In mammals, taste buds develop in different regions of the oral cavity. Small epithelial protrusions form fungiform papillae on the ectoderm-derived dorsum of the tongue and contain one or few taste buds, while taste buds in the soft palate develop without distinct papilla structures. In contrast, the endoderm-derived circumvallate and foliate papillae located at the back of the tongue contain a large number of taste buds. These taste buds cluster in deep epithelial trenches, which are generated by intercalating a period of epithelial growth between initial placode formation and conversion of epithelial cells into sensory cells. How epithelial trench formation is genetically regulated during development is largely unknown. Here we show that Pax9 acts upstream of Pax1 and Sox9 in the expanding taste progenitor field of the mouse circumvallate papilla. While a reduced number of taste buds develop in a growth-retarded circumvallate papilla of Pax1 mutant mice, its development arrests completely in Pax9-deficient mice. In addition, the Pax9 mutant circumvallate papilla trenches lack expression of K8 and Prox1 in the taste bud progenitor cells, and gradually differentiate into an epidermal-like epithelium. We also demonstrate that taste placodes of the soft palate develop through a Pax9-dependent induction. Unexpectedly, Pax9 is dispensable for patterning, morphogenesis and maintenance of taste buds that develop in ectoderm-derived fungiform papillae. Collectively, our data reveal an endoderm-specific developmental program for the formation of taste buds and their associated papilla structures. In this pathway, Pax9 is essential to generate a pool of taste bud progenitors and to maintain their competence towards prosensory cell fate induction.
Paraquat (PQ) is an agrochemical agent commonly used worldwide, which is allied to potential risks of intoxication. This herbicide induces the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that ends up compromising various organs, particularly the lungs and the brain. This study evaluated the deleterious effects of paraquat on the central nervous system (CNS) and peripherally, with special attempts to assess the putative protective effects of the selective CXCR2 receptor antagonist SB225002 on these parameters. PQ-toxicity was induced in male Wistar rats, in a total dose of 50 mg/kg, and control animals received saline solution at the same schedule of administration. Separate groups of animals were treated with the selective CXCR2 antagonist SB225002 (1 or 3 mg/kg), administered 30 min before each paraquat injection. The major changes found in paraquat-treated animals were: decreased body weight and hypothermia, nociception behavior, impairment of locomotor and gait capabilities, enhanced TNF-? and IL-1? expression in the striatum, and cell migration to the lungs and blood. Some of these parameters were reversed when the antagonist SB225002 was administered, including recovery of physiological parameters, decreased nociception, improvement of gait abnormalities, modulation of striatal TNF-? and IL-1? expression, and decrease of neutrophil migration to the lungs and blood. Taken together, our results demonstrate that damage to the central and peripheral systems elicited by paraquat can be prevented by the pharmacological inhibition of CXCR2 chemokine receptors. The experimental evidence presented herein extends the comprehension on the toxicodynamic aspects of paraquat, and opens new avenues to treat intoxication induced by this herbicide.
Diabetes mellitus, which causes hyperglycemia, affects the central nervous system and can impairs cognitive functions, such as memory. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of hyperglycemia on memory as well as on the activity of acethylcholinesterase. Hyperglycemia was induced in adult zebrafish by immersion in glucose 111mM by 14 days. The animals were divided in 4 groups: control, glucose-treated, glucose-washout 7-days and glucose-washout 14-days. We evaluated the performance in inhibitory avoidance task and locomotor activity. We also determined acethylcholinesterase activity and gene expression from whole brain. In order to counteract the effect of hyperglycemia underlined by effects on acethylcholinesterase activity, we treated the animals with galantamine (0.05ng/g), an inhibitor of this enzyme. Also we evaluated the gene expression of insulin receptor and glucose transporter from zebrafish brain. The hyperglycemia promoted memory deficit in adult zebrafish, which can be explained by increased AChE activity. The ache mRNA levels from zebrafish brain were decrease in 111mM glucose group and returned to normal levels after 7 days of glucose withdrawal. Insulin receptors (insra-1, insra-2, insrb-1 and insrb-2) and glut-3 mRNA levels were not significantly changed. Our results also demonstrated that galantamine was able to reverse the memory deficit caused by hyperglycemia, demonstrating that these effects involve modulation of AChE activity. These data suggest that the memory impairment induced by hyperglycemia is underlined by the cholinergic dysfunction caused by the mechanisms involving the control of acetylcholinesterase function and gene expression.
The aim of the present study was to assess the ecotoxicity and genotoxicity of hospital laundry wastewaters generated from a regional hospital located in Rio Pardo Valley in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Physicochemical, microbiological, ecotoxicological, and genotoxic analyses were performed, and the results indicate that some parameters were not in accordance with the limit concentrations established by Brazilian and international guidelines for urban wastewaters. Daphnia magna (EC50 2.01 %) and Danio rerio (LC50 29.25 %) acute toxicity was detected, and sublethal effects were identified in Lactuca sativa (IC25 12.50 %) and Allium cepa (IC25 51.25 %). Cytotoxicity was observed at the five wastewater concentrations used yielding statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) in the meristematic cells of A. cepa compared with the negative control. The results obtained here warn about the necessity to develop treatment methods that can mitigate the environmental impacts caused by the ecotoxicity and genotoxicity of hospital laundry wastewaters.
Antimicrobial resistance of Helicobacter pylori endangers the successful eradication of the bacteria. The aim of this prospective surveillance study (ResiNet) is to continuously keep antimicrobial resistance of H. pylori in Germany under surveillance and to identify risk factors for its development.
After initial treatment of differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) patients are followed with thyroglobulin (Tg) measurements to detect recurrences. In case of elevated levels of Tg and negative neck ultrasonography, patients are treated 'blindly' with Iodine-131 (131I). However, in up to 50% of patients, the post-therapy scan reveals no 131I-targeting of tumor lesions. Such patients derive no benefit from the blind therapy but are exposed to its toxicity. Alternatively, iodine-124 (124I) Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) has become available to visualize DTC lesions and without toxicity. In addition to this, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET/CT detects the recurrent DTC phenotype, which lost the capacity to accumulate iodine. Taken together, the combination of 124I and 18F-FDG PET/CT has potential to stratify patients for treatment with 131I.
Alcohol dependence in older adults is associated with cognitive impairment. Age of onset of alcohol dependence is an important criterion to distinguish subgroups of alcohol-dependent people. Little is known about the influence of the age of onset of alcohol dependence on cognitive functioning. The primary aim of this study was to examine if older alcohol-dependent people with early, late or very late onset of alcohol dependence differ in terms of cognitive dysfunction.
Age of onset is an important criterion to distinguish subgroups of alcohol-dependent patients. This study investigated physical and mental health and social functioning of older inpatients with early (age <25), late (25-44), and very late (?45) onset of alcohol dependence.
The purpose of this article is to review the common neoplasms, infections, and inflammatory dermatoses that may present around or near the mouth. Dental professionals are well positioned to evaluate perioral skin conditions, further contributing to patients' general health. This article includes a review of seborrheic keratosis, warts, actinic keratoses, actinic cheilitis, and squamous cell carcinoma, among several other perioral cutaneous lesions.
