Neuroadrenergic function in type 2 diabetic (T2D) patients without neuropathy is poorly characterized. We therefore compared sympathetic nervous system activity at rest and during an oral glucose tolerance test in obese metabolic syndrome (MetS) subjects classified as glucose intolerant (impaired glucose tolerance [IGT]; n = 17) or treatment-naive T2D (n = 17). Untreated subjects, matched for age (mean 59 ± 1 year), sex, BMI (32.4 ± 0.6 kg/m2), and family history of diabetes were studied. We measured resting muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) by microneurography, whole-body norepinephrine kinetics by isotope dilution, insulin sensitivity by euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp (steady-state glucose utilization adjusted for fat-free mass and steady-state insulin concentration [M/I]), and MetS components. T2D subjects had higher resting MSNA burst incidence (67 ± 4 versus 55 ± 3 bursts per 100 heartbeats; P = 0.05) and arterial norepinephrine levels (264 ± 33 versus 167 ± 16 pg/mL; P = 0.02), lower plasma norepinephrine clearance (by 17%; P = 0.03), and reduced neuronal reuptake compared with IGT subjects (by 46%; P = 0.04). Moreover, norepinephrine spillover responses to glucose ingestion were blunted in T2D subjects. The M/I value independently predicted whole-body norepinephrine spillover (r = −0.47; P = 0.008), whereas fasting insulin level related to neuronal norepinephrine reuptake (r = −0.35, P = 0.047). These findings demonstrate that progression to T2D is associated with increased central sympathetic drive, blunted sympathetic responsiveness, and altered norepinephrine disposition.
Primary care improvement is the cornerstone of current reforms. Mental disorders (MDs) are a leading cause of morbidity worldwide and widespread in industrialised countries. MDs are treated mainly in primary care by general practitioners (GPs), even though the latter ability to detect, diagnose, and treat patients with MDs is often considered unsatisfactory. This article examines GPs' management of MDs in an effort to acquire more information regarding means by which GPs deal with MD cases, impact of such cases on their practices, factors that enable or hinder MD management, and patient-management strategies.
This study employs a mixed-method approach with emphasis on qualitative investigation. Based on a previous survey of 398 GPs in Quebec, Canada, 60 GPs representing a variety of practice settings were selected for further study. A 10-minute-long questionnaire comprising 27 items was administered, and 70-minute-long interviews were conducted. Quantitative (SPSS) and qualitative (NVivo) analyses were performed.
At least 20% of GP visits were MD-related. GPs were comfortable managing common MDs, but not serious MDs. GPs' based their treatment of MDs on pharmacotherapy, support therapy, and psycho-education. They used clinical intuition with few clinical tools, and closely followed their patients with MDs. Practice features (salary or hourly fees payment; psycho-social teams on-site; strong informal networks), and GPs' individual characteristics (continuing medical education; exposure and interest in MDs; traits like empathy) favoured MD management. Collaboration with psychologists and psychiatrists was considered key to good MD management. Limited access to specialists, system fragmentation, and underdeveloped group practice and shared-care models were impediments. MD management was seen as burdensome because it required more time, flexibility, and emotional investment. Strategies exist to reduce the burden (one-problem-per-visit rule; longer time slots). GPs found MD practice rewarding as patients were seen as grateful and more complying with medical recommendations compared to other patients, generally leading to positive outcomes.
To improve MD management, this study highlights the importance of extending multidisciplinary GP practice settings with salary or hourly fee payment; access to psychotherapeutic and psychiatric expertise; and case-discussion training involving local networks of GPs and MD specialists that encourage both knowledge transfer and shared care.
In humans, sympathetic activity is commonly assessed by measuring the efferent traffic in the peroneal nerve. The firing activity is the sum of several active neurons, which have the tendency to fire together in a bursting manner. While the estimation of overall sympathetic nervous activity using this multiunit recording approach has advanced our understanding of sympathetic regulation in health and disease no information is gained regarding the underling mechanisms generating the bursts of sympathetic activity. The introduction of single-unit recording has been a major step forward, enabling the examination of specific sympathetic firing patterns in diverse clinical conditions. Disturbances in sympathetic nerve firing, including high firing probabilities, high firing rates or high incidence of multiple firing, or a combination of both may impact on noradrenaline release and effector response, and therefore have clinical implications with regards to the development and progression of target organ damage. Understanding the mechanisms and consequences of specific firing patterns would permit the development of therapeutic strategies targeting these nuances of sympathetic overdrive.
