Nodakenin, derived from the roots of Angelica gigas Nakai, is an important natural resource and medicinal material with anti-allergic and anti- inflammatory activities. We have previously shown that nodakenin inhibits IgE/Ag-induced degranulation in mast cells. In this study, we investigated the inhibitory effect of nodakenin on 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB)-induced atopic dermatitis (AD)- like skin lesions in ICR mice. Scratching behavior, skin severity score, blood IgE level, and skin thickness were improved in DNCB-induced AD-like ICR mice. Our results showed that nodakenin suppressed the increase of AD-like skin lesions in ICR mice. These results suggest that nodakenin may be a potential therapeutic resource for AD as well as an adjunctive agent to control itching associated with AD.
Abnormal proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) plays an essential functional role in the pathogenesis of vascular disorders, such as atherosclerosis, restenosis, and neointimal hyperplasia. In this study, we examined the effects of meso-dihydroguaiaretic acid (MDGA) on platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB-induced proliferation and the molecular basis of its underlying mechanism of action in rat aortic VSMCs. Incubation of resting VSMCs with MDGA for 24h significantly diminished PDGF-BB-induced DNA synthesis in a dose-dependent manner. We also examined the effects of MDGA on PDGF-BB signal transduction. Pre-treatment of VSMCs with MDGA inhibited PDGF-BB-induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2), p38, and C-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). MDGA also effectively inhibited phosphorylation of Akt, phospholipase C gamma 1 (PLC?1), and PDGF receptor beta (PDGFR?). These results indicate that MDGA may inhibit proliferation of VSMCs by suppressing autophosphorylation of PDGFR?, and may be useful in the treatment of VSMC-associated vascular disease such as atherosclerosis, restenosis, and neointimal hyperplasia after angioplasty.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to implement combined muscle strengthening and proprioceptive exercises to examine the effects of combined exercises on functional ankle instability. [Subjects and Methods] Experiments were conducted with 30 adult males and females. The study subjects were randomly assigned to either a control group (Group A), a muscle strengthening exercise group (Group B), or a combined muscle strengthening and proprioceptive exercise group (Group C) consisting of 10 subjects each. In Group A, measurements were only conducted before and after the experiment without any intervention, whereas the exercise programs for Group B and Group C were implemented three days per week for four weeks. [Results] Muscle strength showed significant increases in Groups B and C compared with the control group during plantar flexion, dorsiflexion, inversion, and eversion. The Cumberland ankle instability tool showed significant increases in Group B and Group C compared with Group A and significant increases in Group C compared with Group B. [Conclusion] Applying combined muscle strengthening and proprioceptive exercises to those who have functional ankle instability is more effective than applying only muscle strengthening exercises.
We demonstrated the efficiency improvement of GaAs single-junction (SJ) solar cells with the single-material zinc sulfide (ZnS) bi-layer based on the porous/dense film structure, which was fabricated by the glancing angle deposition (GLAD) method, as an antireflection (AR) coating layer. The porous ZnS film with a low refractive index was formed at a high incident vapor flux angle of 80° in the GLAD. Each optimum thickness of ZnS bi-layer was determined by achieving the lowest solar weighted reflectance (SWR) using a rigorous coupled-wave analysis method in the wavelength region of 350-900 nm, extracting the thicknesses of 20 and 50 nm for dense and porous films, respectively. The ZnS bi-layer with a low SWR of ~5.8% considerably increased the short circuit current density (J(sc)) of the GaAs SJ solar cell to 25.57 mA/cm(2), which leads to a larger conversion efficiency (?) of 20.61% compared to the conventional one without AR layer (i.e., SWR~31%, J(sc) = 18.81 mA/cm(2), and ? = 14.82%). Furthermore, after the encapsulation, its J(sc) and ? values were slightly increased to 25.67 mA/cm(2) and 20.71%, respectively. For the fabricated solar cells, angle-dependent reflectance properties and external quantum efficiency were also studied.
