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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Inhaled Diesel Emissions Generated with Cerium Oxide Nanoparticle Fuel Additive Induce Adverse Pulmonary and Systemic Effects.
Toxicol. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 09-19-2014
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Diesel exhaust (DE) exposure induces adverse cardiopulmonary effects. Cerium oxide nanoparticles added to diesel fuel (DECe) increases fuel burning efficiency but leads to altered emission characteristics and potentially altered health effects. Here, we evaluated whether DECe results in greater adverse pulmonary effects compared with DE. Male Sprague Dawley rats were exposed to filtered air, DE, or DECe for 5?h/day for 2?days. N-acetyl glucosaminidase activity was increased in bronchial alveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of rats exposed to DECe but not DE. There were also marginal but insignificant increases in several other lung injury biomarkers in both exposure groups (DECe?>?DE for all). To further characterize DECe toxicity, rats in a second study were exposed to filtered air or DECe for 5?h/day for 2?days or 4?weeks. Tissue analysis indicated a concentration- and time-dependent accumulation of lung and liver cerium followed by a delayed clearance. The gas-phase and high concentration of DECe increased lung inflammation at the 2-day time point, indicating that gas-phase components, in addition to particles, contribute to pulmonary toxicity. This effect was reduced at 4?weeks except for a sustained increase in BALF ?-glutamyl transferase activity. Histopathology and transmission electron microscopy revealed increased alveolar septa thickness due to edema and increased numbers of pigmented macrophages after DECe exposure. Collectively, these findings indicate that DECe induces more adverse pulmonary effects on a mass basis than DE. In addition, lung accumulation of cerium, systemic translocation to the liver, and delayed clearance are added concerns to existing health effects of DECe.
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Epidemiology and Transmission of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus.
Viruses
PUBLISHED: 09-02-2014
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This review summarizes the current knowledge pertaining to Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) epidemiology and transmission. Since the identification of KSHV twenty years ago, it is now known to be associated with Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), primary effusion lymphoma, and multicentric Castleman's disease. Many studies have been conducted to understand its epidemiology and pathogenesis and their results clearly show that the worldwide distribution of KSHV is uneven. Some geographical areas, such as sub-Saharan Africa, the Mediterranean region and the Xinjiang region of China, are endemic areas, but Western Europe and United States have a low prevalence in the general population. This makes it imperative to understand the risk factors associated with acquisition of infection. KSHV can be transmitted via sexual contact and non-sexual routes, such as transfusion of contaminated blood and tissues transplants, or via saliva contact. There is now a general consensus that salivary transmission is the main route of transmission, especially in children residing in endemic areas. Therefore, there is a need to better understand the sources of transmission to young children. Additionally, lack of animal models to study transmission, gold standard serological assay and the lack of emphasis on endemic KS research has hampered the efforts to further delineate KSHV transmission in order to design effective prevention strategies.
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Mineralocorticoid effects in the late gestation ovine fetal lung.
Physiol Rep
PUBLISHED: 07-16-2014
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This study was designed to determine the effects of corticosteroids at MR in the late-gestation fetal lung. Since both the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) are expressed at relatively high levels in the fetal lung, endogenous corticosteroids may act at MR as well as GR in the preterm fetal lung. The GR agonist, betamethasone, the MR agonist, aldosterone, or both were infused intravenously for 48 h in ovine fetuses of approximately 130 days gestation. Effects on airway pressures during stepwise inflation of the in situ lung, expression of ENaC alpha (SCNN1A), ENaC beta (SCNN1B), and Na,K ATPase (ATP1A1), and elastin and collagen content were determined after the infusions. We found that aldosterone significantly reduced the airway pressure measured during the initial step in inflation of the lung, although aldosterone had no overall effect on lung compliance, nor did aldosterone induce expression of ENaC?, ENaC? or Na,K ATPase?1. Betamethasone significantly increased expression of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) subunit mRNAs, and collagen and elastin content in the lungs, although this dose of betamethasone also had no effect on lung compliance. There was no synergy between effects of the MR and GR agonists. Transcriptomic analysis suggested that although aldosterone did not alter genes in pathways related to epithelial sodium transport, aldosterone did alter genes in pathways involved in cell proliferation in the lungs. The results are consistent with corticosteroid-induced fluid reabsorption at birth through GR rather than MR, but suggest that MR facilitates lung maturation, and may contribute to inflation with the first breaths via mechanisms distinct from known aldosterone effects in other epithelia.
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Estrogen in the fetus.
Adv. Exp. Med. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 07-13-2014
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Estradiol and other estrogens are important modulators of fetal and maternal physiology in pregnancy. Much is known about the biosynthesis of estrogens in fetus and mother, and much is known about the role that estrogen plays in labor and delivery. However, much less is known about the regulation of estrogen biosynthesis throughout the latter half of gestation, and the role that estrogen plays in homeostatic and neuroendocrine control in the fetus. This review focuses on the biosynthesis and actions of estrogen in the fetal circulation, the role that it plays in the development of the fetus in the latter half of gestation, and the role that is played by the estrogen milieu in the control of the timing of birth. Estrogen circulates in fetal blood in both unconjugated and conjugated molecular forms, with the conjugated steroids far more abundant than the unconjugated steroids. This review therefore also addresses the biological significance of the variety of molecular forms of estrogen circulating in fetal and maternal blood.
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Elevated maternal cortisol leads to relative maternal hyperglycemia and increased stillbirth in ovine pregnancy.
Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 06-11-2014
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In normal pregnancy, cortisol increases; however, further pathological increases in cortisol are associated with maternal and fetal morbidities. These experiments were designed to test the hypothesis that increased maternal cortisol would increase maternal glucose concentrations, suppress fetal growth, and impair neonatal glucose homeostasis. Ewes were infused with cortisol (1 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1)) from day 115 of gestation to term; maternal glucose, insulin, ovine placental lactogen, estrone, progesterone, nonesterified free fatty acids (NEFA), ?-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and electrolytes were measured. Infusion of cortisol increased maternal glucose concentration and slowed the glucose disappearance after injection of glucose; maternal infusion of cortisol also increased the incidence of fetal death at or near parturition. The design of the study was altered to terminate the study prior to delivery, and post hoc analysis of the data was performed to test the hypothesis that maternal metabolic factors predict the fetal outcome. In cortisol-infused ewes that had stillborn lambs, plasma insulin was increased relative to control ewes or cortisol-infused ewes with live lambs. Maternal cortisol infusion did not alter maternal food intake or plasma NEFA, BHB, estrone, progesterone or placental lactogen concentrations, and it did not alter fetal body weight, ponderal index, or fetal organ weights. Our study suggests that the adverse effect of elevated maternal cortisol on pregnancy outcome may be related to the effects of cortisol on maternal glucose homeostasis, and that chronic maternal stress or adrenal hypersecretion of cortisol may create fetal pathophysiology paralleling some aspects of maternal gestational diabetes.
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Mechanisms for the adverse effects of late gestational increases in maternal cortisol on the heart revealed by transcriptomic analyses of the fetal septum.
Physiol. Genomics
PUBLISHED: 05-27-2014
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We have previously shown in sheep that 10 days of modest chronic increase in maternal cortisol resulting from maternal infusion of cortisol (1 mg/kg/day) caused fetal heart enlargement and Purkinje cell apoptosis. In subsequent studies we extended the cortisol infusion to term, finding a dramatic incidence of stillbirth in the pregnancies with chronically increased cortisol. To investigate effects of maternal cortisol on the heart, we performed transcriptomic analyses on the septa using ovine microarrays and Webgestalt and Cytoscape programs for pathway inference. Analyses of the transcriptomic effects of maternal cortisol infusion for 10 days (130 day cortisol vs 130 day control), or ?25 days (140 day cortisol vs 140 day control) and of normal maturation (140 day control vs 130 day control) were performed. Gene ontology terms related to immune function and cytokine actions were significantly overrepresented as genes altered by both cortisol and maturation in the septa. After 10 days of cortisol, growth factor and muscle cell apoptosis pathways were significantly overrepresented, consistent with our previous histologic findings. In the term fetuses (?25 days of cortisol) nutrient pathways were significantly overrepresented, consistent with altered metabolism and reduced mitochondria. Analysis of mitochondrial number by mitochondrial DNA expression confirmed a significant decrease in mitochondria. The metabolic pathways modeled as altered by cortisol treatment to term were different from those modeled during maturation of the heart to term, and thus changes in gene expression in these metabolic pathways may be indicative of the fetal heart pathophysiologies seen in pregnancies complicated by stillbirth, including gestational diabetes, Cushing's disease and chronic stress.
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Transcriptomics of the fetal hypothalamic response to brachiocephalic occlusion and estradiol treatment.
Physiol. Genomics
PUBLISHED: 05-13-2014
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Estradiol (E2) is a well-known modulator of fetal neuroendocrine activity and has been proposed as a critical endocrine signal readying the fetus for birth and postnatal life. To investigate the modulatory role of E2 on fetal stress responsiveness and the response of the fetal brain to asphyxic stress, we subjected chronically catheterized fetal sheep to a transient (10 min) brachiocephalic artery occlusion (BCO) or sham occlusion. Half of the fetuses received subcutaneous pellets that increased plasma E2 concentrations within the physiological range. Hypothalamic mRNA was analyzed using the Agilent 8x15k ovine array (019921), processed and annotated as previously reported by our laboratory. Analysis of the data by ANOVA revealed that E2 differentially regulated (DR) 561 genes, and BCO DR 894 genes compared with control and E2+BCO DR 1,153 genes compared with BCO alone (all P < 0.05). E2 upregulated epigenetic pathways and downregulated local steroid biosynthesis but did not significantly involve genes known to directly respond to the estrogen receptor. Brachiocephalic occlusion upregulated kinase pathways as well as genes associated with lymphocyte infiltration into the brain and downregulated neuropeptide synthesis. E2 upregulated immune- and apoptosis-related pathways after BCO and reduced kinase and epigenetic pathway responses to the BCO. Responses to BCO are different from responses to hypoxic hypoxia suggesting that mechanisms of responses to these two forms of brain hypoxia are distinct. We conclude that cerebral ischemia caused by BCO might stimulate lymphocyte infiltration into the brain and that this response appears to be modified by estradiol.