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) are of great interest in nanomedicine due to their capability to act simultaneously as a contrast agent and as a targeted drug delivery system. At present, one of the biggest concerns about the use of SPIONs remains around its toxicity and, for this reason, it is important to establish the safe upper limit for each use. In the present study, SPION coated with cross-linked aminated dextran (CLIO-NH?) were synthesized and their toxicity to zebrafish brain was investigated. We have evaluated the effect of different CLIO-NH? doses (20, 50, 100, 140 and 200 mg/kg) as a function of time after exposure (one, 16, 24 and 48 h) on AChE activity and ache expression in zebrafish brain. The animals exposed to 200 mg/kg and tested 24 h after administration of the nanoparticles have shown decreased AChE activity, reduction in the exploratory performance, significantly higher level of ferric iron in the brains and induction of casp8, casp 9 and jun genes. Taken together, these findings suggest acute brain toxicity by the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase and induction of apoptosis.
The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) performs specialized functions to support retinal photoreceptors, including regeneration of the visual chromophore. Enzymes and carrier proteins in the visual cycle function sequentially to regenerate and continuously supply 11-cis-retinal to retinal photoreceptor cells. However, it is unknown how the expression of the visual cycle genes is coordinated at the transcriptional level. Here, we show that the proximal upstream regions of six visual cycle genes contain chromatin-accessible sex-determining region Y box (SOX) binding sites, that SOX9 and LIM homeobox 2 (LHX2) are coexpressed in the nuclei of mature RPE cells, and that SOX9 acts synergistically with orthodenticle homeobox 2 (OTX2) to activate the RPE65 and retinaldehyde binding protein 1 (RLBP1) promoters and acts synergistically with LHX2 to activate the retinal G protein-coupled receptor (RGR) promoter. ChIP reveals that SOX9 and OTX2 bind to the promoter regions of RPE65, RLBP1, and RGR and that LHX2 binds to those of RPE65 and RGR in bovine RPE. ChIP with human fetal RPE cells shows that SOX9 and OTX2 also bind to the human RPE65, RLBP1, and RGR promoters. Conditional inactivation of Sox9 in mouse RPE results in reduced expression of several visual cycle genes, most dramatically Rpe65 and Rgr. Furthermore, bioinformatic analysis predicts that multiple common microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate visual cycle genes, and cotransfection of miRNA mimics with luciferase reporter constructs validated some of the predicted miRNAs. These results implicate SOX9 as a key regulator of visual cycle genes, reveal for the first time the functional role of LHX2 in the RPE, and suggest the possible regulation of visual cycle genes by common miRNAs.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) affects over 10% of the world's population. Hyperglycemia is the main feature for the diagnosis of this disease. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an established model organism for the study of various metabolic diseases. In this paper, hyperglycemic zebrafish, when immersed in a 111 mM glucose solution for 14 days, developed increased glycation of proteins from the eyes, decreased mRNA levels of insulin receptors in the muscle, and a reversion of high blood glucose level after treatment with anti-diabetic drugs (glimepiride and metformin) even after 7 days of glucose withdrawal. Additionally, hyperglycemic zebrafish developed an impaired response to exogenous insulin, which was recovered after 7 days of glucose withdrawal. These data suggest that the exposure of adult zebrafish to high glucose concentration is able to induce persistent metabolic changes probably underlined by a hyperinsulinemic state and impaired peripheral glucose metabolism.
Chronic exposure to paraquat (Pq), a toxic herbicide, can result in Parkinsonian symptoms. This study evaluated the effect of the systemic administration of Pq on locomotion, learning and memory, social interaction, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression, dopamine and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) levels, and dopamine transporter (DAT) gene expression in zebrafish. Adult zebrafish received an i.p. injection of either 10?mg/kg (Pq10) or 20?mg/kg (Pq20) of Pq every 3 days for a total of six injections. Locomotion and distance traveled decreased at 24?h after each injection in both treatment doses. In addition, both Pq10- and Pq20-treated animals exhibited differential effects on the absolute turn angle. Nonmotor behaviors were also evaluated, and no changes were observed in anxiety-related behaviors or social interactions in Pq-treated zebrafish. However, Pq-treated animals demonstrated impaired acquisition and consolidation of spatial memory in the Y-maze task. Interestingly, dopamine levels increased while DOPAC levels decreased in the zebrafish brain after both treatments. However, DAT expression decreased in the Pq10-treated group, and there was no change in the Pq20-treated group. The amount of TH protein showed no significant difference in the treated group. Our study establishes a new model to study Parkinson-associated symptoms in zebrafish that have been chronically treated with Pq.
Serum carnosinase deficiency is an inherited disorder that leads to an accumulation of carnosine in the brain tissue, cerebrospinal fluid, skeletal muscle, and other tissues of affected patients. Considering that high levels of carnosine are associated with neurological dysfunction and that the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in serum carnosinase deficiency remain poorly understood, we investigated the in vivo effects of carnosine on bioenergetics parameters, namely, respiratory chain complexes (I-III, II, and II-III), malate dehydrogenase, succinate dehydrogenase, and creatine kinase activities and the expression of mitochondrial-specific transcription factors (NRF-1, PGC-1? , and TFAM) in skeletal muscle of young Wistar rats. We observed a significant decrease of complexes I-III and II activities in animals receiving carnosine acutely, as compared to control group. However, no significant alterations in respiratory chain complexes, citric acid cycle enzymes, and creatine kinase activities were found between rats receiving carnosine chronically and control group animals. As compared to control group, mRNA levels of NRF-1, PGC-1? , and TFAM were unchanged. The present findings indicate that electron transfer through the respiratory chain is impaired in skeletal muscle of rats receiving carnosine acutely. In case these findings are confirmed by further studies and ATP depletion is also observed, impairment of bioenergetics could be considered a putative mechanism responsible for the muscle damage observed in serum carnosinase-deficient patients.
Hybrid nanocrystal-polymer systems are promising candidates for photovoltaic applications, but the processes controlling charge generation are poorly understood. Here, we disentangle the energy- and charge-transfer processes occurring in a model system based on blends of cadmium selenide nanocrystals (CdSe-NC) with poly[2-methoxy-5-(3',7'-dimethyloctyloxy)-1,4-phenylene vinylene] (MDMO-PPV) using a combination of time-resolved absorption and luminescence measurements. The use of different capping ligands (n-butylamine, oleic acid) as well as thermal annealing allows tuning of the polymer-nanocrystal interaction. We demonstrate that energy transfer from MDMO-PPV to CdSe-NCs is the dominant exciton quenching mechanism in nonannealed blends and occurs on ultrafast time scales (<1 ps). Upon thermal annealing electron transfer becomes competitive with energy transfer, with a transfer rate of 800 fs independent of the choice of the ligand. Interestingly, we find hole transfer to be much less efficient than electron transfer and to extend over several nanoseconds. Our results emphasize the importance of tuning the organic-nanocrystal interaction to achieve efficient charge separation and highlight the unfavorable hole-transfer dynamics in these blends.
