A quantitative trait locus (QTL) in the nematode C. elegans, "lsq4," was recently implicated by mapping longevity genes. QTLs for lifespan and three stress-resistance traits coincided within a span of <300 kbp, later narrowed to <200 kbp. A single gene in this interval is now shown to modulate all lsq4-associated traits. Full-genome analysis of transcript levels indicates that lsq4 contains a dimorphic gene governing the expression of many sperm-specific genes, suggesting an effect on spermatogenesis. Quantitative analysis of allele-specific transcripts encoded within the lsq4 interval revealed significant, 2- to 15-fold expression differences for 10 of 33 genes. Fourteen "dual-candidate" genes, implicated by both position and expression, were tested for RNA-interference effects on QTL-linked traits. In a strain carrying the shorter-lived allele, knockdown of rec-8 (encoding a meiotic cohesin) reduced its transcripts 4-fold, to a level similar to the longer-lived strain, while extending lifespan 25-26%, whether begun before fertilization or at maturity. The short-lived lsq4 allele also conferred sensitivity to oxidative and thermal stresses, and lower male frequency (reflecting X-chromosome non-disjunction), traits reversed uniquely by rec-8 knockdown. A strain bearing the longer-lived lsq4 allele, differing from the short-lived strain at <0.3% of its genome, derived no lifespan or stress-survival benefit from rec-8 knockdown. We consider two possible explanations: high rec-8 expression may include increased "leaky" expression in mitotic cells, leading to deleterious destabilization of somatic genomes; or REC-8 may act entirely in germ-line meiotic cells to reduce aberrations such as non-disjunction, thereby blunting a stress-resistance response mediated by innate immunity. Replicative lifespan was extended 20% in haploid S. cerevisiae (BY4741) by deletion of REC8, orthologous to nematode rec-8, implying that REC8 disruption of mitotic-cell survival is widespread, exemplifying antagonistic pleiotropy (opposing effects on lifespan vs. reproduction), and/or balancing selection wherein genomic disruption increases genetic variation under harsh conditions.
We present a novel optical coherence tomography (OCT)-based technique for rapid volumetric imaging of red blood cell (RBC) flux in capillary networks. Previously we reported that OCT can capture individual RBC passage within a capillary, where the OCT intensity signal at a voxel fluctuates when an RBC passes the voxel. Based on this finding, we defined a metric of statistical intensity variation (SIV) and validated that the mean SIV is proportional to the RBC flux [RBC/s] through simulations and measurements. From rapidly scanned volume data, we used Hessian matrix analysis to vectorize a segment path of each capillary and estimate its flux from the mean of the SIVs gathered along the path. Repeating this process led to a 3D flux map of the capillary network. The present technique enabled us to trace the RBC flux changes over hundreds of capillaries with a temporal resolution of ~1 s during functional activation.
We demonstrate high speed, swept source optical coherence microscopy (OCM) using a MEMS tunable vertical cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) light source. The light source had a sweep rate of 280 kHz, providing a bidirectional axial scan rate of 560 kHz. The sweep bandwidth was 117 nm centered at 1310 nm, corresponding to an axial resolution of 13.1 µm in air, corresponding to 8.1 µm (9.6 µm spectrally shaped) in tissue. Dispersion mismatch from different objectives was compensated numerically, enabling magnification and field of view to be easily changed. OCM images were acquired with transverse resolutions between 0.86 µm - 3.42 µm using interchangeable 40X, 20X and 10X objectives with ~600 µm x 600 µm, ~1 mm x 1 mm and ~2 mm x 2 mm field-of-view (FOV), respectively. Parasitic variations in path length with beam scanning were corrected numerically. These features enable swept source OCM to be integrated with a wide range of existing scanning microscopes. Large FOV mosaics were generated by serially acquiring adjacent overlapping microscopic fields and combining them in post-processing. Fresh human colon, thyroid and kidney specimens were imaged ex vivo and compared to matching histology sections, demonstrating the ability of OCM to image tissue specimens.