The friction of graphene on various substrates, such as SiO2, h-BN, bulk-like graphene, and mica, was investigated to characterize the adhesion level between graphene and the underlying surface. The friction of graphene on SiO2 decreased with increasing thickness and converged around the penta-layers due to incomplete contact between the two surfaces. However, the friction of graphene on an atomically flat substrate, such as h-BN or bulk-like graphene, was low and comparable to that of bulk-like graphene. In contrast, the friction of graphene folded onto bulk-like graphene was indistinguishable from that of mono-layer graphene on SiO2 despite the ultra-smoothness of bulk-like graphene. The characterization of the graphenes roughness before and after folding showed that the corrugation of graphene induced by SiO2 morphology was preserved even after it was folded onto an atomically flat substrate. In addition, graphene deposited on mica, when folded, preserved the same corrugation level as before the folding event. Our friction measurements revealed that graphene, once exfoliated from the bulk crystal, tends to maintain its corrugation level even after it is folded onto an atomically flat substrate and that ultra-flatness in both graphene and the substrate is required to achieve the intimate contact necessary for strong adhesion.
[Purpose] This study aimed to examine the effects of the Neurac sling exercise on postural balance adjustment and muscular response patterns in chronic low back pain (CLBP) patients. [Subjects and Methods] Sixteen CLBP patients participated in this study. They were randomly and equally assigned to group I, whose members received ordinary physical therapy (40 minutes per time, four times per week), and group II, whose members performed a lumbar stabilization exercise using the Neurac sling after ordinary physical therapy (40 minutes per time, four times per week). The visual analogue scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were used to evaluate exercise effects. BioRescue and electromyography were utilized for the measurement of changes in postural balance adjustment and muscular response patterns, respectively. [Results] Both groups saw their VAS and ODI decrease significantly. There were significant decreases in both groups in posturography as well, but group II recorded a greater decrease. There were significant increases in the flexion-relaxation ratio in both groups, and there were significant increases in the extension-flexion ratio in the left L1-2 of group I and in all elements of group II. [Conclusion] Lumbar stabilization exercise using the Neurac sling is effective in decreasing pain, improving damaged postural balance adjustment, and normalizing muscle response patterns of CLBP patients.
In this study, ethanolic extracts from Hericium erinaceum cultivated with Artemisia capillaris (HEAC) were assessed for their ability to lower the cholesterol levels of male Sprague-Dawley rats fed a high-fat diet. Rats were randomly subdivided into seven test groups. Each group contained eight rats fed a high-fat diet during a growth period lasting 4 wk. Supplementation with the extracts was performed once a day for 2 wk after the high-fat diet. The control group (rats fed a high-fat diet) showed a high efficiency ratio (feed efficiency ratio) value compared to the normal group. Biochemical parameters, including total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-c), and triglyceride (TG) levels dramatically increased in the control group compared to the normal group. High-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-c) content in the control group was also significantly lower relative to the normal group. Two positive control groups, treated with simvastatin and atorvastatin, had lowered TC, LDL-c, and TG levels, and increased HDL-c content compared to the control group. Treatment with the tested extracts, including HEAC, ethanolic extracts from Hericium erinaceum, and ethanolic extracts from Artemisia capillaris reduced TC, LDL-c, and TG levels and elevated HDL-c content in the hyperlipidemia rats. The atherogenic index and cardiac risk factor values for the HEAC-treated group were 0.95 and 1.95, respectively. Simvastatin- and atorvastatin-treated groups showed atherogenic index values of 1.56 and 1.69, respectively, and cardiac risk factor values of 2.56 and 2.69, respectively. These results show HEAC possesses an ability to cure hyperlipidemia in rats and may serve as an effective natural medicine for treating hyperlipidemia in humans.
Ganghwaljetongyeum (GHJTY), a complex herbal decoction, is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. However, the action mechanism of GHJTY is not still unclear on rheumatoid arthritis. In this study, we examined the beneficial effects and the action mechanisms of GHJTY on synoviocyte proliferation and inflammatory mediators.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to examine the effects on stroke patients of trunk stabilization exercise on different support surfaces. [Subjects and Methods] Sixteen stroke patients with onset of stroke six months earlier or longer were randomly and equally assigned to group I (exercise performed on a stable support surface) and group II (exercise performed on an unstable support surface). The two groups conducted the trunk stabilization exercises on the respective support surfaces, in addition to existing rehabilitation exercises five times per week for 12 weeks. Changes in the cross-sectional area (CSA) of the muscles were examined using computed tomography (CT), and changes in the balance ability were assessed using a measuring system and the trunk impairment scale (TIS). [Results] In group I, there was a significant increase in the CSA of the mulifidus muscle on the side contralateral to the brain lesion and in the paravertebral and multifidus muscles on the side ipsilateral to the brain lesion. In group II, there was a significant increase in the CSA of the paravertebral and multifidus muscles on the side contralateral to the brain lesion and on the side ipsilateral to the brain lesion. In terms of changes in balance ability, the sway path (SP) and TIS significantly improved in group I, and the SP, sway area (SA), and TIS significantly improved in group II . [Conclusion] Exercise on the unstable support surface enhanced the size of the cross-sectional area of the trunk muscles and balance ability significantly more than exercise on the stable support surface.
