKinley, Trevelyan J.; Méric, Guillaume; Berry, Sophia K.; Mastroeni, Pietro; Sheppard, Samuel K.; Christie, Graham; Thomson, Nicholas R.; Parkhill, Julian; Maskell, Duncan J.; Grant, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Campylobacter jejuni, the most common cause of bacterial diarrhoeal disease, is normally helical. However, it can also adopt straight rod, elongated helical and coccoid forms. Studying how helical morphology is generated, and how it switches between its different forms, is an important objective for understanding this pathogen. Here, we aimed to determine the genetic factors involved in generating the helical shape of Campylobacter. A C. jejuni transposon (Tn) mutant library was screened for non-helical mutants with inconsistent results. Whole genome sequence variation and morphological trends within this Tn library, and in various C. jejuni wild type strains, were compared and correlated to detect genomic elements associated with helical and rod morphologies. All rod-shaped C. jejuni Tn mutants and all rod-shaped laboratory, clinical and environmental C. jejuni and Campylobacter coli contained genetic changes within the pgp1 or pgp2 genes, which encode peptidoglycan modifying enzymes. We therefore confirm the importance of Pgp1 and Pgp2 in the maintenance of helical shape and extended this to a wide range of C. jejuni and C. coli isolates. Genome sequence analysis revealed variation in the sequence and length of homopolymeric tracts found within these genes, providing a potential mechanism of phase variation of cell shape. PMID:27910897

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Acute melatonin treatment alters dendritic morphology and circadian clock gene expression in the hippocampus of Siberian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Ikeno, Tomoko; Nelson, Randy J

    2015-02-01

    In the hippocampus of Siberian hamsters, dendritic length and dendritic complexity increase in the CA1 region whereas dendritic spine density decreases in the dentate gyrus region at night. However, the underlying mechanism of the diurnal rhythmicity in hippocampal neuronal remodeling is unknown. In mammals, most daily rhythms in physiology and behaviors are regulated by a network of circadian clocks. The central clock, located in the hypothalamus, controls melatonin secretion at night and melatonin modifies peripheral clocks by altering expression of circadian clock genes. In this study, we examined the effects of acute melatonin treatment on the circadian clock system as well as on morphological changes of hippocampal neurons. Male Siberian hamsters were injected with melatonin in the afternoon; 4 h later, mRNA levels of hypothalamic and hippocampal circadian clock genes and hippocampal neuron dendritic morphology were assessed. In the hypothalamus, melatonin treatment did not alter Period1 and Bmal1 expression. However, melatonin treatment increased both Period1 and Bmal1 expression in the hippocampus, suggesting that melatonin affected molecular oscillations in the hippocampus. Melatonin treatment also induced rapid remodeling of hippocampal neurons; melatonin increased apical dendritic length and dendritic complexity in the CA1 region and reduced the dendritic spine density in the dentate gyrus region. These data suggest that structural changes in hippocampal neurons are regulated by a circadian clock and that melatonin functions as a nighttime signal to coordinate the diurnal rhythm in neuronal remodeling.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Pronounced alterations in T-wave morphology during dipyridamole-induced ischaemia.

    PubMed

    Ferrando-Castagnetto, F; Ricca-Mallada, R; Ferrando-Castagnetto, R

    2016-01-01

    The case describes a 77-year-old woman with multivessel coronary disease exhibiting marked changes of T-wave morphology induced by dipyridamole, an unusual finding in which the diagnostic accuracy in this clinical context is uncertain. Gated-SPECT imaging demonstrated severe ischaemia extending through inferior and posterolateral regions of the left ventricle with normal motility and contractile function in response to vasodilator stress. Possible underlying mechanisms and clinical implications of observed electrocardiographic changes are discussed. T-loop modifications during vasodilator stress SPECT and correlation of these changes with the amount of ischaemic injury need further evaluation.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Said, Magdi A.

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. A Novel Approach To Improve the Efficiency of Block Freeze Concentration Using Ice Nucleation Proteins with Altered Ice Morphology.

    PubMed

    Jin, Jue; Yurkow, Edward J; Adler, Derek; Lee, Tung-Ching

    2017-03-09

    Freeze concentration is a separation process with high success in product quality. The remaining challenge is to achieve high efficiency with low cost. This study aims to evaluate the potential of using ice nucleation proteins (INPs) as an effective method to improve the efficiency of block freeze concentration while also exploring the related mechanism of ice morphology. Our results show that INPs are able to significantly improve the efficiency of block freeze concentration in a desalination model. Using this experimental system, we estimate that approximately 50% of the energy cost can be saved by the inclusion of INPs in desalination cycles while still meeting the EPA standard of drinking water (<500 ppm). Our investigative tools for ice morphology include optical microscopy and X-ray computed tomography imaging analysis. Their use indicates that INPs promote the development of a lamellar structured ice matrix with larger hydraulic diameters, which facilitates brine drainage and contains less brine entrapment as compared to control samples. These results suggest great potential for applying INPs to develop an energy-saving freeze concentration method via the alteration of ice morphology.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. Aging alters contractile properties and fiber morphology in pigeon skeletal muscle.

    PubMed

    Pistilli, Emidio E; Alway, Stephen E; Hollander, John M; Wimsatt, Jeffrey H

    2014-12-01

    In this study, we tested the hypothesis that skeletal muscle from pigeons would display age-related alterations in isometric force and contractile parameters as well as a shift of the single muscle fiber cross-sectional area (CSA) distribution toward smaller fiber sizes. Maximal force output, twitch contraction durations and the force-frequency relationship were determined in tensor propatagialis pars biceps muscle from young 3-year-old pigeons, middle-aged 18-year-old pigeons, and aged 30-year-old pigeons. The fiber CSA distribution was determined by planimetry from muscle sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Maximal force output of twitch and tetanic contractions was greatest in muscles from young pigeons, while the time to peak force of twitch contractions was longest in muscles from aged pigeons. There were no changes in the force-frequency relationship between the age groups. Interestingly, the fiber CSA distribution in aged muscles revealed a greater number of larger sized muscle fibers, which was verified visually in histological images. Middle-aged and aged muscles also displayed a greater amount of slow myosin containing muscle fibers. These data demonstrate that muscles from middle-aged and aged pigeons are susceptible to alterations in contractile properties that are consistent with aging, including lower force production and longer contraction durations. These functional changes were supported by the appearance of slow myosin containing muscle fibers in muscles from middle-aged and aged pigeons. Therefore, the pigeon may represent an appropriate animal model for the study of aging-related alterations in skeletal muscle function and structure.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  13. N-(2-Aminoethyl) Ethanolamine-Induced Morphological, Biochemical, and Biophysical Alterations in Vascular Matrix Associated With Dissecting Aortic Aneurysm

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Zhenping; Xu, Ya; Bujalowski, Paul; Oberhauser, Andres F.; Boor, Paul J.

    2015-01-01

    Dissecting aortic aneurysm (DAA) is an extended tear in the wall of the aorta along the plane of the vascular media. Our previous studies indicated in a developmental animal model, that DAA was related to pathological alteration in collagen, especially collagen type III. Accordingly, in the present studies, neonatal aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) and timed pregnant Sprague-Dawley rat dams were treated with N-(2-aminoethyl) ethanolamine (AEEA), which, as shown previously, causes DAA in offspring. Morphological changes in extracellular matrix (ECM) produced by VSMC in vitro were detailed with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and biochemical changes in cells and ECM produced by VSMCs were defined by Western blotting. Biophysical changes of the collagen extracted from both the ECM produced by VSMC and extracted from fetal rat aortas were studied with atomic force microscopy (AFM). ECM disruption and irregularities were observed in VSMCs treated with AEEA by SEM. Western blotting showed that collagen type I was much more extractable, accompanied by a decrease of the pellet size after urea buffer extraction in the AEEA-treated VSMC when compared with the control. AFM found that collagen samples extracted from the fetal rat aortas of the AEEA-treated dam, and in the in vitro formed ECM prepared by decellularization, became stiffer, or more brittle, indicating that the 3D organization associated with elasticity was altered by AEEA exposure. Our results show that AEEA causes significant morphological, biochemical, and biomechanical alterations in the ECM. These in vitro and in vivo strategies are advantageous in elucidating the underlying mechanisms of DAA. PMID:26443843

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

    PubMed Central

    Salois, Garrick; Smith, Jeffrey S.

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Rapid alteration of thalamocortical axon morphology follows peripheral damage in the neonatal rat.

    PubMed Central

    Catalano, S M; Robertson, R T; Killackey, H P

    1995-01-01

    The effect of day of birth (postnatal day 0; P0) infraorbital nerve section on the morphology of individual thalamocortical axons in rat somatosensory cortex was examined on P3. Thalamic fibers were labeled in fixed brains with the carbocyanine dye 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate, and individual photo-converted thalamocortical fibers were reconstructed. In normal animals on P3, axon arbor terminal formation within layer IV has commenced and terminal arbor width is comparable to that of a cortical "barrel." After infraorbital nerve section, the average width of thalamocortical terminal arbors is significantly greater than is the average arbor width of normal rats of the same age; however, neither the number of branches per terminal arbor nor total arbor length differs between groups. These observations suggest that the role of the periphery in guiding terminal arbor formation is exerted both very rapidly and at the level of the single thalamic axon. Further, these results indicate a close association between individual axon terminal arbor morphology and pattern formation in the rat somatosensory cortex. Images Fig. 1 PMID:7708683

  16. Accumulation of very-long-chain fatty acids in membrane glycerolipids is associated with dramatic alterations in plant morphology.

    PubMed Central

    Millar, A A; Wrischer, M; Kunst, L

    1998-01-01

    Transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing the Arabidopsis FATTY ACID ELONGATION1 gene under the control of the 35S promoter from cauliflower mosaic virus accumulated very-long-chain fatty acids (VLCFAs) throughout the plant. In some transformants, C20 and C22 VLCFAs accounted for >30% of the total fatty acids, accumulating at the expense of C16 and C18 fatty acids. These C20 and C22 fatty acids were incorporated into all of the major membrane glycerolipid classes. Plants with a high VLCFA content displayed a dramatically altered morphology, which included the failure of flowering shoots to elongate, a modified spatial pattern of siliques, an altered floral phenotype, and a large accumulation of anthocyanins. In addition, these plants also exhibited a unique alteration of the chloroplast membrane structure. We discuss a possible role for VLCFAs in establishing the shape/curvature of the membranes, which in turn may affect the shape of the cell and ultimately that of the whole plant. PMID:9811796

  17. Alterations in brain morphology and HSP70 expression in lizard embryos exposed to thermal stress.

    PubMed

    Simoniello, Palma; Esposito, Maria Grazia; Trinchella, Francesca; Motta, Chiara Maria; Scudiero, Rosaria

    2016-01-01

    The teratogenic effects of thermal stress were studied in the oviparous Italian wall lizard Podarcis sicula. To this purpose, the eggs were exposed to continuous or temporary cold (15°C) or warm (30°C) stresses and the effects were analysed at the cytological and molecular levels. The results demonstrated the lethality of the continuous regimes and of the warm temporary regime, no matter if given at early (5 days) or late (15 days) stages of development. Temporary cold stress also resulted in lethality, but only if given in the early stage; later, in fact, it resulted in an abnormal development, with marked alterations in the encephalic vesicles, in the eyes and the trunk organs. By in situ hybridization, it was demonstrated that these alterations were often correlated with changes in HSP70 expression. In conclusion, our data indicate that Podarcis embryos have a limited potential to tolerate thermal changes, especially warm ones. The average predicted temperature increase of 2-4°C in the next few decades could therefore represent a real threat for lizard populations living in temperate areas.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1983-01-01

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

  19. The selected response procedure: a variation on Appelbaum's altered atmosphere procedure for the Rorschach.

    PubMed

    Jaffe, L

    1988-01-01

    This article introduces the Selected Response Procedure, which is a supplementary technique for expanding the scope of the Rorschach test. The procedure is conducted as follows: After the standard administration of the Rorschach test, patients are asked to look through all of the cards a second time and select one more response from any card of their choice. A rationale for this procedure is developed through a comparison to another supplementary Rorschach technique, the Altered Atmosphere Procedure. The importance of understanding the selected response within a theoretical framework, as well as the clinical context of each selected response, is highlighted by a clinical example using object relations theory. Finally, a number of didactic questions are offered as potential ways to query the possible meaning of selected responses.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  1. Altered river morphology in south africa related to the permian-triassic extinction

    PubMed

    Ward; Montgomery; Smith

    2000-09-08

    The Permian-Triassic transition in the Karoo Basin of South Africa was characterized by a rapid and apparently basin-wide change from meandering to braided river systems, as evidenced by preserved sedimentary facies. This radical changeover in river morphology is consistent with geomorphic consequences stemming from a rapid and major die-off of rooted plant life in the basin. Evidence from correlative nonmarine strata elsewhere in the world containing fluvial Permian-Triassic boundary sections suggests that a catastrophic terrestrial die-off of vegetation was a global event, producing a marked increase in sediment yield as well as contributing to the global delta(13)C excursion across the Permian-Triassic boundary.

  2. Understory avifauna exhibits altered mobbing behavior in tropical forest degraded by selective logging.

    PubMed

    Hua, Fangyuan; Sieving, Kathryn E

    2016-11-01

    In understanding the impacts of selective logging on biodiversity, relatively little is known about the critical behavioral link between altered forest conditions and population persistence. Predator-mobbing is a widespread anti-predator behavior in birds that expresses a well-known trade-off influencing prey survival under predation risk. Here, we ask whether the predator-mobbing behavior of understory forest birds is altered by selective logging and associated forest structural changes in the highly endangered lowland rainforest of Sumatra. At four study sites spanning a gradient of logging-induced forest degradation, we used standardized mobbing and owl call playbacks with predator model presentation to elicit the predator-mobbing behavior of understory prey birds, compared birds' mobbing intensity across sites, and related variation in this intensity to forest vegetation structure. We found that selective logging altered birds' predator-mobbing intensity (measured by behavioral conspicuousness and propensity to approach the predator) as well as forest structure, and that vegetative changes to canopy and understory were correlated with contrasting responses by the two major bird foraging guilds, gleaning versus flycatching birds. We additionally discuss the implications of our findings for further hypothesis testing pertaining to the impacts of selective logging on the ecological processes underlying prey mobbing behavior, particularly with regards to predator-prey interactions and prey accruement of energy reserves.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  4. Photosynthetic pigment localization and thylakoid membrane morphology are altered in Synechocystis 6803 phycobilisome mutants.

    PubMed

    Collins, Aaron M; Liberton, Michelle; Jones, Howland D T; Garcia, Omar F; Pakrasi, Himadri B; Timlin, Jerilyn A

    2012-04-01

    Cyanobacteria are oxygenic photosynthetic prokaryotes that are the progenitors of the chloroplasts of algae and plants. These organisms harvest light using large membrane-extrinsic phycobilisome antenna in addition to membrane-bound chlorophyll-containing proteins. Similar to eukaryotic photosynthetic organisms, cyanobacteria possess thylakoid membranes that house photosystem (PS) I and PSII, which drive the oxidation of water and the reduction of NADP+, respectively. While thylakoid morphology has been studied in some strains of cyanobacteria, the global distribution of PSI and PSII within the thylakoid membrane and the corresponding location of the light-harvesting phycobilisomes are not known in detail, and such information is required to understand the functioning of cyanobacterial photosynthesis on a larger scale. Here, we have addressed this question using a combination of electron microscopy and hyperspectral confocal fluorescence microscopy in wild-type Synechocystis species PCC 6803 and a series of mutants in which phycobilisomes are progressively truncated. We show that as the phycobilisome antenna is diminished, large-scale changes in thylakoid morphology are observed, accompanied by increased physical segregation of the two photosystems. Finally, we quantified the emission intensities originating from the two photosystems in vivo on a per cell basis to show that the PSI:PSII ratio is progressively decreased in the mutants. This results from both an increase in the amount of photosystem II and a decrease in the photosystem I concentration. We propose that these changes are an adaptive strategy that allows cells to balance the light absorption capabilities of photosystems I and II under light-limiting conditions.

  5. Experimental Diabetes Alters the Morphology and Nano-Structure of the Achilles Tendon

    PubMed Central

    de Oliveira, Rodrigo Ribeiro; Medina de Mattos, Rômulo; Magalhães Rebelo, Luciana; Guimarães Meireles Ferreira, Fernanda; Tovar-Moll, Fernanda; Eurico Nasciutti, Luiz; de Castro Brito, Gerly Anne

    2017-01-01

    Although of several studies that associate chronic hyperglycemia with tendinopathy, the connection between morphometric changes as witnessed by magnetic resonance (MR) images, nanostructural changes, and inflammatory markers have not yet been fully established. Therefore, the present study has as a hypothesis that the Achilles tendons of rats with diabetes mellitus (DM) exhibit structural changes. The animals were randomly divided into two experimental groups: Control Group (n = 06) injected with a vehicle (sodium citrate buffer solution) and Diabetic Group (n = 06) consisting of rats submitted to intraperitoneal administration of streptozotocin. MR was performed 24 days after the induction of diabetes and images were used for morphometry using ImageJ software. Morphology of the collagen fibers within tendons was examined using Atomic Force microscopy (AFM). An increase in the dimension of the coronal plane area was observed in the diabetic group (8.583 ± 0.646 mm2/100g) when compared to the control group (4.823 ± 0.267 mm2/100g) resulting in a significant difference (p = 0.003) upon evaluating the Achilles tendons. Similarly, our analysis found an increase in the size of the transverse section area in the diabetic group (1.328 ± 0.103 mm2/100g) in comparison to the control group (0.940 ± 0.01 mm2/100g) p = 0.021. The tendons of the diabetic group showed great irregularity in fiber bundles, including modified grain direction and jagged junctions and deformities in the form of collagen fibrils bulges. Despite the morphological changes observed in the Achilles tendon of diabetic animals, IL1 and TNF-α did not change. Our results suggest that DM promotes changes to the Achilles tendon with important structural modifications as seen by MR and AFM, excluding major inflammatory changes. PMID:28095484

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-03-01

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

  9. Beyond the ecological: biological invasions alter natural selection on a native plant species.

    PubMed

    Lau, Jennifer A

    2008-04-01

    Biological invasions can have strong ecological effects on native communities by altering ecosystem functions, species interactions, and community composition. Even though these ecological effects frequently impact the population dynamics and fitness of native species, the evolutionary consequences of biological invasions have received relatively little attention. Here, I show that invasions impose novel selective pressures on a native plant species. By experimentally manipulating community composition, I found that the exotic plant Medicago polymorpha and the exotic herbivore Hypera brunneipennis alter the strength and, in some instances, the direction of natural selection on the competitive ability and anti-herbivore defenses of the native plant Lotus wrangelianus. Furthermore, the community composition of exotics influenced which traits were favored. For example, high densities of the exotic herbivore Hypera selected for increased resistance to herbivores in the native Lotus; however, when Medicago also was present, selection on this defense was eliminated. In contrast, selection on tolerance, another plant defense trait, was highest when both Hypera and Medicago were present at high densities. Thus, multiple exotic species may interact to influence the evolutionary trajectories of native plant populations, and patterns of selection may change as additional exotic species invade the community.

  10. Human cytomegalovirus alters localization of MHC class II and dendrite morphology in mature Langerhans cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, Andrew W; Hertel, Laura; Louie, Ryan K; Burster, Timo; Lacaille, Vashti; Pashine, Achal; Abate, Davide A; Mocarski, Edward S; Mellins, Elizabeth D

    2006-09-15

    Hemopoietic stem cell-derived mature Langerhans-type dendritic cells (LC) are susceptible to productive infection by human CMV (HCMV). To investigate the impact of infection on this cell type, we examined HLA-DR biosynthesis and trafficking in mature LC cultures exposed to HCMV. We found decreased surface HLA-DR levels in viral Ag-positive as well as in Ag-negative mature LC. Inhibition of HLA-DR was independent of expression of unique short US2-US11 region gene products by HCMV. Indeed, exposure to UV-inactivated virus, but not to conditioned medium from infected cells, was sufficient to reduce HLA-DR on mature LC, implicating particle binding/penetration in this effect. Reduced surface levels reflected an altered distribution of HLA-DR because total cellular HLA-DR was not diminished. Accumulation of HLA-DR was not explained by altered cathepsin S activity. Mature, peptide-loaded HLA-DR molecules were retained within cells, as assessed by the proportion of SDS-stable HLA-DR dimers. A block in egress was implicated, as endocytosis of surface HLA-DR was not increased. Immunofluorescence microscopy corroborated the intracellular retention of HLA-DR and revealed markedly fewer HLA-DR-positive dendritic projections in infected mature LC. Unexpectedly, light microscopic analyses showed a dramatic loss of the dendrites themselves and immunofluorescence revealed that cytoskeletal elements crucial for the formation and maintenance of dendrites are disrupted in viral Ag-positive cells. Consistent with these dendrite effects, HCMV-infected mature LC exhibit markedly reduced chemotaxis in response to lymphoid chemokines. Thus, HCMV impedes MHC class II molecule trafficking, dendritic projections, and migration of mature LC. These changes likely contribute to the reduced activation of CD4+ T cells by HCMV-infected mature LC.

  11. Environmental Pb2+ exposure during early life alters granule cell neurogenesis and morphology in the hippocampus of young adult rats

    PubMed Central

    Verina, Tatyana; Rohde, Charles A.; Guilarte, Tomás R.

    2007-01-01

    Exposure to environmentally relevant levels of lead (Pb2+) during early life produces deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity in the form of long-term potentiation (LTP) and spatial learning in young adult rats (Nihei et al., 2000; Guilarte et al., 2003). Other evidence suggests that the performance of rats in the Morris water maze spatial learning tasks is associated with the level of granule cell neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG) (Drapeau et al., 2003). In this study, we examined whether continuous exposure to environmentally relevant levels of Pb2+ during early life altered granule cell neurogenesis and morphology in the rat hippocampus. Control and Pb2+-exposed rats received BrdU injections (100 mg/kg; i.p.) for five consecutive days starting at postnatal day 45 and were sacrificed either one day or four weeks after the last injection. The total number of newborn cells in the DG of Pb2+-exposed rats was significantly decreased (13%; p<0.001) one day after BrdU injections relative to controls. Further, the survival of newborn cells in Pb2+-exposed rats was significantly decreased by 22.7% (p<0.001) relative to control animals. Co-localization of BrdU with neuronal or astrocytic markers did not reveal a significant effect of Pb2+ exposure on cellular fate. In Pb2+-exposed rats, immature granule cells immunolabeled with doublecortin (DCX) displayed aberrant dendritic morphology. That is, the overall length-density of the DCX-positive apical dendrites in the outer portion of the DG molecular layer was significantly reduced up to 36% in the suprapyramidal blade only. We also found that the area of Timm’s-positive staining representative of the mossy fibers terminal fields in the CA3 stratum oriens (SO) was reduced by 26% in Pb2+-exposed rats. These findings demonstrate that exposure to environmentally relevant levels of Pb2+ during early life alter granule cell neurogenesis and morphology in the rat hippocampus. They provide a cellular and morphological

  12. Baculum morphology predicts reproductive success of male house mice under sexual selection

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Diversity in penile morphology is characterised by extraordinary variation in the size and shape of the baculum (penis bone) found in many mammals. Although functionally enigmatic, diversity in baculum form is hypothesised to result from sexual selection. According to this hypothesis, the baculum should influence the outcome of reproductive competition among males within promiscuous mating systems. However, a test of this key prediction is currently lacking. Results Here we show that baculum size explains significant variation in the reproductive success of male house mice under competitive conditions. After controlling for body size and other reproductive traits, the width (but not length) of the house mouse baculum predicts both the mean number of offspring sired per litter and total number of offspring sired. Conclusions By providing the first evidence linking baculum morphology to male reproductive success, our results support the hypothesis that evolutionary diversity in baculum form is driven by sexual selection. PMID:23800051

  13. Experimental diffuse brain injury results in regional alteration of gross vascular morphology independent of neuropathology

    PubMed Central

    Ziebell, Jenna M.; Rowe, Rachel K.; Harrison, Jordan L.; Eakin, Katharine C.; Colburn, Taylor; Willyerd, F. Anthony; Lifshitz, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    Primary objective A dynamic relationship exists between diffuse traumatic brain injury and changes to the neurovascular unit. The purpose of this study was to evaluate vascular changes during the first week following diffuse TBI. We hypothesized that pathology is associated with modification of the vasculature. Methods Male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent either midline fluid percussion injury or sham-injury. Brain tissue was collected 1d, 2d, or 7d post-injury or sham-injury (n=3/time point). Tissue was collected and stained by de Olmos amino-cupric silver technique to visualize neuropathology, or animals were perfused with AltaBlue casting resin before high-resolution vascular imaging. The average volume, surface area, radius, branching, and tortuosity of the vessels were evaluated across three regions of interest. Results In M2, average vessel volume (p<0.01) and surface area (p<0.05) were significantly larger at 1d relative to 2d, 7d and sham. In S1BF and VPM, no significant differences in the average vessel volume or surface area at any of the post-injury time points were observed. No significant changes in average radius, branching, or tortuosity were observed. Conclusions Preliminary findings suggest gross morphological changes within the vascular network likely represent an acute response to mechanical forces of injury, rather than delayed or chronic pathological processes. PMID:26646974

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Suppression of gliadins results in altered protein body morphology in wheat.

    PubMed

    Gil-Humanes, Javier; Pistón, Fernando; Shewry, Peter R; Tosi, Paola; Barro, Francisco

    2011-08-01

    Wheat gluten proteins, gliadins and glutenins, are of great importance in determining the unique biomechanical properties of wheat. Studies have therefore been carried out to determine their pathways and mechanisms of synthesis, folding, and deposition in protein bodies. In the present work, a set of transgenic wheat lines has been studied with strongly suppressed levels of γ-gliadins and/or all groups of gliadins, using light and fluorescence microscopy combined with immunodetection using specific antibodies for γ-gliadins and HMW glutenin subunits. These lines represent a unique material to study the formation and fusion of protein bodies in developing seeds of wheat. Higher amounts of HMW subunits were present in most of the transgenic lines but only the lines with suppression of all gliadins showed differences in the formation and fusion of the protein bodies. Large rounded protein bodies were found in the wild-type lines and the transgenic lines with reduced levels of γ-gliadins, while the lines with all gliadins down-regulated had protein bodies of irregular shape and irregular formation. The size and number of inclusions, which have been reported to contain triticins, were also higher in the protein bodies in the lines with all the gliadins down-regulated. Changes in the protein composition and PB morphology reported in the transgenic lines with all gliadins down-regulated did not result in marked changes in the total protein content or instability of the different fractions.

  16. Alteration of femoral bone morphology and density in COX-2-/- mice.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Galen; Xie, Chao; Chen, Di; Awad, Hani; Schwarz, Edward M; O'Keefe, Regis J; Guldberg, Robert E; Zhang, Xinping

    2006-10-01

    A role of COX-2 in pathological bone destruction and fracture repair has been established; however, few studies have been conducted to examine the involvement of COX-2 in maintaining bone mineral density and bone micro-architecture. In this study, we examined bone morphology in multiple trabecular and cortical regions within the distal and diaphyseal femur of 4-month-old wild-type and COX-2-/- mice using micro-computed tomography. Our results demonstrated that while COX-2-/- female mice had normal bone geometry and trabecular microarchitecture at 4 months of age, the male knockout mice displayed reduced bone volume fraction within the distal femoral metaphysis. Furthermore, male COX-2-/- mice had a significant reduction in cortical bone mineral density within the central cortical diaphysis and distal epiphysis and metaphysis. Consistent with the observed reduction in cortical mineral density, biomechanical testing via 4-point-bending showed that male COX-2-/- mice had a significant increase in postyield deformation, indicating a ductile bone phenotype in male COX-2-/- mice. In conclusion, our study suggests that genetic ablation of COX-2 may have a sex-related effect on cortical bone homeostasis and COX-2 plays a role in maintaining normal bone micro-architecture and density in mice.

  17. Alteration of femoral bone morphology and density in COX-2−/− mice

    PubMed Central

    Robertson, Galen; Xie, Chao; Chen, Di; Awad, Hani; Schwarz, Edward M.; O’Keefe, Regis J.; Guldberg, Robert E.; Zhang, Xinping

    2009-01-01

    A role of COX-2 in pathological bone destruction and fracture repair has been established; however, few studies have been conducted to examine the involvement of COX-2 in maintaining bone mineral density and bone micro-architecture. In this study, we examined bone morphology in multiple trabecular and cortical regions within the distal and diaphyseal femur of 4-month-old wild-type and COX-2−/− mice using micro-computed tomography. Our results demonstrated that while COX-2−/− female mice had normal bone geometry and trabecular microarchitecture at 4 months of age, the male knockout mice displayed reduced bone volume fraction within the distal femoral metaphysis. Furthermore, male COX-2−/− mice had a significant reduction in cortical bone mineral density within the central cortical diaphysis and distal epiphysis and metaphysis. Consistent with the observed reduction in cortical mineral density, biomechanical testing via 4-point-bending showed that male COX-2−/− mice had a significant increase in postyield deformation, indicating a ductile bone phenotype in male COX-2−/− mice. In conclusion, our study suggests that genetic ablation of COX-2 may have a sex-related effect on cortical bone homeostasis and COX-2 plays a role in maintaining normal bone micro-architecture and density in mice. PMID:16731065

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Polychlorinated biphenyls and dibenzofurans increased abnormal sperm morphology without alterations in aneuploidy: The Yucheng study.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Ping-Chi; Li, Ming-Chieh; Lee, Yeu-Chin; Kuo, Pao-Lin; Guo, Yueliang Leon

    2016-12-01

    In 1979, more than 2000 persons ingested rice oil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls and polychlorinated dibenzofurans; this event was called the "Yucheng accident." An increased percentage of oligospermia, reduced ability of sperm to penetrate oocytes, and reduced percentage of male offspring were reported in Yucheng men. This study examined whether the sperm sex ratio and chromosome aneuploidy are responsible for our observed findings in Yucheng men. In 1999-2000, Yucheng men and their neighborhood referents aged 37-50 years were recruited for physical examination, followed by semen analysis. The semen samples were analyzed for chromosomal aneuploidy through fluorescent in situ hybridization according to an established procedure in our laboratory. A total of 50 Yucheng men and 34 neighborhood referents volunteered to participate in the study. Although abnormal morphology was mildly increased, no differences were observed in sperm percentages, with normal numbers of chromosomes X, Y, and 8 in the two groups. The percentage of sperm with aneuploidy of the sex chromosomes or chromosome 8 and of that with diploidy did not vary between both groups. The normal X/Y sperm ratio was not different between the groups. However, among Yucheng men, 8% had a normal X/Y sperm ratio of >1.4, and no neighborhood referent showed such an elevated X/Y ratio. Chromosomal aneuploidy was not elevated in Yucheng men. The mechanisms underlying the reduced sperm capability of oocyte penetration and changed offspring sex ratio in Yucheng men remain undetermined.

  20. Interspecific competition alters natural selection on shade avoidance phenotypes in Impatiens capensis.

    PubMed

    McGoey, Brechann V; Stinchcombe, John R

    2009-08-01

    Shade avoidance syndrome is a known adaptive response for Impatiens capensis growing in dense intraspecific competition. However, I. capensis also grow with dominant interspecific competitors in marshes. Here, we compare the I. capensis shade-avoidance phenotypes produced in the absence and presence of heterospecific competitors, as well as selection on those traits. Two treatments were established in a marsh; in one treatment all heterospecifics were removed, while in the other, all competitors remained. We compared morphological traits, light parameters, seed output and, using phenotypic selection analysis, examined directional and nonlinear selection operating in the different competitive treatments. Average phenotypes, light parameters and seed production all varied depending on competitive treatment. Phenotypic selection analyses revealed different directional, disruptive, stabilizing and correlational selection. The disparities seen in both phenotypes and selection between the treatments related to the important differences in elongation timing depending on the presence of heterospecifics, although environmental covariances between traits and fitness could also contribute. Phenotypes produced by I. capensis depend on their competitive environment, and differing selection on shade-avoidance traits between competitive environments could indirectly select for increased plasticity given gene flow between populations in different competitive contexts.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  2. Developmental Toxicity Studies with Pregabalin in Rats: Significance of Alterations in Skull Bone Morphology.

    PubMed

    Morse, Dennis C; Henck, Judith W; Bailey, Steven A

    2016-04-01

    Pregabalin was administered to pregnant Wistar rats during organogenesis to evaluate potential developmental toxicity. In an embryo-fetal development study, compared with controls, fetuses from pregabalin-treated rats exhibited increased incidence of jugal fused to maxilla (pregabalin 1250 and 2500 mg/kg) and fusion of the nasal sutures (pregabalin 2500 mg/kg). The alterations in skull development occurred in the presence of maternal toxicity (reduced body weight gain) and developmental toxicity (reduced fetal body weight and increased skeletal variations), and were initially classified as malformations. Subsequent investigative studies in pregnant rats treated with pregabalin during organogenesis confirmed the advanced jugal fused to maxilla, and fusion of the nasal sutures at cesarean section (gestation day/postmating day [PMD] 21) in pregabalin-treated groups. In a study designed to evaluate progression of skull development, advanced jugal fused to maxilla and fusion of the nasal sutures was observed on PMD 20-25 and PMD 21-23, respectively (birth occurs approximately on PMD 22). On postnatal day (PND) 21, complete jugal fused to maxilla was observed in the majority of control and 2500 mg/kg offspring. No treatment-related differences in the incidence of skull bone fusions occurred on PND 21, indicating no permanent adverse outcome. Based on the results of the investigative studies, and a review of historical data and scientific literature, the advanced skull bone fusions were reclassified as anatomic variations. Pregabalin was not teratogenic in rats under the conditions of these studies.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  5. Morphological and functional alteration of erythrocyte ghosts and giant unilamellar vesicles caused by Vipera latifi venom.

    PubMed

    Kirakosyan, Gayane; Mohamadvarzi, Maryam; Ghulikyan, Lusine; Zaqaryan, Naira; Kishmiryan, Arsen; Ayvazyan, Naira

    2016-12-01

    Snake bites are an endemic public health problem in Iran, both in rural and urban area. Viper venom as a hemolytic biochemical "cocktail" of toxins, primarily cause to the systemic alteration of blood cells. In the sixties and seventies, human erythrocytes were extensively studied, but the mechanical and chemical stresses commonly exerted on red blood cells continue to attract interest of scientists for the study of membrane structure and function. Here, we monitor the effect of Vipera latifi venom on human erythrocytes ghost membranes using phase contrast and fluorescent microscopy and changes in ATPase activity under snake venom influence in vitro. The ion pumps [Na(+),K(+)]-ATPase and (Ca(2+)+Mg(2+))-ATPase plays a pivotal role in the active transport of certain cations and maintenance of intracellular electrolyte homeostasis. We also describe the interaction of Vipera latifi (VL) venom with giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) composed of the native phospholipid mixtures visualized by the membrane fluorescence probe, ANS, used to assess the state of membrane and specifically mark the phospholipid domains.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Morphological alterations in the hippocampus of the Ts65Dn mouse model for Down Syndrome correlate with structural plasticity markers.

    PubMed

    Villarroya, Olga; Ballestín, Raúl; López-Hidalgo, Rosa; Mulet, Maria; Blasco-Ibáñez, José Miguel; Crespo, Carlos; Nacher, Juan; Gilabert-Juan, Javier; Varea, Emilio

    2017-04-04

    Down syndrome (DS) is the most common chromosomal aneuploidy. Although trisomy on chromosome 21 can display variable phenotypes, there is a common feature among all DS individuals: the presence of intellectual disability. This condition is partially attributed to abnormalities found in the hippocampus of individuals with DS and in the murine model for DS, Ts65Dn. To check if all hippocampal areas were equally affected in 4-5 month adult Ts65Dn mice, we analysed the morphology of dentate gyrus granule cells and cornu ammonis pyramidal neurons using Sholl method on Golgi-Cox impregnated neurons. Structural plasticity has been analysed using immunohistochemistry for plasticity molecules followed by densitometric analysis (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), Polysialylated form of the Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule (PSA-NCAM) and the Growth Associated Protein 43 (GAP43)). We observed an impairment in the dendritic arborisation of granule cells, but not in the pyramidal neurons in the Ts65Dn mice. When we analysed the expression of molecules related to structural plasticity in trisomic mouse hippocampus, we observed a reduction in the expression of BDNF and PSA-NCAM, and an increment in the expression of GAP43. These alterations were restricted to the regions related to dentate granule cells suggesting an interrelation. Therefore the impairment in dendritic arborisation and molecular plasticity is not a general feature of all Down Syndrome principal neurons. Pharmacological manipulations of the levels of plasticity molecules could provide a way to restore granule cell morphology and function.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  12. Rearrangement of the dendritic morphology in limbic regions and altered exploratory behavior in a rat model of autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Bringas, M E; Carvajal-Flores, F N; López-Ramírez, T A; Atzori, M; Flores, G

    2013-06-25

    Valproic acid (VPA) is a blocker of histone deacetylase widely used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorders, and migraine; its administration during pregnancy increases the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the child. Thus, prenatal VPA exposure has emerged as a rodent model of ASD. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the effect of prenatal administration of VPA (500mg/kg) at E12.5 on the exploratory behavior and locomotor activity in a novel environment, as well as on neuronal morphological rearrangement in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), in the hippocampus, in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), and in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) at three different ages: immediately after weaning (postnatal day 21 [PD21]), prepubertal (PD35) and postpubertal (PD70) ages. Hyper-locomotion was observed in a novel environment in VPA animals at PD21 and PD70. Interestingly, exploratory behavior assessed by the hole board test at PD70 showed a reduced frequency but an increase in the duration of head-dippings in VPA-animals compared to vehicle-treated animals. In addition, the latency to the first head-dip was longer in prenatal VPA-treated animals at PD70. Quantitative morphological analysis of dendritic spine density revealed a reduced number of spines at PD70 in the PFC, dorsal hippocampus and BLA, with an increase in the dendritic spine density in NAcc and ventral hippocampus, in prenatal VPA-treated rats. In addition, at PD70 increases in neuronal arborization were observed in the NAcc, layer 3 of the PFC, and BLA, with retracted neuronal arborization in the ventral and dorsal hippocampus. Our results extend the list of altered behaviors (exploratory behavior) detected in this model of ASD, and indicate that the VPA behavioral phenotype is accompanied by previously undescribed morphological rearrangement in limbic regions.

  13. Prenatal stress alters the behavior and dendritic morphology of the medial orbitofrontal cortex in mouse offspring during lactation.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Rojas, Cristian; Pascual, Rodrigo; Bustamante, Carlos

    2013-11-01

    Several preclinical and clinical studies have shown that prenatal stress alters neuronal dendritic development in the prefrontal cortex, together with behavioral disturbances (anxiety). Nevertheless, neither whether these alterations are present during the lactation period, nor whether such findings may reflect the onset of anxiety disorders observed in childhood and adulthood has been studied. The central aim of the present study was to determine the effects of prenatal stress on the neuronal development and behavior of mice offspring during lactation (postnatal days 14 and 21). We studied 24 CF-1 male mice, grouped as follows: (i) control P14 (n=6), (ii) stressed P14 (n=6), (iii) control P21 (n=6) and (iv) stressed P21 (n=6). On the corresponding days, animals were evaluated with the open field test and sacrificed. Their brains were then stained in Golgi-Cox solution for 30 days. The morphological analysis dealt with the study of 96 pyramidal neurons. The results showed, first, that prenatal stress resulted in a significant (i) decrease in the apical dendritic length of pyramidal neurons in the orbitofrontal cortex at postnatal day 14, (ii) increase in the apical dendritic length of pyramidal neurons in the orbitofrontal cortex at postnatal day 21, and (iii) reduction in exploratory behavior at postnatal day 14 and 21.

  14. Postcopulatory sexual selection is associated with accelerated evolution of sperm morphology.

    PubMed

    Rowe, Melissah; Albrecht, Tomáš; Cramer, Emily R A; Johnsen, Arild; Laskemoen, Terje; Weir, Jason T; Lifjeld, Jan T

    2015-04-01

    Rapid diversification of sexual traits is frequently attributed to sexual selection, though explicit tests of this hypothesis remain limited. Spermatozoa exhibit remarkable variability in size and shape, and studies report a correlation between sperm morphology (sperm length and shape) and sperm competition risk or female reproductive tract morphology. However, whether postcopulatory processes (e.g., sperm competition and cryptic female choice) influence the speed of evolutionary diversification in sperm form is unknown. Using passerine birds, we quantified evolutionary rates of sperm length divergence among lineages (i.e., species pairs) and determined whether these rates varied with the level of sperm competition (estimated as relative testes mass). We found that relative testes mass was significantly and positively associated with more rapid phenotypic divergence in sperm midpiece and flagellum lengths, as well as total sperm length. In contrast, there was no association between relative testes mass and rates of evolutionary divergence in sperm head size, and models suggested that head length is evolutionarily constrained. Our results are the first to show an association between the strength of sperm competition and the speed of sperm evolution, and suggest that postcopulatory sexual selection promotes rapid evolutionary diversification of sperm morphology.

  15. Evolution through mutation and selection of biological and morphological features in the intertidal zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Da Lio, C.; D'Alpaos, A.; Marani, M.

    2011-12-01

    The presence and continued existence of tidal morphologies, and in particular of salt marshes, is intimately connected with the presence/absence of halophytic vegetation. In fact, observations and models coupling morphodynamic and biological processes indicate that vegetation crucially affects the marsh equilibrium configurations in relation to the dissipation of wind waves and to the production of organic soil associated with the presence of plants. Often, different vegetation species live within very narrow elevation intervals, associated with similarly narrow ranges of environmental pressures (chiefly hypersalinity and hypoxia). Here we develop and use a 1D model of coupled biological-morphological mutation and selection to study how observed ecosystem properties emerge and how feedbacks between biological and morphological properties concur to select observed bio-morphic 'traits'. We see that the ability to transform their own environment, through increased inorganic deposition and organic soil production, allows vegetation species to more quickly develop adaptations to a changing forcing (e.g. sea level rise). Furthermore, we observe the emergence of zonation and succession and characterize the emerging biodiversity and ecosystem properties as a function of forcing characteristics (e.g. tidal range, rate of sea level rise, and inorganic sediment availability).

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-09-21

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

  17. Alterations of molecular and behavioral responses to cocaine by selective inhibition of Elk-1 phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Besnard, Antoine; Bouveyron, Nicolas; Kappes, Vincent; Pascoli, Vincent; Pagès, Christiane; Heck, Nicolas; Vanhoutte, Peter; Caboche, Jocelyne

    2011-10-05

    Activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathway in the striatum is crucial for molecular adaptations and long-term behavioral alterations induced by cocaine. In response to cocaine, ERK controls the phosphorylation levels of both mitogen and stress-activated protein kinase 1 (MSK-1), a nuclear kinase involved in histone H3 (Ser10) and cAMP response element binding protein phosphorylation, and Elk-1, a transcription factor involved in serum response element (SRE)-driven gene regulations. We recently characterized the phenotype of msk-1 knock-out mice in response to cocaine. Herein, we wanted to address the role of Elk-1 phosphorylation in cocaine-induced molecular, morphological, and behavioral responses. We used a cell-penetrating peptide, named TAT-DEF-Elk-1 (TDE), which corresponds to the DEF docking domain of Elk-1 toward ERK and inhibits Elk-1 phosphorylation induced by ERKs without modifying ERK or MSK-1 in vitro. The peptide was injected in vivo before cocaine administration in mice. Immunocytochemical, molecular, morphological, and behavioral studies were performed. The TDE inhibited Elk-1 and H3 (Ser10) phosphorylation induced by cocaine, sparing ERK and MSK-1 activation. Consequently, TDE altered cocaine-induced regulation of genes bearing SRE site(s) in their promoters, including c-fos, zif268, ΔFosB, and arc/arg3.1 (activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein). In a chronic cocaine administration paradigm, TDE reversed cocaine-induced increase in dendritic spine density. Finally, the TDE delayed the establishment of cocaine-induced psychomotor sensitization and conditioned-place preference. We conclude that Elk-1 phosphorylation downstream from ERK is a key molecular event involved in long-term neuronal and behavioral adaptations to cocaine.

