ResearchPad - spectrum-analysis-techniques https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Relationship between maximal incremental and high-intensity interval exercise performance in elite athletes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13822 This descriptive study aimed to explore the physiological factors that determine tolerance to exertion during high-intensity interval effort. Forty-seven young women (15–28 years old) were enrolled: 23 athletes from Taiwan national or national reserve teams and 24 moderately active females. Each participant underwent a maximal incremental INC (modified Bruce protocol) cardiopulmonary exercise test on the first day and high-intensity interval testing (HIIT) on the second day, both performed on a treadmill. The HIIT protocol involved alternation between 1-min effort at 120% of the maximal speed, at the same slope reached at the end of the INC, and 1-min rest until volitional exhaustion. Gas exchange, heart rate (HR), and muscle oxygenation at the right vastus lateralis, measured by near-infrared spectroscopy, were continuously recorded. The number of repetitions completed (Rlim) by each participant was considered the HIIT tolerance index. The results showed a large difference in the Rlim (range, 2.6–12.0 repetitions) among the participants. Stepwise linear regression revealed that the variance in the Rlim within the cohort was related to the recovery rates of oxygen consumption (V˙O2), HR at the second minute after INC, and muscle tissue saturation index at exhaustion (R = 0.644). In addition, age was linearly correlated with Rlim (adjusted R = −0.518, p < 0.0001). In conclusion, the recovery rates for V˙O2 and HR after the incremental test, and muscle saturation index at exhaustion, were the major physiological factors related to HIIT performance. These findings provide insights into the role of the recovery phase after maximal INC exercise testing. Future research investigating a combination of INC and HIIT testing to determine training-induced performance improvement is warranted.

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<![CDATA[Effective coupling of rapid freeze-quench to high-frequency electron paramagnetic resonance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7690 We report an easy, efficient and reproducible way to prepare Rapid-Freeze-Quench samples in sub-millimeter capillaries and load these into the probe head of a 275 GHz Electron Paramagnetic Resonance spectrometer. Kinetic data obtained for the binding reaction of azide to myoglobin demonstrate the feasibility of the method for high-frequency EPR. Experiments on the same samples at 9.5 GHz show that only a single series of Rapid-Freeze-Quench samples is required for studies at multiple microwave frequencies.

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<![CDATA[Microbeam X-ray diffraction study of lipid structure in stratum corneum of human skin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7631 Human skin, not previously frozen, was studied by small-angle X-ray diffraction. The samples were folded so that a 6μm X-ray beam passed through the top layer of skin, stratum corneum. Diffraction patterns recorded with this method consisted of peaks at about q = 0.5, 1.0 and 1.4 nm-1 in the direction perpendicular to the skin surface more clearly than in previous studies. These peaks are interpreted to arise from lipids between corneocytes. A simple unit of a linear electron density profile with three minima was used to account for the observed intensity profiles. Combinations of calculated diffraction from models with one, two and three units accounted for the major part of the observed diffraction pattern, showing the diversity in the structure of the intercellular lipids.

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<![CDATA[Highly efficient serum-free manipulation of miRNA in human NK cells without loss of viability or phenotypic alterations is accomplished with TransIT-TKO]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4e6e8e95-63ae-420d-a6d7-c2f1aa3d99e6

Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes with functions that include target cell killing, inflammation and regulation. NK cells integrate incoming activating and inhibitory signals through an array of germline-encoded receptors to gauge the health of neighbouring cells. The reactive potential of NK cells is influenced by microRNA (miRNA), small non-coding sequences that interfere with mRNA expression. miRNAs are highly conserved between species, and a single miRNA can have hundreds to thousands of targets and influence entire cellular programs. Two miRNA species, miR-155-5p and miR-146a-5p are known to be important in controlling NK cell function, but research to best understand the impacts of miRNA species within NK cells has been bottlenecked by a lack of techniques for altering miRNA concentrations efficiently and without off-target effects. Here, we describe a non-viral and straightforward approach for increasing or decreasing expression of miRNA in primary human NK cells. We achieve >90% transfection efficiency without off-target impacts on NK cell viability, education, phenotype or function. This opens the opportunity to study and manipulate NK cell miRNA profiles and their impacts on NK cellular programs which may influence outcomes of cancer, inflammation and autoimmunity.