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Seroprevalence of human herpesvirus 8 and hepatitis C virus among drug users in Shanghai, China.
Viruses
PUBLISHED: 04-01-2014
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To elucidate and compare the seroprevalence of human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) among Chinese drug users, a cross-sectional study of 441 participants, was conducted in Shanghai, China, from 2012 through 2013. Seventy-seven (17.5%) participants were found to be positive for HHV8 antibodies, while 271 (61.5%) participants were positive for HCV. No significant association between HHV8 seropositivity and drug use characteristics, sexual behaviors, HCV, or syphilis was observed. In contrast, a statistically significant association between HCV seropositivity and injected drug history (OR, 2.18, 95% CI 1.41-3.37) was detected, whereas no statistically significant association between HCV seropositivity and syphilis infection (OR, 7.56, 95% CI 0.94-60.57) were observed. Pairwise comparisons showed no significant differences between latent and lytic antibodies regarding HCV and HHV8 serostatus. The study demonstrated a moderate but elevated prevalence of HHV8 infection among drug users. The discordance between HHV8 and HCV infections suggests that blood borne transmission of HHV8 might not be the predominant mode of transmission in this population, which is in contrast to HCV.
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Advancing the 3Rs in regulatory toxicology - Carcinogenicity testing: Scope for harmonisation and advancing the 3Rs in regulated sectors of the European Union.
Regul. Toxicol. Pharmacol.
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2014
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Different government agencies operating in the European Union regulate different types of chemical products but all require testing for carcinogenicity to support applications for product marketing and commercialisation. A conference was held in Brussels in 2013 where representatives of the pharmaceutical, animal health, chemical and plant protection industries, together with representatives of regulatory agencies, universities and other stakeholders, met under the auspices of The European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) to discuss the varying requirements for carcinogenicity testing, and how these studies might be refined to improve hazard evaluation and risk assessment while implementing principles of the 3Rs (replacement, refinement and reduction in animal studies). While there are some similarities, the regulatory approaches in pharmaceutical, animal health, chemical and plant protection sectors have varying degrees of flexibility in requirements for carcinogenicity testing, to an extent reflecting concerns over the magnitude and duration of human exposure, either directly as in therapeutic exposure to pharmaceuticals, or indirectly through the ingestion of residues of veterinary drugs or plant protection chemicals. The article discusses these differences and other considerations for modified carcinogenicity testing paradigms on the basis of scientific and 3Rs approaches.
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Humanized-BLT mouse model of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus infection.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 02-10-2014
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Lack of an effective small-animal model to study the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) infection in vivo has hampered studies on the pathogenesis and transmission of KSHV. The objective of our study was to determine whether the humanized BLT (bone marrow, liver, and thymus) mouse (hu-BLT) model generated from NOD/SCID/IL2r? mice can be a useful model for studying KSHV infection. We have tested KSHV infection of hu-BLT mice via various routes of infection, including oral and intravaginal routes, to mimic natural routes of transmission, with recombinant KSHV over a 1- or 3-mo period. Infection was determined by measuring viral DNA, latent and lytic viral transcripts and antigens in various tissues by PCR, in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemical staining. KSHV DNA, as well as both latent and lytic viral transcripts and proteins, were detected in various tissues, via various routes of infection. Using double-labeled immune-fluorescence confocal microscopy, we found that KSHV can establish infection in human B cells and macrophages. Our results demonstrate that KSHV can establish a robust infection in the hu-BLT mice, via different routes of infection, including the oral mucosa which is the most common natural route of infection. This hu-BLT mouse not only will be a useful model for studying the pathogenesis of KSHV in vivo but can potentially be used to study the routes and spread of viral infection in the infected host.
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Tamoxifen-DNA adduct formation in monkey and human reproductive organs.
Carcinogenesis
PUBLISHED: 02-05-2014
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The estrogen analog tamoxifen (TAM), used for adjuvant therapy of breast cancer, induces endometrial and uterine tumors in breast cancer patients. Proliferation stimulus of the uterine endometrium is likely involved in tumor induction, but genotoxicity may also play a role. Formation of TAM-DNA adducts in human tissues has been reported but remains controversial. To address this issue, we examined TAM-DNA adducts in uteri from two species of monkeys, Erythrocebus patas (patas) and Macaca fascicularis (macaque), and in human endometrium and myometrium. Monkeys were given 3-4 months of chronic TAM dosing scaled to be equivalent to the daily human dose. In the uteri, livers and brains from the patas (n = 3), and endometrium from the macaques (n = 4), TAM-DNA adducts were measurable by TAM-DNA chemiluminescence immunoassay. Average TAM-DNA adduct values for the patas uteri (23 adducts/10(8) nucleotides) were similar to those found in endometrium of the macaques (19 adducts/10(8) nucleotides). Endometrium of macaques exposed to both TAM and low-dose estradiol (n = 5) averaged 34 adducts/10(8) nucleotides. To examine TAM-DNA persistence in the patas, females (n = 3) were exposed to TAM for 3 months and to no drug for an additional month, resulting in low or non-detectable TAM-DNA in livers and uteri. Human endometrial and myometrial samples from women receiving (n = 8) and not receiving (n = 8) TAM therapy were also evaluated. Women receiving TAM therapy averaged 10.3 TAM-DNA adducts/10(8) nucleotides, whereas unexposed women showed no detectable TAM-DNA. The data indicate that genotoxicity, in addition to estrogen agonist effects, may contribute to TAM-induced human endometrial cancer.
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Kaposi`s sarcoma associated herpesvirus infection among female sex workers and general population women in Shanghai, China: a cross-sectional study.
BMC Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2014
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Limited information on epidemiologic patterns of KSHV, with none focusing on heterosexual transmission, is available in mainland China. To clarify this, a cross-sectional study was conducted among a group of female sex workers (FSW) and general population women (GW) in Shanghai, China.
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Comparative time course profiles of phthalate stereoisomers in mice.
Toxicol. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2014
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More efficient models are needed to assess potential carcinogenicity hazard of environmental chemicals based on early events in tumorigenesis. Here, we investigated time course profiles for key events in an established cancer mode of action. Using a case study approach, we evaluated two reference phthalates, di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and its stereoisomer di-n-octyl phthalate (DNOP), across the span of a two-year carcinogenicity bioassay. Male B6C3F1 mice received diets with no phthalate added (control), DEHP at 0.12, 0.60, or 1.20%, or DNOP at 0.10, 0.50, or 1.00% (n = 80-83/group) for up to 104 weeks with six interim evaluations starting at week 4. Mean phthalate doses were 139, 845, and 3147 mg/kg/day for DEHP and 113, 755, and 1281 mg/kg/day for DNOP groups, respectively. Incidence and number of hepatocellular tumors (adenoma and/or carcinoma) were greater at ? 60 weeks for all DEHP groups with time and dose trends, whereas DNOP had no significant effects. Key events supported a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR?) mode of action for DEHP, with secondary cytotoxicity at the high dose, whereas DNOP induced modest increases in PPAR? activity without proliferative or cytotoxic effects. Threshold estimates for later tumorigenic effects were identified at week 4 for relative liver weight (+24%) and PPAR? activity (+79%) relative to the control group. Benchmark doses (BMDs) for these measures at week 4 clearly distinguished DEHP and DNOP and showed strong concordance with values at later time points and tumorigenic BMDs. Other target sites included testis and kidney, which showed degenerative changes at higher doses of DEHP but not DNOP. Our results highlight marked differences in the chronic toxicity profiles of structurally similar phthalates and demonstrate quantitative relationships between early bioindicators and later tumor outcomes.
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Bisphenol A exposure alters developmental gene expression in the fetal rhesus macaque uterus.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Bisphenol A (BPA) exposure results in numerous developmental and functional abnormalities in reproductive organs in rodent models, but limited data are available regarding BPA effects in the primate uterus. To determine if maternal oral BPA exposure affects fetal uterine development in a non-human primate model, pregnant rhesus macaques carrying female fetuses were exposed orally to 400 µg/kg BPA or vehicle control daily from gestation day (GD) 50-100 or GD100-165. Fetal uteri were collected at the completion of treatment (GD100 or GD165); tissue histology, cell proliferation, and expression of estrogen receptor alpha (ER?) and progesterone receptor (PR) were compared to that of controls. Gene expression analysis was conducted using rhesus macaque microarrays. There were no significant differences in histology or in the percentage of cells expressing the proliferation marker Ki-67, ER?, or PR in BPA-exposed uteri compared to controls at GD100 or GD165. Minimal differences in gene expression were observed between BPA-exposed and control GD100 uteri. However, at GD165, BPA-exposed uteri had significant differences in gene expression compared to controls. Several of the altered genes, including HOXA13, WNT4, and WNT5A, are critical for reproductive organ development and/or adult function. We conclude that second or third trimester BPA exposure does not significantly affect fetal uterus development based on morphological, proliferation, and steroid hormone receptor assessments. However, differences in expression of key developmental genes after third trimester exposure suggest that BPA could alter transcriptional signals influencing uterine function later in life.
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Risk Factors for Early Childhood Infection of Human Herpesvirus-8 in Zambian Children: The Role of Early Childhood Feeding Practices.
Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev.
PUBLISHED: 12-02-2013
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Background:Human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) infection in early childhood is common throughout sub-Saharan Africa with prevalence increasing throughout childhood. Specific routes of transmission have not been clearly delineated, though HHV-8 is present in high concentrations in saliva. Methods:To understand the horizontal transmission of HHV-8 within households to children we enrolled for cross-sectional analysis, 251 households including 254 children, age two and under, in Lusaka, Zambia. For all children, plasma was screened for HHV-8 and HIV-1 and health and behavioral questionnaires were completed. Multi-level logistic regression analysis was conducted to assess independent factors for HHV-8 infection in children. Results:Risk factors for HHV-8 infection included increasing number of HHV-8 positive household members [OR 2.5 (95% CI: 1.9, 3.3) P < 0.01] and having a primary caregiver who tested the temperature of food with their tongue prior to feeding the child [OR 2.4 (95% CI: 1.93, 3.30) P =0.01]. Breastfeeding was protective against infection with HHV-8 for children [OR 0.3 (95% CI: 0.16, 0.72) P <0.01]. Conclusions:These results indicate that exposure to HHV-8 in the household increases risk for early childhood infection with specific feeding behaviors likely playing a role in transmission. Impact:Interventions to protect children from infection should emphasize the possibility of infection through sharing of foods.