  18. Conflicting selection alters the trajectory of molecular evolution in a tripartite bacteria-plasmid-phage interaction.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Ellie; Hall, James J P; Paterson, Steve; Spiers, Andrew J; Brockhurst, Michael A

    2017-03-01

    Bacteria engage in a complex network of ecological interactions, which includes mobile genetic elements (MGEs) such as phages and plasmids. These elements play a key role in microbial communities as vectors of horizontal gene transfer but can also be important sources of selection for their bacterial hosts. In natural communities bacteria are likely to encounter multiple MGEs simultaneously and conflicting selection among MGEs could alter the bacterial evolutionary response to each MGE. Here we test the effect of interactions with multiple MGEs on bacterial molecular evolution in the tripartite interaction between the bacterium, Pseudomonas fluorescens, the lytic bacteriophage SBW25φ2 and conjugative plasmid, pQBR103, using genome sequencing of experimentally evolved bacteria. We show that, individually, both plasmids and phages impose selection leading to bacterial evolutionary responses that are distinct from bacterial populations evolving without MGEs, but that together, plasmids and phages impose conflicting selection on bacteria, constraining the evolutionary responses observed in pairwise interactions. Our findings highlight the likely difficulties of predicting evolutionary responses to multiple selective pressures from the observed evolutionary responses to each selective pressure alone. Understanding evolution in complex microbial communities comprising many species and MGEs will require that we go beyond studies of pairwise interactions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chase, Katherine J.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  1. Environmental lead exposure during early life alters granule cell neurogenesis and morphology in the hippocampus of young adult rats.

    PubMed

    Verina, T; Rohde, C A; Guilarte, T R

    2007-03-30

    Exposure to environmentally relevant levels of lead (Pb(2+)) during early life produces deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity in the form of long-term potentiation (LTP) and spatial learning in young adult rats [Nihei MK, Desmond NL, McGlothan JL, Kuhlmann AC, Guilarte TR (2000) N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit changes are associated with lead-induced deficits of long-term potentiation and spatial learning. Neuroscience 99:233-242; Guilarte TR, Toscano CD, McGlothan JL, Weaver SA (2003) Environmental enrichment reverses cognitive and molecular deficits induced by developmental lead exposure. Ann Neurol 53:50-56]. Other evidence suggests that the performance of rats in the Morris water maze spatial learning tasks is associated with the level of granule cell neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG) [Drapeau E, Mayo W, Aurousseau C, Le Moal M, Piazza P-V, Abrous DN (2003) Spatial memory performance of aged rats in the water maze predicts level of hippocampal neurogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 100:14385-14390]. In this study, we examined whether continuous exposure to environmentally relevant levels of Pb(2+) during early life altered granule cell neurogenesis and morphology in the rat hippocampus. Control and Pb(2+)-exposed rats received bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) injections (100 mg/kg; i.p.) for five consecutive days starting at postnatal day 45 and were killed either 1 day or 4 weeks after the last injection. The total number of newborn cells in the DG of Pb(2+)-exposed rats was significantly decreased (13%; P<0.001) 1 day after BrdU injections relative to controls. Further, the survival of newborn cells in Pb(2+)-exposed rats was significantly decreased by 22.7% (P<0.001) relative to control animals. Co-localization of BrdU with neuronal or astrocytic markers did not reveal a significant effect of Pb(2+) exposure on cellular fate. In Pb(2+)-exposed rats, immature granule cells immunolabeled with doublecortin (DCX) displayed aberrant dendritic morphology

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Chronic ethanol consumption alters the selective usage of phosphatidylethanolamine molecular species by methyltransferases

    SciTech Connect

    Ellingson, J.S.; Pukys, T.; Rubin, E. )

    1992-01-01

    The authors have examined the effects of chronic ethanol consumption on phospholipid methyltransferases, which may play a special role by synthesizing phosphatidylcholine (PC) molecules containing predominantly polyunsaturated fatty acids. Rat liver microsomes from adenosylmethionine to convert endogenous phoshatidylethanolamine (PE) to radiolabeled PC, which was separated into its individual molecular species by reversed-phase HPLC. To assess the selective usage of PE molecular species for methylation, the authors determined the mole % of the PE molecular species in microsomes from control and ethanol-fed rats. Chronic ethanol consumption increased the selective usage of phospholipid molecular species containing palmitic acid combined with arachidonic acid or docosahexaenoic acid, whereas it did not affect the use of the corresponding stearic acid species. These results suggest that the long term interference with cellular physiology by altering the metabolism of a specific metabolic pool of molecular species is a mechanism by which chronic ethanol consumption could exert adverse effects of the liver.

  5. Treadmill Exercise Improves Fracture Toughness and Indentation Modulus without Altering the Nanoscale Morphology of Collagen in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Hammond, Max A.; Laine, Tyler J.; Berman, Alycia G.

    2016-01-01

    The specifics of how the nanoscale properties of collagen (e.g., the crosslinking profile) affect the mechanical integrity of bone at larger length scales is poorly understood despite growing evidence that collagen’s nanoscale properties are altered with disease. Additionally, mass independent increases in postyield displacement due to exercise suggest loading-induced improvements in bone quality associated with collagen. To test whether disease-induced reductions in bone quality driven by alterations in collagen can be rescued or prevented via exercise-mediated changes to collagen’s nanoscale morphology and mechanical properties, the effects of treadmill exercise and β-aminopropionitrile treatment were investigated. Eight week old female C57BL/6 mice were given a daily subcutaneous injection of either 164 mg/kg β-aminopropionitrile or phosphate buffered saline while experiencing either normal cage activity or 30 min of treadmill exercise for 21 consecutive days. Despite differences in D-spacing distribution (P = 0.003) and increased cortical area (tibial: P = 0.005 and femoral: P = 0.015) due to β-aminopropionitrile treatment, an overt mechanical disease state was not achieved as there were no differences in fracture toughness or 4 point bending due to β-aminopropionitrile treatment. While exercise did not alter (P = 0.058) the D-spacing distribution of collagen or prevent (P < 0.001) the β-aminopropionitrile-induced changes present in the unexercised animals, there were differential effects in the distribution of the reduced elastic modulus due to exercise between control and β-aminopropionitrile-treated animals (P < 0.001). Fracture toughness was increased (P = 0.043) as a main effect of exercise, but no significant differences due to exercise were observed using 4 point bending. Future studies should examine the potential for sex specific differences in the dose of β-aminopropionitrile required to induce mechanical effects in mice and the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  7. Elevated Carbon Dioxide Altered Morphological and Anatomical Characteristics, Ascorbic Acid Accumulation, and Related Gene Expression during Taproot Development in Carrots

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xue-Jun; Sun, Sheng; Xing, Guo-Ming; Wang, Guang-Long; Wang, Feng; Xu, Zhi-Sheng; Tian, Yong-Sheng; Hou, Xi-Lin; Xiong, Ai-Sheng

    2017-01-01

    The CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has increased significantly in recent decades and is projected to rise in the future. The effects of elevated CO2 concentrations on morphological and anatomical characteristics, and nutrient accumulation have been determined in several plant species. Carrot is an important vegetable and the effects of elevated CO2 on carrots remain unclear. To investigate the effects of elevated CO2 on the growth of carrots, two carrot cultivars (‘Kurodagosun’ and ‘Deep purple’) were treated with ambient CO2 (a[CO2], 400 μmol⋅mol-1) and elevated CO2 (e[CO2], 3000 μmol⋅mol-1) concentrations. Under e[CO2] conditions, taproot and shoot fresh weights and the root/shoot ratio of carrot significantly decreased as compared with the control group. Elevated CO2 resulted in obvious changes in anatomy and ascorbic acid accumulation in carrot roots. Moreover, the transcript profiles of 12 genes related to AsA biosynthesis and recycling were altered in response to e[CO2]. The ‘Kurodagosun’ and ‘Deep purple’ carrots differed in sensitivity to e[CO2]. The inhibited carrot taproot and shoot growth treated with e[CO2] could partly lead to changes in xylem development. This study provided novel insights into the effects of e[CO2] on the growth and development of carrots. PMID:28119712

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Altered mitochondrial morphology and defective protein import reveal novel roles for Bax and/or Bak in skeletal muscle.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yuan; Iqbal, Sobia; O'Leary, Michael F N; Menzies, Keir J; Saleem, Ayesha; Ding, Shuzhe; Hood, David A

    2013-09-01

    The function Bax and/or Bak in constituting a gateway for mitochondrial apoptosis in response to apoptotic stimuli has been unequivocally demonstrated. However, recent work has suggested that Bax/Bak may have unrecognized nonapoptotic functions related to mitochondrial function in nonstressful environments. Wild-type (WT) and Bax/Bak double knockout (DKO) mice were used to determine alternative roles for Bax and Bak in mitochondrial morphology and protein import in skeletal muscle. The absence of Bax and/or Bak altered mitochondrial dynamics by regulating protein components of the organelle fission and fusion machinery. Moreover, DKO mice exhibited defective mitochondrial protein import, both into the matrix and outer membrane compartments, which was consistent with our observations of impaired membrane potential and attenuated expression of protein import machinery (PIM) components in intermyofibrillar mitochondria. Furthermore, the cytosolic chaperones heat-shock protein 90 (Hsp90) and binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP) were markedly increased with the deletion of Bax/Bak, indicating that the cytosolic environment related to protein folding may be changed in DKO mice. Interestingly, endurance training fully restored the deficiency of protein import in DKO mice, likely via the upregulation of PIM components and through improved cytosolic chaperone protein expression. Thus our results emphasize novel roles for Bax and/or Bak in mitochondrial function and provide evidence, for the first time, of a curative function of exercise training in ameliorating a condition of defective mitochondrial protein import.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-19

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. A mutation in the FZL gene of Arabidopsis causing alteration in chloroplast morphology results in a lesion mimic phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Landoni, Michela

    2013-01-01

    Lesion mimic mutants (LMMs) are a class of mutants in which hypersensitive cell death and defence responses are constitutively activated in the absence of pathogen attack. Various signalling molecules, such as salicylic acid (SA), reactive oxygen species (ROS), nitric oxide (NO), Ca2+, ethylene, and jasmonate, are involved in the regulation of multiple pathways controlling hypersensitive response (HR) activation, and LMMs are considered useful tools to understand the role played by the key elements of the HR cell death signalling cascade. Here the characterization of an Arabidopsis LMM lacking the function of the FZL gene is reported. This gene encodes a membrane-remodelling GTPase playing an essential role in the determination of thylakoid and chloroplast morphology. The mutant displayed alteration in chloroplast number, size, and shape, and the typical characteristics of an LMM, namely development of chlorotic lesions on rosette leaves and constitutive expression of genetic and biochemical markers associated with defence responses. The chloroplasts are a major source of ROS, and the characterization of this mutant suggests that their accumulation, triggered by damage to the chloroplast membranes, is a signal sufficient to start the HR signalling cascade, thus confirming the central role of the chloroplast in HR activation. PMID:23963675

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-04

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

  16. Masting behaviour in a Mediterranean pine tree alters seed predator selection on reproductive output.

    PubMed

    Moreira, X; Abdala-Roberts, L; Zas, R; Merlo, E; Lombardero, M J; Sampedro, L; Mooney, K A

    2016-11-01

    Context-dependency in species interactions is widespread and can produce concomitant patterns of context-dependent selection. Masting (synchronous production of large seed crops at irregular intervals by a plant population) has been shown to reduce seed predation through satiation (reduction in rates of seed predation with increasing seed cone output) and thus represents an important source of context-dependency in plant-animal interactions. However, the evolutionary consequences of such dynamics are not well understood. Here we describe masting behaviour in a Mediterranean model pine species (Pinus pinaster) and present a test of the effects of masting on selection by seed predators on reproductive output. We predicted that masting, by enhancing seed predator satiation, could in turn strengthen positive selection by seed predators for larger cone output. For this we collected six-year data (spanning one mast year and five non-mast years) on seed cone production and seed cone predation rates in a forest genetic trial composed by 116 P. pinaster genotypes. Following our prediction, we found stronger seed predator satiation during the masting year, which in turn led to stronger seed predator selection for increased cone production relative to non-masting years. These findings provide evidence that masting can alter the evolutionary outcome of plant-seed predator interactions. More broadly, our findings highlight that changes in consumer responses to resource abundance represent a widespread mechanism for predicting and understanding context dependency in plant-consumer evolutionary dynamics.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Designing an early selection morphological linear traits index for dressage in the Pura Raza Español horse.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Guerrero, M J; Cervantes, I; Molina, A; Gutiérrez, J P; Valera, M

    2016-11-14

    Making a morphological pre-selection of Pura Raza Español horses (PRE) for dressage is a challenging task within its current breeding program. The aim of our research was to design an early genetic selection morphological linear traits index to improve dressage performance, using 26 morphological linear traits and six dressage traits (walk, trot, canter, submission, general impression - partial scores - and total score) as selection criteria. The data set included morphological linear traits of 10 127 PRE (4159 males and 5968 females) collected between 2008 and 2013 (one record per horse) and 19 095 dressage traits of 1545 PRE (1476 males and 69 females; 12.4 records of average) collected between 2004 and 2014. A univariate animal model was applied to predict the breeding values (PBV). A partial least squares regression analysis was used to select the most predictive morphological linear traits PBV on the dressage traits PBV. According to the Wold Criterion, the 13 morphological linear traits (width of head, head-neck junction, upper neck line, neck-body junction, width of chest, angle of shoulder, lateral angle of knee, frontal angle of knee, cannon bone perimeter, length of croup, angle of croup, ischium-stifle distance and lateral hock angle) most closely related to total score PBV, partial scores PBV and gait scores PBV (walk, trot and canter) were selected. A multivariate genetic analysis was performed among the 13 morphological linear traits selected and the six dressage traits to estimate the genetic parameters. After it, the selection index theory was used to compute the expected genetic response using different strategies. The expected genetic response of total score PBV (0.76), partial scores PBV (0.04) and gait scores PBV (0.03) as selection objectives using morphological linear traits PBV as criteria selection were positive, but lower than that obtained using dressage traits PBV (1.80, 0.16 and 0.14 for total score PBV, partial scores PBV and gait

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-10-01

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

  20. Alterations in Pore-Space Morphology and Hydraulic Properties of Porous Media Resulting From Coupling of Flow and Reactive Transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukhopadhyay, S.

    2013-12-01

    property of the remaining percolation cluster. By generating multiple realizations of the same process, and employing a Monte Carlo type simulation approach, we can develop relationships between macroscopic properties and the extent of pore blocking. We show that the classical porosity-permeability relationships such as the Kozeny-Carman equations are not adequate to describe the evolution of macroscopic flow properties of these dynamically evolving systems, and we also show that the initial pore-space morphology and subsequent pore-connectivity alterations strongly influence the relationship between porosity and permeability. We also use the approach described above to explain certain observed porosity-permeability relationships from laboratory experiments and field tests.

  1. Altered morphology of hippocampal dentate granule cell presynaptic and postsynaptic terminals following conditional deletion of TrkB.

    PubMed

    Danzer, Steve C; Kotloski, Robert J; Walter, Cynthia; Hughes, Maya; McNamara, James O

    2008-01-01

    Dentate granule cells play a critical role in the function of the entorhinal-hippocampal circuitry in health and disease. Dentate granule cells are situated to regulate the flow of information into the hippocampus, a structure required for normal learning and memory. Correspondingly, impaired granule cell function leads to memory deficits, and, interestingly, altered granule cell connectivity may contribute to the hyperexcitability of limbic epilepsy. It is important, therefore, to understand the molecular determinants of synaptic connectivity of these neurons. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and its receptor TrkB are expressed at high levels in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus, and are implicated in regulating neuronal development, neuronal plasticity, learning, and the development of epilepsy. Whether and how TrkB regulates granule cell structure, however, is incompletely understood. To begin to elucidate the role of TrkB in regulating granule cell morphology, here we examine conditional TrkB knockout mice crossed to mice expressing green fluorescent protein in subsets of dentate granule cells. In stratum lucidum, where granule cell mossy fiber axons project, the density of giant mossy fiber boutons was unchanged, suggesting similar output to CA3 pyramidal cell targets. However, filopodial extensions of giant boutons, which contact inhibitory interneurons, were increased in number in TrkB knockout mice relative to wildtype controls, predicting enhanced feedforward inhibition of CA3 pyramidal cells. In knockout animals, dentate granule cells possessed fewer primary dendrites and enlarged dendritic spines, indicative of disrupted excitatory synaptic input to the granule cells. Together, these findings demonstrate that TrkB is required for development and/or maintenance of normal synaptic connectivity of the granule cells, thereby implying an important role for TrkB in the function of the granule cells and hippocampal circuitry.

  2. Number and Brightness analysis of alpha-synuclein oligomerization and the associated mitochondrial morphology alterations in live cells

    PubMed Central

    Plotegher, N.; Gratton, E.; Bubacco, L.

    2014-01-01

    Background Alpha-synuclein oligomerization is associated to Parkinson's disease etiopathogenesis. The study of alpha-synuclein oligomerization properties in live cell and the definition of their effects on cellular viability are among fields expected to provide the knowledge required to unravel the mechanism(s) of toxicity that lead to the disease. Methods We used Number and Brightness method, which is a method based on fluorescence fluctuation analysis, to monitor alpha-synuclein tagged with EGFP aggregation in living SH-SY5Y cells. The presence of alpha-synuclein oligomers detected with this method was associated with intracellular structure conditions, evaluated by fluorescence confocal imaging. Results Cells overexpressing alpha-synuclein-EGFP present a heterogeneous ensemble of oligomers constituted by less than 10 monomers, when the protein approaches a threshold concentration value of about 90 nM in the cell cytoplasm. We show that the oligomeric species are partially sequestered by lysosomes and that the mitochondria morphology is altered in cells presenting oligomers, suggesting that these mitochondria may be dysfunctional. Conclusions We showed that alpha-synuclein overexpression in SH-SY5Y causes the formation of alpha-synuclein oligomeric species, whose presence is associated with mitochondrial fragmentation and autophagic-lysosomal pathway activation in live cells. General significance The unique capability provided by the Number and Brightness analysis to study alpha-synuclein oligomers distribution and properties, and the study their association to intracellular components in single live cells is important to forward our understanding of the molecular mechanisms Parkinson’s disease and it may be of general significance when applied to the study of other aggregating proteins in cellular models. PMID:24561157

  3. Haploinsufficiency in tumor predisposition syndromes: altered genomic transcription in morphologically normal cells heterozygous for VHL or TSC mutation.

    PubMed

    Peri, Suraj; Caretti, Elena; Tricarico, Rossella; Devarajan, Karthik; Cheung, Mitchell; Sementino, Eleonora; Menges, Craig W; Nicolas, Emmanuelle; Vanderveer, Lisa A; Howard, Sharon; Conrad, Peggy; Crowell, James A; Campbell, Kerry S; Ross, Eric A; Godwin, Andrew K; Yeung, Anthony T; Clapper, Margie L; Uzzo, Robert G; Henske, Elizabeth P; Ricketts, Christopher J; Vocke, Cathy D; Linehan, W Marston; Testa, Joseph R; Bellacosa, Alfonso; Kopelovich, Levy; Knudson, Alfred G

    2016-09-22

    Tumor suppressor genes and their effector pathways have been identified for many dominantly heritable cancers, enabling efforts to intervene early in the course of disease. Our approach on the subject of early intervention was to investigate gene expression patterns of morphologically normal "one-hit" cells before they become hemizygous or homozygous for the inherited mutant gene which is usually required for tumor formation. Here, we studied histologically non-transformed renal epithelial cells from patients with inherited disorders that predispose to renal tumors, including von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease and Tuberous Sclerosis (TSC). As controls, we studied histologically normal cells from non-cancerous renal epithelium of patients with sporadic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Gene expression analyses of VHLmut/wt or TSC1/2mut/wt versus wild-type (WT) cells revealed transcriptomic alterations previously implicated in the transition to precancerous renal lesions. For example, the gene expression changes in VHLmut/wt cells were consistent with activation of the hypoxia response, associated, in part, with the "Warburg effect". Knockdown of any remaining VHL mRNA using shRNA induced secondary expression changes, such as activation of NFκB and interferon pathways, that are fundamentally important in the development of RCC. We posit that this is a general pattern of hereditary cancer predisposition, wherein haploinsufficiency for VHL or TSC1/2, or potentially other tumor susceptibility genes, is sufficient to promote development of early lesions, while cancer results from inactivation of the remaining normal allele. The gene expression changes identified here are related to the metabolic basis of renal cancer and may constitute suitable targets for early intervention.

  4. Selective Morphology Control of Bulk Heterojunction in Polymer Solar Cells Using Binary Processing Additives.

    PubMed

    Jung, Yen-Sook; Yeo, Jun-Seok; Kim, Nam-Koo; Lee, Sehyun; Kim, Dong-Yu

    2016-11-09

    We report the effect of binary additives on the fabrication of polymer solar cells (PSCs) based on a bulk heterojunction (BHJ) system. The combination of 1,8-diiodooctane (DIO), a high-boiling and selective solvent, for fullerene derivatives and poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) precursor, a nonvolatile insulating additive, affords complementary functions on the effective modulation of BHJ morphology. It was found that DIO and PDMS precursor each play different roles in the control of BHJ morphology, and thus, the power conversion efficiency (PCE) can be further enhanced to 7.6% by improving the fill factor (FF) from 6.8% compared to that achieved using a conventional device employing only a DIO additive. In the BHJ of the active layer, DIO suppressed the large phase separation of PBDTTT-CF and PC71BM while allowing the formation of continuous polymer networks in the donor polymer through phase separation of the PDMS precursor and BHJ components. The appropriate amount of PDMS precursor does not disturb charge transport in the BHJ despite having insulating properties. In addition, the dependence of photovoltaic parameters on different light intensities reveals that the charge recombination in the device with DIO and PDMS precursor decreases compared to that achieved using the device with only DIO.

  5. Intense natural selection caused a rapid morphological transition in a living marine snail

    PubMed Central

    Seeley, Robin Hadlock

    1986-01-01

    Shell shape and shell thickness of the intertidal snail Littorina obtusata changed markedly between 1871 and 1984 in northern New England. Shells collected prior to 1900 were high-spired with thin walls, whereas shells collected in 1982-84 were low-spired with thick walls. An intertidal crab (Carcinus maenas) which preys on L. obtusata expanded its range into northern New England around 1900. This suggests that the change in snail shell form was a response to predation by Carcinus. Field and laboratory experiments demonstrated that the high-spired form of L. obtusata, which can still be found in some Maine localities, is more vulnerable to predation by Carcinus than is the low-spired form of L. obtusata. Electrophoretic comparisons of high- and low-spired populations of L. obtusata confirmed that these populations represent different morphological forms of L. obtusata rather than different species [Nei's D (unbiased measure of genetic distance) = 0.003]. These data demonstrate that classical Darwinian selection can produce a rapid morphological transition without speciation. Images PMID:16593760

  6. Sequencing, speech production, and selective effects of aging on phonological and morphological speech errors.

    PubMed

    MacKay, Donald G; James, Lori E

    2004-03-01

    To test age-linked predictions of node structure theory (NST) and other theories, young and older adults performed a task that elicited large numbers of phonological and morphological speech errors. Stimuli were visually presented words containing either /p/ or /b/, and participants changed the /p/ to /b/ or vice versa and produced the resulting word as quickly as possible. For example, the correct response was "bunk" for the stimulus PUNK, and "ripped" for RIBBED. Consistent with NST predictions, the elicited speech errors exhibited selective effects of aging. Some error types decreased with aging. For example, young adults produced more nonsequential substitution errors (as a percentage of total errors) than older adults (e.g., intended bills misproduced as "gills"). However, other error types remained constant or increased with aging. For example, older adults produced more omission errors than young adults, especially omissions involving inflectional endings (e.g. intended ripped misproduced as "np"). In addition, older adults exhibited special difficulties with 2 types of phonological and morphological sequencing processes.

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

    PubMed Central

    Shenoy, Kausalya

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  9. Radio morphology and parent population of X-ray selected BL Lacertae objects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laurent-Muehleisen, S. A.; Kollgaard, R. I.; Moellenbrock, G. A.; Feigelson, E. D.

    1993-01-01

    High-dynamic range (typically 1700:1) radio maps of 15 X-ray BL Lac (XBL) objects from the HEAO-1 Large Area Sky Survey are presented. Morphological characteristics of these sources are compared with Fanaroff-Riley (FR) class I radio galaxies in the context of unified schemes, with reference to one-sided kiloparsec-scale emission. Evidence that cluster membership of XBLs is significantly higher than previously thought is also presented. It is shown that the extended radio powers, X-ray emission, core-to-lobe ratios, and linear sizes of the radio selected BL Lac (RBL) and XBL populations are consistent with an FR I radio galaxy parent population. A source list and VLA observing log and map parameters are provided.

  10. Angiogenic Signalling Pathways Altered in Gliomas: Selection Mechanisms for More Aggressive Neoplastic Subpopulations with Invasive Phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Bulnes, Susana; Bengoetxea, Harkaitz; Ortuzar, Naiara; Argandoña, Enrike G.; Garcia-Blanco, Álvaro; Rico-Barrio, Irantzu; Lafuente, José V.

    2012-01-01

    The angiogenesis process is a key event for glioma survival, malignancy and growth. The start of angiogenesis is mediated by a cascade of intratumoural events: alteration of the microvasculature network; a hypoxic microenvironment; adaptation of neoplastic cells and synthesis of pro-angiogenic factors. Due to a chaotic blood flow, a consequence of an aberrant microvasculature, tissue hypoxia phenomena are induced. Hypoxia inducible factor 1 is a major regulator in glioma invasiveness and angiogenesis. Clones of neoplastic cells with stem cell characteristics are selected by HIF-1. These cells, called “glioma stem cells” induce the synthesis of vascular endothelial growth factor. This factor is a pivotal mediator of angiogenesis. To elucidate the role of these angiogenic mediators during glioma growth, we have used a rat endogenous glioma model. Gliomas induced by prenatal ENU administration allowed us to study angiogenic events from early to advanced tumour stages. Events such as microvascular aberrations, hypoxia, GSC selection and VEGF synthesis may be studied in depth. Our data showed that for the treatment of gliomas, developing anti-angiogenic therapies could be aimed at GSCs, HIF-1 or VEGF. The ENU-glioma model can be considered to be a useful option to check novel designs of these treatment strategies. PMID:22852079

  11. Selective leptin insensitivity and alterations in female-reproductive patterns linked to hyperleptinemia during infancy.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Mariana; Kronfeld-Schor, Noga; Weller, Aron

    2013-01-01

    The dramatic increase in the prevalence of childhood obesity worldwide makes the investigation of its early developmental stages and effective prevention strategies an urgent issue. CCK1 deficient OLETF rats are a model of obesity previously used to study the early phases of this disorder. Here, we exposed wild type (LETO) females to an early obesogenic environment and genetically obese OLETF females to a lean postnatal environment, to assess long term alterations in leptin sensitivity, predisposition to diet induced obesity and adult female health. We found that genetically lean females reared by obese mothers presented early postnatal hyperleptemia, selectively reduced response to leptin and sensitivity to diet induced obesity when exposed to a high palatable diet as adults. The estrous cycle structure and intake profile were permanently disrupted, despite presenting normal adiposity/body weight/food intake. Genetically obese females reared by lean dams showed normalized early levels of leptin and reduced body weight, food intake and body fat at adulthood; normalized estrous cycle structure and food intake across the cycle, improved hormonal profile and peripheral leptin sensitivity and a remarkable progress in self-control when exposed to a high fat/palatable diet. Altogether, it appears that the early postnatal environment plays a critical role in determining later life coping with metabolic challenges and has an additive effect on the genetic predisposition that makes OLETF females morbidly obese as adults. This work also links, for the first time, alterations in the leptin system during early development to later life abnormalities related to female reproduction and health.

  12. Evidence that both genetic instability and selection contribute to the accumulation of chromosome alterations in cancer.

    PubMed

    Gorringe, Kylie L; Chin, Suet-Feung; Pharoah, Paul; Staines, Joanne M; Oliveira, Carla; Edwards, Paul A W; Caldas, Carlos

    2005-05-01

    Cancer cells contain many genetic alterations, and genetic instability may be important in tumourigenesis. We evaluated 58 breast and ovarian cancer cell lines for microsatellite instability (MSI) and chromosomal instability (CIN). MSI was identified in 3/33 breast and 5/25 ovarian cell lines, and 7/8 MSI lines showed an inactivation of mismatch repair. Average ploidy by centromeric fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of MSI (n = 8, average ploidy = 2.65) and microsatellite stable (MSS; n = 7, average ploidy = 3.01) cell lines was not different, due to the presence of three aneuploid MSI lines, and two near-diploid MSS lines. However, the variability of the centromeric FISH data was different between MSI and MSS (P = 0.049). The complexity of structural chromosomal rearrangements was not different between MSI and MSS. Thus, MSI and numerical CIN are not mutually exclusive, and structural CIN occurs independently of MSI or numerical CIN. Dynamic genetic instability was evaluated in three cell lines-MSI diploid (MT-3), MSS diploid (SUM159) and MSS aneuploid (MT-1). Ten clones of each of these cell lines were analysed by centromeric FISH and six-colour chromosome painting. The variation in chromosome number was different among all three cell lines (P < 0.001). MT-3 appeared numerically constant (94% of centromeric FISH signals matched the mode). SUM159 was 88% constant; however, 7% of cells had duplicated chromosomes. MT-1 was 82% constant; most changes were chromosomal losses. The six-colour FISH data showed that SUM159 had more stable structural chromosomal alterations (e.g. chromosomal translocations) compared with MT-3 and MT-1, but had no increase in unstable changes (e.g. chromatid breaks) when compared with MT-3. MT-1 had fewer unstable changes than both MT-3 and SUM159. These data suggest that numerical CIN may contribute to aneuploidy, but that selection plays an important role, particularly for the accumulation of structural chromosomal changes.

  13. Selection on phenotypic plasticity of morphological traits in response to flooding and competition in the clonal shore plant Ranunculus reptans.

    PubMed

    van Kleunen, M; Lenssen, J P M; Fischer, M; de Kroon, H

    2007-11-01

    Adaptive evolution of phenotypic plasticity requires that plastic genotypes have the highest global fitness. We studied selection by spatial heterogeneity of interspecific competition and flooding, and by temporal heterogeneity of flooding on morphological plasticity of 52 genotypes of the clonal shore plant Ranunculus reptans. Competition reduced clone size, rosette size, leaf length and stolon internode thickness. Flooding had similar effects and reduced competition. Differences in selection between environments imply potential for either local adaptation or for indirect evolution of phenotypic plasticity. We also detected direct selection for plastic reductions in internode length in response to flooding and for a plastic increase in internode length in response to competition. Plastic responses of some morphological traits to flooding were in line with selection thereon, suggesting that they indeed are adaptive and might have evolved in response to direct selection on plasticity.

  14. Viable and morphologically normal boar spermatozoa alter the expression of heat-shock protein genes in oviductal epithelial cells during co-culture in vitro.

    PubMed

    Yeste, Marc; Holt, William V; Bonet, Sergi; Rodríguez-Gil, Joan E; Lloyd, Rhiannon E

    2014-09-01

    The principal aim of this study was to determine if boar spermatozoa influence the expression of four selected chaperone and heat-shock protein (HSP) genes-namely clusterin (CLU), HSP90AA1, HSPA5, and HSPA8-in oviductal epithelial cells (OECs) during in vitro co-culture. All corresponding proteins of these genes were previously identified in a sperm-interacting, 70-kDa soluble fraction derived from apical plasma membranes of OECs. The present study also sought to determine whether or not: (i) spermatozoa must directly bind to OEC for an effect on gene expression to be elicited and (ii) reproductive and nonreproductive epithelial cell types (LLC-PK1, pig kidney) respond equivalently, in terms of alterations in chaperone and HSP gene expression, during co-culture with sperm. Spermatozoa induced a significant upregulation (P < 0.05) in HSP90AA1 and HSPA5 in OECs after 3 hr, and in HSPA8 after 6 hr of co-culture when they were in direct contact with epithelial cells. Conversely, no upregulation of HSP transcription was observed when spermatozoa did not directly bind to OECs. Spermatozoa also induced a significant upregulation (P < 0.05) of the same three genes when in direct contact with LLC-PK1 cells, but the timing occurred later than with OECs. Interestingly, the extent of HSP gene upregulation induced by direct contact of spermatozoa with epithelial cells was dependent on sperm-binding index and on the viability and morphological quality of the bound sperm population. In conclusion, the upregulation of HSP genes caused by direct contact between spermatozoa and OECs, rather than nonreproductive epithelial cells, suggests HSPs could play an integral role in the modulation of sperm function in the oviductal reservoir.

  15. Predation-imposed selection on threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) morphology: a test of the refuge use hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Leinonen, Tuomas; Herczeg, Gábor; Cano, José Manuel; Merilä, Juha

    2011-10-01

    The transition from marine to freshwater life in the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) is accompanied by complex morphological changes-including reduction in bony armor and change in body shape-but experimental evidence for the selective agents behind these evolutionary transitions is sparse. We investigated whether selection by predatory fish affects threespine stickleback morphology differentially when refuge is absent (pelagic lifestyle-ancestral condition) or present (benthic lifestyle-derived condition). Our results show that selection favors low numbers of lateral plates in habitats with refuge, whereas fully plated individuals have a selective advantage in habitats without refuge. We also found that a decrease in the length of the caudal peduncle increased survival probability, irrespective of habitat. The effect of spine lengths on survival was evident only in a multivariate analysis of selection, implying that it is essential to account for phenotypic and genetic correlations between traits before drawing conclusions about the effects of selection on single traits. Apart from uncovering targets and patterns of predator-induced selection on threespine stickleback morphology, our results provide direct evidence to support the hypothesis that differences in antipredator strategies in pelagic versus benthic sticklebacks could play a role in the repeated, independent cases of plate number reduction following freshwater colonization in this species.

  16. Selective turnover and alteration of soluble and cell wall polysaccharides in grasses

    SciTech Connect

    Gibeaut, D.M.; Carpita, N.C. )

    1991-05-01

    Cells of proso millet in liquid culture and leaves of maize seedlings readily incorporated radioactive glucose and arabinose into soluble and cell wall polymers. Radioactivity from arabinose accumulated selectively in polymers containing arabinose or xylose because a salvage pathway and C-4 epimerase yields both nucleotide-pentoses. On the other hand, radioactivity from glucose was found in all sugars and polymers. Pulse-chase experiments with proso millet cells in liquid culture demonstrated turnover of buffer soluble polymers within minutes and accumulation of radioactive polymers in the cell wall. In leaves of maize seedlings, radioactive polymers accumulated quickly and peaked 30 hours after the pulse, then decreased slowly for the remaining time course. During further growth of the seedling, radioactive polymers became more tenaciously bound in the cell wall. Sugars were constantly recycled from turnover of polysaccharides of the cell wall. Arabinose, hydrolyzed from glucuronoarabinoxylans, and glucose, hydrolyzed from mixed-linkage {beta}-D-glucans, constituted most of the sugar participating in turnover. Arabinogalactans were a large portion of the buffer soluble (cytoplasmic) polymers of both proso millet cells and maize seedling, and these polymers also exhibited turnover. Our results indicate that the primary cell wall is not simply a sink for various polysaccharide components, but rather a dynamic compartment exhibiting long-term re-organization by turnover and alteration of specific polymers during development.

  17. An efficient system for selectively altering genetic information within mRNAs

    PubMed Central

    Montiel-González, Maria Fernanda; Vallecillo-Viejo, Isabel C.; Rosenthal, Joshua J. C.

    2016-01-01

    Site-directed RNA editing (SDRE) is a strategy to precisely alter genetic information within mRNAs. By linking the catalytic domain of the RNA editing enzyme ADAR to an antisense guide RNA, specific adenosines can be converted to inosines, biological mimics for guanosine. Previously, we showed that a genetically encoded iteration of SDRE could target adenosines expressed in human cells, but not efficiently. Here we developed a reporter assay to quantify editing, and used it to improve our strategy. By enhancing the linkage between ADAR's catalytic domain and the guide RNA, and by introducing a mutation in the catalytic domain, the efficiency of converting a UAG premature termination codon (PTC) to tryptophan (UGG) was improved from ∼11 % to ∼70 %. Other PTCs were edited, but less efficiently. Numerous off-target edits were identified in the targeted mRNA, but not in randomly selected endogenous messages. Off-target edits could be eliminated by reducing the amount of guide RNA with a reduction in on-target editing. The catalytic rate of SDRE was compared with those for human ADARs on various substrates and found to be within an order of magnitude of most. These data underscore the promise of site-directed RNA editing as a therapeutic or experimental tool. PMID:27557710

  18. Selected clinical, biochemical, and electrolyte alterations in anesthetized captive tigers (Panthera tigris) and lions (Panthera leo).

    PubMed

    Reilly, Sabrina; Seddighi, M Reza; Steeil, James C; Sura, Patricia; Whittemore, Jacqueline C; Gompf, Rebecca E; Elliott, Sarah B; Ramsay, Edward C

    2014-06-01

    A prospective study to assess changes in selected plasma biochemistry and electrolyte values, plasma insulin and aldosterone concentrations, and electrocardiography (ECG) was performed on eight female captive tigers (Panthera tigris) and three lions (Panthera leo) undergoing general anesthesia for elective laparoscopic ovariectomy. Each animal was sedated with medetomidine (18-25 microg/kg) and midazolam (0.06-0.1 mg/kg) intramuscularly, and anesthesia was induced with ketamine (1.9-3.5 mg/kg) intramuscularly and maintained with isoflurane. Venous blood samples were collected and analyzed for plasma biochemistry parameters and insulin and aldosterone concentrations. An ECG was recorded at the time of each blood sample collection. Mean plasma potassium, glucose, phosphorus, and aldosterone concentrations increased during anesthesia (P < or = 0.05). One tiger developed hyperkalemia (6.5 mmol/L) 2.5 hr after anesthetic induction. Plasma insulin concentrations were initially below the low end of the domestic cat reference interval (72-583 pmol/L), but mean insulin concentration increased (P < or = 0.05) over time compared with the baseline values. Three tigers and two lions had ECG changes that were representative of myocardial hypoxemia. Based on these results, continuous monitoring of clinical and biochemical alterations during general anesthesia in large nondomestic felids is warranted, and consideration should be given to reversal of medetomidine in these animals should significant changes in electrolytes or ECG occur.

  19. Relating the ontogeny of functional morphology and prey selection with larval mortality in Amphiprion frenatus.

    PubMed

    Anto, Justin; Turingan, Ralph G

    2010-06-01

    Survival during the pelagic larval phase of marine fish is highly variable and is subject to numerous factors. A sharp decline in the number of surviving larvae usually occurs during the transition from endogenous to exogenous feeding known as the first feeding stage in fish larvae. The present study was designed to evaluate the link between functional morphology and prey selection in an attempt to understand how the relationship influences mortality of a marine fish larva, Amphiprion frenatus, through ontogeny. Larvae were reared from hatch to 14 days post hatch (DPH) with one of four diets [rotifers and newly hatched Artemia sp. nauplii (RA); rotifers and wild plankton (RP); rotifers, wild plankton, and newly hatched Artemia nauplii (RPA); wild plankton and newly hatched Artemia nauplii (PA)]. Survival did not differ among diets. Larvae from all diets experienced mass mortality from 1 to 5 DPH followed by decreased mortality from 6 to 14 DPH; individuals fed RA were the exception, exhibiting continuous mortality from 6 to 14 DPH. Larvae consumed progressively larger prey with growth and age, likely due to age related increase in gape. During the mass mortality event, larvae selected small prey items and exhibited few ossified elements. Cessation of mass mortality coincided with consumption of large prey and ossification of key elements of the feeding apparatus. Mass mortality did not appear to be solely influenced by inability to establish first feeding. We hypothesize the interaction of reduced feeding capacities (i.e., complexity of the feeding apparatus) and larval physiology such as digestion or absorption efficiency contributed to the mortality event during the first feeding period.

  20. Comparative morphological and histochemical aspects of selected arteries in the chicken and rat.

    PubMed

    Fischer, V W; Kloetzer, W S; Baker, K E

    1977-01-01

    Morphologic and histochemical characteristics of selected portions of normal arteries from two species known to differ in susceptibility to vascular disease were examined. Arteries were classified as predominantly elastic, muscular or complex. Species differences in the structural organization of the abdominal aortic segment were observed. Arterial mucopoly-saccharides were stained more intensely in the tunica intima and media of chicken vessels than within those of the rat, and tended to be most concentrated in proximity of the internal elastic membrane. Histochemical procedures for the demonstration of enzymatic activity revealed inter-and intraspecies variations in vascular metabolism. Pronounced differences in reaction intensity for hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase and malic enzyme, affecting chicken and rat coronary arteries, were noted. In contrast, theses vessels displayed only minimal activity for acid phosphatase. Marked endothelial deposition of alkaline phosphatase reaction products in the arteries of the chicken was demonstrated, while this enzyme's activity in the vessels of the rat was restricted to the tunica adventitia. The implications of these structural and histochemical factors with regard to vascular susceptibility to disease were discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  2. Curcuma treatment prevents cognitive deficit and alteration of neuronal morphology in the limbic system of aging rats.

    PubMed

    Vidal, Blanca; Vázquez-Roque, Rubén A; Gnecco, Dino; Enríquez, Raúl G; Floran, Benjamin; Díaz, Alfonso; Flores, Gonzalo

    2017-03-01

    Curcuma is a natural compound that has shown neuroprotective properties, and has been reported to prevent aging and improve memory. While the mechanism(s) underlying these effects are unclear, they may be related to increases in neural plasticity. Morphological changes have been reported in neuronal dendrites in the limbic system in animals and elderly humans with cognitive impairment. In this regard, there is a need to use alternative therapies that delay the onset of morphologies and behavioral characteristics of aging. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of curcuma on cognitive processes and dendritic morphology of neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the CA1 and CA3 regions of the dorsal hippocampus, the dentate gyrus, and the basolateral amygdala (BLA) of aged rats. 18-month-old rats were administered curcuma (100 mg/kg) daily for 60 days. After treatment, recognition memory was assessed using the novel object recognition test. Curcuma-treated rats showed a significant increase in the exploration quotient. Dendritic morphology was assessed by Golgi-Cox staining and followed by Sholl analysis. Curcuma-treated rats showed a significant increase in dendritic spine density and dendritic length in pyramidal neurons of the PFC, the CA1 and CA3, and the BLA. The preservation of dendritic morphology was positively correlated with cognitive improvements. Our results suggest that curcuma induces modification of dendritic morphology in the aforementioned regions. These changes may explain how curcuma slows the aging process that has already begun in these animals, preventing deterioration in neuronal morphology of the limbic system and recognition memory.

  3. 41 CFR 102-74.140 - On what basis does the Administrator select construction and alteration projects?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 41 Public Contracts and Property Management 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false On what basis does the Administrator select construction and alteration projects? 102-74.140 Section 102-74.140 Public Contracts and Property Management Federal Property Management Regulations System (Continued) FEDERAL...