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<![CDATA[Proteomic analysis of protein composition of rat hippocampus exposed to morphine for 10 days; comparison with animals after 20 days of morphine withdrawal]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N2838fdc6-dc33-429a-ba0d-e2e831e6a950

Opioid addiction is recognized as a chronic relapsing brain disease resulting from repeated exposure to opioid drugs. Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the ability of organism to return back to the physiological norm after cessation of drug supply are not fully understood. The aim of this work was to extend our previous studies of morphine-induced alteration of rat forebrain cortex protein composition to the hippocampus. Rats were exposed to morphine for 10 days and sacrificed 24 h (groups +M10 and −M10) or 20 days after the last dose of morphine (groups +M10/−M20 and −M10/−M20). The six altered proteins (≥2-fold) were identified in group (+M10) when compared with group (−M10) by two-dimensional fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE). The number of differentially expressed proteins was increased to thirteen after 20 days of the drug withdrawal. Noticeably, the altered level of α-synuclein, β-synuclein, α-enolase and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) was also determined in both (±M10) and (±M10/−M20) samples of hippocampus. Immunoblot analysis of 2D gels by specific antibodies oriented against α/β-synucleins and GAPDH confirmed the data obtained by 2D-DIGE analysis. Label-free quantification identified nineteen differentially expressed proteins in group (+M10) when compared with group (−M10). After 20 days of morphine withdrawal (±M10/−M20), the number of altered proteins was increased to twenty. We conclude that the morphine-induced alteration of protein composition in rat hippocampus after cessation of drug supply proceeds in a different manner when compared with the forebrain cortex. In forebrain cortex, the total number of altered proteins was decreased after 20 days without morphine, whilst in hippocampus, it was increased.

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<![CDATA[Investigation of synovial fluid induced Staphylococcus aureus aggregate development and its impact on surface attachment and biofilm formation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf13f73b5-5132-41b9-b894-3d4dd0a113b1

Periprosthetic joint infections (PJIs) are a devastating complication that occurs in 2% of patients following joint replacement. These infections are costly and difficult to treat, often requiring multiple corrective surgeries and prolonged antimicrobial treatments. The Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most common causes of PJIs, and it is often resistant to a number of commonly used antimicrobials. This tolerance can be partially attributed to the ability of S. aureus to form biofilms. Biofilms associated with the surface of indwelling medical devices have been observed on components removed during chronic infection, however, the development and localization of biofilms during PJIs remains unclear. Prior studies have demonstrated that synovial fluid, in the joint cavity, promotes the development of bacterial aggregates with many biofilm-like properties, including antibiotic resistance. We anticipate these aggregates have an important role in biofilm formation and antibiotic tolerance during PJIs. Therefore, we sought to determine specifically how synovial fluid promotes aggregate formation and the impact of this process on surface attachment. Using flow cytometry and microscopy, we quantified the aggregation of various clinical S. aureus strains following exposure to purified synovial fluid components. We determined that fibrinogen and fibronectin promoted bacterial aggregation, while cell free DNA, serum albumin, and hyaluronic acid had minimal effect. To determine how synovial fluid mediated aggregation affects surface attachment, we utilized microscopy to measure bacterial attachment. Surprisingly, we found that synovial fluid significantly impeded bacterial surface attachment to a variety of materials. We conclude from this study that fibrinogen and fibronectin in synovial fluid have a crucial role in promoting bacterial aggregation and inhibiting surface adhesion during PJI. Collectively, we propose that synovial fluid may have conflicting protective roles for the host by preventing adhesion to surfaces, but by promoting bacterial aggregation is also contributing to the development of antibiotic tolerance.