This study analyzed the growth and biochemical responses of six bacterial colonies isolated from the mucus of the estuarine polychaeta Laeonereis acuta (Nereididae) after exposure to a water suspension of fullerene (nC60) and nanosilver (nAg) separately (0.01; 0.10; and 1.00 mg/L) and together (0.01; 0.10; and 1.00 mg/L of nanosilver and 1.00 mg/L of fullerene added to each nAg concentration). Exposures were performed in darkness during 24 h and then samples were taken from the worms and inoculated on agar during 24 h to analyze colonies growth. After this the material was analyzed biochemically. Colonies growth (tested by wet biomass weight) was inhibited at 0.01 and 0.10 mg/L of nAg and 0.01 and 0.10 mg/L nAg + constant 1.00 mg/L of nC60 (p < 0.05). Lipid peroxidation damage was significant from the control for the concentrations of 0.01 and 0.10 mg/L of nC60 and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity was significantly higher for the concentration of 1.00 mg/L mg/L nAg + constant 1.00 mg/L of nC60 (p < 0.05). Although nC60 did not induced growth inhibition, it triggered lipid peroxidation alone and increased GST activity together with nAg.60 Contrary to nC60, nanosilver inhibited bacterial growth, although the biochemical measurements indicate that this response is not due to reactive oxygen species generation.
Following initial glucocorticoid treatment, the clinical course in children with nephrotic syndrome is highly variable. Intrinsic sensitivity to glucocorticoids might be a determinant of this variability. Functional polymorphisms of the glucocorticoid receptor gene NR3C1 have been associated with either relatively impaired (GR-9?) or increased (BclI) glucocorticoid sensitivity. Here, in a prospective, well-defined cohort of children with nephrotic syndrome, we evaluated both carriage of GR-9?+TthIII-1 and BclI haplotypes in 113 children and a dexamethasone suppression test in 90 children in relation to their clinical outcome over a median follow-up of 4.4 years. Carriers of GR-9?+TthIII-1 had a significantly higher incidence of steroid dependence 13/25 (52%) compared with noncarriers 19/75 (25%) with a hazard ratio adjusted for gender, age, and descent of 3.04 with 95% confidence interval 1.37-6.74. Both first and frequent relapses happened significantly more often in GR-9?+TthIII-1 carriers than in noncarriers. There were no significant differences in therapeutic outcomes between carriers and noncarriers of the BclI haplotype. Results of the dexamethasone test showed no associations with clinical outcome. Thus, the GR-9?+TthIII-1 haplotype of the glucocorticoid receptor gene offers new insights into the clinical course of children with nephrotic syndrome.
Bovine herpesviruses 1 (BoHV-1) and 5 (BoHV-5) are closely related alphaherpesviruses of cattle. While BoHV-1 is mainly associated with respiratory/genital disease and rarely associated with neurological disease, BoHV-5 is the primary agent of meningoencephalitis in cattle. The envelope glycoprotein D of alphaherpesviruses (BoHV-1/gD1 and BoHV-5/gD5) is involved in the early steps of virus infection and may influence virus tropism and neuropathogenesis. This study performed a sequence analysis of the 3' region of gD gene (gD3') of BoHV-1 isolates recovered from respiratory/genital disease (n = 6 and reference strain Cooper) or from neurological disease (n = 7); and from seven typical neurological BoHV-5 isolates. After PCR amplification, nucleotide (nt) sequencing, and aminoacid (aa) sequence prediction; gD3' sequences were compared, identity levels were calculated, and selective pressure was analyzed. The phylogenetic reconstruction based on nt and aa sequences allowed for a clear differentiation of BoHV-1 (n = 14) and BoHV-5 (n = 7) clusters. The seven BoHV-1 isolates from neurological disease are grouped within the BoHV-1 branch. A consistent alignment of 346 nt revealed a high similarity within each viral species (gD1 = 98.3 % nt and aa; gD5 = 97.8 % nt and 85.8 % aa) and an expected lower similarity between gD1 and gD5 (73.7 and 64.1 %, nt and aa, respectively). The analysis of molecular evolution revealed an average negative selection at gD3'. Thus, the phylogeny and similarity levels allowed for differentiation of BoHV-1 and BoHV-5 species, but not further division in subspecies. Sequence analysis did not allow for the identification of genetic differences in gD3' potentially associated with the respective clinical/pathological phenotypes, yet revealed a lower level of gD3' conservation than previously reported.
Inherited Erythromelalgia (IEM) causes debilitating episodic neuropathic pain characterized by burning in the extremities. Inherited "paroxysmal extreme pain disorder" (PEPD) differs in its clinical picture and affects proximal body areas like rectal, ocular or jaw regions. Both pain syndromes have been linked to mutations in the voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.7. Electrophysiological characterization shows that IEM-causing mutations generally enhance activation whereas mutations leading to PEPD alter fast inactivation. Previously an A1632E mutation of a patient with overlapping symptoms of IEM and PEPD was reported (Estacion et al. 2008), displaying a shift of both activation and fast inactivation. Here, we characterize a new mutation of Nav1.7, A1632T, found in a patient suffering from IEM. While transfection of A1632T in sensory neurons resulted in hyperexcitability and spontaneous firing of dorsal root ganglia neurons (DRGs), whole-cell patch clamp of transfected HEK cells revealed that Nav1.7 activation was unaltered by the A1632T mutation, but steady-state fast inactivation was shifted to more depolarized potentials. This is a characteristic normally attributed to PEPD-causing mutations. In contrast to the IEM/PEPD crossover mutation A1632E, A1632T failed to slow current decay (i.e. open-state inactivation), and did not increase resurgent currents, which have been suggested to contribute to high-frequency firing in physiological and pathological conditions. Reduced fast inactivation without increased resurgent currents induces symptoms of IEM, not PEPD, in the new Nav1.7 mutation A1632T. Therefore persistent and resurgent currents are likely to determine whether a mutation in Nav1.7 leads to IEM or PEPD.
SUMMARY Tritrichomonas foetus is a protist that causes bovine trichomoniasis and presents a well-developed Golgi. There are very few studies concerning the Golgi in trichomonads. In this work, monoclonal antibodies were raised against Golgi of T. foetus and used as a tool on morphologic and biochemical studies of this organelle. Among the antibodies produced, one was named mAb anti-Golgi 20.3, which recognized specifically the Golgi complex by fluorescence and electron microscopy. By immunoblotting this antibody recognized two proteins with 60 and 66 kDa that were identified as putative beta-tubulin and adenosine triphosphatase, respectively. The mAb 20.3 also recognized the Golgi complex of the Trichomonas vaginalis, a human parasite. In addition, the nucleotide coding sequences of these proteins were identified and included in the T. foetus database, and the 3D structure of the proteins was predicted. In conclusion, this study indicated: (1) adenosine triphosphatase is present in the Golgi, (2) ATPase is conserved between T. foetus and T. vaginalis, (3) there is new information concerning the nucleic acid sequences and protein structures of adenosine triphosphatase and beta-tubulin from T. foetus and (4) the mAb anti-Golgi 20.3 is a good Golgi marker and can be used in future studies.
Ultrasound-guided breast interventions (core biopsies, needle-wire localizations, and fine-needle cyst aspirations) are common procedures performed by radiologists. Residents must gain competency in these interventions during training. Phantoms and simulations have been advocated for teaching interventions, and various systems are available for standard breast interventions. However, simulations for difficult/high-risk interventions are not readily available. We describe an inexpensive method for simulating difficult ultrasound-guided breast procedures, including masses over breast implants, deep masses along the chest wall, and lymph nodes adjacent to axillary vessels.
