Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its receptor (c-Met) are associated with cancer cell motility and invasiveness. p21-activated kinase 4 (PAK4), a potential therapeutic target, is recruited to and activated by c-Met. In response, PAK4 phosphorylates LIM kinase 1 (LIMK1) in an HGF-dependent manner in metastatic prostate carcinoma cells. PAK4 overexpression is known to induce increased cell migration speed but the requirement for kinase activity has not been established. We have used a panel of PAK4 truncations and mutations in a combination of over-expression and RNAi rescue experiments to determine the requirement for PAK4 kinase activity during carcinoma cell motility downstream of HGF. We find that neither the kinase domain alone nor a PAK4 mutant unable to bind Cdc42 is able to fully rescue cell motility in a PAK4-deficient background. Nevertheless, we find that PAK4 kinase activity and associated LIMK1 activity are essential for carcinoma cell motility, highlighting PAK4 as a potential anti-metastatic therapeutic target. We also show here that overexpression of PAK4 harboring a somatic mutation, E329K, increased the HGF-driven motility of metastatic prostate carcinoma cells. E329 lies within the G-loop region of the kinase. Our data suggest E329K mutation leads to a modest increase in kinase activity conferring resistance to competitive ATP inhibitors in addition to promoting cell migration. The existence of such a mutation may have implications for the development of PAK4-specific competitive ATP inhibitors should PAK4 be further explored for clinical inhibition.
Chronic widespread pain (CWP) is a common disorder affecting ~10% of the general population and has an estimated heritability of 48-52%. In the first large-scale genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analysis, we aimed to identify common genetic variants associated with CWP.
We conducted a GWAS meta-analysis in 1,308 female CWP cases and 5,791 controls of European descent, and replicated the effects of the genetic variants with suggestive evidence for association in 1,480 CWP cases and 7,989 controls (P<1×10−5). Subsequently, we studied gene expression levels of the nearest genes in two chronic inflammatory pain mouse models, and examined 92 genetic variants previously described associated with pain.
The minor C-allele of rs13361160 on chromosome 5p15.2, located upstream of CCT5 and downstream of FAM173B, was found to be associated with a 30% higher risk of CWP (MAF=43%; OR=1.30, 95%CI=1.19-1.42, P=1.2×10−8). Combined with the replication, we observed a slightly attenuated OR of 1.17 (95%CI=1.10-1.24, P=4.7×10−7) with moderate heterogeneity (I2=28.4%). However, in a sensitivity analysis that only allowed studies with joint-specific pain, the combined association was genome-wide significant (OR=1.23, 95%CI=1.14-1.32, P=3.4×10−8, I2=0%). Expression levels of Cct5 and Fam173b in mice with inflammatory pain were higher in the lumbar spinal cord, not in the lumbar dorsal root ganglions, compared to mice without pain. None of the 92 genetic variants previously described were significantly associated with pain (P>7.7×10−4).
We identified a common genetic variant on chromosome 5p15.2 associated with joint-specific CWP in humans. This work suggests that CCT5 and FAM173B are promising targets in the regulation of pain.
Gene Polymorphism; Fibromyalgia/Pain Syndromes; Epidemiology
The spatial distribution of signals downstream from receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) or G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) regulates fundamental cellular processes that control cell migration and growth. Both pathways rely significantly on actin cytoskeleton reorganization mediated by nucleation-promoting factors such as the WASP-(Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein) family. WIP (WASP Interacting Protein) is essential for the formation of a class of polarised actin microdomain, namely dorsal ruffles, downstream of the RTK for PDGF (platelet-derived growth factor) but the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Using lentivirally-reconstituted WIP-deficient murine fibroblasts we define the requirement for WIP interaction with N-WASP (neural WASP) and Nck for efficient dorsal ruffle formation and of WIP-Nck binding for fibroblast chemotaxis towards PDGF-AA. The formation of both circular dorsal ruffles in PDGF-AA-stimulated primary fibroblasts and lamellipodia in CXCL13-treated B lymphocytes are also compromised by WIP-deficiency. We provide data to show that a WIP-Nck signalling complex interacts with RTK to promote polarised actin remodelling in fibroblasts and provide the first evidence for WIP involvement in the control of migratory persistence in both mesenchymal (fibroblast) and amoeboid (B lymphocytes) motility.