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<![CDATA[Lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) for the detection of lethal amatoxins from mushrooms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N089b971a-62b1-4256-a74f-acfba8aef66c

The mushroom poison that causes the most deaths is the class of toxins known as amatoxins. Current methods to sensitively and selectively detect these toxins are limited by the need for expensive equipment, or they lack accuracy due to cross-reactivity with other chemicals found in mushrooms. In this work, we report the development of a competition-based lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) for the rapid, portable, selective, and sensitive detection of amatoxins. Our assay clearly indicates the presence of 10 ng/mL of α-AMA or γ-AMA and the method including extraction and detection can be completed in approximately 10 minutes. The test can be easily read by eye and has a presumed shelf-life of at least 1 year. From testing 110 wild mushrooms, the LFIA identified 6 out of 6 species that were known to contain amatoxins. Other poisonous mushrooms known not to contain amatoxins tested negative by LFIA. This LFIA can be used to quickly identify amatoxin-containing mushrooms.

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<![CDATA[Investigating the potential use of an ionic liquid (1-Butyl-1-methylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide) as an anti-fungal treatment against the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5c2fa054-4262-4dfe-83a3-c606a06f5241

The disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has contributed to global amphibian declines. Bd infects the keratinized epidermal tissue in amphibians and causes hyperkeratosis and excessive skin shedding. In individuals of susceptible species, the regulatory function of the amphibian’s skin is disrupted resulting in an electrolyte depletion, osmotic imbalance, and eventually death. Safe and effective treatments for chytridiomycosis are urgently needed to control chytrid fungal infections and stabilize populations of endangered amphibian species in captivity and in the wild. Currently, the most widely used anti-Bd treatment is itraconazole. Preparations of itraconazole formulated for amphibian use has proved effective, but treatment involves short baths over seven to ten days, a process which is logistically challenging, stressful, and causes long-term health effects. Here, we explore a novel anti-fungal therapeutic using a single application of the ionic liquid, 1-Butyl-1-methylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide (BMP-NTf2), for the treatment of chytridiomycosis. BMP-NTf2 was found be effective at killing Bd in vitro at low concentrations (1:1000 dilution). We tested BMP-NTf2 in vivo on two amphibian species, one that is relatively tolerant of chytridiomycosis (Pseudacris regilla) and one that is highly susceptible (Dendrobates tinctorius). A toxicity trial revealed a surprising interaction between Bd infection status and the impact of BMP-NTf2 on D. tinctorius survival. Uninfected D. tinctorius tolerated BMP-NTf2 (mean ± SE; 96.01 ± 9.00 μl/g), such that only 1 out of 30 frogs died following treatment (at a dose of 156.95 μL/g), whereas, a lower dose (mean ± SE; 97.45 ± 3.52 μL/g) was not tolerated by Bd-infected D. tinctorius, where 15 of 23 frogs died shortly upon BMP-NTf2 application. Those that tolerated the BMP-NTf2 application did not exhibit Bd clearance. Thus, BMP-NTf2 application, under the conditions tested here, is not a suitable option for clearing Bd infection in D. tinctorius. However, different results were obtained for P. regilla. Two topical applications of BMP-NTf2 on Bd-infected P. regilla (using a lower BMP-NTf2 dose than on D. tinctorius, mean ± SE; 9.42 ± 1.43 μL/g) reduced Bd growth, although the effect was lower than that obtained by daily doses of itracanozole (50% frogs exhibited complete clearance on day 16 vs. 100% for itracanozole). Our findings suggest that BMP-NTf2 has the potential to treat Bd infection, however the effect depends on several parameters. Further optimization of dose and schedule are needed before BMP-NTf2 can be considered as a safe and effective alternative to more conventional antifungal agents, such as itraconazole.

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<![CDATA[The effect of NaOH pretreatment on coal structure and biomethane production]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nec5b1db1-34f5-4425-bec1-1f1e431a6eb6

