ResearchPad - physiology https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Extending thermotolerance to tomato seedlings by inoculation with SA1 isolate of <i>Bacillus cereus</i> and comparison with exogenous humic acid application]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11229 Heat stress is one of the major abiotic stresses that impair plant growth and crop productivity. Plant growth-promoting endophytic bacteria (PGPEB) and humic acid (HA) are used as bio-stimulants and ecofriendly approaches to improve agriculture crop production and counteract the negative effects of heat stress. Current study aimed to analyze the effect of thermotolerant SA1 an isolate of Bacillus cereus and HA on tomato seedlings. The results showed that combine application of SA1+HA significantly improved the biomass and chlorophyll fluorescence of tomato plants under normal and heat stress conditions. Heat stress increased abscisic acid (ABA) and reduced salicylic acid (SA) content; however, combined application of SA1+HA markedly reduced ABA and increased SA. Antioxidant enzymes activities revealed that SA1 and HA treated plants exhibited increased levels of ascorbate peroxidase (APX), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and reduced glutathione (GSH). In addition, heat stress markedly reduced the amino acid contents; however, the amino acids were increased with co-application of SA1+HA. Similarly, inductively-coupled plasma mass-spectrometry results showed that plants treated with SA1+HA exhibited significantly higher iron (Fe+), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K+) uptake during heat stress. Heat stress increased the relative expression of SlWRKY33b and autophagy-related (SlATG5) genes, whereas co-application of SA1+HA augmented the heat stress response and reduced SlWRKY33b and SlATG5 expression. The heat stress-responsive transcription factor (SlHsfA1a) and high-affinity potassium transporter (SlHKT1) were upregulated in SA1+HA-treated plants. In conclusion, current findings suggest that co-application with SA1+HA can be used for the mitigation of heat stress damage in tomato plants and can be commercialized as a biofertilizer.

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<![CDATA[A modified arginine-depleting enzyme NEI-01 inhibits growth of pancreatic cancer cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11227 Arginine deprivation cancer therapy targets certain types of malignancies with positive result in many studies and clinical trials. NEI-01 was designed as a novel arginine-depleting enzyme comprising an albumin binding domain capable of binding to human serum albumin to lengthen its half-life. In the present work, NEI-01 is shown to bind to serum albumin from various species, including mice, rat and human. Single intraperitoneal administration of NEI-01 to mice reduced plasma arginine to undetectable level for at least 9 days. Treatment of NEI-01 specifically inhibited cell viability of MIA PaCa-2 and PANC-1 cancer cell lines, which were ASS1 negative. Using a human pancreatic mouse xenograft model, NEI-01 treatment significantly reduced tumor volume and weight. Our data provides proof of principle for a cancer treatment strategy using NEI-01.

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<![CDATA[Feeding Faba Beans (<i>Vicia faba</i> L.) Reduces Myocyte Metabolic Activity in Grass Carp (<i>Ctenopharyngodon idellus</i>)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10925 In this study, we aimed to explore the effects of faba bean (Vicia faba L.) on the energy metabolism of grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus). A total of 180 fish (∼2900 g) were randomly assigned to six tanks (2.5 × 2.5 × 1.2 m; 30 individuals per tank) and fed either faba bean (Vicia faba L.) or a commercial diet for 120 days (3% body weight, twice per day). The results showed that faba bean-fed grass carp (FBFG) had significantly lower growth and higher fat accumulation in the mesenteric adipose tissue and hepatopancreas than commercial diet-fed grass carp (CDFG). Compared with CDFG, FBFG exhibited no significant difference in proximate composition of the muscle; however, an obvious decrease in muscle fiber size and significantly higher hardness, chewiness, and gumminess were observed. Transcriptome results showed that a total of 197 genes were differentially regulated in the dorsal muscle. Down-regulated genes included four genes annotated with myocyte development and 12 transcripts annotated with components of myofibrils. In addition, the FBFG group exhibited significantly lower expression of genes associated with oxygen transport, the mitochondrial respiratory chain, and creatine metabolism, suggesting reduced energy availability in the muscle of the FBFG. Moreover, using western-blotting and enzyme assays, we found decreased protein levels in the mitochondrial electron transport respiratory chain and creatine metabolism activities, as well as increased expression of autophagy marker protein levels, in the muscle of FBFG. Overall, our results suggest that an abnormal energy distribution may exist in grass carps after feeding with faba bean, which is reflected by a mass of fat deposition in the adipose tissue and hepatopancreas and subdued metabolic activity in the muscle.