The rapid advancement of electromyography (EMG) technology facilitates measurement of muscle activity outside the laboratory during daily life. The purpose of this study was to determine whether bursts in EMG recorded over a typical 8-hour day differed between young and old males and females. Muscle activity was recorded from biceps brachii, triceps brachii, vastus lateralis, and biceps femoris of 16 young and 15 old adults using portable surface EMG. Old muscles were active 16–27% of the time compared to 5–9% in young muscles. The number of bursts was greater in old than young adults and in females compared to males. Burst percentage and mean amplitude were greater in the flexor muscles compared with the extensor muscles. The greater burst activity in old adults coupled with the unique activity patterns across muscles in males and females provides further understanding of how changes in neuromuscular activity effects age-related functional decline between the sexes.
A trade-off between the sensory modalities of vision and hearing is likely to have occurred in echolocating bats as the sophisticated mechanism of laryngeal echolocation requires considerable neural processing and has reduced the reliance of echolocating bats on vision for perceiving the environment. If such a trade-off exists, it is reasonable to hypothesize that some genes involved in visual function may have undergone relaxed selection or even functional loss in echolocating bats. The Gap junction protein, alpha 10 (Gja10, encoded by Gja10 gene) is expressed abundantly in mammal retinal horizontal cells and plays an important role in horizontal cell coupling. The interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (Irbp, encoded by the Rbp3 gene) is mainly expressed in interphotoreceptor matrix and is known to be critical for normal functioning of the visual cycle. We sequenced Gja10 and Rbp3 genes in a taxonomically wide range of bats with divergent auditory characteristics (35 and 18 species for Gja10 and Rbp3, respectively). Both genes have became pseudogenes in species from the families Hipposideridae and Rhinolophidae that emit constant frequency echolocation calls with Doppler shift compensation at high-duty-cycles (the most sophisticated form of biosonar known), and in some bat species that emit echolocation calls at low-duty-cycles. Our study thus provides further evidence for the hypothesis that a trade-off occurs at the genetic level between vision and echolocation in bats.
Great advances have been made recently in understanding the genetic basis of the sensory biology of bats. Research has focused on the molecular evolution of candidate sensory genes, genes with known functions [e.g., olfactory receptor (OR) genes] and genes identified from mutations associated with sensory deficits (e.g., blindness and deafness). For example, the FoxP2 gene, underpinning vocal behavior and sensorimotor coordination, has undergone diversification in bats, while several genes associated with audition show parallel amino acid substitutions in unrelated lineages of echolocating bats and, in some cases, in echolocating dolphins, representing a classic case of convergent molecular evolution. Vision genes encoding the photopigments rhodopsin and the long-wave sensitive opsin are functional in bats, while that encoding the short-wave sensitive opsin has lost functionality in rhinolophoid bats using high-duty cycle laryngeal echolocation, suggesting a sensory trade-off between investment in vision and echolocation. In terms of olfaction, bats appear to have a distinctive OR repertoire compared with other mammals, and a gene involved in signal transduction in the vomeronasal system has become non-functional in most bat species. Bitter taste receptors appear to have undergone a “birth-and death” evolution involving extensive gene duplication and loss, unlike genes coding for sweet and umami tastes that show conservation across most lineages but loss in vampire bats. Common vampire bats have also undergone adaptations for thermoperception, via alternative splicing resulting in the evolution of a novel heat-sensitive channel. The future for understanding the molecular basis of sensory biology is promising, with great potential for comparative genomic analyses, studies on gene regulation and expression, exploration of the role of alternative splicing in the generation of proteomic diversity, and linking genetic mechanisms to behavioral consequences.
echolocation; hearing; vision; olfaction; taste; perception
Fungal pathogens elicit cytokine responses downstream of immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM)-coupled or hemiITAM-containing receptors and TLRs. The Linker for Activation of B cells/Non-T cell Activating Linker (LAB/NTAL) encoded by Lat2, is a known regulator of ITAM-coupled receptors and TLR-associated cytokine responses. Here we demonstrate that LAB is involved in anti-fungal immunity. We show that Lat2−/− mice are more susceptible to C. albicans infection than wild type (WT) mice. Dendritic cells (DCs) express LAB and we show that it is basally phosphorylated by the growth factor M-CSF or following engagement of Dectin-2, but not Dectin-1. Our data revealed a unique mechanism whereby LAB controls basal and fungal/pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMP)-induced nuclear β-catenin levels. This in turn is important for controlling fungal/PAMP-induced cytokine production in DCs. C. albicans- and LPS-induced IL-12 and IL-23 production was blunted in Lat2−/− DCs. Accordingly, Lat2−/− DCs directed reduced Th1 polarization in vitro and Lat2−/− mice displayed reduced Natural Killer (NK) and T cell-mediated IFN-γ production in vivo/ex vivo. Thus our data define a novel link between LAB and β-catenin nuclear accumulation in DCs that facilitates IFN-γ responses during anti-fungal immunity. In addition, these findings are likely to be relevant to other infectious diseases that require IL-12 family cytokines and an IFN-γ response for pathogen clearance.