Biogenic CBM is an important component of detected CBM, which is formed by coal biodegradation and can be regenerated by anaerobic microorganisms. One of the rate-limiting factors for microbial degradation is the bioavailability of coal molecules, especially for anthracite which is more condense and has higher aromaticity compared with low-rank coal. In this paper, NaOH solution with different concentrations and treating time was employed to pretreat anthracite from Qinshui Basin to alter the coal structure and facilitate the biodegradation. The results showed that the optimal pretreatment conditions were 1.5 M NaOH treating for 12 h, under which the biomethane production was increased by 17.65% compared with untreated coal. The results of FTIR and XRD showed that NaOH pretreatment mainly reduced the multi-substituted aromatics, increased the C-O in alcohols and aromatic ethers and the branching degree of aliphatic chain, and decreased the aromatic ring structure, resulting in the improvement of coal bioavailability and enhancement of biomethane yield. And some organics with potential to generate methane were released to filtrate as revealed by GC-MS. Our results suggested that NaOH was an effective solution for pretreating coal to enhance biogenic methane production, and anthracite after treating with NaOH could be the better substrate for methanogenesis.

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<![CDATA[Extending the information content of the MALDI analysis of biological fluids via multi-million shot analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne38ffd74-9b00-41c1-8ae6-cb5565d3274c

Introduction

Reliable measurements of the protein content of biological fluids like serum or plasma can provide valuable input for the development of personalized medicine tests. Standard MALDI analysis typically only shows high abundance proteins, which limits its utility for test development. It also exhibits reproducibility issues with respect to quantitative measurements. In this paper we show how the sensitivity of MALDI profiling of intact proteins in unfractionated human serum can be substantially increased by exposing a sample to many more laser shots than are commonly used. Analytical reproducibility is also improved.

Methods

To assess what is theoretically achievable we utilized spectra from the same samples obtained over many years and combined them to generate MALDI spectral averages of up to 100,000,000 shots for a single sample, and up to 8,000,000 shots for a set of 40 different serum samples. Spectral attributes, such as number of peaks and spectral noise of such averaged spectra were investigated together with analytical reproducibility as a function of the number of shots. We confirmed that results were similar on MALDI instruments from different manufacturers.

Results

We observed an expected decrease of noise, roughly proportional to the square root of the number of shots, over the whole investigated range of the number of shots (5 orders of magnitude), resulting in an increase in the number of reliably detected peaks. The reproducibility of the amplitude of these peaks, measured by CV and concordance analysis also improves with very similar dependence on shot number, reaching median CVs below 2% for shot numbers > 4 million. Measures of analytical information content and association with biological processes increase with increasing number of shots.

Conclusions

We demonstrate that substantially increasing the number of laser shots in a MALDI-TOF analysis leads to more informative and reliable data on the protein content of unfractionated serum. This approach has already been used in the development of clinical tests in oncology.

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<![CDATA[Modified shape index for object-based random forest image classification of agricultural systems using airborne hyperspectral datasets]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acce5d5eed0c484990263

This paper highlights the importance of optimized shape index for agricultural management system analysis that utilizes the contiguous bands of hyperspectral data to define the gradient of the spectral curve and improve image classification accuracy. Currently, a number of machine learning methods would resort to using averaged spectral information over wide bandwidths resulting in loss of crucial information available in those contiguous bands. The loss of information could mean a drop in the discriminative power when it comes to land cover classes with comparable spectral responses, as in the case of cultivated fields versus fallow lands. In this study, we proposed and tested three new optimized novel algorithms based on Moment Distance Index (MDI) that characterizes the whole shape of the spectral curve. The image classification tests conducted on two publicly available hyperspectral data sets (AVIRIS 1992 Indian Pine and HYDICE Washington DC Mall images) showed the robustness of the optimized algorithms in terms of classification accuracy. We achieved an overall accuracy of 98% and 99% for AVIRIS and HYDICE, respectively. The optimized indices were also time efficient as it avoided the process of band dimension reduction, such as those implemented by several well-known classifiers. Our results showed the potential of optimized shape indices, specifically the Moment Distance Ratio Right/Left (MDRRL), to discriminate between types of tillage (corn-min and corn-notill) and between grass/pasture and grass/trees, tree and grass under object-based random forest approach.

