Various important biological pathways are modulated by TGF? isoforms; as such they are potential targets for therapeutic intervention. Fresolimumab, also known as GC1008, is a pan-TGF? neutralizing antibody that has been tested clinically for several indications including an ongoing trial for focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. The structure of the antigen-binding fragment of fresolimumab (GC1008 Fab) in complex with TGF?3 has been reported previously, but the structural capacity of fresolimumab to accommodate tight interactions with TGF?1 and TGF?2 was insufficiently understood. We report the crystal structure of the single-chain variable fragment of fresolimumab (GC1008 scFv) in complex with target TGF?1 to a resolution of 3.00 Å and the crystal structure of GC1008 Fab in complex with TGF?2 to 2.83 Å. The structures provide further insight into the details of TGF? recognition by fresolimumab, give a clear indication of the determinants of fresolimumab pan-specificity and provide potential starting points for the development of isoform-specific antibodies using a fresolimumab scaffold.
Obesity and consumption of a high-fat diet are known to increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Diets high in fat also increase disease neuropathology and/or cognitive deficits in AD mouse models. However, the effect of a high-fat diet on both the neuropathology and memory impairments in the triple-transgenic mouse model of AD (3xTgAD) is unknown. Therefore, groups of 2-month-old male 3xTgAD and control (non-Tg) mice were maintained on a high-fat or control diet and memory was assessed at the age of 3-4, 7-8, 11-12, and 15-16 months using a series of behavioral tests. A comparable increase in body weight was observed in non-Tg and 3xTgAD mice after high-fat feeding at all ages tested but a significantly greater increase in epididymal adipose tissue was observed in 3xTgAD mice at the age of 7-8, 11-12, and 15-16 months. A high-fat diet caused memory impairments in non-Tg control mice as early as the age of 3-4 months. In 3xTgAD mice, high-fat consumption led to a reduction in the age of onset and an increase in the extent of memory impairments. Some of these effects of high-fat diet on cognition in non-Tg and 3xTgAD mice were transient, and the age at which cognitive impairment was detected depended on the behavioral test. The effect of high-fat diet on memory in the 3xTgAD mice was independent of changes in AD neuropathology as no significant differences in (plaques, oligomers) or tau neuropathology were observed. An acute increase in microglial activation was seen in high-fat fed 3xTgAD mice at the age of 3-4 months but in non-Tg control mice microglial activation was not observed until the age of 15-16 months. These data indicate therefore that a high-fat diet has rapid and long-lasting negative effects on memory in both control and AD mice that are associated with neuroinflammation, but independent of changes in beta amyloid and tau neuropathology in the AD mice.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is not normally diagnosed until later in life, although evidence suggests that the disease starts at a much earlier age. Risk factors for AD, such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity, are known to have their affects during mid-life, though events very early in life, including maternal over-nutrition, can predispose offspring to develop these conditions. This study tested whether over-nutrition during pregnancy and lactation affected the development of AD in offspring, using a transgenic AD mouse model. Female triple-transgenic AD dam mice (3xTgAD) were exposed to a high-fat (60% energy from fat) or control diet during pregnancy and lactation. After weaning (at 3 weeks of age), female offspring were placed on a control diet and monitored up until 12 months of age during which time behavioural tests were performed. A transient increase in body weight was observed in 4-week-old offspring 3xTgAD mice from dams fed a high-fat diet. However, by 5 weeks of age the body weight of 3xTgAD mice from the maternal high-fat fed group was no different when compared to control-fed mice. A maternal high-fat diet led to a significant impairment in memory in 2- and 12-month-old 3xTgAD offspring mice when compared to offspring from control fed dams. These effects of a maternal high-fat diet on memory were accompanied by a significant increase (50%) in the number of tau positive neurones in the hippocampus. These data demonstrate that a high-fat diet during pregnancy and lactation increases memory impairments in female 3xTgAD mice and suggest that early life events during development might influence the onset and progression of AD later in life.
