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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Sample-Averaged Biexciton Quantum Yield Measured by Solution-Phase Photon Correlation.
Nano Lett.
PUBLISHED: 11-20-2014
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The brightness of nanoscale optical materials such as semiconductor nanocrystals is currently limited in high excitation flux applications by inefficient multiexciton fluorescence. We have devised a solution-phase photon correlation measurement that can conveniently and reliably measure the average biexciton-to-exciton quantum yield ratio of an entire sample without user selection bias. This technique can be used to investigate the multiexciton recombination dynamics of a broad scope of synthetically underdeveloped materials, including those with low exciton quantum yields and poor fluorescence stability. Here, we have applied this method to measure weak biexciton fluorescence in samples of visible-emitting InP/ZnS and InAs/ZnS core/shell nanocrystals, and to demonstrate that a rapid CdS shell growth procedure can markedly increase the biexciton fluorescence of CdSe nanocrystals.
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Aromaticity Evaluations of Planar [6]Radialenes.
Org. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 11-20-2014
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The aromatic character of fused polycyclic systems varies with the nature of their annulated rings. Computed extra cyclic resonance energies (ECREs) reveal that the central six membered rings (6MRs) of the heterocyclic fused congeners 1-5 are "[6]radialene-like", but that the central 6MRs of triphenylene 9, coronene 10, and isocoronene 11 are "benzene-like." Comparisons with geometric (harmonic oscillator model of aromaticity, HOMA) and magnetic (nucleus independent chemical shifts, NICS) criteria illustrate the multifaceted nature of aromaticity in 1-11.
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The Relationship Between Performance on the Infectious Disease In-Training and Certification Examinations.
Clin. Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 11-20-2014
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?The Infectious Disease Society of America In-Training Examination (IDSA ITE) is a feedback tool used to help fellows track their knowledge acquisition during fellowship training. We determined whether the scores on the IDSA ITE and from other major medical knowledge assessments predict performance on the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Infectious Disease Certification Examination.
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Kinetics and Thermodynamics of 1-Hydroxyethyl Radical Reaction with Unsaturated Lipids and Prenylflavonoids.
J Phys Chem B
PUBLISHED: 11-20-2014
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Hydroxyalkyl radicals have been reported to induce lipid oxidation as the key aspect of the pathogenesis of alcoholic fatty liver disease and responsible for alkylation and cleavage of DNA during the metabolism of a wide range of genotoxic compounds. However, relevant kinetic data for the oxidation of unsaturated lipids by 1-hydroxyethyl radical (HER) has not been reported. In this study the rate constant for the reaction of unsaturated fatty acid methyl ester and sterols with HER have been determined using a competitive kinetic approach employing the spin-trap 4-POBN as the competitive substrate. Polyunsaturated fatty acid methyl ester are shown to react with HER with apparent second-order rate constant ranging from 3.7 ± 0.1 × 106 L mol-1s-1 for methyl linoleate to 2.7 ± 0.2 × 107 L mol-1s-1 for methyl docosahexanoate at 25.0 ± 0.2 oC in ethanol. The apparent second-order rate constant for polyunsaturated fatty acid methyl esters oxidation by HER reveled to be dependent on the number of bisallylic hydrogen atoms rather than on the BDE value for the weakest C-H bond as determined by ab initio DFT calculations. Sterols displayed higher reactive compared to unsaturated fatty acid methyl esters with apparent second-order rate constant of 2.7 ± 0.1 × 106 L mol-1s-1 and 5.2 ± 0.1 × 107 L mol-1s-1 at 25.0 ± 0.2 oC in ethanol for cholesterol and ergosterol, respectively. Similar experiments with prenylflavonoids as potential herbal chemopreventive agents for preventing alcoholic liver diseases yield apparent second-order rate constant close to the diffusion control with kapp ranging from (1.5 ± 0.2) to (3.6 ± 0.1) × 109 L mol-1s-1 for 6-prenylnarigerin and xanthohumol at 25.0 ± 0.2 oC in ethanol solution, respectively. Prenylflavonoids were revealed to be potential natural antioxidants against HER induced oxidation in biological system protecting the levels of the cellular antioxidant GSH (kapp = 7.1 ± 0.1 × 108 L mol-1s-1 at 25.0 ± 0.2 oC in aqueous solution containing ethanol (6% v/v) and lipid sensitive structures.
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In vitro and in vivo Evaluation of Water-soluble Iminophosphorane Ruthenium(II) Compounds. A Potential Chemotherapeutic Agent for Triple Negative Breast Cancer.
J. Med. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 11-20-2014
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A series of organometallic ruthenium(II) complexes containing iminophosphorane ligands have been synthesized and characterized. Cationic compounds with chloride as counterion are soluble in water (70-100 mg/mL). Most compounds (especially highly water-soluble 2) are more cytotoxic to a number of human cancer cell lines than cisplatin. Initial mechanistic studies indicate that the cell death type for these compounds is mainly through canonical or caspase-dependent apoptosis, non-dependent on p53, and that the compounds do not interact with DNA or inhibit protease cathepsin B. In vivo experiments of 2 on MDA-MB-231 xenografts in NOD.CB17-Prkdc SCID/J mice showed an impressive tumor reduction (shrinkage) of 56% after 28 days of treatment (14 doses of 5 mg/kg every other day) with low systemic toxicity. Pharmacokinetic studies showed a quick absorption of 2 in plasma with preferential accumulation in the breast tumor tissues when compared to kidney and liver, which may explain its high efficacy in vivo.
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Somatic Mutations in Cerebral Cortical Malformations.
N. Engl. J. Med.
PUBLISHED: 11-20-2014
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To the Editor: Jamuar et al. (Aug. 21 issue)(1) showed that targeted high-coverage sequencing is useful in detecting somatic mutations in etiologic genes in DNA obtained from the leukocytes of patients with cerebral cortical malformations. They observed that five of the eight mosaic mutations detected with high-coverage sequencing had been missed by Sanger sequencing because of their low prevalence. The phenotype of disease caused by a mosaic variant was typically milder than that caused by the identical variant occurring as a germline mutation. At what point does the low somatic prevalence of a mutation that has an established cause (when . . .
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The 9-homocubyl cation rearrangement revisited.
Chem. Commun. (Camb.)
PUBLISHED: 11-06-2014
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Complexity of the potential energy surface of the 9-homocubyl cation is revealed by Born-Oppenheimer molecular dynamics simulations and high ab initio levels. The stereospecific automerizations observed experimentally involve bridged ions, which have either an aromatic or an anti-aromatic character. New pathways leading to more stable isomers are unveiled.
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Low Blood Pressure, Low Serum Cholesterol and Anemia Predict Early Necessity of Ventricular Assist Device Implantation in Patients With Advanced Heart Failure at the Time of Referral From Non-Ventricular Assist Device Institutes.
Circ. J.
PUBLISHED: 10-31-2014
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Background:The timing of ventricular assist device (VAD) implantation is always a matter of debate, especially when a patient is referred from a non-VAD institute. We focused on objective noninvasive parameters at the time of admission to a VAD implant center and analyzed the factors predicting the necessity of early VAD.Methods?and?Results:We retrospectively analyzed advanced heart failure (HF) patients referred since January 2011, including patients less than 65 years old. They all had a history of hospitalization for HF management in non-VAD institutes within 1 month before referral. We excluded patients transferred with mechanical circulatory support. We enrolled 46 patients (40 males, 39.8±13.4 years old). Among them, 26 patients had a VAD implanted or died within 120 days. By multivariable logistic analysis using admission parameters, systolic blood pressure (BP) <93 mmHg [odds ratio (OR) 13.335], hemoglobin <12.7 g/dl (OR 12.175) and serum total cholesterol <144 mg/dl (OR 8.096) were significant predictors of early VAD requirement. We constructed a scoring system according to the ORs, and the area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve was 0.913.Conclusions:Low BP, low serum cholesterol and anemia on admission predict early VAD in advanced HF patients who have been treated in non-VAD institutes. Such patients should be promptly referred to a VAD implant center.
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Gold(i) thiolates containing amino acid moieties. Cytotoxicity and structure-activity relationship studies.
Dalton Trans
PUBLISHED: 10-11-2014
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Several gold(i) complexes containing a thiolate ligand functionalised with several amino acid or peptide moieties of the type [Au(SPyCOR)(PPh2R')] (where R = OH, amino acid or dipeptide and R' = Ph or Py) were prepared. These thiolate gold complexes bearing biological molecules possess potential use as antitumor agents. Cytotoxicity assays in different tumour cell lines such as A549 (lung carcinoma), Jurkat (T-cell leukaemia) and MiaPaca2 (pancreatic carcinoma) revealed that the complexes exhibit good antiproliferative activity, with IC50 values in the low micromolar range. Several structural modifications such as in the type of phosphine, number of metal atoms and amino acid (type, stereochemistry and functionalisation) were carried out in order to establish the structure-activity relationship in this family of complexes, which has led to the design of new and more potent cytotoxic complexes. Observations of different cellular events after addition of the complexes indicated the possible mechanism of action or the biological targets of this type of new gold(i) drug.
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Mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 plays protective roles in heart failure after myocardial infarction via suppression of the cytosolic JNK/p53 pathway in mice.
J Am Heart Assoc
PUBLISHED: 09-20-2014
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Increasing evidence suggests a critical role for mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) in protection against cardiac injuries; however, the downstream cytosolic actions of this enzyme are largely undefined.