It has been suggested that mechanosensitive ion channels initiate myogenic responses in vessels; however, the molecular identity of the mechanosensitive ion channel complex is unknown. Although previous reports have suggested that epithelial Na(+) channel (ENaC) proteins are mechanotransducers in arteries, experimental evidence demonstrating that ENaC proteins are mechanotransducers are not fully elucidated. The goal of the present study was to determine whether the ENaC is a mechanotransducer for the myogenic response by providing supporting evidence in the rat posterior cerebral artery (PCA). We measured the effect of ENaC inhibition on the pressure-induced myogenic response, Ca(2+) concentration and 20 kDa myosin light chain (MLC(20)) phosphorylation. We detected expression of ?ENaC and ?ENaC subunits in rat PCA by Western blots and immunofluorescence. Inhibition of ENaCs with amiloride, ethyl isopropyl amiloride or benzamil blocked the myogenic response. Moreover, the myogenic response was inhibited in rat PCA transfected with ?ENaC and ?ENaC small interfering RNA. The myogenic response was inhibited by elimination of external Na(+), which was replaced with N-methyl-d-glucamine. Amiloride and nifedipine inhibited the pressure-induced increase in Ca(2+) concentration. Finally, MLC(20) increased when the intraluminal pressure was raised, and the pressure-induced increase in MLC(20) phosphorylation was inhibited by pretreatment with amiloride, and in arteries transfected with ?ENaC or ?ENaC small interfering RNA. Our results suggest that ENaCs may play an important role as mechanosensitive ion channels initiating pressure-induced myogenic responses in rat PCA.
Reported herein are the effects of the fabrication variables and surface capping of nanocrystal quantum dots (NQDs) on the characteristics of NQDs-based light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The molecular weight of the hole transport layer (HTL) material and the annealing conditions of the NQDs layer were chosen as fabrication process variables. Their effects on the layer characteristics and device efficiency were characterized. The maximum brightness varied over 50% according to the molecular weight of the HTL material. The optimized annealing temperature was shown to improve the maximum brightness by 20%. The surface-capping molecules of the NQDs were changed from conventional trioctyl phosphine/trioctyl phosphine oxide (TOPO/TOP) to pyridine and were incorporated into LEDs, and its effects on the device characteristics were discussed.
The long-term carrier-envelope phase (CEP) coherence of a femtosecond laser with same pulse-to-pulse CEP value, obtained using the direct locking method, is demonstrated by employing a quasi-common-path interferometer (QPI). For the evaluation of the CEP stability, the phase noise properties of a femtosecond laser with the CEP stabilized using a QPI are compared with those obtained using a Mach-Zehnder f-2f interferometer, for which the phase power spectral density and the Allan deviation were calculated from the beat signals of the interferometers. With the improved CEP stability, the long-term CEP coherent signal with an accumulated phase noise well below 1 radian can be maintained for more than 56 hours, i.e., the CEP coherence is preserved without a phase cycle slip for more than 1.6 × 10(13) pulses at a repetition rate of 80 MHz. The relative stability is also estimated to be approximately 1.4 × 10(-22) at a central wavelength of 790 nm.
In this work, we report a flexible hybrid nanoarchitecture that can be utilized as both an energy harvester and a touch sensor on a single platform without any cross-talk problems. Based on the electron transport and piezoelectric properties of a zinc oxide (ZnO) nanostructured thin film, a hybrid cell was designed and the total thickness was below 500 nm on a plastic substrate. Piezoelectric touch signals were demonstrated under independent and simultaneous operations with respect to photo-induced charges. Different levels of piezoelectric output signals from different magnitudes of touching pressures suggest new user-interface functions from our hybrid cell. From a signal controller, the decoupled performance of a hybrid cell as an energy harvester and a touch sensor was confirmed. Our hybrid approach does not require additional assembly processes for such multiplex systems of an energy harvester and a touch sensor since we utilize the coupled material properties of ZnO and output signal processing. Furthermore, the hybrid cell can provide a multi-type energy harvester by both solar and mechanical touching energies.