We developed a micromotor based miniature catheter with an outer diameter of 3.2 mm for ultrahigh speed endoscopic swept source optical coherence tomography (OCT) using a vertical cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) at a 1 MHz axial scan rate. The micromotor can rotate a micro-prism at several hundred frames per second with less than 5 V drive voltage to provide fast and stable scanning, which is not sensitive to the bending of the catheter. The side-viewing probe can be pulled back to acquire a three-dimensional (3D) data set covering a large area on the specimen. The VCSEL provides a high axial scan rate to support dense sampling under high frame rate operation. Using a high speed data acquisition system, in vivo 3D-OCT imaging in the rabbit GI tract and ex vivo imaging of a human colon specimen with 8 ?m axial resolution, 8 ?m lateral resolution and 1.2 mm depth range in tissue at a frame rate of 400 fps was demonstrated.
We demonstrate ultralong-range swept-source optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging using vertical cavity surface emitting laser technology. The ability to adjust laser parameters and high-speed acquisition enables imaging ranges from a few centimeters up to meters using the same instrument. We discuss the challenges of long-range OCT imaging. In vivo human-eye imaging and optical component characterization are presented. The precision and accuracy of OCT-based measurements are assessed and are important for ocular biometry and reproducible intraocular distance measurement before cataract surgery. Additionally, meter-range measurement of fiber length and multicentimeter-range imaging are reported. 3D visualization supports a class of industrial imaging applications of OCT.
In a previous study, acupuncture at acupoint HT7 attenuated ethanol withdrawal-induced anxiety-like behavior in rats by normalizing amygdaloid catecholamines. In the present study, the involvement of amygdaloid corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in the anxiolytic effect of acupuncture was investigated during ethanol withdrawal. Rats were intraperitoneally treated with 3 g /kg/day of ethanol for 28 days, and the CRF mRNA levels in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CEA) were measured by using a RT-PCR analysis 72 hours after the last dose of ethanol. During ethanol withdrawal, the rats were bilaterally treated with acupuncture at acupoints HT7, PC6 or at a non-acupoint (Tail) for one min/day for three days. Also, rats were bilaterally injected with CRF into the CEA five minutes after the third acupuncture treatment, after which followed by the elevated-plus maze (EPM) test and the plasma corticosterone radioimmunoassay (RIA) were administered. The RT-PCR analysis showed a significant increase in the amygdaloid CRF mRNA levels in the ethanol-withdrawn rats compared with both the saline-treated rats and the rats treated with acupuncture at HT7, but neither acupuncture at PC6 nor acupuncture at a non-acupoint significantly inhibited the increased mRNA expression. The EPM test and the RIA also showed that the post-acupuncture infusion of CRF greatly reduced the anxiolytic effect of acupuncture at HT7. These results suggest that during ethanol withdrawal, the anxiolytic effect of acupuncture may be mediated through the modulation of amydaloid CRF during ethanol withdrawal.
Postlicensure data has identified a causal link between rotavirus vaccines and intussusception in some settings. As rotavirus vaccines are introduced globally, monitoring intussusception will be crucial for ensuring safety of the vaccine programs.
In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, loss of mitochondrial DNA (rho(0)) can induce the retrograde response under appropriate conditions, resulting in increased replicative lifespan (RLS). Although the retrograde pathway has been extensively elaborated, the nature of the mitochondrial signal triggering this response has not been clear. Mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) was severely reduced in rho(0) compared to rho(+) cells, and RLS was concomitantly extended. To examine the role of MMP in the retrograde response, MMP was increased in the rho(0) strain by introducing a mutation in the ATP1 gene, and it was decreased in rho(+) cells by deletion of COX4. The ATP1-111 mutation in rho(0) cells partially restored the MMP and reduced mean RLS to that of rho(+) cells. COX4 deletion decreased MMP in rho(+) cells to a value intermediate between rho(+) and rho(0) cells and similarly increased RLS. The increase in expression of CIT2, the diagnostic gene for the retrograde response, seen in rho(0) cells, was substantially suppressed in the presence of the ATP1-111 mutation. In contrast, CIT2 expression increased in rho(+) cells on deletion of COX4. Activation of the retrograde response results in the translocation of the transcription factor Rtg3 from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Rtg3-GFP translocation to the nucleus was directly observed in rho(0) and rho(+)cox4? cells, but it was blunted in rho(0) cells with the ATP1-111 mutation. We conclude that a decrease in MMP is the signal that initiates the retrograde response and leads to increased RLS.