The robot-assisted transaxillary (hemi)thyroidectomy (RATT) is a new surgical technique using the da Vinci S surgery robot. This technique has recently been successfully introduced in the Netherlands. In a RATT a subcutaneous tunnel from the axilla is created to gain access to the thyroid gland. The operation is then carried out with the robot much like an open procedure. Using a RATT, a total thyroidectomy can be performed. However, surgeons at the beginning of the learning curve are advised to start with hemithyroidectomies only. The indication area consists of nodules up to three centimeters and most probably being benign. The major advantage of this technique is the prevention of a potentially disfiguring scar. The most important disadvantage of this technique is its high cost compared with the conventional procedure. In order to successfully introduce the RATT procedure, thorough preparation by both surgeons and operating room personnel is required. A proctoring program is also necessary.
Prednisolone (PLN) is a widely used corticosteroid in a variety of immune-mediated diseases. Treatment regimes generally consist of empirically derived treatment doses, whereas therapeutic response among patients is highly variable. Drug monitoring of serum PLN levels might support a more rational approach to dose selection, yet is invasive and laborious. In analogy to cortisol, salivary PLN may offer a good alternative for serum PLN, being a representative approximation of free serum PLN. The aims of this study were to evaluate the correlation between free serum and salivary PLN levels and to quantify this relationship within a population pharmacokinetic model.
Tyrosinemia type II, which is also known as Richner-Hanhart syndrome, is an inborn error of metabolism that is due to a block in the transamination reaction that converts tyrosine to p-hydroxyphenylpyruvate. Because the mechanisms of neurological dysfunction in hypertyrosinemic patients are poorly known and the symptoms of these patients are related to the central nervous system, the present study evaluated brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels and bdnf mRNA expression in young rats and during growth. In our acute protocol, Wistar rats (10 and 30 days old) were killed 1 h after a single intraperitoneal L-tyrosine injection (500 mg/kg) or saline. Chronic administration consisted of L-tyrosine (500 mg/kg) or saline injections 12 h apart for 24 days in Wistar rats (7 days old), and the rats were killed 12 h after the last injection. The brains were rapidly removed, and we evaluated the BDNF levels and bdnf mRNA expression. The present results showed that the acute administration of L-tyrosine decreased both BDNF and bdnf mRNA levels in the striatum of 10-day-old rats. In the 30-day-old rats, we observed decreased BDNF levels without modifications in bdnf transcript level in the hippocampus and striatum. Chronic administration of L-tyrosine increased the BDNF levels in the striatum of rats during their growth, whereas bdnf mRNA expression was not altered. We hypothesize that oxidative stress can interact with the BDNF system to modulate synaptic plasticity and cognitive function. The present results enhance our knowledge of the pathophysiology of hypertyrosinemia.
SRY-box containing gene 9 (Sox9) and scleraxis (Scx) regulate cartilage and tendon formation, respectively. Here we report that murine Scx(+)/Sox9(+) progenitors differentiate into chondrocytes and tenocytes/ligamentocytes to form the junction between cartilage and tendon/ligament. Sox9 lineage tracing in the Scx(+) domain revealed that Scx(+) progenitors can be subdivided into two distinct populations with regard to their Sox9 expression history: Scx(+)/Sox9(+) and Scx(+)/Sox9(-) progenitors. Tenocytes are derived from Scx(+)/Sox9(+) and Scx(+)/Sox9(-) progenitors. The closer the tendon is to the cartilaginous primordium, the more tenocytes arise from Scx(+)/Sox9(+) progenitors. Ligamentocytes as well as the annulus fibrosus cells of the intervertebral discs are descendants of Scx(+)/Sox9(+) progenitors. Conditional inactivation of Sox9 in Scx(+)/Sox9(+) cells causes defective formation in the attachment sites of tendons/ligaments into the cartilage, and in the annulus fibrosus of the intervertebral discs. Thus, the Scx(+)/Sox9(+) progenitor pool is a unique multipotent cell population that gives rise to tenocytes, ligamentocytes and chondrocytes for the establishment of the chondro-tendinous/ligamentous junction.
Hyperprolinemia is an inherited disorder of proline metabolism and hyperprolinemic patients can present neurological manifestations, such as seizures, cognitive dysfunctions, and schizoaffective disorders. However, the mechanisms related to these symptoms are still unclear. In the present study, we evaluated the in vivo and in vitro effects of proline on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity and gene expression in the zebrafish brain. For the in vivo studies, animals were exposed at two proline concentrations (1.5 and 3.0mM) during 1h or 7 days (short- or long-term treatments, respectively). For the in vitro assays, different proline concentrations (ranging from 3.0 to 1000 ?M) were tested. Long-term proline exposures significantly increased AChE activity for both treated groups when compared to the control (34% and 39%). Moreover, the proline-induced increase on AChE activity was completely reverted by acute administration of antipsychotic drugs (haloperidol and sulpiride), as well as the changes induced in ache expression. When assessed in vitro, proline did not promote significant changes in AChE activity. Altogether, these data indicate that the enzyme responsible for the control of acetylcholine levels might be altered after proline exposure in the adult zebrafish. These findings contribute for better understanding of the pathophysiology of hyperprolinemia and might reinforce the use of the zebrafish as a complementary vertebrate model for studying inborn errors of amino acid metabolism.
The translocation of antiparasitic drugs from animal excrement through soil and water to crops and forages and their recycling to food-producing animals is a potential concern with respect to the contamination of the food chain. To facilitate the investigation of this problem, an LC-MS/MS method for selected anthelmintics in soil and water was developed. The soil sample preparation involved a simple solvent extraction and dispersive clean-up technique. The method was validated at 10, 20 and 40 µg kg(-1) for levamisole, fenbendazole, fenbendazole sulphoxide and fenbendazole sulphone and at 20, 40 and 80 µg kg(-1) for eprinomectin. LOQs were 10 µg kg(-1) for the first four compounds and 20 µg kg(-1) for eprinomectin. The overall mean recoveries ranged from 76.1% to 89% for loamy soils and from 79.9% to 96.9% for sandy soils. Analysis of water samples was performed by extraction/concentration on an Oasis-HLB (Aschaffenburg, Germany) cartridge. Validation was performed at 0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 µg l(-1). The LOQ for all compounds was 0.25 µg l(-1). Method recovery (and RSD) varied between 35.4% (28) for eprinomectin and 125.1% (16) for fenbendazole sulphone. The validated methods were applied to soil and water samples in a study on the behaviour of anthelmintic drugs in a soil-plant-water system (manuscript on "transport investigation of antiparasitic drugs based on a lysimeter experiment" in preparation).
Even though technologies involving nano/microparticles have great potential, it is crucial to determine possible toxicity of these technological products before extensive use. Fullerenes C60 are nanomaterials with unique physicochemical and biological properties that are important for the development of many technological applications. The aim of this study was to evaluate the consequences of nonphotoexcited fullerene C60 exposure in brain acetylcholinesterase expression and activity, antioxidant responses, and oxidative damage using adult zebrafish as an animal model. None of the doses tested (7.5, 15, and 30?mg/kg) altered AChE activity, antioxidant responses, and oxidative damage when zebrafish were exposed to nonphotoexcited C60 nano/microparticles during 6 and 12 hours. However, adult zebrafish exposed to the 30?mg/kg dose for 24 hours have shown enhanced AChE activity and augmented lipid peroxidation (TBARS assays) in brain. In addition, the up-regulation of brain AChE activity was neither related to the transcriptional control (RT-qPCR analysis) nor to the direct action of nonphotoexcited C60 nano/microparticles on the protein (in vitro results) but probably involved a posttranscriptional or posttranslational modulation of this enzymatic activity. Taken together these findings provided further evidence of toxic effects on brain after C60 exposure.
