Abstract Background: Respiratory tract deposition of air pollution particles is a key to their adverse health effects. This study was aimed to determine the size-resolved deposition fraction (DF) of sooty wood smoke particles in the lungs of healthy subjects. The type of wood smoke investigated is typical for household air pollution from solid fuels, which is among the largest environmental health problems globally. Methods: Twelve healthy volunteers inhaled diluted wood smoke from incomplete soot-rich combustion in a common wood stove. The DF of smoke particles (10-500?nm) was measured during three 15-min exposures in each subject during spontaneous breathing. Lung function was measured using standard spirometry. Results: The total DFs by particle number concentration were 0.34±0.08. This can be compared with DFs of 0.21-0.23 in healthy subjects during previous experiments with wood pellet combustion. For particle mass, the total DFs found in this study were 0.22±0.06. DF and breathing frequency were negatively correlated as expected from model calculations (p<0.01). Conclusions: The DF of the investigated sooty wood smoke particles was higher than for previously investigated particles generated during more efficient combustion of biomass. Together with toxicological studies, which have indicated that incomplete biomass combustion particles rich in soot and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are especially harmful, these data highlight the health risks of inadequate wood combustion.
Exposing natural selection driving phenotypic and genotypic adaptive differentiation is an extraordinary challenge. Given that an organism's life stages are exposed to the same environmental variations, we reasoned that fitness components, such as the lag, rate, and efficiency of growth, directly reflecting performance in these life stages, should often be selected in concert. We therefore conjectured that correlations between fitness components over natural isolates, in a particular environmental context, would constitute a robust signal of recent selection. Critically, this test for selection requires fitness components to be determined by different genetic loci. To explore our conjecture, we exhaustively evaluated the lag, rate, and efficiency of asexual population growth of natural isolates of the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in a large variety of nitrogen-limited environments. Overall, fitness components were well correlated under nitrogen restriction. Yeast isolates were further crossed in all pairwise combinations and coinheritance of each fitness component and genetic markers were traced. Trait variations tended to map to quantitative trait loci (QTL) that were private to a single fitness component. We further traced QTLs down to single-nucleotide resolution and uncovered loss-of-function mutations in RIM15, PUT4, DAL1, and DAL4 as the genetic basis for nitrogen source use variations. Effects of SNPs were unique for a single fitness component, strongly arguing against pleiotropy between lag, rate, and efficiency of reproduction under nitrogen restriction. The strong correlations between life stage performances that cannot be explained by pleiotropy compellingly support adaptive differentiation of yeast nitrogen source use and suggest a generic approach for detecting selection.
Environmental shotgun sequencing (metagenomics) provides a new way to study communities in microbial ecology. We here use sequence data from the Global Ocean Sampling (GOS) expedition to investigate toxicant selection pressures revealed by the presence of detoxification genes in marine bacteria. To capture a broad range of potential toxicants we selected detoxification protein families representing systems protecting microorganisms from a variety of stressors, such as metals, organic compounds, antibiotics and oxygen radicals.
Epidemiological studies have reported associations between air pollution exposure and increases in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Exposure to air pollutants can influence cardiac autonomic tone and reduce heart rate variability, and may increase the risk of cardiac arrhythmias, particularly in susceptible patient groups.
Exposure to particulate matter (PM) air pollution especially derived from traffic is associated with increases in cardiorespiratory morbidity and mortality. In this study, we evaluated the ability of novel vehicle cabin air inlet filters to reduce diesel exhaust (DE)-induced symptoms and markers of inflammation in human subjects.
Salinity plays an important role in shaping coastal marine communities. Near-future climate predictions indicate that salinity will decrease in many shallow coastal areas due to increased precipitation; however, few studies have addressed this issue. The ability of ecosystems to cope with future changes will depend on species' capacities to acclimatise or adapt to new environmental conditions. Here, we investigated the effects of a strong salinity gradient (the Baltic Sea system--Baltic, Kattegat, Skagerrak) on plasticity and adaptations in the euryhaline barnacle Balanus improvisus. We used a common-garden approach, where multiple batches of newly settled barnacles from each of three different geographical areas along the Skagerrak-Baltic salinity gradient were exposed to corresponding native salinities (6, 15 and 30 PSU), and phenotypic traits including mortality, growth, shell strength, condition index and reproductive maturity were recorded.
Oxylipins are oxidized fatty acids that can exert lipid mediator function in inflammation and several oxylipins derived from arachidonic acid are linked to asthma. This study quantified oxylipin profiles in different regions of the lung to obtain a broad-scale characterization of the allergic asthmatic inflammation in relation to healthy individuals.Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, bronchial wash (BW), and endobronchial mucosal biopsies were collected from 16 healthy and 16 mild allergic asthmatic individuals. Inflammatory cell counts, immunohistochemical (IHC) staining and oxylipin profiling were performed. Uni- and multivariate statistics were employed to evaluate compartment-dependent and diagnosis-dependent oxylipin profiles in relation to other measured parameters.Multivariate modelling showed significantly different BW and BAL oxylipin profiles in both groups (R(2)Y[cum]=0.822, Q(2)[cum]=0.759). Total oxylipin concentrations, and five individual oxylipins, primarily from the lipoxygenase (LOX) pathway of arachidonic and linoleic acid, were elevated in BW from asthmatics compared to healthy controls, supported by IHC staining of 15-LOX-1 in the bronchial epithelium. No difference between the groups was found among BAL oxylipins.In conclusion, BW and BAL fluid contain distinct oxylipin profiles, which may have ramifications for the study of respiratory diseases. Specific protocols for sampling proximal and distal airways separately should be employed.