sympathetic nervous system; microneurography; cardiovascular disease
Increased central sympathetic drive is a hallmark of several important clinical conditions including essential hypertension, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and insulin resistance. Afferent signaling from the kidneys has been identified as an important contributor to elevated central sympathetic drive and increased sympathetic outflow to the kidney and other organs is crucially involved in cardiovascular control. While the resultant effects on renal hemodynamic parameters, sodium and water retention, and renin release are particularly relevant for both acute and long term regulation of blood pressure, increased sympathetic outflow to other vascular beds may facilitate further adverse consequences of sustained sympathetic activation such as insulin resistance, which is commonly associated with hypertension. Recent clinical studies using catheter-based radiofrequency ablation technology to achieve functional renal denervation in patients with resistant hypertension have identified the renal nerves as therapeutic target and have helped to further expose the sympathetic link between hypertension and insulin resistance. Initial data from two clinical trials and several smaller mechanistic clinical studies indicate that this novel approach may indeed provide a safe and effective treatment alternative for resistant hypertension and some of its adverse consequences.
renal denervation; hypertension; sympathetic
Sympathetic activation in subjects with the metabolic syndrome (MS) plays a role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease development. Diet-induced weight loss decreases sympathetic outflow. However the mechanisms that account for sympathetic inhibition are not known. We sought to provide a detailed description of the sympathetic response to diet by analyzing the firing behavior of single-unit sympathetic nerve fibers. Fourteen subjects (57 ± 2 years, nine men, five females) fulfilling ATP III criteria for the MS underwent a 3-month low calorie diet. Metabolic profile, hemodynamic parameters, and multi-unit and single-unit muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA, microneurography) were assessed prior to and at the end of the diet. Patients’ weight dropped from 96 ± 4 to 88 ± 3 kg (P < 0.001). This was associated with a decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure (−12 ± 3 and −5 ± 2 mmHg, P < 0.05), and in heart rate (−7 ± 2 bpm, P < 0.01) and an improvement in all metabolic parameters (fasting glucose: −0.302.1 ± 0.118 mmol/l, total cholesterol: −0.564 ± 0.164 mmol/l, triglycerides: −0.414 ± 0.137 mmol/l, P < 0.05). Multi-unit MSNA decreased from 68 ± 4 to 59 ± 5 bursts/100 heartbeats (P < 0.05). Single-unit MSNA indicated that the firing rate of individual vasoconstrictor fibers decreased from 59 ± 10 to 32 ± 4 spikes/100 heart beats (P < 0.05). The probability of firing decreased from 34 ± 5 to 23 ± 3% of heartbeats (P < 0.05), and the incidence of multiple firing decreased from 14 ± 4 to 6 ± 1% of heartbeats (P < 0.05). Cardiac and sympathetic baroreflex function were significantly improved (cardiac slope: 6.57 ± 0.69 to 9.57 ± 1.20 ms·mmHg−1; sympathetic slope: −3.86 ± 0.34 to −5.05 ± 0.47 bursts/100 heartbeats·mmHg−1, P < 0.05 for both). Hypocaloric diet decreased sympathetic activity and improved hemodynamic and metabolic parameters. The sympathoinhibition associated with weight loss involves marked changes, not only in the rate but also in the firing pattern of active vasoconstrictive fibers.
metabolic syndrome; sympathetic nervous system; autonomic function; diet
Sympathetic nervous system (SNS) overactivity contributes to the pathogenesis and target organ complications of obesity. This study was conducted to examine the effects of lifestyle interventions (weight loss alone or together with exercise) on SNS function.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Untreated men and women (mean age 55 ± 1 year; BMI 32.3 ± 0.5 kg/m2) who fulfilled Adult Treatment Panel III metabolic syndrome criteria were randomly allocated to either dietary weight loss (WL, n = 20), dietary weight loss and moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (WL+EX, n = 20), or no treatment (control, n = 19). Whole-body norepinephrine kinetics, muscle sympathetic nerve activity by microneurography, baroreflex sensitivity, fitness (maximal oxygen consumption), metabolic, and anthropometric measurements were made at baseline and 12 weeks.