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Kaposis Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Transactivator Rta Induces Cell Cycle Arrest in G0/G1 Phase by Stabilizing and Promoting Nuclear Localization of p27kip.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 09-25-2013
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The Kaposis sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) immediate-early gene, replication, and transcription activator (K-Rta) is a key viral protein that serves as the master regulator for viral lytic replication. In this study, we investigated the role of K-Rta in cell cycle regulation and found that the expression of K-Rta in doxycycline (Dox)-inducible BJAB cells induced cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 phase. Western blot analysis of key cell cycle regulators revealed that K-Rta-mediated cell cycle arrest was associated with a decrease in cyclin A and phosphorylated Rb (pS807/pS811) protein levels, both markers of S phase progression, and an increase in protein levels for p27, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor. Further, we found that K-Rta does not affect the transcription of p27 but regulates p27 at the posttranslational level by inhibiting its proteosomal degradation. Immunofluorescence staining and cell fractionation experiments revealed largely nuclear compartmentalization of p27 in K-Rta-expressing cells, demonstrating that K-Rta not only stabilizes p27 but also modulates its cellular localization. Finally, short hairpin RNA knockdown of p27 significantly abrogates cell cycle arrest in K-Rta-expressing cells, supporting its key role in K-Rta-mediated cell cycle arrest. Our findings are consistent with previous studies which showed that expression of immediate-early genes of several herpesviruses, including herpes simplex virus, Epstein-Barr virus, and cytomegalovirus, results in cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phase, possibly to avoid competition for resources needed for host cell replication during the S phase.
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Development and programming of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis.
Clin Obstet Gynecol
PUBLISHED: 07-04-2013
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The fetal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis plays a critical role in fetal development and physiology in utero: appropriate function of the fetal HPA axis is critical for preparation of the fetus for birth and survival in postnatal life. Because of the critical importance of appropriate physiological regulation of HPA activity in postnatal life, there has been intense interest in the possibility that fetal or neonatal stressors can permanently "program" the axis to hyperrespond or hyporespond to stimuli. This is a review of the literature relevant to normal development and "programming" of the HPA axis.
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Inactivation and viral load quantitation of human immunodeficiency virus in blood collected into Cyto-Chex(®) BCT blood collection device.
J. Virol. Methods
PUBLISHED: 07-03-2013
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A blood collection tube (Cyto-Chex(®) BCT), which can stabilize white blood cells and immunogenic markers in blood samples, was investigated for its ability to inactivate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and stabilize HIV for viral load quantitation. Laboratory-adapted HIV strains were either treated or untreated with the stabilizing reagent present in Cyto-Chex(®) BCT. A dilution of the reagent used to treat virus was 1:66, which was similar to the reagent concentration in Cyto-Chex(®) BCT device when blood was drawn into it. In another experiment, blood was drawn from HIV patients into one acid citrate dextrose (ACD) tube and one Cyto-Chex(®) BCT. At indicated time points, aliquots were taken of treated and untreated viral dilutions and from plasma of HIV-positive patient blood samples and analyzed using reverse transcriptase and TZM-bl cell assays to determine HIV inactivation. In laboratory-adapted HIV strains and HIV-positive patient plasma, HIV was completely inactivated within 2 and 3h of contact with a 1:66 dilution of Cyto-Chex reagent, respectively. Samples from HIV-positive patient plasma showed that viral load was stable in Cyto-Chex(®) BCT for 7 days at room temperature. Therefore, it is concluded that the chemical reagent present in the Cyto-Chex(®) BCT blood collection device is capable of complete inhibition of HIV infectivity in blood samples within 3h and stabilizing the viral load for 7 days at room temperature.
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Endometrial profile of bazedoxifene acetate alone and in combination with conjugated equine estrogens in a primate model.
Menopause
PUBLISHED: 06-25-2013
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Concerns of breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women taking combined estrogen + progestin therapy have generated interest in the use of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) as potential progestin alternatives. Endometrial proliferation and cancer risk are major concerns, however, for estrogens and certain types of SERMs when given alone. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the endometrial profile of bazedoxifene acetate (BZA), a third-generation SERM, alone and in combination with conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) in a postmenopausal primate model.
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Cortisol stimulates proliferation and apoptosis in the late gestation fetal heart: differential effects of mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors.
Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 06-19-2013
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We have previously found that modest chronic increases in maternal cortisol result in an enlarged fetal heart. To explore the mechanisms of this effect, we used intrapericardial infusions of a mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonist (canrenoate) or of a glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist (mifepristone) in the fetus during maternal infusion of cortisol (1 mg·kg?¹·day?¹). We have shown that the MR antagonist blocked the increase in fetal heart weight and in wall thickness resulting from maternal cortisol infusion. In the current study we extended those studies and found that cortisol increased Ki67 staining in both ventricles, indicating cell proliferation, but also increased active caspase-3 staining in cells of the conduction pathway in the septum and subendocardial layers of the left ventricle, suggesting increased apoptosis in Purkinje fibers. The MR antagonist blocked the increase in cell proliferation, whereas the GR antagonist blocked the increased apoptosis in Purkinje fibers. We also found evidence of activation of caspase-3 in c-kit-positive cells, suggesting apoptosis in stem cell populations in the ventricle. These studies suggest a potentially important role of corticosteroids in the terminal remodeling of the late gestation fetal heart and suggest a mechanism for the cardiac enlargement with excess corticosteroid exposure.
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Dietary soy effects on mammary gland development during the pubertal transition in nonhuman primates.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila)
PUBLISHED: 06-14-2013
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While epidemiologic studies suggest that soy intake early in life may reduce breast cancer risk, there are also concerns that exposure to soy isoflavones during childhood may alter pubertal development and hormonal profiles. Here, we assessed the effect of a high-soy diet on pubertal breast development, sex hormones, and growth in a nonhuman primate model. Pubertal female cynomolgus monkeys were randomized to receive a diet modeled on a typical North American diet with one of two protein sources for approximately 4.5 years: (i) casein/lactalbumin (CL, n = 12, as control) or (ii) soy protein isolate with a human equivalent dose of 120 mg/d isoflavones (SOY, n = 17), which is comparable to approximately four servings of soy foods. Pubertal exposure to the SOY diet did not alter onset of menarche, indicators of growth and pubertal progression, or circulating estradiol and progesterone concentrations. Greater endometrial area was seen in the SOY group on the first of four postmenarchal ultrasound measurements (P < 0.05). There was a subtle effect of diet on breast differentiation whereby the SOY group showed higher numbers of differentiated large-sized lobular units and a lower proportion with immature ducts following menarche (P < 0.05). Numbers of small lobules and terminal end buds and mammary epithelial cell proliferation did not differ by diet. Expression of progesterone receptor was lower in immature lobules of soy-fed animals (P < 0.05). Our findings suggest that consumption of soy starting before menarche may result in modest effects consistent with a more differentiated breast phenotype in adulthood.
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Clade C HIV-1 isolates circulating in Southern Africa exhibit a greater frequency of dicysteine motif-containing Tat variants than those in Southeast Asia and cause increased neurovirulence.
Retrovirology
PUBLISHED: 05-28-2013
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HIV-1 Clade C (Subtype C; HIV-1C) is responsible for greater than 50% of infections worldwide. Unlike clade B HIV-1 (Subtype B; HIV-1B), which is known to cause HIV associated dementia (HAD) in approximately 15% to 30% of the infected individuals, HIV-1C has been linked with lower prevalence of HAD (0 to 6%) in India and Ethiopia. However, recent studies report a higher prevalence of HAD in South Africa, Zambia and Botswana, where HIV-1C infections predominate. Therefore, we examined whether Southern African HIV-1C is genetically distinct and investigated its neurovirulence. HIV-1 Tat protein is a viral determinant of neurocognitive dysfunction. Therefore, we focused our study on the variations seen in tat gene and its contribution to HIV associated neuropathogenesis.
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Genomics of the fetal hypothalamic cellular response to transient hypoxia: endocrine, immune, and metabolic responses.
Physiol. Genomics
PUBLISHED: 05-07-2013
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Fetuses respond to transient hypoxia (a common stressor in utero) with cellular responses that are appropriate for promoting survival of the fetus. The present experiment was performed to identify the acute genomic responses of the fetal hypothalamus to transient hypoxia. Three fetal sheep were exposed to 30 min of hypoxia and hypothalamic mRNA extracted from samples collected 30 min after return to normoxia. These samples were compared with those from four normoxic control fetuses by the Agilent 019921 ovine array. Differentially regulated genes were analyzed by network analysis and by gene ontology analysis, identifying statistically significant overrepresentation of biological processes. Real-time PCR of selected genes supported the validity of the array data. Hypoxia induced increased expression of genes involved in response to oxygen stimulus, RNA splicing, antiapoptosis, vascular smooth muscle proliferation, and positive regulation of Notch receptor target. Downregulated genes were involved in metabolism, antigen receptor-mediated immunity, macromolecular complex assembly, S-phase, translation elongation, RNA splicing, protein transport, and posttranscriptional regulation. We conclude that these results emphasize that the cellular response to hypoxia involves reduced metabolism, the involvement of the fetal immune system, and the importance of glucocorticoid signaling.
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Endometrial profile of bazedoxifene acetate alone and in combination with conjugated equine estrogens in a primate model.