Doppler optical coherence tomography (DOCT) is a functional extension of optical coherence tomography (OCT) and is currently being employed in several clinical arenas to quantify blood flow in vivo. In this study, the objective was to investigate the feasibility of DOCT to image kidney microcirculation, specifically, glomerular blood flow. DOCT is able to capture three-dimensional (3D) data sets consisting of a series of cross-sectional images in real time, which enables label-free and non-destructive quantification of glomerular blood flow. The kidneys of adult, male Munich-Wistar rats were exposed through laparotomy procedure after being anesthetized. Following exposure of the kidney beneath the DOCT microscope, glomerular blood flow was observed. The effects of acute mannitol and angiotensin II infusion were also observed. Glomerular blood flow was quantified for the induced physiological states and compared with baseline measurements. Glomerular volume, cumulative Doppler volume, and Doppler flow range parameters were computed from 3D OCT/DOCT data sets. Glomerular size was determined from OCT, and DOCT readily revealed glomerular blood flow. After infusion of mannitol, a significant increase in blood flow was observed and quantified, and following infusion of angiontensin II, a significant decrease in blood flow was observed and quantified. Also, blood flow histograms were produced to illustrate differences in blood flow rate and blood volume among the induced physiological states. We demonstrated 3D DOCT imaging of rat kidney microcirculation in the glomerulus in vivo. Dynamic changes in blood flow were detected under altered physiological conditions demonstrating the real-time imaging capability of DOCT. This method holds promise to allow non-invasive imaging of kidney blood flow for transplant graft evaluation or monitoring of altered-renal hemodynamics related to disease progression.
In this study, we characterized ceramide synthase (CerS) of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi at the molecular and functional levels. TcCerS activity was detected initially in a cell-free system using the microsomal fraction of epimastigote forms of T. cruzi, [(3)H]dihydrosphingosine or [(3)H]sphingosine, and fatty acids or acyl-CoA derivatives as acceptor or donor substrates, respectively. TcCerS utilizes both sphingoid long-chain bases, and its activity is exclusively dependent on acyl-CoAs, with palmitoyl-CoA being preferred. In addition, Fumonisin B(1), a broad and well-known acyl-CoA-dependent CerS inhibitor, blocked the parasites CerS activity. However, unlike observations in fungi, the CerS inhibitors Australifungin and Fumonisin B(1) did not affect the proliferation of epimastigotes in culture, even after exposure to high concentrations or after extended periods of treatment. A search of the parasite genome with the conserved Lag1 motif from Lag1p, the yeast acyl-CoA-dependent CerS, identified a T. cruzi candidate gene (TcCERS1) that putatively encodes the parasites CerS activity. The TcCERS1 gene was able to functionally complement the lethality of a lag1? lac1? double deletion yeast mutant in which the acyl-CoA-dependent CerS is not detectable. The complemented strain was capable of synthesizing normal inositol-containing sphingolipids and is 10 times more sensitive to Fumonisin B(1) than the parental strain.