Body weight decreased by −7.1 ± 0.6 and −8.4 ± 1.0 kg in the WL and WL+EX groups, respectively (both P < 0.001). Fitness increased by 19 ± 4% (P < 0.001) in the WL+EX group only. Resting SNS activity decreased similarly in the WL and WL+EX groups: norepinephrine spillover by −96 ± 30 and −101 ± 34 ng/min (both P < 0.01) and muscle sympathetic nerve activity by −12 ± 6 and −19 ± 4 bursts/100 heart beats, respectively (both P < 0.01), but remained unchanged in control subjects. Blood pressure, baroreflex sensitivity, and metabolic parameters improved significantly and similarly in the two lifestyle intervention groups.
The addition of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise training to a weight loss program does not confer additional benefits on resting SNS activity. This suggests that weight loss is the prime mover in sympathetic neural adaptation to a hypocaloric diet.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of weight loss on sympathetic nervous system responsiveness to glucose ingestion in obese subjects with metabolic syndrome, in whom such responses are reportedly blunted.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Thirty four subjects, 19 insulin resistant and 15 insulin sensitive and aged 55 ± 1 years (mean ± SE) with BMI 31.6 ± 0.6 kg/m2, who fulfilled the Adult Treatment Panel III criteria for metabolic syndrome participated. Simultaneous measurements of whole-body norepinephrine spillover rate, calf blood flow, and intra-arterial blood pressure were made at times 0, 30, 60, 90, and 120 min postglucose (75 g). The experiment was repeated after a 3-month hypocaloric diet with or without an exercise program.
Body weight decreased by 8.1 ± 0.9 and 8.4 ± 1.1 kg and resting norepinephrine spillover by 94 ± 31 and 166 ± 58 ng/min (all P ≤ 0.01) in insulin-resistant and insulin-sensitive subjects, respectively. Weight loss was accompanied by a marked increase in sympathetic responsiveness after glucose but only in insulin-resistant subjects. In this subgroup, comparative increases in norepinephrine spillover rates at baseline and after weight loss averaged −3 ± 25 versus 73 ± 24 ng/min at 30 min (P = 0.039), 36 ± 21 versus 115 ± 28 ng/min at 60 min (P = 0.045), 9 ± 21 versus 179 ± 50 ng/min at 90 min (P < 0.001), and 40 ± 48 versus 106 ± 39 ng/min at 120 min (P = 0.24).
Weight loss reverses blunted sympathetic responsiveness to glucose ingestion in insulin-resistant subjects with metabolic syndrome, which is relevant to postprandial energy utilization and body weight homeostasis.
Doxorubicin is a genotoxic chemotherapy agent used in treatment of a wide variety of cancers. Significant clinical side-effects, including cardiac toxicity and myelosuppression, severely limit the therapeutic index of this commonly used agent and methods which improve doxorubicin efficacy could benefit many patients. Because doxorubicin cytotoxicity is cell cycle specific, the cell cycle is a rational target to enhance its efficacy.
We examined the direct, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, roscovitine, as a means of enhancing doxorubicin cytotoxicity. This study demonstrated synergistic cytotoxicity between doxorubicin and roscovitine in three sarcoma cell lines: SW-982 (synovial sarcoma); U2OS-LC3-GFP (osteosarcoma) and SK-LMS-1 (uterine leiomyosarcoma), but not the fibroblast cell line, WI38. The combined treatment of doxorubicin and roscovitine was associated with a prolonged G2/M cell cycle arrest in the three sarcoma cell lines. Using three different methods for detecting apoptosis, our results revealed that apoptotic cell death did not account for the synergistic cytotoxicity between doxorubicin and roscovitine. However, morphologic changes observed by light microscopy and increased cytoplasmic LC3-GFP puncta in U20S-LC3-GFP cells after the combined treatment suggested the induction of autophagy. Induction of autophagy was also demonstrated in SW-982 and SK-LMS-1 cells treated with both doxorubicin and roscovitine by acridine orange staining. These results suggest a novel role of autophagy in the enhanced cytotoxicity by cell cycle inhibition following genotoxic injury in tumor cells. Further investigation of this enhanced cytotoxicity as a treatment strategy for sarcomas is warranted.
roscovitine; doxorubicin; autophagy; synergy; cell cycle
Cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) are considered the standard of care for patients with peritoneal dissemination of appendiceal cancer and are increasingly being evaluated for use in patients with carcinomatosis from colon cancer. Mitomycin C (MMC) is one of the most frequently used HIPEC agents in the management of peritoneal-based gastrointestinal malignancies. This study analyzes the incidence and risk factors for developing neutropenia following MMC-HIPEC combined with CRS.