In common interest games in which players are motivated to coordinate their strategies to achieve a jointly optimal outcome, orthodox game theory provides no general reason or justification for choosing the required strategies. In the simplest cases, where the optimal strategies are intuitively obvious, human decision makers generally coordinate without difficulty, but how they achieve this is poorly understood. Most theories seeking to explain strategic coordination have limited applicability, or require changes to the game specification, or introduce implausible assumptions or radical departures from fundamental game-theoretic assumptions. The theory of strong Stackelberg reasoning, according to which players choose strategies that would maximize their own payoffs if their co-players could invariably anticipate any strategy and respond with a best reply to it, avoids these problems and explains strategic coordination in all dyadic common interest games. Previous experimental evidence has provided evidence for strong Stackelberg reasoning in asymmetric games. Here we report evidence from two experiments consistent with players being influenced by strong Stackelberg reasoning in a wide variety of symmetric 3 × 3 games but tending to revert to other choice criteria when strong Stackelberg reasoning generates small payoffs.
Stroke represents an unresolved challenge for both developed and developing countries and has a huge socio-economic impact. Although considerable effort has been made to limit stroke incidence and improve outcome, strategies aimed at protecting injured neurons in the brain have all failed. This failure is likely to be due to both the incompleteness of modelling the disease and its causes in experimental research, and also the lack of understanding of how systemic mechanisms lead to an acute cerebrovascular event or contribute to outcome. Inflammation has been implicated in all forms of brain injury and it is now clear that immune mechanisms profoundly influence (and are responsible for the development of) risk and causation of stroke, and the outcome following the onset of cerebral ischemia. Until very recently, systemic inflammatory mechanisms, with respect to common comorbidities in stroke, have largely been ignored in experimental studies. The main aim is therefore to understand interactions between the immune system and brain injury in order to develop novel therapeutic approaches. Recent data from clinical and experimental research clearly show that systemic inflammatory diseases -such as atherosclerosis, obesity, diabetes or infection - similar to stress and advanced age, are associated with dysregulated immune responses which can profoundly contribute to cerebrovascular inflammation and injury in the central nervous system. In this review, we summarize recent advances in the field of inflammation and stroke, focusing on the challenges of translation between pre-clinical and clinical studies, and potential anti-inflammatory/immunomodulatory therapeutic approaches.
Mast cells are increasingly being recognized as effector cells in many cardiovascular conditions. Many mast-cell-derived products such as tryptase and chymase can, through their enzymic action, have detrimental effects on blood vessel structure while mast cell-derived mediators such as cytokines and chemokines can perpetuate vascular inflammation. Mice lacking mast cells have been developed and these are providing an insight into how mast cells are involved in cardiovascular diseases and, as knowledge increase, mast cells may become a viable therapeutic target to slow progression of cardiovascular disease.
Evidence suggests women with breast cancer who had received chemotherapy experienced cognitive problems. Although these are largely subtle deficits, they can negatively impact a patients quality of life, ability to work, and subsequent employment decisions.
Galanin-like peptide (GALP) was discovered in 1999 in the porcine hypothalamus and was found to be a 60 amino-acid neuropeptide. GALP shares sequence homology to galanin (1-13) in position 9-21 and can bind to and activate the three galanin receptor subtypes (GalR1-3). GALP-expressing cells are limited, and are mainly found in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC) and the posterior pituitary. GALP-positive neurons in the ARC, project to several brain regions where they appear to make contact with several neuromodulators that are involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis and reproduction, anatomical evidence that suggests a role for GALP in these physiological functions. In support of this idea, GALP gene expression is regulated by several factors that reflect metabolic state including the metabolic hormones leptin and insulin, thyroid hormones, and blood glucose. Considerable evidence now exists to support the hypothesis that GALP has a role in the regulation of energy homeostasis and reproduction; and, that that GALPs role may be independent of the known galanin receptors. In this chapter we (1) provide an overview of the distribution of GALP, and discuss the potential relationship between GALP and other neuromodulators of energy homeostasis and reproduction, (2) discuss the metabolic factors that regulate GALP expression, (3) review the evidence for the role of GALP in energy homeostasis and reproduction, (4) discuss the potential downstream mediators and mechanisms underlying GALPs effects, and (5) discuss the possibility that GALP may mediate its effects via an as yet unidentified GALP-specific receptor.