Fungal infections are a major healthcare problem and the incidence of fungal infections has increased significantly in recent years. Mortality rates are high even with treatment, highlighting the need for a better understanding of anti-fungal immunity in order to develop improved therapies. Adaptive T-helper 1 and T-helper 17 (Th1 and Th17) responses are important mediators of anti-fungal immunity. Dendritic cells express Dectin-1, Dectin-2 and Toll-like receptors, which interact with fungal pathogens to induce these adaptive immune responses. Here we identify LAB as an important facilitator of IFN-γ production by regulating β-catenin activation. Susceptibility to fungal infections is increased in the absence of LAB, in association with reduced IFN-γ production. β-catenin activation in dendritic cells inhibits the IL-12 production required for IFN-γ production. Thus targeting β-catenin therapeutically could help to promote efficient IFN-γ production in patients suffering from fungal infections. These findings are important for fungal infections and potentially for other diseases where IFN-γ production is important for disease outcome.
Kidney transplantation is the best treatment for patients with end-stage renal failure, but uncertainty remains about the best immunosuppression strategy. Long-term graft survival has not improved substantially, and one possible explanation is calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) nephrotoxicity. CNI exposure could be minimized by using more potent induction therapy or alternative maintenance therapy to remove CNIs completely. However, the safety and efficacy of such strategies are unknown.
The Campath, Calcineurin inhibitor reduction and Chronic allograft nephropathy (3C) Study is a multicentre, open-label, randomized controlled trial with 852 participants which is addressing two important questions in kidney transplantation. The first question is whether a Campath (alemtuzumab)-based induction therapy strategy is superior to basiliximab-based therapy, and the second is whether, from 6 months after transplantation, a sirolimus-based maintenance therapy strategy is superior to tacrolimus-based therapy. Recruitment is complete, and follow-up will continue for around 5 years post-transplant. The primary endpoint for the induction therapy comparison is biopsy-proven acute rejection by 6 months, and the primary endpoint for the maintenance therapy comparison is change in estimated glomerular filtration rate from baseline to 2 years after transplantation. The study is sponsored by the University of Oxford and endorsed by the British Transplantation Society, and 18 centers for adult kidney transplant are participating.
Late graft failure is a major issue for kidney-transplant recipients. If our hypothesis that minimizing CNI exposure with Campath-based induction therapy and/or an elective conversion to sirolimus-based maintenance therapy can improve long-term graft function and survival is correct, then patients should experience better graft function for longer. A positive outcome could change clinical practice in kidney transplantation.
ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01120028 and ISRCTN88894088
Kidney transplantation; Alemtuzumab; Campath; Sirolimus; Randomized controlled trial; Basiliximab; Tacrolimus
Myosin VI (encoded by the Myo6 gene) is highly expressed in the inner and outer hair cells of the ear, retina, and polarized epithelial cells such as kidney proximal tubule cells and intestinal enterocytes. The Myo6 gene is thought to be involved in a wide range of physiological functions such as hearing, vision, and clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Bats (Chiroptera) represent one of the most fascinating mammal groups for molecular evolutionary studies of the Myo6 gene. A diversity of specialized adaptations occur among different bat lineages, such as echolocation and associated high-frequency hearing in laryngeal echolocating bats, large eyes and a strong dependence on vision in Old World fruit bats (Pteropodidae), and specialized high-carbohydrate but low-nitrogen diets in both Old World and New World fruit bats (Phyllostomidae). To investigate what role(s) the Myo6 gene might fulfill in bats, we sequenced the coding region of the Myo6 gene in 15 bat species and used molecular evolutionary analyses to detect evidence of positive selection in different bat lineages. We also conducted real-time PCR assays to explore the expression levels of Myo6 in a range of tissues from three representative bat species. Molecular evolutionary analyses revealed that the Myo6 gene, which was widely considered as a hearing gene, has undergone adaptive evolution in the Old World fruit bats which lack laryngeal echolocation and associated high-frequency hearing. Real-time PCR showed the highest expression level of the Myo6 gene in the kidney among ten tissues examined in three bat species, indicating an important role for this gene in kidney function. We suggest that Myo6 has undergone adaptive evolution in Old World fruit bats in relation to receptor-mediated endocytosis for the preservation of protein and essential nutrients.