  4. 41 CFR 102-74.140 - On what basis does the Administrator select construction and alteration projects?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 41 Public Contracts and Property Management 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false On what basis does the Administrator select construction and alteration projects? 102-74.140 Section 102-74.140 Public Contracts and Property Management Federal Property Management Regulations System (Continued) FEDERAL...

  5. 41 CFR 102-74.140 - On what basis does the Administrator select construction and alteration projects?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 41 Public Contracts and Property Management 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false On what basis does the Administrator select construction and alteration projects? 102-74.140 Section 102-74.140 Public Contracts and Property Management Federal Property Management Regulations System (Continued) FEDERAL...

  6. 41 CFR 102-74.135 - Who selects construction and alteration projects that are to be performed?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 41 Public Contracts and Property Management 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Who selects construction and alteration projects that are to be performed? 102-74.135 Section 102-74.135 Public Contracts and Property Management Federal Property Management Regulations System (Continued) FEDERAL...

  7. 41 CFR 102-74.135 - Who selects construction and alteration projects that are to be performed?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 41 Public Contracts and Property Management 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Who selects construction and alteration projects that are to be performed? 102-74.135 Section 102-74.135 Public Contracts and Property Management Federal Property Management Regulations System (Continued) FEDERAL...

  8. 41 CFR 102-74.135 - Who selects construction and alteration projects that are to be performed?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 41 Public Contracts and Property Management 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Who selects construction and alteration projects that are to be performed? 102-74.135 Section 102-74.135 Public Contracts and Property Management Federal Property Management Regulations System (Continued) FEDERAL...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. Leaf morphological and physiological adjustments to the spectrally selective shade imposed by anthocyanins in Prunus cerasifera.

    PubMed

    Kyparissis, A; Grammatikopoulos, G; Manetas, Y

    2007-06-01

    Prunus domestica L. has green leaves, whereas Prunus cerasifera Ehrh. var. atropurpurea has red leaves due to the presence of mesophyll anthocyanins. We compared morphological and photosynthetic characteristics of leaves of these species, which were sampled from shoots grafted in pairs on P. domestica rootstocks, each pair comprising one shoot of each species. Two hypotheses were tested: (1) anthocyanins protect red leaves against photoinhibition; and (2) red leaves display shade characteristics because of light attenuation by anthocyanins. Parameters were measured seasonally, during a period of increasing water stress, which caused a similar drop in shoot water potential in each species. As judged by predawn measurements of maximum PSII yield, chronic photoinhibition did not develop in either species and, despite the anthocyanic screen, the red leaves of P. cerasifera displayed lower light-adapted PSII yields and higher non-photochemical quenching than the green leaves of P. domestica. Thus, it appears that, in this system, anthocyanins afford little photoprotection. As predicted by the shade acclimation hypothesis, red leaves were thinner and had a lower stomatal frequency, area- based CO2 assimilation rate, apparent carboxylation efficiency and chlorophyll a:b ratio than green leaves. However, red leaves were similar to green leaves in conductivity to water vapor diffusion, dry-mass-based chlorophyll concentrations and carotenoid:chlorophyll ratios. The data for red leaves indicate adaptations to a green-depleted, red-enriched shade, rather than a neutral or canopy-like shade. Thus, green light attenuation by anthocyanins may impose a limitation on leaf thickness. Moreover, the selective depletion of light at wavelengths that are preferentially absorbed by PSII and chlorophyll b may lead to adjustments in chlorophyll pigment ratios to compensate for the uneven spectral distribution of internal light. The apparent photosynthetic cost associated with lost photons

  11. Deficiency of Starch Synthase IIIa and IVb Alters Starch Granule Morphology from Polyhedral to Spherical in Rice Endosperm1

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Morphologic alterations in the trachea and the salivary gland following the induction of rapid synchronous vitamin A deficiency in rats.

    PubMed Central

    Anzano, M. A.; Olson, J. A.; Lamb, A. J.

    1980-01-01

    The use of the synchronous induction method enables both assessment of the sequence and reliability of the appearance of morphologic signs of vitamin A deficiency, and their accurate correlation with biochemical and physiologic abnormalities. In the trachea, hyperplasia of basal epithelial cells was observed by Day 4 (T4) following the withdrawal of retinoic acid from retinoate-cycled, stringently deficient rats. Keratinization was observed by Day 6, the upper part of the trachea showing the highest incidence of keratinization. All such metaplastic changes originated in the narrow strip of tissue directly cojoining the esophagus. In the submaxillary glands, atrophy of the acini, an increase in interlobular spaces, and fibrosis and dilatation of the ducts was observed by Day 10. In more advanced stages of deficiency (T14-T18), cyst formation associated with suppuration and extensive cell atrophy was observed. Morphologic changes were less marked in the sublingual glands, although mucin levels were noticeably depressed by Day 12 of deficiency. Following the oral dosing of deficient animals (T12) with 350 micrograms retinyl palmitate, all such changes were reversed within 6 days in the trachea and within 10 days in the submaxillary and sublingual glands. Similar patterns were observed whether animals were force-fed or were fed ad libitum. Apart, therefore, from cause-effect considerations per se, morphologic changes are also potentially valuable reference indicators of deficiency, particularly in time course studies, or where force-feeding attenuates other signs of deficiency. Images Figure 1-3 PMID:6153866

  13. Intraspecific divergence in sperm morphology of the green sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis: implications for selection in broadcast spawners

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Sperm morphology can be highly variable among species, but less is known about patterns of population differentiation within species. Most studies of sperm morphometric variation are done in species with internal fertilization, where sexual selection can be mediated by complex mating behavior and the environment of the female reproductive tract. Far less is known about patterns of sperm evolution in broadcast spawners, where reproductive dynamics are largely carried out at the gametic level. We investigated variation in sperm morphology of a broadcast spawner, the green sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis), within and among spawnings of an individual, among individuals within a population, and among populations. We also examined population-level variation between two reproductive seasons for one population. We then compared among-population quantitative genetic divergence (QST) for sperm characters to divergence at neutral microsatellite markers (FST). Results All sperm traits except total length showed strong patterns of high diversity among populations, as did overall sperm morphology quantified using multivariate analysis. We also found significant differences in almost all traits among individuals in all populations. Head length, axoneme length, and total length had high within-male repeatability across multiple spawnings. Only sperm head width had significant within-population variation across two reproductive seasons. We found signatures of directional selection on head length and head width, with strong selection possibly acting on head length between the Pacific and West Atlantic populations. We also discuss the strengths and limitations of the QST-FST comparison. Conclusion Sperm morphology in S. droebachiensis is highly variable, both among populations and among individuals within populations, and has low variation within an individual across multiple spawnings. Selective pressures acting among populations may differ from those acting

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-22

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

  16. Alterations to dendritic spine morphology, but not dendrite patterning, of cortical projection neurons in Tc1 and Ts1Rhr mouse models of Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Haas, Matilda A; Bell, Donald; Slender, Amy; Lana-Elola, Eva; Watson-Scales, Sheona; Fisher, Elizabeth M C; Tybulewicz, Victor L J; Guillemot, François

    2013-01-01

    Down Syndrome (DS) is a highly prevalent developmental disorder, affecting 1/700 births. Intellectual disability, which affects learning and memory, is present in all cases and is reflected by below average IQ. We sought to determine whether defective morphology and connectivity in neurons of the cerebral cortex may underlie the cognitive deficits that have been described in two mouse models of DS, the Tc1 and Ts1Rhr mouse lines. We utilised in utero electroporation to label a cohort of future upper layer projection neurons in the cerebral cortex of developing mouse embryos with GFP, and then examined neuronal positioning and morphology in early adulthood, which revealed no alterations in cortical layer position or morphology in either Tc1 or Ts1Rhr mouse cortex. The number of dendrites, as well as dendrite length and branching was normal in both DS models, compared with wildtype controls. The sites of projection neuron synaptic inputs, dendritic spines, were analysed in Tc1 and Ts1Rhr cortex at three weeks and three months after birth, and significant changes in spine morphology were observed in both mouse lines. Ts1Rhr mice had significantly fewer thin spines at three weeks of age. At three months of age Tc1 mice had significantly fewer mushroom spines--the morphology associated with established synaptic inputs and learning and memory. The decrease in mushroom spines was accompanied by a significant increase in the number of stubby spines. This data suggests that dendritic spine abnormalities may be a more important contributor to cognitive deficits in DS models, rather than overall neuronal architecture defects.

  17. Alterations to Dendritic Spine Morphology, but Not Dendrite Patterning, of Cortical Projection Neurons in Tc1 and Ts1Rhr Mouse Models of Down Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Haas, Matilda A.; Bell, Donald; Slender, Amy; Lana-Elola, Eva; Watson-Scales, Sheona; Fisher, Elizabeth M. C.; Tybulewicz, Victor L. J.; Guillemot, François

    2013-01-01

    Down Syndrome (DS) is a highly prevalent developmental disorder, affecting 1/700 births. Intellectual disability, which affects learning and memory, is present in all cases and is reflected by below average IQ. We sought to determine whether defective morphology and connectivity in neurons of the cerebral cortex may underlie the cognitive deficits that have been described in two mouse models of DS, the Tc1 and Ts1Rhr mouse lines. We utilised in utero electroporation to label a cohort of future upper layer projection neurons in the cerebral cortex of developing mouse embryos with GFP, and then examined neuronal positioning and morphology in early adulthood, which revealed no alterations in cortical layer position or morphology in either Tc1 or Ts1Rhr mouse cortex. The number of dendrites, as well as dendrite length and branching was normal in both DS models, compared with wildtype controls. The sites of projection neuron synaptic inputs, dendritic spines, were analysed in Tc1 and Ts1Rhr cortex at three weeks and three months after birth, and significant changes in spine morphology were observed in both mouse lines. Ts1Rhr mice had significantly fewer thin spines at three weeks of age. At three months of age Tc1 mice had significantly fewer mushroom spines - the morphology associated with established synaptic inputs and learning and memory. The decrease in mushroom spines was accompanied by a significant increase in the number of stubby spines. This data suggests that dendritic spine abnormalities may be a more important contributor to cognitive deficits in DS models, rather than overall neuronal architecture defects. PMID:24205261

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  19. Atomic force microscopic study on morphological alterations induced by photodynamic action of Toluidine Blue O in Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Sahu, Khageswar; Bansal, Harsha; Mukherjee, Chandrachur; Sharma, Mrinalini; Gupta, Pradeep Kumar

    2009-07-17

    Topographical alterations induced by Toluidine Blue O (TBO) mediated photodynamic treatment in Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli was studied using atomic force microscopy (AFM). The AFM images showed distinct differences in the effect of photodynamic treatment on the morphology of S. aureus and E. coli. In S. aureus, photodynamic treatment with TBO resulted in light dose dependent increase in surface bleb formation suggesting breakage in the contact between the cell wall and the membrane with no significant change in the cell dimensions. Photosensitization of E. coli, resulted in surface indentations, significant reduction in the mean cell height, and flattening of bacteria as compared to the bacteria treated with the photosensitizers in the dark. These results indicate damage to the bacterial membrane and reduction of cell volume due to the loss of cytoplasmic materials. Leakage of intracellular contents measured using absorption spectrophotometry was higher and occurred faster in E. coli as compared to S. aureus and correlated with the morphological alterations. The results suggest that with AFM imaging it is possible to distinguish the membranolytic action of TBO in Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

  20. Larval morphology of selected Quedius Stephens, 1829 (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Staphylinini) with comments on their subgeneric affiliation.

    PubMed

    Pietrykowska-Tudruj, Ewa; Czepiel-Mil, Katarzyna; Staniec, Bernard

    2014-07-07

    The study concerns the larval morphology of eight Quedius species from four subgenera: Distichalius, Microsaurus, Quedius, and Raphirus. Mature larvae of three species: Q. (Microsaurus) brevis, Q. (M.) cruentus, and Q. (M.) microps are newly described. The hitherto poorly known larvae of five species: Q. (Raphirus) boops, Q. (Distichalius) cinctus, Q. (s. str.) fuliginosus, Q. (s. str.) molochinus and Q. (M.) mesomelinus, are redescribed. Illustrations of structural features are provided. The combination of characters that allow for distinguishing the known mature larvae of Quedius from closely related genera within the subtribe Quediina is specified. Diagnostic larval morphological characters for each of the subgenera are proposed. The analysis of morphological features within the genus Quedius, with the application of the Multi-Variate Statistic Package (MVSP), showed high distinctiveness of the subgenus Quedius and low coherence among species within the subgenus Microsaurus. The intraspecific variation in the number of bifurcate setae and their spacing on fore tibiae of Q. cinctus is presented.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weigand, A. J.

    1978-01-01

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

  3. Imbalanced Expression of Vcan mRNA Splice Form Proteins Alters Heart Morphology and Cellular Protein Profiles

    PubMed Central

    Burns, Tara A.; Dours-Zimmermann, Maria T.; Zimmermann, Dieter R.; Krug, Edward L.; Comte-Walters, Susana; Reyes, Leticia; Davis, Monica A.; Schey, Kevin L.; Schwacke, John H.; Kern, Christine B.; Mjaatvedt, Corey H.

    2014-01-01

    The fundamental importance of the proteoglycan versican to early heart formation was clearly demonstrated by the Vcan null mouse called heart defect (hdf). Total absence of the Vcan gene halts heart development at a stage prior to the heart’s pulmonary/aortic outlet segment growth. This creates a problem for determining the significance of versican’s expression in the forming valve precursors and vascular wall of the pulmonary and aortic roots. This study presents data from a mouse model, Vcan(tm1Zim), of heart defects that results from deletion of exon 7 in the Vcan gene. Loss of exon 7 prevents expression of two of the four alternative splice forms of the Vcan gene. Mice homozygous for the exon 7 deletion survive into adulthood, however, the inability to express the V2 or V0 forms of versican results in ventricular septal defects, smaller cushions/valve leaflets with diminished myocardialization and altered pulmonary and aortic outflow tracts. We correlate these phenotypic findings with a large-scale differential protein expression profiling to identify compensatory alterations in cardiac protein expression at E13.5 post coitus that result from the absence of Vcan exon 7. The Vcan(tm1Zim) hearts show significant changes in the relative abundance of several cytoskeletal and muscle contraction proteins including some previously associated with heart disease. These alterations define a protein fingerprint that provides insight to the observed deficiencies in pre-valvular/septal cushion mesenchyme and the stability of the myocardial phenotype required for alignment of the outflow tract with the heart ventricles. PMID:24586547

  4. Altered age-related changes in bioenergetic properties and mitochondrial morphology in fibroblasts from sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Allen, Scott P; Duffy, Lynn M; Shaw, Pamela J; Grierson, Andrew J

    2015-10-01

    Mitochondria play a key role in aging, which is a well-established risk factor in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We have previously modeled metabolic dysregulation in ALS using fibroblasts isolated from sporadic ALS (SALS) and familial ALS patients. In the present study, we show that fibroblasts from SALS patients have an altered metabolic response to aging. Control fibroblasts demonstrated increased mitochondrial network complexity and spare respiratory capacity with age which was not seen in the SALS cases. SALS cases displayed an increase in uncoupled mitochondrial respiration, which was not evident in control cases. Unlike SALS cases, controls showed a decrease in glycolysis and an increase in the oxygen consumption rate/extracellular acidification rate ratio, indicating an increased reliance on mitochondrial function. Switching to a more oxidative state by removing glucose with in the culture media resulted in a loss of the mitochondrial interconnectivity and spare respiratory capacity increases observed in controls grown in glucose. Glucose removal also led to an age-independent increase in glycolysis in the SALS cases. This study is, to the best our knowledge, the first to assess the effect of aging on both mitochondrial and glycolytic function simultaneously in intact human fibroblasts and demonstrates that the SALS disease state shifts the cellular metabolic response to aging to a more glycolytic state compared with age-matched control fibroblasts. This work highlights that ALS alters the metabolic equilibrium even in peripheral tissues outside the central nervous system. Elucidating at a molecular level how this occurs and at what stage in the disease process is crucial to understanding why ALS affects cellular energy metabolism and how the disease alters the natural cellular response to aging.

  5. Postnatal disruption of the disintegrin/metalloproteinase ADAM10 in brain causes epileptic seizures, learning deficits, altered spine morphology, and defective synaptic functions.

    PubMed

    Prox, Johannes; Bernreuther, Christian; Altmeppen, Hermann; Grendel, Jasper; Glatzel, Markus; D'Hooge, Rudi; Stroobants, Stijn; Ahmed, Tariq; Balschun, Detlef; Willem, Michael; Lammich, Sven; Isbrandt, Dirk; Schweizer, Michaela; Horré, Katrien; De Strooper, Bart; Saftig, Paul

    2013-08-07

    The metalloproteinase ADAM10 is of importance for Notch-dependent cortical brain development. The protease is tightly linked with α-secretase activity toward the amyloid precursor protein (APP) substrate. Increasing ADAM10 activity is suggested as a therapy to prevent the production of the neurotoxic amyloid β (Aβ) peptide in Alzheimer's disease. To investigate the function of ADAM10 in postnatal brain, we generated Adam10 conditional knock-out (A10cKO) mice using a CaMKIIα-Cre deleter strain. The lack of ADAM10 protein expression was evident in the brain cortex leading to a reduced generation of sAPPα and increased levels of sAPPβ and endogenous Aβ peptides. The A10cKO mice are characterized by weight loss and increased mortality after weaning associated with seizures. Behavioral comparison of adult mice revealed that the loss of ADAM10 in the A10cKO mice resulted in decreased neuromotor abilities and reduced learning performance, which were associated with altered in vivo network activities in the hippocampal CA1 region and impaired synaptic function. Histological and ultrastructural analysis of ADAM10-depleted brain revealed astrogliosis, microglia activation, and impaired number and altered morphology of postsynaptic spine structures. A defect in spine morphology was further supported by a reduction of the expression of NMDA receptors subunit 2A and 2B. The reduced shedding of essential postsynaptic cell adhesion proteins such as N-Cadherin, Nectin-1, and APP may explain the postsynaptic defects and the impaired learning, altered network activity, and synaptic plasticity of the A10cKO mice. Our study reveals that ADAM10 is instrumental for synaptic and neuronal network function in the adult murine brain.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  7. QUANTITATIVE MORPHOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Chemotactic selection with insulin, di-iodotyrosine and histamine alters the phagocytotic responsiveness of Tetrahymena.

    PubMed

    Schiess, N; Csaba, G; Kohidai, L

    2001-04-01

    Chemotactic selection is a method by which populations of cells exposed to ligands can be isolated and subsequently cultivated. We used Tetrahymena pyriformis GL cultures selected by chemotactic selection to insulin (10 nM), histamine (0.1 nM) and di-iodotyrosine (T2, 10 nM) to study the phagocytotic capacity under the induction of selector hormones. Our results show a long-lasting link between chemotactically selected cultures and phagocytotic activity. Cells selected to histamine produced the highest phagocytotic activity upon a second exposure to the selector hormone. T2 selection was also strongly effective, however, the phagocytosis stimulation was not specific to the hormone given later. Insulin selected sub-populations had different phagocytotic responses to the control substance itself, whereas histamine selected sub-populations seem to be heterogeneous in the phagocytotic response to histamine. For insulin, the increased endocytotic or metabolic activity was demonstrated by the lack of non-phagocytotic cells. These experiments call attention to the evolutionary role of selection in the later developing receptor-hormone relationship.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weigand, A. J.

    1978-01-01

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

  11. New insights into the thermal behaviour of organic ionic plastic crystals: magnetic resonance imaging of polycrystalline morphology alterations induced by solid-solid phase transitions.

    PubMed

    Romanenko, Konstantin; Pringle, Jennifer M; O'Dell, Luke A; Forsyth, Maria

    2015-07-15

    Organic ionic plastic crystals (OIPCs) show strong potential as solid-state electrolytes for lithium battery applications, demonstrating promising electrochemical performance and eliminating the need for a volatile and flammable liquid electrolyte. The ionic conductivity (σ) in these systems has recently been shown to depend strongly on polycrystalline morphology, which is largely determined by the sample's thermal history. [K. Romanenko et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136, 15638]. Tailoring this morphology could lead to conductivities sufficiently high for battery applications, so a more complete understanding of how phenomena such as solid-solid phase transitions can affect the sample morphology is of significant interest. Anisotropic relaxation of nuclear spin magnetisation provides a new MRI based approach for studies of polycrystalline materials at both a macroscopic and molecular level. In this contribution, morphology alterations induced by solid-solid phase transitions in triisobutyl(methyl)phosphonium bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide (P1444FSI) and diethyl(methyl)(isobutyl)phosphonium hexafluorophosphate (P1224PF6) are examined using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), alongside nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, diffusion measurements and conductivity data. These observations are linked to molecular dynamics and structural behaviour crucial for the conductive properties of OIPCs. A distinct correlation is established between the conductivity at a given temperature, σ(T), and the intensity of the narrow NMR signal that is attributed to a mobile fraction, fm(T), of ions in the OIPC. To explain these findings we propose an analogy with the well-studied relationship between permeability (k) and void fraction (θ) in porous media, with k(θ) commonly quantified by a power-law dependence that can also be employed to describe σ(fm).

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-15

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

  13. Selective blockade of TRPA1 channel attenuates pathological pain without altering noxious cold sensation or body temperature regulation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jun; Joshi, Shailen K; DiDomenico, Stanley; Perner, Richard J; Mikusa, Joe P; Gauvin, Donna M; Segreti, Jason A; Han, Ping; Zhang, Xu-Feng; Niforatos, Wende; Bianchi, Bruce R; Baker, Scott J; Zhong, Chengmin; Simler, Gricelda H; McDonald, Heath A; Schmidt, Robert G; McGaraughty, Steve P; Chu, Katharine L; Faltynek, Connie R; Kort, Michael E; Reilly, Regina M; Kym, Philip R

    2011-05-01

    Despite the increasing interest in TRPA1 channel as a pain target, its role in cold sensation and body temperature regulation is not clear; the efficacy and particularly side effects resulting from channel blockade remain poorly understood. Here we use a potent, selective, and bioavailable antagonist to address these issues. A-967079 potently blocks human (IC(50): 51 nmol/L, electrophysiology, 67 nmol/L, Ca(2+) assay) and rat TRPA1 (IC(50): 101 nmol/L, electrophysiology, 289 nmol/L, Ca(2+) assay). It is >1000-fold selective over other TRP channels, and is >150-fold selective over 75 other ion channels, enzymes, and G-protein-coupled receptors. Oral dosing of A-967079 produces robust drug exposure in rodents, and exhibits analgesic efficacy in allyl isothiocyanate-induced nocifensive response and osteoarthritic pain in rats (ED(50): 23.2 mg/kg, p.o.). A-967079 attenuates cold allodynia produced by nerve injury but does not alter noxious cold sensation in naive animals, suggesting distinct roles of TRPA1 in physiological and pathological states. Unlike TRPV1 antagonists, A-967079 does not alter body temperature. It also does not produce locomotor or cardiovascular side effects. Collectively, these data provide novel insights into TRPA1 function and suggest that the selective TRPA1 blockade may present a viable strategy for alleviating pain without untoward side effects.

  14. Alteration of media composition and light conditions change morphology, metabolic profile, and beauvericin biosynthesis in Cordyceps bassiana mycelium.

    PubMed

    Hyun, Sun-Hee; Lee, Seok-Young; Park, Shin Jung; Kim, Da Yeon; Chun, Young-Jin; Sung, Gi-Ho; Kim, Seong Hwan; Choi, Hyung-Kyoon

    2013-01-01

    Metabolic alterations of Cordyceps bassiana mycelium were investigated under the following culture medium and light conditions: dextrose agar supplemented with 0.5% yeast extract (SDAY) medium with light (SL), SDAY medium without light (SD), nut medium without light (ND), and iron-supplemented SDAY medium without light (FD). The levels of asparagine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glutamine, histidine, lysine, ornithine, and proline were significantly higher under SD and SL conditions. The levels of most of the alcohols, saturated fatty acids, unsaturated fatty acids, fatty acid esters, sterols, and terpenes were higher under the ND condition than in the other conditions, but beauvericin was not detectable under the ND condition. The FD condition was favorable for the enhanced production of aminomalonic acid, malic acid, mannonic acid, and erythritol. Thus, the metabolic characteristics of C. bassiana can be manipulated by varying the cultivation conditions, rendering this fungus potentially favorable as a nutraceutical and medicinal resource.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Dietary vitamin E and pulmonary biochemical and morphological alterations of rats exposed to 0. 1 ppM ozone

    SciTech Connect

    Chow, C.K.; Plopper, C.G.; Chiu, M.; Dungworth, D.L.

    1981-04-01

    Three groups of 28 1-month-old male Sprague-Dawley rats each were fed a basal vitamin E-deficient diet and supplemented with either 0, 11, or 110 ppM vitamin E for 38 days, and were then exposed to 0 or 0.1 ppM ozone continuously for 7 days. Following ozone exposure, the level of reduced glutathione (GSH) and activities of GSH peroxidase, GSH reductase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), but not of malic dehydrogenase, were significantly elevated in the lungs of rats fed the vitamin E deficient diet. The level of GSH and activities of GSH peroxidase and G-6-PD were also significantly increased in the lungs of the animal group fed the 11 ppM vitamin E diet, while none of the biochemical measurements made was significantly altered by ozone in the 110-ppM vitamin E diet fed rats. Scanning electron microscope examination revealed that five out of six rats on the vitamin E-deficient diet and four out of six from the 11-ppM vitamin E diet had detectable lesions following ozone exposure, as compared with only one of the six exposed animals from the 110-ppM vitamin E diet. The lesion was restricted to bronchiolar epithelium and alveoli immediately adjacent to the bronchiole-alveolar duct junction. None of the control animals had detectable lesions. The results suggest that exposure to ozone at 0.1-ppM level can produce detectable pulmonary damage, and that dietary vitamin E alters pulmonary susceptibility to ozone exposure.

  17. Down-regulation of the cancer/testis antigen 45 (CT45) is associated with altered tumor cell morphology, adhesion and migration

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Due to their restricted expression in male germ cells and certain tumors, cancer/testis (CT) antigens are regarded as promising targets for tumor therapy. CT45 is a recently identified nuclear CT antigen that was associated with a severe disease score in Hodgkin’s lymphoma and poor prognosis in multiple myeloma. As for many CT antigens, the biological function of CT45 in developing germ cells and in tumor cells is largely unknown. Methods CT45 expression was down-regulated in CT45-positive Hodgkin’s lymphoma (L428), fibrosarcoma (HT1080) and myeloma (U266B1) cells using RNA interference. An efficient CT45 knock-down was confirmed by immunofluorescence staining and/or Western blotting. These cellular systems allowed us to analyze the impact of CT45 down-regulation on proliferation, cell cycle progression, morphology, adhesion, migration and invasive capacity of tumor cells. Results Reduced levels of CT45 did not coincide with changes in cell cycle progression or proliferation. However, we observed alterations in cell adherence, morphology and migration/invasion after CT45 down-regulation. Significant changes in the distribution of cytoskeleton-associated proteins were detected by confocal imaging. Changes in cell adherence were recorded in real-time using the xCelligence system with control and siRNA-treated cells. Altered migratory and invasive capacity of CT45 siRNA-treated cells were visualized in 3D migration and invasion assays. Moreover, we found that CT45 down-regulation altered the level of the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein syncrip (hnRNP-Q1) which is known to be involved in the control of focal adhesion formation and cell motility. Conclusions Providing first evidence of a cell biological function of CT45, we suggest that this cancer/testis antigen is involved in the modulation of cell morphology, cell adherence and cell motility. Enhanced motility and/or invasiveness of CT45-positive cells could contribute to the more severe

  18. The effect of coral morphology on shelter selection by coral reef fishes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerry, J. T.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2012-06-01

    While the loss of structural complexity causes declines in coral reef fish diversity, the processes leading to this decline are largely unexplained. To explore the role of coral morphology in providing shelter for fishes, tabular, branching and massive corals were filmed with video cameras and their usage by large reef fishes compared. Tabular corals were utilised more than the other two morphologies, with at least triple the abundance, biomass and residence times of large fishes. The preference of coral reef fishes for specific structural traits of tabular corals was also examined using artificial structural units. This experimental component showed that large reef fishes preferred opaque rather than translucent canopies. It appears that large fishes cue to tabular corals because of the concealment and/or shade provided. It is suggested that a loss of tabular corals as a result of climate change would have significant ecological impacts for the coral reef fishes that use these structures for shelter.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knox, Craig K.

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

  20. Replacement of the ureter by an ileal loop. Quantitative aspects of long-term morphological alterations in minipigs.

    PubMed Central

    Pabst, R.; Kamran, D.

    1983-01-01

    In minipigs 1 ureter was replaced by a loop of the terminal ileum and the contralateral kidney removed. After 2.5 to 3 years the morphology of the replaced ureter was compared with the normal ileum. Independent of the 3 different operative techniques used, in about half of the pigs there was loss or flattening of the villi. In the other pigs the morphometrically determined number of intraepithelial lymphocytes, the cell density in the lamina propria and the length of the villi did not differ significantly compared with the normal ileum. There was no increase in goblet cells in the crypts. The transitional epithelium covered only a short distance at the anastomotic junctions. Peyer's patches of normal age-related size were found in the replaced ureter. Despite the long-term contact with urine instead of gut contents, in many pigs a normal amount of lymphocytes remained in the "ileal ureter". Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:6882677

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  2. Reconstructing impairment of secretory ameloblast function in porcine teeth by analysis of morphological alterations in dental enamel

    PubMed Central

    Witzel, Carsten; Kierdorf, Uwe; Dobney, Keith; Ervynck, Anton; Vanpoucke, Sofie; Kierdorf, Horst

    2006-01-01

    We studied the relationship between the macroscopic appearance of hypoplastic defects in the dental enamel of wild boar and domestic pigs, and microstructural enamel changes, at both the light and the scanning electron microscopic levels. Deviations from normal enamel microstructure were used to reconstruct the functional and related morphological changes of the secretory ameloblasts caused by the action of stress factors during amelogenesis. The deduced reaction pattern of the secretory ameloblasts can be grouped in a sequence of increasingly severe impairments of cell function. The reactions ranged from a slight enhancement of the periodicity of enamel matrix secretion, over a temporary reduction in the amount of secreted enamel matrix, with reduction of the distal portion of the Tomes' process, to either a temporary or a definite cessation of matrix formation. The results demonstrate that analysis of structural changes in dental enamel allows a detailed reconstruction of the reaction of secretory ameloblasts to stress events, enabling an assessment of duration and intensity of these events. Analysing the deviations from normal enamel microstructure provides a deeper insight into the cellular changes underlying the formation of hypoplastic enamel defects than can be achieved by mere inspection of tooth surface characteristics alone. PMID:16822273

  3. Winter fine particulate matter from Milan induces morphological and functional alterations in human pulmonary epithelial cells (A549).

    PubMed

    Gualtieri, Maurizio; Mantecca, Paride; Corvaja, Viviana; Longhin, Eleonora; Perrone, Maria Grazia; Bolzacchini, Ezio; Camatini, Marina

    2009-07-10

    Samples of PM(2.5) were gravimetrically collected during the winter 2005/2006 in the urban area of Milan (North Italy). Samples were chemically characterized and the particles were detached from filters to determine their cytotoxic effects on the A549 cell line. Based on the potential toxicological relevance of its components, Milan winter PM(2.5) contained high concentrations of pro-oxidant transition metals and PAHs, while re-suspended particles showed a relatively high frequency of dimensional classes ranging from 40 nm to 300 nm. A549 cells exposed to particle suspensions showed a concentration-dependent decrease in viability, starting from 10 microg/cm(2). Phagocytosis of particles by A549 cells and particle aggregates were morphologically characterized and seemed to depend on both particle concentration and exposure time, with the majority of particles being engulfed in membrane-bound vacuoles after 24h of exposure. The ability of ultrafine particles to penetrate and spread throughout the cells was also verified. Cell membrane lysis and mitochondrial ultrastructural disruption appeared to be the main modifications induced by PM(2.5) on A549 cells. Concomitantly to the adverse effects observed in terms of cell mortality and ultrastructural lesions, a significant intracellular production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was observed, suggesting that the cytotoxicity, exerted by the winter PM(2.5) in Milan, derived also from its oxidative potential, probably associated with particle-adsorbed metals and PAHs.

  4. fMRI of alterations in reward selection, anticipation, and feedback in major depressive disorder.

    PubMed

    Smoski, Moria J; Felder, Jennifer; Bizzell, Joshua; Green, Steven R; Ernst, Monique; Lynch, Thomas R; Dichter, Gabriel S

    2009-11-01

    The purpose of the present investigation was to evaluate reward processing in unipolar major depressive disorder (MDD). Specifically, we investigated whether adults with MDD demonstrated hyporesponsivity in striatal brain regions and/or hyperresponsivity in cortical brain regions involved in conflict monitoring using a Wheel of Fortune task designed to probe responses during reward selection, reward anticipation, and reward feedback. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data indicated that the MDD group was characterized by reduced activation of striatal reward regions during reward selection, reward anticipation, and reward feedback, supporting previous data indicating hyporesponsivity of reward systems in MDD. Support was not found for hyperresponsivity of cognitive control regions during reward selection or reward anticipation. Instead, MDD participants showed hyperresponsivity in orbitofrontal cortex, a region associated with assessment of risk and reward, during reward selection, as well as decreased activation of the middle frontal gyrus and the rostral cingulate gyrus during reward selection and anticipation. Finally, depression severity was predicted by activation in bilateral midfrontal gyrus during reward selection. Results indicate that MDD is characterized by striatal hyporesponsivity, and that future studies of MDD treatments that seek to improve responses to rewarding stimuli should assess striatal functioning.

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

    PubMed Central

    Akimoto, Shin-ichi

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Morphological analysis of seed shape in Arabidopsis thaliana reveals altered polarity in mutants of the ethylene signaling pathway.

    PubMed

    Robert, Céline; Noriega, Arturo; Tocino, Angel; Cervantes, Emilio

    2008-06-16

    The shape of Arabidopsis thaliana dry seed is described here as a prolate spheroid. The accuracy of this approximation is discussed. Considering its limitations, it allows a geometric approximation to the analysis of changes occurring in seed shape during imbibition prior to seed germination as well as the differences in shape between genotypes and their changes during imbibition. The triple mutant ein2-1, ers1-2, etr1-7 presents notable alterations in seed shape. In addition, seeds of this and other mutants in the ethylene signaling pathway (ctr1-1, eto1-1, etr1-1, ein2-1) show different response to imbibition than the wild type. Imbibed seeds of the wild type increase their asymmetry compared with the dry seeds. This is detected by the relative changes in the curvature values in both poles. Thus, during imbibition of the wild-type seeds, the reduction in curvature values observed in the basal pole gives them an ovoid shape. In contrast, in the seeds of the ethylene mutants, reduction in curvature values occurs in both basal and apical poles, and its shape remains as a prolate spheroid. Our data indicate that the ethylene signaling pathway is involved, in general, in the complex regulation of seed shape and, in particular, in the establishment of polarity in seeds, controlling curvature values in the seed poles.

  9. Overexpression of SepJ alters septal morphology and heterocyst pattern regulated by diffusible signals in Anabaena.

    PubMed

    Mariscal, Vicente; Nürnberg, Dennis J; Herrero, Antonia; Mullineaux, Conrad W; Flores, Enrique

    2016-09-01

    Filamentous, N2 -fixing, heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria grow as chains of cells that are connected by septal junctions. In the model organism Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120, the septal protein SepJ is required for filament integrity, normal intercellular molecular exchange, heterocyst differentiation, and diazotrophic growth. An Anabaena strain overexpressing SepJ made wider septa between vegetative cells than the wild type, which correlated with a more spread location of SepJ in the septa as observed with a SepJ-GFP fusion, and contained an increased number of nanopores, the septal peptidoglycan perforations that likely accommodate septal junctions. The septa between heterocysts and vegetative cells, which are narrow in wild-type Anabaena, were notably enlarged in the SepJ-overexpressing mutant. Intercellular molecular exchange tested with fluorescent tracers was increased for the SepJ-overexpressing strain specifically in the case of calcein transfer between vegetative cells and heterocysts. These results support an association between calcein transfer, SepJ-related septal junctions, and septal peptidoglycan nanopores. Under nitrogen deprivation, the SepJ-overexpressing strain produced an increased number of contiguous heterocysts but a decreased percentage of total heterocysts. These effects were lost or altered in patS and hetN mutant backgrounds, supporting a role of SepJ in the intercellular transfer of regulatory signals for heterocyst differentiation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Selection history alters attentional filter settings persistently and beyond top-down control.

    PubMed

    Kadel, Hanna; Feldmann-Wüstefeld, Tobias; Schubö, Anna

    2017-02-07

    Visual selective attention is known to be guided by stimulus-based (bottom-up) and goal-oriented (top-down) control mechanisms. Recent work has pointed out that selection history (i.e., the bias to prioritize items that have been previously attended) can result in a learning experience that also has a substantial impact on subsequent attention guidance. The present study examined to what extent goal-oriented top-down control mechanisms interact with an observer's individual selection history in guiding attention. Selection history was manipulated in a categorization task in a between-subjects design, where participants learned that either color or shape was the response-relevant dimension. The impact of this experience was assessed in a compound visual search task with an additional color distractor. Top-down preparation for each search trial was enabled by a pretrial task cue (Experiment 1) or a fixed, predictable trial sequence (Experiment 2). Reaction times and ERPs served as indicators of attention deployment. Results showed that attention was captured by the color distractor when participants had learned that color predicted the correct response in the categorization learning task, suggesting that a bias for predictive stimulus features had developed. The possibility to prepare for the search task reduced the bias, but could not entirely overrule this selection history effect. In Experiment 3, both tasks were performed in separate sessions, and the bias still persisted. These results indicate that selection history considerably shapes selective attention and continues to do so persistently even when the task allowed for high top-down control.

  13. Chronic stress alters the dendritic morphology of callosal neurons and the acute glutamate stress response in the rat medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Luczynski, Pauline; Moquin, Luc; Gratton, Alain

    2015-01-01

    We have previously reported that interhemispheric regulation of medial prefrontal cortex (PFC)-mediated stress responses is subserved by glutamate (GLU)- containing callosal neurons. Evidence of chronic stress-induced dendritic and spine atrophy among PFC pyramidal neurons led us to examine how chronic restraint stress (CRS) might alter the apical dendritic morphology of callosal neurons and the acute GLU stress responses in the left versus right PFC. Morphometric analyses of retrogradely labeled, dye-filled PFC callosal neurons revealed hemisphere-specific CRS-induced dendritic retraction; whereas significant dendritic atrophy occurred primarily within the distal arbor of left PFC neurons, it was observed within both the proximal and distal arbor of right PFC neurons. Overall, CRS also significantly reduced spine densities in both hemispheres with the greatest loss occurring among left PFC neurons, mostly at the distal extent of the arbor. While much of the overall decrease in dendritic spine density was accounted by the loss of thin spines, the density of mushroom-shaped spines, despite being fewer in number, was halved. Using microdialysis we found that, compared to controls, basal PFC GLU levels were significantly reduced in both hemispheres of CRS animals and that their GLU response to 30 min of tail-pinch stress was significantly prolonged in the left, but not the right PFC. Together, these findings show that a history of chronic stress alters the dendritic morphology and spine density of PFC callosal neurons and suggest a mechanism by which this might disrupt the interhemispheric regulation of PFC-mediated responses to subsequent stressors.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Forbes, Sarah; Latimer, Joe; Bazaid, Abdulrahman

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Forbes, Sarah; Latimer, Joe; Bazaid, Abdulrahman; McBain, Andrew J

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  7. Arecoline Alters Taste Bud Cell Morphology, Reduces Body Weight, and Induces Behavioral Preference Changes in Gustatory Discrimination in C57BL/6 Mice.

    PubMed

    Peng, Wei-Hau; Chau, Yat-Pang; Lu, Kuo-Shyan; Kung, Hsiu-Ni

    2016-01-01

    Arecoline, a major alkaloid in areca nuts, is involved in the pathogenesis of oral diseases. Mammalian taste buds are the structural unit for detecting taste stimuli in the oral cavity. The effects of arecoline on taste bud morphology are poorly understood. Arecoline was injected intraperitoneally (IP) into C57BL/6 mice twice daily for 1-4 weeks. After arecoline treatment, the vallate papillae were processed for electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry analysis of taste receptor proteins (T1R2, T1R3, T1R1, and T2R) and taste associated proteins (α-gustducin, PLCβ2, and SNAP25). Body weight, food intake and water consumption were recorded. A 2-bottle preference test was also performed. The results demonstrated that 1) arecoline treatment didn't change the number and size of the taste buds or taste bud cells, 2) electron microscopy revealed the change of organelles and the accumulation of autophagosomes in type II cells, 3) immunohistochemistry demonstrated a decrease of taste receptor T1R2- and T1R3-expressing cells, 4) the body weight and food intake were markedly reduced, and 5) the sweet preference behavior was reduced. We concluded that the long-term injection of arecoline alters the morphology of type II taste bud cells, retards the growth of mice, and affects discrimination competencies for sweet tastants.

  8. Maternal-age effect in aneuploidy: Does altered embryonic selection play a role?

    PubMed Central

    Aymé, Ségolène; Lippman-Hand, Abby

    1982-01-01

    The age of mothers of children with trisomy 21 (47,+21) is elevated no matter if the extra chromosome is of maternal or paternal origin, and it has been postulated that decreasing maternal selection against affected conceptuses with advancing age might explain this observation. Since the absence of sufficient data on 47,+21 abortuses precludes a direct test of this hypothesis, we have taken an indirect approach. Pooled data from spontaneous abortions and live births with autosomal trisomies, XXY and XXX, were examined to determine the natural history of these aneuploid conceptuses and its relation to maternal age. The results are consistent with decreasing embryonic selection in older women. PMID:6213153

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Effects of selected process parameters on the morphology of poly(ethylene terephthalate) preforms and bottles

    SciTech Connect

    Hanley, Tracey; Sutton, David; Karatchevtseva, Inna; Cookson, David; Burford, Robert; Knott, Robert

    2008-10-03

    Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) studies and polarized optical microscopy were undertaken to explore possible morphological explanations for the poor mechanical strength in the petaloid bases of poly(ethylene terephthalate) bottles. With a standard commercial production line, one set of injection-molded preforms was overpacked by 1.1 wt % to investigate the effect on the molecular morphology with respect to a set of control samples. Both sets of preforms showed highly crystalline and oriented areas corresponding to the injection gate region. The main body of the control preform was amorphous, and although the overpacked preform was essentially amorphous, there was some evidence for weak crystallinity. The SAXS patterns of the bottle petaloid base blown from the corresponding preforms produced similar SAXS patterns for overpacked and control bottle bases, indicating that the commercial process is robust at least to this degree of overpacking. Optical microscopy showed detailed crystalline features around the gate region and thin crystalline layers sandwiched between a quenched skin layer in direct contact with the cold mold walls and the main flow of material into the mold.

  11. Growth dynamics and morphology of regenerating optic fibers in tectum are altered by injury conditions: an in vivo imaging study in goldfish.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Amy J; Meyer, Ronald L

    2008-04-01

    The dynamic behavior of axons in systems that normally regenerate may provide clues for promoting regeneration in humans. When the optic nerve is severed in adult goldfish, all axons regenerate back to the tectum to reestablish accurate connections. In adult mammals, regeneration can be induced in optic and other axons but typically few fibers regrow and only for short distances. These conditions were mimicked in the adult goldfish by surgically deflecting 10-20% of optic fibers from one tectum into the opposite tectum which was denervated of all other optic fibers by removing its corresponding eye. At 21-63 days, DiI was microinjected into retina to label a few fibers and the fibers were visualized in the living fish for up to 5-7 h. The dynamic behavior and morphology of these regenerating deflected fibers were analyzed and compared to those regenerating following optic nerve crush. At 3-4 weeks, deflected fibers were found to form more branches and to maintain many more branches than crushed fibers. Although both deflected and crushed fibers exhibited stochastic growth and retraction, deflected fibers spent more time growing but grew for less distance. At 2 months, both deflected and crushed fibers became much more stable. These results show that the morphology and behavior of fibers regenerating into the same target tissue can be substantially altered by the injury conditions, that is, they show state-dependent plasticity. The morphology and behavior of the deflected fibers suggest they were impaired in their capacity to grow to their correct targets.