This article examines disparities in health and healthcare for Latina women. It draws on existing literature and descriptive data from a study with Latinas. Mortality rates, leading causes of death, and reproductive health are well-documented. Little information is available on the health and chronic health conditions severely inflicting Latinas such as heart disease and diabetes. Despite advances regarding reproductive care and screening procedures, Latinas still experience inequities in healthcare insurance and utilization. Study findings indicate higher rates of diabetes and hypertension than Latinas nationwide and reasons for delaying seeking healthcare. Directions for future research and policy recommendations are explored.
Many people hear voices but do not access psychiatric services and their experiences are largely unknown, not least because of the difficulty in contacting such people. This study investigates the beliefs held about voices, distress experienced, and provides a topographical account of the experience of hearing voices in a sample of individuals who hear voices in a non-psychiatric population.
Galanin-like peptide (GALP) was discovered in 1999 in the porcine hypothalamus and was found to be a 60 amino acid neuropeptide. GALP shares sequence homology to galanin (1-13) in position 9-21 and can bind to, as well as activate, the three galanin receptor subtypes (GalR1-3). GALP-expressing cells are limited, and are mainly found in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC) and the posterior pituitary. GALP-positive neurons in the ARC project to several brain regions where they appear to make contact with multiple neuromodulators. These neuromodulators are involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis and reproduction, anatomical evidence that suggests a role for GALP in these physiological functions. In support of this idea, GALP gene expression is regulated by several factors that reflect metabolic state including the metabolic hormones leptin and insulin, thyroid hormones, and blood glucose. Considerable evidence now exists to support the hypothesis that GALP has a role in the regulation of energy homeostasis and reproduction; and, that GALPs role may be independent of the known galanin receptors. In this review, we (1) provide an overview of the distribution of GALP, and discuss the potential relationship between GALP and other neuromodulators of energy homeostasis and reproduction, (2) discuss the metabolic factors that regulate GALP expression, (3) review the evidence for the role of GALP in energy homeostasis and reproduction, (4) discuss the potential downstream mediators and mechanisms underlying GALPs effects, and (5) discuss the possibility that GALP may mediate its effects via an as yet unidentified GALP-specific receptor.
A common feature of Alzheimers disease (AD) is weight loss, even though there is often an increase in food intake in AD patients. The reasons for this weight loss are unknown, but may be due to increased energy expenditure (metabolic rate) or a reduction in energy intake. This was investigated in the present study, using a triple-transgenic (3xTgAD) mouse model of AD. Two-month-old 3xTgAD mice displayed greater food intake (17%) and body weight (34%) but no difference in metabolic rate, as compared with nontransgenic controls (non-Tg). At 12 months of age, 3xTgAD mice still consumed more food (30%), but their body weight was significantly lower (15%) than non-Tg controls. This reduction in body weight was accompanied by a significant rise in metabolic rate, indicated by greater oxygen consumption (24%) and carbon dioxide production (29%); the effects were also observed in 18-month-old 3xTgAD mice. These data demonstrate for the first time the existence of a hypermetabolic state in an experimental model of AD, but whether this can explain the weight loss observed in AD patients remains to be determined.