Managing natural resources often depends on influencing people's behaviour, however effectively targeting interventions to discourage environmentally harmful behaviours is challenging because those involved may be unwilling to identify themselves. Non-sensitive indicators of sensitive behaviours are therefore needed. Previous studies have investigated people's attitudes, assuming attitudes reflect behaviour. There has also been interest in using people's estimates of the proportion of their peers involved in sensitive behaviours to identify those involved, since people tend to assume that others behave like themselves. However, there has been little attempt to test the potential of such indicators. We use the randomized response technique (RRT), designed for investigating sensitive behaviours, to estimate the proportion of farmers in north-eastern South Africa killing carnivores, and use a modified logistic regression model to explore relationships between our best estimates of true behaviour (from RRT) and our proposed non-sensitive indicators (including farmers' attitudes, and estimates of peer-behaviour). Farmers' attitudes towards carnivores, question sensitivity and estimates of peers' behaviour, predict the likelihood of farmers killing carnivores. Attitude and estimates of peer-behaviour are useful indicators of involvement in illicit behaviours and may be used to identify groups of people to engage in interventions aimed at changing behaviour.
leopard; randomized response technique; attitude; brown hyaena; illegal; false consensus effect
Macrophage migration and infiltration is an important first step in many pathophysiological processes, in particular inflammatory diseases. Redox modulation of the migratory signalling processes has been reported in endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts. However the redox modulation of the migratory process in macrophages and in particular that from the NADPH oxidase-2 (Nox2) dependent ROS has not been established. To investigate the potential role of Nox2 in the migratory response of macrophages, bone marrow derived macrophages were obtained from WT and NOX2 knockout mice (Nox2KO) and subjected to CSF-1 stimulation. We report here that loss of Nox2 expression in BMM resulted in a significant reduction in the CSF-1 induced spreading response suggesting that Nox2 can modulate cytoskeletal events. Moreover, Nox2KO BMMs were deficient in cellular displacement in the presence of CSF-1. More significantly, when challenged with a gradient of CSF-1, Nox2KO BMMs showed a complete loss of chemotaxis accompanied by a reduction in cell migration speed and directional migration persistence. These results point to a specific role for Nox2KO downstream of CSF-1 during the BMM migratory response. Indeed, we have further found that Nox2KO BMMs display a significant reduction in the levels of ERK1/2 phosphorylation following stimulation with CSF-1.Thus Nox2 is important in BMM cellular motion to CSF-1 stimulation and necessary for their directed migration towards a CSF-1 gradient, highlighting Nox2 dependent signalling as a potential anti-inflammatory target.
En route to the neocortex, interneurons migrate around and avoid the developing striatum. This is due to the chemorepulsive cues of class 3 semaphorins (Sema3A and Sema3F) acting through neuropilin and plexin co-receptors expressed in interneurons. In a recent genetic screen aimed at identifying novel components that may play a role in interneuron migration, we identified LIM-kinase 2 (Limk2), a kinase previously shown to be involved in cell movement and in Sema7A-PlexinC1 signalling. Here we show that Limk2 is differentially expressed in interneurons, with a higher expression in the subpallium compared to cortex, suggesting it may play a role in their migration through the subpallium. Chemotactic assays, carried out with small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), revealed that Limk2-siRNA transfected interneurons are less responsive to Sema3A, but respond to Sema3F. Lack of responsiveness to Sema3A resulted in their aberrant invasion of the developing striatum, as demonstrated in brain slice preparations and in in utero electroporated mouse embryos with the same siRNAs. Our results reveal a previously unknown role for Limk2 in interneuron migration and Sema3A signalling.
