Abstract Objective: To determine whether emotional stability distinguishes how experienced and novice meditators react to visual stimuli. Design: Participants practiced concentrative meditation and then responded to visual stimuli while continuing to meditate. Participants: Ten experienced and 10 novice meditators responded to sequences of visual stimuli after concentrative meditation. Results: As predicted, both groups had increased parasympathetic activities during concentrative meditation. Experienced meditators had increased low-frequency electroencephalography (EEG) rhythms in response to visual stimulation, whereas novices had increased high-frequency EEG rhythms. Correlational analyses revealed that novice meditators changed from a meditative state to a nonrelaxed state when the visual stimuli were presented, whereas experienced meditators maintained the meditative state. Conclusion: The study provides evidence that regular concentrative meditation can improve emotional stability and that recording physiologic responses to visual stimuli can be a good method for identifying the effects of long-term concentrative meditation practice.
Brain functions express rhythmic fluctuations accompanied by sleep and wakefulness each day, but how sleep regulates brain rhythms remains unclear. Following the dose-dependent local sleep concept, two succeeding questions emerge: (1) is the sleep regulation a network-specific process; and (2) is the awakening state dependent on the previous sleep stages? To answer the questions, we conducted simultaneous EEG and fMRI recordings over 22 healthy male participants, along pre-sleep, nocturnal sleep and awakening. Using paired comparisons between awakening and pre-sleep conditions, three scenarios of the regional specificity were demonstrated on awakening: (1) the default-mode and hippocampal networks maintained similar connectivity and spectral power; (2) the sensorimotor network presented reduced connectivity and spectral power; and (3) the thalamus demonstrated substantially enhanced connectivity to the neo-cortex with decreased spectral power. With regard to the stage effect, the deep sleep group had significant changes in both functional connectivity and spectral power on awakening, whereas the indices of light sleep group remained relatively quiescent after sleep. The phenomena implied that slow-wave sleep could be key to rebooting the BOLD fluctuations after sleep. In conclusion, the regional specificity and the stage effect were verified in support of the local awakening concept, indicating that sleep regulation leads to the reorganization of brain networks upon awakening.
Bladder cancer is the most common urological cancer with higher incidence rate in the endemic areas of Blackfoot disease (BFD) in southern Taiwan. The aim of this study was to utilize the proteomic approach to establish urinary protein patterns of bladder cancer. The experimental results showed that most patients with bladder cancer had proteinuria or albuminuria. The urine arsenic concentrations of bladder cancer patients in BFD areas were significantly higher than those patients from non-BFD areas. In the proteomic analysis, the urinary proteome was identified by nano-high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (nano-HPLC/ESI-MS/MS) followed by peptide fragmentation pattern analysis. We categorized 2782 unique proteins of which 89 proteins were identified with at least three unique matching peptide sequences. Among these 89 proteins, thirteen of them were not found in the control group and may represent proteins specific for bladder cancer. In this study, three proteins, SPINK5, ADAM28 and PTP1, were also confirmed by Western blotting and showed significant differential expression compared with the control group. ADAM28 may be used as a possible biomarker of bladder cancer.
Human urine contains a large number of proteins and peptides (the urinary proteome). Global analysis of the human urinary proteome is important for understanding urinary tract diseases. Bladder cancer is the most common urological cancer with higher incidence rates in endemic areas of Blackfoot disease (BFD) in southern Taiwan. The aim of this study was to use the proteomic approach to establish urinary protein biomarkers of bladder cancer. ADAM28, identified by proteomic approaches and confirmed by Western blotting, showed significant differences compared with normal individuals, so it may be a biomarker of bladder cancer.
The purpose of this paper was to characterize proteins secreted from the human nonpigmented ciliary epithelial (HNPE) cells, which have differentiated a rat retinal ganglion cell line, RGC-5. Undifferentiated RGC-5 cells have been shown to express several marker proteins characteristic of retinal ganglion cells. However, RGC-5 cells do not respond to N-methyl-D aspartate (NMDA), or glutamate. HNPE cells have been shown to secrete numbers of neuropeptides or neuroproteins also found in the aqueous humor, many of which have the ability to influence the activity of neuronal cells. This paper details the profile of HNPE cell-secreted proteins by proteomic approaches. The experimental results revealed the identification of 132 unique proteins from the HNPE cell-conditioned SF-medium. The biological functions of a portion of these identified proteins are involved in cell differentiation. We hypothesized that a differentiation system of HNPE cell-conditioned SF-medium with RGC-5 cells can induce a differentiated phenotype in RGC-5 cells, with functional characteristics that more closely resemble primary cultures of rat retinal ganglion cells. These proteins may replace harsh chemicals, which are currently used to induce cell differentiation.
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