As in most countries around the globe, overweight and obesity are a major threat to public health on the Caribbean island of Aruba. Increasing evidence confirms that breastfeeding protects against overweight and obesity. However, little is known about the mechanism underlying the association between breastfeeding and obesity. One possibility is that breastfed infants are better able to control their meal size and intervals than formula-fed infants. This might lead to a healthier diet in later life and protect against overweight and obesity.
The aim of this study was to update data on levofloxacin/ciprofloxacin and triple resistance (resistance to metronidazole, clarithromycin and levofloxacin/ciprofloxacin) in Helicobacter pylori clinical isolates and to identify the impact of prior eradication therapies on their development.
Fullerene (nC60) and nanosilver (nAg) are nanomaterials with bactericide properties. The increments in their use raise questions about their potential environmental impacts, including estuarine ones. The polychaete Laeonereis acuta (Nereididae) secretes mucus that is colonized by bacteria communities. We analyzed the antioxidant and oxidative damage responses of anterior, middle and posterior region of L. acuta and bacteria communities after nC60 or nAg exposure during 24 h. Molecular analysis showed a prevalence of Vibrio genera in the communities. Bacteria biomass was lowered in worms exposed to 1.0 mg/L of nAg. nC60 reduced total antioxidant capacity of bacteria from worms exposed to 0.1 mg/L. Worms anterior region presented lower antioxidant capacity after exposure to 1.0 mg nC60/L, and the same was observed in the posterior region of worms exposed to 1.0 mg nAg/L. Lipid peroxidation was reduced in the anterior region of worms exposed to nC60 and the opposite was observed in the posterior region.
The 5th National Growth Study indicates that the percentage of overweight children in the Netherlands has risen from 9-12% in 1997 to 13-15% in 2009. Child Health Care is a unique setting for promotion of development, growth and behaviour of children, in which tailored prevention can be offered. Detection of overweight in children and intervention by Child Health Care takes place in a multidisciplinary setting linking general practitioners, paediatricians, dieticians, teachers, physiotherapists, pedagogues and psychologists. For overweight children, a change plan is created based on exercise, playing outside, having breakfast every day, as little as possible sweetened beverages and fast-food, and less time spent in front of the television or computer, with fewer energy-rich snacks. As recommended in the Dutch CBO guideline Obesity, obese children are referred to a general practitioner or paediatrician.
Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) is a neurometabolic disorder caused by deficiency of the activity of the mitochondrial enzyme complex branched-chain ?-keto acid dehydrogenase leading to accumulation of the branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) and their corresponding branched-chain ?-keto acids. In this study, we examined the effects of acute and chronic administration of BCAA on protein levels and mRNA expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) considering that patients with MSUD present neurological dysfunction and cognitive impairment. Considering previous observations, it is suggested that oxidative stress may be involved in the pathophysiology of the neurological dysfunction of MSUD. We also investigated the influence of antioxidant treatment (N-acetylcysteine and deferoxamine) in order to verify the influence of oxidative stress in the modulation of NGF levels. Our results demonstrated decreased protein levels of NGF in the hippocampus after acute and chronic administration of BCAA. In addition, we showed a significant decrease in the expression of ngf in the hippocampus only following acute administration in 10-day-old rats. Interestingly, antioxidant treatment was able to prevent the decrease in NGF levels by increasing ngf expression. In conclusion, the results suggest that BCAA is involved in the regulation of NGF in the developing rat. Thus, it is possible that alteration of neurotrophin levels during brain maturation could be of pivotal importance in the impairment of cognition provoked by BCAA. Moreover, the decrease in NGF levels was prevented by antioxidant treatment, reinforcing that the hypothesis of oxidative stress can be an important pathophysiological mechanism underlying the brain damage observed in MSUD.
Prolonged prednisolone treatment for the initial episode of childhood nephrotic syndrome may reduce relapse rate, but whether this results from the increased duration of treatment or a higher cumulative dose remains unclear. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 69 hospitals in The Netherlands. We randomly assigned 150 children (9 months to 17 years) presenting with nephrotic syndrome to either 3 months of prednisolone followed by 3 months of placebo (n=74) or 6 months of prednisolone (n=76), and median follow-up was 47 months. Both groups received equal cumulative doses of prednisolone (approximately 3360 mg/m(2)). Among the 126 children who started trial medication, relapses occurred in 48 (77%) of 62 patients who received 3 months of prednisolone and 51 (80%) of 64 patients who received 6 months of prednisolone. Frequent relapses, according to international criteria, occurred with similar frequency between groups as well (45% versus 50%). In addition, there were no statistically significant differences between groups with respect to the eventual initiation of prednisolone maintenance and/or other immunosuppressive therapy (50% versus 59%), steroid dependence, or adverse effects. In conclusion, in this trial, extending initial prednisolone treatment from 3 to 6 months without increasing cumulative dose did not benefit clinical outcome in children with nephrotic syndrome. Previous findings indicating that prolonged treatment regimens reduce relapses most likely resulted from increased cumulative dose rather than the treatment duration.
Between 2000 and 2009, the total number of patients with Clostridium difficile infections increased considerably in Southeastern Germany. A clear seasonality was observed with a higher number of affected patients occurring in the winter months (January-March). Moxifloxacin and erythromycin-resistant C. difficile PCR ribotypes 001 (72%) and 027 (4·6%) were the most commonly isolated strains.
Microcystins (MCs) are toxins produced by cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), primarily Microcystis aeruginosa, forming water blooms worldwide. When an organism is exposed to environmental perturbations, alterations in normal behavioral patterns occur. Behavioral repertoire represents the consequence of a diversity of physiological and biochemical alterations. In this study, we assessed behavioral patterns and whole-body cortisol levels of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) exposed to cell culture of the microcystin-producing cyanobacterium M. aeruginosa (MC-LR, strain RST9501). MC-LR exposure (100??g/L) decreased by 63% the distance traveled and increased threefold the immobility time when compared to the control group. Interestingly, no significant alterations in the number of line crossings were found at the same MC-LR concentration and time of exposure. When animals were exposed to 50 and 100??g/L, MC-LR promoted a significant increase (around 93%) in the time spent in the bottom portion of the tank, suggesting an anxiogenic effect. The results also showed that none of the MC-LR concentrations tested promoted significant alterations in absolute turn angle, path efficiency, social behavior, or whole-body cortisol level. These findings indicate that behavior is susceptible to MC-LR exposure and provide evidence for a better understanding of the ecological consequences of toxic algal blooms.
To establish strategic priorities for the German national public health institute (RKI) and guide the institutes mid-term strategic decisions, we prioritized infectious pathogens in accordance with their importance for national surveillance and epidemiological research.
Rapamycin, which is employed in the management of patients undergoing liver surgery, induces the synthesis of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in some non-liver cell types. The aim was to investigate whether rapamycin can induce HO-1 expression in the liver, and to test the effects of rapamycin on liver function in the early phase of ischemia reperfusion (IR) injury.