Obesity is an independent risk factor for stroke and is associated with poorer outcome after stroke. We investigated whether this poorer outcome is related to brain microvascular disruption. Focal cerebral ischaemia was induced in lean or obese (ob/ob) mice by transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. The incidence of haemorrhagic transformation and the volume of ischaemic brain damage were significantly greater in obese mice. Blood-brain barrier permeability and brain microvascular MMP-9 expression were also markedly increased in obese mice. These effects were independent of leptin or glycaemic status, suggesting that obesity potentiates brain microvascular disruption after experimental stroke.
Galanin-like peptide (GALP) is a neuropeptide that is thought to play a role in the regulation of energy balance. However, the effects of GALP on food intake and body weight appear to be complex. In rats, central administration of GALP initially stimulates food intake, an effect that is followed by a reduction in food intake and body weight, whereas in mice, GALP has an anorectic action only. In rats and mice, GALP also causes a prostaglandin-dependent increase in core body temperature. These anorectic effects of GALP are similar to those observed after central administration of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1 (IL-1). This review will discuss the evidence for the dichotomous actions of GALP on energy balance, and the potential mechanisms involved. I also describe a role for IL-1 in mediating the anorectic and febrile actions of GALP, and consider the possibility that GALP may act like an inflammatory mediator.
The T helper type 2 (Th2) mediated expulsion of the gastrointestinal nematode Trichinella spiralis requires interleukin-4 receptor alpha (IL-4Ralpha) expression on both bone-marrow-derived and non-bone-marrow-derived cells. To more definitively investigate the role of IL-4/IL-13 responsiveness in the development of protective immunity to T. spiralis, cell-specific IL-4Ralpha signalling on CD4(+) T cells (Lck(cre) IL-4Ralpha(-/flox)) and macrophages/neutrophils (LysM(cre) IL-4Ralpha(-/flox)) was analysed on the BALB/c background. Infection of wild-type and control IL-4Ralpha(-/flox) mice induced a Th2-type immune response with elevated IL-4 cytokine production, parasite-specific immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1), total IgE, intestinal mastocytosis and enteropathy. In contrast, global IL-4Ralpha-deficient BALB/c mice showed reduced worm expulsion, antibody production, intestinal mastocytosis and gut pathology. BALB/c mice generated with cell-specific deletion of IL-4Ralpha on CD4(+) T lymphocytes or macrophages/neutrophils, controlled gastrointestinal helminth infection by eliciting a protective immune response comparable to that observed with wild-type and IL-4Ralpha(-/flox) controls. Together, this shows that the development of host protective Th2 responses accompanied by parasite loss is independent of IL-4Ralpha expression on CD4(+) T cells and macrophages/neutrophils.
This purpose of this article is to describe results from a quasi-experimental study investigating the effects of an intervention designed to address organizational causes of turnover in public child welfare. Much of the previous research in this area has used proxy measures for turnover while the current study measures both worker intent to leave and actual turnover rates. This study adds to the knowledge base by (1) describing an organizational intervention aimed at addressing the organizational causes of turnover; (2) analyzing quantitative changes in actual turnover rates as well as organizational factors; and (3) analyzing supplemental qualitative data to provide a deeper understanding of the organizational changes that occurred through the course of the intervention.
Alzheimers disease (AD) is associated with non-cognitive symptoms such as changes in feeding behaviour that are often characterised by an increase in appetite. Increased food intake is observed in several mouse models of AD including the triple transgenic (3×TgAD) mouse, but the mechanisms underlying this hyperphagia are unknown. We therefore examined feeding behaviour in 3×TgAD mice and tested their sensitivity to exogenous and endogenous satiety factors by assessing food intake and activation of key brain regions. In the behavioural satiety sequence (BSS), 3×TgAD mice consumed more food after a fast compared to Non-Tg controls. Feeding and drinking behaviours were increased and rest decreased in 3×TgAD mice, but the overall sequence of behaviours in the BSS was maintained. Exogenous administration of the satiety factor cholecystokinin (CCK; 8-30 µg/kg, i.p.) dose-dependently reduced food intake in Non-Tg controls and increased inactive behaviour, but had no effect on food intake or behaviour in 3×TgAD mice. CCK (15 µg/kg, i.p.) increased c-Fos protein expression in the supraoptic nucleus of the hypothalamus, and the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) and area postrema of the brainstem to the same extent in Non-Tg and 3×TgAD mice, but less c-Fos positive cells were detected in the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus of CCK-treated 3×TgAD compared to Non-Tg mice. In response to a fast or a period of re-feeding, there was no difference in the number of c-Fos-positive cells detected in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus, NTS and area postrema of 3×TgAD compared to Non-Tg mice. The degree of c-Fos expression in the NTS was positively correlated to food intake in Non-Tg mice, however, this relationship was absent in 3×TgAD mice. These data demonstrate that 3×TgAD mice show increased feeding behaviour and insensitivity to satiation, which is possibly due to defective gut-brain signalling in response to endogenous satiety factors released by food ingestion.