Menopause
PUBLISHED: 02-07-2013
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OBJECTIVE: Concerns of breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women taking combined estrogen + progestin therapy have generated interest in the use of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) as potential progestin alternatives. Endometrial proliferation and cancer risk are major concerns, however, for estrogens and certain types of SERMs when given alone. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the endometrial profile of bazedoxifene acetate (BZA), a third-generation SERM, alone and in combination with conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) in a postmenopausal primate model. METHODS: Ninety-eight ovariectomized cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) were randomized to receive no hormone treatment (controls), BZA 20 mg, CEE 0.45 mg, or the combination of BZA 20 mg + CEE 0.45 mg once daily for 20 months in a parallel-arm study design. The primary outcome measure was endometrial epithelial proliferation. RESULTS: BZA + CEE and BZA treatment resulted in significantly less endometrial epithelial area and Ki67 expression compared with CEE (P < 0.001 for all). The prevalence of endometrial hyperplasia and other estrogen-induced morphologic changes in the BZA + CEE and BZA groups was not significantly different from controls. The addition of BZA to CEE completely inhibited the expression of estrogen receptor-?-regulated genes (TFF1 and PGR), whereas BZA alone had no effect. BZA + CEE and BZA treatment also resulted in lower estrogen receptor-? protein expression in the endometrium compared with the control and CEE groups (P < 0.05 for all). CONCLUSIONS: BZA given at a clinically relevant dose inhibits estrogen effects on the endometrium and lacks uterotropic effects when given alone.
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Analysis of primary resistance mutations to HIV-1 entry inhibitors in therapy naive subtype C HIV-1 infected mother-infant pairs from Zambia.
J. Clin. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 02-06-2013
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Small molecular CCR5 inhibitors represent a new class of drugs for treating HIV-1 infection. The evaluation of the primary resistance mutations associated with entry inhibitors during HIV-1 perinatal transmission is required because they may have a profound impact on the clinical management in MTCT.
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Progestin effects on cell proliferation pathways in the postmenopausal mammary gland.
Breast Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 01-29-2013
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Menopausal hormone therapies vary widely in their effects on breast cancer risk, and the mechanisms underlying these differences are unclear. The primary goals of this study were to characterize the mammary gland transcriptional profile of estrogen?+?progestin therapy in comparison with estrogen-alone or tibolone and investigate pathways of cell proliferation in a postmenopausal primate model.
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Global NeuroAIDS roundtable.
J. Neurovirol.
PUBLISHED: 01-26-2013
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In May 2012, the Division of AIDS Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) organized the "Global NeuroAIDS Roundtable" in conjunction with the 11th International Symposium on Neurovirology and the 2012 Conference on HIV in the Nervous System. The meeting was held in New York, NY, USA and brought together NIMH-funded investigators who are currently working on projects related to the neurological complications of AIDS (NeuroAIDS) in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America in order to provide an opportunity to share their recent findings and discuss the challenges encountered within each country. The major goals of the roundtable were to evaluate HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment and determine if it may be directly attributable to distinct HIV subtypes or clades and to discuss the future priorities for global NeuroAIDS research. At the "Global NeuroAIDS Roundtable", presentations of preliminary research indicated that HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment is prevalent in all countries examined regardless of which HIV clade is present in the region. The only clear-cut difference between HIV-1 clades was in relation to subtypes A and D in Uganda. However, a key point that emerged from the discussions was that there is an urgent need to standardize neurocognitive assessment methodologies across the globe before definitive conclusions can be drawn regarding the relationship between HIV clade diversity and neuropathogenesis. Future research directions were also discussed at the roundtable with particular emphasis on the potential of viral and host factor molecular interactions to impact the pathophysiology of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) from a global perspective.
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Scientific and regulatory policy committee (SRPC) paper: assessment of circulating hormones in nonclinical toxicity studies III. female reproductive hormones.
Toxicol Pathol
PUBLISHED: 01-18-2013
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Hormonally mediated effects on the female reproductive system may manifest as pathologic changes of endocrine-responsive organs and altered reproductive function. Identification of these effects requires proper assessment, which may include investigative studies to profile female reproductive hormones. Here, we briefly describe normal hormonal patterns across the estrous or menstrual cycle and provide general guidance on measuring female reproductive hormones and characterizing hormonal disturbances in nonclinical toxicity studies. Although species used in standard toxicity studies share basic features of reproductive endocrinology, there are important species differences that affect both study design and interpretation of results. Diagnosing female reproductive hormone disturbances can be complicated by many factors, including estrous/menstrual cyclicity, diurnal variation, and age- and stress-related factors. Thus, female reproductive hormonal measurements should not generally be included in first-tier toxicity studies of standard design with groups of unsynchronized intact female animals. Rather, appropriately designed and statistically powered investigative studies are recommended in order to properly identify ovarian and/or pituitary hormone changes and bridge these effects to mechanistic evaluations and safety assessments. This article is intended to provide general considerations and approaches for these types of targeted studies.
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Low-abundance resistant mutations in HIV-1 subtype C antiretroviral therapy-naive individuals as revealed by pyrosequencing.
Curr. HIV Res.
PUBLISHED: 01-02-2013
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Given the recent scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa, we sought to determine how often and at what levels do drug-resistant mutant variants exist in ART-naive HIV subtype C infected individuals. Samples from 10 ART-naive Zambian individuals were subjected to ultra-deep pyrosequencing (UDPS) to characterize the frequency of low-abundance drug resistance mutations in the pol gene. Low-abundance clinically relevant variants were detected for nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) and protease inhibitors (PIs) in eight of the ten subjects. Intermediate to high-level resistance was predicted for the majority of NRTIs. Mutations conferring resistance to most first-line and some second-line therapy drugs were also observed. UDPS detected a number of additional major resistant mutations suggesting that these individuals may have an increased risk of virological failure after initiating ART. Moreover, the effectiveness of first-line and even some secondline ART may be compromised in this setting.
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Higher levels of neutralizing antibodies against KSHV in KS patients compared to asymptomatic individuals from Zambia.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the etiologic agent for Kaposi Sarcoma (KS), the most common cancer diagnosed in HIV- infected patients. The role of neutralizing antibodies in KS pathogenesis and in KSHV infected individuals is not clearly understood. The goal of this study was to investigate and compare the prevalence and titers of neutralizing antibodies in plasma samples from KS patients and KSHV infected asymptomatic individuals from Zambia, a KS endemic region in sub-Saharan Africa. Plasma samples (N?=?267) consisting of KS patients (group 1) and asymptomatic individuals (group 2) were collected from Lusaka, Zambia. A flow cytometry based quantitative neutralization assay utilizing recombinant KSHV expressing GFP was used to detect KSHV neutralizing antibodies. Our results show that the overall prevalence of neutralizing antibodies in KS patients (group 1) was 66.7% which was significantly higher than the prevalence of 6.5% present in KSHV infected asymptomatic individuals (group 2). Total antibody titers as well as neutralizing antibodies titers were found to be significantly higher among KS patients. It is likely that higher neutralizing antibodies prevalence and titers in KS patients result from higher levels of antigenic stimulation over time. This study is first to compare prevalence and titers of neutralizing antibodies in participants with and without disease from a KSHV endemic region.
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A twin-cysteine motif in the V2 region of gp120 is associated with SIV envelope trimer stabilization.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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The V1 and V2 variable regions of the primate immunodeficiency viruses contribute to the trimer association domain of the gp120 exterior envelope glycoprotein. A pair of V2 cysteine residues at 183 and 191 ("twin cysteines") is present in several simian immunodeficiency viruses, human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2) and some SIV(cpz) lineages, but not in HIV-1. To examine the role of this potentially disulfide-bonded twin-cysteine motif, the cysteine residues in the SIVmac239 envelope glycoproteins were individually and pairwise substituted by alanine residues. All of the twin-cysteine mutants exhibited decreases in gp120 association with the Env trimer, membrane-fusing activity, and ability to support virus entry. Thus, the twin-cysteine motif plays a role in Env trimer stabilization in SIV and may do so in HIV-2 and some SIV(cpz) as well. This implies that HIV-1 lost the twin-cysteines, and may have relatively unstable Env trimers compared to SIV and HIV-2.
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Human Ubc9 is involved in intracellular HIV-1 Env stability after trafficking out of the trans-Golgi network in a Gag dependent manner.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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The cellular E2 Sumo conjugase, Ubc9 interacts with HIV-1 Gag, and is important for the assembly of infectious HIV-1 virions. In the previous study we demonstrated that in the absence of Ubc9, a defect in virion assembly was associated with decreased levels of mature intracellular Envelope (Env) that affected Env incorporation into virions and virion infectivity. We have further characterized the effect of Ubc9 knockdown on HIV Env processing and assembly. We found that gp160 stability in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and its trafficking to the trans-Golgi network (TGN) were unaffected, indicating that the decreased intracellular mature Env levels in Ubc9-depleted cells were due to a selective degradation of mature Env gp120 after cleavage from gp160 and trafficked out of the TGN. Decreased levels of Gag and mature Env were found to be associated with the plasma membrane and lipid rafts, which suggest that these viral proteins were not trafficked correctly to the assembly site. Intracellular gp120 were partially rescued when treated with a combination of lysosome inhibitors. Taken together our results suggest that in the absence of Ubc9, gp120 is preferentially degraded in the lysosomes likely before trafficking to assembly sites leading to the production of defective virions. This study provides further insight in the processing and packaging of the HIV-1 gp120 into mature HIV-1 virions.
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Variations in the Biological Functions of HIV-1 Clade C Envelope in a SHIV-Infected Rhesus Macaque during Disease Progression.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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A better understanding of how the biological functions of the HIV-1 envelope (Env) changes during disease progression may aid the design of an efficacious anti-HIV-1 vaccine. Although studies from patient had provided some insights on this issue, the differences in the study cohorts and methodology had make it difficult to reach a consensus of the variations in the HIV-1 Env functions during disease progression. To this end, an animal model that can be infected under controlled environment and reflect the disease course of HIV-1 infection in human will be beneficial. Such an animal model was previously demonstrated by the infection of macaque with SHIV, expressing HIV-1 clade C Env V1-V5 region. By using this model, we examined the changes in biological functions of Env in the infected animal over the entire disease course. Our data showed an increase in the neutralization resistance phenotype over time and coincided with the decrease in the net charges of the V1-V5 region. Infection of PBMC with provirus expressing various Env clones, isolated from the infected animal over time, showed a surprisingly better replicative fitness for viruses expressing the Env from early time point. Biotinylation and ELISA data also indicated a decrease of cell-surface-associated Env and virion-associated gp120 content with disease progression. This decrease did not affect the CD4-binding capability of Env, but were positively correlated with the decrease of Env fusion ability. Interestingly, some of these changes in biological functions reverted to the pre-AIDS level during advance AIDS. These data suggested a dynamic relationship between the Env V1-V5 region with the host immune pressure. The observed changes of biological functions in this setting might reflect and predict those occurring during natural disease progression in human.