All patients undergoing CRS and MMC-HIPEC for appendiceal cancer between January 1993 and October 2006 were retrospectively reviewed. Logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for the development of neutropenia, defined as an absolute neutrophil count (ANC) <1,000/mm3.
One hundred and twenty MMC-HIPEC were performed in 117 patients with appendiceal cancer. The incidence of neutropenia was 39%. Neutropenia occurred in 57.6% of female and 21.3% of male patients (p < 0.0001). Female gender and MMC dose per body surface area (BSA) were independent risk factors for neutropenia on multivariable logistic regression [odds ratio (OR) of neutropenia in females = 3.58 (95% confidence interval, CI: 1.52, 8.43); OR for 5 unit (mg/m2) increase in MMC dose per BSA = 3.37 (95% CI: 1.72, 6.63)]. Neutropenia did not increase the risk of mortality, postoperative infection or length of hospital stay.
Neutropenia is a frequent complication associated with MMC-HIPEC. Female sex and MMC dose per BSA are independent risk factors for neutropenia. These differences must be considered in the management of patients undergoing MMC-HIPEC to minimize the toxicity of the procedure.
Polyoma, Newcastle disease virus, and adenovirus, as well as two coliphages, lambda and T4, were inactivated by strong base quaternary ammonium anion-exchange resin-triiodide. Organic matter interfered with viral inactivation capability of the resin-triiodide. The viruses, as they were being inactivated by the resin disinfectant beads, were not retained or filtered by the beads.
A label-free mass spectrometric strategy was used to examine the effect of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) on the primary and metastatic colon carcinoma cell lines, SW480 and SW620, with and without treatment. 5-FU is the most common chemotherapeutic treatment for colon cancer. Pooled biological replicates were analyzed by nanoLC-MS/MS and protein quantification was determined via spectral counting. Phenotypic and proteomic changes were evident and often similar in both cell lines. The SW620 cells were more resistant to 5-FU treatment, with an IC50 2.7-fold higher than that for SW480. In addition, both cell lines showed pronounced abundance changes in pathways relating to antioxidative stress response and cell adhesion remodeling due to 5-FU treatment. For example, the detoxification enzyme NQO1 was increasedwith treatment in both cell lines, while disparate members of the peroxiredoxin family, PRDX2 or PRDX5 and PRDX6, were elevated with 5-FU exposure in either SW480 or SW620, respectively. Cell adhesion associated proteins CTNNB1 and RhoA showed decreased expression with 5-FU treatment in both cell lines. The differential quantitative response in the proteomes of these patient-matched cell lines to drug treatment underscores the subtle molecular differences separating primary and metastatic cancer cells.
Bioanalytical methods; Mass spectrometry; Proteomics; Label-free quantification; Colon cancer; 5-Fluorouracil
HPV-16 is associated etiologically with many human cervical cancers. It encodes three oncogenes E5, E6 and E7. Of these oncogenes, E7 has been found to be the dominant driver of cervical cancer in mice. Over 100 cellular proteins have been reported to associate with HPV-16 E7, which is thought to dysregulate the cell cycle in part by binding and inducing the degradation of pRb and its related ‘pocket protein’ family members, p107 and p130. The ability of E7 to inactivate the pRb family correlates with its ability to induce head and neck cancers in mice. We previously showed that the inactivation of pRb is itself not sufficient to recapitulate the oncogenic properties of E7 in cervical carcinogenesis. In this study, we evaluated mice that were deficient in multiple pocket proteins, including mice that lacked pRb, p107 and p130. Strikingly, combined loss of two or all three ‘pocket proteins’ resulted in development of high grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), but not frank cervical carcinoma. These findings strongly argue that the oncogenic properties of HPV-16 E7 in human cervical carcinogenesis may involve disruption of E7 binding proteins beyond simply the pRb family members.