We propose a highly efficient hybrid light-emitting device (LED) with a single active layer where CdSe/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) are dispersed as a guest material in a conjugated polymer (co-polymer) matrix used for a host material. In our structure, the QDs act on light-emitting chromophores by trapping the migrating excitons in the co-polymer matrix via Förster energy transfer, and improve the charge balance within the co-polymer by trapping the injected electron carriers. Experimental results show that the electroluminescent properties highly depend on the doping density of the QDs within the co-polymer matrix, where the luminance as well as the external current efficiency are initially enhanced with increasing the concentration of the dispersed QDs in the co-polymer solution, and then such properties are degraded due to aggregation of the QDs. We can get the maximum brightness of 9,088 cd/m(2) and the maximum external current efficiency of 7.5 cd/A in mixing ratio of the QDs by 1.0 wt%. The external current efficiency is enhanced by over 15 times and the turn-on voltage is reduced in comparison with the corresponding values for a reference device that uses only a co-polymer as an active layer.
This study demonstrates 578 nm yellow light generation with a narrow linewidth using a waveguide periodically poled lithium niboate (PPLN) and an optical injection-locked diode laser. The frequency of an external cavity diode laser used as a master laser operating at 1156 nm in optical injection-locking mode was locked into a high-finesse cavity with the Pound-Drever-Hall technique, which results in a linewidth reduction of the master laser. The linewidth of the master laser was estimated to be approximately 1.6 kHz. In an effort to amplify the optical power, a distributed feed-back laser was phase-locked to the master laser by an optical injection-locking technique. A waveguide PPLN was used for second harmonic generation. Frequency-doubled yellow light of approximately 2.4 mW was obtained with a conversion efficiency of 6.5%.
We developed an optical frequency synthesizer (OFS) with the carrier-envelope-offset frequency locked to 0 Hz achieved using the "direct locking method." This method differs from a conventional phaselock method in that the interference signal from a self-referencing f-2f interferometer is directly fed back to the carrier-envelope-phase control of a femtosecond laser in the time domain. A comparison of the optical frequency of the new OFS to that of a conventional OFS stabilized by a phase-lock method showed that the frequency comb of the new OFS was not different to that of the conventional OFS within an uncertainty of 5.68x10(-16). As a practical application of this OFS, we measured the absolute frequency of an acetylene-stabilized diode laser serving as an optical frequency standard in optical communications.
Neuromedin B (NMB) is one of the bombesin-like peptides in mammals. Recently, bombesin-like peptides have been characterized as growth factors in highly vascularized tumors. In this study, we report that NMB potently stimulates in vivo neovascularization in a mouse Matrigel plug and the sprouting of endothelial cells ex vivo in rat aortic rings. In addition, NMB increases the migration and tube formation in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Moreover, treatment of HUVECs with NMB activates the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK(1/2)), Akt, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and increases the level of NO production in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, ERK activation and angiogenic sprouting in response to NMB are significantly blocked by the MEK inhibitor. Inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) suppresses the NMB-stimulated tubular formation of HUVECs, along with reduction in the phosphorylation of Akt and eNOS. Taken together, these results indicate that NMB is a novel angiogenic peptide, and its angiogenic activity is mediated by activating the MEK/ERK- and PI3K/Akt/eNOS-dependent pathways. This study suggests that NMB may play important roles in mediating a variety of pathophysiological angiogenesis.
In this study, we fabricated a novel variable wavelength surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor, which detects resonance conditions such as a maximum attenuation wavelength, measuring change of microscopic refractive index. Such a change was measured to detect a salmonella antigen-antibody reaction and a penicillinase-penicillin reaction. Our experiments were performed after immobilizing a salmonella antibody on the sensor chip. We measured the shift in resonant wavelength during the antigen-antibody reaction for 30 min by injecting 5 x 10(7) cells/ml concentration of salmonella antigen solution into the sample chamber. Also, after immobilizing penicillinase on the sensor chip, we measured the shift in resonant wavelength during the reaction. Penicillin solution at 10mM was injected into the sample chamber. The shift of resonant wavelength for each experiment was measured using a white light source, multimode optical fiber, a part of sensor chip and an optical spectrum analyzer. As a result, the resonant wavelength shifted about 0.26 nm/min owing to the salmonella antibody-antigen reaction. Thus, we could detect the change in wavelength (0.8 nm/min) through the interaction of penicillin and penicillinase for 15 min using variable wavelength SPR sensor.