Alzheimers disease (AD) is characterised, not only by cognitive deficits and neuropathological changes, but also by several non-cognitive behavioural symptoms that can lead to a poorer quality of life. Circadian disturbances in core body temperature and physical activity are reported in AD patients, although the cause and consequences of these changes are unknown. We therefore characterised circadian patterns of body temperature and activity in male triple transgenic AD mice (3xTgAD) and non-transgenic (Non-Tg) control mice by remote radiotelemetry. At 4 months of age, daily temperature rhythms were phase advanced and by 6 months of age an increase in mean core body temperature and amplitude of temperature rhythms were observed in 3xTgAD mice. No differences in daily activity rhythms were seen in 4- to 9-month-old 3xTgAD mice, but by 10 months of age an increase in mean daily activity and the amplitude of activity profiles for 3xTgAD mice were detected. At all ages (4-10 months), 3xTgAD mice exhibited greater food intake compared with Non-Tg mice. The changes in temperature did not appear to be solely due to increased food intake and were not cyclooxygenase dependent because the temperature rise was not abolished by chronic ibuprofen treatment. No ?-amyloid (A?) plaques or neurofibrillary tangles were noted in the hypothalamus of 3xTgAD mice, a key area involved in temperature regulation, although these pathological features were observed in the hippocampus and amygdala of 3xTgAD mice from 10 months of age. These data demonstrate age-dependent changes in core body temperature and activity in 3xTgAD mice that are present before significant AD-related neuropathology and are analogous to those observed in AD patients. The 3xTgAD mouse might therefore be an appropriate model for studying the underlying mechanisms involved in non-cognitive behavioural changes in AD.
Obesity is associated with an increase in the prevalence and severity of infections. Genetic animal models of obesity (ob/ob and db/db mice) display altered centrally-mediated sickness behaviour in response to acute inflammatory stimuli such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS). However, the effect of diet-induced obesity (DIO) on the anorectic and febrile response to LPS in mice is unknown. This study therefore determined how DIO and ob/ob mice respond to a systemic inflammatory challenge. C57BL/6 DIO and ob/ob mice, and their respective controls, were given an intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of LPS. Compared with controls, DIO and ob/ob mice exhibited an altered febrile response to LPS (100 ?g/kg) over 8 hours. LPS caused a greater and more prolonged anorexic effect in DIO compared with control mice and, in ob/ob mice, LPS induced a reduction in food intake and body weight earlier than it did in controls. These effects of LPS in obese mice were also seen after a fixed dose of LPS (5 ?g). LPS (100 ?g/kg) induced Fos protein expression in several brain nuclei of control mice, with fewer Fos-positive cells observed in the brains of obese mice. An altered inflammatory response to LPS was also observed in obese mice compared with controls: changes in cytokine expression and release were detected in the plasma, spleen, liver and peritoneal macrophages in obese mice. In summary, DIO and ob/ob mice displayed an altered behavioural response and cytokine release to systemic inflammatory challenge. These findings could help explain why obese humans show increased sensitivity to infections.
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