HPV-16-E7; pRb; p107; p130; cervical cancer
Burnout is prevalent in residency training and practice and is linked to medical error and suboptimal patient care. However, little is known about how burnout affects clinical reasoning, which is essential to safe and effective care. The aim of this study was to examine how burnout modulates brain activity during clinical reasoning in physicians. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), brain activity was assessed in internal medicine residents (n = 10) and board-certified internists (faculty, n = 17) from the Uniformed Services University (USUHS) while they answered and reflected upon United States Medical Licensing Examination and American Board of Internal Medicine multiple-choice questions. Participants also completed a validated two-item burnout scale, which includes an item assessing emotional exhaustion and an item assessing depersonalization. Whole brain covariate analysis was used to examine blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal during answering and reflecting upon clinical problems with respect to burnout scores. Higher depersonalization scores were associated with less BOLD signal in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and middle frontal gyrus during reflecting on clinical problems and less BOLD signal in the bilateral precuneus while answering clinical problems in residents. Higher emotional exhaustion scores were associated with more right posterior cingulate cortex and middle frontal gyrus BOLD signal in residents. Examination of faculty revealed no significant influence of burnout on brain activity. Residents appear to be more susceptible to burnout effects on clinical reasoning, which may indicate that residents may need both cognitive and emotional support to improve quality of life and to optimize performance and learning. These results inform our understanding of mental stress, cognitive control as well as cognitive load theory.
expertise; burnout; clinical reasoning; cognitive load; fMRI
BACKGROUND & AIMS
Biliary atresia (BA) is a neonatal cholangiopathy of unknown etiology. The bile duct injury that occurs in patients with BA might result from a hepatobiliary viral infection followed by an autoimmune response against the bile duct epithelia. We aimed to identify autoantigens recognized by serum antibodies in the Rhesus rotavirus (RRV)-induced mouse model of BA; findings were correlated with BA in humans.
Bile duct epithelial proteins were screened for their reactivity with serum antibodies from the mouse model of BA using immunoblot assays. Unique proteins that reacted with sera antibodies were identified by mass spectrometry and verified using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunoblot analyses. Candidate autoantibodies in BA patient sera were analyzed by ELISA.
A bile duct epithelial antigen that reacted strongly with serum immunoglobulin (Ig) G from the mouse model of BA was identified as α-enolase. α-Enolase autoantibody specificity was confirmed by ELISA and immunoblot analyses. Anti-RRV and anti-enolase antibodies cross-reacted with enolase and RRV proteins; we identified regions of sequence homology between RRV and enolase. Serum samples from patients with BA had increased levels of anti-enolase IgM and IgG.
We have identified autoantibodies against α-enolase in a mouse model of BA (infected with RRV) and in serum samples from patients, indicating a role of humoral autoimmunity in disease pathogenesis. The cross-reactivity between an anti-enolase antibody and RRV proteins indicates that molecular mimicry might activate humoral autoimmunity in BA patients; further studies are required.
Neonatal Immunity; Neonatal Cholestasis; Biliary Obstruction
Synthetic fragrances are persistent environmental pollutants that tend to bioaccumulate in animal tissues. They are widely used in personal care products and cleaning agents. Worldwide production of Galaxolide and Tonalide are in excess of 4500 tons annually. Because of their widespread production and use, they have been detected in surface waters and fish in the US and Europe. Consumption of contaminated water and fish from such sources leads to bioaccumulation and eventual toxicity. Since fragrances and flavors bear structural similarities to polyisoprenes, it was of interest to determine whether toxicity by Galaxolide and Tonalide may be linked with polyisoprenylated methylated protein methyl esterase (PMPMEase) inhibition. A concentration-dependent study of PMPMEase inhibition by Galaxolide and Tonalide as well as their effects on the degeneration of cultured cells were conducted. Galaxolide and Tonalide inhibited purified porcine liver PMPMEase with Ki values of 11 and 14 µM, respectively. Galaxolide and Tonalide also induced human cancer cell degeneration with EC50 values of 26 and 98 µM (neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells) and 58 and 14 µM (lung cancer A549 cells), respectively. The effects on cell viability correlate well with the inhibition of PMPMEase activity in the cultured cells. Molecular docking analysis revealed that the binding interactions are most likely between the fragrance molecules and hydrophobic amino acids in the active site of the enzyme. These results appear to suggest that the reported neurotoxicity of these compounds may be associated with their inhibition of PMPMEase. Exposure to fragrances may pose a significant risk to individuals predisposed to developing degenerative disorders.
