This paper provides a review on the emerging role of neuropeptides for body systems integration. Neuropeptides are small protein-like substances that are released into the synaptic space and/or the blood, hence, acting as neurotransmitters and neurohormones. Classically, their role has been viewed as integrating the central nervous system and the endocrine system. More recently, however, there is an emerging understanding that neuropeptides integrate many more body systems into a larger cohesive body response that involves basic body functions, behavior, and mind. One indication is the discovery that neurohormones are also produced by many peripheral tissues and that non-neuronal peptides are released by neurons as well. Examples from the gastrointestinal and the immune system are presented. With the emerging role of neuropeptides for systems integration, immense opportunities arise for their use as pharmacological agents and biomarkers in the diagnosis and treatment of countless disorders such as chronic inflammatory diseases and obesity.
Binning list-mode acquisitions as a function of a surrogate signal related to respiration has been employed to reduce the impact of respiratory motion on image quality in cardiac emission tomography (SPECT and PET). Inherent in amplitude binning is the assumption that there is a monotonic relationship between the amplitude of the surrogate signal and respiratory motion of the heart. This assumption is not valid in the presence of hysteresis when heart motion exhibits a different relationship with the surrogate during inspiration and expiration. The purpose of this study was to investigate the novel approach of using the Bouc-Wen (BW) model to provide a signal accounting for hysteresis when binning list-mode data with the goal of thereby improving motion correction. The study is based on the authors' previous observations that hysteresis between chest and abdomen markers was indicative of hysteresis between abdomen markers and the internal motion of the heart.
Intervention studies have found that psychotherapeutic interventions that explicitly integrate clients' spiritual and religious beliefs in therapy are as effective, if not more so, in reducing depression than those that do not for religious clients. However, few empirical studies have examined the effectiveness of religiously (vs. spiritually) integrated psychotherapy, and no manualized mental health intervention had been developed for the medically ill with religious beliefs. To address this gap, we developed and implemented a novel religiously integrated adaptation of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for the treatment of depression in individuals with chronic medical illness. This article describes the development and implementation of the intervention. First, we provide a brief overview of CBT. Next, we describe how religious beliefs and behaviors can be integrated into a CBT framework. Finally, we describe Religiously Integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (RCBT), a manualized therapeutic approach designed to assist depressed individuals to develop depression-reducing thoughts and behaviors informed by their own religious beliefs, practices, and resources. This treatment approach has been developed for 5 major world religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism), increasing its potential to aid the depressed medically ill from a variety of religious backgrounds. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
Circulating prostate cancer (PCa) cells preferentially roll and adhere on bone marrow vascular endothelial cells, where abundant E-selectin and stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1) are expressed, subsequently initiating a cascade of activation events that eventually lead to the development of metastases. To elucidate the roles of circulating PCa cells' rolling and adhesion behaviors in cancer metastases, we applied a dynamic cylindrical flow-based microchannel device that is coated with E-selectin and SDF-1, mimicking capillary endothelium. Using this device we captured a small fraction of rolling PCa cells. These rolling cells display higher static adhesion ability, more aggressive cancer phenotypes and stem-like properties. Importantly, mice received rolling PCa cells, but not floating PCa cells, developed cancer metastases. Genes coding for E-selectin ligands and genes associated with cancer stem cells and metastasis were elevated in rolling PCa cells. Knock down of E-selectin ligand 1(ESL-1), significantly impaired PCa cells' rolling capacity and reduced cancer aggressiveness. Moreover, ESL-1 activates RAS and MAP kinase signal cascade, consequently inducing the downstream targets. In summary, circulating PCa cells' rolling capacity contributes to PCa metastasis, and that is in part controlled by ESL-1.
Introduction: Metastasis contributes to over 90% of cancer-related deaths. Numerous nanoparticle platforms have been developed to target and treat cancer, yet efficient delivery of these systems to the appropriate site remains challenging. Leukocytes, which share similarities to tumor cells in terms of their transport and migration through the body, are well suited to serve as carriers of drug delivery systems to target cancer sites. Areas covered: This review focuses on the use and functionalization of leukocytes for therapeutic targeting of metastatic cancer. Tumor cell and leukocyte extravasation, margination in the bloodstream, and migration into soft tissue are discussed, along with the potential to exploit these functional similarities to effectively deliver drugs. Current nanoparticle-based drug formulations for the treatment of cancer are reviewed, along with methods to functionalize delivery vehicles to leukocytes, either on the surface and/or within the cell. Recent progress in this area, both in vitro and in vivo, is also discussed, with a particular emphasis on targeting cancer cells in the bloodstream as a means to interrupt the metastatic process. Expert opinion: Leukocytes interact with cancer cells both in the bloodstream and at the site of solid tumors. These interactions can be utilized to effectively deliver drugs to targeted areas, which can reduce both the amount of drug required and various nonspecific cytotoxic effects within the body. If drug delivery vehicle functionalization does not interfere with leukocyte function, this approach may be utilized to neutralize tumor cells in the bloodstream to prevent the formation of new metastases, and also to deliver drugs to metastatic sites within tissues.
A previous randomised controlled trial that investigated Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) in the UK (the REACT Study) found no clinical advantage over usual care delivered by Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) at 18 and 36 month follow-ups. No studies have investigated long term clinical and social outcomes for patients receiving ACT.
There are no risk algorithms for the onset of anxiety syndromes at 12 months in primary care. We aimed to develop and validate internally a risk algorithm to predict the onset of anxiety syndromes at 12 months.
Family medicine residents were recently required to complete Self-Assessment Modules (SAMs), part of the American Board of Family Medicine's (ABFM) Maintenance of Certification for Family Physicians (MC-FP). We studied whether completing SAMs was associated with initial certification exam performance.
The ?-chemokine, stromal-derived factor-1 (SDF-1), has been linked to the homing of circulating tumor cells to bone. SDF-1 is expressed by bone microvascular cells and osteoblasts and normally functions to attract blood-borne hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells to marrow. It has been shown that treatment of cancer cells with soluble SDF-1 results in a more aggressive phenotype; however, the relevance of the administration of the soluble protein is unclear. As such, a flow device was functionalized with P-selectin and SDF-1 to mimic the bone marrow microvasculature and the initial steps of cell adhesion. The introduction of SDF-1 onto the adhesive surface was found to significantly enhance the adhesion of lymphoma cells, as well as low-density bone marrow cells (LDBMC), both in terms of the number of adherent cells and the strength of cell adhesion. Thus, SDF-1 has a synergistic effect with P-selectin on cancer cell adhesion and may be sufficient to promote preferential metastasis to bone.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported that the total number of global cancer cases in 2013 reached 14 million, a 10% rise since 2008, while the total number of cancer deaths reached 8.2 million, a 5.2% increase since 2008. Metastasis is the major cause of death from cancer, accounting for 90% of all cancer related deaths. Tumor-draining lymph nodes (TDLN), the sentinel nodes, are the first organs of metastasis in several types of cancers. The extent of metastasis in the TDLN is often used in disease staging and prognosis evaluation in cancer patients. Here, we describe the microenvironment of the TDLN and review the recent literature on liposome-based therapies directed to immune cells within the TDLN with the intent to target cancer cells.
In the search for biomarkers of metastasis, attention has been largely placed on ensemble-averaged measurements that screen for molecules or genes. However, individual molecular changes do not always result in disease, and population-based measurements can mask the molecular signatures of the cells responsible for disease. Here, we describe a device that selects for cells based on chemotactic behavior rather than based on molecular differences, enabling the most aggressive cells to be studied independently from the heterogeneous population.