Air pollution exposure is associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, yet the role of individual pollutants remains unclear. In particular, there is uncertainty regarding the acute effect of ozone exposure on cardiovascular disease. In these studies, we aimed to determine the effect of ozone exposure on vascular function, fibrinolysis, and the autonomic regulation of the heart. Thirty-six healthy men were exposed to ozone (300 ppb) and filtered air for 75min on two occasions in randomized double-blind crossover studies. Bilateral forearm blood flow (FBF) was measured using forearm venous occlusion plethysmography before and during intra-arterial infusions of vasodilators 2-4 and 6-8h after each exposure. Heart rhythm and heart rate variability (HRV) were monitored during and 24h after exposure. Compared with filtered air, ozone exposure did not alter heart rate, blood pressure, or resting FBF at either 2 or 6h. There was a dose-dependent increase in FBF with all vasodilators that was similar after both exposures at 2-4h. Ozone exposure did not impair vasomotor or fibrinolytic function at 6-8h but rather increased vasodilatation to acetylcholine (p = .015) and sodium nitroprusside (p = .005). Ozone did not affect measures of HRV during or after the exposure. Our findings do not support a direct rapid effect of ozone on vascular function or cardiac autonomic control although we cannot exclude an effect of chronic exposure or an interaction between ozone and alternative air pollutants that may be responsible for the adverse cardiovascular health effects attributed to ozone.
Hantavirus infections cause potentially life-threatening disease in humans world-wide. Infections with American hantaviruses may lead to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome characterised by severe cardiopulmonary distress with high mortality. Pulmonary involvement in European Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) infection has been reported, whereas knowledge of potential cardiac manifestations is limited. We aimed to comprehensively investigate cardiopulmonary involvement in patients with PUUV-infection.
A method for characterization of ligand binding to membrane receptors in their native cell membrane is presented. The methodology is based on microfluidic frontal affinity chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (FAC-MS). Proteoliposomes with receptor of interest are prepared directly from cell membranes and serve as a stationary phase in a microfluidic flow cell for frontal analysis. The G-Protein-Coupled Receptor (GPCR) Ste2 involved in the pheromone-induced yeast mating pathway is used as a model receptor for proof of principle characterization. The ligand affinity of the natural pheromone peptide, the ?-factor, is compared to a set of pheromone analogs having different receptor affinities. With short preparation time, preserved lipid composition and the ability to immobilize proteoliposomes from any cell membrane, we propose that our methodology with immobilized proteoliposomes together with microfluidics FAC-MS can be an important improvement for ligand-receptor studies in native membranes.
Diesel exhaust inhalation causes cardiovascular dysfunction including impaired vascular reactivity, increased blood pressure, and arterial stiffness. We investigated the role of nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability in mediating these effects.
BACKGROUND: Emissions from biomass combustion are a major source of indoor and outdoor air pollution, and are estimated to cause millions of premature deaths worldwide annually. Whilst adverse respiratory health effects of biomass exposure are well established, less is known about its effects on the cardiovascular system. In this study we assessed the effect of exposure to wood smoke on heart rate, blood pressure, central arterial stiffness and heart rate variability in otherwise healthy persons. METHODS: Fourteen healthy non-smoking subjects participated in a randomized, double-blind crossover study. Subjects were exposed to dilute wood smoke (mean particle concentration of 314+/-38 mug/m3) or filtered air for three hours during intermittent exercise. Heart rate, blood pressure, central arterial stiffness and heart rate variability were measured at baseline and for one hour post-exposure. RESULTS: Central arterial stiffness, measured as augmentation index, augmentation pressure and pulse wave velocity, was higher after wood smoke exposure as compared to filtered air (p < 0.01 for all), and heart rate was increased (p < 0.01) although there was no effect on blood pressure. Heart rate variability (SDNN, RMSSD and pNN50; p = 0.003, p < 0.001 and p < 0.001 respectively) was decreased one hour following exposure to wood smoke compared to filtered air. CONCLUSIONS: Acute exposure to wood smoke as a model of exposure to biomass combustion is associated with an immediate increase in central arterial stiffness and a simultaneous reduction in heart rate variability. As biomass is used for cooking and heating by a large fraction of the global population and is currently advocated as a sustainable alternative energy source, further studies are required to establish its likely impact on cardiovascular disease.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01488500.
The number of chromosome sets contained within the nucleus of eukaryotic organisms is a fundamental yet evolutionarily poorly characterized genetic variable of life. Here, we mapped the impact of ploidy on the mitotic fitness of bakers yeast and its never domesticated relative Saccharomyces paradoxus across wide swaths of their natural genotypic and phenotypic space. Surprisingly, environment-specific influences of ploidy on reproduction were found to be the rule rather than the exception. These ploidy-environment interactions were well conserved across the 2 billion generations separating the two species, suggesting that they are the products of strong selection. Previous hypotheses of generalizable advantages of haploidy or diploidy in ecological contexts imposing nutrient restriction, toxin exposure, and elevated mutational loads were rejected in favor of more fine-grained models of the interplay between ecology and ploidy. On a molecular level, cell size and mating type locus composition had equal, but limited, explanatory power, each explaining 12.5%-17% of ploidy-environment interactions. The mechanism of the cell size-based superior reproductive efficiency of haploids during Li(+) exposure was traced to the Li(+) exporter ENA. Removal of the Ena transporters, forcing dependence on the Nha1 extrusion system, completely altered the effects of ploidy on Li(+) tolerance and evoked a strong diploid superiority, demonstrating how genetic variation at a single locus can completely reverse the relative merits of haploidy and diploidy. Taken together, our findings unmasked a dynamic interplay between ploidy and ecology that was of unpredicted evolutionary importance and had multiple molecular roots.
Fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) is a promising non-invasive index of airway inflammation that may be used to assess respiratory effects of air pollution. We evaluated FENO as a measure of airway inflammation after controlled exposure to diesel exhaust or ozone.
Light in the visible range can be stressful to non-photosynthetic organisms. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has earlier been reported to respond to blue light via activation of the stress-regulated transcription factor Msn2p. Environmental changes also induce activation of calcineurin, a Ca(2+)/calmodulin dependent phosphatase, which in turn controls gene transcription by dephosphorylating the transcription factor Crz1p. We investigated the connection between cellular stress caused by blue light and Ca(2+) signalling in yeast by monitoring the nuclear localization dynamics of Crz1p, Msn2p and Msn4p. The three proteins exhibit distinctly different stress responses in relation to light exposure. Msn2p, and to a lesser degree Msn4p, oscillate rapidly between the nucleus and the cytoplasm in an apparently stochastic fashion. Crz1p, in contrast, displays a rapid and permanent nuclear localization induced by illumination, which triggers Crz1p-dependent transcription of its target gene CMK2. Moreover, increased extracellular Ca(2+) levels stimulates the light-induced responses of all three transcription factors, e.g. Crz1p localizes much quicker to the nucleus and a larger fraction of cells exhibits permanent Msn2p nuclear localization at higher Ca(2+) concentration. Studies in mutants lacking Ca(2+) transporters indicate that influx of extracellular Ca(2+) is crucial for the initial stages of light-induced Crz1p nuclear localization, while mobilization of intracellular Ca(2+) stores appears necessary for a sustained response. Importantly, we found that Crz1p nuclear localization is dependent on calcineurin and the carrier protein Nmd5p, while not being affected by increased protein kinase A activity (PKA), which strongly inhibits light-induced nuclear localization of Msn2/4p. We conclude that the two central signalling pathways, cAMP-PKA-Msn2/4 and Ca(2+)-calcineurin-Crz1, are both activated by blue light illumination.
The euryhaline bay barnacle Balanus improvisus has one of the broadest salinity tolerances of any barnacle species. It is able to complete its life cycle in salinities close to freshwater (3 PSU) up to fully marine conditions (35 PSU) and is regarded as one of few truly brackish-water species. Na?/K? ATPase (NAK) has been shown to be important for osmoregulation when marine organisms are challenged by changing salinities, and we therefore cloned and examined the expression of different NAKs from B. improvisus. We found two main gene variants, NAK1 and NAK2, which were approximately 70% identical at the protein level. The NAK1 mRNA existed in a long and short variant with the encoded proteins differing only by 27 N-terminal amino acids. This N-terminal stretch was coded for by a separate exon, and the two variants of NAK1 mRNAs appeared to be created by alternative splicing. We furthermore showed that the two NAK1 isoforms were differentially expressed in different life stages and in various tissues of adult barnacle, i.e the long isoform was predominant in cyprids and in adult cirri. In barnacle cyprid larvae that were exposed to a combination of different salinities and pCO2 levels, the expression of the long NAK1 mRNA increased relative to the short in low salinities. We suggest that the alternatively spliced long variant of the Nak1 protein might be of importance for osmoregulation in B. improvisus in low salinity conditions.
The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe has been widely used to study eukaryotic cell biology, but almost all of this work has used derivatives of a single strain. We have studied 81 independent natural isolates and 3 designated laboratory strains of Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Schizosaccharomyces pombe varies significantly in size but shows only limited variation in proliferation in different environments compared with Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Nucleotide diversity, ?, at a near neutral site, the central core of the centromere of chromosome II is approximately 0.7%. Approximately 20% of the isolates showed karyotypic rearrangements as detected by pulsed field gel electrophoresis and filter hybridization analysis. One translocation, found in 6 different isolates, including the type strain, has a geographically widespread distribution and a unique haplotype and may be a marker of an incipient speciation event. All of the other translocations are unique. Exploitation of this karyotypic diversity may cast new light on both the biology of telomeres and centromeres and on isolating mechanisms in single-celled eukaryotes.
Exposure to road traffic and air pollution may be a trigger of acute myocardial infarction, but the individual pollutants responsible for this effect have not been established. We assess the role of combustion-derived-nanoparticles in mediating the adverse cardiovascular effects of air pollution.
Regulatory T cells have been implicated in the pathogenesis of COPD by the increased expression of CD25 on helper T cells along with enhanced intracellular expression of FoxP3 and low/absent CD127 expression on the cell surface.
A fundamental goal in biology is to achieve a mechanistic understanding of how and to what extent ecological variation imposes selection for distinct traits and favors the fixation of specific genetic variants. Key to such an understanding is the detailed mapping of the natural genomic and phenomic space and a bridging of the gap that separates these worlds. Here we chart a high-resolution map of natural trait variation in one of the most important genetic model organisms, the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and its closest wild relatives and trace the genetic basis and timing of major phenotype changing events in its recent history. We show that natural trait variation in S. cerevisiae exceeds that of its relatives, despite limited genetic variation, and follows the population history rather than the source environment. In particular, the West African population is phenotypically unique, with an extreme abundance of low-performance alleles, notably a premature translational termination signal in GAL3 that cause inability to utilize galactose. Our observations suggest that many S. cerevisiae traits may be the consequence of genetic drift rather than selection, in line with the assumption that natural yeast lineages are remnants of recent population bottlenecks. Disconcertingly, the universal type strain S288C was found to be highly atypical, highlighting the danger of extrapolating gene-trait connections obtained in mosaic, lab-domesticated lineages to the species as a whole. Overall, this study represents a step towards an in-depth understanding of the causal relationship between co-variation in ecology, selection pressure, natural traits, molecular mechanism, and alleles in a key model organism.