  12. The extracellular adherence protein (Eap) of Staphylococcus aureus acts as a proliferation and migration repressing factor that alters the cell morphology of keratinocytes.

    PubMed

    Eisenbeis, Janina; Peisker, Henrik; Backes, Christian S; Bur, Stephanie; Hölters, Sebastian; Thewes, Nicolas; Greiner, Markus; Junker, Christian; Schwarz, Eva C; Hoth, Markus; Junker, Kerstin; Preissner, Klaus T; Jacobs, Karin; Herrmann, Mathias; Bischoff, Markus

    2017-02-01

    Staphyloccocus aureus is a major human pathogen and a common cause for superficial and deep seated wound infections. The pathogen is equipped with a large arsenal of virulence factors, which facilitate attachment to various eukaryotic cell structures and modulate the host immune response. One of these factors is the extracellular adherence protein Eap, a member of the "secretable expanded repertoire adhesive molecules" (SERAM) protein family that possesses adhesive and immune modulatory properties. The secreted protein was previously shown to impair wound healing by interfering with host defense and neovascularization. However, its impact on keratinocyte proliferation and migration, two major steps in the re-epithelialization process of wounds, is not known. Here, we report that Eap affects the proliferation and migration capacities of keratinocytes by altering their morphology and adhesive properties. In particular, treatment of non-confluent HaCaT cell cultures with Eap resulted in cell morphology changes as well as a significant reduction in cell proliferation and migration. Eap-treated HaCaT cells changed their appearance from an oblong via a trapezoid to an astral-like shape, accompanied by decreases in cell volume and cell stiffness, and exhibited significantly increased cell adhesion. Eap had a similar influence on endothelial and cancer cells, indicative for a general effect of Eap on eukaryotic cell morphology and functions. Specifically, Eap was found to interfere with growth factor-stimulated activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway that is known to be responsible for cell shape modulation, induction of proliferation and migration of epithelial cells. Western blot analyses revealed that Eap blocked the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (Erk1/2) in keratinocyte growth factor (KGF)-stimulated HaCaT cells. Together, these data add another antagonistic mechanism of Eap in wound healing, whereby the

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Moon, Chung-Man; Jeong, Gwang-Woo

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bon, Marta; Pori, Primoz; Sibila, Marko

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bridge, Donna J.; Voss, Joel L.

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Selective alteration of gene expression in response to natural and synthetic retinoids.

    PubMed Central

    Brand, Céline; Ségard, Pascaline; Plouvier, Pascal; Formstecher, Pierre; Danzé, Pierre-Marie; Lefebvre, Philippe

    2002-01-01

    Background Retinoids are very potent inducers of cellular differentiation and apoptosis, and are efficient anti-tumoral agents. Synthetic retinoids are designed to restrict their toxicity and side effects, mostly by increasing their selectivity toward each isotype of retinoic acids receptors (RARα,β, γ and RXRα, β, γ). We however previously showed that retinoids displayed very different abilities to activate retinoid-inducible reporter genes, and that these differential properties were correlated to the ability of a given ligand to promote SRC-1 recruitment by DNA-bound RXR:RAR heterodimers. This suggested that gene-selective modulation could be achieved by structurally distinct retinoids. Results Using the differential display mRNA technique, we identified several genes on the basis of their differential induction by natural or synthetic retinoids in human cervix adenocarcinoma cells. Furthermore, this differential ability to regulate promoter activities was also observed in murine P19 cells for the RARβ2 and CRABPII gene, showing conclusively that retinoid structure has a dramatic impact on the regulation of endogenous genes. Conclusions Our findings therefore show that some degree of selective induction or repression of gene expression may be achieved when using appropriately designed ligands for retinoic acid receptors, extending the concept of selective modulators from estrogen and peroxisome proliferator activated receptors to the class of retinoid receptors. PMID:12019025

  1. Differential selective pressure alters rate of drug resistance acquisition in heterogeneous tumor populations

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Daphne; Dalin, Simona; Hemann, Michael T.; Lauffenburger, Douglas A.; Zhao, Boyang

    2016-01-01

    Recent drug discovery and development efforts have created a large arsenal of targeted and chemotherapeutic drugs for precision medicine. However, drug resistance remains a major challenge as minor pre-existing resistant subpopulations are often found to be enriched at relapse. Current drug design has been heavily focused on initial efficacy, and we do not fully understand the effects of drug selective pressure on long-term drug resistance potential. Using a minimal two-population model, taking into account subpopulation proportions and growth/kill rates, we modeled long-term drug treatment and performed parameter sweeps to analyze the effects of each parameter on therapeutic efficacy. We found that drugs with the same overall initial kill may exert differential selective pressures, affecting long-term therapeutic outcome. We validated our conclusions experimentally using a preclinical model of Burkitt’s lymphoma. Furthermore, we highlighted an intrinsic tradeoff between drug-imposed overall selective pressure and rate of adaptation. A principled approach in understanding the effects of distinct drug selective pressures on short-term and long-term tumor response enables better design of therapeutics that ultimately minimize relapse. PMID:27819268

  2. Preparation, characterization, and cation exchange selectivity of synthetic and topotactically altered naturally occurring trioctahedral micas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stout, Stephen Anthony

    The large quantity of high level nuclear waste held in underground stainless steel storage tanks around the country has necessitated the need for inorganic ion exchange materials with the ability to selectively remove radioactive species such as 137Cs and 90Sr in the presence of large concentrations of competing cations. Sodium expandable micas, such as sodium fluorophlogopite and K-depleted phlogopite have shown promise for this purpose. During this research highly charged sodium fluorophlogopite micas, Nax(Mg3)[AlxSi4-x]O 10F2·yH2O, with layer charges of -2, -3, and -4 per unit cell were synthesized from a dry mix of poorly crystalline kaolinite, Mg(NO3)2, and NaF. Additional silicon was also added to the reaction mixture in the form of amorphous SiO2 to increase the Si:Al ratio as needed. Talc was also utilized for the first time as Si and Mg sources in the synthesis of Na-2-mica. Potassium-depleted phlogopite, K1-xNax(Mg3)[AlSi3]O 10(OH)2, was prepared by conventional and microwave assisted equilibration of <45mum phlogopite mica with a solution containing sodium tetraphenylborate. The synthesized materials were characterized using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance, and wet chemical techniques. Three synthetic sodium fluorophlogopite micas and one K-depleted phlogopite sample were selected for ion exchange studies. Ion exchange isotherms for the synthetic sodium fluorophlogopite micas were obtained for Cs+, Sr2+, Ba2+, and Co2+. For the K-depleted phlogopite ion exchange isotherms for Cs+ and Sr2+ were determined. The ion exchange studies indicated that only the Na-2-mica was selective for Cs+, all three micas were selective for Sr2+. All three mica also appeared to be highly selective for both Ba2+ and Co2+. The ion exchange studies indicated that the K-depleted phlogopite was highly selective for both Cs+ and Sr 2+. The ion selectivity of all of these micas indicates that they may be useful not

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  4. Morphological and biochemical re-evaluation of the process of cavitation in the rat knee joint: cellular and cell strata alterations in the interzone

    PubMed Central

    ITO, MASAAKI M.; KIDA, MASAHIKO Y.

    2000-01-01

    To assess the contribution of apoptosis to the mechanism of synovial joint cavitation, and to clarify morphological cellular changes during cavitation, we investigated the development of the rat knee joint by light and electron microscopy, TUNEL methods, and electrophoresis of DNA fragments. Although cavitation occurred within the interzone, which consists of 2 outer and a middle layer termed the intermediate zone, no morphological or biochemical signs of cell death, in particular apoptosis, were seen in the interzone at any embryonic stage. Microscopic and ultrastructural alterations affecting cell differentiation were clearly observed in the interzone, i.e. mesenchymal cells gradually showed elongation, cytoplasmic vacuolation and pyknosis in the intermediate zone where the elongated cells were arranged in parallel in some strata. Some of these cells were further flattened into spindle cells and the number of strata decreased to 2. The rest of the cells were incorporated secondarily into the outer layers, becoming chondroblasts. Collagen fibrils were arranged in a network structure in the outer layers, which obviously differed from the directional pattern parallel to the long axis of elongated cells in the intermediate zone. In addition, the density of collagen fibrils was higher in the outer layers than in the intermediate zone. During cavitation, the initial separation was detected between the elongated cells in the intermediate zone in paraffin sections at E16.5 and the spindle cells in epoxy sections at E18.5. The spindle cells lining the cavity, namely, the surfaces of the epiphysis and meniscus, finally became chondrocytes. The diminution of proteoglycans and collagen fibrils and the synthesis of hyaluronan in the extracellular matrix are now generally believed to be parts of the mechanism for cavitation based on the concept of ‘loss of cohesion’. The microscopic and ultrastructural alterations in the interzone seemed to reflect differences in the

  5. Use of Morphology and Endocrinology to Predict Sex in California Sheephead: Evidence of Altered Timing of Sex Change at Santa Catalina Island, California

    PubMed Central

    Loke-Smith, Kerri A.; Sundberg, Michael A.; Young, Kelly A.; Lowe, Christopher G.

    2015-01-01

    To estimate the health of the California sheephead Semicossyphus pulcher fishery, a 2004 stock assessment used available biological data that were collected decades prior to an increase in fishing pressure. However, a recent study has found that sex ratios, growth rates, survivorship, and average sizes of females and males have changed in response to size-selective fishing in some California sheephead populations. To better understand the potential changes in protogynous California sheephead, this study sought to determine (1) whether external morphology was still an accurate method of predicting sex in sexually dimorphic California sheephead at Santa Catalina Island, California, and (2) whether nonlethal blood sampling and plasma hormone analysis could be used to predict sex for future stock assessments. Sex was determined using gonadal histology and compared with several specific external morphological characters. Estradiol and 11-ketotestosterone plasma concentrations were also compared across sexed individuals. The rate of error when using external morphology alone to predict sex was 58%. In contrast, sex steroid concentrations varied significantly across sexes; estradiol concentrations were significantly greater in females than in transitioning and male individuals during the breeding season, and 11-ketotestosterone concentrations were significantly lower among females. Gonadal histology showed that 21% of the fish caught during the breeding season were classified as transitional, in stark contrast to historical data. The inability to accurately predict sex using external morphology alone suggests that commonly used methods of surveying California sheephead populations (e.g., diver surveys) may be inaccurate. Nonlethal blood sampling and subsequent plasma hormone analysis may offer an alternative method for assessing sex in California sheephead. Because California sheephead are not reproductively functional during transition and because we found such a large

  6. Adaptations and selection of harmful and other dinoflagellate species in upwelling systems 1. Morphology and adaptive polymorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smayda, T. J.

    2010-04-01

    The complex three-dimensional physical structure, spatial scale and the variations in the upwelling-relaxation cycles characterizing eastern boundary upwelling systems are summarized. It is suggested that upwelling systems and their bloom dynamics should be accorded the status of biomes. A unique upwelling dinoflagellate flora is not found. The harmful, red tide and other dinoflagellates selected to bloom are cosmopolitan in distribution and commonly bloom in coastal habitats. The morphological features of 27 dinoflagellate species that bloom in upwelling systems are compared to identify commonalities in form and function adaptations relevant to their upwelling occurrences. The upwelling dinoflagellate species are morphologically, physiologically, ecologically and toxicologically diverse; a unique set of morphological traits specifically evolved for growth in upwelling systems is not evident. The absence of a unique dinoflagellate upwelling flora is unexpected given the challenges to survival and growth in upwelling systems posed by the energetic physical conditions and spatial and temporal complexity of upwelling dynamics. Cellular defense mechanisms - “armouring” and small cell formation - against external and internal cellular damage resulting from turbulence-induced stress-strain, and the occurrence of morphological streamlining to facilitate swimming-based strategies adaptive to growth in upwelling systems are evaluated. The occurrence of autotomy, ecdysis, thecal resorption and regeneration, seasonal cyclomorphosis and polymorphism (form variation) among dinoflagellates is evaluated. The impressive commonality and rapidity of ecomorph formation suggest autoregulated polymorphism is potentially an important mode of adaptation available to upwelling dinoflagellates, and specifically directed towards adjustment of their flotation (swim:sink ratio) capacity. However, seasonal cyclomorphosis and regional and local displays of adaptive polymorphism are traits

  7. Selection of a Highly Monensin-Resistant Prevotella bryantii Subpopulation with Altered Outer Membrane Characteristics

    PubMed Central

    Callaway, Todd R.; Russell, James B.

    1999-01-01

    Prevotella bryantii cultures treated with monensin grew more slowly than untreated cultures, but only if the monensin concentration was greater than 1 μM. Cultures that were repeatedly transferred (eight transfers or 25 doublings) with monensin always grew rapidly, even at a 10 μM concentration. The amount of monensin needed to facilitate half-maximal potassium depletion (Kd) from monensin-selected cells was 16-fold greater than “unadapted” wild-type cultures (3,200 versus 200 nM). Cells taken from continuous culture had a Kd of 100 nM, and these inocula could not grow in batch culture when the monensin concentration was greater than 300 nM. Continuous cultures treated with monensin nearly washed out, but the surviving cells had a Kd of 1,300 nM. When wild-type cells were transferred in batch culture with 10 μM monensin, the Kd did not reach its maximum value (3,200 nM) until after eight transfers (25 doublings). Kd declined when monensin was removed, and it took eight transfers to reach the control value (200 nM). The most probable number of wild-type cells was 1,000-fold lower than of the monensin-selected cells, but calculations based on relative growth advantage and Kd indicated that the wild-type culture had 1 to 10% highly monensin-resistant cells. Cell pellets of wild-type cultures were more difficult to disperse than were monensin-selected cells, and water-soluble phenol extracts of monensin-selected cells had 1.8-fold more anthrone-reactive material than did the wild type. Wild-type cultures that were washed in Tris buffer (pH 8.0) released little alkaline phosphatase and were agglutinated by lysozyme. Monensin-selected cultures leaked ninefold more alkaline phosphatase and were not agglutinated by lysozyme. Wild-type colonies taken from high-dilution agar roll tubes retained the lysozyme agglutination phenotype even if transferred with monensin, and monensin-selected colonies were never agglutinated. These observations indicated that wild-type P

  8. Morphological diversity of microstructures occurring in selected recent bivalve shells and their ecological implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brom, Krzysztof Roman; Szopa, Krzysztof

    2016-12-01

    Environmental adaptation of molluscs during evolution has led to form biomineral exoskeleton - shell. The main compound of their shells is calcium carbonate, which is represented by calcite and/or aragonite. The mineral part, together with the biopolymer matrix, forms many types of microstructures, which are differ in texture. Different types of internal shell microstructures are characteristic for some bivalve groups. Studied bivalve species (freshwater species - duck mussel (Anodonta anatina Linnaeus, 1758) and marine species - common cockle (Cerastoderma edule Linnaeus, 1758), lyrate Asiatic hard clam (Meretrix lyrata Sowerby II, 1851) and blue mussel (Mytilus edulis Linnaeus, 1758)) from different locations and environmental conditions, show that the internal shell microstructure with the shell morphology and thickness have critical impact to the ability to survive in changing environment and also to the probability of surviving predator attack. Moreover, more detailed studies on molluscan structures might be responsible for create mechanically resistant nanomaterials.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-08-02

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  12. Selective behavioral alterations on addition of a 4'-phenyl group to cocaine.

    PubMed

    Seale, T W; Niekrasz, I; Chang, F; Singh, S; Basmadjian, G P

    1996-01-31

    We synthesized a cocaine analog in which a phenyl group was added at the para-position of the benzene ring of cocaine. This substitution caused a modest reduction (four-fold compared with cocaine) in binding potency for the primate (Papio) dopamine transporter as judged by displacement of [3H]WIN 35,428 binding from caudate/putamen membranes. Behavioral effects of this structural modification in the mouse were complex and selective, comprising absence of stimulation of locomotor activity, enhanced inhibition of locomotion and reduced lethal potency. Convulsant potency was unaltered. Substituents at the 4'-position of cocaine are important in its actions. Simple changes in the chemical structure of this drug may produce complex and selective changes in its neurochemical and behavioral actions.

  13. Morphological evaluation of sperm from infertile men selected by magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS).

    PubMed

    Curti, Gianni; Skowronek, Fernanda; Vernochi, Rita; Rodriguez-Buzzi, Ana Laura; Rodriguez-Buzzi, Juan Carlos; Casanova, Gabriela; Sapiro, Rossana

    2014-12-01

    Electron microscopy analysis performed in five infertile human subjects after sperm selection by swim-up followed by magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS) demonstrated a decrease in the number of spermatozoa with characteristics compatible with cell death. However, no significant differences were found when the swim-up/MACS semen fraction was compared with swim-up fraction alone.

  14. Comparative morphological trade-offs between pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection in Giant hissing cockroaches (Tribe: Gromphadorhini)

    PubMed Central

    Durrant, Kate L.; Skicko, Ian M.; Sturrock, Craig; Mowles, Sophie L.

    2016-01-01

    Sperm competition theory predicts that animals face a trade-off between investment in weaponry and investment in ejaculate composition. Within the Madagascan giant hissing cockroaches (Tribe Gromphadorhini) differences in morphology exist that may indicate differing strategies of male-male competition. We compared relative pronotal horn length using high-resolution X-ray CT scanning data, relative testes mass, and male-male agonistic behaviour between two species of hissing cockroaches, Gromphadorhina oblongonota and Aeluropoda insignis. The gross morphology and behaviour of these two species indicated that G. oblongonota is selected for pre-copulatory mate acquisition and that A. insignis is selected for post-copulatory sperm competition. We found evidence for a trade-off when investing in testes mass vs. horn length between the species. The large, aggressive G. oblongonota follows a strategy of greater investment in weapons at the expense of testes mass while the smaller, less-aggressive A. insignis invests in relatively greater testes mass and less in pronotal weapon length. We also found evidence of a trade-off within each species, where individuals invest more heavily in weapon length at the expense of testes mass. These findings support the predictions of pre- and post-copulatory competitive investment trade-offs for a relatively understudied Tribe of cockroaches. PMID:27819321

  15. Selective proliferation of chemically altered rat liver epithelial cells following hepatic transplantation.

    PubMed

    Faris, R A; Hixson, D C

    1989-07-01

    chemically altered call population that can be induced to proliferate by a CD diet. In contrast, a CD diet did not promote colonization when normal hepatocytes were employed as the donor cell population, suggesting that the GGT+ oval cells and not the few contaminating GGT- hepatocytes (1%) in the CD-AAF donor cell suspension were the preneoplastic precursors that gave rise to donor-derived colonies. This transplantation protocol will be useful to define the biological potential of chemically altered liver cells during carcinogenesis.

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

    PubMed

    Green, Stephanie J; Côté, Isabelle M

    2014-11-01

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

  17. Cadherin 13: Human cis-Regulation and Selectively Altered Addiction Phenotypes and Cerebral Cortical Dopamine in Knockout Mice

    PubMed Central

    Drgonova, Jana; Walther, Donna; Hartstein, G Luke; Bukhari, Mohammad O; Baumann, Michael H; Katz, Jonathan; Hall, F Scott; Arnold, Elizabeth R; Flax, Shaun; Riley, Anthony; Rivero, Olga; Lesch, Klaus-Peter; Troncoso, Juan; Ranscht, Barbara; Uhl, George R

    2016-01-01

    The cadherin 13 (CDH13) gene encodes a cell adhesion molecule likely to influence development and connections of brain circuits that modulate addiction, locomotion and cognition, including those that involve midbrain dopamine neurons. Human CDH13 mRNA expression differs by more than 80% in postmortem cerebral cortical samples from individuals with different CDH13 genotypes, supporting examination of mice with altered CDH13 expression as models for common human variation at this locus. Constitutive CDH13 knockout mice display evidence for changed cocaine reward: shifted dose response relationship in tests of cocaine-conditioned place preference using doses that do not alter cocaine-conditioned taste aversion. Reduced adult CDH13 expression in conditional knockouts also alters cocaine reward in ways that correlate with individual differences in cortical CDH13 mRNA levels. In control and comparison behavioral assessments, knockout mice display modestly quicker acquisition of rotarod and water maze tasks, with a trend toward faster acquisition of 5-choice serial reaction time tasks that otherwise displayed no genotype-related differences. They display significant differences in locomotion in some settings, with larger effects in males. In assessments of brain changes that might contribute to these behavioral differences, there are selective alterations of dopamine levels, dopamine/metabolite ratios, dopaminergic fiber densities and mRNA encoding the activity dependent transcription factor npas4 in cerebral cortex of knockout mice. These novel data and previously reported human associations of CDH13 variants with addiction, individual differences in responses to stimulant administration and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) phenotypes suggest that levels of CDH13 expression, through mechanisms likely to include effects on mesocortical dopamine, influence stimulant reward and may contribute modestly to cognitive and locomotor phenotypes relevant to ADHD

  18. Rabies virus selectively alters 5-HT1 receptor subtypes in rat brain.

    PubMed

    Ceccaldi, P E; Fillion, M P; Ermine, A; Tsiang, H; Fillion, G

    1993-04-15

    Rabies virus infection in man induces a series of clinical symptoms, some suggesting involvement of the central serotonergic system. The results of the present study show that, 5 days after rabies virus infection in rat, the total reversible high-affinity binding of [3H]5-HT in the hippocampus is not affected, suggesting that 5-HT1A binding is not altered. 5-HT1B sites identified by [125I]cyanopindolol binding are not affected in the cortex 3 and 5 days after the infection. Accordingly, the cellular inhibitory effect of trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine (TFMPP) on the [3H]acetylcholine-evoked release, presumably related to 5-HT1B receptor activity, is not modified 3 days after infection. In contrast, [3H]5-HT binding determined in the presence of drugs masking 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B and 5-HT1C receptors, is markedly (50%) reduced 3 days after the viral infection. These results suggest that 5-HT1D-like receptor subtypes may be affected specifically and at an early stage after rabies viral infection.

  19. Alcohol during adolescence selectively alters immediate and long-term behavior and neurochemistry.

    PubMed

    Maldonado-Devincci, Antoniette M; Badanich, Kimberly A; Kirstein, Cheryl L

    2010-02-01

    Alcohol use increases across adolescence and is a concern in the United States. In humans, males and females consume different amounts of alcohol depending on the age of initiation, and the long-term consequences of early ethanol consumption are not readily understood. The purpose of our work was to better understand the immediate and long-term impact of ethanol exposure during adolescence and the effects it can have on behavior and dopaminergic responsivity. We have assessed sex differences in voluntary ethanol consumption during adolescence and adulthood and the influence of binge ethanol exposure during adolescence. We have observed that males are sensitive to passive social influences that mediate voluntary ethanol consumption, and early ethanol exposure induces long-term changes in responsivity to ethanol in adulthood. Exposure to moderate doses of ethanol during adolescence produced alterations in dopamine in the nucleus accumbens septi during adolescence and later in adulthood. Taken together, all of these data indicate that the adolescent brain is sensitive to the impact of early ethanol exposure during this critical developmental period.

  20. CHRONIC FETAL HYPOXIA PRODUCES SELECTIVE BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATED WITH ALTERED NITRIC OXIDE SYNTHASES

    PubMed Central

    DONG, Yafeng; YU, Zhiyong; SUN, Yan; ZHOU, Hui; STITES, Josh; NEWELL, Katherine; WEINER, Carl P.

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVE The impact of chronic hypoxia on the nitric oxide synthase isoenzymes (NOSs) in specific brain structures is unknown. STUDY DESIGN Time-mated pregnant guinea pigs were exposed to 10.5% O2 for 14d (HPX) or room air (NMX); L-NIL (an iNOS inhibitor, 1mg/kg/day) was administered to HPX animals for 14d (L-NIL+HPX). Fetal brains were harvested at term. Multi-labeled immunofluorescence was used to generate a brain injury map. Laser capture microdissection and quantitative PCR were applied and cell injury markers, apoptosis activation, neuron loss, total NO, and the levels of individual NOSs quantified. RESULTS Chronic hypoxia causes selective fetal brain injury rather than globally. Injury is associated with differentially affected NO synthases in both neurons and glial cells, with iNOS up regulated at all injury sites. L-NIL attenuated the injury despite continued hypoxia. CONCLUSIONS These studies demonstrate chronic hypoxia selectively injures the fetal brain in part by the differential regulation of NOSs in an anatomic and cell specific manner. PMID:21272843

  1. Medulloblastoma-associated DDX3 variant selectively alters the translational response to stress

    PubMed Central

    Floor, Stephen N.; Purzner, James; Martin, Lance; Do, Brian T.; Schubert, Simone; Vaka, Dedeepya; Morrissy, Sorana; Li, Yisu; Kool, Marcel; Hovestadt, Volker; Jones, David T.W.; Northcott, Paul A.; Risch, Thomas; Warnatz, Hans-Jörg; Yaspo, Marie-Laure; Adams, Christopher M.; Leib, Ryan D.; Breese, Marcus; Marra, Marco A.; Malkin, David; Lichter, Peter; Doudna, Jennifer A.; Pfister, Stefan M.; Taylor, Michael D.; Chang, Howard Y.; Cho, Yoon-Jae

    2016-01-01

    DDX3X encodes a DEAD-box family RNA helicase (DDX3) commonly mutated in medulloblastoma, a highly aggressive cerebellar tumor affecting both children and adults. Despite being implicated in several facets of RNA metabolism, the nature and scope of DDX3′s interactions with RNA remain unclear. Here, we show DDX3 collaborates extensively with the translation initiation machinery through direct binding to 5′UTRs of nearly all coding RNAs, specific sites on the 18S rRNA, and multiple components of the translation initiation complex. Impairment of translation initiation is also evident in primary medulloblastomas harboring mutations in DDX3X, further highlighting DDX3′s role in this process. Arsenite-induced stress shifts DDX3 binding from the 5′UTR into the coding region of mRNAs concomitant with a general reduction of translation, and both the shift of DDX3 on mRNA and decreased translation are blunted by expression of a catalytically-impaired, medulloblastoma-associated DDX3R534H variant. Furthermore, despite the global repression of translation induced by arsenite, translation is preserved on select genes involved in chromatin organization in DDX3R534H-expressing cells. Thus, DDX3 interacts extensively with RNA and ribosomal machinery to help remodel the translation landscape in response to stress, while cancer-related DDX3 variants adapt this response to selectively preserve translation. PMID:27058758

  2. The selective role of ECM components on cell adhesion, morphology, proliferation and communication in vitro.

    PubMed

    Schlie-Wolter, Sabrina; Ngezahayo, Anaclet; Chichkov, Boris N

    2013-06-10

    Cell binding to the extracellular matrix (ECM) is essential for cell and tissue functions. In this context, each tissue consists of a unique ECM composition, which may be responsible for tissue-specific cell responses. Due to the complexity of ECM-cell interactions-which depend on the interplay of inside-out and outside-in signaling cascades, cell and tissue specificity of ECM-guidance is poorly understood. In this paper, we investigate the role of different ECM components like laminin, fibronectin, and collagen type I with respect to the essential cell behaviour patterns: attachment dynamics such as adhesion kinetic and force, formation of focal adhesion complexes, morphology, proliferation, and intercellular communication. A detailed in vitro comparison of fibroblasts, endothelial cells, osteoblasts, smooth muscle cells, and chondrocytes reveals significant differences in their cell responses to the ECM: cell behaviour follows a cell specific ligand priority ranking, which was independent of the cell type origin. Fibroblasts responded best to fibronectin, chondrocytes best to collagen I, the other cell types best to laminin. This knowledge is essential for optimization of tissue-biomaterial interfaces in all tissue engineering applications and gives insight into tissue-specific cell guidance.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers is an emergent technique for nano-lithography, but is limited in the range of structures possible in a single fabrication step. Here we expand on traditional DSA chemical patterning. A blend of lamellar- and cylinder-forming block copolymers assembles on specially designed surface chemical line gratings, leading to the simultaneous formation of coexisting ordered morphologies in separate areas of the substrate. The competing energetics of polymer chain distortions and chemical mismatch with the substrate grating bias the system towards either line/space or dot array patterns, depending on the pitch and linewidth of the prepattern. This is in contrast to the typical DSA, wherein assembly of a single-component block copolymer on chemical templates generates patterns of either lines/spaces (lamellar) or hexagonal dot arrays (cylinders). In our approach, the chemical template encodes desired local spatial arrangements of coexisting design motifs, self-assembled from a single, sophisticated resist. PMID:27480327

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

    DOE PAGES

    Stein, A.; Wright, G.; Yager, K. G.; ...

    2016-08-02

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-11-01

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

  6. Dynamics of excitatory and inhibitory networks are differentially altered by selective attention.

    PubMed

    Snyder, Adam C; Morais, Michael J; Smith, Matthew A

    2016-10-01

    Inhibition and excitation form two fundamental modes of neuronal interaction, yet we understand relatively little about their distinct roles in service of perceptual and cognitive processes. We developed a multidimensional waveform analysis to identify fast-spiking (putative inhibitory) and regular-spiking (putative excitatory) neurons in vivo and used this method to analyze how attention affects these two cell classes in visual area V4 of the extrastriate cortex of rhesus macaques. We found that putative inhibitory neurons had both greater increases in firing rate and decreases in correlated variability with attention compared with putative excitatory neurons. Moreover, the time course of attention effects for putative inhibitory neurons more closely tracked the temporal statistics of target probability in our task. Finally, the session-to-session variability in a behavioral measure of attention covaried with the magnitude of this effect. Together, these results suggest that selective targeting of inhibitory neurons and networks is a critical mechanism for attentional modulation.

  7. Altered ion channel conductance and ionic selectivity induced by large imposed membrane potential pulse.

    PubMed Central

    Chen, W; Lee, R C

    1994-01-01

    The effects of large magnitude transmembrane potential pulses on voltage-gated Na and K channel behavior in frog skeletal muscle membrane were studied using a modified double vaseline-gap voltage clamp. The effects of electroconformational damage to ionic channels were separated from damage to lipid bilayer (electroporation). A 4 ms transmembrane potential pulse of -600 mV resulted in a reduction of both Na and K channel conductivities. The supraphysiologic pulses also reduced ionic selectivity of the K channels against Na+ ions, resulting in a depolarization of the membrane resting potential. However, TTX and TEA binding effects were unaltered. The kinetics of spontaneous reversal of the electroconformational damage of channel proteins was found to be dependent on the magnitude of imposed membrane potential pulse. These results suggest that muscle and nerve dysfunction after electrical shock may be in part caused by electroconformational damage to voltage-gated ion channels. PMID:7948676

  8. Acoustic Noise Alters Selective Attention Processes as Indicated by Direct Current (DC) Brain Potential Changes

    PubMed Central

    Trimmel, Karin; Schätzer, Julia; Trimmel, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Acoustic environmental noise, even of low to moderate intensity, is known to adversely affect information processing in animals and humans via attention mechanisms. In particular, facilitation and inhibition of information processing are basic functions of selective attention. Such mechanisms can be investigated by analyzing brain potentials under conditions of externally directed attention (intake of environmental information) versus internally directed attention (rejection of environmental stimuli and focusing on memory/planning processes). This study investigated brain direct current (DC) potential shifts—which are discussed to represent different states of cortical activation—of tasks that require intake and rejection of environmental information under noise. It was hypothesized that without background noise rejection tasks would show more positive DC potential changes compared to intake tasks and that under noise both kinds of tasks would show positive DC shifts as an expression of cortical inhibition caused by noise. DC potential shifts during intake and rejection tasks were analyzed at 16 standard locations in 45 persons during irrelevant speech or white noise vs. control condition. Without noise, rejection tasks were associated with more positive DC potential changes compared to intake tasks. During background noise, however, this difference disappeared and both kinds of tasks led to positive DC shifts. Results suggest—besides some limitations—that noise modulates selective attention mechanisms by switching to an environmental information processing and noise rejection mode, which could represent a suggested “attention shift”. Implications for fMRI studies as well as for public health in learning and performance environments including susceptible persons are discussed. PMID:25264675

  9. Acoustic noise alters selective attention processes as indicated by direct current (DC) brain potential changes.

    PubMed

    Trimmel, Karin; Schätzer, Julia; Trimmel, Michael

    2014-09-26

    Acoustic environmental noise, even of low to moderate intensity, is known to adversely affect information processing in animals and humans via attention mechanisms. In particular, facilitation and inhibition of information processing are basic functions of selective attention. Such mechanisms can be investigated by analyzing brain potentials under conditions of externally directed attention (intake of environmental information) versus internally directed attention (rejection of environmental stimuli and focusing on memory/planning processes). This study investigated brain direct current (DC) potential shifts-which are discussed to represent different states of cortical activation-of tasks that require intake and rejection of environmental information under noise. It was hypothesized that without background noise rejection tasks would show more positive DC potential changes compared to intake tasks and that under noise both kinds of tasks would show positive DC shifts as an expression of cortical inhibition caused by noise. DC potential shifts during intake and rejection tasks were analyzed at 16 standard locations in 45 persons during irrelevant speech or white noise vs. control condition. Without noise, rejection tasks were associated with more positive DC potential changes compared to intake tasks. During background noise, however, this difference disappeared and both kinds of tasks led to positive DC shifts. Results suggest-besides some limitations-that noise modulates selective attention mechanisms by switching to an environmental information processing and noise rejection mode, which could represent a suggested "attention shift". Implications for fMRI studies as well as for public health in learning and performance environments including susceptible persons are discussed.

  10. [The effect of vegetarian diet on selected biochemical and blood morphology parameters].

    PubMed

    Nazarewicz, Rafał

    2007-01-01

    The objective was to examine whether vegetarian diet influence biochemical parameters of blood and plasma urea in selective vegetarian group. The investigation covered 41 subject, 22 of them had been applying vegetarian diet and 19 were omnivorous. The study shows statistically significant lower values of white blood cells, % and amounts of neutrocytes and insignificant lower level of red blood cells, hemoglobine, hematocrit and platelet in vegetarian group. Significant lower plasma urea level was observed in that group. These changes indicate that high quality deficiency protein was due to vegetarian diet.

  11. The selective role of ECM components on cell adhesion, morphology, proliferation and communication in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Schlie-Wolter, Sabrina; Ngezahayo, Anaclet; Chichkov, Boris N.

    2013-06-10

    Cell binding to the extracellular matrix (ECM) is essential for cell and tissue functions. In this context, each tissue consists of a unique ECM composition, which may be responsible for tissue-specific cell responses. Due to the complexity of ECM-cell interactions—which depend on the interplay of inside-out and outside-in signaling cascades, cell and tissue specificity of ECM-guidance is poorly understood. In this paper, we investigate the role of different ECM components like laminin, fibronectin, and collagen type I with respect to the essential cell behaviour patterns: attachment dynamics such as adhesion kinetic and force, formation of focal adhesion complexes, morphology, proliferation, and intercellular communication. A detailed in vitro comparison of fibroblasts, endothelial cells, osteoblasts, smooth muscle cells, and chondrocytes reveals significant differences in their cell responses to the ECM: cell behaviour follows a cell specific ligand priority ranking, which was independent of the cell type origin. Fibroblasts responded best to fibronectin, chondrocytes best to collagen I, the other cell types best to laminin. This knowledge is essential for optimization of tissue-biomaterial interfaces in all tissue engineering applications and gives insight into tissue-specific cell guidance. -- Highlights: • We analyse the impact of ECM components on cell behaviour in vitro. • We compare five different cell types, using the same culture conditions. • The ECM significantly guides all cell responses. • Cell behaviour follows a cell specific ligand-priority ranking. • This gives insight in tissue formation and is essential for biomedical applications.

  12. A Mutation in a Novel Yeast Proteasomal Gene, RPN11/MPR1, Produces a Cell Cycle Arrest, Overreplication of Nuclear and Mitochondrial DNA, and an Altered Mitochondrial Morphology

    PubMed Central

    Rinaldi, Teresa; Ricci, Carlo; Porro, Danilo; Bolotin-Fukuhara, Monique; Frontali, Laura

    1998-01-01

    We report here the functional characterization of an essential Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene, MPR1, coding for a regulatory proteasomal subunit for which the name Rpn11p has been proposed. For this study we made use of the mpr1-1 mutation that causes the following pleiotropic defects. At 24°C growth is delayed on glucose and impaired on glycerol, whereas no growth is seen at 36°C on either carbon source. Microscopic observation of cells growing on glucose at 24°C shows that most of them bear a large bud, whereas mitochondrial morphology is profoundly altered. A shift to the nonpermissive temperature produces aberrant elongated cell morphologies, whereas the nucleus fails to divide. Flow cytometry profiles after the shift to the nonpermissive temperature indicate overreplication of both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Consistently with the identification of Mpr1p with a proteasomal subunit, the mutation is complemented by the human POH1 proteasomal gene. Moreover, the mpr1-1 mutant grown to stationary phase accumulates ubiquitinated proteins. Localization of the Rpn11p/Mpr1p protein has been studied by green fluorescent protein fusion, and the fusion protein has been found to be mainly associated to cytoplasmic structures. For the first time, a proteasomal mutation has also revealed an associated mitochondrial phenotype. We actually showed, by the use of [rho°] cells derived from the mutant, that the increase in DNA content per cell is due in part to an increase in the amount of mitochondrial DNA. Moreover, microscopy of mpr1-1 cells grown on glucose showed that multiple punctate mitochondrial structures were present in place of the tubular network found in the wild-type strain. These data strongly suggest that mpr1-1 is a valuable tool with which to study the possible roles of proteasomal function in mitochondrial biogenesis. PMID:9763452

  13. Effect of S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) added to the University of Wisconsin solution (UW): I) Morphological alteration during cold preservation/reperfusion of rat liver.

    PubMed

    Quintana, A; Rodriguez, J V; Scandizzi, A; Guibert, E E

    2001-01-01

    Cold liver preservation in the University of Wisconsin solution (UW) followed by reperfusion alters hepatic parenchyma and stroma. In this study we demonstrated the benefit of adding S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) to the UW solution before cold storage, as an effective Nitric Oxide (NO) donor to prevent hepatic injury. Wistar adult rat livers were stored in UW solution (4 degrees C-48Hs) and then reperfused 60 minutes in the isolated perfused rat liver model (IPRL). Normal untreated livers and perfused livers, but not preserved were used as controls. Parenchymal damages were evaluated with Hematoxylin-Eosin stain and an inmunohistochemistry assay for albumin was used as functional test. To study the stroma, collagen type III and I networks were analyzed using Picro-sirius Red stain and Gordon Sweets' method for reticulin. After 48 Hs of cold preservation in UW solution livers showed few rounded endothelial cells inside sinusoidal lumen and extended areas of cell vacuolation. Albumin distribution was evident only around central veins and middle zones of the hepatic lobule. Collagens III and I networks were disorganized. When preserved with the addition of 100 microM GSNO and then reperfused, the hepatic morphology, in general, was conserved showing little vacuolation, fewer endothelial cells inside sinusoids and good albumin distribution around central veins and middle zones. The stroma had organized networks of collagen III and I. We concluded that the addition of 100 microM GSNO as a NO donor, can improve UW solution properties to preserve rat liver by maintaining the hepatic morphology and avoiding hepatic injury post cold preservation/reperfusion.

  14. Co-modification of class B genes TfDEF and TfGLO in Torenia fournieri Lind. alters both flower morphology and inflorescence architecture.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Katsutomo; Yamaguchi, Hiroyasu; Nakayama, Masayoshi; Aida, Ryutaro; Ohtsubo, Norihiro

    2014-10-01

    The class B genes DEFICIENS (DEF)/APETALA3 (AP3) and GLOBOSA (GLO)/PISTILLATA (PI), encoding MADS-box transcription factors, and their functions in petal and stamen development have been intensely studied in Arabidopsis and Antirrhinum. However, the functions of class B genes in other plants, including ornamental species exhibiting floral morphology different from these model plants, have not received nearly as much attention. Here, we examine the cooperative functions of TfDEF and TfGLO on floral organ development in the ornamental plant torenia (Torenia fournieri Lind.). Torenia plants co-overexpressing TfDEF and TfGLO showed a morphological alteration of sepals to petaloid organs. Phenotypically, these petaloid sepals were nearly identical to petals but had no stamens or yellow patches like those of wild-type petals. Furthermore, the inflorescence architecture in the co-overexpressing torenias showed a characteristic change in which, unlike the wild-types, their flowers developed without peduncles. Evaluation of the petaloid sepals showed that these attained a petal-like nature in terms of floral organ phenotype, cell shape, pigment composition, and the expression patterns of anthocyanin biosynthesis-related genes. In contrast, torenias in which TfDEF and TfGLO were co-suppressed exhibited sepaloid petals in the second whorl. The sepaloid petals also attained a sepal-like nature, in the same way as the petaloid sepals. The results clearly demonstrate that TfDEF and TfGLO play important cooperative roles in petal development in torenia. Furthermore, the unique transgenic phenotypes produced create a valuable new way through which characteristics of petal development and inflorescence architecture can be investigated in torenia.

