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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Adenosine stimulates angiogenesis by up-regulating production of thrombospondin-1 by macrophages.
J. Leukoc. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 11-13-2014
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Increase of blood capillary density at the interface between normal and ischemic tissue after acute MI reduces infarct size and improves cardiac function. Cardiac injury triggers the production of the matricellular component TSP-1, but its role in angiogenesis is not clear, as both anti- and proangiogenic properties have been reported. It is unknown whether TSP-1 is modulated by other factors released during cardiac injury. Among these, Ado is a well-known promoter of angiogenesis. This study determined whether Ado modulates TSP-1 expression and the implication on angiogenesis. Ado dose dependently increased the production of TSP-1 by human macrophages. With the use of agonists and antagonists of AdoRs, coupled to RNA interference, we observed that this effect is mediated via A2AR and A2BR. The Ado effect was reproduced by cholera toxin (Gs protein activator) and forskolin (adenylate cyclase activator) and blocked by the PKA inhibitor H89. Conditioned medium from Ado-treated macrophages stimulated microvessel outgrowth from aortic ring explants by 400%, and induced vessel formation in matrigel plugs. Microvessel outgrowth and vessel formation were blocked completely by addition of anti-TSP-1 antibodies to conditioned medium. Chronic administration of Ado to rats after MI maintained long-term expression of TSP-1 in the infarct border zone, and this was associated with enhanced border-zone vascularization. Ado up-regulates TSP-1 production by macrophages, resulting in stimulation of angiogenesis. The mechanism involves A2AR and A2BR and is mediated through the cAMP/PKA pathway. This information may be important when designing Ado-based therapies of angiogenesis.
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Identification of Candidate Long Noncoding RNAs Associated with Left Ventricular Hypertrophy.
Clin Transl Sci
PUBLISHED: 11-11-2014
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Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) constitute an emerging group of noncoding RNAs, which regulate gene expression. Their role in cardiac disease is poorly known. Here, we investigated the association between lncRNAs and left ventricular hypertrophy.
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Treatment Receipt and Outcomes from a Clinic Employing the Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Treatment Guideline of the Children's Medication Algorithm Project.
J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol
PUBLISHED: 10-20-2014
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Abstract Objective: Little is known about the pattern of service receipt and outcomes from clinics implementing best practice guidelines in child mental health. This study aimed to determine these variables for a clinic that implemented an attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatment guideline proposed by the Children's Medication Algorithm Project (CMAP). Methods: Secondary analyses of medical record extracts were conducted for children who received treatment from 2007 to 2012 in a specialty clinic linked to a public children's hospital in Canada. Patterns of medication selection and dosing were compared with CMAP guidelines. Outcomes were based on parent and teacher ratings on the ADHD portion of the Multimodal Treatment Study for ADHD (MTA)- Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham, Version IV (SNAP-IV). Results: Data were available for 132 children (ages 5-14), 81.8% of whom had no previous ADHD medication exposure, and 97.0% of whom had started at least one medication. Methylphenidate was used first for 59.8% of children, whereas 33.3% started with an amphetamine product. Of the 47.0% of children who progressed to a second medication trial, 88.7% tried a stimulant from a second class. In total, 19.7% tried atomoxetine, which was typically used as a third stage choice (i.e., after two different stimulant exposures). Stage four to six medications were rarely used, rather stimulants were retried after atomoxetine and/or medication combinations were tried. Symptomatic remission at the end of treatment was achieved by 70.4% and 82.4%, according to parents and teachers respectively, for those with outcome data and who completed treatment. Outcomes for those further along the treatment algorithm were similar to discharges at the beginning of the algorithm. Conclusions: The high rates of symptomatic remission observed within this clinical service may be a function of adherence to CMAP recommendations. However, the lack of a comparison group or experimental design prevents determination of causality. Additional investigations of the impacts of implementing evidence-based guidelines are critically needed, with proposed benchmarks to inform outcome evaluations.
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Continuous adenosine A2A receptor antagonism after focal cerebral ischemia in spontaneously hypertensive rats.
Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch. Pharmacol.
PUBLISHED: 09-05-2014
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Antagonism of the adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR) has been shown to elicit substantial neuroprotective properties when given immediately after cerebral ischemia. We asked whether the continuous application of a selective A2AR antagonist within a clinically relevant time window will be a feasible and effective approach to treat focal cerebral ischemia. To answer this question, we subjected 20 male spontaneously hypertensive rats to permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion and randomized them equally to a verum and a control group. Two hours after stroke onset, the animals received a subcutaneous implantation of an osmotic minipump filled with 5 mg kg(-1) day(-1) 8-(3-chlorostyryl) caffeine (CSC) or vehicle solution. The serum level of CSC was measured twice a day for three consecutive days. The infarct volume was determined at days 1 and 3 using magnetic resonance imaging. We found the serum level of CSC showing a bell-shaped curve with its maximum at 36 h. The infarct volume was not affected by continuous CSC treatment. These results suggest that delayed and continuous CSC application was not sufficient to treat acute ischemic stroke, potentially due to unfavorable hepatic elimination and metabolization of the pharmaceutical.
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A longitudinal study of self-reported psychopathology in early ecstasy and amphetamine users.
Psychopharmacology (Berl.)
PUBLISHED: 08-27-2014
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It still remains unclear whether psychopathological abnormalities described in human 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine users (MDMA users) and d-amphetamine users (AMPH users) existed before the beginning of regular use or if they develop with ongoing use.
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The TT-TG Index: a new knee size adjusted measure method to determine the TT-TG distance.
Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc
PUBLISHED: 07-21-2014
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Medial transfer of the tibial tubercle has become a standard procedure in cases of patella instability caused by an increased tuberositas tibae-trochlear groove (TT-TG) distance. However, the TT-TG distance has always been assessed as an absolute value without taking individual joint size into consideration. It was assumed that the pathological influence of the TT-TG distance correlates with individual joint size. Aim of the current study therefore was to develop a method to express TT-TG distance in relation to these joint variables.
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Long noncoding RNAs in patients with acute myocardial infarction.
Circ. Res.
PUBLISHED: 07-17-2014
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Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) constitute a novel class of noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression. Although recent data suggest that lncRNAs may be associated with cardiac disease, little is known about lncRNAs in the setting of myocardial ischemia.
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Bone marrow cell transplantation time-dependently abolishes efficacy of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor after stroke in hypertensive rats.
Stroke
PUBLISHED: 07-01-2014
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We aimed to determine a possible synergistic effect of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells (BM MNC) after stroke in spontaneously hypertensive rats.
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Single-cell analysis reveals functionally distinct classes within the planarian stem cell compartment.
Cell Stem Cell
PUBLISHED: 05-07-2014
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Planarians are flatworms capable of regenerating any missing body region. This capacity is mediated by neoblasts, a proliferative cell population that contains pluripotent stem cells. Although population-based studies have revealed many neoblast characteristics, whether functionally distinct classes exist within this population is unclear. Here, we used high-dimensional single-cell transcriptional profiling from over a thousand individual neoblasts to directly compare gene expression fingerprints during homeostasis and regeneration. We identified two prominent neoblast classes that we named ? (zeta) and ? (sigma). Zeta-neoblasts encompass specified cells that give rise to an abundant postmitotic lineage, including epidermal cells, and are not required for regeneration. By contrast, sigma-neoblasts proliferate in response to injury, possess broad lineage capacity, and can give rise to zeta-neoblasts. These findings indicate that planarian neoblasts comprise two major and functionally distinct cellular compartments.
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Epidemiology of invasive fungal infections in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome at a reference hospital for infectious diseases in Brazil.
Mycopathologia
PUBLISHED: 05-02-2014
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Invasive fungal infections (IFIs) represent one of the main causes of morbimortality in immunocompromised patients. Pneumocystosis, cryptococcosis and histoplasmosis are the most frequently occurring IFIs in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Fungi, such as Candida spp. and Aspergillus spp., may cause severe diseases during the course of an HIV infection. Following the introduction of highly active anti-retroviral therapy, there has been a marked reduction of opportunistic fungal infections, which today is 20-25 % of the number of infections observed in the mid-1990s. This study is an observational and retrospective study aimed at the characterising IFI incidence and describing the epidemiology, clinical diagnostic and therapeutic features and denouement in HIV/AIDS patients. In HIV/AIDS patients, the IFI incidence is 54.3/1,000 hospitalisation/year, with a lethality of 37.7 %. Cryptococcosis represents the main opportunistic IFI in the population, followed by histoplasmosis. Nosocomial pathogenic yeast infections are caused principally by Candida spp., with a higher candidemia incidence at our institution compared to other Brazilian centres.