In controlled human exposure studies, diesel engine exhaust inhalation impairs vascular function and enhances thrombus formation. The aim of the present study was to establish whether an exhaust particle trap could prevent these adverse cardiovascular effects in men.
Protein overexpression based on introduction of multiple gene copies is well established. To improve purification or quantification, proteins are typically fused to peptide tags. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, this has been hampered by multicopy toxicity of the TAP and GFP cassettes used in the global strain collections. Here, we show that this effect is due to the EF-1? promoter in the HIS3MX marker cassette rather than the tags per se. This promoter is frequently used in heterologous marker cassettes, including HIS3MX, KanMX, NatMX, PatMX and HphMX. Toxicity could be eliminated by promoter replacement or exclusion of the marker cassette. To our knowledge, this is the first report of toxicity caused by introduction of a heterologous promoter alone.
Hantaviruses cause two clinical syndromes: hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). The clinical spectrum in HFRS also often involves respiratory symptoms. As information about the pulmonary pathogenesis in HFRS is limited, we aimed to further study the local airway immune response in the lower airways.
Phenotypic variation arising from populations adapting to different niches has a complex underlying genetic architecture. A major challenge in modern biology is to identify the causative variants driving phenotypic variation. Recently, the bakers yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae has emerged as a powerful model for dissecting complex traits. However, past studies using a laboratory strain were unable to reveal the complete architecture of polygenic traits. Here, we present a linkage study using 576 recombinant strains obtained from crosses of isolates representative of the major lineages. The meiotic recombinational landscape appears largely conserved between populations; however, strain-specific hotspots were also detected. Quantitative measurements of growth in 23 distinct ecologically relevant environments show that our recombinant population recapitulates most of the standing phenotypic variation described in the species. Linkage analysis detected an average of 6.3 distinct QTLs for each condition tested in all crosses, explaining on average 39% of the phenotypic variation. The QTLs detected are not constrained to a small number of loci, and the majority are specific to a single cross-combination and to a specific environment. Moreover, crosses between strains of similar phenotypes generate greater variation in the offspring, suggesting the presence of many antagonistic alleles and epistatic interactions. We found that subtelomeric regions play a key role in defining individual quantitative variation, emphasizing the importance of the adaptive nature of these regions in natural populations. This set of recombinant strains is a powerful tool for investigating the complex architecture of polygenic traits.
Conditional temperature-sensitive (ts) mutations are valuable reagents for studying essential genes in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We constructed 787 ts strains, covering 497 (?45%) of the 1,101 essential yeast genes, with ?30% of the genes represented by multiple alleles. All of the alleles are integrated into their native genomic locus in the S288C common reference strain and are linked to a kanMX selectable marker, allowing further genetic manipulation by synthetic genetic array (SGA)-based, high-throughput methods. We show two such manipulations: barcoding of 440 strains, which enables chemical-genetic suppression analysis, and the construction of arrays of strains carrying different fluorescent markers of subcellular structure, which enables quantitative analysis of phenotypes using high-content screening. Quantitative analysis of a GFP-tubulin marker identified roles for cohesin and condensin genes in spindle disassembly. This mutant collection should facilitate a wide range of systematic studies aimed at understanding the functions of essential genes.
Diesel exhaust (DE) is an important component in traffic-related air pollution, associated with adverse health effects. DE generated at idling has been demonstrated to induce inflammation in human airways, in terms of inflammatory cell recruitment, enhanced expression of vascular endothelial adhesion molecules, cytokines, mitogen-activated protein kinases, and transcription factors in the bronchial epithelium.
Growth rate is an important variable and parameter in biology with a central role in evolutionary, functional genomics, and systems biology studies. In this review the pros and cons of the different technologies presently available for high-throughput measurements of growth rate are discussed. Growth rate can be measured in liquid microcultivation of individual strains, in competition between strains, as growing colonies on agar, as division of individual cells, and estimated from molecular reporters. Irrespective of methodology, statistical issues such as spatial biases and batch effects are crucial to investigate and correct for to ensure low false discovery rates. The rather low correlations between studies indicate that cross-laboratory comparison and standardization are pressing issue to assure high-quality and comparable growth-rate data.
Exposure to air pollution is associated with increases in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. This study was undertaken to determine the effect of diesel exhaust inhalation on heart rhythm and heart rate variability in healthy volunteers and patients with coronary heart disease.
Exposure to traffic-derived air pollutants, particularly diesel emissions, has been associated with adverse health effects, predominantly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory disease. Here the hypothesis that this heightened sensitivity reflects an augmentation of the transient inflammatory response previously reported in healthy adults exposed to diesel exhaust is examined.
Light exposure is a potentially powerful stress factor during in vivo optical microscopy studies. In yeast, the general transcription factor Msn2p translocates from the cytoplasm to the nucleus in response to illumination. However, previous time-lapse fluorescence microscopy studies of Msn2p have utilized a variety of discrete exposure settings, which makes it difficult to correlate stress levels and illumination parameters. We here investigate how continuous illumination with blue light, corresponding to GFP excitation wavelengths, affects the localization pattern of Msn2p-GFP in budding yeast. The localization pattern was analyzed using a novel approach that combines wavelet decomposition and change point analysis. It was found that the Msn2p nucleocytoplasmic localization trajectories for individual cells exhibit up to three distinct and successive states; i) Msn2p localizes to the cytoplasm; ii) Msn2p rapidly shuttles between the cytoplasm and the nucleus; iii) Msn2p localizes to the nucleus. Many cells pass through all states consecutively at high light intensities, while at lower light intensities most cells only reach states i) or ii). This behaviour strongly indicates that continuous light exposure gradually increases the stress level over time, presumably through continuous accumulation of toxic photoproducts, thereby forcing the cell through a bistable region corresponding to nucleocytoplasmic oscillations. We also show that the localization patterns are dependent on protein kinase A (PKA) activity, i.e. yeast cells with constantly low PKA activity showed a stronger stress response. In particular, the nucleocytoplasmic oscillation frequency was found to be significantly higher for cells with low PKA activity for all light intensities.