  15. Influence of sexual selection and feeding functional morphology on diversification rate of parrotfishes (Scaridae).

    PubMed

    Kazancioglu, Erem; Near, Thomas J; Hanel, Reinhold; Wainwright, Peter C

    2009-10-07

    Scaridae (parrotfishes) is a prominent clade of 96 species that shape coral reef communities worldwide through their actions as grazing herbivores. Phylogenetically nested within Labridae, the profound ecological impact and high species richness of parrotfishes suggest that their diversification and ecological success may be linked. Here, we ask whether parrotfish evolution is characterized by a significant burst of lineage diversification and whether parrotfish diversity is shaped more strongly by sexual selection or modifications of the feeding mechanism. We first examined scarid diversification within the greater context of labrid diversity. We used a supermatrix approach for 252 species to propose the most extensive phylogenetic hypothesis of Labridae to date, and time-calibrated the phylogeny with fossil and biogeographical data. Using divergence date estimates, we find that several parrotfish clades exhibit the highest diversification rates among all labrid lineages. Furthermore, we pinpoint a rate shift at the shared ancestor of Scarus and Chlorurus, a scarid subclade characterized by territorial behaviour and strong sexual dichromatism, suggesting that sexual selection was a major factor in parrotfish diversification. Modifications of the pharyngeal and oral jaws that happened earlier in parrotfish evolution may have contributed to this diversity by establishing parrotfishes as uniquely capable reef herbivores.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-11

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Soluble Conformers of Aβ and Tau Alter Selective Proteins Governing Axonal Transport

    PubMed Central

    Sherman, Mathew A.; LaCroix, Michael; Amar, Fatou; Larson, Megan E.; Forster, Colleen; Aguzzi, Adriano; Bennett, David A.; Ramsden, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Despite the demonstration that amyloid-β (Aβ) can trigger increased tau phosphorylation and neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) formation in vivo, the molecular link associating Aβ and tau pathologies remains ill defined. Here, we observed that exposure of cultured primary neurons to Aβ trimers isolated from brain tissue of subjects with Alzheimer's disease led to a specific conformational change of tau detected by the antibody Alz50. A similar association was supported by postmortem human brain analyses. To study the role of Aβ trimers in vivo, we created a novel bigenic Tg-Aβ+Tau mouse line by crossing Tg2576 (Tg-Aβ) and rTg4510 (Tg-Tau) mice. Before neurodegeneration and amyloidosis, apparent Aβ trimers were increased by ∼2-fold in 3-month-old Tg-Aβ and Tg-Aβ+Tau mice compared with younger mice, whereas soluble monomeric Aβ levels were unchanged. Under these conditions, the expression of soluble Alz50-tau conformers rose by ∼2.2-fold in the forebrains of Tg-Aβ+Tau mice compared with nontransgenic littermates. In parallel, APP accumulated intracellularly, suggestive of a putative dysfunction of anterograde axonal transport. We found that the protein abundance of the kinesin-1 light chain (KLC1) was reduced selectively in vivo and in vitro when soluble Aβ trimers/Alz50-tau were present. Importantly, the reduction in KLC1 was prevented by the intraneuronal delivery of Alz50 antibodies. Collectively, our findings reveal that specific soluble conformers of Aβ and tau cooperatively disrupt axonal transport independently from plaques and tangles. Finally, these results suggest that not all endogenous Aβ oligomers trigger the same deleterious changes and that the role of each assembly should be considered separately. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The mechanistic link between amyloid-β (Aβ) and tau, the two major proteins composing the neuropathological lesions detected in brain tissue of Alzheimer's disease subjects, remains unclear. Here, we report that the

  19. Altering small and medium alcohol selectivity in the wax ester synthase.

    PubMed

    Barney, Brett M; Ohlert, Janet M; Timler, Jacobe G; Lijewski, Amelia M

    2015-11-01

    The bifunctional wax ester synthase/acyl-coenzyme A:diacylglycerol acyltransferase (WS/DGAT or wax ester synthase) catalyzes the terminal reaction in the bacterial wax ester biosynthetic pathway, utilizing a range of alcohols and fatty acyl-CoAs to synthesize the corresponding wax ester. The wild-type wax ester synthase Maqu_0168 from Marinobacter aquaeolei VT8 exhibits a preference for longer fatty alcohols, while applications with smaller alcohols would yield products with desired biotechnological properties. Small and medium chain length alcohol substrates are much poorer substrates for the native enzyme, which may hinder broad application of the wax ester synthase in many proposed biosynthetic schemes. Developing approaches to improve enzyme activity toward specific smaller alcohol substrates first requires a clear understanding of which amino acids of the primary sequences of these enzymes contribute to substrate specificity in the native enzyme. In this report, we surveyed a range of potential residues and identified the leucine at position 356 and methionine at position 405 in Maqu_0168 as residues that affected selectivity toward small, branched, and aromatic alcohols when substituted with different amino acids. This analysis provides evidence of residues that line the binding site for wax ester synthase, which will aid rational approaches to improve this enzyme with specific substrates.

  20. IgH sequences in common variable immune deficiency reveal altered B cell development and selection**

    PubMed Central

    Roskin, Krishna M.; Simchoni, Noa; Liu, Yi; Lee, Ji-Yeun; Seo, Katie; Hoh, Ramona A.; Pham, Tho; Park, Joon H.; Furman, David; Dekker, Cornelia L.; Davis, Mark M.; James, Judith A.; Nadeau, Kari C.; Cunningham-Rundles, Charlotte; Boyd, Scott D.

    2015-01-01

    Common variable immune deficiency (CVID) is the most common symptomatic primary immune deficiency, affecting ∼1 in 25,000 persons. These patients suffer from impaired antibody responses, autoimmunity, and susceptibility to lymphoid cancers. To explore the cellular basis for these clinical phenotypes, we conducted high-throughput DNA sequencing of immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangements from 93 CVID patients and 105 control subjects and sorted naïve and memory B cells from 13 of the CVID patients and 10 of the control subjects. CVID patients showed abnormal VDJ rearrangement and abnormal formation of complementarity determining region 3 (CDR3). We observed decreased selection against antibodies with long CDR3 regions in memory repertoires and decreased V gene replacement, offering possible mechanisms for increased patient autoreactivity. Our data indicate that patient immunodeficiency might derive both from decreased diversity of the naïve B cell pool and decreased somatic hypermutation in memory repertoires. CVID patients also exhibited abnormal clonal expansion of unmutated B cells relative to controls. Although impaired B cell germinal center activation is commonly viewed as causative in CVID, these data indicate that CVID B cells diverge from controls as early as the pro-B cell stage and suggest possible explanations for the increased incidence of autoimmunity, immunodeficiency, and lymphoma CVID patients. PMID:26311730

  1. On morphological selection rule of noisy character applied to model (dis)orderly protein formations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siódmiak, Jacek; Santamaría-Holek, Ivan; Gadomski, Adam

    2010-05-01

    We propose that the main mechanism controlling the selection rule of model (dis)orderly protein formations, such as non-Kossel crystal growth and aggregation of lysozyme from aqueous solution, is an ion-channeling filter having flicker-noise properties. This filter is originated at the interfaces between growing solidlike object and its external liquid-type phase, and it can be considered as a series of voltage gated ion subchannels. The dynamics of each channel is studied by using both simulation and analytic argumentation lines, and represents a novel thought on how to utilize the presence of constructive-noise sources in protein formation, a field of utmost experimental and technological interest.

  2. Behavioral, morphological and physiological correlates of diurnal and nocturnal vision in selected wading bird species.

    PubMed

    Rojas, L M; McNeil, R; Cabana, T; Lachapelle, P

    1999-01-01

    We examined in selected wading bird species if diurnal or nocturnal foraging and the use of visual or tactile feeding strategies could be correlated with retinal structure and function. The selected species were the Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax violaceus), a crepuscular and nocturnal forager, the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), a mainly crepuscular, but also diurnal and nocturnal feeder, the Roseate Spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja), a mainly crepuscular feeder which forages more at night than during the day, the Cattle (Bubulcus ibis) and Tricolored (Egretta tricolor) egrets and the American White Ibis (Eudocimus ruber) which forage only during daytime. Herons and egrets are visual foragers; ibises and spoonbills are tactile feeders. Electroretinograms were obtained from anesthetized birds in photopic and scotopic conditions to a wide range of light intensities, following which the retinae were processed for histological analysis. Based on rod densities and rods:cones ratios, nocturnal vision capability is greater in the Yellow-crowned Night Heron, followed by the Great Blue Heron and the spoonbill, then by the egrets and the ibis. Visual feeders that forage near dawn or dusk or at night have a higher rods:cones ratio, and consequently a greater night vision capability, than visual feeding species which forage only during daytime. Visual nocturnal feeders have a night vision capability greater than tactile diurnal as well as tactile nocturnal feeders. However, based on maximum scotopic b-wave amplitudes, all species studied have roughly comparable night vision capability. The factor that best discriminates between wading bird species appears to be the daytime visual capabilities. Indeed, the diurnal ibis and egrets have similar cone densities, cones:rods ratios, and photopic a-wave amplitudes, values which are greater than those measured in the two nocturnally active heron species.

  3. Selection of an actinobacteria mixed culture for chlordane remediation. Pesticide effects on microbial morphology and bioemulsifier production.

    PubMed

    Fuentes, María S; Colin, Verónica L; Amoroso, María J; Benimeli, Claudia S

    2016-02-01

    Chlordane bioremediation using actinobacteria mixed culture is an attractive clean-up technique. Their ability to produce bioemulsifiers could increase the bioavailability of this pesticide. In order to select a defined actinobacteria mixed culture for chlordane remediation, compatibility assays were performed among six Streptomyces strains. The strains did not show growth inhibition, and they were assayed for chlordane removal, either as pure or as mixed cultures. In pure cultures, all of the strains showed specific dechlorination activity (1.42-24.20 EU mg(-1)) and chlordane removal abilities (91.3-95.5%). The specific dechlorination activity was mainly improved with cultures of three or four microorganisms. The mixed culture consisting of Streptomyces sp. A2-A5-A13 was selected. Their ability to produce bioemulsifiers in the presence of glucose or chlordane was tested, but no significant differences were observed (p > 0.05). However, the stability of the emulsions formed was linked to the carbon source used. Only in chlordane presence the emulsions retained 100% of their initial height. Finally, the selected consortium showed a high degree of sporulation in the pesticide presence. This is the first study on the effects that chlordane exerts on microbe morphology and emulsifier production for a defined mixed culture of Streptomyces with ability to remediate the pesticide.

  4. Morphological evidence of correlational selection and ecological segregation between dextral and sinistral forms in a polymorphic flatfish, Platichthys stellatus.

    PubMed

    Bergstrom, C A

    2007-05-01

    Phenotypic polymorphisms in natural systems are often maintained by ecological selection, but only if niche segregation between morphs exists. Polymorphism for eyed-side direction is rare among the approximately 700 species of flatfish (Pleuronectiformes), and the evolutionary mechanisms that maintain it are unknown. Platichthys stellatus (starry flounder) is a polymorphic pleuronectid flatfish exhibiting large, clinal variation in proportion of left-eyed (sinistral) morphs, from 50% in California to 100% in Japan. Here I examined multiple traits related to swimming and foraging performance between sinistral and dextral morphs of P. stellatus from 12 sites to investigate if the two morphs differ in ways that may affect function and ecology. Direction of body asymmetry was correlated with several other characters: on an average, dextral morphs had longer, wider caudal peduncles, shorter snouts and fewer gill rakers than sinistral morphs. Although the differences were small in magnitude, they were consistent in direction across samples, implying that dextral and sinistral starry flounder may be targeting different prey types. Morphological differences between morphs were greatest in samples where the chances of competitive interactions between them were the greatest. These results suggest that the two morphs are not ecologically identical, may represent a rare example of divergent selection maintaining polymorphism of asymmetric forms, and that correlational selection between body asymmetry and other characters may be driven by competitive interactions between sinistral and dextral flatfish. This study is one of very few that demonstrates the ecological significance of direction in a species with polymorphic asymmetric forms.

  5. Evolutionary Pressure of a Receptor Competitor Selects Different Subgroup A Avian Leukosis Virus Escape Variants with Altered Receptor Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Melder, Deborah C.; Pankratz, V. Shane; Federspiel, Mark J.

    2003-01-01

    A complex interaction between the retroviral envelope glycoproteins and a specific cell surface protein initiates viral entry into cells. The avian leukosis-sarcoma virus (ALV) group of retroviruses provides a useful experimental system for studying the retroviral entry process and the evolution of receptor usage. In this study, we demonstrate that evolutionary pressure on subgroup A ALV [ALV(A)] entry exerted by the presence of a competitive inhibitor, a soluble form of the ALV(A) Tva receptor linked to a mouse immunoglobulin G tag (quail sTva-mIgG), can select different populations of escape variants. This escape population contained three abundant ALV(A) variant viruses, all with mutations in the surface glycoprotein hypervariable regions: a previously identified variant containing the Y142N mutation in the hr1 region; a new variant with two mutations, W141G in hr1 and K261E in vr3; and another new variant with two mutations, W145R in hr1 and K261E. The W141G K261E and W145R K261E viruses escape primarily by lowering their binding affinities for the quail Tva receptor competitive inhibitor while retaining wild-type levels of binding affinity for the chicken Tva receptor. A secondary phenotype of the new variants was an alteration in receptor interference patterns from that of wild-type ALV(A), indicating that the mutant glycoproteins are possibly interacting with other cellular proteins. One result of these altered interactions was that the variants caused a transient period of cytotoxicity. We could also directly demonstrate that the W141G K261E variant glycoproteins bound significant levels of a soluble form of the TvbS3 ALV receptor in a binding assay. Alterations in the normally extreme specificity of the ALV(A) glycoproteins for Tva may represent an evolutionary first step toward expanding viral receptor usage in response to inefficient viral entry. PMID:12970435

  6. Selective lesions of the cholinergic neurons within the posterior pedunculopontine do not alter operant learning or nicotine sensitization.

    PubMed

    MacLaren, Duncan A A; Wilson, David I G; Winn, Philip

    2016-04-01

    Cholinergic neurons within the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus have been implicated in a range of functions, including behavioral state control, attention, and modulation of midbrain and basal ganglia systems. Previous experiments with excitotoxic lesions have found persistent learning impairment and altered response to nicotine following lesion of the posterior component of the PPTg (pPPTg). These effects have been attributed to disrupted input to midbrain dopamine systems, particularly the ventral tegmental area. The pPPTg contains a dense collection of cholinergic neurons and also large numbers of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. Because these interdigitated populations of neurons are all susceptible to excitotoxins, the effects of such lesions cannot be attributed to one neuronal population. We wished to assess whether the learning impairments and altered responses to nicotine in excitotoxic PPTg-lesioned rats were due to loss of cholinergic neurons within the pPPTg. Selective depletion of cholinergic pPPTg neurons is achievable with the fusion toxin Dtx-UII, which targets UII receptors expressed only by cholinergic neurons in this region. Rats bearing bilateral lesions of cholinergic pPPTg neurons (>90% ChAT+ neuronal loss) displayed no deficits in the learning or performance of fixed and variable ratio schedules of reinforcement for pellet reward. Separate rats with the same lesions had a normal locomotor response to nicotine and furthermore sensitized to repeated administration of nicotine at the same rate as sham controls. Previously seen changes in these behaviors following excitotoxic pPPTg lesions cannot be attributed solely to loss of cholinergic neurons. These findings indicate that non-cholinergic neurons within the pPPTg are responsible for the learning deficits and altered responses to nicotine seen after excitotoxic lesions. The functions of cholinergic neurons may be related to behavioral state control and attention rather than learning.

  7. Serine 574 phosphorylation alters transcriptional programming of FOXO3 by selectively enhancing apoptotic gene expression.

    PubMed

    Li, Z; Zhao, J; Tikhanovich, I; Kuravi, S; Helzberg, J; Dorko, K; Roberts, B; Kumer, S; Weinman, S A

    2016-04-01

    Forkhead box O3 (FOXO3) is a multispecific transcription factor that is responsible for multiple and conflicting transcriptional programs such as cell survival and apoptosis. The protein is heavily post-translationally modified and there is considerable evidence that post-transcriptional modifications (PTMs) regulate protein stability and nuclear-cytosolic translocation. Much less is known about how FOXO3 PTMs determine the specificity of its transcriptional program. In this study we demonstrate that exposure of hepatocytes to ethanol or exposure of macrophages to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induces the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)-dependent phosphorylation of FOXO3 at serine-574. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), mRNA and protein measurements demonstrate that p-574-FOXO3 selectively binds to promoters of pro-apoptotic genes but not to other well-described FOXO3 targets. Both unphosphorylated and p-574-FOXO3 bound to the B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) promoter, but the unphosphorylated form was a transcriptional activator, whereas p-574-FOXO3 was a transcriptional repressor. The combination of increased TRAIL (TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) and decreased Bcl-2 was both necessary and sufficient to induce apoptosis. LPS treatment of a human monocyte cell line (THP-1) induced FOXO3 S-574 phosphorylation and apoptosis. LPS-induced apoptosis was prevented by knockdown of FOXO3. It was restored by overexpressing wild-type FOXO3 but not by overexpressing a nonphosphorylatable S-574A FOXO3. Expression of an S-574D phosphomimetic form of FOXO3 induced apoptosis even in the absence of LPS. A similar result was obtained with mouse peritoneal macrophages where LPS treatment increased TRAIL, decreased Bcl-2 and induced apoptosis in wild-type but not FOXO3(-/-) cells. This work thus demonstrates that S-574 phosphorylation generates a specifically apoptotic form of FOXO3 with decreased transcriptional activity for other well-described FOXO3 functions.

  8. Selective alteration of sodium channel gating by Australian funnel-web spider toxins.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, G M; Little, M J; Tyler, M; Narahashi, T

    1996-01-01

    The actions of potent mammalian neurotoxins isolated from the venom of two Australian funnel-web spiders were investigated using both electrophysiological and neurochemical techniques. Whole-cell patch clamp recording of sodium currents in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons revealed that versutoxin (VTX), isolated from the venom of Hadronyche versuta, produced a concentration-dependent slowing or removal of tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTX-S) sodium current inactivation and a reduction in peak TTX-S sodium current. In contrast, VTX had no effect on tetrodotoxin-resistant (TTX-R) sodium currents or potassium currents. VTX also shifted the voltage dependence of sodium channel activation in the hyperpolarizing direction and increased the rate of recovery from inactivation. Ion flux studies performed in rat brain synaptosomes also revealed that robustoxin (RTX), from the venom of Atrax robustus, and VTX both produced a partial activation of 22Na+ flux and an inhibition of batrachotoxin-activated 22Na+ flux. This inhibition of flux through batrachotoxin-activated channels was not due to an interaction with neurotoxin receptor site 1 since [3H]saxitoxin binding was unaffected. In addition, the partial activation of 22Na+ flux was not enhanced in the presence of alpha-scorpion toxin and further experiments suggest that VTX also enhances [3H]batrachotoxin binding. These selective actions of funnel-web spider toxins on sodium channel function are comparable to those of alpha-scorpion and sea anemone toxins which bind to neurotoxin receptor site 3 on the channel to slow channel inactivation profoundly. Also, these modifications of sodium channel gating and kinetics are consistent with actions of the spider toxins to produce repetitive firing of action potentials.

  9. Strong selection against hybrids maintains a narrow contact zone between morphologically cryptic lineages in a rainforest lizard.

    PubMed

    Singhal, Sonal; Moritz, Craig

    2012-05-01

    Phenotypically cryptic lineages comprise an important yet understudied part of biodiversity; in particular, we have much to learn about how these lineages are formed and maintained. To better understand the evolutionary significance of such lineages, we studied a hybrid zone between two morphologically cryptic phylogeographic lineages in the rainforest lizard, Lampropholis coggeri. Analyzing a multilocus genetic dataset through cline inference, individual-based methods and population measures of disequilibrium and using simulations to explore our genetic results in context of theoretical expectations, we inferred the processes maintaining this hybrid zone. We find that these lineages meet in a hybrid zone that is narrow (≈400 m) relative to inferred dispersal rate. Further, the hybrid zone exhibits substantial genetic disequilibrium and sharply coincident and largely concordant clines. Based on our knowledge about the region's biogeography, the species' natural history, and our simulation results, we suggest that strong selection against hybrids structures this system. As all clines show a relatively narrow range of introgression, we posit that this hybrid zone might not yet be in equilibrium. Nonetheless, our results clearly show that phylogeographic lineages can evolve substantial reproductive isolation without concomitant morphological diversification, suggesting that such lineages can constitute a significant component of evolutionary diversity.

  10. Her2 alterations in muscle-invasive bladder cancer: Patient selection beyond protein expression for targeted therapy

    PubMed Central

    Kiss, Bernhard; Wyatt, Alexander W.; Douglas, James; Skuginna, Veronika; Mo, Fan; Anderson, Shawn; Rotzer, Diana; Fleischmann, Achim; Genitsch, Vera; Hayashi, Tetsutaro; Neuenschwander, Maja; Buerki, Christine; Davicioni, Elai; Collins, Colin; Thalmann, George N.; Black, Peter C.; Seiler, Roland

    2017-01-01

    Although the introduction of novel targeted agents has improved patient outcomes in several human cancers, no such advance has been achieved in muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). However, recent sequencing efforts have begun to dissect the complex genomic landscape of MIBC, revealing distinct molecular subtypes and offering hope for implementation of targeted therapies. Her2 (ERBB2) is one of the most established therapeutic targets in breast and gastric cancer but agents targeting Her2 have not yet demonstrated anti-tumor activity in MIBC. Through an integrated analysis of 127 patients from three centers, we identified alterations of Her2 at the DNA, RNA and protein level, and demonstrate that Her2 relevance as a tumor driver likely may vary even within ERBB2 amplified cases. Importantly, tumors with a luminal molecular subtype have a significantly higher rate of Her2 alterations than those of the basal subtype, suggesting that Her2 activity is also associated with subtype status. Although some of our findings present rare events in bladder cancer, our study suggests that comprehensively assessing Her2 status in the context of tumor molecular subtype may help select MIBC patients most likely to respond to Her2 targeted therapy. PMID:28205537

  11. Her2 alterations in muscle-invasive bladder cancer: Patient selection beyond protein expression for targeted therapy.

    PubMed

    Kiss, Bernhard; Wyatt, Alexander W; Douglas, James; Skuginna, Veronika; Mo, Fan; Anderson, Shawn; Rotzer, Diana; Fleischmann, Achim; Genitsch, Vera; Hayashi, Tetsutaro; Neuenschwander, Maja; Buerki, Christine; Davicioni, Elai; Collins, Colin; Thalmann, George N; Black, Peter C; Seiler, Roland

    2017-02-16

    Although the introduction of novel targeted agents has improved patient outcomes in several human cancers, no such advance has been achieved in muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). However, recent sequencing efforts have begun to dissect the complex genomic landscape of MIBC, revealing distinct molecular subtypes and offering hope for implementation of targeted therapies. Her2 (ERBB2) is one of the most established therapeutic targets in breast and gastric cancer but agents targeting Her2 have not yet demonstrated anti-tumor activity in MIBC. Through an integrated analysis of 127 patients from three centers, we identified alterations of Her2 at the DNA, RNA and protein level, and demonstrate that Her2 relevance as a tumor driver likely may vary even within ERBB2 amplified cases. Importantly, tumors with a luminal molecular subtype have a significantly higher rate of Her2 alterations than those of the basal subtype, suggesting that Her2 activity is also associated with subtype status. Although some of our findings present rare events in bladder cancer, our study suggests that comprehensively assessing Her2 status in the context of tumor molecular subtype may help select MIBC patients most likely to respond to Her2 targeted therapy.

  12. Biochemical alterations in duckweed and algae induced by carrier solvents: Selection of an appropriate solvent in toxicity testing.

    PubMed

    Hu, Li-Xin; Tian, Fei; Martin, Francis L; Ying, Guang-Guo

    2017-03-24

    Carrier solvents are often used in aquatic toxicity testing for test chemicals with hydrophobic properties. However, the knowledge of solvent effects on test organisms remains limited. This study aimed to understand biochemical effects of the four common solvents ((methanol, ethanol, acetone and dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO)) on two test species Lemna minor and Raphidocelis subcapitata by applying Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) coupled with multivariate analysis in order to select appropriate solvents in the toxicity testing. The results showed biochemical variations associated with solvent treatments at different doses on test species. From the obtained infrared spectra, the structures of lipid membrane and protein phosphorylation in the test species were found sensitive to the solvents. Methanol and ethanol mainly affected the protein secondary structure, while acetone and DMSO primarily induced the alterations of carbohydrate and proteins in the test species. The FTIR results demonstrated that methanol and ethanol showed higher biochemical alterations in the test species than acetone and DMSO, especially at the high doses (0.1% and 1% v/v). Based on the growth inhibition and FTIR spectroscopy, acetone and DMSO can be used as carrier solvent in the toxicity testing when their doses are lower than 0.1% v/v. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  13. Selective alterations in cerebral metabolism within the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic system produced by acute cocaine administration in rats

    SciTech Connect

    Porrino, L.J.; Domer, F.R.; Crane, A.M.; Sokoloff, L.

    1988-05-01

    The 2-(/sup 14/C)deoxyglucose method was used to examine the effects of acute intravenous administration of cocaine on local cerebral glucose utilization in rats. These effects were correlated with the effects of cocaine on locomotor activity assessed simultaneously in the same animals. At the lowest dose of cocaine, 0.5 mg/kg (1.47 mumol/kg), alterations in glucose utilization were restricted to the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. Metabolic activity at 1.0 mg/kg (2.9 mumol/kg) was altered in these structures, but in the substantia nigra reticulata and lateral habenula as well. The selectivity of cocaine's effects at low doses demonstrates the particular sensitivity of these structures to cocaine's actions in the brain. In contrast, 5.0 mg/kg (14.7 mumol/kg) produced widespread changes in glucose utilization, particularly in the extrapyramidal system. Only this dose significantly increased locomotor activity above levels in vehicle-treated controls. Rates of glucose utilization were positively correlated with locomotor activity in the globus pallidus, substantia nigra reticulata, and subthalamic nucleus, and negatively correlated in the lateral habenula.

  14. PartitionFinder 2: New Methods for Selecting Partitioned Models of Evolution for Molecular and Morphological Phylogenetic Analyses.

    PubMed

    Lanfear, Robert; Frandsen, Paul B; Wright, April M; Senfeld, Tereza; Calcott, Brett

    2017-03-01

    PartitionFinder 2 is a program for automatically selecting best-fit partitioning schemes and models of evolution for phylogenetic analyses. PartitionFinder 2 is substantially faster and more efficient than version 1, and incorporates many new methods and features. These include the ability to analyze morphological datasets, new methods to analyze genome-scale datasets, new output formats to facilitate interoperability with downstream software, and many new models of molecular evolution. PartitionFinder 2 is freely available under an open source license and works on Windows, OSX, and Linux operating systems. It can be downloaded from www.robertlanfear.com/partitionfinder. The source code is available at https://github.com/brettc/partitionfinder.

  15. Maternal separation and early stress cause long-lasting effects on dopaminergic and endocannabinergic systems and alters dendritic morphology in the nucleus accumbens and frontal cortex in rats.

    PubMed

    Romano-López, Antonio; Méndez-Díaz, Mónica; García, Fabio García; Regalado-Santiago, Citlalli; Ruiz-Contreras, Alejandra E; Prospéro-García, Oscar

    2016-08-01

    A considerable amount experimental studies have shown that maternal separation (MS) is associated with adult offspring abnormal behavior and cognition disorder. Accordingly, this experimental procedure has been proposed as a predictor for alcohol and drug dependence based on the neurodevelopmental soon after birth. Endocannabinoid system (eCBs) has been implicated in reward processes, including drug abuse and dependence. MS and associated stress causes changes in the eCBs that seem to facilitate alcohol consumption. In this study, we seek to evaluate potential morphological changes in neurons of the frontal cortex (FCx) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc), in the expression of receptors and enzymes of the endocannabinoid and dopamine systems and in second messengers, such as Akt, in adult rats subjected to MS and early stress (MS + ES; 2 × 180 min daily) vs. nonseparated rats (NMS). Results showed that MS + ES induces higher D2R expression and lower D3R, FAAH, and MAGL expression compared with NMS rats. Alterations in total dendritic length were also detected and were characterized by increases in the NAcc while there were decreases in the FCx. We believe MS + ES-induced changes in the dopaminergic and endocannabinergic systems and in the neuronal microstructure might be contributing to alcohol seeking behavior and, potential vulnerability to other drugs in rats. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 819-831, 2016.

  16. Chronic ethanol exposure during adolescence through early adulthood in female rats induces emotional and memory deficits associated with morphological and molecular alterations in hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Ana Ca; Pereira, Maria Cs; Santana, Luana N da Silva; Fernandes, Rafael M; Teixeira, Francisco B; Oliveira, Gedeão B; Fernandes, Luanna Mp; Fontes-Júnior, Enéas A; Prediger, Rui D; Crespo-López, Maria E; Gomes-Leal, Walace; Lima, Rafael R; Maia, Cristiane do Socorro Ferraz

    2015-06-01

    There is increasing evidence that heavy ethanol exposure in early life may produce long-lasting neurobehavioral consequences, since brain structural maturation continues until adolescence. It is well established that females are more susceptible to alcohol-induced neurotoxicity and that ethanol consumption is increasing among women, especially during adolescence. In the present study, we investigated whether chronic ethanol exposure during adolescence through early adulthood in female rats may induce hippocampal histological damage and neurobehavioral impairments. Female rats were treated with distilled water or ethanol (6.5 g/kg/day, 22.5% w/v) by gavage from the 35(th)-90(th) day of life. Ethanol-exposed animals displayed reduced exploration of the central area and increased number of fecal boluses in the open field test indicative of anxiogenic responses. Moreover, chronic high ethanol exposure during adolescence induced marked impairments on short-term memory of female rats addressed on social recognition and step-down inhibitory avoidance tasks. These neurobehavioral deficits induced by ethanol exposure during adolescence through early adulthood were accompanied by the reduction of hippocampal formation volume as well as the loss of neurons, astrocytes and microglia cells in the hippocampus. These results indicate that chronic high ethanol exposure during adolescence through early adulthood in female rats induces long-lasting emotional and memory deficits associated with morphological and molecular alterations in the hippocampus.

  17. Alterations in selected measures of mood with a single bout of dynamic Taekwondo exercise in college-age students.

    PubMed

    Toskovic, N N

    2001-06-01

    This study was designed to investigate and to compare the acute alterations in selected measures of mood profile in novice Taekwondo practitioners while evaluating whether dynamic Taekwondo practice was an appropriate exercise modality for enhancing six psychological state dimensions: Vigor, Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Fatigue, and Confusion. 20 male and female college-age students enrolled in Taekwondo activity class and an additional 20 students enrolled in the lecture-con trol class (ages 18 to 21 years) completed the Profile of Mood States (POMS) inven tory prior to and immediately following one 75-min. session of dynamic Taekwondo or lecture. To examine the exercise effect, a series of 2 x 2 analysis of covariance were performed on mean posttest scores, using pretest scores as the covariate. Analysis indicated that Taekwondo participants reported a significant improvement (p<.007) with respect to the control group in scores on Tension, Depression, Anger, Fatigue, Confusion, and Vigor. Also, Total Mood Disturbance significantly improved after the dynamic Taekwondo session. The selected affective benefits of an acute Taekwondo exercise in this study were independent of sex. Unlike the exercising subjects. the control subjects reported no such benefits and, indeed, increased their scores for negative mood states. These results suggest that a dynamic version of Taekwondo achieves the necessary activity parameters that begin to induce positive mood state changes and that extensive Taekwondo skill is not necessary to elicit some beneficial change in affect. This study also supports the findings of several earlier studies indicating that acute exercise may elicit positive changes in affective states and that prolonged exercise is not necessary to produce immediate beneficial alterations of mood.

  18. Postmating sexual selection: allopatric evolution of sperm competition mechanisms and genital morphology in calopterygid damselflies (Insecta: Odonata).

    PubMed

    Cordero Rivera, A; Andrés, J A; Córdoba-Aguilar, A; Utzeri, C

    2004-02-01

    Postmating sexual selection theory predicts that in allopatry reproductive traits diverge rapidly and that the resulting differentiation in these traits may lead to restrictions to gene flow between populations and, eventually, reproductive isolation. In this paper we explore the potential for this premise in a group of damselflies of the family Calopterygidae, in which postmating sexual mechanisms are especially well understood. Particularly, we tested if in allopatric populations the sperm competition mechanisms and genitalic traits involved in these mechanisms have indeed diverged as sexual selection theory predicts. We did so in two different steps. First, we compared the sperm competition mechanisms of two allopatric populations of Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis (one Italian population studied here and one Spanish population previously studied). Our results indicate that in both populations males are able to displace spermathecal sperm, but the mechanism used for sperm removal between both populations is strikingly different. In the Spanish population males seem to empty the spermathecae by stimulating females, whereas in the Italian population males physically remove sperm from the spermathecae. Both populations also exhibit differences in genital morphometry that explain the use of different mechanisms: the male lateral processes are narrower than the spermathecal ducts in the Italian population, which is the reverse in the Spanish population. The estimated degree of phenotypic differentiation between these populations based on the genitalic traits involved in sperm removal was much greater than the differentiation based on a set of other seven morphological variables, suggesting that strong directional postmating sexual selection is indeed the main evolutionary force behind the reproductive differentiation between the studied populations. In a second step, we examined if a similar pattern in genital morphometry emerge in allopatric populations of this and other

  19. Selective inhibition of ASIC1a confers functional and morphological neuroprotection following traumatic spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Koehn, Liam M.; Noor, Natassya M.; Dong, Qing; Er, Sing-Yan; Rash, Lachlan D.; King, Glenn F.; Dziegielewska, Katarzyna M.; Saunders, Norman R.; Habgood, Mark D.

    2016-01-01

    Tissue loss after spinal trauma is biphasic, with initial mechanical/haemorrhagic damage at the time of impact being followed by gradual secondary expansion into adjacent, previously unaffected tissue. Limiting the extent of this secondary expansion of tissue damage has the potential to preserve greater residual spinal cord function in patients. The acute tissue hypoxia resulting from spinal cord injury (SCI) activates acid-sensing ion channel 1a (ASIC1a). We surmised that antagonism of this channel should provide neuroprotection and functional preservation after SCI. We show that systemic administration of the spider-venom peptide PcTx1, a selective inhibitor of ASIC1a, improves locomotor function in adult Sprague Dawley rats after thoracic SCI. The degree of functional improvement correlated with the degree of tissue preservation in descending white matter tracts involved in hind limb locomotor function. Transcriptomic analysis suggests that PcTx1-induced preservation of spinal cord tissue does not result from a reduction in apoptosis, with no evidence of down-regulation of key genes involved in either the intrinsic or extrinsic apoptotic pathways. We also demonstrate that trauma-induced disruption of blood-spinal cord barrier function persists for at least 4 days post-injury for compounds up to 10 kDa in size, whereas barrier function is restored for larger molecules within a few hours. This temporary loss of barrier function provides a “ treatment window” through which systemically administered drugs have unrestricted access to spinal tissue in and around the sites of trauma. Taken together, our data provide evidence to support the use of ASIC1a inhibitors as a therapeutic treatment for SCI. This study also emphasizes the importance of objectively grading the functional severity of initial injuries (even when using standardized impacts) and we describe a simple scoring system based on hind limb function that could be adopted in future studies. PMID:28105306

  20. Changes in lagoonal marsh morphology at selected northeastern Atlantic coast sites of significance to migratory waterbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.; Sanders, G.M.; Prosser, D.J.

    2004-01-01

    Five lagoonal salt marsh areas, ranging from 220 ha to 3,670 ha, were selected from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to the southern DelMarVa peninsula, Virginia, USA to examine the degree to which Spartina marsh area and microhabitats had changed from the early or mid- 1900s to recent periods. We chose areas based on their importance to migratory bird populations, agency concerns about marsh loss and sea-level rise, and availability of historic imagery. We georeferenced and processed aerial photographs from a variety of sources ranging from 1932 to 1994. Of particular interest were changes in total salt marsh area, tidal creeks, tidal flats, tidal and non-tidal ponds, and open water habitats. Nauset Marsh, within Cape Cod National Seashore, experienced an annual marsh loss of 0.40% (19% from 1947 to 1994) with most loss attributed to sand overwash and conversion to open water. At Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in southern New Jersey, annual loss was 0.27% (17% from 1932 to 1995), with nearly equal attribution of loss to open water and tidal pond expansion. At Curlew Bay, Virginia, annual loss was 0.20% (9% from 1949 to 1994) and almost entirely due to perimeter erosion to open water. At Gull Marsh, Virginia, a site chosen because of known erosional losses, we recorded the highest annual loss rate, 0.67% per annum, again almost entirely due to erosional, perimeter loss. In contrast, at the southernmost site, Mockhorn Island Wildlife Management Area, Virginia, there was a net gain of 0.09% per annum (4% from 1949 to 1994), with tidal flats becoming increasingly vegetated. Habitat. implications for waterbirds are considerable; salt marsh specialists such as laughing gulls (Larus atricilla), Forster's terns (Sterna forsteri), black rail, (Laterallus jamaicensis), seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus), and saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrow (Ammodramus caudacutus) are particularly at risk if these trends continue, and all but the laughing gull are species of concern to state

  1. An alpha-helical cationic antimicrobial peptide selectively modulates macrophage responses to lipopolysaccharide and directly alters macrophage gene expression.

    PubMed

    Scott, M G; Rosenberger, C M; Gold, M R; Finlay, B B; Hancock, R E

    2000-09-15

    Certain cationic antimicrobial peptides block the binding of LPS to LPS-binding protein and reduce the ability of LPS to induce the production of inflammatory mediators by macrophages. To gain a more complete understanding of how LPS activates macrophages and how cationic peptides influence this process, we have used gene array technology to profile gene expression patterns in macrophages treated with LPS in the presence or the absence of the insect-derived cationic antimicrobial peptide CEMA (cecropin-melittin hybrid). We found that CEMA selectively blocked LPS-induced gene expression in the RAW 264.7 macrophage cell line. The ability of LPS to induce the expression of >40 genes was strongly inhibited by CEMA, while LPS-induced expression of another 16 genes was relatively unaffected. In addition, CEMA itself induced the expression of a distinct set of 35 genes, including genes involved in cell adhesion and apoptosis. Thus, CEMA, a synthetic alpha-helical peptide, selectively modulates the transcriptional response of macrophages to LPS and can alter gene expression in macrophages.

  2. Breeding biology and nest-site selection of red-tailed hawks in an altered desert grassland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hobbs, R.J.; DeStefano, S.; Halvorson, W.L.

    2006-01-01

    Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) have expanded their range as trees have invaded formerly-open grasslands. Desert grasslands of southern Arizona have been invaded by mesquite trees (Prosopis velutina) since Anglo-American settlement and now support a large population of Red-tailed Hawks. We studied a population of Red-tailed Hawks in an altered desert grassland in southern Arizona. Our objectives were to determine what environmental characteristics influence Red-tailed Hawk habitat selection in mesquite-invaded desert grasslands and to evaluate the habitat quality of these grasslands for Red-tailed Hawks based on nesting density, nest success, and productivity. Red-tailed Hawks had 86% (95% C.I. = 73-99) nest success and 1.82 young per breeding pair (95% C.I. = 1.41-2.23). Nesting density was 0.15 (95% CI = 0.08-0.21) breeding pairs/km2 and the mean nearest-neighbor distance was 1.95 km (95% C.I. = 1.74-2.16). Red-tailed Hawks selected nest-sites with taller nest-trees and greater tree height and cover than were available at random. Mesquite trees in desert grasslands provide abundant potential nesting structures for Red-tailed Hawks. ?? 2006 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  3. Hydrogen Peroxide Alters Splicing of Soluble Guanylyl Cyclase and Selectively Modulates Expression of Splicing Regulators in Human Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Cote, Gilbert J.; Zhu, Wen; Thomas, Anthony; Martin, Emil; Murad, Ferid; Sharina, Iraida G.

    2012-01-01

    Background Soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) plays a central role in nitric oxide (NO)-mediated signal transduction in the cardiovascular, nervous and gastrointestinal systems. Alternative RNA splicing has emerged as a potential mechanism to modulate sGC expression and activity. C-α1 sGC is an alternative splice form that is resistant to oxidation-induced protein degradation and demonstrates preferential subcellular distribution to the oxidized environment of endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Methodology/Principal Findings Here we report that splicing of C-α1 sGC can be modulated by H2O2 treatment in BE2 neuroblastoma and MDA-MD-468 adenocarcinoma human cells. In addition, we show that the H2O2 treatment of MDA-MD-468 cells selectively decreases protein levels of PTBP1 and hnRNP A2/B1 splice factors identified as potential α1 gene splicing regulators by in silico analysis. We further demonstrate that down-regulation of PTBP1 by H2O2 occurs at the protein level with variable regulation observed in different breast cancer cells. Conclusions/Significance Our data demonstrate that H2O2 regulates RNA splicing to induce expression of the oxidation-resistant C-α1 sGC subunit. We also report that H2O2 treatment selectively alters the expression of key splicing regulators. This process might play an important role in regulation of cellular adaptation to conditions of oxidative stress. PMID:22911749

  4. Correlational selection on personality and social plasticity: morphology and social context determine behavioural effects on mating success.

    PubMed

    Montiglio, Pierre-Olivier; Wey, Tina W; Chang, Ann T; Fogarty, Sean; Sih, Andrew

    2017-03-01

    Despite a central line of research aimed at quantifying relationships between mating success and sexually dimorphic traits (e.g., ornaments), individual variation in sexually selected traits often explains only a modest portion of the variation in mating success. Another line of research suggests that a significant portion of the variation in mating success observed in animal populations could be explained by correlational selection, where the fitness advantage of a given trait depends on other components of an individual's phenotype and/or its environment. We tested the hypothesis that interactions between multiple traits within an individual (phenotype dependence) or between an individual's phenotype and its social environment (context dependence) can select for individual differences in behaviour (i.e., personality) and social plasticity. To quantify the importance of phenotype- and context-dependent selection on mating success, we repeatedly measured the behaviour, social environment and mating success of about 300 male stream water striders, Aquarius remigis. Rather than explaining individual differences in long-term mating success, we instead quantified how the combination of a male's phenotype interacted with the immediate social context to explain variation in hour-by-hour mating decisions. We suggest that this analysis captures more of the mechanisms leading to differences in mating success. Males differed consistently in activity, aggressiveness and social plasticity. The mating advantage of these behavioural traits depended on male morphology and varied with the number of rival males in the pool, suggesting mechanisms selecting for consistent differences in behaviour and social plasticity. Accounting for phenotype and context dependence improved the amount of variation in male mating success we explained statistically by 30-274%. Our analysis of the determinants of male mating success provides important insights into the evolutionary forces that shape

  5. Expression of ZmGA20ox cDNA alters plant morphology and increases biomass production of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.).

    PubMed

    Do, Phat T; De Tar, Joann R; Lee, Hyeyoung; Folta, Michelle K; Zhang, Zhanyuan J

    2016-07-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is considered a model herbaceous energy crop for the USA, for its adaptation to marginal land, low rainfall and nutrient-deficient soils; however, its low biomass yield is one of several constraints, and this might be rectified by modulating plant growth regulator levels. In this study, we have determined whether the expression of the Zea mays gibberellin 20-oxidase (ZmGA20ox) cDNA in switchgrass will improve biomass production. The ZmGA20ox gene was placed under the control of constitutive CaMV35S promoter with a strong TMV omega enhancer, and introduced into switchgrass via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The transgene integration and expression levels of ZmGA20ox in T0 plants were analysed using Southern blot and qRT-PCR. Under glasshouse conditions, selected transgenic plants exhibited longer leaves, internodes and tillers, which resulted in twofold increased biomass. These phenotypic alterations correlated with the levels of transgene expression and the particular gibberellin content. Expression of ZmGA20ox also affected the expression of genes coding for key enzymes in lignin biosynthesis. Our results suggest that the employment of ectopic ZmGA20ox and selection for natural variants with high level expression of endogenous GA20ox are appropriate approaches to increase biomass production of switchgrass and other monocot biofuel crops.

  6. STRUCTURE AND MORPHOLOGY OF X-RAY-SELECTED ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEUS HOSTS AT 1 < z < 3 IN THE CANDELS-COSMOS FIELD

    SciTech Connect

    Fan, Lulu; Chen, Yang; Li, Jinrong; Lv, Xuanyi; Kong, Xu; Fang, Guanwen; Knudsen, Kirsten K.

    2014-03-20

    We analyze morphologies of the host galaxies of 35 X-ray-selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at z ∼ 2 in the Cosmic Evolution Survey field using Hubble Space Telescope/WFC3 imaging taken from the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey. We build a control sample of 350 galaxies in total by selecting 10 non-active galaxies drawn from the same field with a similar stellar mass and redshift for each AGN host. By performing two-dimensional fitting with GALFIT on the surface brightness profile, we find that the distribution of the Sérsic index (n) of AGN hosts does not show a statistical difference from that of the control sample. We measure the nonparametric morphological parameters (the asymmetry index A, the Gini coefficient G, the concentration index C, and the M {sub 20} index) based on point-source-subtracted images. All the distributions of these morphological parameters of AGN hosts are consistent with those of the control sample. We finally investigate the fraction of distorted morphologies in both samples by visual classification. Only ∼15% of the AGN hosts have highly distorted morphologies, possibly due to a major merger or interaction. We find there is no significant difference in the distortion fractions between the AGN host sample and control sample. We conclude that the morphologies of X-ray-selected AGN hosts are similar to those of non-active galaxies and most AGN activity is not triggered by a major merger.

  7. Bottles as models: predicting the effects of varying swimming speed and morphology on size selectivity and filtering efficiency in fishes.