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Clinical pathways for fragility fractures of the pelvic ring: personal experience and review of the literature.
J Orthop Sci
PUBLISHED: 04-28-2014
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Fragility fractures of the pelvic ring (FFP) are increasing in frequency and require challenging treatment. A new comprehensive classification considers both fracture morphology and degree of instability. The classification system also provides recommendations for type and invasiveness of treatment. In this article, a literature review of treatment alternatives is presented and compared with our own experiences. Whereas FFP Type I lesions can be treated conservatively, FFP Types III and IV require surgical treatment. For FFP Type II lessions, percutaneous fixation techniques should be considered after a trial of conservative treatment. FFP Type III lesions need open reduction and internal fixation, whereas FFP Type IV lesions require bilateral fixation. The respective advantages and limitations of dorsal (sacroiliac screw fixation, sacroplasty, bridging plate fixation, transsacral positioning bar placement, angular stable plate) and anterior (external fixation, angular stable plate fixation, retrograde transpubic screw fixation) pelvic fixations are described.
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Identification of candidate long non-coding RNAs in response to myocardial infarction.
BMC Genomics
PUBLISHED: 02-28-2014
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Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) constitute a novel class of non-coding RNAs. LncRNAs regulate gene expression, thus having the possibility to modulate disease progression. In this study, we investigated the changes of lncRNAs expression in the heart after myocardial infarction (MI).
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3D statistical modeling techniques to investigate the anatomy of the sacrum, its bone mass distribution, and the trans-sacral corridors.
J. Orthop. Res.
PUBLISHED: 02-02-2014
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The complex anatomy of the sacrum makes surgical fracture fixation challenging. We developed statistical models to investigate sacral anatomy with special regard to trans-sacral implant fixation. We used computed tomographies of 20 intact adult pelves to establish 3D statistical models: a surface model of the sacrum and the trans-sacral corridor S1, including principal component analysis (PCA), and an averaged gray value model of the sacrum given in Hounsfield Units. PCA demonstrated large variability in sacral anatomy markedly affecting the diameters of the trans-sacral corridors. The configuration of the sacral alae and the vertical position of the auricular surfaces were important determinants of the trans-sacral corridor dimension on level S1. The statistical model of trans-sacral corridor S1 including the adjacent parts of the iliac bones showed main variation in length; however, the diameter was the main criterion for the surgically available corridor. The averaged gray value model revealed a distinct pattern of bone mass distribution with lower density particularly in the sacral alae. These advanced 3D statistical models provide a thorough anatomical understanding demonstrating the impact of sacral anatomy on positioning trans-sacral implants.
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Arm exercise as an alternative to pharmacologic stress testing: arm exercise stress testing and outcome.
Am. Heart J.
PUBLISHED: 01-21-2014
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Treadmill exercise variables are powerful predictors of all-cause mortality but are unobtainable in at least 50% of patients because of disabilities precluding lower extremity exercise. Arm exercise stress testing is a potentially cost-effective alternative, but no long-term outcome data are available.
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Allometric dose retranslation unveiled substantial immunological side effects of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor after stroke.
Stroke
PUBLISHED: 01-09-2014
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Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (GCSF) showed robust neuroprotective and neuroregenerative properties after stroke in rodents but failed to meet study end points in patients. Because immunologic side effects of GCSF may have escaped preclinical testing because of nonallometric dose translation, we hypothesized those as possible reasons.
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Bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells do not exert acute neuroprotection after stroke in spontaneously hypertensive rats.
Front Cell Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 01-08-2014
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Bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells (BM-MNCs) were shown to improve the outcome in animal stroke models and clinical pilot studies on BM-MNCs for stroke patients were already conducted. However, relevant aspects of pre-clinical evaluation, such as the use of animals with comorbidities and dose-response studies, were not thoroughly addressed so far. We therefore investigated different BM-MNC doses in the clinical meaningful stroke model of spontaneously hypertensive (SH) rats. Three hours after the onset of transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) animals received either one of three syngeneic BM-MNC doses or placebo intravenously. The primary endpoint was the infarct size. Secondary endpoints included functional outcome, mortality, inflammatory processes, and the dose-response relationship. In contrast to previous studies which used healthy animals no beneficial effect of BM-MNCs was found. Infarct volumes, mortality, behavioral outcomes, and the extent of the inflammatory response to cerebral ischemia were comparable in all groups. In conclusion, we could not demonstrate that early BM-MNC treatment improves the outcome after stroke in SH rats. Whether BM-MNCs improve neurological recovery after delayed treatment initiation was not investigated in the present study, but our data indicates that this should be determined in co-morbid animal stroke models before moving to large-scale clinical studies. Future preclinical stroke studies on co-morbid animals should also include groups of healthy animals in order to determine whether negative results can be attributed to the comorbid condition.
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Flow cytometric characterization of brain dendritic cell subsets after murine stroke.
Exp Transl Stroke Med
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Sterile inflammation is a substantial element of post-stroke pathophysiology with the determination of autoimmunity versus tolerance being one of its most important aspects. It is believed that this determination is initiated relatively early after stroke onset by clearing macrophages and migratory dendritic cells (DC). However, the phenotypic differentiation of macrophages and DC is intricate particularly in the disease context. Here, we utilized a set of surface markers used in mucosal immunity research to investigate the involvement of macrophages and DC subpopulations in post-stroke inflammation in mice.
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Multimodal Approaches for Regenerative Stroke Therapies: Combination of Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor with Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells is Not Superior to G-CSF Alone.
Front Aging Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Attractive therapeutic strategies to enhance post-stroke recovery of aged brains include methods of cellular therapy that can enhance the endogenous restorative mechanisms of the injured brain. Since stroke afflicts mostly the elderly, it is highly desirable to test the efficacy of cell therapy in the microenvironment of aged brains that is generally refractory to regeneration. In particular, stem cells from the bone marrow allow an autologous transplantation approach that can be translated in the near future to the clinical practice. Such a bone marrow-derived therapy includes the grafting of stem cells as well as the delayed induction of endogenous stem cell mobilization and homing by the stem cell mobilizer granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). We tested the hypothesis that grafting of bone marrow-derived pre-differentiated mesenchymal cells (BM-MSCs) in G-CSF-treated animals improves the long-term functional outcome in aged rodents. To this end, G-CSF alone (50??g/kg) or in combination with a single dose (10(6) cells) of rat BM MSCs was administered intravenously to Sprague-Dawley rats at 6?h after transient occlusion (90?min) of the middle cerebral artery. Infarct volume was measured by magnetic resonance imaging at 3 and 48?days post-stroke and additionally by immunhistochemistry at day 56. Functional recovery was tested during the entire post-stroke survival period of 56?days. Daily treatment for post-stroke aged rats with G-CSF led to a robust and consistent improvement of neurological function after 28?days. The combination therapy also led to robust angiogenesis in the formerly infarct core and beyond in the "islet of regeneration." However, G-CSF?+?BM MSCs may not impact at all on the spatial reference-memory task or infarct volume and therefore did not further improve the post-stroke recovery. We suggest that in a real clinical practice involving older post-stroke patients, successful regenerative therapies would have to be carried out for a much longer time.
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Effects of adenosine on lymphangiogenesis.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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The lymphatic system controls tissue homeostasis by draining protein-rich lymph to the vascular system. Lymphangiogenesis, the formation of lymphatic vessels, is a normal event in childhood but promotes tumor spread and metastasis during adulthood. Blocking lymphangiogenesis may therefore be of therapeutic interest. Production of adenosine is enhanced in the tumor environment and contributes to tumor progression through stimulation of angiogenesis. In this study, we determined whether adenosine affects lymphangiogenesis.