Despite a century of research and increasing environmental and human health concerns, the mechanistic basis of the toxicity of derivatives of the metalloid tellurium, Te, in particular the oxyanion tellurite, Te(IV), remains unsolved. Here, we provide an unbiased view of the mechanisms of tellurium metabolism in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae by measuring deviations in Te-related traits of a complete collection of gene knockout mutants. Reduction of Te(IV) and intracellular accumulation as metallic tellurium strongly correlated with loss of cellular fitness, suggesting that Te(IV) reduction and toxicity are causally linked. The sulfate assimilation pathway upstream of Met17, in particular, the sulfite reductase and its cofactor siroheme, was shown to be central to tellurite toxicity and its reduction to elemental tellurium. Gene knockout mutants with altered Te(IV) tolerance also showed a similar deviation in tolerance to both selenite and, interestingly, selenomethionine, suggesting that the toxicity of these agents stems from a common mechanism. We also show that Te(IV) reduction and toxicity in yeast is partially mediated via a mitochondrial respiratory mechanism that does not encompass the generation of substantial oxidative stress. The results reported here represent a robust base from which to attack the mechanistic details of Te(IV) toxicity and reduction in a eukaryotic organism.
G protein-coupled octopamine receptors of insects and other invertebrates represent counterparts of adrenoceptors in vertebrate animals. The alpha(2)-adrenoceptor agonist medetomidine, which is in clinical use as a veterinary sedative agent, was discovered to inhibit the settling process of barnacles, an important step in the ontogeny of this crustacean species. Settling of barnacles onto ship hulls leads to biofouling that has many harmful practical consequences, and medetomidine is currently under development as a novel type of antifouling agent. We now report that medetomidine induces hyperactivity in the barnacle larvae to disrupt the settling process. To identify the molecular targets of medetomidine, we cloned five octopamine receptors from the barnacle Balanus improvisus. We show by phylogenetic analyses that one receptor (BiOctalpha) belongs to the alpha-adrenoceptor-like subfamily, and the other four (BiOctbeta-R1, BiOctbeta-R2, BiOctbeta-R3, and BiOctbeta-R4) belong to the beta-adrenoceptor-like octopamine receptor subfamily. Phylogenetic analyses also indicated that B. improvisus has a different repertoire of beta-adrenoceptor-like octopamine receptors than insects. When expressed in CHO cells, the cloned receptors were activated by both octopamine and medetomidine, resulting in increased intracellular cAMP or calcium levels. Tyramine activated the receptors but with much lesser potency than octopamine. A hypothesis for receptor discrimination between tyramine and octopamine was generated from a homology three-dimensional model. The characterization of B. improvisus octopamine receptors is important for a better functional understanding of these receptors in crustaceans as well as for practical applications in development of environmentally sustainable antifouling agents.
Biomass combustion contributes to the production of ambient particulate matter (PM) in rural environments as well as urban settings, but relatively little is known about the health effects of these emissions. The aim of this study was therefore to characterize airway responses in humans exposed to wood smoke PM under controlled conditions. Nineteen healthy volunteers were exposed to both wood smoke, at a particulate matter (PM2.5) concentration of 224 ± 22 ?g/m3, and filtered air for three hours with intermittent exercise. The wood smoke was generated employing an experimental set-up with an adjustable wood pellet boiler system under incomplete combustion. Symptoms, lung function, and exhaled NO were measured over exposures, with bronchoscopy performed 24 h post-exposure for characterisation of airway inflammatory and antioxidant responses in airway lavages.
A suggested role for T cells in COPD pathogenesis is based on associations between increased lung cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CD8+) numbers and airflow limitation. CD69 is an early T cell activation marker. Natural Killer cell group 2 D (NKG2D) receptors are co-stimulatory molecules induced on CD8+ T cells upon activation. The activating function of NKG2 D is triggered by binding to MHC class 1 chain-related (MIC) molecules A and B, expressed on surface of stressed epithelial cells. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of MIC A and B in the bronchial epithelium and NKG2 D and CD69 on BAL lymphocytes in subjects with COPD, compared to smokers with normal lung function and healthy never-smokers.
Traffic emissions including diesel engine exhaust are associated with increased respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Controlled human exposure studies have demonstrated impaired vascular function after inhalation of exhaust generated by a diesel engine under idling conditions.
Exposure to air pollution is associated with increased cardiorespiratory morbidity and mortality. It is unclear whether these effects are mediated through combustion-derived particulate matter or gaseous components, such as nitrogen dioxide.