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<![CDATA[The wriggly resilience of eels to angler catch-and-release]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10251 <![CDATA[Characterisation of the static offset in the travelling wave in the cochlear basal turn]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_9974 In mammals, audition is triggered by travelling waves that are evoked by acoustic stimuli in the cochlear partition, a structure containing sensory hair cells and a basilar membrane. When the cochlea is stimulated by a pure tone of low frequency, a static offset occurs in the vibration in the apical turn. In the high-frequency region at the cochlear base, multi-tone stimuli induce a quadratic distortion product in the vibrations that suggests the presence of an offset. However, vibrations below 100 Hz, including a static offset, have not been directly measured there. We therefore constructed an interferometer for detecting motion at low frequencies including 0 Hz. We applied the interferometer to record vibrations from the cochlear base of guinea pigs in response to pure tones. When the animals were exposed to sound at an intensity of 70 dB or higher, we recorded a static offset of the sinusoidally vibrating cochlear partition by more than 1 nm towards the scala vestibuli. The offset’s magnitude grew monotonically as the stimuli intensified. When stimulus frequency was varied, the response peaked around the best frequency, the frequency that maximised the vibration amplitude at threshold sound pressure. These characteristics are consistent with those found in the low-frequency region and are therefore likely common across the cochlea. The offset diminished markedly when the somatic motility of mechanosensitive outer hair cells, the force-generating machinery that amplifies the sinusoidal vibrations, was pharmacologically blocked. Therefore, the partition offset appears to be linked to the electromotile contraction of outer hair cells.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (10.1007/s00424-020-02373-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. ]]>
<![CDATA[SUN-219 Electron Transport Chain Complex 2 in Mitochondrial Pregnenolone Synthesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8708 The mitochondrial P450 family of enzymes (SCC), which require the electron transport chain (ETC) complexes III, IV and V, initiate steroidogenesis by cleaving the sidechain of cholesterol to synthesize steroid hormones, an essential component for mammalian survival. SCC is required for full-term gestation, and aberrant expression may cause pseudohermaphroditism, breast cancer or polycystic ovary syndrome. Complex II or succinate dehydrogenase (quinone) is shared with the TCA cycle and has no proton pumping capacity and no known role in steroid synthesis. We now show that succinate is an intermediate metabolite in the TCA cycle and plays a central role physiologically. Specifically, complex II is required for SCC activation, where the proton pump facilitates an active intermediate state conformation at the matrix, so that in the presence of succinate, ATP can add phosphate. A longer intermediate equilibrium state generates a transient stabilization to enhance the binding of phosphate anions in the presence of succinate anions, resulting in higher enthalpy and activity. An inhibition of the processing at the intermediate state stops phosphate addition and activity. We further describe that phosphate circulation brings the molten globule, an intermediate, to an active folded state. This is the first report showing that an intermediate state activated by succinate facilitates ETC complex II interaction with complexes III and IV for metabolism.

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<![CDATA[Breeding practices and trait preferences of smallholder farmers for indigenous sheep in the northwest highlands of Ethiopia: Inputs to design a breeding program]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7865 The aim of this study was to identify breeding practices and trait preferences for indigenous sheep in three districts (Estie, Farta and Lay Gayient) located in the northwest highlands of Ethiopia. Questionnaire survey and choice experiment methods were used to collect data from 370 smallholder farmers. Respondents were selected randomly among smallholder farmers who own sheep in the aforementioned districts. A generalized multinomial logit model was employed to examine preferences for sheep attributes, while descriptive statistics and index values were computed to describe sheep breeding practices. Having the highest index value of 0.36, income generation was ranked as the primary reason for keeping sheep, followed by meat and manure sources. The average flock size per smallholder farmer was 10.21 sheep. The majority of the smallholder farmers (91%) have the experience of selecting breeding rams and ewes within their own flock using diverse criteria. Given the highest index value of 0.34, body size was ranked as a primary ram and ewe selection criteria, followed by coat color. Furthermore, choice modeling results revealed that tail type, body size, coat color, growth rate, horn and ear size have shown significant influences on smallholder farmers’ preference for breeding rams (P<0.01). The part-worth utility coefficients were positive for all ram attributes except ear size. For breeding ewes, mothering ability, coat color, body size, lambing interval, growth rate, tail type and litter size have shown significant effects on choice preferences of smallholder farmers (P<0.05). Moreover, significant scale heterogeneity was observed among respondents for ewe attributes (P<0.001). Overall, the results implied that sheep breeding objectives suitable for the northwest highlands of the country can be derived from traits such as linear body measurement, weight and survival at different ages, and lambing intervals. However, selection decisions at the smallholder level should not only be based on estimated breeding values of traits included in the breeding objective but instead, incorporate ways to address farmers’ preference for qualitative traits.