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Reduced risk of recurrent myocardial infarction in homozygous carriers of the chromosome 9p21 rs1333049 C risk allele in the contemporary percutaneous coronary intervention era: a prospective observational study.
BMJ Open
PUBLISHED: 09-19-2014
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Chromosome 9p21 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is a susceptibility variant for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in the primary prevention setting. However, it is controversial whether this SNP is also associated with recurrent myocardial infarction (ReMI) in the secondary prevention setting. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of chromosome 9p21 SNP on ReMI in patients receiving secondary prevention programmes after AMI.
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In-stent restenosis exacerbated by drug-induced severe eosinophilia after second-generation drug-eluting stent implantation.
Am J Case Rep
PUBLISHED: 09-18-2014
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In-stent restenosis (ISR) is still a recognized clinical problem in the era of drug-eluting stent (DES). Some previous studies have suggested that circulating eosinophils play an important role in both restenosis and thrombosis after DES implantation. However, the contribution of eosinophils to the pathogenesis of ISR has not yet been concisely clarified.
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Effects of methylglyoxal on human cardiac fibroblast: roles of transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) channels.
Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 08-29-2014
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Cardiac fibroblasts contribute to the pathogenesis of cardiac remodeling. Methylglyoxal (MG) is an endogenous carbonyl compound produced under hyperglycemic conditions, which may play a role in the development of pathophysiological conditions including diabetic cardiomyopathy. However, the mechanism by which this occurs and the molecular targets of MG are unclear. We investigated the effects of MG on Ca(2+) signals, its underlying mechanism, and cell cycle progression/cell differentiation in human cardiac fibroblasts. The conventional and quantitative real-time RT-PCR, Western blot, immunocytochemical analysis, and intracellular Ca(2+) concentration [Ca(2+)]i measurement were applied. Cell cycle progression was assessed using the fluorescence activated cell sorting. MG induced Ca(2+) entry concentration dependently. Ruthenium red (RR), a general cation channel blocker, and HC030031, a selective transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) antagonist, inhibited MG-induced Ca(2+) entry. Treatment with aminoguanidine, a MG scavenger, also inhibited it. Allyl isothiocyanate, a selective TRPA1 agonist, increased Ca(2+) entry. The use of small interfering RNA to knock down TRPA1 reduced the MG-induced Ca(2+) entry as well as TRPA1 mRNA expression. The quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis showed the prominent existence of TRPA1 mRNA. Expression of TRPA1 protein was confirmed by Western blotting and immunocytochemical analyses. MG promoted cell cycle progression from G0/G1 to S/G2/M, which was suppressed by HC030031 or RR. MG also enhanced ?-smooth muscle actin expression. The present results suggest that methylglyoxal activates TRPA1 and promotes cell cycle progression and differentiation in human cardiac fibroblasts. MG might participate the development of pathophysiological conditions including diabetic cardiomyopathy via activation of TRPA1.
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Influenza A Virus Polymerase Is a Site for Adaptive Changes during Experimental Evolution in Bat Cells.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 08-20-2014
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The recent identification of highly divergent influenza A viruses in bats revealed a new, geographically dispersed viral reservoir. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of host-restricted viral tropism and the potential for transmission of viruses between humans and bats, we exposed a panel of cell lines from bats of diverse species to a prototypical human-origin influenza A virus. All of the tested bat cell lines were susceptible to influenza A virus infection. Experimental evolution of human and avian-like viruses in bat cells resulted in efficient replication and created highly cytopathic variants. Deep sequencing of adapted human influenza A virus revealed a mutation in the PA polymerase subunit not previously described, M285K. Recombinant virus with the PA M285K mutation completely phenocopied the adapted virus. Adaptation of an avian virus-like virus resulted in the canonical PB2 E627K mutation that is required for efficient replication in other mammals. None of the adaptive mutations occurred in the gene for viral hemagglutinin, a gene that frequently acquires changes to recognize host-specific variations in sialic acid receptors. We showed that human influenza A virus uses canonical sialic acid receptors to infect bat cells, even though bat influenza A viruses do not appear to use these receptors for virus entry. Our results demonstrate that bats are unique hosts that select for both a novel mutation and a well-known adaptive mutation in the viral polymerase to support replication.
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Modulation of hepatitis C virus genome replication by glycosphingolipids and four-phosphate adaptor protein 2.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 08-13-2014
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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) assembles its replication complex on cytosolic membrane vesicles often clustered in a membranous web (MW). During infection, HCV NS5A protein activates PI4KIII? enzyme, causing massive production and redistribution of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI4P) lipid to the replication complex. However, the role of PI4P in the HCV life cycle is not well understood. We postulated that PI4P recruits host effectors to modulate HCV genome replication or virus particle production. To test this hypothesis, we generated cell lines for doxycycline-inducible expression of short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) targeting the PI4P effector, four-phosphate adaptor protein 2 (FAPP2). FAPP2 depletion attenuated HCV infectivity and impeded HCV RNA synthesis. Indeed, FAPP2 has two functional lipid-binding domains specific for PI4P and glycosphingolipids. While expression of the PI4P-binding mutant protein was expected to inhibit HCV replication, a marked drop in replication efficiency was observed unexpectedly with the glycosphingolipid-binding mutant protein. These data suggest that both domains are crucial for the role of FAPP2 in HCV genome replication. We also found that HCV significantly increases the level of some glycosphingolipids, whereas adding these lipids to FAPP2-depleted cells partially rescued replication, further arguing for the importance of glycosphingolipids in HCV RNA synthesis. Interestingly, FAPP2 is redistributed to the replication complex (RC) characterized by HCV NS5A, NS4B, or double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) foci. Additionally, FAPP2 depletion disrupts the RC and alters the colocalization of HCV replicase proteins. Altogether, our study implies that HCV coopts FAPP2 for virus genome replication via PI4P binding and glycosphingolipid transport to the HCV RC.
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The avian cell line AGE1.CR.pIX characterized by metabolic flux analysis.
BMC Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 07-16-2014
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In human vaccine manufacturing some pathogens such as Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara, measles, mumps virus as well as influenza viruses are still produced on primary material derived from embryonated chicken eggs. Processes depending on primary cell culture, however, are difficult to adapt to modern vaccine production. Therefore, we derived previously a continuous suspension cell line, AGE1.CR.pIX, from muscovy duck and established chemically-defined media for virus propagation.
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Glucocorticoids Induce Cardiac Fibrosis via Mineralocorticoid Receptor in Oxidative Stress: Contribution of Elongation Factor Eleven-Nineteen Lysine-Rich Leukemia (ELL).
Yonago Acta Med
PUBLISHED: 07-14-2014
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Cardiac fibrosis is considered to be a crucial factor in the development of heart failure. Blockade of the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) attenuated cardiac fibrosis and improved the prognosis of patients with chronic heart failure but the ligand for MR and the regulatory mechanism of MR pathway in the diseased heart are unclear. Here, we investigated whether glucocorticoids can promote cardiac fibrosis through MR in oxidative stress and the involvement of elongation factor eleven-nineteen lysine-rich leukemia (ELL), a co-activator of MR, in this pathway.
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Low cardiac output stimulates vasopressin release in patients with stage d heart failure.
Circ. J.
PUBLISHED: 07-10-2014
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Depressed hemodynamics stimulates arginine vasopressin (AVP) release, but the relationship between plasma AVP levels (P-AVP) and cardiac parameters, especially in patients with stage D heart failure (HF) receiving guideline-directed medical therapy, has not examined. METHODS?AND?RESULTS: Data including P-AVP were obtained from 162 in-hospital patients with stage D HF and from 80 patients receiving ventricular assist device (VAD, n=46) or heart transplantation (HTx, n=34) at 3 months after surgery. In the HF group, considerably high P-AVP (5.9±6.1 pg/ml) negatively correlated with serum sodium concentration (S-Na, 135.3±5.8 mEq/L, r=-0.548 [P<0.01]) and cardiac index (CI, 2.2±0.5 L·min(-1)·m(-2), r=-0.458 [P<0.01]). After VAD/HTx treatment, improvement in the CI (2.7±0.5 L·min(-1)·m(-2)[P<0.01] vs. HF) was accompanied by normalization of serum sodium concentration (S-Na; 138.2±2.0 mEq/L [P<0.01] vs. HF) and suppressed release of AVP (1.7±3.4 pg/ml [P<0.01] vs. HF). P-AVP positively correlated with only S-Na (r=0.454 [P<0.01]), whereas no correlation was observed with CI after VAD/HTx treatment. P-AVP ?5.3 pg/ml well predicted poor 2-year survival in HF group (60% [P<0.01] vs. 90%).
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Propagation of viruses infecting waterfowl on continuous cell lines of Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) origin.
Avian Pathol.
PUBLISHED: 07-04-2014
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Duck circovirus, duck hepatitis A virus 1, goose parvovirus and goose haemorrhagic polyomavirus are economically damaging pathogens of waterfowl, and replicate poorly or not at all in established cell lines. AGE1.CR, AGE1.CR.pIX and AGE1.CS cell lines, originating from the Muscovy duck, were tested for their suitability to isolate and identify these viruses. Immunofluorescence (IF) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction investigations verified that all cell lines are permissive for all four viruses; however, AGE1.CR.pIX proved to be the most productive and most sensitive for viral infection. IF experiments revealed that the time of one infectious cycle is approximately 12 to 14 h in the AGE1.CR.pIX cells in the case of the three DNA viruses, while it is 10 to 12 h for DHAV-1. Specific viral infectivity and the limit of detection by IF varied between 55 and 1484 copies, depending on the viruses and cell lines. Despite the high sensitivity of the cell lines for viruses, their viral productivity remained relatively low for the investigated field isolates. However, optimization of virus infection and/or the adaptation of the viruses to the cells can raise viral productivity and can make these cell lines suitable for vaccine development and production.