Exposure to elevated concentrations of ozone, a common air pollutant, has been associated with numerous adverse health effects. We have previously reported the time-course of ozone-induced airway inflammation, demonstrating an early up-regulation of vascular endothelial adhesion molecules in bronchial mucosa at 1.5 hours, followed by a neutrophilic infiltration 6 hours after exposure to 0.2 ppm ozone. We hypothesized that the neutrophilic infiltration in the bronchial mucosa would reflect an early increase in bronchial epithelial expression of redox-sensitive transcription factors and kinases regulating neutrophil chemoattractant expression. To test this hypothesis, endobronchial biopsies were obtained from healthy human subjects (n = 11) 1.5 hours after 0.2 ppm of ozone and filtered air exposures (lasting for 2 hours) and stained for mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), transcription factors, and neutrophil chemoattractants. Total epithelial staining was quantified, as well as the extent of nuclear translocation. Contrary to expectation, ozone significantly suppressed total and nuclear expression of nuclear factor kappaB (NFkappaB) in bronchial epithelial cells (p = 0.02 and p = 0.003 respectively). Similarly, the total staining for phosphorylated C-jun was suppressed (p = 0.021). Expression of interleukin 8 (IL-8) in the bronchial epithelium was likewise decreased after ozone (p = 0.018), while GRO-alpha, ENA-78, C-fos, p-p38, p-JNK, and p-ERK stainings were unchanged. These data suggest that the redox-sensitive NFkappaB and activator protein 1 (AP-1) pathways within the human bronchial epithelium do not seem to be involved in the early inflammatory cell recruitment pathways in healthy subjects exposed to ozone.
Diesel exhaust inhalation impairs vascular function, and, although the underlying mechanism remains unclear, endothelin (ET) 1 and NO are potential mediators. The aim of this study was to identify whether diesel exhaust inhalation affects the vascular actions of ET-1 in humans. In a randomized, double-blind crossover study, 13 healthy male volunteers were exposed to either filtered air or dilute diesel exhaust (331+/-13 microg/m(3)). Plasma concentrations of ET-1 and big-ET-1 were determined at baseline and throughout the 24-hour study period. Bilateral forearm blood flow was measured 2 hours after the exposure during infusion of either ET-1 (5 pmol/min) or the ET(A) receptor antagonist, BQ-123 (10 nmol/min) alone and in combination with the ET(B) receptor antagonist, BQ-788 (1 nmol/min). Diesel exhaust exposure had no effect on plasma ET-1 and big-ET-1 concentrations (P>0.05 for both) or 24-hour mean blood pressure or heart rate (P>0.05 for all). ET-1 infusion increased plasma ET-1 concentrations by 58% (P<0.01) but caused vasoconstriction only after diesel exhaust exposure (-17% versus 2% after air; P<0.001). In contrast, diesel exhaust exposure reduced vasodilatation to isolated BQ-123 infusion (20% versus 59% after air; P<0.001) but had no effect on vasodilatation to combined BQ-123 and BQ-788 administration (P>0.05). Diesel exhaust inhalation increases vascular sensitivity to ET-1 and reduces vasodilatation to ET(A) receptor antagonism despite unchanged plasma ET-1 concentrations. Given the tonic interaction between the ET and NO systems, we conclude that diesel exhaust inhalation alters vascular reactivity to ET-1 probably through its effects on NO bioavailability.
We utilized the nuclear localization of a stress-sensitive transcription factor, Msn2p, to study light-induced stress caused by time-lapse fluorescence imaging of green fluorescent protein (GFP) in budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. A range of exposure times, light intensities and intervals between exposures were tested in order to provide guidelines for noninvasive imaging. We found that the cellular response, revealed as an enhanced nuclear shuttling of Msn2p-GFP, is induced at significantly lower light exposures than those causing observable changes in cell morphology or cell growth. However, no stress induction was observed if the accumulated photon energy per area unit used to obtain an image was maintained at 0.16 J cm(-2) or below. Above this safe level, the stress response is determined by both the intensity and the exposure time. In particular, for a given accumulated photon energy per area unit, a high intensity applied during a short exposure causes more stress than vice versa. Interestingly, no correlation was found between the degree of stress and the absolute fluorescence signal, indicating that light-induced cellular stress in the studied system is not specifically related to GFP excitation.
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae protein Tfs1p is known as a dual protein. On the one hand, it inhibits the carboxypeptidase Y protease, and on the other, it inhibits Ira2p, a GTPase-activating protein of Ras. We managed to dissect precise areas of Tfs1p specifically involved in only one of those functions. Based on these data, specific Tfs1p point mutants affected in only one of these two functions were constructed. In order to obtain insights on the physiological role of these functions, systematic phenotypic tests were performed on strains expressing these specific Tfs1p mutants. The results obtained demonstrate that the inhibition of Ira2p by Tfs1p is the predominant function under the conditions tested.
The aim of the study was to characterize ozone-induced antioxidant responses in the human airway, including the resident leukocyte population, bronchial mucosa, and respiratory-tract lining fluids. Fifteen healthy subjects were exposed to 0.2 ppm ozone for 2 h, with bronchial wash, bronchoalveolar lavage, and biopsy sampling performed 6 h postexposure. Nasal lavage was also performed at multiple time points pre- and postexposure to evaluate responses during the actual exposure period. During the ozone challenge significant losses of nasal lining fluid urate and vitamin C were observed, which resolved 6 h postexposure. At this time point, increased numbers of neutrophils and enhanced concentrations of total glutathione, vitamin C, and urate were seen in bronchial airway lavages. In bronchoalveolar lavage, increased concentrations of total glutathione, vitamin C, urate, alpha-tocopherol, and extracellular superoxide dismutase occurred 6 h post ozone. In alveolar leukocytes significant losses of glutathione were observed, whereas ascorbate concentrations in endobronchial mucosal biopsies were elevated after ozone at this time. These data demonstrate that ozone elicits a broad spectrum of airway antioxidant responses, with initial losses of vitamin C and urate followed by a phase of augmentation of low-molecular-weight antioxidant concentrations at the air-lung interface. The temporal association between the increased RTLF glutathione following ozone and the loss of this thiol from macrophages implies a mobilization to the lung surface, despite the absence of a quantitative association. We propose this constitutes an acute protective adaptation to ozone.