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<![CDATA[Swainsonine, an alpha-mannosidase inhibitor, may worsen cervical cancer progression through the increase in myeloid derived suppressor cells population]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897787d5eed0c4847d2ef3

Cervical cancer, caused by high oncogenic risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection, continues to be a public health problem, mainly in developing countries. Using peptide phage display as a tool to identify potential molecular targets in HPV associated tumors, we identified α-mannosidase, among other enriched sequences. This enzyme is expressed in both tumor and inflammatory compartment of the tumor microenvironment. Several studies in experimental models have shown that its inhibition by swainsonine (SW) led to inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis directly and indirectly, through activation of macrophages and NK cells, promoting anti-tumor activity. Therefore, the aim of this work was to test if swainsonine treatment could modulate anti-tumor immune responses and therefore interfere in HPV associated tumor growth. Validation of our biopanning results showed that cervical tumors, both tumor cells and leukocytes, expressed α-mannosidase. Ex vivo experiments with tumor associated macrophages showed that SW could partially modulate macrophage phenotype, decreasing CCL2 secretion and impairing IL-10 and IL-6 upregulation, which prompted us to proceed to in vivo tests. However, in vivo, SW treatment increased tumor growth. Investigation of the mechanisms leading to this result showed that SW treatment significantly induced the accumulation of myeloid derived suppressor cells in the spleen of tumor bearing mice, which inhibited T cell activation. Our results suggested that SW contributes to cervical cancer progression by favoring proliferation and accumulation of myeloid cells in the spleen, thus exacerbating these tumors systemic effects on the immune system, therefore facilitating tumor growth.

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<![CDATA[Uncovering and resolving challenges of quantitative modeling in a simplified community of interacting cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c99020dd5eed0c484b97589

Quantitative modeling is useful for predicting behaviors of a system and for rationally constructing or modifying the system. The predictive power of a model relies on accurate quantification of model parameters. Here, we illustrate challenges in parameter quantification and offer means to overcome these challenges, using a case example in which we quantitatively predict the growth rate of a cooperative community. Specifically, the community consists of two Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, each engineered to release a metabolite required and consumed by its partner. The initial model, employing parameters measured in batch monocultures with zero or excess metabolite, failed to quantitatively predict experimental results. To resolve the model–experiment discrepancy, we chemically identified the correct exchanged metabolites, but this did not improve model performance. We then remeasured strain phenotypes in chemostats mimicking the metabolite-limited community environments, while mitigating or incorporating effects of rapid evolution. Almost all phenotypes we measured, including death rate, metabolite release rate, and the amount of metabolite consumed per cell birth, varied significantly with the metabolite environment. Once we used parameters measured in a range of community-like chemostat environments, prediction quantitatively agreed with experimental results. In summary, using a simplified community, we uncovered and devised means to resolve modeling challenges that are likely general to living systems.

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<![CDATA[An antibody-free sample pretreatment method for osteopontin combined with MALDI-TOF MS/MS analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c990284d5eed0c484b9802d

Osteopontin is an osteoblast-secreted protein with an aspartic acid-rich, highly phosphorylated, and glycosylated structure. Osteopontin can easily bind to integrins, tumor cells, extracellular matrix and calcium, and is related to bone diseases, various cancers, inflammation etc. Here, DEAE-Cibacron blue 3GA was used to extract recombinant osteopontin from human plasma, and to deplete abundant plasma proteins with an antibody-free method. Using selected buffer systems, osteopontin and human serum albumin could be bound to DEAE-Cibacron blue 3GA, while immunoglobulin G was excluded. The bound osteopontin could then be separated from albumin by using different sequential elution buffers. By this method, 1 μg/mL recombinant osteopontin could be separated from the major part of the most abundant proteins in human plasma. After trypsin digestion, the extracted osteopontin could be successfully detected and identified by MALDI-TOF MS/MS using the m/z 1854.898 peptide and its fragments.