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Temporal dynamics of glyoxalase 1 in secondary neuronal injury.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Enhanced glycolysis leads to elevated levels of the toxic metabolite methylglyoxal which contributes to loss of protein-function, metabolic imbalance and cell death. Neurons were shown being highly susceptible to methylglyoxal toxicity. Glyoxalase 1 as an ubiquitous enzyme reflects the main detoxifying enzyme of methylglyoxal and underlies changes during aging and neurodegeneration. However, little is known about dynamics of Glyoxalase 1 following neuronal lesions so far.
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One size does not fit all: The emerging frontier in large-scale marine conservation.
Mar. Pollut. Bull.
PUBLISHED: 11-15-2013
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On the 20th anniversary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, a network of very large marine protected areas (the Big Ocean network) has emerged as a key strategy in the move to arrest marine decline and conserve some of the last remaining relatively undisturbed marine areas on the globe. Here we outline the ecological, economic and policy benefits of very large-scale MPAs and show their disproportionate value to global marine conservation targets. In particular we point out that very large-scale MPAs are a critical component of reaching the Aichi targets of protecting 10% of global marine habitats by 2020, because in addition to encompassing entire ecosystems, they will bring forward the expected date of achievement by nearly three decades (2025 as opposed to 2054). While the need for small MPAs remains critical, large MPAs will complement and enhance these conservation efforts. Big Ocean sites currently contain more than 80% of managed area in the sea, and provide our best hope for arresting the global decline in marine biodiversity.
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Biochar and microbial signaling: production conditions determine effects on microbial communication.
Environ. Sci. Technol.
PUBLISHED: 09-25-2013
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Charcoal has a long soil residence time, which has resulted in its production and use as a carbon sequestration technique (biochar). A range of biological effects can be triggered by soil biochar that can positively and negatively influence carbon storage, such as changing the decomposition rate of organic matter and altering plant biomass production. Sorption of cellular signals has been hypothesized to underlie some of these effects, but it remains unknown whether the binding of biochemical signals occurs, and if so, on time scales relevant to microbial growth and communication. We examined biochar sorption of N-3-oxo-dodecanoyl-L-homoserine lactone, an acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) intercellular signaling molecule used by many gram-negative soil microbes to regulate gene expression. We show that wood biochars disrupt communication within a growing multicellular system that is made up of sender cells that synthesize AHL and receiver cells that express green fluorescent protein in response to an AHL signal. However, biochar inhibition of AHL-mediated cell-cell communication varied, with the biochar prepared at 700 °C (surface area of 301 m(2)/g) inhibiting cellular communication 10-fold more than an equivalent mass of biochar prepared at 300 °C (surface area of 3 m(2)/g). These findings provide the first direct evidence that biochars elicit a range of effects on gene expression dependent on intercellular signaling, implicating the method of biochar preparation as a parameter that could be tuned to regulate microbial-dependent soil processes, like nitrogen fixation and pest attack of root crops.
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Study of urological devices coated with fullerene-like nanoparticles.
Nanoscale
PUBLISHED: 07-26-2013
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Insertion of endoscopes and other medical devices into the human body are ubiquitous, especially among aged males. The applied force for the insertion/extraction of the device from the urethra must overcome endoscope-surface-human-tissue interactions. In daily practice a gel is applied on the endoscope surface, in order to facilitate its entry into the urethra, providing also for local anesthesia. In the present work, a new solid-state lubricant has been added to the gel, in order to reduce the metal-urethra interaction and alleviate the potential damage to the epithelial tissue. For that purpose, a urethra model was designed and fabricated, which allowed a quantitative assessment of the applied force for extraction of the endoscope from a soft polymer-based ring. It is shown that the addition of MoS2 nanoparticles with fullerene-like structure (IF-MoS2) and in particular rhenium-doped nanoparticles (Re:IF-MoS2) to Esracain gel applied on the metal-lead reduced the friction substantially. The Re:IF-MoS2 showed better results than the undoped fullerene-like nanoparticles and both performed better than the gel alone. The mechanism of friction reduction is attributed to fullerenes ability to roll and act as a separator between the active parts of the model.
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Transplantation of cryopreserved human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells does not induce sustained recovery after experimental stroke in spontaneously hypertensive rats.
J. Cereb. Blood Flow Metab.
PUBLISHED: 07-12-2013
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Previous studies have highlighted the enormous potential of cell-based therapies for stroke not only to prevent ischemic brain damage, but also to amplify endogenous repair processes. Considering its widespread availability and low immunogenicity human umbilical cord blood (HUCB) is a particularly attractive stem cell source. Our goal was to investigate the neurorestorative potential of cryopreserved HUCB mononuclear cells (MNC) after permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Human umbilical cord blood MNC or vehicle solution was administered intravenously 24?hours after MCAO. Experimental groups were as follows: (1) quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of host-derived growth factors up to 48?hours after stroke; (2) immunohistochemical analysis of astroglial scarring; (3) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and weekly behavioral tests for 2 months after stroke. Long-term functional outcome and lesion development on MRI were not beneficially influenced by HUCB MNC therapy. Furthermore, HUCB MNC treatment did not change local growth factor levels and glial scarring extent. In summary, we could not demonstrate neurorestorative properties of HUCB MNC after stroke in SHR. Our results advise caution regarding a prompt translation of cord blood therapy into clinical stroke trials as long as deepened knowledge about its precise modes of action is missing.
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Cardioprotective effects of adenosine within the border and remote areas of myocardial infarction.
EJNMMI Res
PUBLISHED: 06-17-2013
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Adenosine may have beneficial effects on left ventricular function after myocardial infarction (MI), but the magnitude of this effect on remote and MI areas is controversial. We assessed the long-term effects of adenosine after MI using electrocardiogram-triggered 18?F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography.
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Bending mechanics of the red-eared slider turtle carapace.
J Mech Behav Biomed Mater
PUBLISHED: 06-12-2013
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The turtle shell is a natural shield that possesses complex hierarchical structure, giving rise to superior mechanical properties. The keratin-covered boney top (dorsal) part of the shell, termed carapace, is composed of rigid sandwich-like ribs made of a central foam-like interior flanked by two external cortices. The ribs are attached to one another in a 3-D interdigitated manner at soft unmineralized collagenous sutures. This unique structural combination promotes sophisticated mechanical response upon predator attacks. In the present study mechanical bending tests were performed to examine the static behavior of the red-eared slider turtle carapace, in different orientations and from various locations, as well as from whole-rib and sub-layer regions. In addition, the suture properties were evaluated as well and compared with those of the rib. A simplified classical analysis was used here to rationalize the experimental results of the whole rib viewed as a laminated composite. The measured strength (~300MPa) and bending modulus (~7-8.5GPa) of the rib were found to be of the same order of magnitude as the strength and modulus of the cortices. The theoretical prediction of the ribs moduli, predicted in terms of the individual sub-layers moduli, agreed well with the experimental results. The suture regions were found to be more compliant and weaker than the ribs, but comparatively tough, likely due to the interlocking design of the boney zigzag elements.
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Spring-like fibers for cardiac tissue engineering.
Biomaterials
PUBLISHED: 05-19-2013
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Recapitulation of the cellular microenvironment of the heart, which promotes cell contraction, remains a key challenge in cardiac tissue engineering. We report here on our work, where for the first time, a 3-dimensional (3D) spring-like fiber scaffold was fabricated, successfully mimicking the coiled perimysial fibers of the heart. We hypothesized that since in vivo straightening and re-coiling of these fibers allow stretching and contraction of the myocardium in the direction of the cardiomyocytes, such a scaffold can support the assembly of a functional cardiac tissue capable of generating a strong contraction force. In this study, the mechanical properties of both spring-like single fibers and 3D scaffolds composed of them were investigated. The measurements showed that they have increased elasticity and extensibility compared to corresponding straight fibers and straight fiber scaffolds. We have also shown that cardiac cells cultivated on single spring-like fibers formed cell-fiber interactions that induced fiber stretching in the direction of contraction. Moreover, cardiac cells engineered within 3D thick spring-like fiber scaffolds formed a functional tissue exhibiting significantly improved function, including stronger contraction force (p = 0.002), higher beating rate (p < 0.0001) and lower excitation threshold (p = 0.02), compared to straight fiber scaffolds. Collectively, our results suggest that spring-like fibers can play a key role in contributing to the ex vivo formation of a contracting cardiac muscle tissue. We envision that cardiac tissues engineered within these spring-like fiber scaffolds can be used to improve heart function after infarction.