prenylation; isoprenylation; fragrances; tonalide; esterase; galaxolide; neurotoxicity; methylation; polycyclic musks; polyisoprenylation
Background And Objectives
Nociceptin/Orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) is a non-classical endogenous opioid peptide that modulates immune function in
vitro. Its importance in inflammation and human sepsis is unknown. The objectives of this study were to determine the relationship between N/OFQ, transcripts for its precursor (pre-pro-N/OFQ [ppNOC]) and receptor (NOP), inflammatory markers and clinical outcomes in patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass and with sepsis.
A prospective observational cohort study of 82 patients admitted to Intensive Care (ICU) with sepsis and 40 patients undergoing cardiac surgery under cardiopulmonary bypass (as a model of systemic inflammation). Sixty three healthy volunteers, matched by age and sex to the patients with sepsis were also studied. Clinical and laboratory details were recorded. Polymorph ppNOC and NOP receptor mRNA were determined using quantitative PCR. Plasma N/OFQ was determined using ELISA and cytokines (TNF- α, IL-8, IL-10) measured using radioimmunoassay. Data from patients undergoing cardiac surgery were recorded before, 3 and 24 hours after cardiopulmonary bypass. ICU patients with sepsis were assessed on Days 1 and 2 of ICU admission, and after clinical recovery.
Plasma N/OFQ concentrations increased (p<0.0001) on Days 1 and 2 of ICU admission with sepsis compared to matched recovery samples. Polymorph ppNOC (p= 0.019) and NOP mRNA (p<0.0001) decreased compared to healthy volunteers. TNF-α, IL-8 and IL-10 concentrations increased on Day 1 compared to matched recovery samples and volunteers (p<0.0001). Similar changes (increased plasma N/OFQ, [p=0.0058], decreased ppNOC [p<0.0001], increased IL-8 and IL-10 concentrations [both p<0.0001]) occurred after cardiac surgery but these were comparatively lower and of shorter duration.
The N/OFQ system is modulated in ICU patients with sepsis with similar but reduced changes after cardiac surgery under cardiopulmonary bypass. Further studies are required to clarify the role of the N/OFQ system in inflammation and sepsis, and the mechanisms involved.
Observational studies have examined the prevalence and impact of internalized stigma among African American women living with HIV, but there are no intervention studies investigating stigma reduction strategies in this population. Based on qualitative data previously collected, we adapted the International Center for Research on Women's HIV Stigma Toolkit for a domestic population of African American women to be consistent with Corrigan's principles of strategic stigma change. We implemented the intervention, led by an African American woman living with HIV, as a workshop across two afternoons. The participants discussed issues “triggered” by videos produced specifically for this purpose, learned coping mechanisms from each other, and practiced them in role plays with each other. We pilot tested the intervention with two groups of women (total N=24), measuring change in internalized stigma with the Stigma Scale for Chronic Illness before and after workshop participation. Sixty-two percent of the participants self-reported acquiring HIV through heterosexual sexual contact, 17% through intravenous drug use, 4% in utero, and 13% did not know the route of transmission. The intervention was feasible, enthusiastically accepted by the women, and led to decreased stigma from the start of the workshop to the end (p=0.05) and 1 week after (p=0.07) the last session of workshop. Findings suggest the intervention warrants further investigation.
Intra-myocardial nerve sprouting after myocardial infarction is associated with ventricular arrhythmias (VAs). Whether human stellate ganglia remodel in association with cardiac pathology is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine whether cardiac pathology is associated with remodeling of the stellate ganglia in humans.