    PubMed

    Paig-Tran, E W Misty; Bizzarro, Joseph J; Strother, James A; Summers, Adam P

    2011-05-15

    We created physical models based on the morphology of ram suspension-feeding fishes to better understand the roles morphology and swimming speed play in particle retention, size selectivity and filtration efficiency during feeding events. We varied the buccal length, flow speed and architecture of the gills slits, including the number, size, orientation and pore size/permeability, in our models. Models were placed in a recirculating flow tank with slightly negatively buoyant plankton-like particles (~20-2000 μm) collected at the simulated esophagus and gill rakers to locate the highest density of particle accumulation. Particles were captured through sieve filtration, direct interception and inertial impaction. Changing the number of gill slits resulted in a change in the filtration mechanism of particles from a bimodal filter, with very small (≤ 50 μm) and very large (>1000 μm) particles collected, to a filter that captured medium-sized particles (101-1000 μm). The number of particles collected on the gill rakers increased with flow speed and skewed the size distribution towards smaller particles (51-500 μm). Small pore sizes (105 and 200 μm mesh size) had the highest filtration efficiencies, presumably because sieve filtration played a significant role. We used our model to make predictions about the filtering capacity and efficiency of neonatal whale sharks. These results suggest that the filtration mechanics of suspension feeding are closely linked to an animal's swimming speed and the structural design of the buccal cavity and gill slits.

  8. Altered expression of selected microRNAs in melanoma: antiproliferative and proapoptotic activity of miRNA-155.

    PubMed

    Levati, Lauretta; Alvino, Ester; Pagani, Elena; Arcelli, Diego; Caporaso, Patrizia; Bondanza, Sergio; Di Leva, Gianpiero; Ferracin, Manuela; Volinia, Stefano; Bonmassar, Enzo; Croce, Carlo Maria; D'Atri, Stefania

    2009-08-01

    Altered expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) has been detected in cancer, suggesting that these small non-coding RNAs can act as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. In the present study, we investigated the expression of miRNA-17-5p, miRNA-18a, miRNA-20a, miRNA-92a, miRNA-146a, miRNA-146b and miRNA-155 by real-time quantitative RT-PCR in a panel of melanocyte cultures and melanoma cell lines and explored the possible role of miRNA-155 in melanoma cell proliferation and survival. The analyzed miRNAs were selected on the basis of previous studies strongly supporting their involvement in cancer development and/or progression. We found that miRNA-17-5p, miRNA-18a, miRNA-20a, and miRNA-92a were overexpressed, whereas miRNA-146a, miRNA-146b and miRNA-155 were down-regulated in the majority of melanoma cell lines with respect to melanocytes. Ectopic expression of miRNA-155 significantly inhibited proliferation in 12 of 13 melanoma cell lines with reduced levels of this miRNA and induced apoptosis in 4 out of 4 cell lines analyzed. In conclusion, our data further support the finding of altered miRNA expression in melanoma cells and establish for the first time that miRNA-155 is a negative regulator of melanoma cell proliferation and survival.

  9. CHOLESTEROL DEPLETION ALTERS DETERGENT-SPECIFIC SOLUBILITY PROFILES OF SELECTED TIGHT JUNCTION PROTEINS AND THE PHOSPHORYLATION OF OCCLUDIN

    PubMed Central

    Lynch, Robert D.; Francis, Stacy A.; McCarthy, Karin M.; Casas, Elizabeth; Thiele, Christoph; Schneeberger, Eveline E.

    2007-01-01

    Differential centrifugation of Triton X-100 or CHAPS lysates from control and cholesterol (CH) depleted MDCK II cells, segregated integral tight junction (TJ) proteins associated with detergent resistant membranes (DRMs) into two groups. Group A proteins (occludin, claudin-2 and -3) were detected in large, intermediate and small aggregates in both detergents, whereas group B proteins (claudin-1, -4 and -7) were observed in small aggregates in TX-100 and in intermediate and small aggregates in CHAPS. Depletion of CH altered the distribution of group A and B proteins among the three size categories in a detergent-specific manner. In lysates produced with octyl glucoside, a detergent that selectively extracts proteins from DRMs, group A proteins were undetectable in large aggregates and CH depletion did not alter the distribution of either group A or B proteins in intermediate or small aggregates. Neither occludin (group A) nor claudin-1 (group B) was in intimate enough contact with CH to be cross-linked to [3H]-photo-cholesterol. However, antibodies to either TJ protein co-immunoprecipitated caveolin-1, a CH-binding protein. Unlike claudins, occludin’s presence in TJs and DRMs did not require palmitoylation. Equilibrium density centrifugation on discontinuous OptiPrep gradients revealed detergent-related differences in the densities of TJ-bearing DRMs. There was little or no change in those densities after CH depletion. Removing CH from the plasma membrane increased tyrosine and threonine phosphorylation of occludin, and transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) within 30 min. After 2 h of CH efflux, phospho-occludin levels and TER fell below control values. We conclude that the association of integral TJ proteins with DRMS, pelleted at low speeds, is partially CH dependent. However, the buoyant density of TJ-associated DRMs is a function of the detergent used and is insensitive to decreases in CH. PMID:17574235

  10. Gene alterations at Drosophila inversion breakpoints provide prima facie evidence for natural selection as an explanation for rapid chromosomal evolution

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Chromosomal inversions have been pervasive during the evolution of the genus Drosophila, but there is significant variation between lineages in the rate of rearrangement fixation. D. mojavensis, an ecological specialist adapted to a cactophilic niche under extreme desert conditions, is a chromosomally derived species with ten fixed inversions, five of them not present in any other species. Results In order to explore the causes of the rapid chromosomal evolution in D. mojavensis, we identified and characterized all breakpoints of seven inversions fixed in chromosome 2, the most dynamic one. One of the inversions presents unequivocal evidence for its generation by ectopic recombination between transposon copies and another two harbor inverted duplications of non-repetitive DNA at the two breakpoints and were likely generated by staggered single-strand breaks and repair by non-homologous end joining. Four out of 14 breakpoints lay in the intergenic region between preexisting duplicated genes, suggesting an adaptive advantage of separating previously tightly linked duplicates. Four out of 14 breakpoints are associated with transposed genes, suggesting these breakpoints are fragile regions. Finally two inversions contain novel genes at their breakpoints and another three show alterations of genes at breakpoints with potential adaptive significance. Conclusions D. mojavensis chromosomal inversions were generated by multiple mechanisms, an observation that does not provide support for increased mutation rate as explanation for rapid chromosomal evolution. On the other hand, we have found a number of gene alterations at the breakpoints with putative adaptive consequences that directly point to natural selection as the cause of D. mojavensis rapid chromosomal evolution. PMID:22296923

  11. Translation initiation factor 2gamma mutant alters start codon selection independent of Met-tRNA binding.

    PubMed

    Alone, Pankaj V; Cao, Chune; Dever, Thomas E

    2008-11-01

    Selection of the AUG start codon for translation in eukaryotes is governed by codon-anticodon interactions between the initiator Met-tRNA(i)(Met) and the mRNA. Translation initiation factor 2 (eIF2) binds Met-tRNA(i)(Met) to the 40S ribosomal subunit, and previous studies identified Sui(-) mutations in eIF2 that enhanced initiation from a noncanonical UUG codon, presumably by impairing Met-tRNA(i)(Met) binding. Consistently, an eIF2gamma-N135D GTP-binding domain mutation impairs Met-tRNA(i)(Met) binding and causes a Sui(-) phenotype. Intragenic A208V and A382V suppressor mutations restore Met-tRNA(i)(Met) binding affinity and cell growth; however, only A208V suppresses the Sui(-) phenotype associated with the eIF2gamma-N135D mutation. An eIF2gamma-A219T mutation impairs Met-tRNA(i)(Met) binding but unexpectedly enhances the fidelity of initiation, suppressing the Sui(-) phenotype associated with the eIF2gamma-N135D,A382V mutant. Overexpression of eIF1, which is thought to monitor codon-anticodon interactions during translation initiation, likewise suppresses the Sui(-) phenotype of the eIF2gamma mutants. We propose that structural alterations in eIF2gamma subtly alter the conformation of Met-tRNA(i)(Met) on the 40S subunit and thereby affect the fidelity of start codon recognition independent of Met-tRNA(i)(Met) binding affinity.

  12. Investigation of retinal morphology alterations using spectral domain optical coherence tomography in a mouse model of retinal branch and central retinal vein occlusion.

    PubMed

    Ebneter, Andreas; Agca, Cavit; Dysli, Chantal; Zinkernagel, Martin S

    2015-01-01

    Retinal vein occlusion is a leading cause of visual impairment. Experimental models of this condition based on laser photocoagulation of retinal veins have been described and extensively exploited in mammals and larger rodents such as the rat. However, few reports exist on the use of this paradigm in the mouse. The objective of this study was to investigate a model of branch and central retinal vein occlusion in the mouse and characterize in vivo longitudinal retinal morphology alterations using spectral domain optical coherence tomography. Retinal veins were experimentally occluded using laser photocoagulation after intravenous application of Rose Bengal, a photo-activator dye enhancing thrombus formation. Depending on the number of veins occluded, variable amounts of capillary dropout were seen on fluorescein angiography. Vascular endothelial growth factor levels were markedly elevated early and peaked at day one. Retinal thickness measurements with spectral domain optical coherence tomography showed significant swelling (p<0.001) compared to baseline, followed by gradual thinning plateauing two weeks after the experimental intervention (p<0.001). Histological findings at day seven correlated with spectral domain optical coherence tomography imaging. The inner layers were predominantly affected by degeneration with the outer nuclear layer and the photoreceptor outer segments largely preserved. The application of this retinal vein occlusion model in the mouse carries several advantages over its use in other larger species, such as access to a vast range of genetically modified animals. Retinal changes after experimental retinal vein occlusion in this mouse model can be non-invasively quantified by spectral domain optical coherence tomography, and may be used to monitor effects of potential therapeutic interventions.

  13. Investigation of Retinal Morphology Alterations Using Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography in a Mouse Model of Retinal Branch and Central Retinal Vein Occlusion

    PubMed Central

    Ebneter, Andreas; Agca, Cavit; Dysli, Chantal; Zinkernagel, Martin S.

    2015-01-01

    Retinal vein occlusion is a leading cause of visual impairment. Experimental models of this condition based on laser photocoagulation of retinal veins have been described and extensively exploited in mammals and larger rodents such as the rat. However, few reports exist on the use of this paradigm in the mouse. The objective of this study was to investigate a model of branch and central retinal vein occlusion in the mouse and characterize in vivo longitudinal retinal morphology alterations using spectral domain optical coherence tomography. Retinal veins were experimentally occluded using laser photocoagulation after intravenous application of Rose Bengal, a photo-activator dye enhancing thrombus formation. Depending on the number of veins occluded, variable amounts of capillary dropout were seen on fluorescein angiography. Vascular endothelial growth factor levels were markedly elevated early and peaked at day one. Retinal thickness measurements with spectral domain optical coherence tomography showed significant swelling (p<0.001) compared to baseline, followed by gradual thinning plateauing two weeks after the experimental intervention (p<0.001). Histological findings at day seven correlated with spectral domain optical coherence tomography imaging. The inner layers were predominantly affected by degeneration with the outer nuclear layer and the photoreceptor outer segments largely preserved. The application of this retinal vein occlusion model in the mouse carries several advantages over its use in other larger species, such as access to a vast range of genetically modified animals. Retinal changes after experimental retinal vein occlusion in this mouse model can be non-invasively quantified by spectral domain optical coherence tomography, and may be used to monitor effects of potential therapeutic interventions. PMID:25775456

  14. Attenuating GABA(A) receptor signaling in dopamine neurons selectively enhances reward learning and alters risk preference in mice.

    PubMed

    Parker, Jones G; Wanat, Matthew J; Soden, Marta E; Ahmad, Kinza; Zweifel, Larry S; Bamford, Nigel S; Palmiter, Richard D

    2011-11-23

    Phasic dopamine (DA) transmission encodes the value of reward-predictive stimuli and influences both learning and decision-making. Altered DA signaling is associated with psychiatric conditions characterized by risky choices such as pathological gambling. These observations highlight the importance of understanding how DA neuron activity is modulated. While excitatory drive onto DA neurons is critical for generating phasic DA responses, emerging evidence suggests that inhibitory signaling also modulates these responses. To address the functional importance of inhibitory signaling in DA neurons, we generated mice lacking the β3 subunit of the GABA(A) receptor specifically in DA neurons (β3-KO mice) and examined their behavior in tasks that assessed appetitive learning, aversive learning, and risk preference. DA neurons in midbrain slices from β3-KO mice exhibited attenuated GABA-evoked IPSCs. Furthermore, electrical stimulation of excitatory afferents to DA neurons elicited more DA release in the nucleus accumbens of β3-KO mice as measured by fast-scan cyclic voltammetry. β3-KO mice were more active than controls when given morphine, which correlated with potential compensatory upregulation of GABAergic tone onto DA neurons. β3-KO mice learned faster in two food-reinforced learning paradigms, but extinguished their learned behavior normally. Enhanced learning was specific for appetitive tasks, as aversive learning was unaffected in β3-KO mice. Finally, we found that β3-KO mice had enhanced risk preference in a probabilistic selection task that required mice to choose between a small certain reward and a larger uncertain reward. Collectively, these findings identify a selective role for GABA(A) signaling in DA neurons in appetitive learning and decision-making.

  15. Extensive Evolutionary Changes in Regulatory Element Activity during Human Origins Are Associated with Altered Gene Expression and Positive Selection

    PubMed Central

    Fedrigo, Olivier; Babbitt, Courtney C.; Wortham, Matthew; Tewari, Alok K.; London, Darin; Song, Lingyun; Lee, Bum-Kyu; Iyer, Vishwanath R.; Parker, Stephen C. J.; Margulies, Elliott H.; Wray, Gregory A.; Furey, Terrence S.; Crawford, Gregory E.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the molecular basis for phenotypic differences between humans and other primates remains an outstanding challenge. Mutations in non-coding regulatory DNA that alter gene expression have been hypothesized as a key driver of these phenotypic differences. This has been supported by differential gene expression analyses in general, but not by the identification of specific regulatory elements responsible for changes in transcription and phenotype. To identify the genetic source of regulatory differences, we mapped DNaseI hypersensitive (DHS) sites, which mark all types of active gene regulatory elements, genome-wide in the same cell type isolated from human, chimpanzee, and macaque. Most DHS sites were conserved among all three species, as expected based on their central role in regulating transcription. However, we found evidence that several hundred DHS sites were gained or lost on the lineages leading to modern human and chimpanzee. Species-specific DHS site gains are enriched near differentially expressed genes, are positively correlated with increased transcription, show evidence of branch-specific positive selection, and overlap with active chromatin marks. Species-specific sequence differences in transcription factor motifs found within these DHS sites are linked with species-specific changes in chromatin accessibility. Together, these indicate that the regulatory elements identified here are genetic contributors to transcriptional and phenotypic differences among primate species. PMID:22761590

  16. Inactivation of a Single Copy of Crebbp Selectively Alters Pre-mRNA Processing in Mouse Hematopoietic Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Lemieux, Madeleine E.; Cheng, Ziming; Zhou, Qing; White, Ruth; Cornell, John; Kung, Andrew L.; Rebel, Vivienne I.

    2011-01-01

    Global expression analysis of fetal liver hematopoietic stem cells (FL HSCs) revealed the presence of unspliced pre-mRNA for a number of genes in normal FL HSCs. In a subset of these genes, Crebbp+/− FL HSCs had less unprocessed pre-mRNA without a corresponding reduction in total mRNA levels. Among the genes thus identified were the key regulators of HSC function Itga4, Msi2 and Tcf4. A similar but much weaker effect was apparent in Ep300+/− FL HSCs, indicating that, in this context as in others, the two paralogs are not interchangeable. As a group, the down-regulated intronic probe sets could discriminate adult HSCs from more mature cell types, suggesting that the underlying mechanism is regulated with differentiation stage and is active in both fetal and adult hematopoiesis. Consistent with increased myelopoiesis in Crebbp hemizygous mice, targeted reduction of CREBBP abundance by shRNA in the multipotent EML cell line triggered spontaneous myeloid differentiation in the absence of the normally required inductive signals. In addition, differences in protein levels between phenotypically distinct EML subpopulations were better predicted by taking into account not only the total mRNA signal but also the amount of unspliced message present. CREBBP thus appears to selectively influence the timing and degree of pre-mRNA processing of genes essential for HSC regulation and thereby has the potential to alter subsequent cell fate decisions in HSCs. PMID:21901164

  17. Root Canal Anatomy and Morphology of Mandibular First Molars in a Selected Iranian Population: An In Vitro Study

    PubMed Central

    Mohammadzadeh Akhlaghi, Nahid; Khalilak, Zohreh; Vatanpour, Mehdi; Mohammadi, Saman; Pirmoradi, Sakineh; Fazlyab, Mahta; Safavi, Kamran

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: The aim of this study was to evaluate root canal anatomy of mandibular first molars (MFM) in a selected Iranian Population using clearing technique. Methods and Materials: A total of 150 extracted MFMs were cleared. The root canal morphology (including the root numbers and root length) and the anatomy of the root canal system (including is the number and type of canals based on Vertucci’s classification, canal curvature according to Schneider's method and the presence of isthmus) was evaluated using the buccolingual and mesiodistal parallel x-rays and stereomicroscope. The data were analyzed using the chi-square test. Results: Two and three roots were present in 96.7% and 33% of the teeth, respectively (P=0.0001). All the teeth (100%) had two canals in the mesial root, while 61.3% of the samples had one distal root canal (P=0.006). The root canal configuration in the mesial canal included type IV (55.3%) and type II (41.3%) (P=0.0001). In doubled-canalled distal roots, 68.8% and 24.3% were type II and type IV, respectively (P=0.0001). Isthmii were observed in 44.6% of mesial and 27.3% of distal roots (P=0.0001). Conclusion: The notable prevalence of type IV configuration in both roots of mandibular first molars, presence of isthmus and root curvature, necessitates the careful negotiation and cleaning of all accessible canal spaces. PMID:28179932

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

    PubMed Central

    D’Addato, Sergio; Gasperi, Gabriele; Benedetti, Francesco; Luches, Paola; Grillo, Vincenzo; Bertoni, Giovanni; Valeri, Sergio

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Self-accommodation of B19' martensite in Ti-Ni shape memory alloys - Part I. Morphological and crystallographic studies of the variant selection rule

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishida, M.; Nishiura, T.; Kawano, H.; Inamura, T.

    2012-06-01

    The self-accommodation morphologies of B19‧ martensite in Ti-Ni alloys have been investigated by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Twelve pairs of minimum units consisting of two habit plane variants (HPVs) with V-shaped morphology connected to a ? B19‧ type I variant accommodation twin were observed. Three types of self-accommodation morphologies, based on the V-shaped minimum unit, developed around one of the {111}B2 traces, which were triangular, rhombic and hexangular and consisted of three, four and six HPVs, respectively. In addition, the variant selection rule and the number of possible HPV combinations in each of these self-accommodation morphologies are discussed.

  20. Solvent Annealing in Selective Solvents: A Novel Method to Tune the Morphology of Low Band Gap Polymer:Bis-Fullerene Heterojunctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

    One of the most important challenges facing our society is the development of technologies for renewable energy conversion. Polymeric bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) photovoltaics, based on conjugated polymers and fullerenes, are an economically viable option for low cost renewable power generation. The most promising conjugated polymer:fullerene active layers in organic photovoltaics now utilize low band-gap (LBG) copolymers. Unfortunately, for most of these LBG devices, the as-cast film is not usually optimal, and there are few further treatment available after film deposition to optimize the morphology. To address this problem, we have exploited the selective solubility of the LBG:fullerene nanocomposite components to direct the assembly of these mixtures by annealing in the vapor of a selective solvent. Our recent work demonstrates that annealing in a solvent that is selective to the fullerene forms a sample with fullerene aggregation, while annealing in a solvent vapor that is selective to the polymer forms a thin film with polymer precipitation. There is also a direct correlation between the resultant morphology and OPV performance, increasing PCE by 190%. These results indicate that solvent annealing and solvent choice provides a unique tool to precisely tune the morphology of CP:Fullerene BHJ systems, optimizing the morphology and performance of the active layer.

  1. Dietary conjugated linoleic acid affects blood parameters, liver morphology and expression of selected hepatic genes in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Koronowicz, A A; Banks, P; Szymczyk, B; Leszczyńska, T; Master, A; Piasna, E; Szczepański, W; Domagała, D; Kopeć, A; Piątkowska, E; Laidler, P

    2016-10-01

    The objective of this research were to investigate the effect of a conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)-enriched diet on Isa Brown laying hen health status and to provide a comprehensive analysis of changes in blood parameters, liver morphology and selected hepatic gene expression. Hens were allocated to the control and experimental group (diet enriched with 0.75% CLA) for a total period of 4 m. At the end of the experiment half of the hens from each group were slaughtered for analyses. The remaining hens were transferred to an organic farm for the next 5 m and fed on the diet without CLA supplementation. The CLA-enriched diet resulted in significant changes in blood and serum parameters; specifically, haematocrit (HCT), mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and white blood cells (WBC) count were decreased compared to the control. The total cholesterol (TC) was not significantly affected while the triacylglycerol's (TG) concentration was elevated. The activity of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was significantly increased in the CLA-supplemented group, while aspartate aminotransferase (AST) showed an increasing tendency. Liver biopsies showed pathological changes classified as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Additionally, the expression of hepatic genes involved in fatty acids synthesis (ME1, ACLY, ACC, FASN, SCD1), oxidation (CPT1α, PPARA), detoxification processes (Cytochrome P450, CYP, Flavin-containing monooxygenase, FMO3), oxidative stress (NOX4, XbP1) and inflammation (IL6, TNFα) were elevated. Cessation of CLA supplementation for 5 m of organic farming resulted in normalisation of blood and hepatic parameters to the levels observed in control hens. The results of this study indicate that dietary CLA triggers an integrated stress response in laying hens and activates mechanisms involved in liver detoxification.

  2. An analysis of the relative roles of plasticity and natural selection in the morphology and performance of a lizard (Urosaurus ornatus).

    PubMed

    Irschick, Duncan J; Meyers, Jerry Jay

    2007-08-01

    Evolutionary ecologists have devoted substantial attention to understanding which factors dictate processes of mortality within populations. Our goal was to understand the dynamics of natural selection on two performance traits (bite force and sprint speed) and associated morphological variables. We first quantified performance and morphology for a sample of marked tree lizards (Urosaurus ornatus) at the middle of the breeding season. We then sampled the same population in the nonbreeding season to determine which of the original lizards survived, and we also remeasured morphological and performance variables for surviving lizards. We found evidence for directional selection favoring fast sprinters in male lizards, but also a nonsignificant stabilizing trend that disfavored the very fastest lizards. However, we also detected substantial seasonal plasticity in bite force and head width, suggesting that an analysis of selection on only preselection (breeding season) values may be overly simplistic. Urosaurus males and females with low bite forces (and narrow heads) in the breeding season generally increased their bite forces and head widths during the nonbreeding season. In contrast, lizards that were initially strong biters in the breeding season diminished in head width and declined dramatically in bite force (up to about 35%). We suggest that seasonal plasticity could act as a retarding force for selection on performance, and could dampen seasonal and year-to-year fluctuations in selective pressures. We argue that this phenomenon may be particularly likely for performance traits important for social interactions related to breeding, such as bite force.

  3. Morphological selection and the evaluation of potential tradeoffs between escape from predators and the climbing of waterfalls in the Hawaiian stream goby Sicyopterus stimpsoni.

    PubMed

    Blob, Richard W; Kawano, Sandy M; Moody, Kristine N; Bridges, William C; Maie, Takashi; Ptacek, Margaret B; Julius, Matthew L; Schoenfuss, Heiko L

    2010-12-01

    Environmental pressures may vary over the geographic range of a species, exposing subpopulations to divergent functional demands. How does exposure to competing demands shape the morphology of species and influence the divergence of populations? We explored these questions by performing selection experiments on juveniles of the Hawaiian goby Sicyopterus stimpsoni, an amphidromous fish that exhibits morphological differences across portions of its geographic range where different environmental pressures predominate. Juvenile S. stimpsoni face two primary and potentially opposing selective pressures on body shape as they return from the ocean to freshwater streams on islands: (1) avoiding predators in the lower reaches of a stream; and (2) climbing waterfalls to reach the habitats occupied by adults. These pressures differ in importance across the Hawaiian Islands. On the youngest island, Hawai'i, waterfalls are close to shore, thereby minimizing exposure to predators and placing a premium on climbing performance. In contrast, on the oldest major island, Kaua'i, waterfalls have eroded further inland, lengthening the exposure of juveniles to predators before migrating juveniles begin climbing. Both juvenile and adult fish show differences in body shape between these islands that would be predicted to improve evasion of predators by fish from Kaua'i (e.g., taller bodies that improve thrust) and climbing performance for fish from Hawai'i (e.g., narrower bodies that reduce drag), matching the prevailing environmental demand on each island. To evaluate how competing selection pressures and functional tradeoffs contribute to the divergence in body shape observed in S. stimpsoni, we compared selection imposed on juvenile body shape by (1) predation by the native fish Eleotris sandwicensis versus (2) climbing an artificial waterfall (∼100 body lengths). Some variables showed opposing patterns of selection that matched predictions: for example, survivors of predation had

  4. Genetic alterations in uncommon low-grade neuroepithelial tumors: BRAF, FGFR1, and MYB mutations occur at high frequency and align with morphology.

    PubMed

    Qaddoumi, Ibrahim; Orisme, Wilda; Wen, Ji; Santiago, Teresa; Gupta, Kirti; Dalton, James D; Tang, Bo; Haupfear, Kelly; Punchihewa, Chandanamali; Easton, John; Mulder, Heather; Boggs, Kristy; Shao, Ying; Rusch, Michael; Becksfort, Jared; Gupta, Pankaj; Wang, Shuoguo; Lee, Ryan P; Brat, Daniel; Peter Collins, V; Dahiya, Sonika; George, David; Konomos, William; Kurian, Kathreena M; McFadden, Kathryn; Serafini, Luciano Neder; Nickols, Hilary; Perry, Arie; Shurtleff, Sheila; Gajjar, Amar; Boop, Fredrick A; Klimo, Paul D; Mardis, Elaine R; Wilson, Richard K; Baker, Suzanne J; Zhang, Jinghui; Wu, Gang; Downing, James R; Tatevossian, Ruth G; Ellison, David W

    2016-06-01

    Low-grade neuroepithelial tumors (LGNTs) are diverse CNS tumors presenting in children and young adults, often with a history of epilepsy. While the genetic profiles of common LGNTs, such as the pilocytic astrocytoma and 'adult-type' diffuse gliomas, are largely established, those of uncommon LGNTs remain to be defined. In this study, we have used massively parallel sequencing and various targeted molecular genetic approaches to study alterations in 91 LGNTs, mostly from children but including young adult patients. These tumors comprise dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumors (DNETs; n = 22), diffuse oligodendroglial tumors (d-OTs; n = 20), diffuse astrocytomas (DAs; n = 17), angiocentric gliomas (n = 15), and gangliogliomas (n = 17). Most LGNTs (84 %) analyzed by whole-genome sequencing (WGS) were characterized by a single driver genetic alteration. Alterations of FGFR1 occurred frequently in LGNTs composed of oligodendrocyte-like cells, being present in 82 % of DNETs and 40 % of d-OTs. In contrast, a MYB-QKI fusion characterized almost all angiocentric gliomas (87 %), and MYB fusion genes were the most common genetic alteration in DAs (41 %). A BRAF:p.V600E mutation was present in 35 % of gangliogliomas and 18 % of DAs. Pathogenic alterations in FGFR1/2/3, BRAF, or MYB/MYBL1 occurred in 78 % of the series. Adult-type d-OTs with an IDH1/2 mutation occurred in four adolescents, the youngest aged 15 years at biopsy. Despite a detailed analysis, novel genetic alterations were limited to two fusion genes, EWSR1-PATZ1 and SLMAP-NTRK2, both in gangliogliomas. Alterations in BRAF, FGFR1, or MYB account for most pathogenic alterations in LGNTs, including pilocytic astrocytomas, and alignment of these genetic alterations and cytologic features across LGNTs has diagnostic implications. Additionally, therapeutic options based upon targeting the effects of these alterations are already in clinical trials.

  5. Wettability alteration: A comprehensive review of materials/methods and testing the selected ones on heavy-oil containing oil-wet systems.

    PubMed

    Mohammed, Mohammedalmojtaba; Babadagli, Tayfun

    2015-06-01

    Changing the wetting state of materials is a growing field of research in many areas of engineering and science. In the oil industry, the term wettability alteration usually refers to the process of making the reservoir rock more water-wet. This is of particular importance in naturally hydrophobic carbonates, fractured formations, and heavy-oil systems. This shift in wettability enhances oil recovery in oil-wet and weakly water-wet reservoirs and eventually increases the ultimate oil recovery. For wettability alteration, two methods have been traditionally used: Thermal and chemical. Although many attempts have been made on reviewing the advancement of research in certain aspects of wettability, a comprehensive review of these techniques, especially in terms of the classification of the chemicals used, has been ignored. In this paper, we begin with this review and provide the past experience of wettability alteration in sandstone and carbonate reservoirs. More than 100 papers were reviewed extensively with an in-depth analysis of different methods suggested in literature. The areas of controversy and contradicted observations are discussed. The limitations and the applicability of each method were analyzed. Concerns on up-scaling laboratory findings to field scale are also addressed. The most promising potential methods are identified and their critical conditions highlighted. At the end, a selection of reviewed methods is validated experimentally for one of the most challenging cases: Extra heavy-oil and bitumen recovery from fractured-strongly-oil-wet carbonates. Berea sandstone (aged to be oil-wet) and Indiana limestone samples were saturated with heavy oil (3600cp). Next, the process was initiated by soaking the cores into solvent (heptane or diluent oil) and the oil recovery was estimated using refractive index measurements. Note that solvent was selected to dilute the oil and recover a considerable amount of oil as any chemical or thermal methods yielded

  6. Regionally selective alterations in local cerebral glucose utilization evoked by charybdotoxin, a blocker of central voltage-activated K+-channels.

    PubMed

    Cochran, S M; Harvey, A L; Pratt, J A

    2001-11-01

    The quantitative [14C]-2-deoxyglucose autoradiographic technique was employed to investigate the effect of charybdotoxin, a blocker of certain voltage-activated K+ channels, on functional activity, as reflected by changes in local rates of cerebral glucose utilization in rat brain. Intracerebroventricular administration of charybdotoxin, at doses below those producing seizure activity, produced a heterogeneous effect on glucose utilization throughout the brain. Out of the 75 brain regions investigated, 24 displayed alterations in glucose utilization. The majority of these changes were observed with the intermediate dose of charybdotoxin administered (12.5 pmol), with the lower (6.25 pmol) and higher (25 pmol) doses of charybdotoxin producing a much more restricted pattern of change in glucose utilization. In brain regions which displayed alterations in glucose at all doses of charybdotoxin administered, no dose dependency in terms of the magnitude of change was observed. The 21 brain regions which displayed altered functional activity after administration of 12.5 pmol charybdotoxin were predominantly limited to the hippocampus, limbic and motor structures. In particular, glucose utilization was altered within three pathways implicated within learning and memory processes, the septohippocampal pathway, Schaffer collaterals within the hippocampus and the Papez circuit. The nigrostriatal pathway also displayed altered local cerebral glucose utilization. These data indicate that charybdotoxin produces alterations in functional activity within selected pathways in the brain. Furthermore the results raise the possibility that manipulation of particular subtypes of Kv1 channels in the hippocampus and related structures may be a means of altering cognitive processes without causing global changes in neural activity throughout the brain.

  7. Multiple behavioural, morphological and cognitive developmental changes arise from a single alteration to early life spatial environment, resulting in fitness consequences for released pheasants

    PubMed Central

    Whiteside, Mark A.; Sage, Rufus; Madden, Joah R.

    2016-01-01

    Subtle variations in early rearing environment influence morphological, cognitive and behavioural processes that together impact on adult fitness. We manipulated habitat complexity experienced by young pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) in their first seven weeks, adding a third accessible dimension by placing elevated perches in their rearing pens mimicking natural variation in habitat complexity. This simple manipulation provoked an interrelated suite of morphological, cognitive and behavioural changes, culminating in decreased wild mortality of birds from complex habitats compared with controls. Three mechanisms contribute to this: Pheasants reared with perches had a morphology which could enable them to fly to the higher branches and cope with prolonged roosting. They had a higher propensity to roost off the ground at night in the wild. More generally, these birds had more accurate spatial memory. Consequently, birds were at a reduced risk of terrestrial predation. The fitness consequences of variation in early rearing on behavioural development are rarely studied in the wild but we show that this is necessary because the effects can be broad ranging and not simple, depending on a complex interplay of behavioural, cognitive and morphological elements, even when effects that the treatments provoke are relatively short term and plastic. PMID:27069666

  8. Has enhanced folate status during pregnancy altered natural selection and possibly Autism prevalence? A closer look at a possible link.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Eugene J

    2008-09-01

    higher frequency in Autisic individuals. It is hypothesized here that the enhancement of maternal folate status before and during pregnancy in the last 15 years has altered natural selection by increasing survival rates during pregnancy of infants possessing the MTHFR C677T polymorphism, via reduction in hyperhomocysteinemia associated with this genotype and thereby miscarriage rates. This also points directly to an increased rate of births of infants with higher postnatal requirements for folic acid needed for normal methylation during this critical neurodevelopmental period. If these numbers have increased then so have the absolute number of infants that after birth fail to maintain the higher folate status experienced in utero thus leading to an increased number of cases of developmental disorders such as Autism. Detection of the C677T polymorphism as well as other methionine cycle enzymes related to folate metabolism and methylation at birth as part of newborn screening programs could determine which newborns need be monitored and maintained on diets or supplements that ensure adequate folate status during this critical postnatal neurodevelopment period.

  9. Control of morphology and function of low band gap polymer-bis-fullerene mixed heterojunctions in organic photovoltaics with selection solvent vapor annealing

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-01-01

    Replacing PCBM with a bis-adduct fullerene (i.e. ICBA) has been reported to significantly improve the open circuit voltage (VOC) and power conversion efficiency (PCE) in P3HT bulk heterojunctions. However, for the most promising low band-gap polymer (LBP) systems, replacing PCBM with ICBA results in very poor shortcircuit current (JSC) and PCE although the VOC is significantly improved. Therefore, in this work, we have completed small angle neutron scattering and neutron reflectometry experiments to study the impact of post-deposition solvent annealing (SA) with control of solvent quality on the morphology and performance of LBP bis-fullerene BHJ photovoltaics. The results show that SA in a solvent that is selective for the LBP results in a depletion of bis-fullerene near the air surface, which limits device performance. SA in a solvent vapor which has similar solubility for polymer and bis-fullerene results in a higher degree of polymer ordering, bis-fullerene phase separation, and segregation of the bis-fullerene to the air surface, which facilitates charge transport and increases power conversion efficiency (PCE) by 100%. The highest degree of polymer ordering combined with significant bis-fullerene phase separation and segregation of bis-fullerene to the air surface is obtained by SA in a solvent vapor that is selective for the bis-fullerene. The resultant morphology increases PCE by 190%. These results indicate that solvent annealing with judicious solvent choice provides a unique tool to tune the morphology of LBP bisfullerene BHJ system, providing sufficient polymer ordering, formation of a bis-fullerene pure phase, and segregation of bis-fullerene to the air surface to optimize the morphology of the active layer. Moreover, this process is broadly applicable to improving current disappointing LBP bis-fullerene systems to optimize their morphology and OPV performance post-deposition, including higher VOC and power conversion efficiency.

  10. Control of morphology and function of low band gap polymer bis-fullerene mixed heterojunctions in organic photovoltaics with selective solvent vapor annealing.

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-01-01

    Replacing PCBM with a bis-adduct fullerene (i.e. ICBA) has been reported to significantly improve the open circuit voltage (VOC) and power conversion efficiency (PCE) in P3HT bulk heterojunctions. However, for the most promising low band-gap polymer (LBP) systems, replacing PCBM with ICBA results in very poor shortcircuit current (JSC) and PCE although the VOC is significantly improved. Therefore, in this work, we have completed small angle neutron scattering and neutron reflectometry experiments to study the impact of post-deposition solvent annealing (SA) with control of solvent quality on the morphology and performance of LBP bis-fullerene BHJ photovoltaics. The results show that SA in a solvent that is selective for the LBP results in a depletion of bis-fullerene near the air surface, which limits device performance. SA in a solvent vapor which has similar solubility for polymer and bis-fullerene results in a higher degree of polymer ordering, bis-fullerene phase separation, and segregation of the bis-fullerene to the air surface, which facilitates charge transport and increases power conversion efficiency (PCE) by 100%. The highest degree of polymer ordering combined with significant bis-fullerene phase separation and segregation of bis-fullerene to the air surface is obtained by SA in a solvent vapor that is selective for the bis-fullerene. The resultant morphology increases PCE by 190%. These results indicate that solvent annealing with judicious solvent choice provides a unique tool to tune the morphology of LBP bisfullerene BHJ system, providing sufficient polymer ordering, formation of a bis-fullerene pure phase, and segregation of bis-fullerene to the air surface to optimize the morphology of the active layer. Moreover, this process is broadly applicable to improving current disappointing LBP bis-fullerene systems to optimize their morphology and OPV performance post-deposition, including higher VOC and power conversion efficiency.

  11. Morphological selection in an extreme flow environment: body shape and waterfall-climbing success in the Hawaiian stream fish Sicyopterus stimpsoni.

    PubMed

    Blob, Richard W; Bridges, William C; Ptacek, Margaret B; Maie, Takashi; Cediel, Roberto A; Bertolas, Morgan M; Julius, Matthew L; Schoenfuss, Heiko L

    2008-12-01

    Flow characteristics are a prominent factor determining body shapes in aquatic organisms, and correlations between body shape and ambient flow regimes have been established for many fish species. In this study, we investigated the potential for a brief period of extreme flow to exert selection on the body shape of juvenile climbing Hawaiian gobiid fishes. Because of an amphidromous life history, juvenile gobies that complete an oceanic larval phase return to freshwater habitats, where they become adults. Returning juveniles often must scale waterfalls (typically with the use of a ventral sucker) in order to reach the habitats they will use as adults, thereby exposing these animals to brief periods of extreme velocities of flow. Hydrodynamic theory predicts that bodies with larger suckers and with lower heights that reduce drag would have improved climbing success and, thus, be well suited to meet the demands of the flows in waterfalls. To test the potential for the flow environment of waterfalls to impose selection that could contribute to differences in body shape between islands, we subjected juvenile Sicyopterus stimpsoni to climbing trials up artificial waterfalls (∼100 body lengths) and measured differences in body shape between successful and unsuccessful climbers. Waterfalls appear to represent a significant selective barrier to these fishes, as nearly 30% failed our climbing test. However, the effects of selection on morphology were not straightforward, as significant differences in shape between successful and unsuccessful climbers did not always match hydrodynamic predictions. In both selection experiments and in adult fish collected from habitats with different prevailing conditions of flow (the islands of Hawai'i versus Kaua'i), lower head heights were associated with exposure to high-flow regimes, as predicted by hydrodynamic theory. Thus, a premium appears to be placed on the reduction of drag via head morphology throughout the ontogeny of this

  12. Salvaging primary remanence from hydrothermally altered oceanic gabbros in the Oman ophiolite: A selective destructive demagnetization approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Usui, Yoichi; Yamazaki, Shusaku

    2010-07-01

    Widespread hydrothermal alteration and formation of secondary magnetite have been problems for paleomagnetic work on gabbros in the Oman ophiolite. Mechanical removal of hydrothermally altered ferromagnesian minerals from gabbro and gabbronorite in the Wadi Rajmi area revealed a cryptic remanence which could not be detected by stepwise demagnetization of bulk rock core samples. After the mechanical removal, samples consist of plagioclase and clinopyroxene. These samples exhibit remanence directions of southeast declination and shallow inclination. This direction is consistent with previously reported paleomagnetic directions at crystallization of the Oman ophiolite. In contrast, bulk rock core samples yielded north declination, resembling the younger remanence directions associated with the obduction of the ophiolite. Microscopic observation and paleomagnetic directional comparison concluded that the cryptic remanence is a primary magnetization carried by exsolved magnetite in plagioclase and clinopyroxene. Our results suggest that previous paleomagnetic data from whole rock gabbros in the Oman ophiolite as well as tectonically active ocean floor should be taken with care.

  13. The Most Luminous Heavily Obscured Quasars Have a High Merger Fraction: Morphological Study of WISE-selected Hot Dust-obscured Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Lulu; Han, Yunkun; Fang, Guanwen; Gao, Ying; Zhang, Dandan; Jiang, Xiaoming; Wu, Qiaoqian; Yang, Jun; Li, Zhao

    2016-05-01

    Previous studies have shown that Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer-selected hyperluminous, hot dust-obscured galaxies (Hot DOGs) are powered by highly dust-obscured, possibly Compton-thick active galactic nuclei (AGNs). High obscuration provides us a good chance to study the host morphology of the most luminous AGNs directly. We analyze the host morphology of 18 Hot DOGs at z ˜ 3 using Hubble Space Telescope/WFC3 imaging. We find that Hot DOGs have a high merger fraction (62 ± 14%). By fitting the surface brightness profiles, we find that the distribution of Sérsic indices in our Hot DOG sample peaks around 2, which suggests that most Hot DOGs have transforming morphologies. We also derive the AGN bolometric luminosity (˜1014 L ⊙) of our Hot DOG sample by using IR spectral energy distributions decomposition. The derived merger fraction and AGN bolometric luminosity relation is well consistent with the variability-based model prediction. Both the high merger fraction in an IR-luminous AGN sample and relatively low merger fraction in a UV/optical-selected, unobscured AGN sample can be expected in the merger-driven evolutionary model. Finally, we conclude that Hot DOGs are merger-driven and may represent a transit phase during the evolution of massive galaxies, transforming from the dusty starburst-dominated phase to the unobscured QSO phase.

  14. Short-term alterations in carbohydrate energy intake in humans. Striking effects on hepatic glucose production, de novo lipogenesis, lipolysis, and whole-body fuel selection.