Clinical studies have indicated that photodynamic therapy (PDT) significantly prolonged the median survival of patients with gliomas. Experimental studies demonstrate that increasing optical energy and photosensitizer dose leads to increased volume of tumor necrosis. However, increasing the light dose delivered to the tumor may increase the risks of inducing permanent neurological deficits. In the current study, we sought to test the behavioral deficits induced in normal rats by brain PDT and the neurorestorative effects of atorvastatin on PDT-induced behavioral deficits. Considering its potential as a combination treatment of brain tumors, we investigated both in vitro and in vivo whether atorvastatin treatment promotes brain tumor growth. Non-tumored Fischer rats received PDT (n=18). Nine of the PDT-treated animals were treated with atorvastatin. Control animals underwent the same surgical procedure, but did not receive Photofrin and laser light. PDT-treated animals had significant behavioral deficits on days 2, 5, 7, 9 and 14 after PDT, compared with surgery controls. PDT-treated animals receiving atorvastatin displayed significantly ameliorated behavioral deficits on days 7, 9 and 14 after PDT, compared to PDT-treated rats. In vitro tumor cell viability and growth were evaluated. Atorvastatin did not affect the growth of glioma cells. Fischer rats with intracranial 7-day-old 9L glioma tumor cell implantation were randomly subjected to no treatment, PDT alone, atorvastatin alone, or combined treatment with atorvastatin and PDT (6 rats/group). Our data indicate that atorvastatin did not promote tumor growth in either PDT treated and non-treated rats. However, atorvastatin significantly reduced the cell damage caused by PDT. To further test the mechanisms underlying the atorvastatin-mediated reduction of functional deficits, we investigated the effects of atorvastatin on angiogenesis and synaptogenesis. Our data demonstrate that atorvastatin significantly induced angiogenesis and synaptogenesis in the PDT-damaged brain tissue. Our data indicate that PDT induces functional deficits. Atorvastatin treatment promotes functional restoration after PDT, but does not promote glioma growth in vitro and in vivo. Atorvastatin reduces astrocyte and endothelial cell damage caused by PDT and induces angiogenesis and synaptogenesis after PDT. Thus consideration and further testing of the combination of atorvastatin and PDT for the treatment of glioma is warranted.
Doppler optical coherence tomography (DOCT) and OCT angiography are novel methods to investigate cerebrovascular physiology. In the rodent cortex, DOCT flow displays features characteristic of cerebral blood flow, including conservation along nonbranching vascular segments and at branch points. Moreover, DOCT flow values correlate with hydrogen clearance flow values when both are measured simultaneously. These data validate DOCT as a noninvasive quantitative method to measure tissue perfusion over a physiologic range.
The search for longevity-determining genes in human has largely neglected the operation of genetic interactions. We have identified a novel combination of common variants of three genes that has a marked association with human lifespan and healthy aging. Subjects were recruited and stratified according to their genetically inferred ethnic affiliation to account for population structure. Haplotype analysis was performed in three candidate genes, and the haplotype combinations were tested for association with exceptional longevity. An HRAS1 haplotype enhanced the effect of an APOE haplotype on exceptional survival, and a LASS1 haplotype further augmented its magnitude. These results were replicated in a second population. A profile of healthy aging was developed using a deficit accumulation index, which showed that this combination of gene variants is associated with healthy aging. The variation in LASS1 is functional, causing enhanced expression of the gene, and it contributes to healthy aging and greater survival in the tenth decade of life. Thus, rare gene variants need not be invoked to explain complex traits such as aging; instead rare congruence of common gene variants readily fulfills this role. The interaction between the three genes described here suggests new models for cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying exceptional survival and healthy aging that involve lipotoxicity.
We describe methods and algorithms for rapid volumetric imaging of cortical vasculature with optical coherence tomography (OCT). By optimizing system design, scanning protocols, and algorithms for visualization of capillary flow, comprehensive imaging of the surface pial vasculature and capillary bed is performed in approximately 12 s. By imaging during hypercapnia and comparing with simultaneous CCD imaging, the sources of contrast of OCT angiography are investigated.
To determine histopathological status of living human kidneys in real time and a noninvasive fashion would be a significant advancement in renal disease diagnosis. Recently we reported that optical coherence tomography has the requisite high spatial resolution to noninvasively determine histopathological changes in rodent kidneys with microm scale resolution. We established whether optical coherence tomography could 1) effectively penetrate the connective tissue capsule surrounding human kidneys, 2) provide a global survey of the human renal surface and 3) determine histopathological changes in human renal microstructure.
Treatment with a selective proteasome inhibitor, VELCADE, in combination with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) extended the therapeutic window to 6 hours in young rats after stroke. However, stroke is a major cause of death and disability in the elderly. The present study investigated the effect of VELCADE in combination with a low-dose tPA on aged rats after embolic stroke.