The development of methods for correcting patient motion in emission tomography has been receiving increased attention. Often the performance of these methods is evaluated through simulations using digital anthropomorphic phantoms, such as the commonly used extended cardiac torso (XCAT) phantom, which models both respiratory and cardiac motion based on human studies. However, non-rigid body motion, which is frequently seen in clinical studies, is not present in the standard XCAT phantom. In addition, respiratory motion in the standard phantom is limited to a single generic trend. In this work, to obtain a more realistic representation of motion, we developed a series of individual-specific XCAT phantoms, modeling non-rigid respiratory and non-rigid body motions derived from the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) acquisitions of volunteers. Acquisitions were performed in the sagittal orientation using the Navigator methodology. Baseline (no motion) acquisitions at end-expiration were obtained at the beginning of each imaging session for each volunteer. For the body motion studies, MRI was again acquired only at end-expiration for five body motion poses (shoulder stretch, shoulder twist, lateral bend, side roll, and axial slide). For the respiratory motion studies, an MRI was acquired during free/regular breathing. The magnetic resonance slices were then retrospectively sorted into 14 amplitude-binned respiratory states, end-expiration, end-inspiration, six intermediary states during inspiration, and six during expiration using the recorded Navigator signal. XCAT phantoms were then generated based on these MRI data by interactive alignment of the organ contours of the XCAT with the MRI slices using a graphical user interface. Thus far we have created five body motion and five respiratory motion XCAT phantoms from the MRI acquisitions of six healthy volunteers (three males and three females). Non-rigid motion exhibited by the volunteers was reflected in both respiratory and body motion phantoms with a varying extent and character for each individual. In addition to these phantoms, we recorded the position of markers placed on the chest of the volunteers for the body motion studies, which could be used as external motion measurement. Using these phantoms and external motion data, investigators will be able to test their motion correction approaches for realistic motion obtained from different individuals. The non-uniform rational B-spline data and the parameter files for these phantoms are freely available for downloading and can be used with the XCAT license.
Multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings are assumed to produce better decisions and are extensively used to manage chronic disease in the National Health Service (NHS). However, evidence for their effectiveness is mixed. Our objective was to investigate determinants of MDT effectiveness by examining factors influencing the implementation of MDT treatment plans. This is a proxy measure of effectiveness, because it lies on the pathway to improvements in health, and reflects team decision making which has taken account of clinical and non-clinical information. Additionally, this measure can be compared across MDTs for different conditions.
People with schizophrenia face prejudice and discrimination from a number of sources including professionals and families. The degree of stigma perceived and experienced varies across cultures and communities. We aimed to develop a cross-cultural measure of the stigma perceived by people with schizophrenia.
Respiratory motion of the heart impacts the diagnostic accuracy of myocardial-perfusion emission-imaging studies. Amplitude binning has come to be the method of choice for binning list-mode based acquisitions for correction of respiratory motion in PET and SPECT. In some subjects respiratory motion exhibits hysteretic behavior similar to damped non-linear cyclic systems. The detection and correction of hysteresis between the signals from surface movement of the patient's body used in binning and the motion of the heart within the chest remains an open area for investigation. This study reports our investigation in nine volunteers of the combined MRI tracking of the internal respiratory motion of the heart using Navigators with stereo-tracking of markers on the volunteer's chest and abdomen by a visual-tracking system (VTS). The respiratory motion signals from the internal organs and the external markers were evaluated for hysteretic behavior analyzing the temporal correspondence of the signals. In general, a strong, positive correlation between the external marker motion (AP direction) and the internal heart motion (SI direction) during respiration was observed. The average ± standard deviation in the Spearman's ranked correlation coefficient (?) over the nine volunteer studied was 0.92 ± 0.1 between the external abdomen marker and the internal heart, and 0.87 ± 0.2 between the external chest marker and the internal heart. However despite the good correlation on average for the nine volunteers, in three studies a poor correlation was observed due to hysteretic behavior between inspiration and expiration for either the chest marker and the internal motion of the heart, or the abdominal marker and the motion of the heart. In all cases we observed a good correlation of at least either the abdomen or the chest with the heart. Based on this result, we propose the use of marker motion from both the chest and abdomen regions when estimating the internal heart motion to detect and address hysteresis when binning list-mode emission data.
Metastasis contributes to over 90% of cancer-related deaths. Many types of cancer metastasize via the bloodstream, where circulating tumor cells (CTCs) originating from the primary tumor can undergo selectin-mediated adhesion with the blood vessel wall and subsequently transmigrate to anatomically distant organs. In an effort to neutralize CTCs with the potential to form metastases, a new therapeutic approach has been developed in which circulating leukocytes are functionalized to target and kill cancer cells in the bloodstream. This approach mimics the cytotoxic activity of natural killer cells and the chemical engineering concept of a fluidized bed reactor, which increases the surface area for surface-catalyzed reactions. The resulting 'unnatural killer cells', proven effective in vitro with human blood and also in the living mouse, holds promise in neutralizing CTCs to interrupt the metastasis process.
Heart valve disease is an increasing clinical burden for which there is no effective treatment outside of prosthetic replacement. Over the last 20 years, clinicians have increasingly preferred the use of biological prosthetics to mechanical valves despite their superior durability because of the lifelong anticoagulation therapy that is required. Mechanical valve surface engineering has largely focused on being as non-thrombogenic as possible, but despite decades of iteration has had insufficient impact on the anticoagulation burden. In this study, we systematically evaluate the potential for endothelialization of the pyrolytic carbon surface used in mechanical valves. We compared adsorbed adhesion ligand type (collagen I, fibronectin, laminin, and purified adhesion domain fragments GFOGER and FN7-10) and concentration on endothelial adhesion rates and adhesion strength on Medtronic-Hall prosthetic valve surfaces. Regardless of ligand type or concentration, endothelial adhesion strengthening was insufficient for their intended ultra-high shear stress environment. We then hypothesized that microfabricated trenches would reduce shear stress to tolerable levels while maintaining endothelial access to the flow stream, thereby promoting a confluent and anticoagulant endothelial monolayer. Computational fluid dynamics simulations predicted an empirical relationship of channel width, depth, and spacing that would maintain interior surface shear stress within tolerable levels. Endothelial cells seeded to confluence in these channels retained a confluent monolayer when exposed to 600 dyn/cm(2) shear stress for 48 h regardless of applied adhesive ligand. Furthermore, sheared EC expressed a mature anti-coagulant profile, including endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), VE-cadherin, and significantly downregulated plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). As a final test, channeled pyrolytic carbon surfaces with confluent EC reduced human platelet adhesion 1000-fold over pyrolytic carbon alone. These results advance a promising biohybrid approach to enable active moderation of local coagulative response in mechanical heart valves, which could significantly extend the utility of this important treatment for heart valve disease.
Although some studies suggest that art therapy may be useful in the treatment of negative symptoms of schizophrenia, a recent large trial of group art therapy found no clinical advantage over standard care, but the study population was heterogeneous and uptake of the intervention was poor. This study aimed to investigate whether art therapy was more effective for specific subgroups of patients.
Leukocyte exposure to hemodynamic shear forces is critical for physiological functions including initial adhesion to the endothelium, the formation of pseudopods, and migration into tissues. G-protein coupled receptors on neutrophils, which bind to chemoattractants and play a role in neutrophil chemotaxis, have been implicated as fluid shear stress sensors that control neutrophil activation. Recently, exposure to physiological fluid shear stresses observed in the microvasculature was shown to reduce neutrophil activation in the presence of the chemoattractant formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine. Here, however, human neutrophil preexposure to uniform shear stress (0.1-2.75 dyn/cm(2)) in a cone-and-plate viscometer for 1-120 min was shown to increase, rather than decrease, neutrophil activation in the presence of platelet activating factor (PAF). Fluid shear stress exposure increased PAF-induced neutrophil activation in terms of L-selectin shedding, ?M?2 integrin activation, and morphological changes. Neutrophil activation via PAF was found to correlate with fluid shear stress exposure, as neutrophil activation increased in a shear stress magnitude- and time-dependent manner. These results indicate that fluid shear stress exposure increases neutrophil activation by PAF, and, taken together with previous observations, differentially controls how neutrophils respond to chemoattractants.