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<![CDATA[Bioconversion of fructus sophorae into 5,7,8,4’-tetrahydroxyis oflavone with Aspergillus aculeatus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897726d5eed0c4847d2578

A fungus identified as Aspergillus aculeatus was used to biotransform genistein and glycosides to polyhydroxylated isoflavones. The strain was identified on the basis of colony morphology features and ITS rDNA sequence analysis. Phylogenetic tree was constructed to determine its taxonomic status. Genistein and glycosides were transformed by Aspergillus aculeatus to 5,7,8,4’- tetrahydroxyisoflavone. The chemical structure of the product was identified by high performance liquid chromatography(HPLC), liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry(LC/MS), Infrared spectroscopy (IR) and NMR spectrometer methods. The ITS rDNA sequence of the strain had 100% similarity with Aspergillus. Furthermore, it was ultimately identified as Aspergillus aculeatus. The metabolite of genistein and glycosides was identified as 5,7,8,4’-tetrahydroxyisoflavone. 120 mg 5,7,8,4’-tetrahydroxyisoflavone was made from 20 g fructus sophorae, which was bioconverted unconditionally by Aspergillus aculeatus for 96 h, and the purity was 96%. On the basis of the findings, Aspergillus aculeatus was a novel strain with specific ability to convert genistein and glycosides into 5,7,8,4’-tetrahydroxyisoflavone which had potential applications.

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<![CDATA[Association between sublingual microcirculation, tissue perfusion and organ failure in major trauma: A subgroup analysis of a prospective observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823c2d5eed0c484638f67

Introduction

Previous studies described impaired microvascular perfusion and tissue oxygenation as reliable predictors of Multiple Organ Failure in major trauma. However, this relationship has been incompletely investigated. The objective of this analysis is to further evaluate the association between organ dysfunction and microcirculation after trauma.

Materials and methods

This is a retrospective subgroup analysis on 28 trauma patients enrolled for the Microcirculation DAIly MONitoring in critically ill patients study (NCT 02649088). Patients were divided in two groups according with their Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score at day 4. At admission and every 24 hours, the sublingual microcirculation was evaluated with Sidestream Darkfield Imaging (SDF) and peripheral tissue perfusion was assessed with Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) and Vascular Occlusion Test (VOT). Simultaneously, hemodynamic, clinical/laboratory parameters and main organ supports were collected.

Results

Median SOFA score at Day 4 was 6.5. Accordingly, patients were divided in two groups: D4-SOFA ≤6.5 and D4-SOFA >6.5. The Length of Stay in Intensive Care was significantly higher in patients with D4-SOFA>6.5 compared to D4-SOFA≤6.5 (p = 0.013). Total Vessel Density of small vessels was significantly lower in patients with high D4-SOFA score at Day 1 (p = 0.002) and Day 2 (p = 0.006) after admission; the Perfused Vessel Density was lower in patients with high D4-SOFA score at Day 1 (p = 0.007) and Day 2 (p = 0.033). At Day 1, NIRS monitoring with VOT showed significantly faster tissue oxygen saturation downslope (p = 0.018) and slower upslope (p = 0.04) in patients with high D4-SOFA.

Discussion

In our cohort of major traumas, sublingual microcirculation and peripheral microvascular reactivity were significantly more impaired early after trauma in those patients who developed more severe organ dysfunctions. Our data would support the hypothesis that restoration of macrocirculation can be dissociated from restoration of peripheral and tissue perfusion, and that microvascular alterations can be associated with organ failure.

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<![CDATA[Quantitation of 5-methyltetraydrofolic acid in plasma for determination of folate status and clinical studies by stable isotope dilution assays]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c785012d5eed0c484007c22

Folates play a key role in the prevention of neural tube defects in newborns. Thus, it is important to reliably determine the bioavailability of folates from various foods. Accurate analytical methods are essential for quantifying blood-folates, especially in human studies. Here, we present the development and validation of a sensitive method using stable isotope dilution liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry for determining various folates in plasma. Moreover, this study reports the applicability of the developed method to a human pilot study using strawberries as a test food. Validation of the assay revealed the precision, sensitivity, and accuracy of the method in determining the predominant 5-methyltetrahydrofolate in plasma. This method was also applicable for the screening of individual folate status using finger prick blood and for monitoring the post-absorptive plasma-concentration curve. Moreover, the human study revealed a high recovery of strawberry folates with a calculated relative bioavailability of 96.2%. Thus, the developed method enables prospective bioavailability studies. This work also confirmed, via human studies, that strawberries are a rich and natural source of folates that are available for human metabolism.