Genetic analyses aimed at identification of the pathways and downstream effectors of calorie restriction (CR) in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae suggest the importance of central metabolism for the extension of replicative life span by CR. However, the limited gene expression studies to date are not informative, because they have been conducted using cells grown in batch culture which markedly departs from the conditions under which yeasts are grown during life span determinations. In this study, we have examined the gene expression changes that occur during either glucose limitation or elimination of nonessential-amino acids, both of which enhance yeast longevity, culturing cells in a chemostat at equilibrium, which closely mimics conditions they encounter during life span determinations. Expression of 59 genes was examined quantitatively by real-time, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), and the physiological state of the cultures was monitored. Extensive gene expression changes were detected, some of which were common to both CR regimes. The most striking of these was the induction of tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and retrograde response target genes, which appears to be at least partially due to the up-regulation of the HAP4 gene. These gene regulatory events portend an increase in the generation of biosynthetic intermediates necessary for the production of daughter cells, which is the measure of yeast replicative life span.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a rapidly emerging imaging modality that can non-invasively provide cross-sectional, high-resolution images of tissue morphology in situ and in real-time. Previous studies have demonstrated that OCT is capable of accurately visualizing the pathological changes in the living kidney in vivo using the Munich-Wistar rat model. In this work, we establish, for the first time, the capability of OCT to image the intact human kidney ex vivo. Characteristic kidney anatomic structures including the blood vessels, uriniferous tubules, glomeruli, and kidney capsules can be readily discerned. The diameter and volume parameters of these structures can also be automatically quantified. These two parameters may be critical in clinical applications such as the assessment of the donor kidneys viability prior to transplantation, or image the kidney responses to ischemic insult.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a rapidly emerging imaging modality that can non-invasively provide cross-sectional, high-resolution images of tissue morphology in situ and in real-time. We previously demonstrated that OCT is capable of visualizing characteristic kidney anatomic structures, including blood vessels, uriniferous tubules, glomeruli, and renal capsules on a Munich-Wistar rat model. Because the viability of a donor kidney is closely correlated with its tubular morphology, and a large amount of image datasets are expected when using OCT to scan the entire kidney to provide a global assessment of its viability, it is necessary to develop automatic image analysis methods to quantify the spatially-resolved morphometric parameters such as tubular diameter to provide potential diagnostic information. In this study, we imaged the human kidney in vitro and quantified the diameters of hollow structures such as blood vessels and uriniferous tubules automatically. The microstructures were first segmented from cross-sectional OCT images. Then the spatially-isolated region-of-interest (ROI) was automatically selected to quantify its dimension. This method enables the automatic selection and quantification of spatially-resolved morphometric parameters. The quantification accuracy was validated, and measured features are in agreement with known kidney morphology. This work can enable studies to determine the clinical utility of OCT for kidney imaging, as well as studies to evaluate kidney morphology as a biomarker for assessing kidneys viability prior to transplantation.
We present a combined optical coherence tomography (OCT) and line-scanning fluorescence laminar optical tomography (FLOT) system. This hybrid system enables coregistered structural and molecular imaging in 3D with 10-100 microm resolution and millimeter-scale imaging depth. Experimental results on a capillary phantom with fluorescence dye Cy5.5 using an OCT/FLOT imaging system have been demonstrated.
We demonstrate swept source OCT utilizing vertical-cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) technology for in vivo high speed retinal, anterior segment and full eye imaging. The MEMS tunable VCSEL enables long coherence length, adjustable spectral sweep range and adjustable high sweeping rate (50-580 kHz axial scan rate). These features enable integration of multiple ophthalmic applications into one instrument. The operating modes of the device include: ultrahigh speed, high resolution retinal imaging (up to 580 kHz); high speed, long depth range anterior segment imaging (100 kHz) and ultralong range full eye imaging (50 kHz). High speed imaging enables wide-field retinal scanning, while increased light penetration at 1060 nm enables visualization of choroidal vasculature. Comprehensive volumetric data sets of the anterior segment from the cornea to posterior crystalline lens surface are also shown. The adjustable VCSEL sweep range and rate make it possible to achieve an extremely long imaging depth range of ~50 mm, and to demonstrate the first in vivo 3D OCT imaging spanning the entire eye for non-contact measurement of intraocular distances including axial eye length. Swept source OCT with VCSEL technology may be attractive for next generation integrated ophthalmic OCT instruments.