Monitoring of clinical trials includes several disciplines, stakeholders, and skill sets. The aim of the present study was to identify database changes and data entry errors to an electronic data capture (EDC) clinical trial database, and to access the impact of the changes. To accomblish the aim, Target e*CRF was used as the EDC tool for a multinational, dose-finding, multicenter, double-blind, randomized, parallel, placebo-controlled trial to investigate efficacy and safety of a new treatment in men with lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia. The main errors observed were simple transcription errors from the paper source documents to the EDC database. This observation was to be expected, since every transaction has an inherant error rate. What and how to monitor must be assessed within the risk-based monitoring section of the comprehensive data monitoring plan. With the advent of direct data entry, and the elimination of the requirement to transcribe from a paper source record to an EDC system, error rates should go down dramatically. In addition, protocol violations and data outside the normal range can be identified at the time of data entry and not days, weeks, and months after the fact.
Microcystins (MCs) constitute a family of cyanobacterial toxins, with more than 80 variants. These toxins are able to induce hepatotoxicity in several organisms mainly through the inhibition of protein phosphatases PP1 and PP2A and oxidative stress generation. Since recent evidence shows that MCs can either accumulate in brain or alter behavior patterns of fish species, in this study we tested the in vitro and in vivo effects of MC-LR at different concentrations on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in zebrafish brain. In vivo studies showed that 100 ?g/L MC-LR led to a significant increase in the AChE activity (27%) when zebrafish were exposed to the toxin dissolved in water, but did not cause any significant changes when injected intraperitoneally. In addition, semiquantitative RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that 100 ?g/L MC-LR exposure also increased ache mRNA levels in zebrafish brain. The in vitro assays did not reveal any significant changes in AChE activity. These findings provide the first evidence that brain AChE is another potential target for MCs and suggest that the observed increases in AChE enzymatic activity and in ache transcript levels after MC-LR exposure depend, at least partially, on branchial uptake or ingestion.
Tritrichomonas mobilensis is an intestinal parasite of squirrel monkeys. There are few reports concerning the morphological aspects of this parasite. In addition, the taxonomic relationship between T. mobilensis and Tritrichomonas foetus, a serious pathogen that causes bovine and feline trichomonosis, has been questioned. For this reason, in the present study, we examined and compared both tritrichomonads with regard to their morphology, ultrastructure, endocytic activity and cytotoxicity when in the presence of host cells. Electron microscopy demonstrated consistent morphological differences between the hydrogenosomes of both parasites. Moreover, T. mobilensis and T. foetus had striking differences in their endocytic behavior. Thus, this work provides additional data that support the hypothesis that T. mobilensis is a distinct species from T. foetus.
Sonography-based Automated Volume Count (SonoAVC) is an automated, operator-independent, 3-dimensional ultrasound technique. The study goal was to assess agreement between SonoAVC and Virtual Organ Computer-aided AnaLysis (VOCAL) for bladder volume measurements and fetal urine production (FUP).
Laser use in medicine is rapidly expanding as patients seek treatment for medical and cosmetic purposes. Concern is mounting about the unsupervised use of lasers and similar devices by nonphysician personnel. Minnesota is currently one of the few states with no legislation regarding the uses of lasers.
During the last decade, Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) increased markedly inside as well as outside of hospitals. In association with the occurrence of new hypervirulent C. difficile strains, CDI became more important. Until now typing of C. difficile strains has been enabled by PCR-ribotyping. However, this method is restricted to specialized laboratories combined with high maintenance cost. Therefore, we tested MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry for typing of C. difficile to provide a fast method for surveillance of CDI. Using a standard set of 25 different C. difficile PCR ribotypes a database was made by different mass spectra recorded in the SARAMIS software (AnagnosTec, Zossen, Germany). The database was validated with 355 C. difficile strains belonging to 29 different PCR ribotypes collected prospectively from all submitted feces samples in 2009. The most frequent PCR ribotypes were type 001 (70%), 027 (4.8%) and 078/126 (4.7%). All three types were recognized by MALDI-TOF MS. We conclude that an extended MALDI-TOF system was capable to recognize specific markers for ribotypes 001, 027 and 078/126 allowing an effective identification of these strains.
An evaluation of the histological effects of a 2,940?nm fractional erbium:YAG (Er:YAG) laser device with adjustable depth and coagulation settings in a human abdominoplasty model. The goal of this study was to use light and confocal microscopy to determine the dimensions of the microthermal zones (MTZs) created by this device in the epidermal and dermal layers.
In this work a method is proposed and demonstrated for the analysis of the macrocyclic lactones abamectin, doramectin, eprinomectin, ivermectin and moxidectin in bovine milk by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection (LC-FL). The method is based on liquid-liquid extraction followed by a low temperature purification (LLE-LTP) step. Moreover, the proposed method was validated according to the Commission Decision 2002/657/EC, using LC-MS/MS and LC-FL for confirmatory and quantitative analysis, respectively. For LC-MS/MS the recovery rates observed ranged from 101.2 to 141.6% with coefficient of variation from 2.6 to 19.8%. For LC-FL the recovery rates observed ranged from 100.2 to 105% and coefficient of variations from 2.9 to 8.8%. Matrix effects were negligible due to the low temperature purification step. The quantification limits were far below the maximum limits established by regulations of all countries consulted. The proposed method proved to be simple, easy, and adequate for high-throughput analysis of a large number of samples per day at low cost.
Over 1000 individuals were killed and 600,000 were displaced during post-election violence (PEV) in Kenya in 2008. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) depends on continuous access to medications which may have been interrupted due to PEV. In a mixed-methods retrospective review, treatment interruption of ART during PEV was measured among 2534 HIV-positive adults attending the Coptic Hope Center for Infectious Diseases in Nairobi, Kenya. Clients experiencing treatment interruption were compared between the PEV period (30 December 2007 to 28 February 2008) and the same time period one year earlier. Treatment interruption was defined as visiting the pharmacy ?48 hours after antiretrovirals were calculated to have been completed. Despite clinical services remaining open throughout the PEV period, more clients (16.1%) experienced treatment interruption than during the comparison period (10.2%). Mean daily pharmacy visits were significantly lower (87 vs. 104; p < 0.006) and more variable (p = 0.03) during PEV. Among clients present at both periods (n = 1605), the odds of treatment interruption were 71% higher during PEV (95% confidence interval [CI], 34-118%). In multivariate analysis, men (odds ratio [OR], 1.37; 95% CI, 1.07-1.76) and clients traveling ?3 hours to clinic (OR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.28-2.71) were significantly more likely to experience treatment interruption. Clients affected by PEV were interviewed about factors associated with treatment interruption using semi-structured methods. Clients described fear, lack of transportation, and violence as contributing to treatment interruption. Widespread violence associated with the 2007 election in Kenya revealed the dependence of HIV patients on a stable civil society and infrastructure to access medications. Without the ability to maintain consistent HIV therapy, some patients face rapid treatment failure. HIV programs should have appropriate contingency plans wherever political instability may occur. Peace may be one of the most effective and most important public health interventions in Africa.