Cellular signalling networks integrate environmental stimuli with the information on cellular status. These networks must be robust against stochastic fluctuations in stimuli as well as in the amounts of signalling components. Here, we challenge the yeast HOG signal-transduction pathway with systematic perturbations in components expression levels under various external conditions in search for nodes of fragility. We observe a substantially higher frequency of fragile nodes in this signal-transduction pathway than that has been observed for other cellular processes. These fragilities disperse without any clear pattern over biochemical functions or location in pathway topology and they are largely independent of pathway activation by external stimuli. However, the strongest toxicities are caused by pathway hyperactivation. In silico analysis highlights the impact of model structure on in silico robustness, and suggests complex formation and scaffolding as important contributors to the observed fragility patterns. Thus, in vivo robustness data can be used to discriminate and improve mathematical models.
Urate is the terminal product of purine metabolism in primates, including humans. Urate is also an efficient scavenger of oxidizing species and is thought to be an important antioxidant in human body fluids. Allantoin, the major oxidation product of urate, has been suggested as a candidate biomarker of oxidative stress because it is not produced metabolically. Although urate is converted to allantoin under strongly alkaline pH, such conditions have been used in the past to facilitate extraction of allantoin. We evolved a method for the determination of allantoin concentrations in human plasma and serum by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry without such artifact. With this method, we show that alkaline conditions do indeed cause breakdown of urate, leading to significant overestimation of allantoin concentration in human samples. By using our alternative method, serum samples from 98 volunteers were analyzed, and allantoin levels were found to be significantly lower than was previously reported. The in vivo utility and sensitivity of our method was further evaluated in human nasal-lining fluids. We were able to demonstrate an ozone-induced increase in allantoin, in the absence of increases in either ascorbate or glutathione oxidation products.
Low molecular weight antioxidants within human respiratory tract lining fluids (RTLFs) have been proposed to confer protection against the damaging action of inhaled oxidant gases. There is therefore considerable interest in augmenting the concentrations of these moieties at the air-lung interface to protect against injury to the airway epithelium, the induction of inflammation, and declines in lung function. To determine whether RTLF ascorbate concentrations could be augmented through vitamin C supplementation, 24 healthy subjects with low plasma ascorbate (< 50 microM) were recruited into a double-blinded study. Subjects were divided into two groups, one receiving 60 mg/day of vitamin C for 14 days, the other placebo. On days 8 and 15 of this protocol, plasma, urine, and nasal lavage were obtained for ascorbate determination. After a 7-14-day non-intervention period, subjects previously on placebo received supplements containing 125 mg ascorbate, whilst the group previously on supplements received the placebo compound. This "switching" protocol was repeated three more times utilizing 250, 500, and 1000 mg/day ascorbate dosage regimens. Plasma ascorbate increased incrementally with vitamin C dose, as did its urinary excretion. Despite this, nasal lavage concentrations remained unaltered 24 h after the final supplement at all doses. Closer examination of this issue demonstrated that nasal lavage ascorbate concentrations increased acutely after ingestion of a high dose (1000 mg) supplement, peaking at 2-4 h (p < 0.05) before returning to baseline concentrations 24 h post-supplement. In the absence of a quantitative association between plasma and lavage ascorbate concentrations we contend that this response does not simply reflect ascorbate transudation from the plasma and interstitial space into the lavage medium. We therefore conclude that RTLF ascorbate can be augmented, albeit transiently, by oral vitamin C supplementation, with the transient nature of this response likely reflecting oxidative losses within the RTLF or its sequestration into airway cells.
The mechanisms behind airway inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are still not well understood. Here we investigated lymphocyte subtypes in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, likely to be involved in the pathogenesis of COPD, as well as exploring the effect of smoking cessation. Differential cell counts and T cell subsets were determined in BAL fluid from nineteen individuals with stable COPD (seven smokers, twelve ex-smokers) compared to twelve age-matched never-smokers and thirteen smoking-matched smokers with normal lung function. COPD-patients had higher percentages of airway CD8(+) T cells compared to never-smokers. An increased population of CD4(+) T cells expressed high levels of CD25 in smokers and COPD patients compared to never-smokers, suggesting the presence of regulatory T cells. As the T cell populations in smokers with normal lung function and COPD-patients were similar, the impact of current smoking in COPD was addressed in a subgroup analysis. Activation of CD8(+) T cells was found regardless of smoking habits. In contrast, the enhanced expression of gamma/delta T cells, was mainly associated with current smoking, whilst the increase in T regulatory cells appeared related to both smoking and COPD. Regardless of smoking habits, CD8(+) T cell activation was found in COPD, supporting the contention that this T cell subset may play a role in the pathogenesis of COPD. As CD8(+) T cells coexist with immunoregulatory CD4(+) T cells in airways of COPD patients, it is likely that both cytotoxic T-cell responses and immunosuppressive mechanisms may be of importance in COPD pathogenesis.
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disorder, which frequently affects the lungs, with manifestations of interstitial lung disease (ILD) with lung fibrosis and of pulmonary hypertension. The pathogenesis remains largely unrecognised.
Exposure to air pollution is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity, although the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Vascular dysfunction reduces arterial compliance and increases central arterial pressure and left ventricular after-load. We determined the effect of diesel exhaust exposure on arterial compliance using a validated non-invasive measure of arterial stiffness.