We introduce an integration of dynamic light scattering (DLS) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) for high-resolution 3D imaging of heterogeneous diffusion and flow. DLS analyzes fluctuations in light scattered by particles to measure diffusion or flow of the particles, and OCT uses coherence gating to collect light only scattered from a small volume for high-resolution structural imaging. Therefore, the integration of DLS and OCT enables high-resolution 3D imaging of diffusion and flow. We derived a theory under the assumption that static and moving particles are mixed within the OCT resolution volume and the moving particles can exhibit either diffusive or translational motion. Based on this theory, we developed a fitting algorithm to estimate dynamic parameters including the axial and transverse velocities and the diffusion coefficient. We validated DLS-OCT measurements of diffusion and flow through numerical simulations and phantom experiments. As an example application, we performed DLS-OCT imaging of the living animal brain, resulting in 3D maps of the absolute and axial velocities, the diffusion coefficient, and the coefficient of determination.
The genetics of aging in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has involved the manipulation of individual genes in laboratory strains. We have instituted a quantitative genetic analysis of the yeast replicative lifespan by sampling the natural genetic variation in a wild yeast isolate. Haploid segregants from a cross between a common laboratory strain (S288c) and a clinically derived strain (YJM145) were subjected to quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis, using 3048 molecular markers across the genome. Five significant, replicative lifespan QTL were identified. Among them, QTL 1 on chromosome IV has the largest effect and contains SIR2, whose product differs by five amino acids in the parental strains. Reciprocal gene swap experiments showed that this gene is responsible for the majority of the effect of this QTL on lifespan. The QTL with the second-largest effect on longevity was QTL 5 on chromosome XII, and the bulk of the underlying genomic sequence contains multiple copies (100-150) of the rDNA. Substitution of the rDNA clusters of the parental strains indicated that they play a predominant role in the effect of this QTL on longevity. This effect does not appear to simply be a function of extrachromosomal ribosomal DNA circle production. The results support an interaction between SIR2 and the rDNA locus, which does not completely explain the effect of these loci on longevity. This study provides a glimpse of the complex genetic architecture of replicative lifespan in yeast and of the potential role of genetic variation hitherto unsampled in the laboratory.
TO DATE, TWO MAIN CATEGORIES OF OCT TECHNIQUES HAVE BEEN DESCRIBED FOR IMAGING HEMODYNAMICS: Doppler OCT and OCT angiography. Doppler OCT can measure axial velocity profiles and flow in arteries and veins, while OCT angiography can determine vascular morphology, tone, and presence or absence of red blood cell (RBC) perfusion. However, neither method can quantify RBC velocity in capillaries, where RBC flow is typically transverse to the probe beam and single-file. Here, we describe new methods that potentially address these limitations. Firstly, we describe a complex-valued OCT signal in terms of a static scattering component, dynamic scattering component, and noise. Secondly, we propose that the time scale of random fluctuations in the dynamic scattering component are related to red blood cell velocity. Analysis was performed along the slow axis of repeated B-scans to parallelize measurements. We correlate our purported velocity measurements against two-photon microscopy measurements of RBC velocity, and investigate changes during hypercapnia. Finally, we image the ischemic stroke penumbra during distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (dMCAO), where OCT velocimetry methods provide additional insight that is not afforded by either Doppler OCT or OCT angiography.
In vivo optical microscopic imaging techniques have recently emerged as important tools for the study of neurobiological development and pathophysiology. In particular, two-photon microscopy has proved to be a robust and highly flexible method for in vivo imaging in highly scattering tissue. However, two-photon imaging typically requires extrinsic dyes or contrast agents, and imaging depths are limited to a few hundred microns. Here we demonstrate Optical Coherence Microscopy (OCM) for in vivo imaging of neuronal cell bodies and cortical myelination up to depths of ~1.3 mm in the rat neocortex. Imaging does not require the administration of exogenous dyes or contrast agents, and is achieved through intrinsic scattering contrast and image processing alone. Furthermore, using OCM we demonstrate in vivo, quantitative measurements of optical properties (index of refraction and attenuation coefficient) in the cortex, and correlate these properties with laminar cellular architecture determined from the images. Lastly, we show that OCM enables direct visualization of cellular changes during cell depolarization and may therefore provide novel optical markers of cell viability.
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