Ly49E is an unusual member of the Ly49 family that is expressed on fetal NK cells, epithelial T cells, and NKT cells, but not on resting adult NK cells. Ly49E(bgeo/bgeo) mice in which the Ly49E gene was disrupted by inserting a ?-geo transgene were healthy, fertile, and had normal numbers of NK and T cells in all organs examined. Their NK cells displayed normal expression of Ly49 and other NK cell receptors, killed tumor and MHC class I-deficient cells efficiently, and produced normal levels of IFN-?. In heterozygous Ly49E(+/bgeo) mice, the proportion of epidermal T cells, NKT cells, and IL-2-activated NK cells that expressed Ly49E was about half that found in wild-type mice. Surprisingly, although splenic T cells rarely expressed Ly49E, IL-2-activated splenic T cells from Ly49E(bgeo/bgeo) mice were as resistant to growth in G418 as NK cells and expressed similar levels of ?-geo transcripts, suggesting that disruption of the Ly49E locus had increased its expression in these cells to the same level as that in NK cells. Importantly, however, the proportion of G418-resistant heterozygous Ly49E(+/bgeo) cells that expressed Ly49E from the wild-type allele was similar to that observed in control cells. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that Ly49E is not required for the development or homeostasis of NK and T cell populations or for the acquisition of functional competence in NK cells and provide compelling evidence that Ly49E is expressed in a probabilistic manner in adult NK cells and T cells.
Response to chemotherapy varies widely in patients with advanced oesophageal cancer. We investigated the impact of manipulating certain microRNAs on response to cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in oesophageal cancer cells.
Congenital ureter anomalies, including hydroureter, affect up to 1% of the newborn children. Despite the prevalence of these developmental abnormalities in young children, the underlying molecular causes are only poorly understood. Here, we show that the high mobility group domain transcription factor Sox9 plays an important role in ureter development in the mouse. Transient Sox9 expression was detected in the undifferentiated ureteric mesenchyme and inactivation of Sox9 in this domain resulted in strong proximal hydroureter formation due to functional obstruction. Loss of Sox9 did not affect condensation, proliferation and apoptosis of the undifferentiated mesenchyme, but perturbed cyto-differentiation into smooth muscle cells (SMCs). Expression of genes encoding extracellular matrix (ECM) components was strongly reduced, suggesting that deficiency in ECM composition and/or signaling may underlie the observed defects. Prolonged expression of Sox9 in the ureteric mesenchyme led to increased deposition of ECM components and SMC dispersal. Furthermore, Sox9 genetically interacts with the T-box transcription factor 18 gene (Tbx18) during ureter development at two levels--as a downstream mediator of Tbx18 function and in a converging pathway. Together, our results argue that obstructive uropathies in campomelic dysplasia patients that are heterozygous for mutations in and around SOX9 arise from a primary requirement of Sox9 in the development of the ureteric mesenchyme.
In September 2007 an increase of severe Clostridium difficile-associated infections (CDI) was noticed in a hospital in the city of Trier, Germany. It was assumed that a new, possibly hypervirulent strain (PCR ribotype 027) was related to these events. An outbreak investigation was initiated by the local health authorities and the Robert Koch Institute to describe the epidemiology of the possible outbreak and to identify and control the possible sources.
This study aimed to determine disease activity patterns in juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus (jSLE) and its relation to early treatment. All jSLE patients who visited the outpatient departments of three Dutch university hospitals for at least 6 months were included. Data were retrospectively collected from each patient visit and hospitalization. Patient characteristics, clinical and laboratory findings categorized in organ systems, flare rate, medication use and disease course were analysed. Included were 35 patients (female 77%; White 47%) with a total follow-up of 142 years. Median age at diagnosis was 12.8 years. Flare rate was 0.45/ patient-year. An organ system not earlier involved was affected in 34% of flares. Identifiable disease activity patterns were: chronic active (49%), relapse remitting (14%) and long quiescence (37%), with no significant difference in organ involvement at diagnosis. Positive anti-Sm and non-White ethnicity were significantly associated with a chronic active pattern. In 14 patients with severe symptoms at diagnosis, treatment with intravenous cyclophosphamide and/or biologics and/or intravenous methylprednisone in the first 6 months resulted in a long quiescence pattern in seven patients. In conclusion, distinct disease activity patterns are identifiable in children. Suppression of disease with early aggressive treatment may decrease the rate of progression.
A time-series analysis was performed to identify the impact of bed occupancy rates and length of hospital stay on the incidence of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI). Between January 2003 and July 2008, a mean incidence of 0·5 CDI cases/1000 patient days was recorded. Application of a multivariate model (R2=0·50) showed that bed occupancy rates on general wards (P<0·01) and length of stay in intensive care units (ICUs) (P<0·01) influenced the incidence of CDI. Overcrowding on general wards and long periods in ICUs were identified as being positively associated with the incidence of CDI.
Taurine is one of the most abundant free amino acids in excitable tissues. In the brain, extracellular taurine may act as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, neuromodulator, and neuroprotector. Nucleotides are ubiquitous signaling molecules that play crucial roles for brain function. The inactivation of nucleotide-mediated signaling is controlled by ectonucleotidases, which include the nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (NTPDase) family and ecto-5-nucleotidase. These enzymes hydrolyze ATP/GTP to adenosine/guanosine, which exert a modulatory role controlling several neurotransmitter systems. The nucleoside adenosine can be inactivated in extracellular or intracellular milieu by adenosine deaminase (ADA). In this report, we tested whether acute taurine treatment at supra-physiological concentrations alters NTPDase, ecto-5-nucleotidase, and ADA activities in zebrafish brain. Fish were treated with 42, 150, and 400 mg L(-1) taurine for 1h, the brains were dissected and the enzyme assays were performed. Although the NTPDase activities were not altered, 150 and 400 mg L(-1) taurine increased AMP hydrolysis (128 and 153%, respectively) in zebrafish brain membranes and significantly decreased ecto-ADA activity (29 and 38%, respectively). In vitro assays demonstrated that taurine did not change AMP hydrolysis, whereas it promoted a significant decrease in ecto-ADA activity at 150 and 400 mg L(-1) (24 and 26%, respectively). Altogether, our data provide the first evidence that taurine exposure modulates the ecto-enzymes responsible for controlling extracellular adenosine levels in zebrafish brain. These findings could be relevant to evaluate potential beneficial effects promoted by acute taurine treatment in the central nervous system (CNS) of this species.
Sox9 encodes an HMG-domain transcription factor that is critically required in numerous developmental processes such as chondrogenesis and otic placode formation. Here, we show that Sox9 is expressed in the mesenchyme surrounding the developing cochlea in the mouse suggesting that Sox9 may also control development of the otic fibrocyte compartment and the surrounding otic capsule. Tissue-specific inactivation of Sox9 in the periotic mesenchyme using a Tbx18(Cre) mouse line results in arrest of early chondrogenesis and consequently, in a lack of cochlear otic capsule formation. Furthermore, loss of Sox9 severely compromises expansion, differentiation and remodeling of the otic fibrocyte compartment. Early cell proliferation defects in the entire periotic mesenchyme of Sox9-deficient inner ears suggest a cell-autonomous function of Sox9 for the development of the inner mesenchymal compartment. Abnormal cochlear duct morphogenesis in Sox9 mutants including disruption of the coiling process is tightly associated with the onset of mesenchymal defects whereas the absence of major differentiation defects in the otic epithelium suggests that Sox9-dependent mesenchymal signals primarily control epithelial morphogenesis.
To study if antibiotic treatment of outpatients had triggered Clostridium difficile infections (CDI), prescription numbers were compared with CDI-affected patient numbers. A strong correlation was observed for ciprofloxacin (R=0.917), suggesting that increased use of ciprofloxacin by outpatients contributed to increased numbers of CDI. These findings deserve further investigation as they may have an impact on future decisions regarding antibiotic prescribing.
