The lateral habenula (LHb) plays an important role in learning driven by negative outcomes. Many drugs of abuse, including ethanol, have dose-dependent aversive effects that act to limit intake of the drug. However, the role of the LHb in regulating ethanol intake is unknown. In the present study, we compared voluntary ethanol consumption and self-administration, yohimbine-induced reinstatement of ethanol seeking, and ethanol-induced conditioned taste aversion in rats with sham or LHb lesions. In rats given home cage access to 20% ethanol in an intermittent access two bottle choice paradigm, lesioned animals escalated their voluntary ethanol consumption more rapidly than sham-lesioned control animals and maintained higher stable rates of voluntary ethanol intake. Similarly, lesioned animals exhibited higher rates of responding for ethanol in operant self-administration sessions. In addition, LHb lesion blocked yohimbine-induced reinstatement of ethanol seeking after extinction. Finally, LHb lesion significantly attenuated an ethanol-induced conditioned taste aversion. Our results demonstrate an important role for the LHb in multiple facets of ethanol-directed behavior, and further suggest that the LHb may contribute to ethanol-directed behaviors by mediating learning driven by the aversive effects of the drug.
We demonstrate experimentally signatures and dispersion control of surface plasmon polaritons from 1 to 1.8 µm using periodic multilayer metallo-dielectric hyperbolic metamaterials. The fabricated structures are comprised of smooth films with very low metal filling factor. The measured dispersion properties of these hyperbolic metamaterials agree well with calculations using transfer matrix, finite-difference time-domain, and effective medium approximation methods despite using only 2.5 periods. The enhancement factor in the local photonic density of states from the studied samples in the near-infrared wavelength region is determined to be 2.5-3.5. Development of this type of metamaterial is relevant to sub-wavelength imaging, spontaneous emission and thermophotovoltaic applications.
Radiculopathy, a painful neuroinflammation that can accompany intervertebral disc herniation, is associated with locally increased levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF?). Systemic administration of TNF antagonists for radiculopathy in the clinic has shown mixed results, and there is growing interest in the local delivery of anti-inflammatory drugs to treat this pathology as well as similar inflammatory events of peripheral nerve injury. Curcumin, a known antagonist of TNF? in multiple cell types and tissues, was chemically modified and conjugated to a thermally responsive elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) to create an injectable depot for sustained, local delivery of curcumin to treat neuroinflammation. ELPs are biopolymers capable of thermally-triggered in situ depot formation that have been successfully employed as drug carriers and biomaterials in several applications. ELP-curcumin conjugates were shown to display high drug loading, rapidly release curcumin in vitro via degradable carbamate bonds, and retain in vitro bioactivity against TNF?-induced cytotoxicity and monocyte activation with IC50 only two-fold higher than curcumin. When injected proximal to the sciatic nerve in mice via intramuscular (i.m.) injection, ELP-curcumin conjugates underwent a thermally triggered soluble-insoluble phase transition, leading to in situ formation of a depot that released curcumin over 4days post-injection and decreased plasma AUC 7-fold.
The problem of designing electromagnetic metamaterials is complicated by the pseudo-infinite parameter space governing such materials. We present a general solution based on group theory for the design and optimization of the electromagnetic properties of metamaterials. Using this framework, the fundamental properties of a metamaterial design, such as anisotropy or magnetic or electrical resonances, can be elucidated based on the symmetry class into which the unit cell falls. This provides a methodology for the inverse problem of design of the electromagnetic properties of a metamaterial. We also present simulations of a zia metamaterial that provides greater design flexibility for tuning the resonant properties of the device than a structure based on a simple split-ring resonator. The power of this zia element is demonstrated by creating bianisotropic, chiral, and biaxial designs using the inverse group-theory procedure outlined in this paper.
Tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF?) has received significant attention as a mediator of lumbar radiculopathy, with interest in TNF antagonism to treat radiculopathy. Prior studies have demonstrated that TNF antagonists can attenuate heightened nociception resulting from lumbar radiculopathy in the preclinical model. Less is known about the potential impact of TNF antagonism on gait compensations, despite being of clinical relevance. In this study, we expand on previous descriptions of gait compensations resulting from lumbar radiculopathy in the rat and describe the ability of local TNF antagonism to prevent the development of gait compensations, altered weight bearing, and heightened nociception.
Cellular autofluorescence, though ubiquitous when imaging cells and tissues, is often assumed to be small in comparison to the signal of interest. Uniform estimates of autofluorescence intensity obtained from separate control specimens are commonly employed to correct for autofluorescence. While these may be sufficient for high signal-to-background applications, improvements in detector and probe technologies and introduction of spectral imaging microscopes have increased the sensitivity of fluorescence imaging methods, exposing the possibility of effectively probing the low signal-to-background regime. With spectral imaging, reliable monitoring of signals near or even below the noise levels of the microscope is possible if compensation for autofluorescence and background signals can be performed accurately. We demonstrate the importance of accurate autofluorescence modeling and the utility of spectral imaging and multivariate analysis methods using a case study focusing on fluorescence confocal spectral imaging of host-pathogen interactions. In this application fluorescent proteins are produced when Francisella novicida invade host macrophage cells. The resulting analyte signal is spectrally overlapped and typically weaker than the cellular autofluorescence. In addition to discussing the advantages of spectral imaging for following pathogen invasion, we present the spectral properties and cellular origin of macrophage autofluorescence.