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Myocardium-derived angiopoietin-1 is essential for coronary vein formation in the developing heart.
Nat Commun
PUBLISHED: 06-27-2014
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The origin and developmental mechanisms underlying coronary vessels are not fully elucidated. Here we show that myocardium-derived angiopoietin-1 (Ang1) is essential for coronary vein formation in the developing heart. Cardiomyocyte-specific Ang1 deletion results in defective formation of the subepicardial coronary veins, but had no significant effect on the formation of intramyocardial coronary arteries. The endothelial cells (ECs) of the sinus venosus (SV) are heterogeneous population, composed of APJ-positive and APJ-negative ECs. Among these, the APJ-negative ECs migrate from the SV into the atrial and ventricular myocardium in Ang1-dependent manner. In addition, Ang1 may positively regulate venous differentiation of the subepicardial APJ-negative ECs in the heart. Consistently, in vitro experiments show that Ang1 indeed promotes venous differentiation of the immature ECs. Collectively, our results indicate that myocardial Ang1 positively regulates coronary vein formation presumably by promoting the proliferation, migration and differentiation of immature ECs derived from the SV.
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Polycythemia, increased erythropoietin levels in a patient with renal lymphoma.
Adv Biomed Res
PUBLISHED: 06-26-2014
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A young male presented to our clinic with 3 months history of shortness of breathness and progressive distension of abdomen. On investigations, patient had renal failure, polycythemia and nephromegaly. A diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was made on renal and lymph node biopsy. Serum erythropoietin concentrations were physiologically inappropriate. - Erythropoietin immunohistochemistry on renal tissue samples demonstrated positive staining for tumor cells. This patient was managed as a case of infiltrative lymphoproliferative disorder with kidney involvement having polycythemia owing to paraneoplastic Erythropoietin production and possibly local hypoxia produced by tumor cells. With maximum efforts, we could not find such an association in the literature.
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ENPP2 Contributes to Adipose Tissue Expansion and Insulin Resistance in Diet-Induced Obesity.
Diabetes
PUBLISHED: 06-26-2014
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Body weight is tightly regulated by food intake and energy dissipation, and obesity is related to decreased energy expenditure (EE). Herein, we show that nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 2 (ENPP2, autotaxin) is an adipose-derived, secreted enzyme that controls adipose expansion, brown adipose tissue (BAT) function, and EE. In mice, Enpp2 was highly expressed in visceral white adipose tissue and BAT and is downregulated in hypertrophied adipocytes/adipose tissue. Enpp2(+/-) mice and adipocyte-specific Enpp2 knockout mice fed a high-fat diet showed smaller body weight gains and less insulin resistance than control mice fed the same diet. BAT was functionally more active and EE was increased in Enpp2-deficient mice. In humans, ENPP2 expression in subcutaneous fat and ENPP2 levels in serum were reduced in obese subjects. Taken together, our results establish ENPP2 as an adipose-derived, secreted enzyme that regulates adipose obesity and systemic metabolism. They also suggest ENPP2 could be a useful therapeutic target for the treatment of metabolic disease.
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Increased urine aquaporin-2 relative to plasma arginine vasopressin is a novel marker of response to tolvaptan in patients with decompensated heart failure.
Circ. J.
PUBLISHED: 06-20-2014
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Preserved function of the renal collecting duct may be essential for response to the vasopressin V2receptor antagonist, tolvaptan (TLV), but the predictors of response to TLV are unknown. METHODS?AND?RESULTS: Sixty consecutive patients with stage D decompensated heart failure (HF) who had received TLV on a de novo basis were retrospectively enrolled (TLV(+) group). Among them, 41 patients were responders defined according to urine volume (UV) increase after TLV initiation. In the UV-defined responders, plasma arginine vasopressin (P-AVP) had a close correlation with urine aquaporin-2 (U-AQP2; 5.42±3.54 ng/ml; r=0.843, P<0.001). In contrast, 19 were UV-defined non-responders, and they had extremely low U-AQP2 (0.76±0.59 ng/ml, P<0.001 vs. responders) regardless of P-AVP level. On receiver operating characteristic analysis, U-AQP2/P-AVP ?0.5×10(3)clearly separated the UV-defined responders from the non-responders. We then identified AQP-defined responders as having U-AQP2/P-AVP ?0.5×10(3). Sixty propensity score-matched HF patients without TLV treatment were examined, and exactly the same number of patients as that of the AQP-defined responders (n=41) was selected. These patients had a poorer survival without TLV than the TLV-treated responders during a 2-year observation period (73.8% vs. 94.8%, P=0.034).
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Core/shell quantum dot based luminescent solar concentrators with reduced reabsorption and enhanced efficiency.
Nano Lett.
PUBLISHED: 06-06-2014
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CdSe/CdS core/shell quantum dots (QDs) have been optimized toward luminescent solar concentration (LSC) applications. Systematically increasing the shell thickness continuously reduced reabsorption up to a factor of 45 for the thickest QDs studied (with ca. 14 monolayers of CdS) compared to the initial CdSe cores. Moreover, an improved synthetic method was developed that retains a high-fluorescence quantum yield, even for particles with the thickest shell volume, for which a quantum yield of 86% was measured in solution. These high quantum yield thick shell quantum dots were embedded in a polymer matrix, yielding highly transparent composites to serve as prototype LSCs, which exhibited an optical efficiency as high as 48%. A Monte Carlo simulation was developed to model LSC performance and to identify the major loss channels for LSCs incorporating the materials developed. The results of the simulation are in excellent agreement with the experimental data.
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Excitation propagation in three-dimensional engineered hearts using decellularized extracellular matrix.
Biomaterials
PUBLISHED: 05-16-2014
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Engineering of three-dimensional (3D) cardiac tissues using decellularized extracellular matrix could be a new technique to create an "organ-like" structure of the heart. To engineer artificial hearts functionally comparable to native hearts, however, much remain to be solved including stable excitation-propagation. To elucidate the points, we examined conduction properties of engineered tissues. We repopulated the decellularized hearts with neonatal rat cardiac cells and then, we observed excitation-propagation of spontaneous beatings using high resolution cameras. We also conducted immunofluorescence staining to examine morphological aspects. Live tissue imaging revealed that GFP-labeled-isolated cardiac cells were migrated into interstitial spaces through extravasation from coronary arteries. Engineered hearts repopulated with Ca(2+)-indicating protein (GCaMP2)-expressing cardiac cells were subjected to optical imaging experiments. Although the engineered hearts generally showed well-organized stable excitation-propagation, the hearts also demonstrated arrhythmogenic propensity such as disorganized propagation. Immunofluorescence study revealed randomly-mixed alignment of cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells. The recellularized hearts also showed disarray of cardiomyocytes and markedly decreased expression of connexin43. In conclusion, we successfully demonstrated that the recellularized hearts showed dynamic excitation-propagation as a "whole organ". Our strategy could provide prerequisite information to construct a 3D-engineered heart, functionally comparable to the native heart.
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The Relationship between Vascular Function and the Autonomic Nervous System.
Ann Vasc Dis
PUBLISHED: 04-08-2014
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Endothelial dysfunction and autonomic nervous system dysfunction are both risk factors for atherosclerosis. There is evidence demonstrating that there is a close interrelationship between these two systems. In hypertension, endothelial dysfunction affects the pathologic process through autonomic nervous pathways, and the pathophysiological process of autonomic neuropathy in diabetes mellitus is closely related with vascular function. However, detailed mechanisms of this interrelationship have not been clearly explained. In this review, we summarize findings concerning the interrelationship between vascular function and the autonomic nervous system from both experimental and clinical studies. The clarification of this interrelationship may provide more comprehensive risk stratification and a new effective therapeutic strategy against atherosclerosis.
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Masking of syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion: the isonatremic syndrome.
J. Pediatr.
PUBLISHED: 04-04-2014
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To determine whether the administration of isotonic saline in patients undergoing spinal fusion surgery prevents the development of hyponatremia, thus masking the detection of syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH).
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Midterm outcome of implantable left ventricular assist devices as a bridge to transplantation: Single-center experience in Japan.
J Cardiol
PUBLISHED: 03-25-2014
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Two implantable continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), DuraHeart (Terumo Heart, Ann Arbor, MI, USA) and EVAHEART (Sun Medical, Nagano, Japan), were approved in Japan in April 2011. We analyzed the midterm outcome of patients implanted with these implantable LVADs at the University of Tokyo Hospital.
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Pathophysiology and Japanese clinical characteristics in Marfan syndrome.
Pediatr Int
PUBLISHED: 02-25-2014
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Marfan syndrome is an autosomal dominant heritable disorder of the connective tissue, caused by mutations of the gene FBN1, which encodes fibrillin-1, a major component of the microfibrils of the extracellular matrix. Fibrillin-1 interacts with transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?), and dysregulated TGF-? signaling plays a major role in the development of connective tissue disease and familial aortic aneurysm and dissection, including Marfan syndrome. Losartan, an angiotensin II blocker, has the potential to reduce TGF-? signaling and is expected to be an additional therapeutic option. Clinical diagnosis is made using the Ghent nosology, which requires comprehensive patient assessment and has been proven to work well, but evaluation of some of the diagnostic criteria by a single physician is difficult and time-consuming. A Marfan clinic was established at the University of Tokyo Hospital in 2005, together with cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, pediatricians, orthopedists, and ophthalmologists in one place, for the purpose of speedy and accurate evaluation and diagnosis of Marfan syndrome. In this review, we discuss the recent progress in diagnosis and treatment of Marfan syndrome, and the characteristics of Japanese patients with Marfan syndrome.