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Sterile inflammation after permanent distal MCA occlusion in hypertensive rats.
J. Cereb. Blood Flow Metab.
PUBLISHED: 05-16-2013
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The pathophysiology of stroke is governed by immune reactions within and remote from the injured brain. Hypertension, a major cause and comorbidity of stroke, entails systemic vascular inflammation and may influence poststroke immune responses. This aspect is, however, underestimated in previous studies. Here we aimed to delineate the sequence of cellular inflammation after stroke in spontaneously hypertensive (SH) rats. Spontaneously hypertensive rats were subjected to permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion and killed after 1 or 4 days. Immune cells of the peripheral blood and those which have infiltrated the injured brain were identified and quantified by flow cytometry. The spatial distribution of myeloid cells and T lymphocytes, and the infarct volume were assessed by histology. We observed a concerted infiltration of immune cells into the ischemic brain of SH rats. At day 1, primarily neutrophils, monocytes, macrophages, and myeloid dendritic cells entered the brain, whereas the situation at day 4 was dominated by microglia, macrophages, lymphatic dendritic cells, and T cells. Postischemic inflammation did not cause secondary tissue damage during the subacute stage of experimental stroke in SH rats. Considering the intrinsic vascular pathology of SH rats, our study validates this strain for further translational research in poststroke inflammation.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 13 November 2013; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2013.199.
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Object-based analysis of astroglial reaction and astrocyte subtype morphology after ischemic brain injury.
Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars)
PUBLISHED: 04-19-2013
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The astrocytic response to ischemic brain injury is characterized by specific alterations of glial cell morphology and function. Various studies described both beneficial and detrimental aspects of activated astrocytes, suggesting the existence of different subtypes. We investigated this issue using a novel object-based approach to study characteristics of astrogliosis after stroke. Spontaneously hypertensive rats received permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion. After 96 h, brain specimens were removed, fixed and stained for GFAP, glutamine synthetase (GS), S100Beta and Musashi1 (Msh1). Three regions of interest were defined (contralateral hemisphere, ipsilateral remote zone and infarct border zone), and confocal stacks were acquired (n=5 biological with each n=4 technical replicates). The stacks were background-corrected and colocalization between the selected markers and GFAP was determined using an automated thresholding algorithm. The fluorescence and colocalization channels were then converted into 3D-objects using both intensity and volume as filters to ultimately determine the final volumes of marker expression and colocalization, as well as the morphological changes of astrocyte process arborisation. We found that both S100Beta and Msh1 determined the same GFAP-positive astroglial cell population albeit the cellular compartments differed. GFAP stained most of the astrocyte processes and is hence suitable for the analysis of qualitative characteristics of astrogliosis. Due to its peri-nuclear localization, Msh1 is appropriate to estimate the total number of astrocytes even in regions with severe reactive astrogliosis. GS expression in GFAP-positive astrocytes was high in the remote zone and low at the infarct border, indicating the existence of astrocyte subclasses.
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Challenges in the therapy of chromoblastomycosis.
Mycopathologia
PUBLISHED: 04-02-2013
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Chromoblastomycosis (CBM) is an implantation mycosis mainly occurring in tropical and subtropical zones worldwide. If not diagnosed at early stages, patients with CBM require long-term therapy with systemic antifungals flanked by various physical treatment regimens. As in other neglected endemic mycoses, comparative clinical trials have not been performed for this disease; nowadays, therapy is mainly based on a few open trials and on expert opinions. Itraconazole, either as monotherapy or associated with other drugs, or with physical methods, is widely used. Recently, photodynamic therapy has been employed successfully in combination with antifungals in patients presenting with CBM. In the present paper, the most used therapeutic options against CBM are reviewed as well as the several factors that may have impact on the patients outcome.
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MicroRNA-150: a novel marker of left ventricular remodeling after acute myocardial infarction.
Circ Cardiovasc Genet
PUBLISHED: 04-01-2013
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Left ventricular (LV) remodeling after acute myocardial infarction is associated with adverse prognosis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate the expression of several genes involved in LV remodeling. Our aim was to identify miRNAs associated with LV remodeling after acute myocardial infarction.
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Muscle cells provide instructions for planarian regeneration.
Cell Rep
PUBLISHED: 03-26-2013
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Regeneration requires both potential and instructions for tissue replacement. In planarians, pluripotent stem cells have the potential to produce all new tissue. The identities of the cells that provide regeneration instructions are unknown. Here, we report that position control genes (PCGs) that control regeneration and tissue turnover are expressed in a subepidermal layer of nonneoblast cells. These subepidermal cells coexpress many PCGs. We propose that these subepidermal cells provide a system of body coordinates and positional information for regeneration, and identify them to be muscle cells of the planarian body wall. Almost all planarian muscle cells express PCGs, suggesting a dual function: contraction and control of patterning. PCG expression is dynamic in muscle cells after injury, even in the absence of neoblasts, suggesting that muscle is instructive for regeneration. We conclude that planarian regeneration involves two highly flexible systems: pluripotent neoblasts that can generate any new cell type and muscle cells that provide positional instructions for the regeneration of any body region.
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Analysis of a gene co-expression network establishes robust association between Col5a2 and ischemic heart disease.
BMC Med Genomics
PUBLISHED: 03-26-2013
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This study aims to expand knowledge of the complex process of myocardial infarction (MI) through the application of a systems-based approach.
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Modeling serum level of s100? and bispectral index to predict outcome after cardiac arrest.
J. Am. Coll. Cardiol.
PUBLISHED: 03-18-2013
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This study was designed to evaluate multimodal prognostication in patients after cardiac arrest (CA).
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Decision-making in polydrug amphetamine-type stimulant users: an fMRI study.
Neuropsychopharmacology
PUBLISHED: 02-07-2013
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Qualitative poor decision-making and associated altered neuronal activation patterns have been described for the users of several drugs, amongst others for stimulants like amphetamine and MDMA. Deficits in decision-making might be caused by an augmented attraction to short-term rewarding properties despite negative long-term consequences, leading to rigid stimulus-response patterns. In the present imaging study, we investigated decision-making and associated neuronal activation in three groups differing in their exposure to amphetamine and MDMA. An established paradigm on risky choices was used to evaluate decision-making performance and corresponding functional magnet resonance imaging (fMRI) activation. Subjects could choose between a low-risk control gamble and an experimental gamble, which always differed in the probability of winning or losing, as well as the magnitudes of monetary gain or loss. Experienced users (EU), users with low exposure to stimulants and drug-naive controls, did not differ from each other in behavioral performance. In accordance with our hypotheses, the anticipation of reward led to an activation of primarily the frontal cortex and the striatum in low-exposure users and drug-naive controls. In contrast, frontal and parietal activation was observed in all groups when the actual outcome of an experimental gamble was presented. EU displayed more activation compared to both control groups when there was a high probability of winning. The study at hand supports the hypothesis that neuronal activation patterns might even differ between drug users and healthy controls when no behavioral deficits are apparent. In EU, the probability of the occurrence of an event has more influence on neuronal activation than on the actual magnitude of reinforcing properties of this event.
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Structural motifs and elastic properties of hierarchical biological tissues - a review.
J. Struct. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 01-20-2013
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Recent progress made in the field of hierarchical biological materials is reviewed with an emphasis on the staggering characteristics at the smaller structural scale of a number of tissues. We show by means of selected examples that the small-scale architecture, and particularly the degree of staggering and overlap, plays a critical role in the macroscopic elastic behavior of those tissues.
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MicroRNA-16 affects key functions of human endothelial progenitor cells.