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<![CDATA[Brazilian vegetarians diet quality markers and comparison with the general population: A nationwide cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7851 Vegetarianism is an increasingly common practice worldwide. Despite good evidence from other countries regarding vegetarians’ diet quality, data from the Brazilian population is still scarce.ObjectiveTo characterize the vegetarian Brazilian population and evaluate their diet quality compared to the general Brazilian population.MethodsWe performed a nationwide cross-sectional study using an online self-administered questionnaire, previously validated for the Brazilian population, to evaluate diet quality markers of vegetarians. The invitation to participate in the survey was spread nationwide, aimed at vegetarian communities. Individuals who considered themselves vegetarians and were at least 18 years old were eligible to participate. The results on regular intake and intake adequacy were compared among vegetarians and between genders using the Pearson’s chi-square test. The body mass index (BMI) were analyzed by the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) followed by Tukey post-hoc test. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test verified normality. All analyses considered bilateral hypotheses and a significance level of 5% (p <0.05).ResultsBrazilian vegetarians presented better diet quality markers, such as higher regular weekly intake and adequate daily intake of fruits and vegetables, and lower regular intake of soft drinks when compared to the general Brazilian population. Vegetarians also presented a proportionally higher consumption of natural foods and lower consumption of processed foods. Among vegetarians, a higher proportion of vegans showed positive results regarding diet markers analysis, when compared to vegetarians, pesco-vegetarians, and semi-vegetarians.ConclusionsVegetarians showed better results of diet adequacy when compared to the general population in Brazil, and vegans fared better when compared with other vegetarians. Despite the good results found, a large proportion of the participants still did not achieve the fruits and vegetables daily intake, according to the World Health Organization recommendations. ]]> <![CDATA[Methamphetamine administration increases hepatic CYP1A2 but not CYP3A activity in female guinea pigs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7848 Methamphetamine use has increased over the past decade and the first use of methamphetamine is most often when women are of reproductive age. Methamphetamine accumulates in the liver; however, little is known about the effect of methamphetamine use on hepatic drug metabolism. Methamphetamine was administered on 3 occassions to female Dunkin Hartley guinea pigs of reproductive age, mimicking recreational drug use. Low doses of test drugs caffeine and midazolam were administered after the third dose of methamphetamine to assess the functional activity of cytochrome P450 1A2 and 3A, respectively. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to quantify the mRNA expression of factors involved in glucocorticoid signalling, inflammation, oxidative stress and drug transporters. This study showed that methamphetamine administration decreased hepatic CYP1A2 mRNA expression, but increased CYP1A2 enzyme activity. Methamphetamine had no effect on CYP3A enzyme activity. In addition, we found that methamphetamine may also result in changes in glucocorticoid bioavailability, as we found a decrease in 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 mRNA expression, which converts inactive cortisone into active cortisol. This study has shown that methamphetamine administration has the potential to alter drug metabolism via the CYP1A2 metabolic pathway in female guinea pigs. This may have clinical implications for drug dosing in female methamphetamine users of reproductive age.

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<![CDATA[Potency and breadth of human primary ZIKV immune sera shows that Zika viruses cluster antigenically as a single serotype]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7747 The recent emergence of Zika virus as an important human pathogen has raised questions about the durability and breadth of Zika virus immunity following natural infection in humans. While global epidemic patterns suggest that Zika infection elicits a protective immune response that is likely to offer long-term protection against repeat infection by other Zika viruses, only one study to date has formally examined the ability of human Zika immune sera to neutralize different Zika viruses. That study was limited because it evaluated human immune sera no more than 13 weeks after Zika virus infection and tested a relatively small number of Zika viruses. In this study, we examine twelve human Zika immune sera as far as 3 years after infection and test the sera against a total of eleven Zika virus isolates. Our results confirm the earlier study and epidemic patterns that suggest Zika virus exists in nature as a single serotype, and infection with one Zika virus can be expected to elicit protective immunity against repeat infection by any Zika virus for years to decades after the first infection.