Limk2; Interneuron; Migration
Tuberculosis is a major human and animal disease of major importance worldwide. Genetically, the closely related strains within the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex which cause disease are well-characterized but there is an urgent need better to understand their phenotypes. To search rapidly for metabolic differences, a working method using Biolog Phenotype MicroArray analysis was developed. Of 380 substrates surveyed, 71 permitted tetrazolium dye reduction, the readout over 7 days in the method. By looking for ≥5-fold differences in dye reduction, 12 substrates differentiated M. tuberculosis H37Rv and Mycobacterium bovis AF2122/97. H37Rv and a Beijing strain of M. tuberculosis could also be distinguished in this way, as could field strains of M. bovis; even pairs of strains within one spoligotype could be distinguished by 2 to 3 substrates. Cluster analysis gave three clear groups: H37Rv, Beijing, and all the M. bovis strains. The substrates used agreed well with prior knowledge, though an unexpected finding that AF2122/97 gave greater dye reduction than H37Rv with hexoses was investigated further, in culture flasks, revealing that hexoses and Tween 80 were synergistic for growth and used simultaneously rather than in a diauxic fashion. Potential new substrates for growth media were revealed, too, most promisingly N-acetyl glucosamine. Osmotic and pH arrays divided the mycobacteria into two groups with different salt tolerance, though in contrast to the substrate arrays the groups did not entirely correlate with taxonomic differences. More interestingly, these arrays suggested differences between the amines used by the M. tuberculosis complex and enteric bacteria in acid tolerance, with some hydrophobic amino acids being highly effective. In contrast, γ-aminobutyrate, used in the enteric bacteria, had no effect in the mycobacteria. This study proved principle that Phenotype MicroArrays can be used with slow-growing pathogenic mycobacteria and already has generated interesting data worthy of further investigation.
Novosphingobium nitrogenifigens Y88T (Y88) is a free-living, diazotrophic Alphaproteobacterium, capable of producing 80% of its biomass as the biopolymer polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB). We explored the potential utility of this species as a polyhydroxybutyrate production strain, correlating the effects of glucose, nitrogen availability, dissolved oxygen concentration, and extracellular pH with polyhydroxybutyrate production and changes in the Y88 proteomic profile. Using two-dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis and tandem mass spectrometry, we identified 217 unique proteins from six growth conditions. We observed reproducible, characteristic proteomic signatures for each of the physiological states we examined. We identified proteins that changed in abundance in correlation with either nitrogen fixation, dissolved oxygen concentration, or acidification of the growth medium. The proteins that correlated with nitrogen fixation were identified either as known nitrogen fixation proteins or as novel proteins that we predict play roles in aspects of nitrogen fixation based on their proteomic profiles. In contrast, the proteins involved in central carbon and polyhydroxybutyrate metabolism were constitutively abundant, consistent with the constitutive polyhydroxybutyrate production that we observed in this species. Three proteins with roles in detoxification of reactive oxygen species were identified in this obligate aerobe. The most abundant protein in all experiments was a polyhydroxyalkanoate granule-associated protein, phasin. The full-length isoform of this protein has a long, intrinsically disordered Ala/Pro/Lys-rich N-terminal segment, a feature that appears to be unique to sphingomonad phasins. The data suggest that Y88 has potential as a PHB production strain due to its aerobic tolerance and metabolic orientation toward polyhydroxybutyrate accumulation, even in low-nitrogen growth medium.
After transendothelial cell migration, neutrophils actively crawl along pericyte processes before exiting the venular wall via selected gaps between adjacent pericytes.
Neutrophil transmigration through venular walls that are composed of endothelial cells (ECs), pericytes, and the venular basement membrane is a key component of innate immunity. Through direct analysis of leukocyte–pericyte interactions in inflamed tissues using confocal intravital microscopy, we show how pericytes facilitate transmigration in vivo. After EC migration, neutrophils crawl along pericyte processes to gaps between adjacent pericytes in an ICAM-1–, Mac-1–, and LFA-1–dependent manner. These gaps were enlarged in inflamed tissues through pericyte shape change and were used as exit points by neutrophils in breaching the venular wall. The findings identify previously unknown roles for pericytes in neutrophil transmigration in vivo and add additional steps to the leukocyte adhesion cascade that supports leukocyte trafficking into sites of inflammation.
To define the causes of hypokalaemia in an unselected adult population.
Retrospective survey of biochemistry database.
District general hospital in southwest Scotland.
Participants and main outcome measures
There were 187,704 measurements of urea and electrolytes in 2010. Sixty-one patients had serum potassium <2.5 mmol/L on at least one occasion.
Average age of the patients was 71 (range 33–99) years. The most common causes were diarrhoea and/or vomiting (51% of cases), diuretic therapy (47%), nutritional causes including poor dietary intake, re-feeding syndrome and inadequate potassium supplementation when patients were nil by mouth (37%). In 25% of patients a transient and profound fall in serum potassium appeared to coincide with their acute illness. Acute alcohol intoxication and/or alcohol withdrawal were prominent features in 11% of patients. More than one cause was commonly present. There were no cases of Bartter's, Gitelman's or Liddle's syndromes or of hypokalaemic periodic paralysis in this study.