The leading mental health causes of the global burden of disease are depression in women and alcohol use disorders in men. A major hurdle to the implementation of evidence-based psychological treatments in primary care in developing countries is the non-availability of skilled human resources. The aim of these trials is to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of two psychological treatments developed for the treatment of depression and alcohol use disorders in primary care in India.
Platelet aggregation and thrombus formation at the site of injury is a dynamic process that involves the continuous addition of new platelets as well as thrombus rupture. In the early stages of hemostasis (within minutes after vessel injury) this process can be visualized by transfusing fluorescently labeled human platelets and observing their deposition and detachment. These two counterbalancing events help the developing thrombus reach a steady-state morphology, where it is large enough to cover the injured vessel surface but not too large to form a severe thrombotic occlusion. In this study, the spatial and temporal aspects of early stage thrombus dynamics which result from laser-induced injury on arterioles of cremaster muscle in the humanized mouse were visualized using fluorescent microscopy. It was found that rolling platelets show preference for the upstream region while tethering/detaching platelets were primarily found downstream. It was also determined that the platelet deposition rate is relatively steady, whereas the effective thrombus coverage area does not increase at a constant rate. By introducing a new method to graphically represent the real time in vivo physiological shear stress environment, we conclude that the thrombus continuously changes shape by regional growth and decay, and neither dominates in the high shear stress region.
Religious involvement may help individuals with chronic medical illness cope better with physical disability and other life changes. We examine the relationships between religiosity, depressive symptoms, and positive emotions in persons with major depression and chronic illness.
Our objective is to develop a new therapy for the treatment of stroke. Currently, the only effective therapy for acute ischemic stroke is the thrombolytic agent recombinant tissue plasminogen activator. ?1-Antitrypsin (AAT), a serine proteinase inhibitor with potent anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, antimicrobial, and cytoprotective activities, could be beneficial in stroke. The goal of this study is to test whether AAT can improve ischemic stroke outcome in an established rat model. Middle cerebral artery occlusion was induced in male rats via intracranial (i.c.) microinjection of endothelin-1. Five to 10 minutes after stroke induction, rats received either i.c. or intravenous delivery of human AAT. Cylinder and vibrissae tests were used to evaluate sensorimotor function before and 72 hours after middle cerebral artery occlusion. Infarct volumes were examined via either 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride assay or magnetic resonance imaging 72 hours after middle cerebral artery occlusion. Despite equivalent initial strokes, at 72 hours, the infarct volumes of the human AAT treatment groups (local and systemic injection) were statistically significantly reduced by 83% and 63% (P < .0001 and P < .05, respectively) compared with control rats. Human AAT significantly limited sensory motor system deficits. Human AAT could be a potential novel therapeutic drug for the protection against neurodegeneration after ischemic stroke, but more studies are needed to investigate the protective mechanisms and efficacy in other animal models.
The hematogenous metastatic cascade is mediated by the interaction of cancer cells and the endothelial cell lining of blood vessels. In this work, we examine the colon cancer cell line COLO 205, which grows simultaneously in both adherent and suspended states in culture and can serve as a good model for studying tumor heterogeneity. The two subpopulations of cells have different molecular characteristics despite being from the same parent cell line. We found that the ratio of adherent to suspended cells in culture is maintained at 7:3 (equilibrium ratio). The ratio was maintained even when we separate the two populations and culture them separately. After 8 h in culture the equilibrium was achieved only from either adherent or suspended population. The adherent cells were found to express less E-selectin binding glycans and demonstrated significantly weaker interaction with E-selectin under flow than the suspended cells. Manipulation of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers ?-catenin and E-cadherin expression, either by siRNA knockdown of ?-catenin or incubation with E-cadherin antibody-coated microbeads, shifted the ratio of adherent to suspended cells to 9:1. Interestingly, human plasma supplemented media shifted the ratio of adherent to suspended cells in the opposite direction to 1:9, favoring the suspended state. The dynamic COLO 205 population switch presents unique differential phenotypes of their subpopulations and could serve as a good model for studying cell heterogeneity and the EMT process in vitro.
The B1 domain of protein G has been a classic model system of folding for decades, the subject of numerous experimental and computational studies. Most of the experimental work has focused on whether the protein folds via an intermediate, but the evidence is mostly limited to relatively slow kinetic observations with a few structural probes. In this work we observe folding on the submillisecond timescale with microfluidic mixers using a variety of probes including tryptophan fluorescence, circular dichroism, and photochemical oxidation. We find that each probe yields different kinetics and compare these observations with a Markov State Model constructed from large-scale molecular dynamics simulations and find a complex network of states that yield different kinetics for different observables. We conclude that there are many folding pathways before the final folding step and that these paths do not have large free energy barriers.
Metastasis through the bloodstream contributes to poor prognosis in many types of cancer. Mounting evidence implicates selectin-based adhesive interactions between cancer cells and the blood vessel wall as facilitating this process, in a manner similar to leukocyte trafficking during inflammation. Here, we describe a unique approach to target and kill colon and prostate cancer cells in the blood that causes circulating leukocytes to present the cancer-specific TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) on their surface along with E-selectin adhesion receptor. This approach, demonstrated in vitro with human blood and also in mice, mimics the cytotoxic activity of natural killer cells and increases the surface area available for delivery of the receptor-mediated signal. The resulting "unnatural killer cells" hold promise as an effective means to neutralize circulating tumor cells that enter blood with the potential to form new metastases.
TNF-alpha-related-apoptosis-inducing-ligand (TRAIL) has been explored as a therapeutic drug to kill cancer cells. Cancer cells in the circulation are subjected to apoptosis-inducing factors. Despite the presence of these factors, cells are able to extravasate and metastasize. The homotypic and heterotypic cell-cell interactions in a tumor are known to play a crucial role in bestowing important characteristics to cancer cells that leave the primary site. Spheroid cell culture has been extensively used to mimic these physiologically relevant interactions. In this work, we show that the breast cancer cell lines BT20 and MCF7, cultured as 3D tumor spheroids, are more resistant to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis by downregulating the expression of death receptors (DR4 and DR5) that initiate TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. For comparison, we also investigated the effect of TRAIL on cells cultured as a 2D monolayer. Our results indicate that tumor spheroids are enriched for CD44hiCD24loALDH1hi cells, a phenotype that is predominantly known to be a marker for breast cancer stem cells. Furthermore, we attribute the TRAIL-resistance and cancer stem cell phenotype observed in tumor spheroids to the upregulation of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)/prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) pathway. We show that inhibition of the COX-2/PGE2 pathway by treating tumor spheroids with NS-398, a selective COX-2 inhibitor, reverses the TRAIL-resistance and decreases the incidence of a CD44hiCD24lo population. Additionally, we show that siRNA mediated knockdown of COX-2 expression in MCF7 cells render them sensitive to TRAIL by increasing the expression of DR4 and DR5. Collectively, our results show the effect of the third-dimension on the response of breast cancer cells to TRAIL and suggest a therapeutic target to overcome TRAIL-resistance.