Clumping of gene properties like expression or mutant phenotypes along chromosomes is commonly detected using completely random null-models where their location is equally likely across the chromosomes. Interpretation of statistical tests based on these assumptions may be misleading if dependencies exist that are unequal between chromosomes or in different chromosomal parts. One such regional dependency is the telomeric effect, observed in several studies of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, under which e.g. essential genes are less likely to reside near the chromosomal ends. In this study we demonstrate that standard randomisation test procedures are of limited applicability in the presence of telomeric effects. Several extensions of such standard tests are here suggested for handling clumping simultaneously with regional differences in essentiality frequencies in sub-telomeric and central gene positions. Furthermore, a general non-homogeneous discrete Markov approach for combining parametrically modelled position dependent probabilities of a dichotomous property with a simple single parameter clumping is suggested. This Markov model is adapted to the observed telomeric effects and then simulations are used to demonstrate properties of the suggested modified randomisation tests. The model is also applied as a direct alternative tool for statistical analysis of the S. cerevisiae genome for clumping of phenotypes.
Since the completion of the genome sequence of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in 1996 (refs 1, 2), there has been a large increase in complete genome sequences, accompanied by great advances in our understanding of genome evolution. Although little is known about the natural and life histories of yeasts in the wild, there are an increasing number of studies looking at ecological and geographic distributions, population structure and sexual versus asexual reproduction. Less well understood at the whole genome level are the evolutionary processes acting within populations and species that lead to adaptation to different environments, phenotypic differences and reproductive isolation. Here we present one- to fourfold or more coverage of the genome sequences of over seventy isolates of the bakers yeast S. cerevisiae and its closest relative, Saccharomyces paradoxus. We examine variation in gene content, single nucleotide polymorphisms, nucleotide insertions and deletions, copy numbers and transposable elements. We find that phenotypic variation broadly correlates with global genome-wide phylogenetic relationships. S. paradoxus populations are well delineated along geographic boundaries, whereas the variation among worldwide S. cerevisiae isolates shows less differentiation and is comparable to a single S. paradoxus population. Rather than one or two domestication events leading to the extant bakers yeasts, the population structure of S. cerevisiae consists of a few well-defined, geographically isolated lineages and many different mosaics of these lineages, supporting the idea that human influence provided the opportunity for cross-breeding and production of new combinations of pre-existing variations.
Air pollution is increasingly recognized as an important and modifiable determinant of cardiovascular disease in urban communities. Acute exposure has been linked to a range of adverse cardiovascular events including hospital admissions with angina, myocardial infarction, and heart failure. Long-term exposure increases an individuals lifetime risk of death from coronary heart disease. The main arbiter of these adverse health effects seems to be combustion-derived nanoparticles that incorporate reactive organic and transition metal components. Inhalation of this particulate matter leads to pulmonary inflammation with secondary systemic effects or, after translocation from the lung into the circulation, to direct toxic cardiovascular effects. Through the induction of cellular oxidative stress and proinflammatory pathways, particulate matter augments the development and progression of atherosclerosis via detrimental effects on platelets, vascular tissue, and the myocardium. These effects seem to underpin the atherothrombotic consequences of acute and chronic exposure to air pollution. An increased understanding of the mediators and mechanisms of these processes is necessary if we are to develop strategies to protect individuals at risk and reduce the effect of air pollution on cardiovascular disease.
Exposure to trichloramine (NCl(3)) in indoor swimming-pool environments is known to cause mucous membrane irritation, but if it gives rise to changes in lung function or asthma in adults is not known. (1) We determined lung function in volunteers before and after exposure to indoor pool environments. (2) We studied the occurrence of respiratory symptoms and asthma in a cohort of pool workers. DESIGN/METHODS/PARTICIPANTS: (1) We studied two groups of volunteers, 37 previously non-exposed healthy persons and 14 pool workers, who performed exercise for 2 h in an indoor pool environment. NCl(3) in air was measured during pool exposures and in 10 other pool environments. Filtered air exposures were used as controls. Lung function and biomarkers of pulmonary epithelial integrity were measured before and after exposure. (2) We mailed a questionnaire to 1741 persons who indicated in the Swedish census 1990 that they worked at indoor swimming-pools.
Air pollution, mainly from combustion, is one of the leading global health risk factors. A susceptible group is the more than 200 million people worldwide suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). There are few data on lung deposition of airborne particles in patients with COPD and none for combustion particles.
A fundamental question in biology is whether variation in organisms primarily emerges as a function of adaptation or as a function of neutral genetic drift. Trait variation in the model organism bakers yeast follows population bottlenecks rather than environmental boundaries suggesting that it primarily results from genetic drift. Based on the yeast life history, we hypothesized that population-specific loss-of-function mutations emerging in genes recently released from selection is the predominant cause of trait variation within the species. As retention of one functional copy of a gene in diploid yeasts is typically sufficient to maintain completely unperturbed performance, we also conjectured that a crossing of natural yeasts from populations with different loss-of-function mutations would provide a further efficient test bed for this hypothesis. Charting the first species-wide map of trait inheritance in a eukaryotic organism, we found trait heredity to be strongly biased toward diploid hybrid performance exactly mimicking the performance of the best of the parents, as expected given a complete dominance of functional over nonfunctional alleles. Best parent heterosis, partial dominance, and negative nonadditivity were all rare phenomena. Nonadditive inheritance was observed primarily in crosses involving at least one very poor performing parent, most frequently of the West African population, and when molecularly dissected, loss-of-function alleles were identified as the underlying cause. These findings provide support for that population-specific loss-of-function mutations do have a strong impact on genotype-phenotype maps and underscores the role of neutral genetic drift as a driver for trait variation within species.
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