Severe hypokalaemia <2.5 mmol/L occurs at least once a week in a district general hospital with a catchment population of around 150,000, suggesting there may be around 300 cases a week in the UK (population around 50,000,000). Diuretics, vomiting and diarrhoea are commonly implicated as are nutritional causes, acute illness and alcohol. Bartter's, Gitelman's, Liddle's syndrome and hypokalaemic period paralysis are all extremely uncommon.
N-linked glycosylation of protein is a posttranslational modification found in all three domains of life. The flagellin proteins of the archaeon Methanococcus maripaludis are known to be modified with an N-linked tetrasaccharide consisting of N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc), a diacetylated glucuronic acid (GlcNAc3NAc), an acetylated and acetamidino-modified mannuronic acid with a substituted threonine group (ManNAc3NAmA6Thr), and a novel terminal sugar residue [(5S)-2-acetamido-2,4-dideoxy-5-O-methyl-α-l-erythro-hexos-5-ulo-1,5-pyranose]. To identify genes involved in biosynthesis of the component sugars of this glycan, three genes, mmp1081, mmp1082, and mmp1083, were targeted for in-frame deletion, based on their annotation and proximity to glycosyltransferase genes known to be involved in assembly of the glycan. Mutants carrying a deletion in any of these three genes remained flagellated and motile. A strain with a deletion of mmp1081 had lower-molecular-mass flagellins in Western blots. Mass spectrometry of purified flagella revealed a truncated glycan with the terminal sugar absent and the threonine residue and the acetamidino group missing from the third sugar. No glycan modification was seen in either the Δmmp1082 or Δmmp1083 mutant grown in complex Balch III medium. However, a glycan identical to the Δmmp1081 glycan was observed when the Δmmp1082 or Δmmp1083 mutant was grown under ammonia-limited conditions. We hypothesize that MMP1082 generates ammonia and tunnels it through MMP1083 to MMP1081, which acts as the amidotransferase, modifying the third sugar residue of the M. maripaludis glycan with the acetamidino group.
Low back pain is a common musculoskeletal disorder defined as pain and soreness, muscle tension, or stiffness in the lumbosacral area of the spine which does not have a specific cause. Low back pain results in high health costs and incapacity to work causing an economic burden to society. The optimal management of non-specific low back pain appears to be undecided. Recently published guidelines support the use of acupuncture for treating non-specific low back pain and it has become a popular alternative treatment modality for patients with low back pain.
A comprehensive systematic literature search was conducted through Medline using Ovid and Medical Subject Headings for randomized controlled trials published in the last 10 years. The outcomes scored were subjective pain scores and functional outcome scores.
Eighty two randomized studies were identified, of which 7 met our inclusion criteria. Three studies found a significant difference in pain scores when comparing acupuncture, or sham acupuncture, with conventional therapy or no care. Two studies demonstrated a significant difference between acupuncture treatment and no treatment or routine care at 8 weeks and 3 months. Three studies demonstrated no significant difference between acupuncture and minimal/sham acupuncture with no difference in pain relief or function over 6 to 12 months.
This review provides some evidence to support acupuncture as more effective than no treatment, but no conclusions can be drawn about its effectiveness over other treatment modalities as the evidence is conflicting.
Bats face a great risk of dehydration, so sensory mechanisms for water recognition are crucial for their survival. In the laboratory, bats recognized any smooth horizontal surface as water because these provide analogous reflections of echolocation calls. We tested whether bats also approach smooth horizontal surfaces other than water to drink in nature by partly covering watering troughs used by hundreds of bats with a Perspex layer mimicking water. We aimed 1) to confirm that under natural conditions too bats mistake any horizontal smooth surface for water by testing this on large numbers of individuals from a range of species and 2) to assess the occurrence of learning effects. Eleven bat species mistook Perspex for water relying chiefly on echoacoustic information. Using black instead of transparent Perspex did not deter bats from attempting to drink. In Barbastella barbastellus no echolocation differences occurred between bats approaching the water and the Perspex surfaces respectively, confirming that bats perceive water and Perspex to be acoustically similar. The drinking attempt rates at the fake surface were often lower than those recorded in the laboratory: bats then either left the site or moved to the control water surface. This suggests that bats modified their behaviour as soon as the lack of drinking reward had overridden the influence of echoacoustic information. Regardless of which of two adjoining surfaces was covered, bats preferentially approached and attempted to drink from the first surface encountered, probably because they followed a common route, involving spatial memory and perhaps social coordination. Overall, although acoustic recognition itself is stereotyped and its importance in the drinking process overwhelming, our findings point at the role of experience in increasing behavioural flexibility under natural conditions.