The neuropeptide, oxytocin (OXT), acts on brain circuits to inhibit food intake. Mutant mice lacking OXT (OXT knockout) overconsume salty and sweet (i.e. sucrose, saccharin) solutions. We asked if OXT might also act on taste buds via its receptor, OXTR.
The honeybee has to detect, process and learn numerous complex odours from her natural environment on a daily basis. Most of these odours are floral scents, which are mixtures of dozens of different odorants. To date, it is still unclear how the bee brain unravels the complex information contained in scent mixtures.
Cells in taste buds are closely packed, with little extracellular space. Tight junctions and other barriers further limit permeability and may result in buildup of extracellular K(+) following action potentials. In many tissues, inwardly rectifying K channels such as the renal outer medullary K (ROMK) channel (also called Kir1.1 and derived from the Kcnj1 gene) help to redistribute K(+). Using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), we defined ROMK splice variants in mouse kidney and report here the expression of a single one of these, ROMK2, in a subset of mouse taste cells. With quantitative (q)RT-PCR, we show the abundance of ROMK mRNA in taste buds is vallate > foliate > > palate > > fungiform. ROMK protein follows the same pattern of prevalence as mRNA, and is essentially undetectable by immunohistochemistry in fungiform taste buds. ROMK protein is localized to the apical tips of a subset of taste cells. Using tissues from PLCbeta2-GFP and GAD1-GFP transgenic mice, we show that ROMK is not found in PLCbeta2-expressing type II/receptor cells or in GAD1-expressing type III/presynaptic cells. Instead, ROMK is found, by single-cell RT-PCR and immunofluorescence, in most cells that are positive for the taste glial cell marker, Ectonucleotidase2. ROMK is precisely localized to the apical tips of these cells, at and above apical tight junctions. We propose that in taste buds, ROMK in type I/glial-like cells may serve a homeostatic function, excreting excess K(+) through the apical pore, and allowing excitable taste cells to maintain a hyperpolarized resting membrane potential.
Using the unique quantitative capabilities of hyperspectral confocal microscopy combined with multivariate curve resolution, a comparative approach was employed to gain a deeper understanding of the different types of interactions of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) with biological membranes and cellular compartments. This approach allowed direct comparison of the dynamics and local effects of buforin II, magainin II, and arenicin with nanoporous silica bead supported bilayers and living E. coli. Correlating between experiments and comparing these responses have yielded several important discoveries for pursuing the underlying biophysics of bacteriocidal specificity and the connection between structure and function in various cellular environments. First, a novel fluorescence method for direct comparison of a model and living system is demonstrated by utilizing the membrane partitioning and environmental sensitivity of propidium iodide. Second, measurements are presented comparing the temporal dynamics and local equilibrium concentrations of the different antimicrobial agents in the membrane and internal matrix of the described systems. Finally, we discuss how the data lead to a deeper understanding of the roles of membrane penetration and permeabilization in the action of these AMPs.
Hyperspectral confocal fluorescence microscopy, when combined with multivariate curve resolution (MCR), provides a powerful new tool for improved quantitative imaging of multi-fluorophore samples. Generally, fully non-negatively constrained models are used in the constrained alternating least squares MCR analyses of hyperspectral images since real emission components are expected to have non-negative pure emission spectra and concentrations. However, in this paper, we demonstrate four separate cases in which partially constrained models are preferred over the fully constrained MCR models. These partially constrained MCR models can sometimes be preferred when system artifacts are present in the data or where small perturbations of the major emission components are present due to environmental effects or small geometric changes in the fluorescing species. Here we demonstrate that in the cases of hyperspectral images obtained from multicomponent spherical beads, autofluorescence from fixed lung epithelial cells, fluorescence of quantum dots in aqueous solutions, and images of mercurochrome-stained endosperm portions of a wild-type corn seed, these alternative, partially constrained MCR analyses provide improved interpretability of the MCR solutions. Often the system artifacts or environmental effects are more readily described as first and/or second derivatives of the main emission components in these alternative MCR solutions since they indicate spectral shifts and/or spectral broadening or narrowing of the emission bands, respectively. Thus, this paper serves to demonstrate the need to test alternative partially constrained models when analyzing hyperspectral images with MCR methods.
Frequency-selective surfaces (FSS) are a class of metasurfaces with engineered reflectance, absorbance, and transmittance behavior. We study an array of metallic crossed dipole FSS elements in the infrared using interferometric scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM). We resolve the dependence of the near-field phase on the dimensions of the elements and compare with numerical models. The combined phase and amplitude information of the underlying near-field mode distribution compared to conventional far-field absorption spectroscopy greatly improves the targeted design of frequency-selective surfaces.
We demonstrate, for the first time, an all-dielectric metamaterial composite in the midinfrared based on micron-sized, high-index tellurium dielectric resonators. Dielectric resonators are desirable compared to conventional metallodielectric metamaterials at optical frequencies as they are largely angular invariant, free of Ohmic loss, and easily integrated into three-dimensional volumes. Measurements and simulation provide evidence of optical magnetism, which could be used for infrared magnetic mirrors, hard or soft surfaces, and subwavelength cavities.
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