Purpose: This technical note documents a method that the authors developed for combining a signal to synchronize a patient-monitoring device with a second physiological signal for inclusion into list-mode acquisition. Our specific application requires synchronizing an external patient motion-tracking system with a medical imaging system by multiplexing the tracking input with the ECG input. The authors believe that their methodology can be adapted for use in a variety of medical imaging modalities including single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET).Methods: The authors insert a unique pulse sequence into a single physiological input channel. This sequence is then recorded in the list-mode acquisition along with the R-wave pulse used for ECG gating. The specific form of our pulse sequence allows for recognition of the time point being synchronized even when portions of the pulse sequence are lost due to collisions with R-wave pulses. This was achieved by altering our software used in binning the list-mode data to recognize even a portion of our pulse sequence. Limitations on heart rates at which our pulse sequence could be reliably detected were investigated by simulating the mixing of the two signals as a function of heart rate and time point during the cardiac cycle at which our pulse sequence is mixed with the cardiac signal.Results: The authors have successfully achieved accurate temporal synchronization of our motion-tracking system with acquisition of SPECT projections used in 17 recent clinical research cases. In our simulation analysis the authors determined that synchronization to enable compensation for body and respiratory motion could be achieved for heart rates up to 125 beats-per-minute (bpm).Conclusions: Synchronization of list-mode acquisition with external patient monitoring devices such as those employed in motion-tracking can reliably be achieved using a simple method that can be implemented using minimal external hardware and software modification through a single input channel, while still recording cardiac gating signals.
Purpose: The aim of this study is to determine using MRI in volunteers whether the rigid-body-motion (RBM) model can be approximately used to estimate the gross body-motion of the heart from that of external markers on patients chest. Our target clinical application is to use a visual-tracking-system (VTS) which employs stereoimaging to estimate heart motion during SPECT?CT and PET?CT myocardial perfusion imaging.Methods: To investigate body-motion separate from the respiration the authors had the volunteers hold their breath during the acquisition of a sequence of two sets of EKG-triggered MRI sagittal slices. The first set was acquired pre-motion, and the second postmotion. The motion of the heart within each breath-hold set of slices was estimated by registration to the semiautomatic 3D segmentation of the heart region in a baseline set acquired using the Navigator technique. The motion of the heart between the pre- and postmotion sets was then determined as the difference in the individual motions in comparison to the Navigator sets. An analysis of the combined motion of the individual markers on the chest was used to obtain an estimate of the six-degree-of-freedom RBM from the VTS system. The metric for judging agreement between the motion estimated by MRI and the VTS was the average error. This was defined as the average of the magnitudes of the differences in the vector displacements of all voxels in the heart region. Studies with the Data Spectrum Anthropomorphic Phantom and "No-Motion" studies in which the volunteer did not intentionally move were used to establish a baseline for agreement. With volunteer studies a t-test was employed to determine when statistically significant differences in Average Errors occurred compared to the No-motion studies.Results: For phantom acquisitions, the Average Error when the motion was just translation was 0.1 mm. With complex motions, which included a combination of rotations and translations, the Average Error increased to 3.6 mm. In the volunteers the Average Error averaged over all No-Motion acquisitions was 1.0 mm. For the case of translational motion, which might be expected to be RBM, the Average Error averaged over all volunteer studies increased to 2.6 mm, which was statistically different from the No-Motion studies. For the case of bends and twists of the torso, which would be expected to challenge the RBM model, the Average Error averaged over all such volunteer studies was 4.9 mm and was again statistically different. Investigations of motion of the arm including just bending at the elbow and leg motion resulted in Average Errors which were not statistically different from the No-Motion studies. However, when shoulder movement was included with arm motion the Average Error was near that of torso bends and twists, and statistically different.Conclusions: Use of the RBM model with VTS predictions of heart motion during reconstruction should decrease the extent of artifacts for the types of patient motion studied. The impact of correction would be less for torso bends and twists, and arm motion which includes the shoulders.
A mesophilic, curved cell bacterium was isolated from Lake Michigan water exhibited highest similarities with Sediminibacterium ginsengisol DCY13T (94.4 %); Sediminibacterium salmoneum NJ-44T (93.6 %), and Hydrotalea flava CCUG 51397 T (93.1%) while similarities with other recognized species were < 92.0 %. The primary polar lipid is phosphatidylethanolamine, with moderate amounts of two unidentified glycolipids, three unknown polar lipids, one unknown aminophospholipid and one aminolipid. The primary respiratory quinone is MK-7 and sym- homospermidine as the primary polyamine. The major cellular fatty acids are iso C15:1 G, iso C15:0, iso C16:0 3OH and iso C17:0 3OH with moderate amounts of iso C16:0. The presence of glycolipids differentiated the novel strains from related genera. The DNA mol % G+C content of the type strain MU-2T is 45.2. Results of other phenotypic and molecular analyses, indicate that strain MU-2T is a representative of a novel genus and species for which the name Vibrionimonas magnilacihabitans is proposed. The type strain is MU-2T (NRRL B-59231 = DSM 22423 = KCTC 22720). The Gen Bank accession number for the 16S rRNA gene sequence of strain MU-2T is FJ816610.
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in blood are known to adhere to the luminal surface of the microvasculature via receptor-mediated adhesion, which contributes to the spread of cancer metastasis to anatomically distant organs. Such interactions between ligands on CTCs and endothelial cell (EC)-bound surface receptors are sensitive to receptor-ligand distances at the nanoscale. The sugar-rich coating on the cell surface known as the glycocalyx, expressed both on the surface of CTCs and ECs, serves as a physical structure that can control the spacing and thus the availability of such receptor-ligand interactions. The cancer cell glycocalyx can also regulate the ability of therapeutic ligands to bind to CTCs in the bloodstream. Here, we review the role of cell glycocalyx on the adhesion and therapeutic treatment of CTCs in the bloodstream.
Motion estimation methods in single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) can be classified into methods which depend on just the emission data (data-driven), or those that use some other source of information such as an external surrogate. The surrogate-based methods estimate the motion exhibited externally which may not correlate exactly with the movement of organs inside the body. The accuracy of data-driven strategies on the other hand is affected by the type and timing of motion occurrence during acquisition, the source distribution, and various degrading factors such as attenuation, scatter, and system spatial resolution. The goal of this paper is to investigate the performance of two data-driven motion estimation schemes based on the rigid-body registration of projections of motion-transformed source distributions to the acquired projection data for cardiac SPECT studies. Comparison is also made of six intensity based registration metrics to an external surrogate-based method. In the data-driven schemes, a partially reconstructed heart is used as the initial source distribution. The partially-reconstructed heart has inaccuracies due to limited angle artifacts resulting from using only a part of the SPECT projections acquired while the patient maintained the same pose. The performance of different cost functions in quantifying consistency with the SPECT projection data in the data-driven schemes was compared for clinically realistic patient motion occurring as discrete pose changes, one or two times during acquisition. The six intensity-based metrics studied were mean-squared difference, mutual information, normalized mutual information (NMI), pattern intensity (PI), normalized cross-correlation and entropy of the difference. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of the performance is reported using Monte-Carlo simulations of a realistic heart phantom including degradation factors such as attenuation, scatter and system spatial resolution. Further the visual appearance of motion-corrected images using data-driven motion estimates was compared to that obtained using the external motion-tracking system in patient studies. Pattern intensity and normalized mutual information cost functions were observed to have the best performance in terms of lowest average position error and stability with degradation of image quality of the partial reconstruction in simulations. In all patients, the visual quality of PI-based estimation was either significantly better or comparable to NMI-based estimation. Best visual quality was obtained with PI-based estimation in one of the five patient studies, and with external-surrogate based correction in three out of five patients. In the remaining patient study there was little motion and all methods yielded similar visual image quality.