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High cell density cultivations by alternating tangential flow (ATF) perfusion for influenza A virus production using suspension cells.
Vaccine
PUBLISHED: 02-25-2014
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High cell densities in animal cell culture can be obtained by continuous perfusion of fresh culture medium across hollow fiber membranes that retain the cells. Careful selection of the membrane type and cut-off allows to control accumulation of target molecules and removal of low molecular weight compounds. In this report, perfusion with the scalable ATF (alternating tangential filtration, Refine Technology) system was evaluated for two suspension cell lines, the avian cell line AGE1.CR and the human cell line CAP. Both were cultivated in chemically defined media optimized for batch cell growth in a 1L stirred tank bioreactor connected to the smallest ATF unit (ATF2) and infected with cell line-adapted human influenza A virus (A/PR/8/34 (H1N1), typical diameter: 80-100 nm). At concentrations of about 25 million cells/mL three different membrane cut-offs (50 kDa, 0.2 ?m and 0.5 ?m) were tested and compared to batch cultivations performed at 5 million cells/mL. For medium and large cut-offs no cell-density effect could be observed with cell-specific virus yields of 1428-1708 virions/AGE1.CR cell (infected with moi 0.001) and 1883-4086 virions/CAP cell (moi of 0.025) compared to 1292 virions/AGE1.CR cell and 3883 virions/CAP cell in batch cultures. Even at a concentration of 48 million AGE1.CR cells/mL (cut-off: 0.2 ?m) a cell-specific yield of 1266 virions/cell was reached. Only for the small cut-off (50 kDa) used with AGE1.CR cells a decrease in cell-specific yield was measured with 518 virions/cell. Surprisingly, the ratio of infectious to total virions seemed to be increased in ATF compared to batch cultures. AGE1.CR cell-derived virus particles were present in the permeate (0.2 and 0.5 ?m cut-off), whereas CAP cell-derived virions were not, suggesting possible differences in morphology, aggregation or membrane properties of the virions released by the two cell lines. To our knowledge, this is the first study that illustrates the potential of ATF-based perfusion of chemically defined media across cell-retaining membranes for production of an influenza A vaccine.
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Do ?-conjugative effects facilitate SN2 reactions?
J. Am. Chem. Soc.
PUBLISHED: 02-13-2014
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Rigorous quantum chemical investigations of the SN2 identity exchange reactions of methyl, ethyl, propyl, allyl, benzyl, propargyl, and acetonitrile halides (X = F(-), Cl(-)) refute the traditional view that the acceleration of SN2 reactions for substrates with a multiple bond at C? (carbon adjacent to the reacting C? center) is primarily due to ?-conjugation in the SN2 transition state (TS). Instead, substrate-nucleophile electrostatic interactions dictate SN2 reaction rate trends. Regardless of the presence or absence of a C? multiple bond in the SN2 reactant in a series of analogues, attractive C?(?(+))···X(?(-)) interactions in the SN2 TS lower net activation barriers (E(b)) and enhance reaction rates, whereas repulsive C?(?(-))···X(?(-)) interactions increase E(b) barriers and retard SN2 rates. Block-localized wave function (BLW) computations confirm that ?-conjugation lowers the net activation barriers of SN2 allyl (1t, coplanar), benzyl, propargyl, and acetonitrile halide identity exchange reactions, but does so to nearly the same extent. Therefore, such orbital interactions cannot account for the large range of E(b) values in these systems.
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Effect of misalignment of air-coupled probes on Ao Lamb mode propagating in a metal plate.
Ultrasonics
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2014
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Proper alignment of air-coupled ultrasonic transducers for generation and reception of Lamb waves is vital in order to acquire a high amplitude wave group. Any misalignment with either the transmitter or the receiver or both adversely influences the amplitude of a Lamb mode. This paper reports a systematic attempt to quantify the reduction in the amplitude of the fundamental anti-symmetric Lamb mode (Ao) in a metal plate caused by misalignments in air-coupled probes. Three different types of misalignments - linear, orientation and synchronised orientation were deliberately introduced in the transducers, and experiments were performed on a 6mm thick aluminium plate. Amplitudes of Ao mode measured at various configurations were normalised with that of Ao mode, captured in a reference configuration. Suitable curves fitted over the experimental data points revealed that Gaussian curves represent appropriately the variations in normalised amplitudes of Ao mode. Moreover, analytical expressions were derived to predict the difference in arrival times of Lamb mode(s) due to orientation and synchronised orientation misalignments.
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Nucleotide diversity based on phaseolin and iron reductase genes in common bean accessions of different geographical origins.
Genome
PUBLISHED: 02-09-2014
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Discriminating genotypes within plant collections is imperative, and DNA sequence approaches for detecting single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have proved essential in any modern analysis of germplasm. By sequencing the ?-Phs and PvFRO1 genes that, respectively, encode phaseolin and an iron reductase, we prospected for SNPs in exonic and intronic regions of both genes in a sample of 31 accessions of Phaseolus vulgaris from Mesoamerican and Andean gene pools, and one accession of Phaseolus lunatus, chosen as an outgroup. Sequence alignment showed 95 SNPs in ?-Phs and 83 in PvFRO1, but diversity along the nucleotide sequences was not evenly distributed in both genes. Accessions from the same gene pool showed greater similarity than those from different gene pools, and the cluster patterns obtained in this study were consistent with the hierarchical organization into two P. vulgaris gene pools. The polymorphisms detected in the ?-Phs gene allowed better discrimination among the accessions within each cluster than the PvFRO1 polymorphisms. Furthermore, some variations within exons changes amino acids in both predicted protein sequences. In an unprecedented result, the phaseolin-predicted amino acid variation allowed most of the accessions to be typified.
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Laparoscopic resection of a gastrointestinal stromal tumor of the lower rectum in a patient with coronary artery disease following long-term neoadjuvant imatinib treatment and anticoagulation therapy.
World J Surg Oncol
PUBLISHED: 02-01-2014
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Surgery is the mainstay of treatment for gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs). However, complete resection of rectal GISTs is sometimes difficult because of bulkiness and/or anatomical reasons. Neoadjuvant imatinib therapy has gained attention as an alternative treatment to increase the chance of en bloc resection of rectal GISTs, although it usually takes several months. In this case report, we first demonstrated that neoadjuvant imatinib therapy can be performed safely not only to downsize tumors, but also to allow adequate time for the effective treatment of major comorbid illnesses. A 74-year-old man was diagnosed with a 45 mm GIST of the lower rectum. He also had severe stenosis in the proximal segment of the left anterior descending coronary artery. Following the implantation of a drug-eluting stent, the patient received imatinib together with dual anti-platelet therapy for 12 months without obvious side effects. Follow-up image studies revealed tumor shrinkage as well as stent patency. En bloc resection of the GIST was performed laparoscopically, which preserved the anus. The patient is currently alive without any evidence of relapse for 12 months after surgery.
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Matrix and backstage: cellular substrates for viral vaccines.
Viruses
PUBLISHED: 01-31-2014
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Vaccines are complex products that are manufactured in highly dynamic processes. Cellular substrates are one critical component that can have an enormous impact on reactogenicity of the final preparation, level of attenuation of a live virus, yield of infectious units or antigens, and cost per vaccine dose. Such parameters contribute to feasibility and affordability of vaccine programs both in industrialized countries and developing regions. This review summarizes the diversity of cellular substrates for propagation of viral vaccines from primary tissue explants and embryonated chicken eggs to designed continuous cell lines of human and avian origin.
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On the large ?-hyperconjugation in alkanes and alkenes.
J Mol Model
PUBLISHED: 01-22-2014
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The conventional view that the ?CC and ?CH bonds in alkanes and unsaturated hydrocarbons are so highly localized that their non-steric interactions are negligible is scrutinized by the block-localized wavefunction (BLW) method. Even molecules considered conventionally to be "strain free" and "unperturbed" have surprisingly large and quite significant total ?-BLW-delocalization energies (DEs) due to their geminal and vicinal hyperconjugative interactions. Thus, the computed BLW-DEs (in kcal mol(-1)) for the antiperiplanar conformations of the n-alkanes (C(N)H(2N+2), N = 1-10) range from 11.6 for ethane to 82.2 for?n-decane and are 50.9 for cyclohexane and 91.0 for adamantane. Although ?-electron delocalization in unsaturated hydrocarbons usually is ignored, the ?-BLW-DEs (in kcal mol(-1)) are substantial, as exemplified by D2h ethylene (9.0), triplet D2d ethylene (16.4), allene (19.3), butadiene (19.0), hexatriene (28.3), benzene (28.1), and cyclobutadiene (21.1). While each individual geminal and vicinal hyperconjugative interaction between hydrocarbon ?-bonding and ?-antibonding orbitals tends to be smaller than an individual ? conjugative interaction (e.g., 10.2 kcal mol(-1) in anti-1,3-butadiene, the presence of many ?-hyperconjugative interactions (e.g., a total of 12 in anti-1,3-butadiene, see text), result in substantial total ?-stabilization energies (e.g., 19.0 kcal mol(-1) for butadiene), which may surpass those from the ? interactions. Although large in magnitude, ?-electron delocalization energies often are obscured by cancellation when two hydrocarbons are compared. Rather than being strain-free, cyclohexane, adamantane, and diamantane suffer from their increasing number of intramolecular 1,4-C…C repulsions resulting in elongated C-C bond lengths and reduced ?-hyperconjugation, compared to the (skew-free) antiperiplanar n-alkane conformers. Instead of being inconsequential, ?-bond interactions are important and merit consideration.