J. Leukoc. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 01-16-2013
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The capacity of EPCs to repair injured tissues is limited. The role of miRNAs in EPCs is largely unknown. We tested whether miRNAs may be useful to enhance the regenerative capacity of EPCs. Early EPCs were isolated from human PBMCs, and late EPCs were amplified from enriched human peripheral CD34(+) cells. Expression profiles of miRNAs and mRNAs were obtained by microarrays. Among the miRNAs differentially expressed between early and late EPCs, five members of the miR-16 family (miR-15a/-15b/-16/-103/-107) were overexpressed in early EPCs. Web-accessible databases predicted 375 gene targets for these five miRNAs. Among these, two regulators of cell cycle progression (CCND1 and CCNE1) and one associated gene (CDK6) were less expressed in early EPCs. Administration of anti-miR-16 in early EPCs enhanced the expression of these three genes, and administration of pre-miR-16 in late EPCs decreased their expression. In early EPCs, antagonism of miR-16 allowed for cell-cycle re-entry, stimulated differentiation, enhanced IL-8 secretion, and promoted the formation of capillary-like structures by HUVECs. In conclusion, miR-16 regulates key biological pathways in EPCs. This may have important implications to enhance the capacity of EPCs to repair injured tissues.
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Adenosine stimulates the migration of human endothelial progenitor cells. Role of CXCR4 and microRNA-150.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-09-2013
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Administration of endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) represents a promising option to regenerate the heart after myocardial infarction, but is limited because of low recruitment and engraftment in the myocardium. Mobilization and migration of EPC are mainly controlled by stromal cell-derived factor 1? (SDF-1?) and its receptor CXCR4. We hypothesized that adenosine, a cardioprotective molecule, may improve the recruitment of EPC to the heart.
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The emergence of an unusual stiffness profile in hierarchical biological tissues.
Acta Biomater
PUBLISHED: 01-07-2013
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Biological tissues usually exhibit complex multiscale structural architectures. In many of these, and particularly in mineralized tissues, the basic building block is a staggered array-a composite material made of soft matrix and stiff reinforcing elements. Here we study the stiffness of non-overlapping staggered arrays, a case that has not previously been considered in the literature, and introduce closed-form analytical expressions for its Youngs modulus. These expressions are then used to estimate the stiffness of natural staggered biocomposites such as low-mineralized collagen fibril and mineralized tendon. We then consider a two-scale composite scheme for evaluating the modulus of a specific hierarchical structure, the compact bone tissue, which is made of mineralized collagen fibrils with weakly overlapping staggered architecture. It is found that small variations in the staggered structure induce significant differences in the macroscopic stiffness, and, in particular, provide a possible explanation for the as yet unexplained stiffening effects observed in medium-mineralized tissues.
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A panel of 4 microRNAs facilitates the prediction of left ventricular contractility after acute myocardial infarction.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Prediction of clinical outcome after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is challenging and would benefit from new biomarkers. We investigated the prognostic value of 4 circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) after AMI.
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Determination of the therapeutic time window for human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cell transplantation following experimental stroke in rats.
Cell Transplant
PUBLISHED: 12-13-2011
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Experimental treatment strategies using human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (hUCB MNCs) represent a promising option for alternative stroke therapies. An important point for clinical translation of such treatment approaches is knowledge on the therapeutic time window. Although expected to be wider than for thrombolysis, the exact time window for hUCB MNC therapy is not known. Our study aimed to determine the time window of intravenous hUCB MNC administration after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Male spontaneously hypertensive rats underwent MCAO and were randomly assigned to hUCB MNC administration at 4, 24, 72, and 120 or 14 days. Influence of cell treatment was observed by magnetic resonance imaging on days 1, 8, and 29 following MCAO and by assessment of functional neurological recovery. On day 30, brains were screened for glial scar development and presence of hUCB MNCs. Further, influence of hUCB MNCs on necrosis and apoptosis in postischemic neural tissue was investigated in hippocampal slices cultures. Transplantation within a 72-h time window resulted in an early improvement of functional recovery, paralleled by a reduction of brain atrophy and diminished glial scarring. Cell transplantation 120 h post-MCAO only induced minor functional recovery without changes in the brain atrophy rate and glial reactivity. Later transplantation (14 days) did not show any benefit. No evidence for intracerebrally localized hUCB MNCs was found in any treatment group. In vitro hUCB MNCs were able to significantly reduce postischemic neural necrosis and apoptosis. Our results for the first time indicate a time window of therapeutic hUCB MNC application of at least 72 h. The time window is limited, but wider than compared to conventional pharmacological approaches. The data furthermore confirms that differentiation and integration of administered cells is not a prerequisite for poststroke functional improvement and lesion size reduction.
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Enhanced mechanical properties of electrospun nano-fibers through NaCl mediation.
J Nanosci Nanotechnol
PUBLISHED: 11-22-2011
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Electrospun (ES) nano-scale polymer fibers are known to exhibit lower Youngs modulus and strength than their bulk counterpart. We have discovered that minute additions of sodium chloride (NaCl) during the preparation stage of ES polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) fibers raises the fiber mechanical properties in a significant way, nearly up to bulk values, over a range of diameters. NaCl-induced electrical effects leading to enhanced molecular alignment during nano-fiber formation is the most likely explanation for this synergistic effect. Moreover, beyond the now-recognized rise in Youngs modulus values, we observed that the strength and tensile toughness of the ES fibers also significantly increase at progressively smaller diameters.
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Friction mechanism of individual multilayered nanoparticles.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 11-14-2011
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Inorganic nanoparticles of layered [two-dimensional (2D)] compounds with hollow polyhedral structure, known as fullerene-like nanoparticles (IF), were found to have excellent lubricating properties. This behavior can be explained by superposition of three main mechanisms: rolling, sliding, and exfoliation-material transfer (third body). In order to elucidate the tribological mechanism of individual nanoparticles in different regimes, in situ axial nanocompression and shearing forces were applied to individual nanoparticles using a high resolution scanning electron microscope. Gold nanoparticles deposited onto the IF nanoparticles surface served as markers, delineating the motion of individual IF nanoparticle. It can be concluded from these experiments that rolling is an important lubrication mechanism for IF-WS(2) in the relatively low range of normal stress (0.96 ± 0.38 GPa). Sliding is shown to be relevant under slightly higher normal stress, where the spacing between the two mating surfaces does not permit free rolling of the nanoparticles. Exfoliation of the IF nanoparticles becomes the dominant mechanism at the high end of normal stress; above 1.2 GPa and (slow) shear; i.e., boundary lubrication conditions. It is argued that the modus operandi of the nanoparticles depends on their degree of crystallinity (defects); sizes; shape, and their mechanical characteristics. This study suggests that the rolling mechanism, which leads to low friction and wear, could be attained by improving the sphericity of the IF nanoparticle, the dispersion (deagglomeration) of the nanoparticles, and the smoothness of the mating surfaces.
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Layer-by-layer assembled PVA/Laponite multilayer free-standing films and their mechanical and thermal properties.
Nanotechnology
PUBLISHED: 10-21-2011
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Structural arrangements of nanoplatelets in a polymer matrix play an important role in determining their properties. In the present study, multilayered composite films of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) with Laponite clay are assembled by layer-by-layer (LBL) deposition. The LBL films are found to be hydrated, flexible and transparent. A facile and solvent-free method-by depositing self-assembled monolayers (SMA) of a functional silane on substrates-is demonstrated for preparing free-standing LBL films. Evolution of nanostructures in LBL films is correlated with thermal and mechanical properties. A well-dispersed solvent-cast PVA/Laponite composite film is also studied for comparison. We found that structurally ordered LBL films with an intercalated nanoclay system exhibits tensile strength, modulus and toughness, which are significantly higher than that of the conventional nanocomposites with well-dispersed clay particles and that of pure PVA. This indicates that clay platelets are oriented in the applied stress direction, leading to efficient interfacial stress transfer. In addition, various grades of composite LBL films are prepared by chemical crosslinking and their mechanical properties are assessed. On account of these excellent properties, the LBL films may find potential use as optical and structural elements, and as humidity sensors.
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Assessment of neuroprotective effects of human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cell subpopulations in vitro and in vivo.