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<![CDATA[ICOS signaling promotes a secondary humoral response after re-challenge with <i>Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi</i> AS]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7745 Malaria, which is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium, remains a major global health problem, as over 400,000 people die from this disease every year. Further understanding of the mechanisms that contribute to protective immunity against this parasite will serve to promote the development of an effective vaccine. Here, we describe the importance of the co-stimulatory molecule ICOS during secondary infection with the rodent parasite Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi AS. We show that ICOS promotes the expansion of memory T cells, their acquisition of a secondary follicular helper T (Tfh) cell phenotype, and their ability to provide help to MBCs after reinfection. While ICOS deficient mice control the initial parasite load after re-challenge, the absence of ICOS leads to higher relapsing parasitemia compared to wild-type mice. We establish that the lack of expansion of effector cells with a Tfh cell phenotype in Icos-/- mice prevents germinal center formation after secondary infection. Thus, we show that ICOS signaling in T cells promotes an effective memory T cell response and suggests that the enhancement of this co-stimulatory pathway during vaccination may enhance protective immunity to blood-stage Plasmodium infection.

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<![CDATA[Oral administration with a traditional fermented multi-fruit beverage modulates non-specific and antigen-specific immune responses in BALB/c mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7730 Fruits have been widely considered as the default “health foods” because they contain numerous vitamins and minerals needed to sustain human health. Fermentation strategies have been utilized to enhance the nutritive and flavor features of healthy and readily consumable fruit products while extending their shelf lives. A traditional fermented multi-fruit beverage was made from five fruits including kiwi, guava, papaya, pineapple, and grape fermented by Saccharomyces cerevisiae along with lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid bacteria. The immunomodulatory properties of the fermented multi-fruit beverage, in vivo nonspecific and ovalbumin (OVA)-specific immune response experiments using female BALB/c mice were performed. Administration of the fermented multi-fruit beverage reduced the calorie intake, thus resulting in a less weight gain in mice compared to the water (placebo)-fed mice. In the nonspecific immune study model, the fermented multi-fruit beverage enhanced phagocytosis and T cell proliferation but did not affect B cell proliferation and immunoglobulin G (IgG) production. Analysis of cytokine secretion profile also revealed that the fermented multi-fruit beverage enhanced proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and T helper (Th)1-related cytokine interferon (IFN)-γ production, thus creating an immunostimulatory effect. Nonetheless, in the specific immune study model, the results showed that the fermented multi-fruit beverage decreased the production of proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α production in OVA-immunized mice. Moreover, it also caused a decrease in the production of anti-OVA IgG1, which was accompanied by a decrease in Th2-related cytokines IL-4 and IL-5 production and an increase in Th1-related cytokine IFN-γ production, indicating that it may have the potential to shift the immune system from the allergen‐specific Th2 responses toward Th1-type responses. The results indicate that fermented multi-fruit beverage has the potential to modulate immune responses both in a nonspecific and specific manners.

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<![CDATA[Digestibility of black soldier fly larvae (<i>Hermetia illucens</i>) fed to leopard geckos (<i>Eublepharis macularius</i>)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7714 Black soldier fly (BSF) larvae have been marketed as an excellent choice for providing calcium to reptiles without the need of dusting or gut loading. However, previous studies have indicated that they have limited calcium digestibility and are deficient in fat soluble vitamins (A, D3, and E). In this feeding and digestibility trial, 24 adult male leopard geckos were fed one of three diets for 4 months: 1) whole, vitamin A gut loaded larvae; 2) needle pierced, vitamin A gut loaded larvae; or 3) whole, non-gut loaded larvae. Fecal output from the geckos was collected daily and apparent digestibility was calculated for dry matter, protein, fat, and minerals. There were no differences in digestibility coefficients among groups. Most nutrients were well digested by the leopard geckos when compared to previous studies, with the exception of calcium (digestibility co-efficient 43%), as the calcium-rich exoskeleton usually remained intact after passage through the GI tract. Biochemistry profiles revealed possible deficits occurring over time for calcium, sodium, and total protein. In regards to vitamin A digestibility, plasma and liver vitamin A concentrations were significantly higher in the supplemented groups (plasma- gut loaded groups: 33.38 ± 7.11 ng/ml, control group: 25.8 ± 6.72 ng/ml, t = 1.906, p = 0.04; liver- gut loaded groups: 28.67 ± 18.90 μg/g, control group: 14.13 ± 7.41 μg/g, t = 1.951, p = 0.03). While leopard geckos are able to digest most of the nutrients provided by BSF larvae, including those that have been gut loaded, more research needs to be performed to assess whether or not they provide adequate calcium in their non-supplemented form.