A peptide cocktail derived from the mycobacterial antigens ESAT-6, CFP-10, and Rv3615c allowed differentiation between Mycobacterium bovis-infected and M. bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)-vaccinated cattle when used as a skin test reagent for a “DIVA” test (i.e., a test capable of differentiating infected and uninfected vaccinated animals). Addition of the antigen Rv3020c improves the diagnostic sensitivity without compromising specificity in the face of BCG or Johne's disease vaccination.
Genetic analyses in zebrafish identify a novel physical signaling mechanism that drives formation of invadopodia-like structures and promotes cell invasion in vivo.
The signals that initiate cell invasion are not well understood, but there is increasing evidence that extracellular physical signals play an important role. Here we show that epithelial cell invasion in the intestine of zebrafish meltdown (mlt) mutants arises in response to unregulated contractile tone in the surrounding smooth muscle cell layer. Physical signaling in mlt drives formation of membrane protrusions within the epithelium that resemble invadopodia, matrix-degrading protrusions present in invasive cancer cells. Knockdown of Tks5, a Src substrate that is required for invadopodia formation in mammalian cells blocked formation of the protrusions and rescued invasion in mlt. Activation of Src-signaling induced invadopodia-like protrusions in wild type epithelial cells, however the cells did not migrate into the tissue stroma, thus indicating that the protrusions were required but not sufficient for invasion in this in vivo model. Transcriptional profiling experiments showed that genes responsive to reactive oxygen species (ROS) were upregulated in mlt larvae. ROS generators induced invadopodia-like protrusions and invasion in heterozygous mlt larvae but had no effect in wild type larvae. Co-activation of oncogenic Ras and Wnt signaling enhanced the responsiveness of mlt heterozygotes to the ROS generators. These findings present the first direct evidence that invadopodia play a role in tissue cell invasion in vivo. In addition, they identify an inducible physical signaling pathway sensitive to redox and oncogenic signaling that can drive this process.
The epithelial cells lining the digestive tract are separated from the connective tissue stroma by a thin layer of extracellular matrix called the basement membrane. During cell invasion, as occurs during cancer metastasis, epithelial cells breach the basement membrane and invade the tissue stroma. The proteases used by invasive cells to degrade basement membrane in vitro are localized in specialized plasma membrane protrusions known as invadopodia. It is not known, however, whether invadopodia are required for cell invasion in vivo or what triggers their formation. Here, we show that epithelial cells in the intestine of the zebrafish mutant meltdown form invadopodia-like protrusions and invade the tissue stroma in response to unregulated contractile tone in the surrounding smooth muscle layer. The invadopodia-like protrusions that form in response to this physical signal are required for epithelial cell invasion in this in vivo model, and they can be induced when unregulated smooth muscle contraction is induced by oxidative stress. These findings provide the first direct evidence that invadopodia play a role in tissue cell invasion in vivo and identify a novel inducible physical signaling mechanism that can drive this process.
Females with Parkinson's disease (PD) are vulnerable to frailty. PD eventually leads to decreased physical activity, an indicator of frailty. We speculate PD results in frailty through reduced physical activity. Objective. Determine the contribution of physical activity on frailty in PD (n = 15, 65 ± 9 years) and non-PD (n = 15, 73 ± 14 years) females. Methods. Frailty phenotype (nonfrail/prefrail/frail) was categorized and 8 hours of physical activity was measured using accelerometer, global positioning system, and self-report. Two-way ANCOVA (age as covariate) was used to compare physical activity between disease and frailty phenotypes. Spearman correlation assessed relationships, and linear regression determined associations with frailty. Results. Nonfrail recorded more physical activity (intensity, counts, self-report) compared with frail. Self-reported physical activity was greater in PD than non-PD. In non-PD, step counts, light physical activity time, sedentary time, and self-reported physical activity were related to frailty (R = 0.91). In PD, only carbidopa-levodopa dose was related to frailty (r = 0.61). Conclusion. Physical activity influences frailty in females without PD. In PD females, disease management may be a better indicator of frailty than physical activity. Further investigation into how PD associated factors contribute to frailty is warranted.