Cell Transplant
PUBLISHED: 09-16-2011
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Experimental transplantation of human umbilical cord blood (hUCB) mononuclear cells (MNCs) in rodent stroke models revealed the therapeutic potential of these cells. However, effective cells within the heterogeneous MNC population and their modes of action are still under discussion. MNCs and MNC fractions enriched (CD34(+)) or depleted (CD34(-)) for CD34-expressing stem/progenitor cells were isolated from hUCB. Cells were transplanted intravenously following middle cerebral artery occlusion in spontaneously hypertensive rats and directly or indirectly cocultivated with hippocampal slices previously subjected to oxygen and glucose deprivation. Application of saline solution or a human T-cell line served as controls. In vivo, MNCs, CD34(+) and CD34(-) cells reduced neurofunctional deficits and diminished lesion volume as determined by magnetic resonance imaging. MNCs were superior to other fractions. However, human cells could not be identified in brain tissue 29 days after stroke induction. Following direct application on postischemic hippocampal slices, MNCs reduced neural damage throughout a 3-day observation period. CD34(+) cells provided transient protection for 2 days. The CD34(-) fraction, in contrast to in vivo results, failed to reduce neural damage. Direct cocultivation of MNCs was superior to indirect cocultivation of equal cell numbers. Indirect application of up to 10-fold MNC concentrations enhanced neuroprotection to a level comparable to direct cocultivation. After direct application, MNCs migrated into the slices. Flow cytometric analysis of migrated cells revealed that the CD34(+) cells within MNCs were preferably attracted by damaged hippocampal tissue. Our study suggests that MNCs provide the most prominent neuroprotective effect, with CD34(+) cells seeming to be particularly involved in the protective action of MNCs. CD34(+) cells preferentially home to neural tissue in vitro, but are not superior concerning the overall effect, implying that there is another, still undiscovered, protective cell population. Furthermore, MNCs did not survive in the ischemic brain for longer periods without immunosuppression.
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Sensitivity of carbon nanotubes to the storage of stress in polymers.
Macromol Rapid Commun
PUBLISHED: 08-31-2011
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Residual stress in polymers arises from the freezing of unstable molecular conformations. Residual stress is critical because its relaxation can cause shrinkage, defects, and fractures of polymer materials. The storage of stress is purposely enhanced to develop shape memory materials. Unfortunately, the storage of mechanical stress is still poorly controlled and understood. An approach to sense the storage of stress based on the spectroscopic response of carbon nanotubes is explored. The Raman response of nanotubes exhibits a variable sensitivity to strain when embedded in polymers that have experienced different thermal and mechanical treatments. This unique feature opens up new possibilities for the use of carbon nanotubes as mechanical nanosensors.
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Transforming growth factor ? receptor 1 is a new candidate prognostic biomarker after acute myocardial infarction.
BMC Med Genomics
PUBLISHED: 08-10-2011
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Prediction of left ventricular (LV) remodeling after acute myocardial infarction (MI) is clinically important and would benefit from the discovery of new biomarkers.
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Pronephric tubulogenesis requires Daam1-mediated planar cell polarity signaling.
J. Am. Soc. Nephrol.
PUBLISHED: 07-29-2011
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Canonical ?-catenin-mediated Wnt signaling is essential for the induction of nephron development. Noncanonical Wnt/planar cell polarity (PCP) pathways contribute to processes such as cell polarization and cytoskeletal modulation in several tissues. Although PCP components likely establish the plane of polarization in kidney tubulogenesis, whether PCP effectors directly modulate the actin cytoskeleton in tubulogenesis is unknown. Here, we investigated the roles of Wnt PCP components in cytoskeletal assembly during kidney tubule morphogenesis in Xenopus laevis and zebrafish. We found that during tubulogenesis, the developing pronephric anlagen expresses Daam1 and its interacting Rho-GEF (WGEF), which compose one PCP/noncanonical Wnt pathway branch. Knockdown of Daam1 resulted in reduced expression of late pronephric epithelial markers with no apparent effect upon early markers of patterning and determination. Inhibiting various points in the Daam1 signaling pathway significantly reduced pronephric tubulogenesis. These data indicate that pronephric tubulogenesis requires the Daam1/WGEF/Rho PCP pathway.
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Trophic transfer of amphiphilic polymer coated CdSe/ZnS quantum dots to Danio rerio.
Nanoscale
PUBLISHED: 06-28-2011
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To investigate the trophic transfer of nanomaterials along the food chain, we examined the potential trophic transfer and biomagnification of CdSe/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) in a simple freshwater food chain. Our results indicate that QDs can transfer from zooplankton to Danio rerio (zebrafish) by dietary exposure. No significant biomagnification of QDs was observed and the biomagnification factors for both adult and juvenile zebrafish were both less than one (0.04 and 0.004 respectively). The assimilation efficiency was 8% and 4% for adult and juvenile zebrafish respectively. This study is the first to examine the potential food chain transfer and biomagnification of QDs from zooplankton to zebrafish.
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Drug-target network in myocardial infarction reveals multiple side effects of unrelated drugs.
Sci Rep
PUBLISHED: 06-24-2011
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The systems-level characterization of drug-target associations in myocardial infarction (MI) has not been reported to date. We report a computational approach that combines different sources of drug and protein interaction information to assemble the myocardial infarction drug-target interactome network (My-DTome). My-DTome comprises approved and other drugs interlinked in a single, highly-connected network with modular organization. We show that approved and other drugs may both be highly connected and represent network bottlenecks. This highlights influential roles for such drugs on seemingly unrelated targets and pathways via direct and indirect interactions. My-DTome modules are associated with relevant molecular processes and pathways. We find evidence that these modules may be regulated by microRNAs with potential therapeutic roles in MI. Different drugs can jointly impact a module. We provide systemic insights into cardiovascular effects of non-cardiovascular drugs. My-DTome provides the basis for an alternative approach to investigate new targets and multidrug treatment in MI.
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Chemokine receptor 5 polymorphism in myocardial infarction patients from Luxembourg.
Bull Soc Sci Med Grand Duche Luxemb
PUBLISHED: 06-04-2011
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The CC-chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) is regulating inflammatory pathways and may thus be implicated in the development and progression of heart failure (HF). A 32 base pair deletion of the ccr5 gene, called CCR5delta32, prevents the expression of CCR5 at the cell surface. We analyzed the association between the CCR5delta32 deletion and the risk and severity of myocardial infarction (MI) in a cohort of patients from Luxembourg.
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Acipimox-enhanced ¹?F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography for characterizing and predicting early remodeling in the rat infarct model.
Int J Cardiovasc Imaging
PUBLISHED: 06-01-2011
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The rat myocardial infarction (MI) model is widely used to study left ventricular (LV) remodeling. In this study, acipimox-enhanced (18)F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) gated-positron emission tomography (PET) was assessed for characterizing and predicting early remodeling in the rat infarct model. Nineteen Wistar rats had surgical occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery and 7 were sham-operated. PET was scheduled 48 h and 2 weeks later for quantifying MI area and LV function. Segments with <50% of FDG uptake had histological evidence of MI (74 ± 9% decrease in parietal thickness, fibrosis development). At 48 h, MI area was large (>35% of LV) in 6 rats, moderate (15-35% of LV) in 8 rats, limited (<15% of LV) in 5 rats and absent in the 7 sham rats. LV remodeling, assessed through the 2 weeks increase in end-diastolic volume, increased between rats with limited, moderate and large MI (+72 ± 25, +109 ± 56, +190 ± 69 ?l, respectively, P = 0.007). This 3-groups classification allowed predicting 44% of the 2 weeks increase in end-diastolic volume, and additional 34% were predicted by heart rate at 48 h. The acipimox-enhanced FDG gated-PET technique provides efficient characterization and prediction of early remodeling in the rat infarct model.
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Clonogenic neoblasts are pluripotent adult stem cells that underlie planarian regeneration.