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<![CDATA[Plasma Galectin-3 predicts deleterious vascular dysfunction affecting post-myocardial infarction patients: An explanatory study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7712 In a previous analysis of a post-myocardial infarction (MI) cohort, abnormally high systemic vascular resistances (SVR) were shown to be frequently revealed by MRI during the healing period, independently of MI severity, giving evidence of vascular dysfunction and limiting further recovery of cardiac function. The present ancillary and exploratory analysis of the same cohort was aimed at characterizing those patients suffering from high SVR remotely from MI with a large a panel of cardiovascular MRI parameters and blood biomarkers.MethodsMRI and blood sampling were performed 2–4 days after a reperfused MI and 6 months thereafter in 121 patients. SVR were monitored with a phase-contrast MRI sequence and patients with abnormally high SVR at 6-months were characterized through MRI parameters and blood biomarkers, including Galectin-3, an indicator of cardiovascular inflammation and fibrosis after MI. SVR were normal at 6-months in 90 patients (SVR-) and abnormally high in 31 among whom 21 already had high SVR at the acute phase (SVR++) while 10 did not (SVR+).ResultsWhen compared with SVR-, both SVR+ and SVR++ exhibited lower recovery in cardiac function from baseline to 6-months, while baseline levels of Galectin-3 were significantly different in both SVR+ (median: 14.4 (interquartile range: 12.3–16.7) ng.mL-1) and SVR++ (13.0 (11.7–19.4) ng.mL-1) compared to SVR- (11.7 (9.8–13.5) ng.mL-1, both p < 0.05). Plasma Galectin-3 was an independent baseline predictor of high SVR at 6-months (p = 0.002), together with the baseline levels of SVR and left ventricular end-diastolic volume, whereas indices of MI severity and left ventricular function were not. In conclusion, plasma Galectin-3 predicts a deleterious vascular dysfunction affecting post-MI patients, an observation that could lead to consider new therapeutic targets if confirmed through dedicated prospective studies. ]]> <![CDATA[Functional and structural consequences of epithelial cell invasion by <i>Bordetella pertussis</i> adenylate cyclase toxin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7693 Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whopping cough, produces an adenylate cyclase toxin (CyaA) that plays a key role in the host colonization by targeting innate immune cells which express CD11b/CD18, the cellular receptor of CyaA. CyaA is also able to invade non-phagocytic cells, via a unique entry pathway consisting in a direct translocation of its catalytic domain across the cytoplasmic membrane of the cells. Within the cells, CyaA is activated by calmodulin to produce high levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and alter cellular physiology. In this study, we explored the effects of CyaA toxin on the cellular and molecular structure remodeling of A549 alveolar epithelial cells. Using classical imaging techniques, biochemical and functional tests, as well as advanced cell mechanics method, we quantify the structural and functional consequences of the massive increase of intracellular cyclic AMP induced by the toxin: cell shape rounding associated to adhesion weakening process, actin structure remodeling for the cortical and dense components, increase in cytoskeleton stiffness, and inhibition of migration and repair. We also show that, at low concentrations (0.5 nM), CyaA could significantly impair the migration and wound healing capacities of the intoxicated alveolar epithelial cells. As such concentrations might be reached locally during B. pertussis infection, our results suggest that the CyaA, beyond its major role in disabling innate immune cells, might also contribute to the local alteration of the epithelial barrier of the respiratory tract, a hallmark of pertussis.