    PubMed Central

    Schwarz, J M; Neese, R A; Turner, S; Dare, D; Hellerstein, M K

    1995-01-01

    Short-term alterations in dietary carbohydrate (CHO) energy are known to alter whole-body fuel selection in humans, but the metabolic mechanisms remain unknown. We used stable isotope-mass spectrometric methods with indirect calorimetry in normal subjects to quantify the metabolic response to six dietary phases (5 d each), ranging from 50% surplus CHO (+50% CHO) to 50% deficient CHO (-50% CHO), and 50% surplus fat (+50% fat). Fasting hepatic glucose production (HGP) varied by > 40% from deficient to surplus CHO diets (1.78 +/- 0.08 vs 2.43 +/- 0.09 mg/kg per min, P < 0.01). Increased HGP on surplus CHO occurred despite significantly higher serum insulin concentrations. Lipolysis correlated inversely with CHO intake as did the proportion of whole-body lipolytic flux oxidized. Fractional de novo hepatic lipogenesis (DNL) increased more than 10-fold on surplus CHO and was unmeasurable on deficient CHO diets; thus, the preceding 5-d CHO intake could be inferred from DNL. Nevertheless, absolute hepatic DNL accounted for < 5g fatty acids synthesized per day even on +50% CHO. Whole-body CHO oxidation increased sixfold and fat oxidation decreased > 90% on surplus CHO diets. CHO oxidation was highly correlated with HGP (r2= 0.60). HGP could account for 85% of fasting CHO oxidation on +25% CHO and 67% on +50% CHO diets. Some oxidation of intracellular CHO stores was therefore also occurring. +50% fat diet had no effects on HGP, DNL, or fuel selection. We conclude that altered CHO intake alters HGP specifically and in a dose-dependent manner, that HGP may mediate the effects of CHO on whole-body fuel selection both by providing substrate and by altering serum insulin concentrations, that altered lipolysis and tissue oxidation efficiency contribute to changes in fat oxidation, and that surplus CHO is not substantially converted by the liver to fat as it spares fat oxidation, but that fractional DNL may nevertheless be a qualitative marker of recent CHO intake. Images PMID

  15. Diethylstilbestrol alters positive and negative selection of T cells in the thymus and modulates T-cell repertoire in the periphery

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Nicole; Nagarkatti, Mitzi; Nagarkatti, Prakash S. . E-mail: pnagark@hsc.vcu.edu

    2006-04-15

    Prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) is known to cause altered immune functions and increased susceptibility to autoimmune disease in humans. In the current study, we investigated the effects of DES on T-cell differentiation in the thymus using the HY-TCR transgenic (Tg) mouse model in which the female mice exhibit positive selection of T cells bearing the Tg TCR, while the male mice show negative selection of such T cells. In female HY-TCR-Tg mice, exposure to DES showed more pronounced decrease in thymic cellularity when compared to male mice. Additionally, female mice also showed a significant decrease in the proportion of double-positive (DP) T cells in the thymus and HY-TCR-specific CD8{sup +} T cells in the periphery. Male mice exhibiting negative selection also showed decreased thymic cellularity following DES exposure. Moreover, the male mice showed increased proportion of double-negative (DN) T cells in the thymus and decreased proportion of CD8{sup +} T cells. The density of expression of HY-TCR on CD8{sup +} cells was increased following DES exposure in both females and males. Finally, the proliferative response of thymocytes to mitogens and peripheral lymph node T cells to male H-Y antigen was significantly altered in female and male mice following DES treatment. Taken together, these data suggest that DES alters T-cell differentiation in the thymus by interfering with positive and negative selection processes, which in turn modulates the T-cell repertoire in the periphery.

  16. Interactive effects of ocean acidification and rising sea temperatures alter predation rate and predator selectivity in reef fish communities.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Maud C O; Munday, Philip L; Rummer, Jodie L; McCormick, Mark I; Corkill, Katherine; Watson, Sue-Ann; Allan, Bridie J M; Meekan, Mark G; Chivers, Douglas P

    2015-05-01

    Ocean warming and acidification are serious threats to marine life. While each stressor alone has been studied in detail, their combined effects on the outcome of ecological interactions are poorly understood. We measured predation rates and predator selectivity of two closely related species of damselfish exposed to a predatory dottyback. We found temperature and CO2 interacted synergistically on overall predation rate, but antagonistically on predator selectivity. Notably, elevated CO2 or temperature alone reversed predator selectivity, but the interaction between the two stressors cancelled selectivity. Routine metabolic rates of the two prey showed strong species differences in tolerance to CO2 and not temperature, but these differences did not correlate with recorded mortality. This highlights the difficulty of linking species-level physiological tolerance to resulting ecological outcomes. This study is the first to document both synergistic and antagonistic effects of elevated CO2 and temperature on a crucial ecological process like predator-prey dynamics.

  17. Chemical Engineering of Enzymes: Altered Catalytic Activity, Predictable Selectivity and Exceptional Stability of the Semisynthetic Peroxidase Seleno-Subtilisin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Häring, Dietmar; Schreier, Peter

    The increasing demand for enzymes as highly selective, mild, and environmentally benign catalysts is often limited by the lack of an enzyme with the desired catalytic activity or substrate selectivity and by their instability in biotechnological processes. The previous answers to these problems comprised genetically engineered enzymes and several classes of enzyme mimics. Here we describe the potential of chemical enzyme engineering: native enzymes can be modified by merely chemical means and basic equipment yielding so-called semisynthetic enzymes. Thus, the high substrate selectivity of the enzymatic peptide framework is combined with the catalytic versatility of a synthetic active site. We illustrate the potential of chemically engineered enzymes with the conception of the semisynthetic peroxidase seleno-subtilisin. First, the serine endoprotease subtilisin was crystallized and cross-linked with glutaraldehyde to give cross-linked enzyme crystals which were found to be insoluble in water or organic solvents and highly stable. Second, serine 221 in the active site (Enz-OH) was chemically converted into an oxidized derivative of selenocystein (Enz-SeO2H). As a consequence, the former proteolytic enzyme gained peroxidase activity and catalyzed the selective reduction of hydroperoxides. Due to the identical binding sites of the semisynthetic peroxidase and the protease, the substrate selectivity of seleno-subtilisin was predictable in view of the well-known selectivity of subtilisin.

  18. Next-century ocean acidification and warming both reduce calcification rate, but only acidification alters skeletal morphology of reef-building coral Siderastrea siderea.

    PubMed

    Horvath, Kimmaree M; Castillo, Karl D; Armstrong, Pualani; Westfield, Isaac T; Courtney, Travis; Ries, Justin B

    2016-07-29

    Atmospheric pCO2 is predicted to rise from 400 to 900 ppm by year 2100, causing seawater temperature to increase by 1-4 °C and pH to decrease by 0.1-0.3. Sixty-day experiments were conducted to investigate the independent and combined impacts of acidification (pCO2 = 424-426, 888-940 ppm-v) and warming (T = 28, 32 °C) on calcification rate and skeletal morphology of the abundant and widespread Caribbean reef-building scleractinian coral Siderastrea siderea. Hierarchical linear mixed-effects modelling reveals that coral calcification rate was negatively impacted by both warming and acidification, with their combined effects yielding the most deleterious impact. Negative effects of warming (32 °C/424 ppm-v) and high-temperature acidification (32 °C/940 ppm-v) on calcification rate were apparent across both 30-day intervals of the experiment, while effects of low-temperature acidification (28 °C/888 ppm-v) were not apparent until the second 30-day interval-indicating delayed onset of acidification effects at lower temperatures. Notably, two measures of coral skeletal morphology-corallite height and corallite infilling-were negatively impacted by next-century acidification, but not by next-century warming. Therefore, while next-century ocean acidification and warming will reduce the rate at which corals build their skeletons, next-century acidification will also modify the morphology and, potentially, function of coral skeletons.

  19. Thyroid status alters gill ionic metabolism and chloride cell morphology as evidenced by scanning electron microscopy in a teleost Anabas testudineus (Bloch): short and long term in vivo study.

    PubMed

    Sreejith, P; Beyo, R S; Prasad, G; Sunny, F; Oommen, O V

    2007-12-01

    Gill is the main organ of osmotic regulation in teleosts and chloride cells are the sites of ion transport across gill epithelium. Thyroid hormones are implicated in the regulation of osmotic balance in teleosts also. Treatment with 6-propyl thiouracil (6-PTU) inhibited the membrane bound enzyme Na+K+ ATPase in the gill while triiodothyronine (T3) injection stimulated it in a short-term in vivo study in the teleost Anabas testudineus. Na+, K+ and Ca2+ ions were also decreased in the 6-PTU treated fish and the T3 treatment increased their concentrations in the gill lamellae. The gill morphology also changed according to the thyroid status in the long term study. 6-PTU treatment altered the typical serrated morphology of the gill lamellae, while the T3 treatment reversed it. T3 injection increased the density of pavement and chloride cells as evidenced by scanning electron microscopy. The results demonstrate that physiological status of the thyroid influences gill Na+ pump activity and chloride cell morphological changes. Further, the study suggests a regulatory role of T3 on gill ions (Na+, K+ and Ca2+), Na+K+ and Ca2+ ATPase activity and the different gill cell types in A. testudineus.

  20. The application of rules in morphology, syntax and number processing: a case of selective deficit of procedural or executive mechanisms?

    PubMed

    Macoir, Joël; Fossard, Marion; Nespoulous, Jean-Luc; Demonet, Jean-François; Bachoud-Lévi, Anne-Catherine

    2010-08-01

    Declarative memory is a long-term store for facts, concepts and words. Procedural memory subserves the learning and control of sensorimotor and cognitive skills, including the mental grammar. In this study, we report a single-case study of a mild aphasic patient who showed procedural deficits in the presence of preserved declarative memory abilities. We administered several experiments to explore rule application in morphology, syntax and number processing. Results partly support the differentiation between declarative and procedural memory. Moreover, the patient's performance varied according to the domain in which rules were to be applied, which underlines the need for more fine-grained distinctions in cognition between procedural rules.

  1. Mutation of the maize sbe1a and ae genes alters morphology and physical behavior of wx-type endosperm starch granules.

    PubMed

    Li, Ji-Hong; Guiltinan, Mark J; Thompson, Donald B

    2007-12-10

    In maize, three isoforms of starch-branching enzyme, SBEI, SBEIIa, and SBEIIb, are encoded by the Sbe1a, Sbe2a, and Amylose extender (Ae) genes, respectively. The objective of this research was to explore the effects of null mutations in the Sbe1a and Ae genes alone and in combination in wx background on kernel characteristics and on the morphology and physical behavior of endosperm starch granules. Differences in kernel morphology and weight, starch accumulation, starch granule size and size distribution, starch microstructure, and thermal properties were observed between the ae wx and sbe1a ae wx plants but not between the sbe1a wx mutants when compared to wx. Starch from sbe1a ae wx plants exhibited a larger granule size with a wider gelatinization temperature range and a lower endotherm enthalpy than ae wx. Microscopy shows weaker iodine staining in sbe1a ae wx starch granules. X-ray diffraction revealed A-type crystallinity in wx and sbe1a wx starches and B-type in sbe1a ae wx and ae wx. This study suggests that, while the SBEIIb isoform plays a dominant role in maize endosperm starch synthesis, SBEI also plays a role, which is only observable in the presence of the ae mutation.

  2. Acute exposure to bisphenol A and cadmium causes changes in the morphology of gerbil ventral prostates and promotes alterations in androgen-dependent proliferation and cell death.

    PubMed

    Colleta, Simone J; Antoniassi, Julia Q; Zanatelli, Marianna; Santos, Fernanda C A; Góes, Rejane M; Vilamaior, Patricia S L; Taboga, Sebastião R

    2017-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) and cadmium (Cd) are environmental pollutants that are implicated in potential reproductive effects, including damage to the prostate gland. Their action during puberty requires analysis to determine the relationship of these compounds with the testosterone peak that occurs during this phase. This study evaluated whether exposure to BPA and Cd during puberty can cause changes in the morphology, proliferation and cell death and androgen receptor (AR) immunostaining of the ventral prostates of normal and castrated male gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus), considering an acute exposure to the chemicals and evaluation after short (52d) and long (120d) periods. Generally, morphometric-stereological results demonstrated that administration of BPA and Cd (individually or in combination) increased epithelial height, smooth muscle layer (SML) thickness and nuclear area and perimeter, and that these parameters were reduced in castrated animals. In addition, these groups showed important inflammatory processes but not prostate lesions. The proliferation/death rates of prostatic cells obtained by PCNA and TUNEL immunostaining demonstrated increased cell death in the 52d groups; in contrast, the gland acquired a more proliferative nature in the 120d groups. AR immunostaining showed that BPA and Cd compounds interact with ARs in different ways depending on the evaluated period and the hormonal profile of the animal. We conclude that BPA and cadmium are important agents in changing the morphology, proliferation and death of prostatic cells, in addition to interacting with ARs in different patterns. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 32: 48-61, 2017.

  3. Using volatile additives to alter the morphology and performance of active layers in thin-film molecular photovoltaic devices incorporating bulk heterojunctions.

    PubMed

    Dang, Minh Trung; Wuest, James D

    2013-12-07

    Thin-film photovoltaic devices composed of polymers or small molecules have an exciting future as sources of renewable energy because they can be made in large sizes on flexible surfaces by inexpensive techniques of fabrication. Significant progress in developing new molecular photovoltaic materials and device architectures has been achieved in the last decade. The identity of molecular components in active layers and their individual optoelectronic properties obviously help determine the properties of devices; in addition, however, the behavior of devices depends critically on the nature of the local organization of the components. Recent studies have shown that the morphology of active layers can be tuned by adjusting various parameters, including the solvent used to cast the layer, thermal annealing, and special processing additives. In this review, we summarize the effect of volatile additives on the nanoscale morphology of molecular blends, and we show how these effects can improve the performance of devices. Although we focus on the behavior of mixtures of the type used in current molecular thin-film photovoltaic devices, the subject of our review will interest researchers in all areas of science and technology requiring materials in which separate phases must form intimate long-lived intermixtures with defined structures.

  4. Prolonged Consumption of Sucrose in a Binge-Like Manner, Alters the Morphology of Medium Spiny Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens Shell

    PubMed Central

    Klenowski, Paul M.; Shariff, Masroor R.; Belmer, Arnauld; Fogarty, Matthew J.; Mu, Erica W. H.; Bellingham, Mark C.; Bartlett, Selena E.

    2016-01-01

    The modern diet has become highly sweetened, resulting in unprecedented levels of sugar consumption, particularly among adolescents. While chronic long-term sugar intake is known to contribute to the development of metabolic disorders including obesity and type II diabetes, little is known regarding the direct consequences of long-term, binge-like sugar consumption on the brain. Because sugar can cause the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) similarly to drugs of abuse, we investigated changes in the morphology of neurons in this brain region following short- (4 weeks) and long-term (12 weeks) binge-like sucrose consumption using an intermittent two-bottle choice paradigm. We used Golgi-Cox staining to impregnate medium spiny neurons (MSNs) from the NAc core and shell of short- and long-term sucrose consuming rats and compared these to age-matched water controls. We show that prolonged binge-like sucrose consumption significantly decreased the total dendritic length of NAc shell MSNs compared to age-matched control rats. We also found that the restructuring of these neurons resulted primarily from reduced distal dendritic complexity. Conversely, we observed increased spine densities at the distal branch orders of NAc shell MSNs from long-term sucrose consuming rats. Combined, these results highlight the neuronal effects of prolonged binge-like intake of sucrose on NAc shell MSN morphology. PMID:27047355

  5. Tuning the morphology, luminescence and magnetic properties of hexagonal-phase NaGdF4: Yb, Er nanocrystals via altering the addition sequence of the precursors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Shuwen; Xia, Donglin; Zhao, Ruimin; Zhu, Hao; Zhu, Yiru; Xiong, Yuda; Wang, Youfa

    2017-01-01

    Hexagonal-phase NaGdF4: Yb, Er upconversion nanocrystals (UCNCs) with tunable morphology and properties were successfully prepared via a thermal decomposition method. The influences of the adding sequence of the precursors on the morphology, chemical composition, luminescence and magnetic properties were investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), upconversion (UC) spectroscopy, and a vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM). It was found that the resulting nanocrystals, with different sizes ranging from 24 to 224 nm, are in the shape of spheres, hexagonal plates and flakes; moreover, the composition percentage of Yb3+-Er3+ and Gd3+ ions was found to vary in a regular pattern with the adding sequence. Furthermore, the intensity ratios of emission colors (f g/r, f g/p), and the magnetic mass susceptibility of hexagonal-phase NaGdF4: Yb, Er nanocrystals change along with the composition of the nanocrystals. A positive correlation between the susceptibility and f g/r of NaGdF4: Yb, Er was proposed. The decomposition processes of the precursors were investigated by a thermogravimetric (TG) analyzer. The result indicated that the decomposition of the resolved lanthanide trifluoroacetate is greatly different from lanthanide trifluoroacetate powder. It is of tremendous help to recognize the decomposition process of the precursors and to understand the related reaction mechanism.

  6. Selective alteration of human value decisions with medial frontal tDCS is predicted by changes in attractor dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Hämmerer, D.; Bonaiuto, J.; Klein-Flügge, M.; Bikson, M.; Bestmann, S.

    2016-01-01

    During value-based decision making, ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is thought to support choices by tracking the expected gain from different outcomes via a competition-based process. Using a computational neurostimulation approach we asked how perturbing this region might alter this competition and resulting value decisions. We simulated a perturbation of neural dynamics in a biophysically informed model of decision-making through in silico depolarization at the level of neuronal ensembles. Simulated depolarization increased baseline firing rates of pyramidal neurons, which altered their susceptibility to background noise, and thereby increased choice stochasticity. These behavioural predictions were compared to choice behaviour in healthy participants performing similar value decisions during transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a non-invasive brain stimulation technique. We placed the soma depolarizing electrode over medial frontal PFC. In line with model predictions, this intervention resulted in more random choices. By contrast, no such effect was observed when placing the depolarizing electrode over lateral PFC. Using a causal manipulation of ventromedial and lateral prefrontal function, these results provide support for competition-based choice dynamics in human vmPFC, and introduce computational neurostimulation as a mechanistic assay for neurostimulation studies of cognition. PMID:27146700

  7. The Relationships between Morphological Characteristics and Foraging Behavior in Four Selected Species of Shorebirds and Water Birds Utilizing Tropical Mudflats

    PubMed Central

    Norazlimi, Nor Atiqah; Ramli, Rosli

    2015-01-01

    A study was conducted to investigate the relationship between the physical morphology of shorebirds and water birds (i.e., Lesser adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus), Common redshank (Tringa totanus), Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), and Little heron (Butorides striata)) and their foraging behavior in the mudflats area of Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia, from August 2013 to July 2014 by using direct observation techniques (using binoculars and a video recorder). The actively foraging bird species were watched, and their foraging activities were recorded for at least 30 seconds for up to a maximum of five minutes. A Spearman Rank Correlation highlighted a significant relationship between bill size and foraging time (R = 0.443, p < 0.05), bill size and prey size (R = −0.052, p < 0.05), bill size and probing depth (R = 0.42, p = 0.003), and leg length and water/mud depth (R = 0.706, p < 0.005). A Kruskal-Wallis Analysis showed a significant difference between average estimates of real probing depth of the birds (mm) and species (H = 15.96, p = 0.0012). Three foraging techniques were recorded: pause-travel, visual-feeding, and tactile-hunting. Thus, morphological characteristics of bird do influence their foraging behavior and strategies used when foraging. PMID:26345324

  8. The Synaptic and Morphological Basis of Orientation Selectivity in a Polyaxonal Amacrine Cell of the Rabbit Retina.

    PubMed

    Murphy-Baum, Benjamin L; Taylor, W Rowland

    2015-09-30

    Much of the computational power of the retina derives from the activity of amacrine cells, a large and diverse group of GABAergic and glycinergic inhibitory interneurons. Here, we identify an ON-type orientation-selective, wide-field, polyaxonal amacrine cell (PAC) in the rabbit retina and demonstrate how its orientation selectivity arises from the structure of the dendritic arbor and the pattern of excitatory and inhibitory inputs. Excitation from ON bipolar cells and inhibition arising from the OFF pathway converge to generate a quasi-linear integration of visual signals in the receptive field center. This serves to suppress responses to high spatial frequencies, thereby improving sensitivity to larger objects and enhancing orientation selectivity. Inhibition also regulates the magnitude and time course of excitatory inputs to this PAC through serial inhibitory connections onto the presynaptic terminals of ON bipolar cells. This presynaptic inhibition is driven by graded potentials within local microcircuits, similar in extent to the size of single bipolar cell receptive fields. Additional presynaptic inhibition is generated by spiking amacrine cells on a larger spatial scale covering several hundred microns. The orientation selectivity of this PAC may be a substrate for the inhibition that mediates orientation selectivity in some types of ganglion cells. Significance statement: The retina comprises numerous excitatory and inhibitory circuits that encode specific features in the visual scene, such as orientation, contrast, or motion. Here, we identify a wide-field inhibitory neuron that responds to visual stimuli of a particular orientation, a feature selectivity that is primarily due to the elongated shape of the dendritic arbor. Integration of convergent excitatory and inhibitory inputs from the ON and OFF visual pathways suppress responses to small objects and fine textures, thus enhancing selectivity for larger objects. Feedback inhibition regulates the

  9. Next-century ocean acidification and warming both reduce calcification rate, but only acidification alters skeletal morphology of reef-building coral Siderastrea siderea

    PubMed Central

    Horvath, Kimmaree M.; Castillo, Karl D.; Armstrong, Pualani; Westfield, Isaac T.; Courtney, Travis; Ries, Justin B.

    2016-01-01

    Atmospheric pCO2 is predicted to rise from 400 to 900 ppm by year 2100, causing seawater temperature to increase by 1–4 °C and pH to decrease by 0.1–0.3. Sixty-day experiments were conducted to investigate the independent and combined impacts of acidification (pCO2 = 424–426, 888–940 ppm-v) and warming (T = 28, 32 °C) on calcification rate and skeletal morphology of the abundant and widespread Caribbean reef-building scleractinian coral Siderastrea siderea. Hierarchical linear mixed-effects modelling reveals that coral calcification rate was negatively impacted by both warming and acidification, with their combined effects yielding the most deleterious impact. Negative effects of warming (32 °C/424 ppm-v) and high-temperature acidification (32 °C/940 ppm-v) on calcification rate were apparent across both 30-day intervals of the experiment, while effects of low-temperature acidification (28 °C/888 ppm-v) were not apparent until the second 30-day interval—indicating delayed onset of acidification effects at lower temperatures. Notably, two measures of coral skeletal morphology–corallite height and corallite infilling–were negatively impacted by next-century acidification, but not by next-century warming. Therefore, while next-century ocean acidification and warming will reduce the rate at which corals build their skeletons, next-century acidification will also modify the morphology and, potentially, function of coral skeletons. PMID:27470426

  10. Next-century ocean acidification and warming both reduce calcification rate, but only acidification alters skeletal morphology of reef-building coral Siderastrea siderea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horvath, Kimmaree M.; Castillo, Karl D.; Armstrong, Pualani; Westfield, Isaac T.; Courtney, Travis; Ries, Justin B.

    2016-07-01

    Atmospheric pCO2 is predicted to rise from 400 to 900 ppm by year 2100, causing seawater temperature to increase by 1–4 °C and pH to decrease by 0.1–0.3. Sixty-day experiments were conducted to investigate the independent and combined impacts of acidification (pCO2 = 424–426, 888–940 ppm-v) and warming (T = 28, 32 °C) on calcification rate and skeletal morphology of the abundant and widespread Caribbean reef-building scleractinian coral Siderastrea siderea. Hierarchical linear mixed-effects modelling reveals that coral calcification rate was negatively impacted by both warming and acidification, with their combined effects yielding the most deleterious impact. Negative effects of warming (32 °C/424 ppm-v) and high-temperature acidification (32 °C/940 ppm-v) on calcification rate were apparent across both 30-day intervals of the experiment, while effects of low-temperature acidification (28 °C/888 ppm-v) were not apparent until the second 30-day interval—indicating delayed onset of acidification effects at lower temperatures. Notably, two measures of coral skeletal morphology–corallite height and corallite infilling–were negatively impacted by next-century acidification, but not by next-century warming. Therefore, while next-century ocean acidification and warming will reduce the rate at which corals build their skeletons, next-century acidification will also modify the morphology and, potentially, function of coral skeletons.

  11. Response-based selection of barley cultivars and legume species for complementarity: Root morphology and exudation in relation to nutrient source.

    PubMed

    Giles, Courtney D; Brown, Lawrie K; Adu, Michael O; Mezeli, Malika M; Sandral, Graeme A; Simpson, Richard J; Wendler, Renate; Shand, Charles A; Menezes-Blackburn, Daniel; Darch, Tegan; Stutter, Marc I; Lumsdon, David G; Zhang, Hao; Blackwell, Martin S A; Wearing, Catherine; Cooper, Patricia; Haygarth, Philip M; George, Timothy S

    2017-02-01

    Phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) use efficiency may be improved through increased biodiversity in agroecosystems. Phenotypic variation in plants' response to nutrient deficiency may influence positive complementarity in intercropping systems. A multicomponent screening approach was used to assess the influence of P supply and N source on the phenotypic plasticity of nutrient foraging traits in barley (H. vulgare L.) and legume species. Root morphology and exudation were determined in six plant nutrient treatments. A clear divergence in the response of barley and legumes to the nutrient treatments was observed. Root morphology varied most among legumes, whereas exudate citrate and phytase activity were most variable in barley. Changes in root morphology were minimized in plants provided with ammonium in comparison to nitrate but increased under P deficiency. Exudate phytase activity and pH varied with legume species, whereas citrate efflux, specific root length, and root diameter lengths were more variable among barley cultivars. Three legume species and four barley cultivars were identified as the most responsive to P deficiency and the most contrasting of the cultivars and species tested. Phenotypic response to nutrient availability may be a promising approach for the selection of plant combinations for minimal input cropping systems.

  12. Different alcohol exposures induce selective alterations on the expression of dynorphin and nociceptin systems related genes in rat brain.

    PubMed

    D'Addario, Claudio; Caputi, Francesca F; Rimondini, Roberto; Gandolfi, Ottavio; Del Borrello, Elia; Candeletti, Sanzio; Romualdi, Patrizia

    2013-05-01

    Molecular mechanisms of adaptive transformations caused by alcohol exposure on opioid dynorphin and nociceptin systems have been investigated in the rat brain. Alcohol was intragastrically administered to rats to resemble human drinking with several hours of exposure: water or alcohol (20% in water) at a dose of 1.5 g/kg three times daily for 1 or 5 days. The development of tolerance and dependence were recorded daily. Brains were dissected 30 minutes (1- and 5-day groups) or 1, 3 or 7 days after the last administration for the three other 5-day groups (groups under withdrawal). Specific alterations in opioid genes expression were ascertained. In the amygdala, an up-regulation of prodynorphin and pronociceptin was observed in the 1-day group; moreover, pronociceptin and the kappa opioid receptor mRNAs in the 5-day group and both peptide precursors in the 1-day withdrawal group were also up-regulated. In the prefrontal cortex, an increase in prodynorhin expression in the 1-day group was detected. These data indicate a relevant role of the dynorphinergic system in the negative hedonic states associated with multiple alcohol exposure. The pattern of alterations observed for the nociceptin system appears to be consistent with its role of functional antagonism towards the actions of ethanol associated with other opioid peptides. Our findings could help to the understanding of how alcohol differentially affects the opioid systems in the brain and also suggest the dynorphin and nociceptin systems as possible targets for the treatment and/or prevention of alcohol dependence.

  13. Influence of prenatal exposure to cimetidine and alcohol on selected morphological parameters of sexual differentiation: a preliminary report.

    PubMed

    McGivern, R F

    1987-01-01

    Pregnant rats were administered ethanol, cimetidine or a combination of both drugs from day 14 of gestation until parturition. Ano-genital (AG) distance measured at birth was significantly reduced in males exposed to cimetidine, but not in males or females exposed to alcohol. AG distance in males exposed to both ethanol and cimetidine also was not reduced, indicating a possible protective influence of ethanol against this effect of cimetidine. Birthweights in both sexes were reduced by prenatal ethanol exposure, both alone and with cimetidine exposure. Prenatal cimetidine exposure, both alone and in combination with ethanol significantly reduced seminal vesicle weights of adult males. However, no long-term effects of ethanol or cimetidine were observed on adrenal, testicular or ovarian weights. These results indicate that when fetal alcohol exposure is restricted to the critical prenatal period for hormonal actions on sexual differentiation, testosterone levels are maintained at an adequate level for normal morphological development of the genitalia.

  14. Changes in hyphal morphology and activity of phenoloxidases during interactions between selected ectomycorrhizal fungi and two species of Trichoderma.

    PubMed

    Mucha, Joanna

    2011-06-01

    Patterns of phenoloxidase activity can be used to characterize fungi of different life styles, and changes in phenoloxidase synthesis were suspected to play a role in the interaction between ectomycorrhizal and two species of Trichoderma. Confrontation between the ectomycorrhizal fungi Amanita muscaria and Laccaria laccata with species of Trichoderma resulted in induction of laccase synthesis, and the laccase enzyme was bound to mycelia of ectomycorrhizal fungi. Tyrosinase release was noted only during interaction of L. laccata strains with Trichoderma harzianum and T. virens. Ectomycorrhizal fungi, especially strains of Suillus bovinus and S. luteus, inhibited growth of Trichoderma species and caused morphological changes in its colonies in the zone of interaction. In contrast, hyphal changes occurred less often in the ectomycorrhizal fungi tested. Species of Suillus are suggested to present a different mechanism in their interaction with other fungi than A. muscaria and L. laccata.

  15. Candidate gene selection and detailed morphological evaluations of fs8.1, a quantitative trait locus controlling tomato fruit shape.

    PubMed

    Sun, Liang; Rodriguez, Gustavo R; Clevenger, Josh P; Illa-Berenguer, Eudald; Lin, Jinshan; Blakeslee, Joshua J; Liu, Wenli; Fei, Zhangjun; Wijeratne, Asela; Meulia, Tea; van der Knaap, Esther

    2015-10-01

    fs8.1 is a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) that controls the elongated shape of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit. In this study, we fine-mapped the locus from a 47Mb to a 3.03Mb interval on the long arm of chromosome 8. Of the 122 annotated genes found in the fs8.1 region, 51 were expressed during floral development and six were differentially expressed in anthesis-stage ovaries in fs8.1 and wild-type (WT) lines. To identify possible nucleotide polymorphisms that may underlie the fruit shape phenotype, genome sequence analyses between tomato cultivars carrying the mutant and WT allele were conducted. This led to the identification of 158 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and five small indels in the fs8.1 interval, including 31 that could be associated with changes in gene expression or function. Morphological and histological analyses showed that the effects of fs8.1 were mainly on reproductive organ elongation by increasing cell number in the proximal-distal direction. Fruit weight was also increased in fs8.1 compared with WT, which was predominantly attributed to the increased fruit length. By combining the findings from the different analyses, we consider 12 likely candidate genes to underlie fs8.1, including Solyc08g062580 encoding a pentatricopeptide repeat protein, Solyc08g061560 encoding a putative orthologue of ERECTA, which is known to control fruit morphology and inflorescence architecture in Arabidopsis, Solyc08g061910 encoding a GTL2-like trihelix transcription factor, Solyc08g061930 encoding a protein that regulates cytokinin degradation, and two genes, Solyc08g062340 and Solyc08g062450, encoding 17.6kDa class II small heat-shock proteins.

  16. Candidate gene selection and detailed morphological evaluations of fs8.1, a quantitative trait locus controlling tomato fruit shape

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Liang; Rodriguez, Gustavo R.; Clevenger, Josh P.; Illa-Berenguer, Eudald; Lin, Jinshan; Blakeslee, Joshua J.; Liu, Wenli; Fei, Zhangjun; Wijeratne, Asela; Meulia, Tea; van der Knaap, Esther

    2015-01-01

    fs8.1 is a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) that controls the elongated shape of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit. In this study, we fine-mapped the locus from a 47Mb to a 3.03Mb interval on the long arm of chromosome 8. Of the 122 annotated genes found in the fs8.1 region, 51 were expressed during floral development and six were differentially expressed in anthesis-stage ovaries in fs8.1 and wild-type (WT) lines. To identify possible nucleotide polymorphisms that may underlie the fruit shape phenotype, genome sequence analyses between tomato cultivars carrying the mutant and WT allele were conducted. This led to the identification of 158 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and five small indels in the fs8.1 interval, including 31 that could be associated with changes in gene expression or function. Morphological and histological analyses showed that the effects of fs8.1 were mainly on reproductive organ elongation by increasing cell number in the proximal–distal direction. Fruit weight was also increased in fs8.1 compared with WT, which was predominantly attributed to the increased fruit length. By combining the findings from the different analyses, we consider 12 likely candidate genes to underlie fs8.1, including Solyc08g062580 encoding a pentatricopeptide repeat protein, Solyc08g061560 encoding a putative orthologue of ERECTA, which is known to control fruit morphology and inflorescence architecture in Arabidopsis, Solyc08g061910 encoding a GTL2-like trihelix transcription factor, Solyc08g061930 encoding a protein that regulates cytokinin degradation, and two genes, Solyc08g062340 and Solyc08g062450, encoding 17.6kDa class II small heat-shock proteins. PMID:26175354

  17. Klebsiella pneumoniae O antigen loss alters the outer membrane protein composition and the selective packaging of proteins into secreted outer membrane vesicles.

    PubMed

    Cahill, Bethaney K; Seeley, Kent W; Gutel, Dedra; Ellis, Terri N

    2015-11-01

    Klebsiella pneumoniae is a nosocomial pathogen which naturally secretes lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and cell envelope associated proteins into the environment through the production of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs). The loss of the LPS O antigen has been demonstrated in other bacterial species to significantly alter the composition of OMVs. Therefore, this study aimed to comprehensively analyze the impact of O antigen loss on the sub-proteomes of both the outer membrane and secreted OMVs from K. pneumoniae. As determined by LC-MS/MS, OMVs were highly enriched with outer membrane proteins involved in cell wall, membrane, and envelope biogenesis as compared to the source cellular outer membrane. Deletion of wbbO, the enzyme responsible for O antigen attachment to LPS, decreased but did not eliminate this enrichment effect. Additionally, loss of O antigen resulted in OMVs with increased numbers of proteins involved in post-translational modification, protein turnover, and chaperones as compared to secreted vesicles from the wild type. This alteration of OMV composition may be a compensatory mechanism to deal with envelope stress. This comprehensive analysis confirms the highly distinct protein composition of OMVs as compared to their source membrane, and provides evidence for a selective sorting mechanism that involves LPS polysaccharides. These data support the hypothesis that modifications to LPS alters both the mechanics of protein sorting and the contents of secreted OMVs and significantly impacts the protein composition of the outer membrane.

  18. Round and large: morphological and genetic consequences of artificial selection on the gourd tree Crescentia cujete by the Maya of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Aguirre-Dugua, Xitlali; Eguiarte, Luis E.; González-Rodríguez, Antonio; Casas, Alejandro

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Artificial selection, the main driving force of domestication, depends on human perception of intraspecific variation and operates through management practices that drive morphological and genetic divergences with respect to wild populations. This study analysed the recognition of varieties of Crescentia cujete by Maya people in relation to preferred plant characters and documents ongoing processes of artificial selection influencing differential chloroplast DNA haplotype distribution in sympatric wild and home-garden populations. Methods Fifty-three home gardens in seven villages (93 trees) and two putative wild populations (43 trees) were sampled. Through semi-structured interviews we documented the nomenclature of varieties, their distinctive characters, provenance, frequency and management. Phenotypic divergence of fruits was assessed with morphometric analyses. Genetic analyses were performed through five cpDNA microsatellites. Key Results The Maya recognize two generic (wild/domesticated) and two specific domesticated (white/green) varieties of Crescentia cujete. In home gardens, most trees (68 %) were from domesticated varieties while some wild individuals (32 %) were tolerated. Cultivation involves mainly vegetative propagation (76 %). Domesticated fruits were significantly rounder, larger and with thicker pericarp than wild fruits. Haplotype A was dominant in home gardens (76 %) but absent in wild populations. Haplotypes B–F were found common in the wild but at low frequency (24 %) in home gardens. Conclusions The gourd tree is managed through clonal and sexual propagules, fruit form and size being the main targets of artificial selection. Domesticated varieties belong to a lineage preserved by vegetative propagation but propagation by seeds and tolerance of spontaneous trees favour gene flow from wild populations. Five mutational steps between haplotypes A and D suggest that domesticated germplasm has been introduced to the region

  19. Languages of shape feature description and syntactic methods for recognition of morphological changes in organs in analysis of selected x-ray images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogiela, Marek R.

    1998-06-01

    The presented paper treats a subject of elaboration of new algorithms for recognition of lesions and analysis of shape features of selected abdominal cavity organs visible on radiograms or tomograms. The aim of the methods is to determine and examine morphological shapes of the analyzed anatomical structures in order to diagnose cancerous lesions and inflammatory processes. The formulated target was accomplished in the case of the diagnosis of cancer and chronic inflammation of the pancreas made on the base of X- ray images obtained during the ERCP examinations. For this purpose an effective algorithm for thresholding of the ERCP images was employed. Hence it was possible to extract the pancreas duct together with morphological changes which could occur. Then, thanks to determination and application of special sequence of geometric operations (skeletonizing and rotations of contour points about a skeleton), a linear graph representing the width of pancreas duct and showing morphological changes was obtained. In order to find these changes the context-free attributed grammars, enabling description of all searched morphological changes were used. These attributes contained an additional information (height and width of the discovered change) used for recognition of ambiguous cases. For proper description and recognition of symptoms, for which the 2D analysis is required (i.e. e.g. large cavernous bulges), the language of shape features description with a special multidirectional sinquad distribution were employed. Research on usefulness of the proposed methods, performed so far, justified the application of syntactic methods to recognition of medical images, especially to support medical diagnostics.

  20. Diet complexity in early life affects survival in released pheasants by altering foraging efficiency, food choice, handling skills and gut morphology.

    PubMed

    Whiteside, Mark A; Sage, Rufus; Madden, Joah R

    2015-11-01

    Behavioural and physiological deficiencies are major reasons why reintroduction programmes suffer from high mortality when captive animals are used. Mitigation of these deficiencies is essential for successful reintroduction programmes. Our study manipulated early developmental diet to better replicate foraging behaviour in the wild. Over 2 years, we hand-reared 1800 pheasants (Phasianus colchicus), from 1 day old, for 7 weeks under different dietary conditions. In year one, 900 pheasants were divided into three groups and reared with (i) commercial chick crumb, (ii) crumb plus 1% live mealworm or (iii) crumb plus 5% mixed seed and fruit. In year two, a further 900 pheasants were divided into two groups and reared with (i) commercial chick crumb or (ii) crumb plus a combination of 1% mealworm and 5% mixed seed and fruit. In both years, the commercial chick crumb acted as a control treatment, whilst those with live prey and mixed seeds and fruits mimicking a more naturalistic diet. After 7 weeks reared on these diets, pheasants were released into the wild. Postrelease survival was improved with exposure to more naturalistic diets prior to release. We identified four mechanisms to explain this. Pheasants reared with more naturalistic diets (i) foraged for less time and had a higher likelihood of performing vigilance behaviours, (ii) were quicker at handling live prey items, (iii) were less reliant on supplementary feed which could be withdrawn and (iv) developed different gut morphologies. These mechanisms allowed the pheasants to (i) reduce the risk of predation by reducing exposure time whilst foraging and allowing more time to be vigilant; (ii) be better at handling and discriminating natural food items and not be solely reliant on supplementary feed; and (iii) have a better gut system to cope with the natural forage after the cessation of supplementary feeding in the spring. Learning food discrimination, preference and handling skills by the provision of a more

  1. Combined effects of electromagnetic field and low-level laser increase proliferation and alter the morphology of human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells.

    PubMed

    Nurković, Jasmin; Zaletel, Ivan; Nurković, Selmina; Hajrović, Šefćet; Mustafić, Fahrudin; Isma, Jovan; Škevin, Aleksandra Jurišić; Grbović, Vesna; Filipović, Milica Kovačević; Dolićanin, Zana

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, electromagnetic field (EMF) and low-level laser (LLL) have been found to affect various biological processes, the growth and proliferation of cells, and especially that of stem cells. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of EMF and LLL on proliferation of human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hAT-MSCs) and thus to examine the impact of these therapeutic physical modalities on stem cell engraftment. hAT-MSCs were isolated from subcutaneous adipose tissue of six persons ranging in age from 21 to 56 years. EMF was applied for a period of 7 days, once a day for 30 min, via a magnetic cushion surface at a frequency of 50 Hz and an intensity of 3 mT. LLL was applied also for 7 days, once a day for 5 min, at radiation energies of 3 J/cm(2), with a wavelength of 808 nm, power output of 200 mW, and power density of 0.2 W/cm(2). Nonexposed cells (control) were cultivated under the same culture conditions. Seven days after treatment, the cells were examined for cell viability, proliferation, and morphology. We found that after 7 days, the number of EMF-treated hAT-MSCs was significantly higher than the number of the untreated cells, LLL-treated hAT-MSCs were more numerous than EMF-treated cells, and hAT-MSCs that were treated with the combination of EMF and LLL were the most numerous. EMF and/or LLL treatment did not significantly affect hAT-MSC viability by itself. Changes in cell morphology were also observed, in terms of an increase in cell surface area and fractal dimension in hAT-MSCs treated with EMF and the combination of EMF and LLL. In conclusion, EMF and/or LLL treatment accelerated the proliferation of hAT-MSCs without compromising their viability, and therefore, they may be used in stem cell tissue engineering.

  2. Lack of thyroid hormone receptor alpha1 is associated with selective alterations in behavior and hippocampal circuits.

    PubMed

    Guadaño-Ferraz, A; Benavides-Piccione, R; Venero, C; Lancha, C; Vennström, B; Sandi, C; DeFelipe, J; Bernal, J

    2003-01-01

    Brain development and function are dependent on thyroid hormone (T3), which acts through nuclear hormone receptors. T3 receptors (TRs) are transcription factors that activate or suppress target gene expression in a hormone-dependent or -independent fashion. Two distinct genes, TRalpha and TRbeta, encode several receptor isoforms with specific functions defined in many tissues but not in the brain. Mutations in the TRbeta gene cause the syndrome of peripheral resistance to thyroid hormone; however, no alterations of the TRalpha gene have been described in humans. Here we demonstrate that mice lacking the TRalpha1 isoform display behavioral abnormalities of hippocampal origin, as shown by the open field and fear conditioning tests. In the open field test mutant mice revealed less exploratory behavior than wild-type mice. In the contextual fear conditioning test mutant mice showed a significantly higher freezing response than wild-type controls when tested 1 week after training. These findings correlated with fewer GABAergic terminals on the CA1 pyramidal neurons in the mutant mice. Our results indicate that TRalpha1 is involved in the regulation of hippocampal structure and function, and raise the possibility that deletions or mutations of this receptor isoform may lead to behavioral changes or even psychiatric syndromes in humans.

  3. Effect of compositional alteration of food matrices and processing on availability of selected nutrients and bioactive components in rice products.

    PubMed

    Oghbaei, Morteza; Prakash, Jamuna

    2011-05-01

    The aim was to determine the influence of compositional alteration and processing on the digestibility/availability of nutrients and bioactive components [protein (IVPD), starch (IVSD), iron, calcium, polyphenols, flavonoids] in rice products. The compositional changes representing fortified foods in 'wafers' and 'noodles' were addition of iron, rice bran, onion and cabbage. The moisture content of wafer and noodles ranged from 4.1 to 4.8% and from 73.3 to 82.1%, respectively. Wafer control (73.9-75.9%) and noodle with iron and control (85.4-87.0%) showed the highest IVPD and IVSD. Addition of rice bran decreased nutrient digestibility. The control and iron-added products exhibited least and highest available iron (2.50-2.69% and 5.99-7.07%). Total and available bioactive components increased in proportion to added external source. Overall availability of all components was better in noodles than in wafers, indicating high moisture supported higher availability. In conclusion, it can be said that both composition of the food matrix and processing influenced the availability of analyzed components.

  4. Ultrastructural and biochemical alterations induced in human, rat and mouse hepatocytes in primary culture exposed to selected carcinogens

    SciTech Connect

    Cole, K.H.