Perinatal common mental disorders (PCMDs) are a major cause of disability among women. Psychosocial interventions are one approach to reduce the burden of PCMDs. Working with care providers who are not mental health specialists, in the community or in antenatal health care facilities, can expand access to these interventions in low-resource settings. We assessed effects of such interventions compared to usual perinatal care, as well as effects of interventions based on intervention type, delivery method, and timing.
Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive malignancy potentially curable with surgical intervention. Following pancreaticoduodenectomy for suspected pancreatic head malignancy, patients have a high risk for both immediate and delayed problems due to surgical complications and recurrent disease. We report here a patient with pancreatic cancer treated with pancreaticoduodenectomy who developed recurrent disease resulting in obstruction of the afferent limb. The patient developed biliary obstruction and cholangitis at presentation. Her biliary tree failed to dilate which precluded safe percutaneous biliary decompression. During surgical exploration, she was found to have a dilated afferent limb at the level of the transverse mesocolon. The patient underwent decompression of the afferent limb as well as the biliary tree using a venting gastrojejunostomy to the blind loop. This represents a novel surgical approach for management of this complicated and difficult problem.
The isolation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) is critical for transplantation therapy and HSPC research, however current isolation techniques can be prohibitively expensive, time-consuming, and produce variable results. Selectin-coated microtubes have shown promise in rapidly isolating HSPCs from human bone marrow, but further purification of HSPCs remains a challenge. Herein, a biomimetic device for HSPC isolation is presented to mimic the acidic vascular microenvironment during trauma, which can enhance the binding frequency between L-selectin and its counter-receptor PSGL-1 and HSPCs. Under acidic pH conditions, L-selectin coated microtubes enhanced CD34+ HSPC adhesion, as evidenced by decreased cell rolling velocity and increased rolling flux. Dynamic light scattering was utilized as a novel sensor to confirm an L-selectin conformational change under acidic conditions, as previously predicted by molecular dynamics. These results suggest that mimicking the acidic conditions of trauma can induce a conformational extension of L-selectin, which can be utilized for flow-based, clinical isolation of HSPCs.
The tethering of platelets on the injured vessel surface mediated by glycoprotein Ib? (GPIb?) - Von Willebrand factor (vWF) bonds, as well as the interaction between flowing platelets and adherent platelets, are two key events that take place immediately following blood vessel injury. This early-stage platelet deposition and accumulation triggers the initiation of hemostasis, a self-defensive mechanism to prevent the body from excessive blood loss. To understand and predict this complex process, one must integrate experimentally determined information on the mechanics and biochemical kinetics of participating receptors over very small time frames (1-1000 µs) and length scales (10-100 nm), to collective phenomena occurring over seconds and tens of microns. In the present study, a unique three dimensional multiscale computational model, platelet adhesive dynamics (PAD), was applied to elucidate the unique physics of (i) a non-spherical, disk-shaped platelet interacting and tethering onto the damaged vessel wall followed by (ii) collisional interactions between a flowing platelet with a downstream adherent platelet. By analyzing numerous simulations under different physiological conditions, we conclude that the platelets unique spheroid-shape provides heterogeneous, orientation-dependent translocation (rolling) behavior which enhances cell-wall interactions. We also conclude that platelet-platelet near field interactions are critical for cell-cell communication during the initiation of microthrombi. The PAD model described here helps to identify the physical factors that control the initial stages of platelet capture during this process.
Perinatal common mental disorders are a major cause of disability among women and have consequences for childrens growth and development. We aimed to identify factors associated with psychological distress, a proxy for common mental disorders, among mothers in rural Dhanusha, Nepal.
Computational searches for novel ligands for a given protein binding site have become ubiquitous in the pharmaceutical industry, and are potentially equally useful in helping identify small-molecule tools for biology. Here we describe the steps needed to carry out a high-throughput docking (HTD) or three-dimensional (3D) pharmacophore virtual screen starting with a model of the target proteins structure. The advice given is, in most cases, software independent but some tips are provided which apply only to certain popular programs. Useful work can be carried out using free programs on a modest workstation. Of course, any resultant "hits" remain in the virtual world until they are experimentally tested.
Personalized medicine holds great promise for cancer treatment, with the potential to address challenges associated with drug sensitivity and interpatient variability. Circulating tumor cells (CTC) can be useful for screening cancer drugs as they may reflect the severity and heterogeneity of primary tumors. Here we present a platform for rapidly evaluating individualized drug susceptibility. Treatment efficacy is evaluated directly in blood, employing a relevant environment for drug administration, and assessed by comparison of CTC counts in treated and control samples. Multiple drugs at varying concentrations are evaluated simultaneously to predict an appropriate therapy for individual patients.
Complex healthcare interventions consist of multiple components which may vary in trials conducted in different populations and contexts. Pooling evidence from trials in a systematic review is challenging because it is unclear which components are needed for effectiveness. The potential is recognised for using recipients views to explore why some complex interventions are effective and others are not. Methods to maximise this potential are poorly developed.
BACKGROUND: The predictD algorithm provides an estimate of the level and profile of risk of the onset of major depression in primary care attendees. This gives us the opportunity to develop interventions to prevent depression in a personalized way. We aim to evaluate the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and cost-utility of a new intervention, personalized and implemented by family physicians (FPs), to prevent the onset of episodes of major depression. METHODS: This is a multicenter randomized controlled trial (RCT), with cluster assignment by health center and two parallel arms. Two interventions will be applied by FPs, usual care versus the new intervention predictD-CCRT. The latter has four components: a training workshop for FPs; communicating the level and profile of risk of depression; building up a tailored bio-psycho-family-social intervention by FPs to prevent depression; offering a booklet to prevent depression; and activating and empowering patients. We will recruit a systematic random sample of 3286 non-depressed adult patients (1643 in each trial arm), nested in 140 FPs and 70 health centers from 7 Spanish cities. All patients will be evaluated at baseline, 6, 12 and 18 months. The level and profile of risk of depression will be communicated to patients by the FPs in the intervention practices at baseline, 6 and 12 months. Our primary outcome will be the cumulative incidence of major depression (measured by CIDI each 6 months) over 18 months of follow-up. Secondary outcomes will be health-related quality of life (SF-12 and EuroQol), and measurements of cost-effectiveness and cost-utility. The inferences will be made at patient level. We shall undertake an intention-to-treat effectiveness analysis and will handle missing data using multiple imputations. We will perform multi-level logistic regressions and will adjust for the probability of the onset of major depression at 12 months measured at baseline as well as for unbalanced variables if appropriate. The economic evaluation will be approached from two perspectives, societal and health system. DISCUSSION: To our knowledge, this will be the first RCT of universal primary prevention for depression in adults and the first to test a personalized intervention implemented by FPs. We discuss possible biases as well as other limitations.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01151982.
This study focuses on people with complex and severe mental health problems who require inpatient rehabilitation. The majority have a diagnosis of schizophrenia whose recovery has been delayed due to non-response to first-line treatments, cognitive impairment, negative symptoms and co-existing problems such as substance misuse. These problems contribute to major impairments in social and everyday functioning necessitating lengthy admissions and high support needs on discharge to the community. Engagement in structured activities reduces negative symptoms of psychosis and may lead to improvement in function, but no trials have been conducted to test the efficacy of interventions that aim to achieve this.Methods/design: This study aims to investigate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a staff training intervention to increase service users engagement in activities. This is a single-blind, two-arm cluster randomised controlled trial involving 40 inpatient mental health rehabilitation units across England. Units are randomised on an equal basis to receive either standard care or a "hands-on", manualised staff training programme comprising three distinct phases (predisposing, enabling and reinforcing) delivered by a small team of psychiatrists, occupational therapists, service users and activity workers. The primary outcome is service user engagement in activities 12 months after randomisation, assessed using a standardised measure. Secondary outcomes include social functioning and costs and cost-effectiveness of care.