We demonstrate a localization microscopy analysis method that is able to extract results in live cells using standard fluorescent proteins and Xenon arc lamp illumination. Our Bayesian analysis of blinking and bleaching (3B analysis) method models the entire dataset simultaneously as being generated by a number of fluorophores which may or may not be emitting light at any given time. The resulting technique allows many overlapping fluorophores in each frame, and unifies the analysis of localization from blinking and bleaching events. By modeling the entire dataset we are able to use each reappearance of a fluorophore to improve the localization accuracy. The high performance of this technique allows us to reveal the nanoscale dynamics of podosome formation and dissociation with a resolution of 50 nm on a four second timescale.
The extent to which patients follow treatments as prescribed is pivotal to treatment success. An exceptionally high level (> 95%) of HIV medication adherence is required to suppress viral replication and protect the immune system and a similarly high level (> 80%) of adherence has also been suggested in order to benefit from prescribed exercise programmes. However, in clinical practice, adherence to both often falls below the desirable level. This project aims to investigate a wide range of psychological and personality factors that may lead to adherence/non-adherence to medical treatment and exercise programmes.
HIV positive patients who are referred to the physiotherapist-led 10-week exercise programme as part of the standard care are continuously recruited. Data on social cognitive variables (attitude, intention, subjective norms, self-efficacy, and outcome beliefs) about the goal and specific behaviours, selected personality factors, perceived quality of life, physical activity, self-reported adherence and physical assessment are collected at baseline, at the end of the exercise programme and again 3 months later. The project incorporates objective measures of both exercise (attendance log and improvement in physical measures such as improved fitness level, weight loss, improved circumferential anthropometric measures) and medication adherence (verified by non-invasive hair analysis).
The novelty of this project comes from two key aspects, complemented with objective information on exercise and medication adherence. The project assesses beliefs about both the underlying goal such as following prescribed treatment; and about the specific behaviours such as undertaking the exercise or taking the medication, using both implicit and explicit assessments of patients’ beliefs and attitudes. We predict that i) the way people think about the underlying goal of their treatments explains medication and exercise behaviours over and above the effects of the behaviour-specific thinking and ii) the relationship between adherence to exercise and to medical treatment is stronger among those with more favourable views about the goal. Results from this study should identify the key contributing factors to inform subsequent adherence research and afford a more streamlined assessment matrix. The project also aims to inform patient care practices.
UK Clinical Research Network registration number
HIV; Adherence; Health related exercise; Social cognition; Implicit association test; Hair analysis
Cholinergic transmission has been implicated in learning, memory and cognition. However, the cellular effects induced by muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) activation are poorly understood in the neocortex. We investigated the effects of the cholinergic agonist carbachol (CCh) and various agonists and antagonists on neuronal activity in rat neocortical slices using intracellular (sharp microelectrode) and field potential recordings.
CCh increased neuronal firing but reduced synaptic transmission. The increase of neuronal firing was antagonized by pirenzepine (M1/M4 mAChRs antagonist) but not by AF-DX 116 (M2/M4 mAChRs antagonist). Pirenzepine reversed the depressant effect of CCh on excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) but had marginal effects when applied before CCh. AF-DX 116 antagonized the depression of EPSP when applied before or during CCh. CCh also decreased the paired-pulse inhibition of field potentials and the inhibitory conductances mediated by GABAA and GABAB receptors. The depression of paired-pulse inhibition was antagonized or prevented by AF-DX 116 or atropine but only marginally by pirenzepine. The inhibitory conductances were unaltered by xanomeline (M1/M4 mAChRs agonist), yet the CCh-induced depression was antagonized by AF-DX 116. Linopirdine, a selective M-current blocker, mimicked the effect of CCh on neuronal firing. However, linopirdine had no effect on the amplitude of EPSP or on the paired-pulse inhibition, indicating that M-current is involved in the increase of neuronal excitability but neither in the depression of EPSP nor paired-pulse inhibition.
These data indicate that the three effects are mediated by different mAChRs, the increase in firing being mediated by M1 mAChR, decrease of inhibition by M2 mAChR and depression of excitatory transmission by M4 mAChR. The depression of EPSP and increase of neuronal firing might enhance the signal-to-noise ratio, whereas the concomitant depression of inhibition would facilitate long-term potentiation. Thus, this triade of effects may represent a “neuronal correlate” of attention and learning.
Carbachol; M-current; Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors; Sensorimotor cortex; Cognition; Synaptic transmission