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<![CDATA[The adipokine vaspin is associated with decreased coronary in-stent restenosis <i>in vivo</i> and inhibits migration of human coronary smooth muscle cells <i>in vitro</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7692 Percutaneous coronary intervention represents the most important treatment modality of coronary artery stenosis. In-stent restenosis (ISR) is still a limitation for the long-term outcome despite the introduction of drug eluting stents. It has been shown that adipokines directly influence vessel wall homeostasis by influencing the function of endothelial cells and arterial smooth muscle cells. Visceral adipose tissue-derived serpin vaspin was recently identified as a member of serine protease inhibitor family and serveral studies could demonstrate a relation to metabolic diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate a role of vaspin in the development of in-stent restenosis in vivo and on migration of smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells in vitro.MethodsWe studied 85 patients with stable coronary artery disease who underwent elective and successful PCI with implatation of drug eluting stents. Blood samples were taken directly before PCI. Vaspin plasma levels were measured by specific ELISA. ISR was evaluated eight months later by coronary angiography. Human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (HCASMC) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) migration was analyzed by an in-vitro migration assay with different concentrations (0.004ng/mL up to 40ng/mL) of vaspin as well as by an scratch assay. For proliferation an impedance measurement with specialiced E-Plates was performed.ResultsDuring the follow up period, 14 patients developed ISR. Patients with ISR had significantly lower vaspin plasma levels compared to patients without ISR (0.213 ng/ml vs 0.382 ng/ml; p = 0.001). In patients with plasma vaspin levels above 1.35 ng/ml we could not observe any restenosis. There was also a significant correlation of plasma vaspin levels and late lumen loss in the stented coronary segments. Further we could demonstrate that vaspin nearly abolishes serum induced migration of HCASMC (100% vs. 9%; p<0.001) in a biphasic manner but not migration of HUVEC. Proliferation of HCASMC and HUVEC was not modulated by vaspin treatment.ConclusionWe were able to show that the adipokine vaspin selectively inhibits human coronary SMC migration in vitro and has no effect on HUVEC migration. Vaspin had no effect on proliferation of HUVEC which is an important process of the healing of the stented vessel. In addition, the occurrence of ISR after PCI with implantation of drug eluting stents was significantly associated with low vaspin plasma levels before intervention. Determination of vaspin plasma levels before PCI might be helpful in the identification of patients with high risk for development of ISR after stent implantation. In addition, the selective effects of vaspin on smooth muscle cell migration could potentially be used to reduce ISR without inhibition of re-endothelialization of the stented segment. ]]> <![CDATA[Post-stroke infections associated with spleen volume reduction: A pilot study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7682 Spleen volume reduction followed by re-expansion has been described in acute ischemic stroke in both animal and human studies. Splenic contraction might be partially due to sympathetic hyperactivity and might be accompanied by release of splenocytes in the peripheral circulation, leading to immunodepression.AimsTo investigate whether spleen volume changes in the first week after stroke are associated with post-stroke infections, changes in lymphocytes count and autonomic dysfunction.MethodsIn patients with acute ischemic stroke, spleen sizes were calculated from abdominal CT images on day one and day seven. Spleen size reduction was defined as > 10% spleen size reduction between day one and day seven. Post stroke infections were diagnosed during the first seven days after stroke onset using the modified criteria of the US Center of Disease Control and Prevention. We assessed the time course of leukocyte subsets and analysed pulse rate variability (PRV) indices.ResultsPost-stroke infections occurred in six out of 11 patients (55%) with spleen size reduction versus in five out of 27 patients (19%) without spleen size reduction (p = 0,047). Spleen size reduction was associated with a drop in lymphocytes and several lymphocyte subsets from admission to day one, and a higher NIHSS at admission and at day three (p = 0,028 and p = 0,006 respectively). No correlations could be found between spleen volume change and PRV parameters.ConclusionPost-stroke infections and a drop in lymphocytes and several lymphocyte subsets are associated with spleen volume reduction in acute ischemic stroke. ]]> <![CDATA[The 2015-2016 El Niño increased infection parameters of copepods on Eastern Tropical Pacific dolphinfish populations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7672 The oceanographic conditions of the Pacific Ocean are largely modified by El Niño (EN), affecting several ecological processes. Parasites and other marine organisms respond to environmental variation, but the influence of the EN cycle on the seasonal variation of parasitic copepods has not been yet evaluated. We analysed the relation between infection parameters (prevalence and mean intensity) of the widespread parasitic copepods Caligus bonito and Charopinopsis quaternia in the dolphinfish Coryphaena hippurus and oceanography during the strong 2015–16 EN. Fish were collected from capture fisheries on the Ecuadorian coast (Tropical Eastern Pacific) over a 2-year period. Variations of sea surface temperature (SST), salinity, chlorophyll a (Chl-a), Oceanic Niño Index (ONI), total host length (TL) and monthly infection parameters of both copepod species were analysed using time series and cross-correlations. We used the generalised additive models for determine the relationship between environmental variables and infection parameters. The total body length of the ovigerous females and the length of the eggs of C. bonito were measured in both periods. Infection parameters of both C. bonito and Ch. quaternia showed seasonal and annual patterns associated with the variation of environmental variables examined (SST, salinity, Chl-a and ONI 1+2). Infection parameters of both copepod species were significantly correlated with ONI 1+2, SST, TL and Chl-a throughout the GAMLSS model, and the explained deviance contribution ranged from 16%-36%. Our results suggest than an anomaly higher than +0.5°C triggers a risen in infection parameters of both parasitic copepods. This risen could be related to increases in egg length, female numbers and the total length of the ovigerous females in EN period. This study provides the first evidence showing that tropical parasitic copepods are sensitive to the influence of EN event, especially from SST variations. The observed behaviour of parasitic copepods likely affects the host populations and structure of the marine ecosystem at different scales.