Despite growing research interest in spirituality and health, and recommendations on the importance of spiritual care in advanced cancer and palliative care, relationships between spiritual belief and psychological health near death remain unclear. We investigated (i) relationships between strength of spiritual beliefs and anxiety and depression, intake of psychotropic/analgesic medications and survival in patients with advanced disease; and (ii) whether the strength of spiritual belief changes as death approaches.
Long-term exposure to alcohol can have profound effects on the central nervous system including pathophysiological consequences associated with neuroinflammation. Along with astroglia, microglia play an important role in the neuroinflammatory response. Using a SILAC-labeled rat microglial cell line, an expression profile of 2994 proteins was identified in ethanol-treated microglial cells, where 160 and 69 protein groups were determined to be significantly upregulated and downregulated, respectively. In addition, SILAC-based proteomic analysis of lipopolysaccharide-treated microglial cells was performed in order to generate a reference data set representing a "classical" (M1) macrophage activation response in order to compare to the differential protein expression profile of ethanol-treated microglia. On the basis of this comparison as well as other validation experiments performed in this study, ethanol appears to induce partial activation of microglia that is devoid of conventional markers that indicate an M1 phenotype. This study is the first comprehensive proteomic analysis to assess the impact of acute ethanol exposure on microglial function and will provide a significant foundation that includes novel protein markers for future work aimed to characterize the molecular mechanisms associated with ethanol-induced microglial activation and its role in neurodegeneration.
We investigated the effect of the respiratory motion on attenuation-corrected (AC) SPECT images for three different SPECT systems, each using a different approach in obtaining attenuation maps: scanning-line sources (SLS) acquired simultaneous with emission; slow cone-beam CT (CBCT) acquired sequentially to emission; and fast helical CT (HCT) acquired sequentially to emission.
Reperfusion following ischemia leads to neutrophil recruitment into injured tissue. Selectins and ?2-integrins regulate neutrophil interaction with the endothelium during neutrophil rolling and firm adhesion. Excessive neutrophil infiltration into tissue is thought to contribute to ischemia-reperfusion injury damage. Hydrogen sulfide mitigates the damage caused by ischemia-reperfusion injury. This studys objective was to determine the effect of hydrogen sulfide on neutrophil adhesion receptor expression.
Selectins mediate circulatory leukocyte trafficking to sites of inflammation and trauma, and the extracellular microenvironments at these sites often become acidic. In this study, we investigated the influence of slightly acidic pH on the binding dynamics of selectins (P-, L-, and E-selectin) to P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1) via computational modeling (molecular dynamics) and experimental rolling assays under shear in vitro. The P-selectin/PSGL-1 binding is strengthened at acidic pH, as evidenced by the formation of a new hydrogen bond (seen computationally) and the observed decrease in the rolling velocities of model cells. In the case of L-selectin/PSGL-1 binding dynamics, the binding strength and frequency increase at acidic pH, as indicated by the greater cell-rolling flux of neutrophils and slower rolling velocities of L-selectin-coated microspheres, respectively. The cell flux is most likely due to an increased population of L-selectin in the high-affinity conformation as pH decreases, whereas the velocities are due to increased L-selectin/PSGL-1 contacts. In contrast to P- and L-selectin, the E-selectin/PSGL-1 binding does not exhibit significant changes at acidic pH levels, as shown both experimentally and computationally.
Due to the combination of high-frequency use and relatively high diagnostic radiation dose (>9 mSv for one scan), there is a need to lower the radiation dose used in myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) studies in cardiac gated single photon emission computed tomography (GSPECT) in order to reduce its population based cancer risk. The aim of this study is to assess quantitatively the potential utility of advanced 4D reconstruction for GSPECT for significantly lowered imaging dose.
Evaluation of complex interventions, including standardisation of the intervention, types of outcomes selected and measures of change, is a fairly novel concept in the field of intellectual disabilities. Our aim was to explore these issues in a feasibility study of Manualised Individual Cognitive Behaviour Treatment (M-iCBT) compared to the treatment as usual alone (TAU).
Hematogeneous metastasis can occur via a cascade of circulating tumor cell adhesion events to the endothelial lining of the vasculature, i.e. the metastatic cascade. Interestingly, the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-?, which play an important role in potentiating the inflammatory cascade, are significantly elevated in metastatic breast cancer (BCa) patients. Despite their high metastatic potential, human breast carcinoma cells MDA-MB-231 lack interactions with E-selectin functionalized surfaces under physiological shear stresses. We hypothesized that human plasma, 3-D tumor spheroid culture, and cytokine-supplemented culture media could induce a phenotypic switch that allows BCa cells to interact with E-selectin coated surfaces under physiological flow. Flow cytometry, immunofluorescence imaging, and flow-based cell adhesion assay were utilized to investigate the phenotypic changes of MDA-MB-231 cells with various treatments. Our results indicate that plasma, IL-6, and TNF-? promote breast cancer cell growth as aggregates and induce adhesive recruitment of BCa cells on E-selectin coated surfaces under flow. 3-D tumor spheroid culture exhibits the most significant increases in the interactions between BCa and E-selectin coated surfaces by upregulating CD44V4 and sLe(x) expression. Furthermore, we show that IL-6 and TNF-? concentrations in blood may regulate the recruitment of BCa cells to the inflamed endothelium. Finally, we propose a mechanism that could explain the invasiveness of triple-negative breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 via a positive feedback loop of IL-6 secretion and maintenance. Taken together, our results suggest that therapeutic approaches targeting cytokine receptors and adhesion molecules on cancer cells may potentially reduce metastatic load and improve current cancer treatments.
The underglycosylated form of the MUC1 glycoprotein, uMUC1, has been identified as a ligand for both E-selectin and ICAM-1 and can play multiple potential roles during rolling and firm adhesion events in the metastatic cascade. Using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy, the T47D and ZR-75-1 cell lines were verified to highly express uMUC1, however it was found that only ZR-75-1 cells expressed the E-selectin binding moiety sialyl Lewis x (sLe(x)). Furthermore, perfusing T47D cells through E-selectin coated microtubes resulted in fast rolling velocities and low numbers of interacting cells and blocking uMUC1 with the SM3 antibody had no effect. ZR-75-1 cells, on the other hand, were highly dependent on the E-selectin:uMUC1 interaction as exemplified by significant increases in cell rolling velocities and decreases in the number of interacting cells when blocking with SM3 or when uMUC1 expression was knocked down via siRNA transfection. Whereas uMUC1 interactions with E-selectin supported cell rolling, P-selectin: uMUC1 interactions exclusively facilitated cell tethering, while L-selectin surfaces supported no cell adhesive interactions. These experimental observations are consistent with molecular dynamics simulations of uMUC1 bound to E-, P-, and L-selectin where the degree of residue contact correlated with the differential adhesion of uMUC1 to each selectin. Finally, an E-selectin and SM3 combined surface coating captured approximately 30% of the total number of interacting cancer cells comparable to the number of adhered cells when utilizing E-selectin and ICAM-1 combined surfaces. The E-selectin/SM3 surface strategy offers a viable method to selectively capture cancer cells from whole blood samples.