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HIV-1 Env C2-V4 diversification in a slow-progressor infant reveals a flat but rugged fitness landscape.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) fitness has been associated with virus entry, a process mediated by the envelope glycoprotein (Env). We previously described Env genetic diversification in a Zambian, subtype C infected, slow-progressor child (1157i) in parallel with an evolving neutralizing antibody response. Because of the role the Variable-3 loop (V3) plays in transmission, cell tropism, neutralization sensitivity, and fitness, longitudinally isolated 1157i C2-V4 alleles were cloned into HIV-1NL4-3-eGFP and -DsRed2 infectious molecular clones. The fluorescent reporters allowed for dual-infection competitions between all patient-derived C2-V4 chimeras to quantify the effect of V3 diversification and selection on fitness. Winners and losers were readily discriminated among the C2-V4 alleles. Exceptional sensitivity for detection of subtle fitness differences was revealed through analysis of two alleles differing in a single synonymous amino acid. However, when the outcomes of N?=?33 competitions were averaged for each chimera, the aggregate analysis showed that despite increasing diversification and divergence with time, natural selection of C2-V4 sequences in this individual did not appear to be producing a survival of the fittest evolutionary pattern. Rather, we detected a relatively flat fitness landscape consistent with mutational robustness. Fitness outcomes were then correlated with individual components of the entry process. Env incorporation into particles correlated best with fitness, suggesting a role for Env avidity, as opposed to receptor/coreceptor affinity, in defining fitness. Nevertheless, biochemical analyses did not identify any step in HIV-1 entry as a dominant determinant of fitness. Our results lead us to conclude that multiple aspects of entry contribute to maintaining adequate HIV-1 fitness, and there is no surrogate analysis for determining fitness. The capacity for subtle polymorphisms in Env to nevertheless significantly impact viral fitness suggests fitness is best defined by head-to-head competition.
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Glyceollin-elicited soy protein consumption induces distinct transcriptional effects as compared to standard soy protein.
J. Agric. Food Chem.
PUBLISHED: 12-19-2011
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Glyceollins are stress-induced compounds in soybeans with bioactive properties distinct from parent soy isoflavones. The goals of this study were to evaluate the effects of dietary glyceollin-enriched and standard soy protein isolates and identify candidate target pathways of glyceollins on transcriptional profiles within mammary gland tissue. Thirty female postmenopausal cynomolgus monkeys were randomized to diets containing one of three protein sources for 3 weeks: (1) control casein/lactalbumin (C/L), (2) standard soy protein containing 194 mg/day isoflavones (SOY), and (3) glyceollin-enriched soy protein containing 189 mg/day isoflavones + 134 mg/day glyceollins (GLY). All diets contained a physiologic dose of estradiol (E2) (1 mg/day). All doses are expressed in human equivalents scaled by caloric intake. Relative to the control C/L diet, the GLY diet resulted in greater numbers of differentially regulated genes, which showed minimal overlap with those of SOY. Effects of GLY related primarily to pathways involved in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-? and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling, adipocytokine expression, triglyceride synthesis, and lipase activity. Notable genes upregulated by the GLY diet included PPAR-?, adiponectin, leptin, lipin 1, and lipoprotein lipase. The GLY diet also resulted in lower serum total cholesterol, specifically nonhigh-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and increased serum triglycerides as compared to the C/L diet. No effects of GLY or SOY were seen on serum insulin, adipocytokines, or vascular and bone turnover markers. These preliminary findings suggest that glyceollin-enriched soy protein has divergent effects from standard soy with some specificity for adipocyte activity and nutrient metabolism.
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Stimulatory adrenocortical effects of a selective estrogen receptor modulator in ovariectomized female macaques.
Toxicol Pathol
PUBLISHED: 10-21-2011
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Here, we report the effects of estrogen and the selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) levormeloxifene on adrenocortical measures in ovariectomized female cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis). Animals were randomized into one of five treatment groups, each containing 23 to 26 animals: (1) placebo, (2) 0.016 mg/kg 17?-estradiol (E(2)), (3) 0.5 mg/kg levormeloxifene (L(1)), (4) 1.0 mg/kg levormeloxifene (L(2)), and (5) 5.0 mg/kg levormeloxifene (L(3)). Treatments were administered orally each day for 18 mo. All doses of levormeloxifene resulted in adrenal weights at least 50% greater than placebo (p < .0001 for all). The target dose of levormeloxifene (L(2)) resulted in higher serum concentrations of cortisol (+63%), dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (+73%), and androstenedione (+37%) compared with the placebo group (p < .05 for all). In contrast, E(2) resulted in no significant differences in adrenal weight or adrenocortical steroids. Oral E(2) and all SERM doses resulted in similar reductions in serum gonadotropins and at least threefold greater uterine weight versus placebo (p < .0001 for all). Results indicate that the SERM levormeloxifene, in contrast to E(2), may have robust stimulatory effects on adrenocortical hormones in a postmenopausal model. These findings warrant further investigation into long-term SERM effects on adrenocortical function.
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Fetal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal responses to estradiol sulfate.
Endocrinology
PUBLISHED: 09-27-2011
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Estradiol (E(2)) is an important modifier of the activity of the fetal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. We have reported that estradiol-3-sulfate (E(2)SO(4)) circulates in fetal blood in far higher concentrations than E(2) and that the fetal brain expresses steroid sulfatase, required for local deconjugation of E(2)SO(4). We performed the present study to test the hypothesis that chronic infusion of E(2)SO(4) chronically increases ACTH and cortisol secretion and that it shortens gestation. Chronically catheterized fetal sheep were treated with E(2)SO(4) intracerebroventricular (n = 5), E(2)SO(4) iv (n = 4), or no steroid infusion (control group, n = 5). Fetuses were subjected to arterial blood sampling every other day until spontaneous birth for plasma hormone analysis. Treatment with E(2)SO(4) attenuated preparturient increases in ACTH secretion near term without affecting the ontogenetic rise in plasma cortisol. Infusion of E(2)SO(4) intracerebroventricularly significantly increased plasma E(2), plasma E(2)SO(4), and plasma progesterone and shortened gestation compared with all other groups. These results are consistent with the conclusion that E(2)SO(4): 1) interacts with the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis primarily by stimulating cortisol secretion and inhibiting ACTH and pro-ACTH secretion by negative feedback; and 2) stimulates the secretion of E(2) and E(2)SO(4). We conclude that the endocrine response to E(2)SO(4) in the fetus is not identical with the response to E(2).
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Effects of direct instruction on the acquisition of prepositions by students with intellectual disabilities.
J Appl Behav Anal
PUBLISHED: 09-24-2011
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Some students with intellectual disabilities require explicit instruction of language skills, including preposition use; however, little is known about effective ways to teach preposition use to this population. This study examined direct instruction (DI) to teach students to use and respond to prepositions. Results indicated that DI was an effective way to teach prepositions. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
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Chemoreflex activity increases prostaglandin endoperoxide synthase mRNA expression in the late-gestation fetal sheep brain.
Reprod Sci
PUBLISHED: 08-18-2011
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Fetal sheep defend blood pressure, blood volume, and blood gases using baro- and chemoreflexes that influence autonomic and neuroendocrine responses. The local generation of prostanoids within the fetal brain is also an important component in activating hormone responses to these stimuli, but the relationship between the reflexes and prostanoid biosynthesis is unclear. The present study was performed to test the hypothesis that the abundances of prostaglandin biosynthetic enzymes in the fetal brain are dependent upon the activity of the baro- and chemoreflex pathways. We subjected chronically catheterized fetal sheep in late gestation to a 10-minute period of brachiocephalic occlusion (BCO), a stimulus that provokes brisk cardiovascular and neuroendocrine responses. We compared the central nervous system abundance of prostaglandin endoperoxide synthases 1 and 2 (PGHS-1 and PGHS-2) after BCO to (1) fetal sheep that had been subjected to BCO after chronic sinoaortic denervation plus bilateral vagotomy and (2) fetal sheep in which the N-methyl d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, ketamine, had been administered prior to BCO. Abundances of messenger RNA (mRNA) for PGHS-1 and of mRNA and protein for PGHS-2 in fetal hippocampus were reduced significantly by either prior denervation or ketamine administration. Prostaglandin endoperoxide synthases 1 and 2 mRNA in pituitary were decreased and increased, respectively, by ketamine pretreatment. The results of this study are consistent with the conclusion that the expression of PGHS-1 and -2 in fetal hippocampus and pituitary are influenced by the baro- and/or chemoreflex pathways within the fetal brain in late gestation.
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Life stage differences in mammary gland gene expression profile in non-human primates.
Breast Cancer Res. Treat.
PUBLISHED: 08-14-2011
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Breast cancer (BC) is the most common malignancy of women in the developed world. To better understand its pathogenesis, knowledge of normal breast development is crucial, as BC is the result of disregulation of physiologic processes. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of reproductive life stages on the transcriptional profile of the mammary gland in a primate model. Comparative transcriptomic analyses were carried out using breast tissues from 28 female cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) at the following life stages: prepubertal (n = 5), adolescent (n = 4), adult luteal (n = 5), pregnant (n = 6), lactating (n = 3), and postmenopausal (n = 5). Mammary gland RNA was hybridized to Affymetrix GeneChip(®) Rhesus Macaque Genome Arrays. Differential gene expression was analyzed using ANOVA and cluster analysis. Hierarchical cluster analysis revealed distinct separation of life stage groups. More than 2,225 differentially expressed mRNAs were identified. Gene families or pathways that changed across life stages included those related to estrogen and androgen (ESR1, PGR, TFF1, GREB1, AR, 17HSDB2, 17HSDB7, STS, HSD11B1, AKR1C4), prolactin (PRLR, ELF5, STAT5, CSN1S1), insulin-like growth factor signaling (IGF1, IGFBP1, IGFBP5), extracellular matrix (POSTN, TGFB1, COL5A2, COL12A1, FOXC1, LAMC1, PDGFRA, TGFB2), and differentiation (CD24, CD29, CD44, CD61, ALDH1, BRCA1, FOXA1, POSTN, DICER1, LIG4, KLF4, NOTCH2, RIF1, BMPR1A, TGFB2). Pregnancy and lactation displayed distinct patterns of gene expression. ESR1 and IGF1 were significantly higher in the adolescent compared to the adult animals, whereas differentiation pathways were overrepresented in adult animals and pregnancy-associated life stages. Few individual genes were distinctly different in postmenopausal animals. Our data demonstrate characteristic patterns of gene expression during breast development. Several of the pathways activated during pubertal development have been implicated in cancer development and metastasis, supporting the idea that other developmental markers may have application as biomarkers for BC.