Science
PUBLISHED: 05-14-2011
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Pluripotent cells in the embryo can generate all cell types, but lineage-restricted cells are generally thought to replenish adult tissues. Planarians are flatworms and regenerate from tiny body fragments, a process requiring a population of proliferating cells (neoblasts). Whether regeneration is accomplished by pluripotent cells or by the collective activity of multiple lineage-restricted cell types is unknown. We used ionizing radiation and single-cell transplantation to identify neoblasts that can form large descendant-cell colonies in vivo. These clonogenic neoblasts (cNeoblasts) produce cells that differentiate into neuronal, intestinal, and other known postmitotic cell types and are distributed throughout the body. Single transplanted cNeoblasts restored regeneration in lethally irradiated hosts. We conclude that broadly distributed, adult pluripotent stem cells underlie the remarkable regenerative abilities of planarians.
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Information encoded in a network of inflammation proteins predicts clinical outcome after myocardial infarction.
BMC Med Genomics
PUBLISHED: 05-06-2011
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Inflammation plays an important role in cardiac repair after myocardial infarction (MI). Nevertheless, the systems-level characterization of inflammation proteins in MI remains incomplete. There is a need to demonstrate the potential value of molecular network-based approaches to translational research. We investigated the interplay of inflammation proteins and assessed network-derived knowledge to support clinical decisions after MI. The main focus is the prediction of clinical outcome after MI.
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Adenosine reduces cell surface expression of toll-like receptor 4 and inflammation in response to lipopolysaccharide and matrix products.
J Cardiovasc Transl Res
PUBLISHED: 04-11-2011
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Recent evidence suggests that Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is not only involved in innate immunity but is also an important mediator of adverse left ventricular remodeling and heart failure following acute myocardial infarction (MI). TLR4 is activated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) but also by products of matrix degradation such as hyaluronic acid and heparan sulfate. Although cardioprotective properties of adenosine (Ado) have been extensively studied, its potential to interfere with TLR4 activation is unknown. We observed that TLR4 pathway is activated in white blood cells from MI patients. TLR4 mRNA expression correlated with troponin T levels (R (2)?=?0.75; P?=?0.01) but not with levels of white blood cells and C-reactive protein. Ado downregulated TLR4 expression at the surface of human macrophages (-50%, P?
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Proof-of-principle investigation of an algorithmic model of adenosine-mediated angiogenesis.
Theor Biol Med Model
PUBLISHED: 04-08-2011
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We investigated an algorithmic approach to modelling angiogenesis controlled by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the anti-angiogenic soluble VEGF receptor 1 (sVEGFR-1) and adenosine (Ado). We explored its feasibility to test angiogenesis-relevant hypotheses. We illustrated its potential to investigate the role of Ado as an angiogenesis modulator by enhancing VEGF activity and antagonizing sVEGFR-1.
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Predictive integration of gene functional similarity and co-expression defines treatment response of endothelial progenitor cells.
BMC Syst Biol
PUBLISHED: 03-30-2011
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Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been implicated in different processes crucial to vasculature repair, which may offer the basis for new therapeutic strategies in cardiovascular disease. Despite advances facilitated by functional genomics, there is a lack of systems-level understanding of treatment response mechanisms of EPCs. In this research we aimed to characterize the EPCs response to adenosine (Ado), a cardioprotective factor, based on the systems-level integration of gene expression data and prior functional knowledge. Specifically, we set out to identify novel biosignatures of Ado-treatment response in EPCs.
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Adenosine modifies the balance between membrane and soluble forms of Flt-1.
J. Leukoc. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 03-29-2011
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VEGFR-1 (or Flt-1) exists under a sFlt-1 or a mFlt-1 form. sFlt-1 is antiangiogenic, and mFlt-1 is proangiogenic. The cardioprotective nucleoside Ado is proangiogenic, but its effects on Flt-1 are unknown and were tested in this study. In primary human macrophages from healthy volunteers, Ado inhibited sFlt-1 expression induced by LPS (-43%, P=0.006), HS, and IL-1? but not hypoxia. This effect was also observed in macrophages from patients with acute MI (-33%, P<0.001). It was reproduced by the A(2A) Ado receptor agonist CGS21680 and abrogated by the A(2A) antagonist SCH58261. Conversely, Ado increased mFlt-1 expression, thus switching sFlt-1 from the soluble toward the membrane form. This switch was also present in macrophages from acute MI patients (P<0.001). Assessment of HIF-1? nuclear translocation and activation together with siRNA experiments suggested that the effect of Ado on Flt-1 involves HIF-1?. In conclusion, Ado down-regulates sFlt-1 and up-regulates mFlt-1 production, an effect that indicates that Ado may be used to stimulate angiogenesis in the heart.
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Proteomic analysis of plasma samples from patients with acute myocardial infarction identifies haptoglobin as a potential prognostic biomarker.
J Proteomics
PUBLISHED: 03-24-2011
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Prognosis of clinical outcome following myocardial infarction is variable and difficult to predict. We have analyzed the plasma proteome of thirty patients with acute myocardial infarction to search for new prognostic biomarkers. Proteomic analyses of blood samples were performed by 2-D-DiGE after plasma depletion of albumin and immunoglobulins G. New York Heart Association (NYHA) class determined at 1-year follow-up was used to identify patients with heart failure. Principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering of proteomic data revealed that patients could be separated into 3 groups. The 22 differentially expressed proteins involved in this grouping were identified as haptoglobin (Hp) and respective isoforms. The 3 groups of patients had distinct Hp isoforms: patients from group 1 had the ?1-?1, patients from group 2 the ?2-?1, and patients from group 3 the ?2-?2 genotype. This classification was also associated with different total plasma levels of Hp. The presence of the ?2 genotype and low plasma levels of Hp was associated with a higher NYHA class and therefore with a detrimental functional outcome after myocardial infarction. A plasma level of Hp below 1.4g/L predicted the occurrence of heart failure (NYHA 2, 3, 4) at 1-year with 100% sensitivity.
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Recent advances in basic and translational stroke research.
Expert Rev Neurother
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2011
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Since 1998, the biannual International Symposium on Neuroprotection and Neurorepair, also known as the Magdeburg Meeting series, has provided a platform for the discussion of recent advances in basic and translational stroke research. The 2010 meeting reviewed highly relevant topics, including astrogliosis and microgliosis, neuroimmunological processes, cell-based therapies, novel imaging approaches, mechanisms of poststroke regeneration and metabolic phenomena in neuroprotection. It further focused on common pitfalls and opportunities in the translational process, from preclinical research to clinical application.
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Mutations in zebrafish lrp2 result in adult-onset ocular pathogenesis that models myopia and other risk factors for glaucoma.
PLoS Genet.
PUBLISHED: 01-13-2011
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The glaucomas comprise a genetically complex group of retinal neuropathies that typically occur late in life and are characterized by progressive pathology of the optic nerve head and degeneration of retinal ganglion cells. In addition to age and family history, other significant risk factors for glaucoma include elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) and myopia. The complexity of glaucoma has made it difficult to model in animals, but also challenging to identify responsible genes. We have used zebrafish to identify a genetically complex, recessive mutant that shows risk factors for glaucoma including adult onset severe myopia, elevated IOP, and progressive retinal ganglion cell pathology. Positional cloning and analysis of a non-complementing allele indicated that non-sense mutations in low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 2 (lrp2) underlie the mutant phenotype. Lrp2, previously named Megalin, functions as an endocytic receptor for a wide-variety of bioactive molecules including Sonic hedgehog, bone morphogenic protein 4, retinol-binding protein, vitamin D-binding protein, and apolipoprotein E, among others. Detailed phenotype analyses indicated that as lrp2 mutant fish age, many individuals--but not all--develop high IOP and severe myopia with obviously enlarged eye globes. This results in retinal stretch and prolonged stress to retinal ganglion cells, which ultimately show signs of pathogenesis. Our studies implicate altered Lrp2-mediated homeostasis as important for myopia and other risk factors for glaucoma in humans and establish a new genetic model for further study of phenotypes associated with this disease.
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Tunable plasmonic nanoprobes for theranostics of prostate cancer.