It has become evident that mechanical forces play a key role in cancer metastasis, a complex series of steps that is responsible for the majority of cancer-related deaths. One such force is fluid shear stress, exerted on circulating tumor cells by blood flow in the vascular microenvironment, and also on tumor cells exposed to slow interstitial flows in the tumor microenvironment. Computational and experimental models have the potential to elucidate metastatic behavior of cells exposed to such forces. Here, we review the fluid-generated forces that tumor cells are exposed to in the vascular and tumor microenvironments, and discuss recent computational and experimental models that have revealed mechanotransduction phenomena that may play a role in the metastatic process.
Leukocyte trafficking in the microvasculature during inflammatory response is known to involve multiple adhesion molecules and is referred to as the leukocyte adhesion cascade (LAC). Surface-bound selectins and their respective ligands are primarily responsible for tethering and rolling of leukocytes over inflamed endothelium. Numerical modeling of this response is challenging due to the nature of cell-cell interactions in Stokes flow (i.e., large domain of influence for each cell over its neighbors). Here, we discuss a novel simulation capable of modeling several steps of the LAC. The new model includes relevant contact and lubrication forces and extends a physics-based model for single particle rolling interactions developed by Hammer and Apte (1992), for multiparticle interactions by King and Hammer (2001a), and for deformable particles by Gee and King (2006). We initially demonstrate the model for cell-cell collisions occurring near a planar substrate, and for cell-substrate adhesive interactions. The adhesion studies provide a new perspective of the contribution of Hertzian contact mechanics toward variations in contact area at the cell-substrate interface. The results confirm that interfacial contact area will increase as a result of the contact formulation and that this mechanism may enhance cell rolling interactions for cells driven toward endothelium by cell-cell collisions. As a result of cell compliance, rolling velocity may decrease significantly, compared to non-compliant cells.
To investigate the transition from non-cancerous to metastatic from a physical sciences perspective, the Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers (PS-OC) Network performed molecular and biophysical comparative studies of the non-tumorigenic MCF-10A and metastatic MDA-MB-231 breast epithelial cell lines, commonly used as models of cancer metastasis. Experiments were performed in 20 laboratories from 12 PS-OCs. Each laboratory was supplied with identical aliquots and common reagents and culture protocols. Analyses of these measurements revealed dramatic differences in their mechanics, migration, adhesion, oxygen response, and proteomic profiles. Model-based multi-omics approaches identified key differences between these cells regulatory networks involved in morphology and survival. These results provide a multifaceted description of cellular parameters of two widely used cell lines and demonstrate the value of the PS-OC Network approach for integration of diverse experimental observations to elucidate the phenotypes associated with cancer metastasis.
Hematogenous metastasis accounts for the majority of cancer-related deaths, yet the mechanism remains unclear. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in blood may employ different pathways to cross blood endothelial barrier and establish a metastatic niche. Several studies provide evidence that prostate cancer (PCa) cell tethering and rolling on microvascular endothelium via E-selectin/E-selectin ligand interactions under shear flow theoretically promote extravasation and contribute to the development of metastases. However, it is unknown if CTCs from PCa patients interact with E-selectin expressed on endothelium, initiating a route for tumor metastases. Here we report that CTCs derived from PCa patients showed interactions with E-selectin and E-selectin expressing endothelial cells. To examine E-selectin-mediated interactions of PCa cell lines and CTCs derived from metastatic PCa patients, we used fluorescently-labeled anti-prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) monoclonal antibody J591-488 which is internalized following cell-surface binding. We employed a microscale flow device consisting of E-selectin-coated microtubes and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) on parallel-plate flow chamber simulating vascular endothelium. We observed that J591-488 did not significantly alter the rolling behavior in PCa cells at shear stresses below 3 dyn/cm(2). CTCs obtained from 31 PCa patient samples showed that CTCs tether and stably interact with E-selectin and E-selectin expressing HUVECs at physiological shear stress. Interestingly, samples collected during disease progression demonstrated significantly more CTC/E-selectin interactions than samples during times of therapeutic response (p=0.016). Analysis of the expression of sialyl Lewis X (sLe(x)) in patient samples showed that a small subset comprising 1.9-18.8% of CTCs possess high sLe(x) expression. Furthermore, E-selectin-mediated interactions between prostate CTCs and HUVECs were diminished in the presence of anti-E-selectin neutralizing antibody. CTC-Endothelial interactions provide a novel insight into potential adhesive mechanisms of prostate CTCs as a means to initiate metastasis.
Tissue and organ regeneration, unlike development, involves an injury that in postembryonic animals triggers inflammation followed by resolution. How inflammation affects epimorphic regeneration is largely uninvestigated. Here we examine inflammation and its resolution in Xenopus laevis hindlimb regeneration, which declines during larval development. During the first 5 days postamputation, both regeneration-competent stage 53 and regeneration-deficient stage 57 hindlimbs showed very rapid accumulation of leukocytes and cells expressing interleukin-1? and matrix metalloproteinase 9. Expression of genes for factors mediating inflammatory resolution appeared more persistent at stages 55 and 57 than at stage 53, suggesting changes in this process during development. FoxP3, a marker for regulatory T cells, was upregulated by amputation in limbs at all three stages but only persisted at stage 57, when it was also detected before amputation. Expression of genes for cellular reprogramming, such as SALL4, was upregulated in limbs at all 3 stages, but markers of limb patterning, such as Shh, were expressed later and less actively after amputation in regeneration-deficient limbs. Topical application of specific proinflammatory agents to freshly amputated limbs increased interleukin-1? expression locally. With aqueous solutions of the proinflammatory metal beryllium sulfate, this effect persisted through 7 days postamputation and was accompanied by inhibition of regeneration. In BeSO4-treated limbs expression of markers for both inflammation and resolution, including FoxP3, was prolonged, while genes for cellular reprogramming were relatively unaffected and those for limb patterning failed to be expressed normally. These data imply that in Xenopus hindlimbs postamputation inflammation and its resolution change during development, with little effect on cellular dedifferentiation or reprogramming, but potentially interfering with the expression of genes required for blastema patterning. The results suggest that developmental changes in the larval anuran immune system may be involved in the ontogenetic loss of epimorphic regeneration in this system.
Local drug delivery techniques, such as convention-enhanced delivery (CED), are promising novel strategies for delivering therapeutic agents otherwise limited by systemic toxicity and blood-brain-barrier restrictions. CED uses positive pressure to deliver infusate homogeneously into interstitial space, but its distribution is dependent upon appropriate tissue targeting and underlying neuroarchitecture. To investigate effects of local tissue pathology and associated edema on infusate distribution, CED was applied to the hippocampi of rats that underwent electrically-induced, self-sustaining status epilepticus (SE), a prolonged seizure. Infusion occurred 24 hours post-SE, using a macromolecular tracer, the magnetic resonance (MR) contrast agent gadolinium chelated with diethylene triamine penta-acetic acid and covalently attached to albumin (Gd-albumin). High-resolution T1- and T2-relaxation-weighted MR images were acquired at 11.1 Tesla in vivo prior to infusion to generate baseline contrast enhancement images and visualize morphological changes, respectively. T1-weighted imaging was repeated post-infusion to visualize final contrast-agent distribution profiles. Histological analysis was performed following imaging to characterize injury. Infusions of Gd-albumin into injured hippocampi resulted in larger distribution volumes that correlated with increased injury severity, as measured by hyperintense regions seen in T2-weighted images and corresponding histological assessments of neuronal degeneration, myelin degradation, astrocytosis, and microglial activation. Edematous regions included the CA3 hippocampal subfield, ventral subiculum, piriform and entorhinal cortex, amygdalar nuclei, middle and laterodorsal/lateroposterior thalamic nuclei. This study demonstrates MR-visualized injury processes are reflective of cellular alterations that influence local distribution volume, and provides a quantitative basis for the planning of local therapeutic delivery strategies in pathological brain regions.