Aortopulmonary fistula is an uncommon but often fatal condition resulting as a late complication of an aortic aneurysm. The most common cause is erosion of a false aneurysm of the descending thoracic aorta into the pulmonary artery, resulting in the development of a left-to-right shunt and leading to acute pulmonary edema and right heart failure. We report an our experience with aortopulmonary fistula as a rare complication associated with thoracic aortic aneurysm and high output heart failure.
We report the improvement in the breakdown properties of electrowetting using a mixture of poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) polyelectrolyte and a surfactant (Tween 80, TW80). Onset of breakdown was initially determined via visual observation and further verified by investigating impedance phase shift. Breakdown characteristics of the large-molecule ionic solution were compared with those of conventional electrolytes (Na(2)SO(4)) that produce small molecules. Experiments with various conductivities and hydrophobic coatings on a thin silicon nitride dielectric layer (?500 Å) showed that the breakdown voltage of the PAA-TW80 system was at least two times higher than that of the Na(2)SO(4)-TW80 system. Our results demonstrate that defects in the dielectric and hydrophobic layers are less vulnerable to larger ionic molecules.
The goal of the current study was to determine whether the sphingosine kinase 1 (SK1)/sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) pathway is involved in myogenic vasoconstriction under normal physiological conditions. In the present study, we assessed whether endogenous S1P generated by pressure participates in myogenic vasoconstriction and which signaling pathways are involved in SK1/S1P-induced myogenic response under normal physiological conditions.
We evaluated the effects of protease-activated receptor (PAR)-2 on spontaneous myometrial contraction (SMC) in isolated term pregnant myometrial strips of rat, and elucidated the cellular mechanisms of this effect using a conventional voltage-clamp method. In isometric tension measurements, trypsin and SL-NH(2), PAR-2 agonists, significantly augmented SMC in frequency and amplitude; however, boiled trypsin (BT) and LR-NH(2) had no effect on SMC. These stimulatory effects of PAR-2 agonists on SMC were nearly completely occluded by pre-application of Bay K 8644, an L-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channel activator, thus showing the involvement of L-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels in PAR-2-induced augmentation of SMC. In addition, PAR-2 agonists significantly enhanced L-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) currents (I(Ca-L)), as measured by a conventional voltage-clamp method, and this increase was primarily mediated by activation of phospholipase C (PLC) and protein kinase C (PKC) via G-protein activation. Taken together, we have demonstrated that PAR-2 may actively regulate SMC during pregnancy by modulating Ca(2+) influx through L-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels, and that this increase of I(Ca-L) may be primarily mediated by PLC and PKC activation. These results suggest a cellular mechanism for the pathophysiological effects of PAR-2 activation on myometrial contractility during pregnancy and provide basic and theoretical information about developing new agents for the treatment of premature labor and other obstetric complications.
For the development of hyphomycete fungi as suitable biocontrol agents against greenhouse whitefly leads to the isolation of various insect pathogenic fungi. Among of them, one of the most studied entomopathogenic fungus is Beauveria bassiana. The objective of this study is to use entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana M130 as insecticidal agent against the Greenhouse whitefly. M130 isolated from infected insects is known for a biocontrol agent, which make the greenhouse whitefly. Selected M130 was investigated to determine morphological feature and 18S rRNA sequencing for phylogenetic classification identification, and then M130 was identified as Beauveria bassiana M130. Beauveria bassiana M130 was showed chitinase (2523.8 µM) and protease (280.86 µM) activity which involved in invasion of the host through outer cuticle layer and kill them. For the insecticidal activity, each test showed 55.2% (petri-dish test), 84.6% (pot test), and 45.3% (in field test), respectively. Results of this study, we could take basic data as biological material for the control of greenhouse whitefly instead of chemical pesticides for the control of greenhouse whitefly.
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