Theranostics
PUBLISHED: 01-10-2011
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Theranostic applications require coupling of diagnosis and therapy, a high degree of specificity and adaptability to delivery methods compatible with clinical practice. The tunable physical and biological effects of selective targeting and activation of plasmonic nanobubbles (PNB) were studied in a heterogeneous biological microenvironment of prostate cancer and stromal cells. All cells were targeted with conjugates of gold nanoparticles (NPs) through an antibody-receptor-endocytosis-nanocluster mechanism that produced NP clusters. The simultaneous pulsed optical activation of intracellular NP clusters at several wavelengths resulted in higher optical contrast and therapeutic selectivity of PNBs compared with those of gold NPs alone. The developed mechanism was termed "rainbow plasmonic nanobubbles." The cellular effect of rainbow PNBs was tuned in situ in target cells, thus supporting a theranostic algorithm of prostate cancer cell detection and follow-up guided destruction without damage to collateral cells. The specificity and tunability of PNBs is promising for theranostic applications and we discuss a fiber optic platform that will capitalize on these features to bring theranostic tools to the clinic.
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Cleaved caspase-3 expression after experimental stroke exhibits different phenotypes and is predominantly non-apoptotic.
Brain Res.
PUBLISHED: 01-10-2011
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Cleaved caspase-3 (CC3) is well known as an executioner protease of apoptosis following brain ischemia. However, an increasing body of evidence suggests several non-apoptotic functions of CC3. To improve our understanding of the relation between cell death-related and non-adverse effects of postischemic caspase-3 activation, we examined the spatiotemporal distribution and identity of CC3-positive cells at days 2, 3 and 4 after permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats. The lacking colocalization of CC3 and TUNEL staining indicated, that CC3 expression was predominantly non-apoptotic. Nuclear CC3 expression was frequently found to be colocalized with GFAP-positive astrocytes within the tissue adjacent to the infarct, whereas cytoplasmatic CC3 expression occurred solely in the lesion. Multiple fluorescence labeling revealed costaining of cytoplasmatic CC3 with markers directed against astrocytes, macrophages/microglia and supposedly pericytes. Our findings suggest that CC3 expression was predominantly associated with cellular responses to stroke such as reactive astrogliosis and the infiltration of macrophages.
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Prognostic transcriptional association networks: a new supervised approach based on regression trees.
Bioinformatics
PUBLISHED: 11-21-2010
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The application of information encoded in molecular networks for prognostic purposes is a crucial objective of systems biomedicine. This approach has not been widely investigated in the cardiovascular research area. Within this area, the prediction of clinical outcomes after suffering a heart attack would represent a significant step forward. We developed a new quantitative prediction-based method for this prognostic problem based on the discovery of clinically relevant transcriptional association networks. This method integrates regression trees and clinical class-specific networks, and can be applied to other clinical domains.
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Azooxanthellate? Most Hawaiian black corals contain Symbiodinium.
Proc. Biol. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 10-20-2010
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The ecological success of shallow-water reef-building corals (Hexacorallia: Scleractinia) is framed by their intimate endosymbiosis with photosynthetic dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium (zooxanthellae). In contrast, the closely related black corals (Hexacorallia: Anthipatharia) are described as azooxanthellate (lacking Symbiodinium), a trait thought to reflect their preference for low-light environments that do not support photosynthesis. We examined 14 antipatharian species collected between 10 and 396 m from Hawaii and Johnston Atoll for the presence of Symbiodinium using molecular typing and histology. Symbiodinium internal transcribed spacer-2 (ITS-2) region sequences were retrieved from 43 per cent of the antipatharian samples and 71 per cent of the examined species, and across the entire depth range. The ITS-2 sequences were identical or very similar to those commonly found in shallow-water scleractinian corals throughout the Pacific. Histological analyses revealed low densities of Symbiodinium cells inside antipatharian gastrodermal tissues (0-92 cells mm(-3)), suggesting that the Symbiodinium are endosymbiotic. These findings confirm that the capacity to engage in endosymbiosis with Symbiodinium is evolutionarily conserved across the cnidarian subclass Hexacorallia, and that antipatharians associate with Symbiodinium types found in shallow-water scleractinians. This study represents the deepest record for Symbiodinium to date, and suggests that some members of this dinoflagellate genus have extremely diverse habitat preferences and broad environmental ranges.
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Circulating MicroRNA-208b and MicroRNA-499 reflect myocardial damage in cardiovascular disease.
Circ Cardiovasc Genet
PUBLISHED: 10-04-2010
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Small RNA molecules, called microRNAs, freely circulate in human plasma and correlate with varying pathologies. In this study, we explored their diagnostic potential in a selection of prevalent cardiovascular disorders.
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Youngs modulus of peritubular and intertubular human dentin by nano-indentation tests.
J. Struct. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 07-16-2010
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The local Young modulus of dry dentin viewed as a hierarchical composite was measured by nano-indentation using two types of experiments, both in a continuous stiffness measurement mode. First, tests were performed radially along straight lines running across highly mineralized peritubular dentin sections and through less mineralized intertubular dentin areas. These tests revealed a gradual decrease in Youngs modulus from the bulk of the peritubular dentin region where modulus values of up to ?40-42GPa were observed, down to approximately constant values of ?17GPa in the intertubular dentin region. A second set of nano-indentation experiments was performed on the facets of an irregular polyhedron specimen cut from the intertubular dentin region, so as to probe the modulus of intertubular dentin specimens at different orientations relative to the tubular direction. The results demonstrated that the intertubular dentin region may be considered to be quasi-isotropic, with a slightly higher modulus value (?22GPa) when the indenting tip axis is parallel to the tubular direction, compared to the values (?18GPa) obtained when the indenting tip axis is perpendicular to the tubule direction.
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Intravenous human umbilical cord blood transplantation for stroke: impact on infarct volume and caspase-3-dependent cell death in spontaneously hypertensive rats.
Exp. Neurol.
PUBLISHED: 07-06-2010
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Transplantation of human umbilical cord blood cells (HUCBC) produces reliable behavioral and morphological improvements in animal models of stroke. However, the mechanisms of action still have not been fully elucidated. The aim of the present study is the evaluation of potential neuroprotective effects produced by HUCBC in terms of reduced infarct volume and caspase-3-dependent cell death. Permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion was induced in 90 spontaneously hypertensive rats. The animals were randomly assigned to the control group (n=49) or the verum group (n=41). The cell suspension (8 × 10(6) HUCBC per kilogram bodyweight) or vehicle solution was intravenously administered 24h after stroke onset. Fifty subjects (n=25/25) were sacrificed after 25, 48, 72 and 96h, and brain specimens were removed for immunohistochemistry for MAP2, cleaved caspase-3 (casp3) and GFAP. Another 42 animals (n=26/16) were sacrificed after 0, 6, 24, 36 and 48h and their brains processed for quantitative PCR for casp3 and survivin. The infarct volume remained stable over the entire experimental period. However, cleaved casp3 activity increased significantly in the infarct border zone within the same time frame. Numerous cleaved casp3-positive cells were colocalized with the astrocytic marker GFAP, whereas cleavage of neuronal casp3 was observed rarely. Neither the infarct volume nor casp3 activity was significantly affected by cell transplantation. Delayed systemic transplantation of HUCBC failed to produce neuroprotective effects in a permanent stroke model using premorbid subjects.
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The in vivo performance of plasmonic nanobubbles as cell theranostic agents in zebrafish hosting prostate cancer xenografts.
Biomaterials
PUBLISHED: 05-13-2010
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Cell theranostics is a new approach that unites diagnosis, therapy and confirmation (guidance) of the results of therapy in one single process at cell level, thus principally improving both the rapidity and precision of treatment. The ideal theranostic agent will support all three of the above functions in vivo with cellular resolution, allowing individual assessment of disease state and the elimination of diseased cells while leaving healthy cells intact. We have developed and evaluated plasmonic nanobubbles (PNBs) as an in vivo tunable theranostic cellular agent in zebrafish hosting prostate cancer xenografts. PNBs were selectively generated around gold nanoparticles in cancer cells in the zebrafish with short single laser pulses. By varying the energy of the laser pulse, we dynamically tuned the PNB size in a theranostic sequence of two PNBs: an initial small PNB detected a cancer cell through optical scattering, followed by a second bigger PNB, which mechanically ablated this cell without damage to surrounding tissue, while its optical scattering confirmed the destruction of the cell. Thus PNBs supported the diagnosis and guided ablation of individual human cancer cells in a living organism without damage to the host.
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