    1987-01-01

    Aflatoxin B1 (AFB{sub 1}), dimethylnitrosamine (DMN), 2-acetylaminofluorene (2-AAF) and actinomycin D are all potential human liver carcinogens. In order to investigate carcinogenic susceptibility of human liver to these agents, primary cultures of normal human hepatocytes were exposed to the four carcinogens. In the first series of experiments, human, rat, and mouse hepatocytes in primary culture were exposed to actinomycin D, AFB{sub 1}, and DMN for 24 h and examined for ultrastructural alterations. In an effort to relate the ultrastructural effects with total covalent binding of the carcinogen to DNA, human, rat and mouse hepatocytes were exposed to 2.0 {times} 10{sup {minus}7} M ({sup 3}H)AFB{sub 1} for 24 h. Hepatocytes from male rats had the highest degree of ({sup 3}H)AFB{sub 1}-DNA binding. Human hepatocytes contained the next highest binding level, while hepatocytes from female rats bound 38 pmoles/mg DNA. The AFB{sub 1}-DNA binding level in mouse hepatocytes was 1.4 pmoles/mg DNA. In similar experiments, human, and male and female rat hepatocytes in primary culture were exposed to the carcinogen 2-acetylamino (9-{sup 14}C)fluorene for 24 h. It was determined that male rat hepatocytes had the highest amount of radiolabeled 2-AAF bound to their DNA, female rats contained 0.57 nmoles/mg DNA, while human hepatocytes contained 0.29 nmoles/mg DNA.

  5. Long-term sex selective hormonal and behavior alterations in mice exposed to low doses of chlorpyrifos in utero.

    PubMed

    Haviland, Julia A; Butz, Daniel E; Porter, Warren P

    2010-01-01

    Chlorpyrifos, O,O-diethyl-O-(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridyl) phosphorothioate, is an organophosphate insecticide known to be present in human urine. In utero exposure to chlorpyrifos may cause long-term hormonal and behavior alterations. In this study mice were exposed to 0, 1 or 5mg/kg chlorpyrifos on gestational days 17-20. In utero exposed mice were then tested in a novel foraging behavior maze and assayed for thyroid hormones. Free Thyroxine Index increased significantly in females, but not males. Learning latency and reduced learning ability was evident during training sessions 5-9 in female mice exposed to 1 or 5mg/kg chlorpyrifos. No learning deficiencies were observed in male mice. No differences were seen in behavior when using a standard radial arm maze during the nine training sessions. These data suggest that mice are susceptible to neuro-endocrine reprogramming by chlorpyrifos, and demonstrate the efficacy of the novel foraging maze as an efficient behavior assay tool.

  6. Astrocyte-Secreted Factors Selectively Alter Neural Stem and Progenitor Cell Proliferation in the Fragile X Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Sourial, Mary; Doering, Laurie C.

    2016-01-01

    An increasing body of evidence indicates that astrocytes contribute to the governance and fine tuning of stem and progenitor cell production during brain development. The effect of astrocyte function in cell production in neurodevelopmental disorders is unknown. We used the Neural Colony Forming Cell assay to determine the effect of astrocyte conditioned media (ACM) on the generation of neurospheres originating from either progenitor cells or functional stem cells in the knock out (KO) Fragile X mouse model. ACM from both normal and Fmr1-KO mice generated higher percentages of smaller neurospheres indicative of restricted proliferation of the progenitor cell population in Fmr1-KO brains. Wild type (WT) neurospheres, but not KO neurospheres, showed enhanced responses to ACM from the Fmr1-KO mice. In particular, Fmr1-KO ACM increased the percentage of large neurospheres generated, representative of spheres produced from neural stem cells. We also used 2D DIGE to initiate identification of the astrocyte-secreted proteins with differential expression between Fmr1-KO and WT cortices and hippocampi. The results further support the critical role of astrocytes in governing neural cell production in brain development and point to significant alterations in neural cell proliferation due to astrocyte secreted factors from the Fragile X brain. Highlights: • We studied the proliferation of neural stem and progenitor cells in Fragile X. • We examined the role of astrocyte-secreted factors in neural precursor cell biology. • Astrocyte-secreted factors with differential expression in Fragile X identified. PMID:27242437

  7. The moss Physcomitrella patens contains cyclopentenones but no jasmonates: mutations in allene oxide cyclase lead to reduced fertility and altered sporophyte morphology.

    PubMed

    Stumpe, Michael; Göbel, Cornelia; Faltin, Bernd; Beike, Anna K; Hause, Bettina; Himmelsbach, Kiyoshi; Bode, Julia; Kramell, Robert; Wasternack, Claus; Frank, Wolfgang; Reski, Ralf; Feussner, Ivo

    2010-11-01

    • Two cDNAs encoding allene oxide cyclases (PpAOC1, PpAOC2), key enzymes in the formation of jasmonic acid (JA) and its precursor (9S,13S)-12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (cis-(+)-OPDA), were isolated from the moss Physcomitrella patens. • Recombinant PpAOC1 and PpAOC2 show substrate specificity against the allene oxide derived from 13-hydroperoxy linolenic acid (13-HPOTE); PpAOC2 also shows substrate specificity against the allene oxide derived from 12-hydroperoxy arachidonic acid (12-HPETE). • In protonema and gametophores the occurrence of cis-(+)-OPDA, but neither JA nor the isoleucine conjugate of JA nor that of cis-(+)-OPDA was detected. • Targeted knockout mutants for PpAOC1 and for PpAOC2 were generated, while double mutants could not be obtained. The ΔPpAOC1 and ΔPpAOC2 mutants showed reduced fertility, aberrant sporophyte morphology and interrupted sporogenesis.

  8. Maternal use of flaxseed oil during pregnancy and lactation prevents morphological alterations in pancreas of female offspring from rat dams with experimental diabetes.

    PubMed

    Correia-Santos, André Manoel; Vicente, Gabriela C; Suzuki, Akemi; Pereira, Aline D; dos Anjos, Juliana S; Lenzi-Almeida, Kátia C; Boaventura, Gilson T

    2015-04-01

    Nutritional recommendations have promoted the increased need to consume n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Flaxseed is the richest dietary source of n-3 fatty acids among plant sources and is widely used for its edible oil. This study aimed to investigate whether maternal use of flaxseed oil has effects on pancreas morphology in the female offspring of diabetic mothers. Female Wistar rats (n = 12) were induced into diabetes by a high-fat diet and low dose of streptozotocin. After confirmation of the diabetes, rats were mated, and once pregnancy was confirmed, they were allocated into three groups (n = 6): high-fat group (HG); flaxseed oil group (FOG); and control group (CG) (non-diabetic rats). At weaning, female offspring (n = 6/group) received standard chow diet. The animals were euthanized at 180 days. Pancreas was collected for histomorphometric and immunohistochemistry analysis. HG showed hypertrophy of pancreatic islets (P < 0.0001), whereas FOG offspring had islets with smaller diameters compared to HG (P < 0.0001). HG offspring showed higher percentage of larger (P = 0.0061) and lower percentage of smaller islets (P = 0.0036). HG showed lower islet insulin immunodensity at 180 days (P < 0.0001), whereas FOG was similar to CG (P < 0.0001). Flaxseed oil reduced the damage caused by maternal hyperglycaemia, promoting normal pancreas histomorphometry and β-cell mass in female offspring.

  9. Leaf proteome alterations in the context of physiological and morphological responses to drought and heat stress in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.).

    PubMed

    Rollins, J A; Habte, E; Templer, S E; Colby, T; Schmidt, J; von Korff, M

    2013-08-01

    The objective of this study was to identify barley leaf proteins differentially regulated in response to drought and heat and the combined stresses in context of the morphological and physiological changes that also occur. The Syrian landrace Arta and the Australian cultivar Keel were subjected to drought, high temperature, or a combination of both treatments starting at heading. Changes in the leaf proteome were identified using differential gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. The drought treatment caused strong reductions of biomass and yield, while photosynthetic performance and the proteome were not significantly changed. In contrast, the heat treatment and the combination of heat and drought reduced photosynthetic performance and caused changes of the leaf proteome. The proteomic analysis identified 99 protein spots differentially regulated in response to heat treatment, 14 of which were regulated in a genotype-specific manner. Differentially regulated proteins predominantly had functions in photosynthesis, but also in detoxification, energy metabolism, and protein biosynthesis. The analysis indicated that de novo protein biosynthesis, protein quality control mediated by chaperones and proteases, and the use of alternative energy resources, i.e. glycolysis, play important roles in adaptation to heat stress. In addition, genetic variation identified in the proteome, in plant growth and photosynthetic performance in response to drought and heat represent stress adaption mechanisms to be exploited in future crop breeding efforts.

  10. Distribution of Zonula Occludens-1 and Occludin and alterations of testicular morphology after in utero radiation and postnatal hyperthermia in rats

    PubMed Central

    Erkanlı Şentürk, Gozde; Ersoy Canillioĝlu, Yasemin; Umay, Cenk; Demiralp-Eksioglu, Emel; Ercan, Feriha

    2012-01-01

    In utero irradiation (IR) and postnatal hyperthermia (HT) exposure cause infertility by decreasing spermatogenic colony growth and the number of sperm in rats. Four groups were used: (i) Control group, (ii) HT group (rats exposed to hyperthermia on the 10th postnatal day), (iii) IR group (rats exposed to IR on the 17th gestational day) and (iv) IR + HT group. Three and six months after the procedures testes were examined by light and electron microscopy. Some degenerated tubules in the HT group, many vacuoles in spermatogenic cells and degenerated tight junctions in the IR group, atrophic tubules and severe degeneration of tight junctions in the IR + HT group were observed. ZO-1 and occludin immunoreactivity were decreased and disorganized in the HT and IR groups and absent in the IR + HT group. The increase in the number of apoptotic cells was accompanied by a time-dependent decrease in haploid, diploid and tetraploid cells in all groups. Degenerative findings were severe after 6 months in all groups. The double-hit model may represent a Sertoli cell only model of infertility due to a decrease in spermatogenic cell and alterated blood-testis barrier proteins in rat. PMID:23136996

  11. Cutaneous necrotizing venulitis: a sequential analysis of the morphological alterations occurring after mast cell degranulation in a patient with a unique syndrome.

    PubMed Central

    Soter, N A; Mihm, M C; Dvorak, H F; Austen, K F

    1978-01-01

    An unusual patient, with dermal nodules, flexion contractures of the fingers and toes, cold-induced urticaria, dermographism and serum hypocomplementaemia, had necrotizing cutaneous venulitis underlying the spontaneous lesions. Since necrotizing cutaneous venulitis could be experimentally induced by the physical stimuli of cold or trauma, the time-course of histopathological events was documented in the skin of this patient. The histopathological alterations were studied in 1 micron thick, Epon-embedded skin biopsy specimens over an interval of 6 days. The early massive degranulation of the mast cells was followed by the sequential infiltration of neutrophilic, eosinophilic and basophilic polymorphonuclear leucocytes, by the development of venular endothelial cell necrosis and by the deposition of fibrin. The persistent serum hypocomplementaemia involved the classic activating and amplification pathways. It seems possible that the unusual combination of pathobiological processes involving the mast cells and the complement system in this patient has created a unique syndrome, in which venules are damaged and the sheaths of the extensor tendons of the hands and feet become affected in time. Images FIG. 1 FIG. 2 FIG. 3 FIG. 4 FIG. 5 PMID:668192

  12. Higher taxonomic relationships among extant mammals based on morphology, with selected comparisons of results from molecular data.

    PubMed

    Shoshani, J; McKenna, M C

    1998-06-01

    Until a few decades ago, phylogenetic relationships among placental orders were ambiguous and usually depicted to radiate as an unresolved "bush." Resolution of this bush by various workers has been progressing slowly, but with promising results corroborated by nondental, dental, and molecular characters. In this study we continue to seek resolution. A total of 258 nondental and 2 dental characters was analyzed by PAUP and MacClade on 39 vertebrate taxa (3 reptiles, 1 nonmammalian therapsid, and 35 mammals; 20 of the mammals are extant and 15 are extinct) to study higher taxonomic relationships with emphasis on Placentalia (Eutheria). About two-thirds of the characters are osteological, the rest concern soft tissues, including myological but excluding molecular characters (most are our data, the rest are from the literature). Cladistic analysis included all 39 taxa (fossil taxa help to evaluate polarities of characters) and all characters were given equal weight. Extant Mammalia are divided into Prototheria and Theria, the latter into Marsupialia and Placentalia. Placentalia comprises Xenarthra and Epitheria. Within Epitheria, Lipotyphla and Preptotheria (emended) are sister-taxa. Preptotherian taxa group into: ungulate-related taxa and various nonungulates. The former include Carnivora, Pholidota, Tubulidentata, Artiodactyla, Cetacea, Perissodactyla, Hyracoidea, Proboscidea, and Sirenia. A possible association to embrace Lagomorpha, Rodentia, Macroscelidea, Scandentia, Primates, Chiroptera, and Dermoptera is suggested. Significant differences between our findings and those of recent investigators include the dissociation of Pholidota from Xenarthra and the plesiomorphous position of Lipotyphla within Epitheria. Congruence between morphological and molecular results is closer than previously reported.

  13. Effects of different rearing systems on growth, small intestinal morphology and selected indices of fermentation status in broilers.

    PubMed

    Li, Jianhui; Miao, Zhiqiang; Tian, Wenxia; Yang, Yu; Wang, Jundong; Yang, Ying

    2016-10-10

    A 3×2 factorial experiment was conducted to determine the effects of rearing system and stocking density on the growth performance, intestinal morphology and fermentation status of broilers. Broilers were kept on three rearing systems: floor litter rearing (FRS), plastic net rearing (NRS) and multilayer cage rearing system (CRS), each with two stocking densities (normal and high stocking densities). Results showed that on 7 to 28 days of age, body weight gain appeared as FRS > NRS > CRS. Whereas, CRS significantly enhanced the weight gain of broilers compared with the other systems subsequently. Broilers on FRS had higher counts of cecum Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli at 28 days of age but had more Escherichia coli and less Bifidobacteria than CRS at 42 days of age. The FRS also decreased volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration and jejunal villus height-to-crypt depth ratio at all ages. In conclusion, FRS appeared to benefit gut microorganisms during the early growing period along with high body weight gain of broilers, whereas this system might have a harmful effect on subsequent intestinal growth, as indicated by high E. coli, low Bifidobacteria count, low VFA concentration and villus height-to-crypt depth ratio along with low weight gain of broilers.

  14. Tyre and Pwyll: Galileo orbital remote sensing of mineralogy versus morphology at two selected sites on Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galileo NIMS; SSI Instrument Teams,; Fanale, Fraser P.; Granahan, James C.; Greeley, Ronald; Pappalardo, Robert; Head, James; Shirley, James; Carlson, Robert; Hendrix, Amanda; Moore, Jefferey; McCord, Thomas B.; Belton, Michael

    2000-02-01

    Observational data from the Galileo Orbiter's remote-sensing instruments, including solid-state imaging (SSI), the Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS), and the ultraviolet spectrometer (UVS), are analyzed and interpreted in terms of the history of the Tyre and Pwyll impact sites and the nature of Europa's crustal zonal structure. Material characterized by asymmetric 1.4 and 2.0 μm bands and visible coloration characterizes each site where morphologic evidence suggests disruption of the topmost crust. The material is not H2O ice, is endogenic, and is common to the linea, impact basins, and dark trailing side terrain. Differences between Tyre and Pwyll are interpreted in terms of Europa's peculiar energy history, while other evidence may suggest flooding of the endogenic material as a liquid. The pure ice appearance of most of Europa's crust is probably superficial, while beneath a thin patina of sputtered H2O molecules the crust is everywhere laced with numerous generations of intrusions and extrusions of an aqueous phase. Our results, together with numerous laboratory experiments and theoretical analysis, suggest that the aqueous phase is dominated by the SO4= anion.

  15. Altered characteristic of brain networks in mild cognitive impairment during a selective attention task: An EEG study.

    PubMed

    Wei, Ling; Li, Yingjie; Yang, Xiaoli; Xue, Qing; Wang, Yuping

    2015-10-01

    The present study evaluated the topological properties of whole brain networks using graph theoretical concepts and investigated the time-evolution characteristic of brain network in mild cognitive impairment patients during a selective attention task. Electroencephalography (EEG) activities were recorded in 10 MCI patients and 17 healthy subjects when they performed a color match task. We calculated the phase synchrony index between each possible pairs of EEG channels in alpha and beta frequency bands and analyzed the local interconnectedness, overall connectedness and small-world characteristic of brain network in different degree for two groups. Relative to healthy normal controls, the properties of cortical networks in MCI patients tend to be a shift of randomization. Lower σ of MCI had suggested that patients had a further loss of small-world attribute both during active and resting states. Our results provide evidence for the functional disconnection of brain regions in MCI. Furthermore, we found the properties of cortical networks could reflect the processing of conflict information in the selective attention task. The human brain tends to be a more regular and efficient neural architecture in the late stage of information processing. In addition, the processing of conflict information needs stronger information integration and transfer between cortical areas.

  16. Alteration of splice site selection in the LMNA gene and inhibition of progerin production via AMPK activation.

    PubMed

    Finley, Jahahreeh

    2014-11-01

    Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS) is a rare genetic condition characterized by an accelerated aging phenotype and an average life span of 13years. Patients typically exhibit extensive pathophysiological vascular alterations, eventually resulting in death from stroke or myocardial infarction. A silent point mutation at position 1824 (C1824T) of the LMNA gene, generating a truncated form of lamin A (progerin), has been shown to be the cause of most cases of HGPS. Interestingly, this mutation induces the use of an internal 5' cryptic splice site within exon 11 of the LMNA pre-mRNA, leading to the generation of progerin via aberrant alternative splicing. The serine-arginine rich splicing factor 1 (SRSF1 or ASF/SF2) has been shown to function as an oncoprotein and is upregulated in many cancers and other age-related disorders. Indeed, SRSF1 inhibition results in a splicing ratio in the LMNA pre-mRNA favoring lamin A production over that of progerin. It is our hypothesis that activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a master regulator of cellular metabolism, may lead to a reduction in SRSF1 and thus a decrease in the use of the LMNA 5' cryptic splice site in exon 11 through upregulation of p32, a splicing factor-associated protein and putative mitochondrial chaperone that has been shown to inhibit SRSF1 and enhance mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication and oxidative phosphorylation. AMPK activation by currently available compounds such as metformin, resveratrol, and berberine may thus have wide-ranging implications for disorders associated with increased production and accumulation of progerin.

  17. Functional Connectivity Estimated from Resting-State fMRI Reveals Selective Alterations in Male Adolescents with Pure Conduct Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Feng-Mei; Zhou, Jian-Song; Zhang, Jiang; Xiang, Yu-Tao; Zhang, Jian; Liu, Qi; Wang, Xiao-Ping; Yuan, Zhen

    2015-01-01

    Conduct disorder (CD) is characterized by a persistent pattern of antisocial behavior and aggression in childhood and adolescence. Previous task-based and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have revealed widespread brain regional abnormalities in adolescents with CD. However, whether the resting-state networks (RSNs) are altered in adolescents with CD remains unknown. In this study, resting-state fMRI data were first acquired from eighteen male adolescents with pure CD and eighteen age- and gender-matched typically developing (TD) individuals. Independent component analysis (ICA) was implemented to extract nine representative RSNs, and the generated RSNs were then compared to show the differences between the CD and TD groups. Interestingly, it was observed from the brain mapping results that compared with the TD group, the CD group manifested decreased functional connectivity in four representative RSNs: the anterior default mode network (left middle frontal gyrus), which is considered to be correlated with impaired social cognition, the somatosensory network (bilateral supplementary motor area and right postcentral gyrus), the lateral visual network (left superior occipital gyrus), and the medial visual network (right fusiform, left lingual gyrus and right calcarine), which are expected to be relevant to the perceptual systems responsible for perceptual dysfunction in male adolescents with CD. Importantly, the novel findings suggested that male adolescents with pure CD were identified to have dysfunctions in both low-level perceptual networks (the somatosensory network and visual network) and a high-order cognitive network (the default mode network). Revealing the changes in the functional connectivity of these RSNs enhances our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying the modulation of emotion and social cognition and the regulation of perception in adolescents with CD. PMID:26713867

  18. Maternal use of flaxseed oil during pregnancy and lactation prevents morphological alterations in pancreas of female offspring from rat dams with experimental diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Correia-Santos, André Manoel; Vicente, Gabriela C; Suzuki, Akemi; Pereira, Aline D; dos Anjos, Juliana S; Lenzi-Almeida, Kátia C; Boaventura, Gilson T

    2015-01-01

    Nutritional recommendations have promoted the increased need to consume n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Flaxseed is the richest dietary source of n-3 fatty acids among plant sources and is widely used for its edible oil. This study aimed to investigate whether maternal use of flaxseed oil has effects on pancreas morphology in the female offspring of diabetic mothers. Female Wistar rats (n = 12) were induced into diabetes by a high-fat diet and low dose of streptozotocin. After confirmation of the diabetes, rats were mated, and once pregnancy was confirmed, they were allocated into three groups (n = 6): high-fat group (HG); flaxseed oil group (FOG); and control group (CG) (non-diabetic rats). At weaning, female offspring (n = 6/group) received standard chow diet. The animals were euthanized at 180 days. Pancreas was collected for histomorphometric and immunohistochemistry analysis. HG showed hypertrophy of pancreatic islets (P < 0.0001), whereas FOG offspring had islets with smaller diameters compared to HG (P < 0.0001). HG offspring showed higher percentage of larger (P = 0.0061) and lower percentage of smaller islets (P = 0.0036). HG showed lower islet insulin immunodensity at 180 days (P < 0.0001), whereas FOG was similar to CG (P < 0.0001). Flaxseed oil reduced the damage caused by maternal hyperglycaemia, promoting normal pancreas histomorphometry and β-cell mass in female offspring. PMID:25808815

  19. Alteration of the brain morphology and the response to the acute stress in the recombinant mouse lines with different predisposition to catalepsy.

    PubMed

    Kulikova, E A; Bazovkina, D V; Antonov, Y V; Akulov, A E; Kulikov, A V; Kondaurova, E M

    2016-11-21

    Catalepsy is an inability to correct an externally imposed awkward posture; it is associated with schizophrenia and depression in human. We created new recombinant B6.CBA-D13Mit76C and B6.CBA-D13Mit76B mouse lines on the C57Bl/6 genome, carrying the 102.73-110.56Mbp fragment of chromosome 13 derived from the catalepsy-prone CBA strain and catalepsy-resistant C57BL/6 strain, respectively. We compared the behavior and brain morphology (11.7T BioSpec 117/16 USR tomograph, Germany) in these lines. The effects of acute emotional stress on corticosterone's level in the blood and mRNA expression of Bdnf and Arc genes in the brain were investigated. The B6.CBA-D13Mit76B mice were non-cataleptic, while about 17% of B6.CBA-D13Mit76C mice demonstrated catalepsy-like immobility. No difference between these lines was revealed in the open field and social interaction tests. In the Morris water maze test, both lines effectively found the platform on the fourth day; however B6.CBA-D13Mit76B mice achieved significantly better results than cataleptic-prone animals. B6.CBA-D13Mit76C mice were characterized by decreased volume of the total brain and reduced sizes of striatum, cerebellum and pituitary gland. The both lines showed the similar basal and stress-induced levels of corticosterone, while the brain expression of Bdnf and Arc genes was more vulnerable to stress in the catalepsy-prone B6.CBA-D13Mit76C line.

  20. Genetic selection for body weight in chickens has altered responses of the brain's AMPK system to food intake regulation effect of ghrelin, but not obestatin.

    PubMed

    Xu, Pingwen; Siegel, Paul B; Denbow, D Michael

    2011-08-01

    The effects of ghrelin and obestatin regulation of food intake are different in mammals and chickens. We investigated central effects of ghrelin and obestatin in lines of chickens selected 50 generations for high (HWS) or low (LWS) body weight. We hypothesized that the effect of ghrelin and obestatin on food intake in 5-day-old chicks is mediated by the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) system and selection for body weight alters the brain's response to ghrelin and obestatin by changing the neuronal AMPK system. Although intracerebroventricular (ICV) ghrelin injection decreased food intake in both lines, the threshold for the anorexigenic effect of central ghrelin was lower in LWS than HWS chicks. Obestatin caused a linear dose-dependent increase in food intake in HWS but not LWS chicks. ICV injection of 0.4 nmol ghrelin inhibited hypothalamic AMPK related gene expression and phosphorylation of AMPK α and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) with the magnitude of inhibition different in the two lines. In contrast, ICV injection of 4 nmol obestatin did not affect mRNA expression of AMPK system or phosphorylation of AMPK and ACC in either line. These data support the premise of a lower threshold for anorexigenic effect of central ghrelin in LWS than HWS chicks, and this difference may be associated with differential hypothalamic AMPK signaling. Additionally, the hypothalamic mRNA level of ghrelin was significantly higher in LWS than HWS, which may have also contributed to the different threshold response to ghrelin in these two lines. The expression of the ghrelin receptor was also higher in the LWS line, but not until 56 days of age. In summary, selection for body weight has resulted in differences in the central ghrelin and obestatin system, and an altered brain AMPK system may contribute to the different neuronal response to ghrelin, but not obestatin.

  1. Selective destruction of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons does not alter [3H]-ryanodine binding in rat striatum.

    PubMed

    Noël, F; Geurts, M; Maloteaux, J M

    2000-02-01

    Dopamine nigrostriatal neurons are important for motor control and may contain a particularly dense population of ryanodine receptors involved in the control of dopamine release. To test this hypothesis, we used a classical model of unilateral selective lesion of these neurons in rats based on 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) injection into the substantia nigra. Binding of [3H]-GBR 12935, used as a presynaptic marker since it labels specifically the dopamine uptake complex, was dramatically decreased by 83-100% in striatum homogenates after 6-OHDA lesion. On the contrary, no reduction of [3H]-ryanodine binding was observed. The present data indicate that [3H]-ryanodine binding sites present in rat striatum are not preferentially localized in dopaminergic terminals.

  2. Packing interactions between transmembrane helices alter ion selectivity of the yeast Golgi Ca2+/Mn2+-ATPase PMR1.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Debjani; Rulli, Samuel J; Rao, Rajini

    2003-09-12

    PMR1 is the yeast secretory pathway pump responsible for high affinity transport of Mn2+ and Ca2+ into the Golgi, where these ions are sequestered and effectively removed from the cytoplasm. Phenotypic growth assays allow for convenient screening of side chains important for Ca2+ and Mn2+ transport. Earlier we demonstrated that mutant Q783A at the cytoplasmic interface of M6 could transport Ca2+, but not Mn2+. Scanning mutagenesis of side chains proximal to residue Gln-783 in membrane helices M2, M4, M5, and M6 revealed additional residues near the cytoplasmic interface, notably Leu-341 (M5), Phe-738 (M5), and Leu-785 (M6) that are sensitive to substitution. Importantly, we obtained evidence for a packing interaction between Val-335 in M4 and Gln-783 in M6 that is critical for Mn2+ transport. Thus, mutant V335G mimics the Mn2+ transport defect of Q783A and mutant V335I can effectively suppress the Mn2+-defective phenotype of Q783A. These changes in ion selectivity were confirmed by cation-dependent ATP hydrolysis using purified enzyme. Other substitutions at these sites are tolerated individually, but not in combination. Exchange of side chains at 335 and 783 also results in ion selectivity defects, suggesting that the packing interaction may be conformation-sensitive. Homology models of M4, M5, and M6 of PMR1 have been generated, based on the structures of the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase. The models are supported by data from mutagenesis and reveal that Gln-783 and Val-335 show conformation-sensitive packing at the cytoplasmic interface. We suggest that this region may constitute a gate for access of Mn2+ ions.

  3. Charged anaesthetics alter LM-fibroblast plasma-membrane enzymes by selective fluidization of inner or outer membrane leaflets.

    PubMed

    Sweet, W D; Schroeder, F

    1986-10-15

    The functional consequences of the differences in lipid composition and structure between the two leaflets of the plasma membrane were investigated. Fluorescence of 1,6-diphenylhexa-1,3,5-triene(DPH), quenching, and differential polarized phase fluorimetry demonstrated selective fluidization by local anaesthetics of individual leaflets in isolated LM-cell plasma membranes. As measured by decreased limiting anisotropy of DPH fluorescence, cationic (prilocaine) and anionic (phenobarbital and pentobarbital) amphipaths preferentially fluidized the cytofacial and exofacial leaflets respectively. Unlike prilocaine, procaine, also a cation, fluidized both leaflets of these membranes equally. Pentobarbital stimulated 5'-nucleotidase between 0.1 and 5 mM and inhibited at higher concentrations, whereas phenobarbital only inhibited, at higher concentrations. Cationic drugs were ineffective. Two maxima of (Na+ + K+)-ATPase activation were obtained with both anionic drugs. Only one activation maximum was obtained with both cationic drugs. The maximum in activity below 1 mM for all four drugs clustered about a single limiting anisotropy value in the cytofacial leaflet, whereas there was no correlation between activity and limiting anisotropy in the exofacial leaflets. Therefore, although phenobarbital and pentobarbital below 1 mM fluidized the exofacial leaflet more than the cytofacial leaflet, the smaller fluidization in the cytofacial leaflet was functionally significant for (Na+ + K+)-ATPase. Mg2+-ATPase was stimulated at 1 mM-phenobarbital, unaffected by pentobarbital and slightly stimulated by both cationic drugs at concentrations fluidizing both leaflets. Thus the activity of (Na+ + K+)-ATPase was highly sensitive to selective fluidization of the leaflet containing its active site, whereas the other enzymes examined were little affected by fluidization of either leaflet.

  4. The benefit of adding sodium nitroprusside (NPNa) or S-nitrosoglutathion (GSNO) to the University of Wisconsin solution (UW) to prevent morphological alterations during cold preservation/reperfusion of rat livers.

    PubMed

    Quintana, Alejandra B; Rodriguez, Joaquin V; Scandizzi, Angel L; Guibert, Edgardo E

    2003-01-01

    Cold liver preservation in the University of Wisconsin solution (UW) followed by reperfusion alters hepatic parenchyma and extra cellular matrix. In this study we analyzed the benefit of adding either 500 microM Sodium Nitroprusside (NPNa) or 100 microM S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) as Nitric Oxide (NO) donors to the UW solution to prevent hepatic injury. Wistar adult rat livers were stored in UW solution (0 degrees C) for 48Hs and reperfused (60 minutes) in the isolated perfused rat liver model (IPRL). Untreated livers were used as normal controls. Livers perfused but not preserved were used as controls of reperfusion. Parenchyma damages were evaluated by Hematoxylin-Eosin stain. Picrosirius Red and Gordon-Sweets stains were used for collagen and reticulin networks, respectively. An inmunohistochemistry assay for albumin was used as functional test. Cold preservation step was followed by swollen hepatocytes with "light empty halos" surrounding the nucleus, conserved hepatocyte cords and many rounded endothelial cells. The addition of NPNa or GSNO into UW solution, avoid these alterations. Livers preserved for 48 Hs and then reperfused showed extended areas of vacuolation around central veins, and many endothelial cells were rounded and located inside sinusoidal lumens. The collagen network was disorganized while the reticulin one was less altered. Albumin was distributed preferentially in pericentral areas. On the contrary, livers preserved in presence of NPNa or GSNO did not show vacuolation and both collagen and reticulin networks were unchanged. Albumin was more homogeneously distributed in both groups. In conclusion, the addition of 500 microM NPNa or 100 microM GSNO as a NO donor, improves UW solution properties to preserve rat livers by maintaining the hepatic morphology and avoiding hepatic injury post-cold preservation/reperfusion.

  5. Enhancement of reproductive performances of Gangetic leaffish, Nandus nandus through up regulation of serum Ca²⁺ concentration, improved morphological alteration of liver and ovary with dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids.

    PubMed

    Reza, A H M M; Rakhi, S F; Hossen, M S; Takahashi, K; Hossain, Z

    2013-08-01

    Incorporation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) as biofunctional compounds with feed is an effective way for gonadal maturation without any hazardous effects on animal health, and thus it is possible to save the vulnerable species from the danger of extinction. In the present study sperm quality, level of Ca(2+) concentration in serum, histological structure of the liver and developmental stages of ovary of an endangered fish species, Nandus nandus were investigated for the confirmation of the positive effects of PUFAs in reproduction and gonadal maturation. Fishes were collected from Brahmaputra River, Mymensingh, Bangladesh. Treated group was fed 1% squid extracted phospholipid supplemented diet that was mixed with silver carp fish muscle where as controlled group was fed the same except phospholipid. For histology of liver and gonads, samples were dehydrated, cleaned and infiltrated, embedded in paraffin wax and sectioned. After that, the samples were stained with hematoxylin and eosin. The photomicrographs of the stained samples were taken by using light microscope. In comparison with the control group, treated group exhibited higher gonadal maturation which resulted in spontaneous spawning. Treated female demonstrated advanced gonadal developmental stages in comparison with the controlled female during different months. During spawning season, lipid granules and normal morphological alteration were observed in case of treated fish liver, whereas less lipid granules with more histological alteration of liver were observed in control group. Serum Ca(2+) concentration in treated female was found significantly higher (P < 0.01) in contrast to the controlled female during the breeding season which was an indicator of the augment of estrogen secretion during ovarian maturation. Better sperm quality, early maturation of oocytes, less histological alteration of liver hepatocytes and spontaneous spawning performances of PUFA-treated fish were as a result of the

  6. Altered Tnnt3 characterizes selective weakness of fast fibers in mice overexpressing FSHD region gene 1 (FRG1).

    PubMed

    Sancisi, Valentina; Germinario, Elena; Esposito, Alessandra; Morini, Elisabetta; Peron, Samantha; Moggio, Maurizio; Tomelleri, Giuliano; Danieli-Betto, Daniela; Tupler, Rossella

    2014-01-15

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), a common hereditary myopathy, is characterized by atrophy and weakness of selective muscle groups. FSHD is considered an autosomal dominant disease with incomplete penetrance and unpredictable variability of clinical expression within families. Mice overexpressing FRG1 (FSHD region gene 1), a candidate gene for this disease, develop a progressive myopathy with features of the human disorder. Here, we show that in FRG1-overexpressing mice, fast muscles, which are the most affected by the dystrophic process, display anomalous fast skeletal troponin T (fTnT) isoform, resulting from the aberrant splicing of the Tnnt3 mRNA that precedes the appearance of dystrophic signs. We determine that muscles of FRG1 mice develop less strength due to impaired contractile properties of fast-twitch fibers associated with an anomalous MyHC-actin ratio and a reduced sensitivity to Ca(2+). We demonstrate that the decrease of Ca(2+) sensitivity of fast-twitch fibers depends on the anomalous troponin complex and can be rescued by the substitution with the wild-type proteins. Finally, we find that the presence of aberrant splicing isoforms of TNNT3 characterizes dystrophic muscles in FSHD patients. Collectively, our results suggest that anomalous TNNT3 profile correlates with the muscle impairment in both humans and mice. On the basis of these results, we propose that aberrant fTnT represents a biological marker of muscle phenotype severity and disease progression.

  7. Selective Inhibitor of Nuclear Export (SINE) Compounds Alter New World Alphavirus Capsid Localization and Reduce Viral Replication in Mammalian Cells

    PubMed Central

    Lundberg, Lindsay; Pinkham, Chelsea; de la Fuente, Cynthia; Brahms, Ashwini; Shafagati, Nazly; Wagstaff, Kylie M.; Jans, David A.; Tamir, Sharon; Kehn-Hall, Kylene

    2016-01-01

    The capsid structural protein of the New World alphavirus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV), interacts with the host nuclear transport proteins importin α/β1 and CRM1. Novel selective inhibitor of nuclear export (SINE) compounds, KPT-185, KPT-335 (verdinexor), and KPT-350, target the host’s primary nuclear export protein, CRM1, in a manner similar to the archetypical inhibitor Leptomycin B. One major limitation of Leptomycin B is its irreversible binding to CRM1; which SINE compounds alleviate because they are slowly reversible. Chemically inhibiting CRM1 with these compounds enhanced capsid localization to the nucleus compared to the inactive compound KPT-301, as indicated by immunofluorescent confocal microscopy. Differences in extracellular versus intracellular viral RNA, as well as decreased capsid in cell free supernatants, indicated the inhibitors affected viral assembly, which led to a decrease in viral titers. The decrease in viral replication was confirmed using a luciferase-tagged virus and through plaque assays. SINE compounds had no effect on VEEV TC83_Cm, which encodes a mutated form of capsid that is unable to enter the nucleus. Serially passaging VEEV in the presence of KPT-185 resulted in mutations within the nuclear localization and nuclear export signals of capsid. Finally, SINE compound treatment also reduced the viral titers of the related eastern and western equine encephalitis viruses, suggesting that CRM1 maintains a common interaction with capsid proteins across the New World alphavirus genus. PMID:27902702

  8. Selective Inhibitor of Nuclear Export (SINE) Compounds Alter New World Alphavirus Capsid Localization and Reduce Viral Replication in Mammalian Cells.

    PubMed

    Lundberg, Lindsay; Pinkham, Chelsea; de la Fuente, Cynthia; Brahms, Ashwini; Shafagati, Nazly; Wagstaff, Kylie M; Jans, David A; Tamir, Sharon; Kehn-Hall, Kylene

    2016-11-01

    The capsid structural protein of the New World alphavirus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV), interacts with the host nuclear transport proteins importin α/β1 and CRM1. Novel selective inhibitor of nuclear export (SINE) compounds, KPT-185, KPT-335 (verdinexor), and KPT-350, target the host's primary nuclear export protein, CRM1, in a manner similar to the archetypical inhibitor Leptomycin B. One major limitation of Leptomycin B is its irreversible binding to CRM1; which SINE compounds alleviate because they are slowly reversible. Chemically inhibiting CRM1 with these compounds enhanced capsid localization to the nucleus compared to the inactive compound KPT-301, as indicated by immunofluorescent confocal microscopy. Differences in extracellular versus intracellular viral RNA, as well as decreased capsid in cell free supernatants, indicated the inhibitors affected viral assembly, which led to a decrease in viral titers. The decrease in viral replication was confirmed using a luciferase-tagged virus and through plaque assays. SINE compounds had no effect on VEEV TC83_Cm, which encodes a mutated form of capsid that is unable to enter the nucleus. Serially passaging VEEV in the presence of KPT-185 resulted in mutations within the nuclear localization and nuclear export signals of capsid. Finally, SINE compound treatment also reduced the viral titers of the related eastern and western equine encephalitis viruses, suggesting that CRM1 maintains a common interaction with capsid proteins across the New World alphavirus genus.

  9. Novel inhibitors of human leukocyte elastase and cathepsin G. Sequence variants of squash seed protease inhibitor with altered protease selectivity

    SciTech Connect

    McWherter, C.A.; Walkenhorst, W.F.; Glover, G.I. ); Campbell, E.J. )

    1989-07-11

    Novel peptide inhibitors of human leukocyte elastase (HLE) and cathepsin G (CG) were prepared by solid-phase peptide synthesis of P1 amino acid sequence variants of Curcurbita maxima trypsin inhibitor III (CMTI-III), a 29-residue peptide found in squash seed. A systematic study of P1 variants indicated that P1, Arg, Lys, Leu, Ala, Phe, and Met inhibit trypsin; P1, Val, Ile, Gly, Leu, Ala, Phe, and Met inhibit HLE; P1 Leu, Ala, Phe, and Met inhibit CG and chymotrypsin. Variants with P1, Val, Ile, or Gly were selective inhibitors of HLE, while inhibition of trypsin required P1 amino acids with an unbranched {beta} carbon. Studies of Val-5-CMTI-III (P1 Val) inhibition of HLE demonstrated a 1:1 binding stoichiometry with a (K{sub i}){sub app} of 8.7 nM. Inhibition of HLE by Gly-5-CMTI-III indicated a significant role for reactive-site structural moieties other than the P1 side chain. Val-5-CMTI-III inhibited both HLE and human polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) proteolysis of surface-bound {sup 125}I-labeled fibronectin. Val-5-CMTI-III was more effective at preventing turnover of a peptide p-nitroanilide substrate than halting dissolution of {sup 125}I-labeled fibronectin. It was about as effective as human serum {alpha}{sub 1}-proteinase inhibitor in preventing PMN degradation of the connective tissue substrate. In addition to providing interesting candidates for controlling inflammatory cell proteolytic injury, the CMTI-based inhibitors are ideal for studying molecular recognition because of their small size, their ease of preparation, and the availability of sensitive and quantitative assays for intermolecular interactions.

  10. Effect of selection and sequencing of representative wave conditions on process-based predictions of equilibrium embayed beach morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daly, Christopher J.; Bryan, Karin R.; Gonzalez, Mauricio R.; Klein, Antonio H. F.; Winter, Christian

    2014-06-01

    In order to decrease the simulation time of morphodynamic models, often-complex wave climates are reduced to a few representative wave conditions (RWC). When applied to embayed beaches, a test of whether a reduced wave climate is representative or not is to see whether it can recreate the observed equilibrium (long-term averaged) bathymetry of the bay. In this study, the wave climate experienced at Milagro Beach, Tarragona, Spain was discretized into `average' and `extreme' RWCs. Process-based morphodynamic simulations were sequenced and merged based on `persistent' and `transient' forcing conditions, the results of which were used to estimate the equilibrium bathymetry of the bay. Results show that the effect of extreme wave events appeared to have less influence on the equilibrium of the bay compared to average conditions of longer overall duration. Additionally, the persistent seasonal variation of the wave climate produces pronounced beach rotation and tends to accumulate sediment at the extremities of the beach, rather than in the central sections. It is, therefore, important to account for directional variability and persistence in the selection and sequencing of representative wave conditions as is it essential for accurately balancing the effects beach rotation events.

  11. Thermal and adsorbate effects on the activity and morphology of size-selected Pdn/TiO2 model catalysts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaden, William E.; Kunkel, William A.; Roberts, F. Sloan; Kane, Matthew; Anderson, Scott L.

    2014-03-01

    Model catalysts containing size-selected Pdn (n = 1,2,4,7,10,16,20,25) deposited on rutile TiO2(110) deactivate during repeated CO oxidation temperature-programmed reaction (TPR) cycles, and the deactivation process has been probed using a combination of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS), low-energy ion scattering (ISS), temperature-dependent ion scattering (TD-ISS), annealing experiments, and temperature-programmed desorption following exposure to CO and O2 reactants. Results from such experiments suggest the cluster deactivation proceeds via an alloy-like, strong metal-support interaction (SMSI) effect that chemically modifies the clusters via electronic interactions between the supported metal atoms and Ti from the support. Threshold measurements show that this effect detrimentally affects CO-oxidation activity prior to the formation of an encapsulating overlayer by severely weakening the COPd bond strengths for binding configurations on top of the clusters. Oxidation appears to provide means of partially restoring the clusters to their initial state, but after sufficient exposure to reducing environments and elevated temperatures, all Pdn become covered by an overlayer and begin to electronically and chemically resemble freshly deposited atoms, which are completely inactive towards the probe reaction. In addition, we find evidence of oxygen spillover induced by co-adsorbed CO during TPRs for all active Pdn clusters.

  12. Neurochemical and electrophysiological deficits in the ventral hippocampus and selective behavioral alterations caused by high-fat diet in female C57BL/6 mice.

    PubMed

    Krishna, S; Keralapurath, M M; Lin, Z; Wagner, J J; de La Serre, C B; Harn, D A; Filipov, N M

    2015-06-25

    Mounting experimental evidence, predominantly from male rodents, demonstrates that high-fat diet (HFD) consumption and ensuing obesity are detrimental to the brain. To shed additional light on the neurological consequences of HFD consumption in female rodents and to determine the relatively early impact of HFD in the likely continuum of neurological dysfunction in the context of chronic HFD intake, this study investigated effects of HFD feeding for up to 12weeks on selected behavioral, neurochemical, and electrophysiological parameters in adult female C57BL/6 mice; particular focus was placed on the ventral hippocampus (vHIP). Selected locomotor, emotional and cognitive functions were evaluated using behavioral tests after 5weeks on HFD or control (low-fat diet) diets. One week later, mice were sacrificed and brain regional neurochemical (monoamine) analysis was performed. Behaviorally naïve mice were maintained on their respective diets for an additional 5-6weeks at which time synaptic p