Cylindrical blood vessels, ellipsoid platelets and biconcave-shaped deformable erythrocytes (RBCs) are important participants in hemostasis and thrombosis. However, due to the challenge of combining these components in simulation tools, few simulation studies have included all of them in realistic three-dimensional models. In the present study, we apply a recently developed simulation model to incorporate these components and analyze the flow in a thrombotic tubular arteriole, particularly the detailed hydrodynamic interactions between the thrombus shape, RBCs and platelets. It was found that at certain azimuth positions, the velocity drops in the proximity of both the upstream and downstream edge of the thrombus, which is accompanied by a rapid velocity increase in the narrowed region. The RBCs alter the flow profiles significantly from the typical low Reynolds (Re) number flow, and also enhance the deposition of free flowing platelets onto the thrombus. By evaluating the platelet-thrombus interaction and platelet-RBC interaction together, several mechanisms of platelet deposition augmentation are identified. With in vivo data comparison, our model illustrates the potential of future thrombosis studies that incorporate detailed receptor-ligand adhesion modules.
People with intellectual disability have a higher prevalence of physical health problems but often experience disparities in accessing health care. In England, a number of legislative changes, policies and recommendations have been introduced to improve health care access for this population. The aim of this qualitative study was to examine the extent to which patients with intellectual disability and their carers experience discrimination or other barriers in accessing health services, and whether health care experiences have improved over the last decade years.
Age is the most significant risk factor for atherosclerosis; however, the link between age and atherosclerosis is poorly understood. During both aging and atherosclerosis progression, the blood vessel wall stiffens owing to alterations in the extracellular matrix. Using in vitro and ex vivo models of vessel wall stiffness and aging, we show that stiffening of extracellular matrix within the intima promotes endothelial cell permeability--a hallmark of atherogenesis. When cultured on hydrogels fabricated to match the elasticity of young and aging intima, endothelial monolayers exhibit increased permeability and disrupted cell-cell junctions on stiffer matrices. In parallel experiments, we showed a corresponding increase in cell-cell junction width with age in ex vivo aortas from young (10 weeks) and old (21 to 25 months) healthy mice. To investigate the mechanism by which matrix stiffening alters monolayer integrity, we found that cell contractility increases with increased matrix stiffness, mechanically destabilizing cell-cell junctions. This increase in endothelial permeability results in increased leukocyte extravasation, which is a critical step in atherosclerotic plaque formation. Mild inhibition of Rho-dependent cell contractility using Y-27632, an inhibitor of Rho-associated kinase, or small interfering RNA restored monolayer integrity in vitro and in vivo. Our results suggest that extracellular matrix stiffening alone, which occurs during aging, can lead to endothelial monolayer disruption and atherosclerosis pathogenesis. Because previous therapeutics designed to decrease vascular stiffness have been met with limited success, our findings could be the basis for the design of therapeutics that target the Rho-dependent cellular contractile response to matrix stiffening, rather than stiffness itself, to more effectively prevent atherosclerosis progression.
In gated cardiac single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), image reconstruction is often hampered by various degrading factors including depth-dependent spatial blurring, attenuation, scatter, motion blurring, and low data counts. Consequently, there has been significant development in image reconstruction methods for improving the quality of reconstructed images. The goal of this work is to investigate how these degrading factors will impact the reconstructed myocardium when different reconstruction methods are used.
A necessary step in metastasis is the dissemination of malignant cells into the bloodstream, where cancer cells travel throughout the body as circulating tumor cells (CTC) in search of an opportunity to seed a secondary tumor. CTC represent a valuable diagnostic tool: evidence indicates that the quantity of CTC in the blood has been shown to relate to the severity of the illness, and samples are readily obtained through routine blood draws. As such, there has been a push toward developing technologies to reliably detect CTC using a variety of molecular and immunocytochemical techniques. In addition to their use in diagnostics, CTC detection systems that isolate CTC in such a way that the cells remain viable will allow for the performance of live-cell assays to facilitate the development of personalized cancer therapies. Moreover, techniques for the direct manipulation of CTC in circulation have been developed, intending to block metastasis in situ. We review a number of current and emerging micro- and nanobiotechnology approaches for the detection, capture, and manipulation of rare CTC aimed at advancing cancer treatment.
Neutrophils have recently been shown to release DNA-based extracellular traps that contribute to microbicidal killing and have also been implicated in autoimmunity. The role of neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation in the host response to nonbacterial pathogens has received much less attention. Here, we show that the protozoan pathogen Toxoplasma gondii elicits the production of NETs from human and mouse neutrophils. Tachyzoites of each of the three major parasite strain types were efficiently entrapped within NETs, resulting in decreased parasite viability. We also show that Toxoplasma activates a MEK-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway in neutrophils and that the inhibition of this pathway leads to decreased NET formation. To determine if Toxoplasma induced NET formation in vivo, we employed a mouse intranasal infection model. We found that the administration of tachyzoites by this route induced a rapid tissue recruitment of neutrophils with evidence of extracellular DNA release. Taken together, these data indicate a role for NETs in the host innate response to protozoan infection. We propose that NET formation limits infection by direct microbicidal effects on Toxoplasma as well as by interfering with the ability of the parasite to invade target host cells.
Blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI) has received increasing attention in recent years due to ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sudden impacts or explosive blasts generate stress and pressure waves that propagate at high velocities and affect sensitive neurological tissues. The immediate soft tissue response to these stress waves is difficult to assess using current in vivo imaging technologies. However, these stress waves and resultant stretching and shearing of tissue within the nano- to microsecond time scale of blast and impact are likely to cause initial injury. To visualize the effects of stress wave loading, we have developed a new ex vivo model in which living tissue slices from rat brain, attached to a ballistic gelatin substrate, were subjected to high-strain-rate loads using a polymer split Hopkinson pressure bar (PSHPB) with real-time high-speed imaging. In this study, average peak fluid pressure within the test chamber reached a value of 1584±63.3?psi. Cavitation due to a trailing underpressure wave was also observed. Time-resolved images of tissue deformation were collected and large maximum eigenstrains (0.03-0.42), minimum eigenstrains (-0.33 to -0.03), maximum shear strains (0.09-0.45), and strain rates (8.4×10³/sec) were estimated using digital image correlation (DIC). Injury at 4 and 6?h was quantified using Fluoro-Jade C. Neuronal injury due to PSHPB testing was found to be significantly greater than injury associated with the tissue slice paradigm alone. While large pressures and strains were encountered for these tests, this system provides a controllable test environment to study injury to submerged brain slices over a range of strain rate, pressure, and strain loads.
The defining property of two-state models of protein folding is that the measured relaxation rates are independent of the starting conditions and only depend on the final conditions. In this work we compare the kinetics of the very fast folding villin subdomain measured after a large change in denaturant concentration using an ultrarapid microfluidic mixer with the kinetics measured after a small temperature change in a laser T-jump experiment and find a significant difference in the observed folding kinetics. The final conditions of temperature and denaturant concentration and the use of tryptophan fluorescence as a probe are the same in both experiments, while the initial conditions are very different. The slower mixing kinetics show no evidence of the faster phase in T-jump experiments, which would support models of on- or off-pathway intermediates. Rather we interpret the combined mixer and T-jump experiments as evidence of an ensemble of unfolded states, some of which are traps. The ensemble after dilution from high denaturant is more expanded than the ensemble after an increase in temperature and, on average, takes longer to reach the native state.
To determine changes in prescribing patterns in primary care of antipsychotic and mood stabiliser medication in a representative sample of patients with bipolar disorder in the United Kingdom over a fifteen year period and association with socio-demographic factors.
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