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HIV-1 effects on neuropsychological performance in a resource-limited country, Zambia.
AIDS Behav
PUBLISHED: 07-12-2011
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Zambia has substantially been affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic with prevalence rates at 14% in a population estimated at 12 million. Yet, the extent of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) in this population remains to be clearly understood. A series of culturally appropriate neuropsychological (NP) assessments [International HIV Dementia Scale (IHDS), Color Trails Test 1 and 2, Grooved pegboard Test, and Time Gait Test] were used to test the effects of HIV on NP performance of HIV seropositive and seronegative individuals. Twenty-two percent HIV positive individuals ARV naïve met the criteria for IHDS-defined NP impairment. Gender significantly influenced the performance on NP tests with females performing more poorly compared to males. Larger studies that will accommodate gender differences and age are necessary to generate appropriate norms in Zambia in order to better assess the prevalence of HAND in the developing country setting.
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Propiconazole increases reactive oxygen species levels in mouse hepatic cells in culture and in mouse liver by a cytochrome P450 enzyme mediated process.
Chem. Biol. Interact.
PUBLISHED: 06-14-2011
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Propiconazole induces hepatocellular carcinomas and hepatocellular adenomas in mice and promotes liver tumors in rats. Transcriptional, proteomic, metabolomic and biochemical studies of hepatic tissues from mice treated with propiconazole under the conditions of the chronic bioassay indicated that propiconazole induced oxidative stress. Here we sought to identify the source of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced by propiconazole using both AML12 immortalized mouse hepatocytes in culture and liver tissues from mice. We also sought to further characterize the nature and effects of ROS formation induced by propiconazole treatment in mouse liver. ROS was induced in AML12 cells by propiconazole as measured by fluorescence detection and its formation was ameliorated by N-acetylcysteine. Propiconazole induced glutathione-S-transferase (GST?) protein levels and increased the levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) in AML12 cells. The TBARS levels were decreased by diphenylene iodonium chloride (DPIC), a cytochrome P450 (CYP) reductase inhibitor revealing the role of CYPs in ROS generation. It has been previously reported that Cyp2b and Cyp3a proteins were induced in mouse liver by propiconazole and that Cyp2b and Cyp3a proteins undergo uncoupling of their CYP catalytic cycle releasing ROS. Therefore, salicylic acid hydroxylation was used as probe for ROS formation using microsomes from mice treated with propiconazole. These studies showed that levels of 2,3-dihydroxybenzoic acid (an ROS derived metabolite) were decreased by ketoconazole, melatonin and DPIC. In vivo, propiconazole increased hepatic malondialdehyde levels and GST? protein levels and had no effect on hepatic catalase or superoxide dismutase activities. Based on these observations we conclude that propiconazole induces ROS in mouse liver by increasing CYP protein levels leading to increased ROS levels. Our data also suggest that propiconazole induces the hydroxyl radical as a major ROS form.
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Loss of the pregnancy-induced rise in cortisol concentrations in the ewe impairs the fetal insulin-like growth factor axis.
Reprod. Fertil. Dev.
PUBLISHED: 06-04-2011
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Maternal cortisol levels increase during pregnancy. Although this change is important for optimal fetal growth, the mechanisms of the changes in growth remain unclear. The hypothesis examined was that alterations in maternal plasma cortisol concentrations are associated with changes in the fetal insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis. Pregnant ewes in late gestation (115 ± 0.4 days) were studied: six control animals, five ewes given 1 mg kg(-1) day(-1) cortisol (high cortisol) and five adrenalectomised ewes given 0.5-0.6 mg kg(-1) day(-1) cortisol (low cortisol). Blood samples were taken throughout the experiment and at necropsy (130 ± 0.2 days) and fetal liver was frozen for mRNA analysis. Fetal IGF-I and insulin plasma concentrations were lower and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) concentrations were higher in the low cortisol group compared with those in the control group (P < 0.05). Fetal liver IGF-II and IGFBP-3 mRNA were decreased in low cortisol animals compared with controls (P < 0.05). There were no significant changes in these parameters in the high cortisol group, and there were no changes in fetal liver IGF-I, growth hormone receptor, IGF-I receptor, IGF-II receptor, IGFBP-1 or IGFBP-2 mRNA levels between the groups. These data suggest that reduced fetal IGF availability contributes to reduced fetal growth when maternal cortisol secretion is impaired, but not during exposure to moderate increases in cortisol.
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Human papillomavirus 16 variants from Zambian women with normal pap smears.
J. Med. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 05-14-2011
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Human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 is the most prevalent high-risk viral genotype associated with cervical cancer. Six distinct phylogenetic clusters of HPVs have been identified and are distributed differently across five continents. HPV16 DNA was extracted from cervicolavage samples from women with normal pap smears. The LCR regions were amplified in triplicate, cloned, sequenced, and analyzed from a total of 11 recovered HPV16 positive samples [Ngandwe et al. (2007): BMC Infect Dis 7:77] were analyzed for sequence variation. The HPV16 LCR variants were assessed for promoter activity by use of a luciferase reporter gene. Six novel HPV16 variants with nucleotide exchanges in the LCR region were identified. Five clones were classified as European group HPV16 variants and one as an African group variant. Two of these variants had relatively lower promoter activity, 30% of that of the wild-type strain. The decreased promoter activity of some HPV16 variants may decrease expression of viral oncogenes and may be linked with the development, phenotype and severity of the cervical lesions in women infected with these across HPV16 variants.
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Pathogenicity and rapid growth kinetics of feline immunodeficiency virus are linked to 3 elements.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 04-20-2011
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Chimeric viruses constructed between a highly pathogenic Feline Immunodeficiency Virus isolate (FIV-C36) and a less pathogenic but neurotropic strain (FIV-PPR) have been used to map viral genetic determinants of in vivo pathogenicity. Chimeric virus FIV-PCenv, which contains FIV-C36 genome from the 3 region of pol to upstream of the 3LTR on an FIV-PPR backbone, was previously shown to be replication-competent in vivo, inducing altered CD4(+) T-cell and neutrophil profiles intermediate between parental strains following a delay in viral replication during initial infection. Examination of FIV-PCenv proviral sequences recovered at week 11 post-infection revealed two changes compared to initial viral inoculum; the most significant being arginine to histidine in the integrase region of Pol at residue 813 (R813H). Pooled plasma from the initial in vivo study was used to inoculate a second cohort of cats to determine whether similar virulence and kinetics could be established following primary infection. Viral replication kinetics and immunocyte profiles were monitored in blood, bone marrow, and saliva over a one-year period. Passaged FIV-PCenv again displayed intermediate phenotype between parental strains, but unlike primary experiments, the onset of acute viremia was not delayed. CD4/8 alterations were noted in all groups of animals, though significant changes from controls were delayed in FIV-PPR infected animals compared to FIV-C36 and FIV-PCenv. In vivo passage of FIV-PCenv increased replication-competence relative to the initial molecularly-cloned chimera in association with one adaptive nucleotide change in the 5 end of the genome relative to primary tissue culture inoculum, while mutations in the 3 end of the genome were not detected. The results are consistent with the interpretation that 3 elements contribute to heightened virulence of FIV-C36, and that integrase residue 813 plays an important role in facilitating successful in vivo replication.
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The Zambia Childrens KS-HHV8 Study: rationale, study design, and study methods.
Am. J. Epidemiol.
PUBLISHED: 03-28-2011
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The epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus in Zambia has led to a dramatic rise in the incidence of human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8)-associated Kaposis sarcoma in both adults and children. However, there is a paucity of knowledge about the routes of HHV-8 transmission to young children. The Zambia Childrens KS-HHV8 Study, a large, prospective cohort study in Lusaka, Zambia, was launched in 2004 to investigate the role of household members as a source of HHV-8 infection in young children and social behaviors that may modify the risk of HHV-8 acquisition. This cohort is distinct from other epidemiologic studies designed to investigate HHV-8 incidence and transmission because it recruited and followed complete households in the urban central African context. Between July 2004 and March 2007, 1,600 households were screened; 368 households comprising 464 children and 1,335 caregivers and household members were enrolled. Follow-up of this population continued for 48 months postrecruitment, affording a unique opportunity to study horizontal transmission of HHV-8 and understand the routes and sources of transmission to young children in Zambia. The authors describe the study rationale, design, execution, and characteristics of this cohort, which provides critical data on the epidemiology and transmission of HHV-8 to young children in Zambia.
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A role for mineralocorticoid receptors in the physiology of the ovine fetus: effects on ACTH and lung liquid composition.
Pediatr. Res.
PUBLISHED: 03-08-2011
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In the human and ovine fetus, the presence of 11?-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 allows cortisol and other corticosteroids to act at mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs) in lung and brain. To test the physiologic role of MRs in the late gestation fetus, fetal lambs were infused with a specific MR antagonist for 12 h. Infusion of the MR antagonist significantly increased plasma ACTH and cortisol concentrations. Infusion of the MR antagonist also significantly increased fetal Pco2 and hematocrit, and decreased fetal pH, but did not alter fetal heart rate or blood pressure. Infusion of the MR antagonist altered the ratio of Na? to K? in lung fluid but did not alter the rate of production of lung liquid or the expression of the epithelial sodium channel ? or of the Na,K ATPase?1 in lung. These results suggest that corticosteroids act at MR to regulate ACTH and blood volume and modulate lung fluid composition in the fetus, but basal levels of corticosteroids do not alter lung liquid production rate through effects on MR.
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HIV-1 clade B and C isolates exhibit differential replication: relevance to macrophage-mediated neurotoxicity.