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Association between serum IgG4 concentrations and the morphology of the aorta in patients who undergo cardiac computed tomography.
J Cardiol
PUBLISHED: 01-20-2014
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Immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4)-related disease has been suggested to be involved in cardiovascular disorders such as chronic periaortitis. However, it remains unclear whether IgG4-related immuno-inflammation affects the subclinical stages of aortic remodeling. Here, we analyzed the relationship between serum IgG4 concentrations and the morphology of the ascending aorta.
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Molecular functions and cellular roles of the ChlR1 (DDX11) helicase defective in the rare cohesinopathy Warsaw breakage syndrome.
Cell. Mol. Life Sci.
PUBLISHED: 01-16-2014
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In 2010, a new recessive cohesinopathy disorder, designated Warsaw breakage syndrome (WABS), was described. The individual with WABS displayed microcephaly, pre- and postnatal growth retardation, and abnormal skin pigmentation. Cytogenetic analysis revealed mitomycin C (MMC)-induced chromosomal breakage; however, an additional sister chromatid cohesion defect was also observed. WABS is genetically linked to bi-allelic mutations in the ChlR1/DDX11 gene which encodes a protein of the conserved family of Iron-Sulfur (Fe-S) cluster DNA helicases. Mutations in the budding yeast ortholog of ChlR1, known as Chl1, were known to cause sister chromatid cohesion defects, indicating a conserved function of the gene. In 2012, three affected siblings were identified with similar symptoms to the original WABS case, and found to have a homozygous mutation in the conserved Fe-S domain of ChlR1, confirming the genetic linkage. Significantly, the clinically relevant mutations perturbed ChlR1 DNA unwinding activity. In addition to its genetic importance in human disease, ChlR1 is implicated in papillomavirus genome maintenance and cancer. Although its precise functions in genome homeostasis are still not well understood, ongoing molecular studies of ChlR1 suggest the helicase plays a critically important role in cellular replication and/or DNA repair.
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Conditioned medium enhances the fusion capability of rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and cardiomyocytes.
Mol. Biol. Rep.
PUBLISHED: 01-16-2014
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Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) show accelerated regeneration potential when these cells experience hypoxic stress. This "preconditioning" has shown promising results with respect to cardio-protection as it stimulates endogenous mechanisms resulting in multiple cellular responses. The current study was carried out to analyze the effect of hypoxia on the expression of certain growth factors in rat MSCs and cardiomyocytes (CMs). Both cell types were cultured and assessed separately for their responsiveness to hypoxia by an optimized dose of 2,4,-dinitrophenol (DNP). These cells were allowed to propagate under normal condition for either 2 or 24 h and then analyzed for the expression of growth factors by RT-PCR. Variable patterns of expression were observed which indicate that their expression depends on the time of re-oxygenation and extent of hypoxia. To see whether the growth factors released during hypoxia affect the fusion of MSCs with CMs, we performed co-culture studies in normal and conditioned medium. The conditioned medium is defined as the medium in which CMs were grown for re-oxygenation till the specified time period of either 2 or 24 h after hypoxia induction. The results showed that the fusion efficiency of cells was increased when the conditioned medium was used as compared to that in the normal medium. This may be due to the presence of certain growth factors released by the cells under hypoxic condition that promote cell survival and enhance their fusion or regenerating ability. This study would serve as another attempt in designing a therapeutic strategy in which conditioned MSCs can be used for ischemic diseases and provide more specific therapy for cardiac regeneration.
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Planar Möbius aromatic pentalenes incorporating 16 and 18 valence electron osmiums.
Nat Commun
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2014
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Aromaticity, a highly stabilizing feature of molecules with delocalized electrons in closed circuits, is generally restricted to 'Hückel' systems with 4n+2 mobile electrons. Although the Möbius concept extends the principle of aromaticity to 4n mobile electron species, the rare known examples have complex, twisted topologies whose extension is unlikely. Here we report the realization of osmapentalenes, the first planar Möbius aromatic complexes with 16 and 18 valence electron transition metals. The Möbius aromaticity of these osmapentalenes, documented by X-ray structural, magnetic and theoretical analyses, demonstrates the basis of the aromaticity of the parent osmapentalynes. All these osmapentalenes are formed by both electrophilic and nucleophilic reactions of the in-plane ? component of the same carbyne carbon, illustrating ambiphilic carbyne reactivity, which is seldom observed in transition metal chemistry. Our results widen the scope of Möbius aromaticity dramatically and open prospects for the generalization of planar Möbius aromatic chemistry.
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Characterization of microsatellite markers developed from Prosopis rubriflora and Prosopis ruscifolia (Leguminosae - Mimosoideae), legume species that are used as models for genetic diversity studies in Chaquenian areas under anthropization in South America.
BMC Res Notes
PUBLISHED: 01-09-2014
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Prosopis rubriflora and Prosopis ruscifolia are important species in the Chaquenian regions of Brazil. Because of the restriction and frequency of their physiognomy, they are excellent models for conservation genetics studies. The use of microsatellite markers (Simple Sequence Repeats, SSRs) has become increasingly important in recent years and has proven to be a powerful tool for both ecological and molecular studies.
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CD26/DPP4 Cell-Surface Expression in Bat Cells Correlates with Bat Cell Susceptibility to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Infection and Evolution of Persistent Infection.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a recently isolated betacoronavirus identified as the etiologic agent of a frequently fatal disease in Western Asia, Middle East respiratory syndrome. Attempts to identify the natural reservoirs of MERS-CoV have focused in part on dromedaries. Bats are also suspected to be reservoirs based on frequent detection of other betacoronaviruses in these mammals. For this study, ten distinct cell lines derived from bats of divergent species were exposed to MERS-CoV. Plaque assays, immunofluorescence assays, and transmission electron microscopy confirmed that six bat cell lines can be productively infected. We found that the susceptibility or resistance of these bat cell lines directly correlates with the presence or absence of cell surface-expressed CD26/DPP4, the functional human receptor for MERS-CoV. Human anti-CD26/DPP4 antibodies inhibited infection of susceptible bat cells in a dose-dependent manner. Overexpression of human CD26/DPP4 receptor conferred MERS-CoV susceptibility to resistant bat cell lines. Finally, sequential passage of MERS-CoV in permissive bat cells established persistent infection with concomitant downregulation of CD26/DPP4 surface expression. Together, these results imply that bats indeed could be among the MERS-CoV host spectrum, and that cellular restriction of MERS-CoV is determined by CD26/DPP4 expression rather than by downstream restriction factors.
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Evidence for Frozen-Niche Variation in a Cosmopolitan Parthenogenetic Soil Mite Species (Acari, Oribatida).
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Parthenogenetic lineages may colonize marginal areas of the range of related sexual species or coexist with sexual species in the same habitat. Frozen-Niche-Variation and General-Purpose-Genotype are two hypotheses suggesting that competition and interclonal selection result in parthenogenetic populations being either genetically diverse or rather homogeneous. The cosmopolitan parthenogenetic oribatid mite Oppiella nova has a broad ecological phenotype and is omnipresent in a variety of habitats. Morphological variation in body size is prominent in this species and suggests adaptation to distinct environmental conditions. We investigated genetic variance and body size of five independent forest - grassland ecotones. Forests and grasslands were inhabited by distinct genetic lineages with transitional habitats being colonized by both genetic lineages from forest and grassland. Notably, individuals of grasslands were significantly larger than individuals in forests. These differences indicate the presence of specialized genetic lineages specifically adapted to either forests or grasslands which coexist in transitional habitats. Molecular clock estimates suggest that forest and grassland lineages separated 16-6 million years ago, indicating long-term persistence of these lineages in their respective habitat. Long-term persistence, and morphological and genetic divergence imply that drift and environmental factors result in the evolution of distinct parthenogenetic lineages resembling evolution in sexual species. This suggests that parthenogenetic reproduction is not an evolutionary dead end.
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Impact of Age-Associated Cyclopurine Lesions on DNA Repair Helicases.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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8,5' cyclopurine deoxynucleosides (cPu) are locally distorting DNA base lesions corrected by nucleotide excision repair (NER) and proposed to play a role in neurodegeneration prevalent in genetically defined Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) patients. In the current study, purified recombinant helicases from different classifications based on sequence homology were examined for their ability to unwind partial duplex DNA substrates harboring a single site-specific cPu adduct. Superfamily (SF) 2 RecQ helicases (RECQ1, BLM, WRN, RecQ) were inhibited by cPu in the helicase translocating strand, whereas helicases from SF1 (UvrD) and SF4 (DnaB) tolerated cPu in either strand. SF2 Fe-S helicases (FANCJ, DDX11 (ChlR1), DinG, XPD) displayed marked differences in their ability to unwind the cPu DNA substrates. Archaeal Thermoplasma acidophilum XPD (taXPD), homologue to the human XPD helicase involved in NER DNA damage verification, was impeded by cPu in the non-translocating strand, while FANCJ was uniquely inhibited by the cPu in the translocating strand. Sequestration experiments demonstrated that FANCJ became trapped by the translocating strand cPu whereas RECQ1 was not, suggesting the two SF2 helicases interact with the cPu lesion by distinct mechanisms despite strand-specific inhibition for both. Using a protein trap to simulate single-turnover conditions, the rate of FANCJ or RECQ1 helicase activity was reduced 10-fold and 4.5-fold, respectively, by cPu in the translocating strand. In contrast, single-turnover rates of DNA unwinding by DDX11 and UvrD helicases were only modestly affected by the cPu lesion in the translocating strand. The marked difference in effect of the translocating strand cPu on rate of DNA unwinding between DDX11 and FANCJ helicase suggests the two Fe-S cluster helicases unwind damaged DNA by distinct mechanisms. The apparent complexity of helicase encounters with an unusual form of oxidative damage is likely to have important consequences in the cellular response to DNA damage and DNA repair.