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<![CDATA[Genetic algorithm-based personalized models of human cardiac action potential]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7669 We present a novel modification of genetic algorithm (GA) which determines personalized parameters of cardiomyocyte electrophysiology model based on set of experimental human action potential (AP) recorded at different heart rates. In order to find the steady state solution, the optimized algorithm performs simultaneous search in the parametric and slow variables spaces. We demonstrate that several GA modifications are required for effective convergence. Firstly, we used Cauchy mutation along a random direction in the parametric space. Secondly, relatively large number of elite organisms (6–10% of the population passed on to new generation) was required for effective convergence. Test runs with synthetic AP as input data indicate that algorithm error is low for high amplitude ionic currents (1.6±1.6% for IKr, 3.2±3.5% for IK1, 3.9±3.5% for INa, 8.2±6.3% for ICaL). Experimental signal-to-noise ratio above 28 dB was required for high quality GA performance. GA was validated against optical mapping recordings of human ventricular AP and mRNA expression profile of donor hearts. In particular, GA output parameters were rescaled proportionally to mRNA levels ratio between patients. We have demonstrated that mRNA-based models predict the AP waveform dependence on heart rate with high precision. The latter also provides a novel technique of model personalization that makes it possible to map gene expression profile to cardiac function.

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<![CDATA[The relationship of recreational runners’ motivation and resilience levels to the incidence of injury: A mediation model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7663 Running participation has increased significantly in the last decade. Despite its association with different health-related aspects, athletes may experience adverse outcomes, including injuries. The aim of this study was twofold: to examine the relationship between runners’ resilience levels, motivation and incidence of injury, on the one hand; and to analyse the mediation that intrinsic and extrinsic motivation has on the association between the number of injuries and psychological resilience levels among amateur athletes. The sample consisted of a total of 1725 runners (age: 40.40 ± 9.39 years), 1261 of whom were male (age: 43.16 ± 9.38), and 465 of whom were female (age: 40.34 ± 9.14). Athletes completed the Behavioural Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire (BREQ-3), the Resilience scale (CD-RISC 10), and an Injury retrospective survey. Three mediation models were constructed, and the results showed a significant indirect association of athletes’ intrinsic motivation and resilience on the number of injuries (β = 0.022, CI = 0.007, 0.0) in mediation model 1, whereas extrinsic motivation was found to have no significant association on those variables (β = -0.062, CI = -0.137, 0.009) in mediation model 2. Model 3 showed significant differences with respect to resilience (p < 0.05) and intrinsic motivation (p < 0.05). Therefore, the mediation of intrinsic motivation on athletes’ resilience levels and incidence of injury was demonstrated, i.e., it was found that intrinsic motivation was associated with a higher incidence of injury, while no such correlation was found for extrinsic motivation. This study shows that the amateur long distance runners with a high level of intrinsic motivation tend to suffer from a greater number of injuries, and at the same time psychological resilience was associated with a lower number of injuries.

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