Neurotox Res
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2011
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HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) continue to be a consequence of HIV-1 infection among clade B-infected individuals. In contrast, the incidence of severe neurological impairment is lower among clade C-infected patients in regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and India. Biological aspects such as replication, cytopathicity, inflammatory response, and neurotoxicity unique to each clade influence neuropathogenicity and ultimately affect the clinical outcome of the disease. We hypothesize that productive infection by clade C isolates leads to macrophage-mediated neurotoxicity, although to a lesser extent than clade B isolates. Using a panel of primary isolates of clades B and C we demonstrated that clade B has higher replication efficiency in monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) through reverse transcriptase activity assay and HIV-1 p24 antigen ELISA. To test the neurotoxicity of clades B and C, we used an in vitro neurotoxicity model. Conditioned medium from clade B-infected MDM was neurotoxic to rat and human neuron cultures. In contrast, clade C isolates mediated neurotoxicity when a higher initial viral titer was used for MDM infection. Furthermore, neurotoxicity mediated by isolates of both clades correlated with virus replication in MDM. Together, these results suggest that in comparison to clade B, primary isolates of clade C have slower replication kinetics in primary MDM, leading to lower levels of macrophage-mediated neurotoxicity. Elucidating the differences in replication and macrophage-mediated neurotoxicity between isolates of HIV-1 clades B and C will provide important insights needed to clarify the disparity seen in HAND incidence.
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Complex actions of estradiol-3-sulfate in late gestation fetal brain.
Reprod Sci
PUBLISHED: 01-27-2011
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The most abundant form of estrogen circulating in fetal plasma is sulfo-conjugated estrogen; for example, estradiol-3-sulfate (E(2)SO(4)) is more highly abundant than estradiol (E(2)). The present study investigated the ontogeny of the deconjugating (steroid sulfatase [STS]) and conjugating (estrogen sulfotransferase [STF]) enzymes in ovine fetal brain and tested the hypothesis that treatment with E(2)SO(4) would alter the expression of one or both enzymes. Steroid sulfatase was more highly expressed than STF, and both changed as a function of gestational age. Estradiol-3-sulfate infused intracerebroventricularly (icv) significantly increased plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol concentrations. Plasma E(2) and E(2)SO(4) were increased, and brain expression of estrogen receptor ? was decreased. The proteins STS and STF were up- and downregulated, respectively. Pituitary proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and hypothalamic corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) messenger RNA (mRNA) was decreased. We conclude that E(2)SO(4) has complex actions on the fetal brain, which might involve deconjugation by STS, but that the net result of direct E(2)SO(4) icv infusion is more complex than can be accounted for by infusion of E(2) alone.
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Influence of estradiol and fetal stress on luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and prolactin in late-gestation fetal sheep.
Neonatology
PUBLISHED: 01-14-2011
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Hypotension and reduced cerebral blood flow secondary to brachiocephalic occlusion (BCO) stimulate various homeostatic physiological and endocrine responses. Our previous studies have also suggested a role of estradiol in augmenting the fetal stress response to BCO.
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The color of child mortality in Brazil, 1950-2000: social progress and persistent racial inequality.
Lat Am Res Rev
PUBLISHED: 12-30-2010
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Now that racism has been officially recognized in Brazil, and some universities have adopted affirmative-action admission policies, measures of the magnitude of racial inequality and analyses that identify the factors associated with changes in racial disparities over time assume particular relevance to the conduct of public debate. This study uses census data from 1950 to 2000 to estimate the probability of death in the early years of life, a robust indicator of the standard of living among the white and Afro-Brazilian populations. Associated estimates of the average number of years of life expectancy at birth show that the 6.6-year advantage that the white population enjoyed in the 1950s remained virtually unchanged throughout the second half of the twentieth century, despite the significant improvements that accrued to both racial groups. The application of multivariate techniques to samples selected from the 1960, 1980, and 2000 census enumerations further shows that, controlling for key determinants of child survival, the white mortality advantage persisted and even increased somewhat in 2000. The article discusses evidence of continued racial inequality during an era of deep transformation in social structure, with reference to the challenges of skin color classification in a multiracial society and the evolution of debates about color, class, and discrimination in Brazil.
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Cytokine receptor CXCR4 mediates estrogen-independent tumorigenesis, metastasis, and resistance to endocrine therapy in human breast cancer.
Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 12-01-2010
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Estrogen independence and progression to a metastatic phenotype are hallmarks of therapeutic resistance and mortality in breast cancer patients. Metastasis has been associated with chemokine signaling through the SDF-1-CXCR4 axis. Thus, the development of estrogen independence and endocrine therapy resistance in breast cancer patients may be driven by SDF-1-CXCR4 signaling. Here we report that CXCR4 overexpression is indeed correlated with worse prognosis and decreased patient survival irrespective of the status of the estrogen receptor (ER). Constitutive activation of CXCR4 in poorly metastatic MCF-7 cells led to enhanced tumor growth and metastases that could be reversed by CXCR4 inhibition. CXCR4 overexpression in MCF-7 cells promoted estrogen independence in vivo, whereas exogenous SDF-1 treatment negated the inhibitory effects of treatment with the anti-estrogen ICI 182,780 on CXCR4-mediated tumor growth. The effects of CXCR4 overexpression were correlated with SDF-1-mediated activation of downstream signaling via ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK (mitogen activated protein kinase) and with an enhancement of ER-mediated gene expression. Together, these results show that enhanced CXCR4 signaling is sufficient to drive ER-positive breast cancers to a metastatic and endocrine therapy-resistant phenotype via increased MAPK signaling. Our findings highlight CXCR4 signaling as a rational therapeutic target for the treatment of ER-positive, estrogen-independent breast carcinomas needing improved clinical management.
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Lysine residues of interferon regulatory factor 7 affect the replication and transcription activator-mediated lytic replication of Kaposis sarcoma-associated herpesvirus/human herpesvirus 8.
J. Gen. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 09-15-2010
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Kaposis sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) infection goes through latent and lytic phases, which are controlled by the viral replication and transcription activator (RTA). Upon KSHV infection, the host responds by suppressing RTA-activated lytic gene expression through interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF-7), a key regulator of host innate immune response. Lysine residues are potential sites for post-translational modification of IRF-7, and were suggested to be critical for its activity. In this study, we analysed the 15 lysine residues for their effects on IRF-7 function by site-directed mutagenesis. We found that some mutations affect the ability of IRF-7 to activate interferon (IFN)-?1 and IFN-? promoters, to suppress RTA-mediated lytic gene expression and to repress KSHV reactivation and lytic replication. However, other mutations affect only a subset of these four functions. These findings demonstrate that the lysine residues of IRF-7 play important roles in mediating IFN synthesis and modulating viral lytic replication.
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Clinical application of positron emission tomography in designing radiation fields in non-small cell lung cancer patients.
Exp Ther Med
PUBLISHED: 07-28-2010
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There is significant interest in incorporating positron emission tomography (PET) into radiation therapy planning, although limited data exist that separately consider its diagnostic accuracy with respect to the primary tumor, hilum and mediastinum. This study evaluates the accuracy of PET planning by region of interest. Between January 2003 and July 2005, 351 patients with a pre-operative PET study underwent surgical resection. Of this population, 257 (73%) patients with a diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer were evaluated. PET study findings regarding the suspected primary tumor site, ipsilateral hilum and mediastinum were correlated with surgical pathology for determination of accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV). The accuracy of the primary site (95%), ipsilateral hilum (80%) and mediastinum (84%) was relatively high. The NPV of the ipsilateral hilum and mediastinum was also high (92 and 86%, respectively). However, the PPV of the ipsilateral hilum (31%) and mediastinum (75%) was lower. PET accuracy evaluating bronchoalveolar primary tumors was lower vs. other histologies (86 vs. 96%, p=0.02), although there was no difference with regard to the hilum or mediastinum. PET scanning may be an important tool in designing radiation treatment fields for lung cancer when combined with other imaging modalities. However, caution must be exercised when evaluating lymph node regions, as the PPV is not as high for the ipsilateral hilum and mediastinum as for the primary tumor. The NPV is high for nodal regions and may help with the exclusion of large treatment volumes in selected cases.
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Subtype-associated differences in HIV-1 reverse transcription affect the viral replication.
Retrovirology
PUBLISHED: 07-26-2010
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The impact of the products of the pol gene, specifically, reverse transcriptase (RT) on HIV-1 replication, evolution, and acquisition of drug resistance has been thoroughly characterized for subtype B. For subtype C, which accounts of almost 60% of HIV cases worldwide, much less is known. It has been reported that subtype C HIV-1 isolates have a lower replication capacity than B; however, the basis of these differences remains unclear.
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Short communication: antiretroviral therapy resistance mutations present in the HIV type 1 subtype C pol and env regions from therapy-naive patients in Zambia.
AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses
PUBLISHED: 07-14-2010
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The prevalence of antiretroviral therapy (ART) resistance mutations present in HIV-1 subtype C pol and env regions of the proviral DNA was analyzed and compared from therapy-naive individuals before (Cohort A) and after (Cohort B) the availability of free ART in Zambia. Mutations present in sequences published in a previous study from Zambian ART-naive individuals infected with subtype C were analyzed using current parameters for the classification of ART drug resistance and compared with Cohorts A and B. No statistically significant differences were observed when comparing mutations present in the pol and env of these cohorts. However, an increase in the number of minor, borderline, or partial resistance mutations as well as the presence of major resistance mutations were observed in Cohort B. These results suggest there is an increasing trend of drug resistance-associated mutations that could be a result of the availability of free ART in Zambia. Moreover, the high prevalence of resistance mutations observed for maraviroc and vicriviroc in both cohorts may suggest a limited efficacy of entry inhibitors on HIV-1 subtype C.
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Chronology and evolution of the HIV-1 subtype C epidemic in Ethiopia.
AIDS
PUBLISHED: 06-12-2010
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To reconstruct the onset date and evolutionary history of the HIV-1 subtype C epidemic in Ethiopia - one of the earliest recorded subtype C epidemics in the world.
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PET-CT staging of the neck in cancers of the oropharynx: patterns of regional and retropharyngeal nodal metastasis.
World J Surg Oncol
PUBLISHED: 05-30-2010
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To study the retropharyngeal lymph node status (RPLN) by pretreatment PET-CT imaging in patients with squamous cell carcinomas of the oropharynx (OPSCC). Study Design: Retrospective.