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<![CDATA[Detailed characterization of the solution kinetics and thermodynamics of biotin, biocytin and HABA binding to avidin and streptavidin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c818e96d5eed0c484cc260a

The high affinity (KD ~ 10−15 M) of biotin for avidin and streptavidin is the essential component in a multitude of bioassays with many experiments using biotin modifications to invoke coupling. Equilibration times suggested for these assays assume that the association rate constant (kon) is approximately diffusion limited (109 M-1s-1) but recent single molecule and surface binding studies indicate that they are slower than expected (105 to 107 M-1s-1). In this study, we asked whether these reactions in solution are diffusion controlled, which reaction model and thermodynamic cycle describes the complex formation, and if there are any functional differences between avidin and streptavidin. We have studied the biotin association by two stopped-flow methodologies using labeled and unlabeled probes: I) fluorescent probes attached to biotin and biocytin; and II) unlabeled biotin and HABA, 2-(4’-hydroxyazobenzene)-benzoic acid. Both native avidin and streptavidin are homo-tetrameric and the association data show no cooperativity between the binding sites. The kon values of streptavidin are faster than avidin but slower than expected for a diffusion limited reaction in both complexes. Moreover, the Arrhenius plots of the kon values revealed strong temperature dependence with large activation energies (6–15 kcal/mol) that do not correspond to a diffusion limited process (3–4 kcal/mol). Accordingly, we propose a simple reaction model with a single transition state for non-immobilized reactants whose forward thermodynamic parameters complete the thermodynamic cycle, in agreement with previously reported studies. Our new understanding and description of the kinetics, thermodynamics, and spectroscopic parameters for these complexes will help to improve purification efficiencies, molecule detection, and drug screening assays or find new applications.

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<![CDATA[Identification of French Guiana sand flies using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry with a new mass spectra library]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df366d5eed0c48458120f

Phlebotomine sand flies are insects that are highly relevant in medicine, particularly as the sole proven vectors of leishmaniasis. Accurate identification of sand fly species is an essential prerequisite for eco-epidemiological studies aiming to better understand the disease. Traditional morphological identification is painstaking and time-consuming, and molecular methods for extensive screening remain expensive. Recent studies have shown that matrix-assisted laser desorption and ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is a promising tool for rapid and cost-effective identification of arthropod vectors, including sand flies. The aim of this study was to validate the use of MALDI-TOF MS for the identification of Northern Amazonian sand flies. We constituted a MALDI-TOF MS reference database comprising 29 species of sand flies that were field-collected in French Guiana, which are expected to cover many of the more common species of the Northern Amazonian region, including known vectors of leishmaniasis. Carrying out a blind test, all the sand flies tested (n = 157) with a log (score) threshold greater than 1.7 were correctly identified at the species level. We confirmed that MALDI-TOF MS protein profiling is a useful tool for the study of sand flies, including neotropical species, known for their great diversity. An application that includes the spectra generated here will be available to the scientific community in the near future via an online platform.

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<![CDATA[TRIM2, a novel member of the antiviral family, limits New World arenavirus entry]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d3dd5eed0c484c82342

Tripartite motif (TRIM) proteins belong to a large family with many roles in host biology, including restricting virus infection. Here, we found that TRIM2, which has been implicated in cases of Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease (CMTD) in humans, acts by blocking hemorrhagic fever New World arenavirus (NWA) entry into cells. We show that Trim2-knockout mice, as well as primary fibroblasts from a CMTD patient with mutations in TRIM2, are more highly infected by the NWAs Junín and Tacaribe virus than wild-type mice or cells are. Using mice with different Trim2 gene deletions and TRIM2 mutant constructs, we demonstrate that its antiviral activity is uniquely independent of the RING domain encoding ubiquitin ligase activity. Finally, we show that one member of the TRIM2 interactome, signal regulatory protein α (SIRPA), a known inhibitor of phagocytosis, also restricts NWA infection and conversely that TRIM2 limits phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. In addition to demonstrating a novel antiviral mechanism for TRIM proteins, these studies suggest that the NWA entry and phagocytosis pathways overlap.

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