Amantadine (AMA) is an uncompetitive antagonist of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor, with clinical application, acting on treatment of influenza A virus and Parkinsons disease. It has been proposed that AMA can indirectly modulate dopaminergic transmission. In high doses, the central nervous system is its primary site of toxicity. To examine deleterious effects on CNS induced by AMA, this study evaluated possible neurobehavioral alterations induced by AMA such as stereotyped behavior, the effects on locomotion and memory and its possible genotoxic/mutagenic activities. Adult male CF-1 mice were treated with a systemic injection of AMA (15, 30 or 60 mg kg(-1) ) 20 min before behavioral tasks on open field and inhibitory avoidance. Higher AMA doses increased the latency to step-down inhibitory avoidance test in the training session in the inhibitory avoidance task. At 60 mg kg(-1) AMA induced impairing effects on locomotion and exploration and hence impaired habituation to a novel environment. Stereotyped behavior after each administration in a 3-day trial was observed, suggesting effects on dopaminergic system. Amantadine was not able to induce chromosomal mutagenesis or toxicity on bone marrow, as evaluated by the micronucleus assay. At the lowest dose tested, AMA did not induce DNA damage and it was unable to impair memory, locomotion, exploration or motivation in mice. However, higher AMA doses increased DNA damage in brain tissue, produced locomotor disturbances severe enough to preclude testing for learning and memory effects, and induced stereotypy, suggesting neurotoxicity.
Monochorionic twins share a single placenta with intertwin vascular anastomoses, allowing the transfer of blood from one fetus to the other and vice versa. These anastomoses are the essential anatomical substrate for the development of several complications, including twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) and twin anemia-polycythemia sequence (TAPS). TTTS and TAPS are both chronic forms of fetofetal transfusion. TTTS is characterized by the twin oligopolyhydramnios sequence, whereas TAPS is characterized by large intertwin hemoglobin differences in the absence of amniotic fluid discordances. TAPS may occur spontaneously in up to 5% of monochorionic twins and may also develop after incomplete laser treatment in TTTS cases. This review focuses on the pathogenesis, incidence, diagnostic criteria, management options and outcome in TAPS. In addition, we propose a classification system for antenatal and postnatal TAPS.
The aim of this study was to evaluate cholinesterase activity during the early acute phase of Trypanosoma evansi infection in rats. Fifteen male Wistar rats were randomly distributed into three groups (n=5 animals per group): two trypanosome-infected groups (T3 and T5) and uninfected controls (C). The animals were inoculated intraperitoneally with 10(6) trypanosomes. The blood was collected by cardiac puncture on the 3rd (T3) or 5th day post-infection (T5 and C). Cerebrum and cerebellum were removed for the evaluation of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity. AChE activity was also evaluated in whole blood and butyrylcholinesterase activity (BUChE) in plasma samples. Parasitemia were progressive increase and parasites were observed in the peripheral blood of all infected animals one day post-inoculation. AChE activity was not altered in cerebrum and cerebellum tissues. AChE activity in blood significantly decreased in the T3 and T5 groups (26.63 and 25.86mU/lmolHb) compared with the control (37.84mU/lmolHb). In addition BUChE activity in plasma was lower in the T3 (7.01micromol BTC hydrolyzed/h/mL) than the T5 and C groups (9.84 and 12.00micromol BTC hydrolyzed/h/mL). This study therefore, shows that reductions in the activity of cholinesterase occur in acute infection by T. evansi in rats and this demonstrates an important change occurring in animals infected by the protozoan and may indicate a potential role the enzymes play in the mechanism of disease.
Developmental abnormalities of craniofacial structures and teeth often occur sporadically and the underlying genetic defects are not well understood, in part due to unknown gene-gene interactions. Pax9 and Msx1 are co-expressed during craniofacial development, and mice that are single homozygous mutant for either gene exhibit cleft palate and an early arrest of tooth formation. Whereas in vitro assays have demonstrated that protein-protein interactions between Pax9 and Msx1 can occur, it is unclear if Pax9 and Msx1 interact genetically in vivo during development. To address this question, we compounded the Pax9 and Msx1 mutations and observed that double homozygous mutants exhibit an incompletely penetrant cleft lip phenotype. Moreover, in double heterozygous mutants, the lower incisors were consistently missing and we find that transgenic BMP4 expression partly rescues this phenotype. Reduced expression of Shh and Bmp2 indicates that a smaller "incisor field" forms in Pax9(+/-);Msx1(+/-) mutants, and dental epithelial growth is substantially reduced after the bud to cap stage transition. This defect is preceded by drastically reduced mesenchymal expression of Fgf3 and Fgf10, two genes that encode known stimulators of epithelial growth during odontogenesis. Consistent with this result, cell proliferation is reduced in both the dental epithelium and mesenchyme of double heterozygous mutants. Furthermore, the developing incisors lack mesenchymal Notch1 expression at the bud stage and exhibit abnormal ameloblast differentiation on both labial and lingual surfaces. Thus, Msx1 and Pax9 interact synergistically throughout lower incisor development and affect multiple signaling pathways that influence incisor size and symmetry. The data also suggest that a combined reduction of PAX9 and MSX1 gene dosage in humans may increase the risk for orofacial clefting and oligodontia.
Monochorionic twins share a single placenta with inter-twin vascular anastomoses, allowing the transfer of blood from one fetus to the other and vice versa. These anastomoses are the essential anatomical substrate for the development of severe complications, including twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) and twin-anemia-polycythemia sequence (TAPS). TTTS and TAPS are both chronic forms of feto-fetal transfusion. TTTS is characterized by the twin oligo-polyhydramnios sequence (TOPS), whereas TAPS is characterized by large inter-twin hemoglobin differences in the absence of amniotic fluid discordances. TAPS may occur spontaneously in a minority of monochorionic twins or in TTTS cases after laser treatment. This review focuses on the differences between TAPS and TTTS in terms of pathogenesis, incidence, diagnostic criteria, treatment modalities, perinatal outcome and long-term outcome.
This guideline updates a prior consensus recommendation of the German Society for Digestive and Metabolic Diseases (DGVS) from 1996. It was developed by an interdisciplinary cooperation with representatives of the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology, the Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (GPGE), and the German Society for Rheumatology. The guideline is methodologically based on recommendations of the Association of the Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (AWMF) for providing a systematic evidence-based S 3 level consensus guideline and has also implemented grading criteria according to the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation) process. Clinical applicability of study results as well as specifics for Germany in terms of epidemiology, antibiotic resistance status, diagnostics, and therapy were taken into account.
Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with severe gastrointestinal disease including cancer. It induces complex antibody responses that might vary depending on disease state but currently cannot be assessed adequately. The objective of this work was the development of a sensitive and specific H. pylori multiplex serology assay with high-throughput capability that allows simultaneous detection of antibodies to a protein array.
The treatment of skin with fractional devices creates columns of micro-ablation or micro-denaturation depending on the device. Since the geometric profiles of thermal damage depend on the treatment parameters or physical properties of the treated tissue, the size of these columns may vary from a few microns to a few millimeters. For objective evaluation of the damage profiles generated by fractional devices, this report describes an innovative and efficient method of processing and evaluating horizontal sections of skin using a novel software program.
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