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NeuroAIDS in Africa.
J. Neurovirol.
PUBLISHED: 05-27-2010
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In July 2009, the Center for Mental Health Research on AIDS at the National Institute of Mental Health organized and supported the meeting "NeuroAIDS in Africa." This meeting was held in Cape Town, South Africa, and was affiliated with the 5th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention. Presentations began with an overview of the epidemiology of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, the molecular epidemiology of HIV, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HANDs), and HAND treatment. These introductory talks were followed by presentations on HAND research and clinical care in Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia. Topics discussed included best practices for assessing neurocognitive disorders, patterns of central nervous system (CNS) involvement in the region, subtype-associated risk for HAND, pediatric HIV assessments and neurodevelopment, HIV-associated CNS opportunistic infections and immune reconstitution syndrome, the evolving changes in treatment implementation, and various opportunities and strategies for NeuroAIDS research and capacity building in the region.
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Enhancement of autophagy during lytic replication by the Kaposis sarcoma-associated herpesvirus replication and transcription activator.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 05-19-2010
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Autophagy is one of two major degradation systems in eukaryotic cells. The degradation mechanism of autophagy is required to maintain the balance between the biosynthetic and catabolic processes and also contributes to defense against invading pathogens. Recent studies suggest that a number of viruses can evade or subvert the host cell autophagic pathway to enhance their own replication. Here, we investigated the effect of autophagy on the KSHV (Kaposis sarcoma-associated herpesvirus) life cycle. We found that the inhibition of autophagy reduces KSHV lytic reactivation from latency, and an enhancement of autophagy can be detected during KSHV lytic replication. In addition, RTA (replication and transcription activator), an essential viral protein for KSHV lytic reactivation, is able to enhance the autophagic process, leading to an increase in the number of autophagic vacuoles, an increase in the level of the lipidated LC3 protein, and the formation of autolysosomes. Moreover, the inhibition of autophagy affects RTA-mediated lytic gene expression and viral DNA replication. These results suggest that RTA increases autophagy activation to facilitate KSHV lytic replication. This is the first report demonstrating that autophagy is involved in the lytic reactivation of KSHV.
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Interaction of PGHS-2 and glutamatergic mechanisms controlling the ovine fetal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis.
Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 05-05-2010
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Prostaglandins, generated within the fetal brain, are integral components of the mechanism controlling the fetal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Previous studies in this laboratory demonstrated that prostaglandin G/H synthase isozyme 2 (PGHS-2) inhibition reduces the fetal HPA axis response to cerebral hypoperfusion, blocks the preparturient rise in fetal plasma ACTH concentration, and delays parturition. We also discovered that blockade of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors reduces the fetal ACTH response to cerebral hypoperfusion. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that PGHS-2 action and the downstream effect of HPA axis stimulation are stimulated by NMDA-mediated glutamatergic neurotransmission. Chronically catheterized late-gestation fetal sheep (n = 8) were injected with NMDA (1 mg iv). All responded with increases in fetal plasma ACTH and cortisol concentrations. Pretreatment with resveratrol (100 mg iv, n = 5), a specific inhibitor of PGHS-1, did not alter the magnitude of the HPA axis response to NMDA. Pretreatment with nimesulide (10 mg iv, n = 6), a specific inhibitor of PGHS-2, significantly reduced the HPA axis response to NMDA. To further explore this interaction, we injected NMDA in six chronically catheterized fetal sheep that were chronically infused with nimesulide (n = 6) at a rate of 1 mg/day into the lateral cerebral ventricle for 5-7 days. In this group, there was no significant ACTH response to NMDA. Finally, we tested whether the HPA axis response to prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) is mediated by NMDA receptors. Seven chronically catheterized late-gestation fetal sheep were injected with 100 ng of PGE(2), which significantly increased fetal plasma ACTH and cortisol concentrations. Pretreatment with ketamine (10 mg iv), an NMDA antagonist, did not alter the ACTH or cortisol response to PGE(2). We conclude that generation of prostanoids via the action of PGHS-2 in the fetal brain augments the fetal HPA axis response to NMDA-mediated glutamatergic stimulation.
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Molecular determinants of HIV-1 subtype C coreceptor transition from R5 to R5X4.
Virology
PUBLISHED: 04-23-2010
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The molecular mechanism(s) underlying transition from CCR5 to CXCR4 usage of subtype C viruses remain largely unknown. We previously identified a subtype C HIV-1 infected child whose virus demonstrated CXCR4 usage along with CCR5 upon longitudinal follow-up. Here we delineated the molecular determinants of Env involved in expanded coreceptor usage. Residue changes in three positions of Env V3 domain are critical for the dual tropic phenotype. These include: substitution of arginine at position 11, MG or LG insertion between positions 13 and 14, and substitution of threonine at the position immediately downstream of the GPGQ crown. Introducing these mutations into V3 region of a heterologous R5 virus also conferred dual tropism. Molecular modeling of V3 revealed a possible structural basis for the dual tropic phenotype. Determining what defines a subtype C X4 virus will lead to a better understanding of subtype C HIV-1 pathogenesis, and will provide important information relevant to anti-retroviral therapy.
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Expression of organic anion transporters 1 and 3 in the ovine fetal brain during the latter half of gestation.
Neurosci. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 04-22-2010
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Development and maturation of the fetal brain is critical for homeostasis in utero, responsiveness to fetal stress and, in ruminants, control of the timing of birth. In the sheep, as in the human, the placenta secretes estrogen and other signaling molecules into both the fetal and maternal blood, molecules whose entry or exit across the blood-brain barrier is likely to be facilitated by transporters. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the ovine fetal brain expresses organic anion transporters, and that the expression of these transporters varies as a function of brain region and fetal gestational age. Brains and pituitaries were collected at the time of sacrifice from fetal and newborn sheep at 80, 100, 120, 130, 145 days gestation and on the first day of postnatal life (parturition in sheep is at approximately 147 days gestation). Hypothalamus, medullary brainstem, cerebellum, and pituitary were processed for mRNA extraction and synthesis of cDNA (4-5/group). Real-time PCR analysis of OAT1 and OAT3 expression revealed significant expression of both genes in all of the tissues tested. In hypothalamus and cerebellum, there were statistically significant increases in the expression of one or both genes towards the end of gestation. In medullary brainstem and pituitary, the levels of expression were relatively unchanged as there were no statistically significant changes with developmental age. We conclude that the ovine fetal brain expresses both OAT1 and OAT3, that the pattern of expression suggests an increasing role for these transporters in the physiology of the developing fetal brain as the fetus nears the time of spontaneous parturition.
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Restricted genetic diversity of HIV-1 subtype C envelope glycoprotein from perinatally infected Zambian infants.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-29-2010
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Mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 remains a significant problem in the resource-constrained settings where anti-retroviral therapy is still not widely available. Understanding the earliest events during HIV-1 transmission and characterizing the newly transmitted or founder virus is central to intervention efforts. In this study, we analyzed the viral env quasispecies of six mother-infant transmission pairs (MIPs) and characterized the genetic features of envelope glycoprotein that could influence HIV-1 subtype C perinatal transmission.
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Endometrial profile of tamoxifen and low-dose estradiol combination therapy.
Clin. Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 01-26-2010
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Combination estrogen + progestin therapy has been associated with increased breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women. Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM) are potential alternatives to progestins, although the endometrial safety of estrogen + SERM co-therapies is not known. The goal of this study was to evaluate the endometrial profile of low-dose estradiol and the SERM tamoxifen alone and in combination.
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Functional properties of the HIV-1 subtype C envelope glycoprotein associated with mother-to-child transmission.
Virology
PUBLISHED: 01-25-2010
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Understanding the properties of viruses capable of establishing infection during perinatal transmission of HIV-1 is critical for designing effective means of limiting transmission. We previously demonstrated that the newly transmitted viruses (in infant) were more fit in growth, as imparted by their envelope glycoproteins, than those in their corresponding mothers. Here, we further characterized the viral envelope glycoproteins from six mother-infant transmission pairs and determined whether any specific envelope functions correlate with HIV-1 subtype C perinatal transmission. We found that most newly transmitted viruses were less susceptible to neutralization by their maternal plasma compared to contemporaneous maternal viruses. However, the newly transmitted variants were sensitive to neutralization by pooled heterologous plasma but in general were resistant to IgG1 b12. Neither Env processing nor incorporation efficiency was predictive of viral transmissibility. These findings provide further insight into the characteristics of perinatally transmissible HIV-1 and may have implications for intervention approaches.
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Primary gamma-herpesviral infection in Zambian children.
BMC Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 01-11-2010
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HHV-8 is closely related to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), but the clinical presentations of these two infections in early childhood are not well understood. Also, it is not known whether infection by one virus correlates with another. Here, we compare the natural history of infection by these two viruses along with the clinical manifestations and risk factors that are associated with early childhood infection in Zambia, which is an endemic area for HHV-8.
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Use of average mutual information for studying changes in HIV populations.
Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc
PUBLISHED: 12-08-2009
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Average mutual information (AMI) has been used in a number of applications in bioinformatics. In this paper we present its use to study genetic changes in populations; in particular populations of HIV viruses. Disease progression of HIV-1 infection in infants can be rapid resulting in death within the the first year, or slow, allowing the infant to survive beyond the first year. We study the development of rapid and slow progressing HIV population using AMI charts based on average mutual information among amino acids in the env gene from a population of 1142 clones derived from seven infants with slow progressing HIV-1 infection and four infants with rapidly progressing HIV-1 infection. The AMI charts indicate the relative homogeneity of the rapid progressor populations and the much greater heterogeneity of the slow progressor population, especially in later samples. The charts also show the distinct regions of covariation between residues without the need for aligning the sequences. By examining the changes in AMI between populations we can distinguish between clones obtained from rapid progressor and slow progressor. A measure of this change can be used to enhance prediction of disease progression.
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Protective athletic mouthguards: do they cause harm?
Sports Health
PUBLISHED: 09-01-2009
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Protective athletic mouthguards (PAMs) have been worn in competitive sports for more than 100 years. Today, participants in contact and noncontact sports wear PAMs.
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