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Demographics and Genetic Variability of the New World Bollworm (Helicoverpa zea) and the Old World Bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) in Brazil.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Helicoverpa armigera is one of the primary agricultural pests in the Old World, whereas H. zea is predominant in the New World. However, H. armigera was first documented in Brazil in 2013. Therefore, the geographical distribution, range of hosts, invasion source, and dispersal routes for H. armigera are poorly understood or unknown in Brazil. In this study, we used a phylogeographic analysis of natural H. armigera and H. zea populations to (1) assess the occurrence of both species on different hosts; (2) infer the demographic parameters and genetic structure; (3) determine the potential invasion and dispersal routes for H. armigera within the Brazilian territory; and (4) infer the geographical origin of H. armigera. We analyzed partial sequence data from the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene. We determined that H. armigera individuals were most prevalent on dicotyledonous hosts and that H. zea were most prevalent on maize crops, based on the samples collected between May 2012 and April 2013. The populations of both species showed signs of demographic expansion, and no genetic structure. The high genetic diversity and wide distribution of H. armigera in mid-2012 are consistent with an invasion period prior to the first reports of this species in the literature and/or multiple invasion events within the Brazilian territory. It was not possible to infer the invasion and dispersal routes of H. armigera with this dataset. However, joint analyses using sequences from the Old World indicated the presence of Chinese, Indian, and European lineages within the Brazilian populations of H. armigera. These results suggest that sustainable management plans for the control of H. armigera will be challenging considering the high genetic diversity, polyphagous feeding habits, and great potential mobility of this pest on numerous hosts, which favor the adaptation of this insect to diverse environments and control strategies.
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In How Many Ways is the Approximate Number System Associated with Exact Calculation?
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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The approximate number system (ANS) has been consistently found to be associated with math achievement. However, little is known about the interactions between the different instantiations of the ANS and in how many ways they are related to exact calculation. In a cross-sectional design, we investigated the relationship between three measures of ANS acuity (non-symbolic comparison, non-symbolic estimation and non-symbolic addition), their cross-sectional trajectories and specific contributions to exact calculation. Children with mathematical difficulties (MD) and typically achieving (TA) controls attending the first six years of formal schooling participated in the study. The MD group exhibited impairments in multiple instantiations of the ANS compared to their TA peers. The ANS acuity measured by all three tasks positively correlated with age in TA children, while no correlation was found between non-symbolic comparison and age in the MD group. The measures of ANS acuity significantly correlated with each other, reflecting at least in part a common numerosity code. Crucially, we found that non-symbolic estimation partially and non-symbolic addition fully mediated the effects of non-symbolic comparison in exact calculation.
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Influence of Municipality-Level Mean Income on Access to Aortic Valve Surgery: A Cross-Sectional Observational Study under Japan's Universal Health-Care Coverage.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Universal health-care coverage has attracted the interest of policy makers as a way of achieving health equity. However, previous reports have shown that despite universal coverage, socioeconomic disparity persists in access to high-tech invasive care, such as cardiac treatment. In this study, we aimed to investigate the association between socioeconomic status and care of aortic stenosis in the context of Japan's health-care system, which is mainly publicly funded.
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Elevated C-Reactive Protein Levels and Enhanced High Frequency Vasomotion in Patients with Ischemic Heart Disease during Brachial Flow-Mediated Dilation.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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The physiological role of vasomotion, rhythmic oscillations in vascular tone or diameter, and its underlying mechanisms are unknown. We investigated the characteristics of brachial artery vasomotion in patients with ischemic heart disease (IHD).
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Contributions from specific and general factors to unique deficits: two cases of mathematics learning difficulties.
Front Psychol
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Mathematics learning difficulties are a highly comorbid and heterogeneous set of disorders linked to several dissociable mechanisms and endophenotypes. Two of these endophenotypes consist of primary deficits in number sense and verbal numerical representations. However, currently acknowledged endophenotypes are underspecified regarding the role of automatic vs. controlled information processing, and their description should be complemented. Two children with specific deficits in number sense and verbal numerical representations and normal or above-normal intelligence and preserved visuospatial cognition illustrate this point. Child H.V. exhibited deficits in number sense and fact retrieval. Child G.A. presented severe deficits in orally presented problems and transcoding tasks. A partial confirmation of the two endophenotypes that relate to the number sense and verbal processing was obtained, but a much more clear differentiation between the deficits presented by H.V. and G.A. can be reached by looking at differential impairments in modes of processing. H.V. is notably competent in the use of controlled processing but has problems with more automatic processes, such as nonsymbolic magnitude processing, speeded counting and fact retrieval. In contrast, G.A. can retrieve facts and process nonsymbolic magnitudes but exhibits severe impairment in recruiting executive functions and the concentration that is necessary to accomplish transcoding tasks and word problem solving. These results indicate that typical endophenotypes might be insufficient to describe accurately the deficits that are observed in children with mathematics learning abilities. However, by incorporating domain-specificity and modes of processing into the assessment of the endophenotypes, individual deficit profiles can be much more accurately described. This process calls for further specification of the endophenotypes in mathematics learning difficulties.
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Evaluation of intramitochondrial ATP levels identifies G0/G1 switch gene 2 as a positive regulator of oxidative phosphorylation.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 12-16-2013
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The oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system generates most of the ATP in respiring cells. ATP-depleting conditions, such as hypoxia, trigger responses that promote ATP production. However, how OXPHOS is regulated during hypoxia has yet to be elucidated. In this study, selective measurement of intramitochondrial ATP levels identified the hypoxia-inducible protein G0/G1 switch gene 2 (G0s2) as a positive regulator of OXPHOS. A mitochondria-targeted, FRET-based ATP biosensor enabled us to assess OXPHOS activity in living cells. Mitochondria-targeted, FRET-based ATP biosensor and ATP production assay in a semiintact cell system revealed that G0s2 increases mitochondrial ATP production. The expression of G0s2 was rapidly and transiently induced by hypoxic stimuli, and G0s2 interacts with OXPHOS complex V (FoF1-ATP synthase). Furthermore, physiological enhancement of G0s2 expression prevented cells from ATP depletion and induced a cellular tolerance for hypoxic stress. These results show that G0s2 positively regulates OXPHOS activity by interacting with FoF1-ATP synthase, which causes an increase in ATP production in response to hypoxic stress and protects cells from a critical energy crisis. These findings contribute to the understanding of a unique stress response to energy depletion. Additionally, this study shows the importance of assessing intramitochondrial ATP levels to evaluate OXPHOS activity in living cells.
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The periodontal pathogen aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans affects experimental autoimmune myocarditis in mice.
Int Heart J
PUBLISHED: 12-07-2013
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Recent reports assert that dental health is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. It is well known that Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (A.a.) is highly associated with heart disease. Indeed, we previously reported that A.a. affects the development of heart disease in a mouse model. However, no reports have clarified the relationship between A.a. and experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM). The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of A.a. on EAM in mice. EAM was induced via the injection of cardiac myosin into the mice. A.a. or PBS was then injected into the mice using a chamber implanted into the back of each mouse. The weight of the organs and echocardiograms were obtained and a pathological analysis and quantitative RT-PCR were performed. Echocardiography showed that no statistical difference was observed between the two groups. A histopathological analysis demonstrated that the number of areas affected by myocarditis in the A.a.-injected EAM group was significantly increased compared to that observed in the PBS-injected EAM group (P < 0.05). The hearts of the mice in the A.a.-injected EAM group exhibited signifi cantly increased expressions of MMP-9 mRNA compared to the hearts of the mice in the PBS-injected EAM group (P < 0.05). These results show that A.a. aggravated EAM via an enhanced MMP expression.
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Tocilizumab for the treatment of patients with refractory takayasu arteritis.
Int Heart J
PUBLISHED: 12-07-2013
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Treatment of refractory Takayasu arteritis (TA) remains an unresolved clinical issue. Patients usually respond to glucocorticoid (GC) therapy, but often relapse on tapering of the GC dose. The aim of the present study was to assess the safety and efficacy of the interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor antibody tocilizumab (TCZ) in patients with TA refractory to conventional therapies including GC. Four patients with TA who had shown GC resistance received TCZ infusions (8 mg/kg) every 4 weeks a total of at least 24 times (range, 24 to 51). Clinical symptoms, the serum levels of acute phase proteins and IL-6, GC dosage necessary to maintain remission, and cross-sectional imaging by enhanced CT and MRI were assessed. All patients achieved good clinical response and rapid normalization of the acute phase proteins such as C-reactive protein and serum amyloid A during the therapy with TCZ. The mean dosage of prednisolone could be reduced from 21.3 mg/day to 1.5 mg/day. Although the serum IL-6 level was transiently elevated in all patients after several TCZ infusions, it gradually recovered to the initial level. Along with the decrease of serum IL-6, two patients exhibited signifi cant reduction in thickened arterial lesions. No drug-related adverse effects were noted. In this small group of patients with refractory TA, TCZ therapy was effective and well-tolerated. Further larger studies should be conducted to confirm this finding.
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Insufficient self-care is an independent risk factor for adverse clinical outcomes in Japanese patients with heart failure.
Int Heart J
PUBLISHED: 12-07-2013
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Self-care is a cornerstone for the successful management of heart failure (HF). The purpose of this study was to examine the impacts of HF self-care on prognosis in Japanese patients with HF. A total of 283 HF outpatients (age 64 ± 14, 70% male, 52% HFrEF) were enrolled. We asked patients to answer about their adhevence to 5 self-care behaviors (medication, eating a low-sodium diet, regular exercise, daily weight check, and treatment seeking behavior). On the basis of the results, we classified patients into a good self-care group and a poor self-care group. The primary outcome was HF hospitalization and/or cardiac death. In total, 65% of patients were classifi ed into the poor self-care group. During a median follow-up of 2 years, cardiac events occurred more frequently in the poor self-care group (22% versus 9.6%, P = 0.013). Poor self-care was an independent risk factor for cardiac events in Cox regression analysis adjusted for clinical parameters (hazard ratio = 2.86, P = 0.005). Poor self-care was also associated with an increased number of HF hospitalizations as well as an extended length of hospital stay for HF. Poor knowledge about HF was an independent determinant for poor self-care in multivariate logistic regression analysis (odds ratio = 0.92, P = 0.019). Insufficient self-care is an independent risk factor for cardiac events in Japanese patients with HF.
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Tolvaptan can improve clinical course in responders.
Int Heart J
PUBLISHED: 12-07-2013
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We previously defined "responders" as patients with increases in urine volume (UV) on day 1 after the administration of tolvaptan (TLV), and demonstrated that responders to TLV could be predicted with considerable accuracy by urine osmolality (U-OSM) levels. Responders and non-responders to TLV should be associated with different clinical courses after a certain time following TLV administration. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to validate our definition of responders by clinical parameters 1 week after administration of TLV. Data (n = 85) were obtained from inhospital patients with decompensated heart failure (HF) who had received TLV at 3.75-15 mg daily, and clinical data at 1 week after the administration of TLV were compared with those of baseline. Sixty patients (70.6%) were "responders", in whom UV on day 1 increased after the administration of TLV compared with day 0. "Non-responders" were older, and had higher serum creatinine concentration and lower baseline U-OSM than "responders". Serum creatinine concentration increased significantly in "non-responders", but was unchanged in "responders". Body weight, plasma B-type natriuretic peptide concentration, and HF symptom score decreased significantly in "responders", but remained unchanged in "non-responders". Increases in UV after the first administration of TLV were closely correlated with improvement of congestive HF after 1 week of TLV treatment, which verifi ed our defi nition of "responders" to TLV.
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An adverse effect of an injectable cosmetic procedure: a case of mistaken identities.
J Drugs Dermatol
PUBLISHED: 12-05-2013
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Minimally invasive cosmetic procedures are being performed at increasing rates. This is likely due to the combination of a growing aging population, an increased accessibility through non-physician providers, and a common association of "minimally invasive" with the concept of fewer side effects. Despite their overall successes, there are adverse effects associated with these procedures, which are most often related to injection location, amount, and technique. This case describes a patient who sought botulinum toxin injections to smooth the appearance of periorbital lines who presented 12 months later with chronic multiple palpable nodules in the injection sites. Histopathological evaluation demonstrated a foreign body reaction resembling the reaction against semi-permanent or permanent fillers such as poly-L-lactic acid or polymethylmethacralate. Knowledge of the biochemical properties and life cycles of dermal fillers guided the decision to surgically excise the nodules, with cosmetically satisfactory results.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2013;12(12):1477-1480.
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Endovascular Aortic Repair Increases Vascular Stiffness and Alters Cardiac Structure and Function.
Circ. J.
PUBLISHED: 11-29-2013
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Background:?Endovascular aortic repair (EVAR) is performed in patients with thoracic or abdominal aortic aneurysm because it is less invasive than conventional open repair. However, the effects of EVAR on vascular and cardiac function remain to be clarified. Methods and Results:?We studied the effects of EVAR on several outcome variables in 40 consecutive patients undergoing EVAR for abdominal and/or thoracic aneurysm with preserved ejection fraction. Echocardiography and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) data were collected before, 1 week, and 1 year after EVAR. Although no changes in blood pressure were found, baPWV, left ventricular mass index (LVMI), and left atrial volume index were significantly elevated at both post-op time periods after EVAR compared with baseline data. The changes in LVMI correlated with those in baPWV (R=0.32, P<0.05). Among the 22 patients who were successfully followed up, 13 showed deterioration in exercise tolerance 1 year after EVAR. Diastolic wall strain, an index for LV distensibility, was lower at baseline in patients with worsening exercise tolerance than in those with unchanged tolerance. Conclusions:?EVAR increased vascular stiffness and induced LV hypertrophy and diastolic dysfunction without a corresponding elevation of blood pressure in the acute and chronic phases. In addition, low LV distensibility at baseline was associated with the impairment of exercise tolerance. EVAR-induced stiffness of arteries leads to limited clinical symptoms.
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Toll-like receptor-2 mediates adaptive cardiac hypertrophy in response to pressure overload through interleukin-1? upregulation via nuclear factor ?B activation.
J Am Heart Assoc
PUBLISHED: 11-20-2013
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Inflammation is induced in the heart during the development of cardiac hypertrophy. The initiating mechanisms and the role of inflammation in cardiac hypertrophy, however, remain unclear. Toll-like receptor-2 (TLR2) recognizes endogenous molecules that induce noninfectious inflammation. Here, we examined the role of TLR2-mediated inflammation in cardiac hypertrophy.
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Neovascularization induced by hypoxia inducible transcription factor is associated with the improvement of cardiac dysfunction in experimental autoimmune myocarditis.
Expert Opin Investig Drugs
PUBLISHED: 11-11-2013
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Objective: Mechanisms of cardiac dysfunction in myocarditis have not been fully elucidated. Though it remains controversial whether angiogenesis is beneficial or harmful in inflammatory disease, significant vascular destruction might possibly impair cardiac function in myocarditis. The prolyl hydroxylase domain-containing protein (PHD) inhibitor is a potential drug for promoting angiogenesis as it stabilizes hypoxia inducible transcription factor (HIF). The authors examine whether the PHD inhibitor TM6008 could affect cardiac function by promoting angiogenesis in experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM). Methods: EAM was induced on BALB/c mice by immunizing them with a synthesized ? myosin heavy-chain peptide. Every day, 200 mg/kg of TM6008 or vehicle was administered orally. Results: TM6008 improved left ventricular ejection fraction significantly on the 21st day of EAM. Though TM6008 did not affect the severity of myocardial cell infiltration, it tended to reduce cardiac fibrosis. Immunohistochemistry showed that CD31-positive blood vessels were preserved in the TM6008 group compared to the control group. Immunoblotting revealed that TM6008 increased the expression of HIF-1?, HIF-2? and vascular endothelial growth factor in myocarditis. Conclusion: Inhibition of PHD could ameliorate cardiac dysfunction in EAM, partially through promoting neovascularization. Relief of tissue hypoxia via neovascularization could improve cardiac function in myocarditis.
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Classification of ANCA-associated vasculitis.
Curr Rheumatol Rep
PUBLISHED: 11-09-2013
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Classification of the ANCA-associated vasculitides remains controversial. Existing systems, developed by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) in 1990, the Chapel Hill Consensus Conference (CHCC) in 1994 and updated in 2012, and the European Medicines Agency algorithm, all have deficiencies, especially when applied to unselected patients. The ACR system did not include ANCA or microscopic polyangiitis, and the CHCC (1994) included MPA but not ANCA (this was rectified in the 2012 revision). These systems were developed as classification criteria and not as diagnostic criteria. There are currently no validated diagnostic criteria for AAV. The Diagnostic and Classification Criteria for Vasculitis (DCVAS) study is a global study with the objective of developing and validating diagnostic criteria.
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Successful treatment of hemodynamic compromise caused by antibody-mediated and cellular rejection in a recipient 12 years after heart transplantation.
Int Heart J
PUBLISHED: 10-08-2013
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Heart transplantation (HTx) is an established therapy for stage D heart failure due to recent advances in immunosuppressive regimens. However, antibody-mediated rejection remains an unsolved problem because of its refractoriness to standard immunosuppressive therapy with high mortality and graft loss. We experienced a 16-year old patient with hemodynamic compromise caused by both cellular and antibody-mediated rejection 12 years after HTx. The rejection was refractory to repeated steroid pulse treatment, intravenous immunoglobulin administration, and intensifying immunosuppression including addition of everolimus. Eventually, she was successfully treated with repeated plasma exchange accompanied by a single administration of the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab.
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Inhibition of NF-?B activation by a novel IKK inhibitor reduces the severity of experimental autoimmune myocarditis via suppression of T-cell activation.
Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 10-04-2013
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NF-?B, which is activated by the inhibitor of NF-?B kinase (IKK), is involved in the progression of inflammatory disease. However, the effect of IKK inhibition on the progression of myocarditis is unknown. We examined the effect of IKK inhibition on the progression of myocarditis. Lewis rats were immunized with porcine cardiac myosin to induce experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM). We administered the IKK inhibitor (IMD-0354; 15 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1)) or vehicle to EAM rats daily. Hearts were harvested 21 days after immunization. Although the untreated EAM group showed increased heart weight-to-body weight ratio, and severe myocardial damage, these changes were attenuated in the IKK inhibitor-treated group. Moreover, IKK inhibitor administration significantly reduced NF-?B activation and mRNA expression of IFN-?, IL-2, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 in myocardium compared with vehicle administration. In vitro study showed that the IKK inhibitor treatment inhibited T-cell proliferation and Th1 cytokines production induced by myosin stimulation. The IKK inhibitor ameliorated EAM by suppressing inflammatory reactions via suppression of T-cell activation.
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Granulysin induces apoptotic cell death and cleavage of the autophagy regulator Atg5 in human hematological tumors.
Biochem. Pharmacol.
PUBLISHED: 10-01-2013
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Granulysin is a protein present in the granules of human CTL and NK cells, with cytolytic activity against microbes and tumors. Previous work demonstrated that granulysin caused cell death through mitochondrial damage with release of AIF and cytochrome c. However, the molecular mechanism and, especially, the type of cell death were still not well defined. In the present work we show that granulysin-induced cell death is apoptotic, with phosphatidylserine exposure preceding membrane breakdown and with caspase 3 activation. Granulysin-induced apoptosis is prevented in Jurkat cells over-expressing Bcl-xL or Bcl2, or lacking Bak and Bax or Bim expression, suggesting a central role of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. This apoptotic process is initiated by intracellular Ca(2+) increase and mitochondrial ROS generation. We have tested granulysin against other hematological tumor cells such as multiple myeloma cell lines, and cells from B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) patients, finding different degrees of sensitivity. We also show that granulysin induces the cleavage of Atg5 in the complex formed with Atg12, without affecting autophagy. In conclusion, granulysin induces apoptosis on hematological tumor cells and on cells from B-CLL patients, opening the door to research on its use as a new anti-tumoral treatment.
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High incidence of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans infection in patients with cerebral infarction and diabetic renal failure: a cross-sectional study.
BMC Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 09-01-2013
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Recent epidemiological studies suggest that periodontitis is a major risk factor for renal failure and cerebral infarction. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association among periodontitis, renal failure, and cerebral infarction, focusing on microbiological and immunological features.
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Usefulness of Transient Elastography for Noninvasive and Reliable Estimation of Right-Sided Filling Pressure in Heart Failure.
Am. J. Cardiol.
PUBLISHED: 08-21-2013
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Accurate noninvasive assessment of right atrial pressure (RAP) is important for volume management in patients with heart failure (HF). Transient elastography is a noninvasive and reliable method to assess liver stiffness (LS). We investigated the value of LS for evaluation of RAP in patients with HF without structural liver disease. We measured LS using transient elastography (Fibroscan) in 31 patients undergoing right-sided cardiac catheterization (test group). The relation between LS and RAP found in the test group was used to derive the best-fit model to predict RAP. The applicability of the model was then tested in a validation group of 49 additional patients. There was an excellent correlation between LS and RAP in the test group (r = 0.95, p <0.0001; RAP = -5.8 + 6.7 × ln [LS]). Natural log transformation (ln) of LS provided the regression equation to predict RAP. When the equation model derived from the test group was applied to the validation group, predicted RAP correlated excellently with actual RAP (r = 0.90, p <0.0001). The receiver operating characteristic curve analyses in the test group showed that LS favorably compared with echocardiography for detecting RAP >10 mm Hg (area under the curve 0.958 vs 0.800, respectively, p = 0.047). In the validation group, LS with a cut-off value of 10.6 kPa for identifying RAP >10 mm Hg had a higher sensitivity and accuracy (p = 0.046 and p = 0.049, respectively) than echocardiography. In conclusion, LS may offer an accurate noninvasive diagnostic method to assess RAP in patients with HF.
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Significance of Imbalance in the Ratio of Serum n-3 to n-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Patients With Acute Coronary Syndrome.
Am. J. Cardiol.
PUBLISHED: 08-04-2013
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This study aimed to assess the balance of serum n-3 to n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). We enrolled 1,119 patients who were treated and in whom serum PUFA level was evaluated in 5 divisions of cardiology in a metropolitan area in Japan. Serum levels of PUFAs, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and arachidonic acid (AA), were compared between patients with and without ACS. We also evaluated the balance of serum n-3 to n-6 PUFAs, including EPA/AA and DHA/AA ratios. EPA/AA values were 0.46 ± 0.32 and 0.50 ± 0.32 in the ACS and non-ACS groups, respectively. DHA/AA values were 0.95 ± 0.37 and 0.96 ± 0.41 in the ACS and non-ACS groups, respectively. Next, we divided the patients into 3 groups based on the tertiles of EPA/AA or tertiles of DHA/AA to determine the independent risk factors for ACS. According to multivariate logistic regression analysis, the group with the lowest EPA/AA (?0.33) had a greater probability of ACS (odds ratio 3.14, 95% confidence interval 1.16 to 8.49), but this was not true for DHA/AA. In conclusion, an imbalance in the ratio of serum EPA to AA, but not in the ratio of DHA to AA, was significantly associated with ACS.
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High incidence and severity of periodontitis in patients with Marfan syndrome in Japan.
Heart Vessels
PUBLISHED: 07-02-2013
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Marfan syndrome (MFS) is a systemic connective tissue disorder caused by mutations in the extracellular matrix protein fibrillin-1. While it is known that patients with MFS are at high risk of dental disorders and cardiovascular diseases, little information has been provided to date. To clarify the prevalence of periodontitis in patients with MFS, their oral condition and cardiovascular complications were evaluated. The subjects were patients with MFS (n = 40) who attended the University of Tokyo hospital; age- and gender-matched healthy individuals (n = 14) constituted a control group. Cardiovascular complications and full-mouth clinical measurements, including number of teeth, probing of pocket depth (PD), bleeding on probing (BOP), and community periodontal index (CPI) were recorded. MFS patients had more frequent cardiovascular complications (95 %) compared with the controls (0 %). MFS patients had periodontitis (CPI 3 and 4) more frequently (87.5 %) than the age- and gender-matched control subjects (35.7 %). Furthermore, MFS patients had significantly more severe periodontitis (CPI 2.90 ± 0.12 vs 1.64 ± 0.32) and fewer remaining teeth (26.7 ± 0.4 vs 28.4 ± 0.4) compared with the controls. However, PD and BOP were comparable between MFS patients and the control group. A high incidence of periodontitis and cardiovascular complications was observed in Japanese MFS patients.
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Genetic variation in polyploid forage grass: assessing the molecular genetic variability in the Paspalum genus.
BMC Genet.
PUBLISHED: 05-22-2013
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Paspalum (Poaceae) is an important genus of the tribe Paniceae, which includes several species of economic importance for foraging, turf and ornamental purposes, and has a complex taxonomical classification. Because of the widespread interest in several species of this genus, many accessions have been conserved in germplasm banks and distributed throughout various countries around the world, mainly for the purposes of cultivar development and cytogenetic studies. Correct identification of germplasms and quantification of their variability are necessary for the proper development of conservation and breeding programs. Evaluation of microsatellite markers in different species of Paspalum conserved in a germplasm bank allowed assessment of the genetic differences among them and assisted in their proper botanical classification.
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Adipose Natural Regulatory B Cells Negatively Control Adipose Tissue Inflammation.
Cell Metab.
PUBLISHED: 05-15-2013
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Distinct B cell populations, designated regulatory B (Breg) cells, are known to restrain immune responses associated with autoimmune diseases. Additionally, obesity is known to induce local inflammation within adipose tissue that contributes to systemic metabolic abnormalities, but the underlying mechanisms that modulate adipose inflammation remain poorly understood. We identified Breg cells that produce interleukin-10 constitutively within adipose tissue. B cell-specific Il10 deletion enhanced adipose inflammation and insulin resistance in diet-induced obese mice, whereas adoptive transfer of adipose tissue Breg cells ameliorated those effects. Adipose environmental factors, including CXCL12 and free fatty acids, support Breg cell function, and Breg cell fraction and function were reduced in adipose tissue from obese mice and humans. Our findings indicate that adipose tissue Breg cells are a naturally occurring regulatory B cell subset that maintains homeostasis within adipose tissue and that Breg cell dysfunction contributes pivotally to the progression of adipose tissue inflammation in obesity.
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Antimitotic drugs in cancer chemotherapy: promises and pitfalls.
Biochem. Pharmacol.
PUBLISHED: 05-14-2013
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Cancer cells usually display higher proliferation rates than normal cells. Some currently used antitumor drugs, such as vinca alkaloids and taxanes, act by targeting microtubules and inhibiting mitosis. In the last years, different mitotic regulators have been proposed as drug target candidates for antitumor therapies. In particular, inhibitors of Cdks, Chks, Aurora kinase and Polo-like kinase have been synthesized and evaluated in vitro and in animal models and some of them have reached clinical trials. However, to date, none of these inhibitors has been still approved for use in chemotherapy regimes. We will discuss here the most recent preclinical information on those new antimitotic drugs, as well as the possible molecular bases underlying their lack of clinical efficiency. Also, advances in the identification of other mitosis-related targets will be also summarized.
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