Methods and Results
Left stellate ganglia (LSG) were collected from patients undergoing sympathetic denervation for intractable ventricular arrhythmias, and from cadavers, along with intact hearts. Clinical data on patients and cadaveric subjects were reviewed. We classified ganglia from normal; scarred; and non-ischemic cardiomyopathic hearts without scar as NL (n=3); SCAR (n=24); and NICM (n=7), respectively. Within LSG, neuronal size, density, fibrosis, synaptic density and nerve sprouting were determined. Nerve density and sprouting were also quantified in cadaveric hearts. Mean neuronal size in NL, SCAR, and NICM groups were; 320±4μm2, 372±10μm2,and 435±10μm2 (p=0.002). No significant differences in neuronal density and fibrosis were present between the groups. Synaptic density in SCAR and NICMganglia were 57.8±11.2um2/ mm2 (p=0.039) and 44.5±7.9um2/ mm2 (p=0.084) respectively, compared to the NL, 17.8±7um2/ mm2 (overall p=0.162). There were no significant differences in LSG nerve sprouting or myocardial nerve density between the groups.
Neuronal hypertrophy withinLSGis associated with chronic cardiomyopathy in humans. Ganglionic and myocardial nerve sprouting and nerve density were not significantly different. These changes may be related to increased cardiac sympathetic signaling and VAs. Further studies are needed to determine the electrophysiologic consequences of extra-cardiac neuronal remodeling in humans.
cardiomyopathy; nervous system; autonomic; nervous system; sympathetic; ventricular arrhythmia
The minor capsid protein L2 of human papillomaviruses (HPVs) has multiple functions during the viral life cycle. Although L2 is required for effective invasion and morphogenesis, only a few cellular interaction partners are known so far. Using yeast two-hybrid screening, we identified the transcription factor TBX2 as a novel interaction partner of HPV type 16 (HPV16) L2. Coimmunoprecipitations and immunofluorescence analyses confirmed the L2-TBX2 interaction and revealed that L2 also interacts with TBX3, another member of the T-box family. Transcription of the early genes during HPV infection is under the control of an upstream enhancer and early promoter region, the long control region (LCR). In promoter-reporter gene assays, we observed that TBX2 and TBX3 repress transcription from the LCR and that this effect is enhanced by L2. Repression of the HPV LCR by TBX2/3 seems to be a conserved mechanism, as it was also observed with the LCRs of different HPV types. Finally, interaction of TBX2 with the LCR was detected by chromatin immunoprecipitation, and we found a strong colocalization of L2 and TBX2 in HPV16-positive cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) I-II tissue sections. These results suggest that TBX2/3 might play a role in the regulation of HPV gene expression during the viral life cycle.
Flexible instrumental learning is required to harness the appropriate behaviors to obtain rewards and to avoid punishments. The precise contribution of dopaminergic midbrain regions (substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area [SN/VTA]) to this form of behavioral adaptation remains unclear. Normal aging is associated with a variable loss of dopamine neurons in the SN/VTA. We therefore tested the relationship between flexible instrumental learning and midbrain structural integrity. We compared task performance on a probabilistic monetary go/no-go task, involving trial and error learning of: “go to win,” “no-go to win,” “go to avoid losing,” and “no-go to avoid losing” in 42 healthy older adults to previous behavioral data from 47 younger adults. Quantitative structural magnetization transfer images were obtained to index regional structural integrity. On average, both some younger and some older participants demonstrated a behavioral asymmetry whereby they were better at learning to act for reward (“go to win” > “no-go to win”), but better at learning not to act to avoid punishment (“no-go to avoid losing” > “go to avoid losing”). Older, but not younger, participants with greater structural integrity of the SN/VTA and the adjacent subthalamic nucleus could overcome this asymmetry. We show that interindividual variability among healthy older adults of the structural integrity within the SN/VTA and subthalamic nucleus relates to effective acquisition of competing instrumental responses.
Aging; Instrumental learning; Magnetization transfer; Novelty seeking; Substantia nigra
To describe clinical findings, diagnostic techniques and management of Candida lens abscesses in premature infants with history of neonatal candida sepsis.
Retrospective observational review.
Three cases of Candida lens abscesses were retrospectively identified at one institution. Patients' records were analyzed for clinical, surgical and laboratory findings.
All 3 patients developed a lens opacity with signs of ocular inflammation at 20 weeks, 10 weeks, and 52 weeks postgestational age, respectively. Each patient underwent a lensectomy and anterior vitrectomy, and 2 of 3 had intravitreal injections of antifungal agents. Candida albicans was cultured from the lens/anterior chamber membrane in 2 infants and Candida parapsilosis from a lens aspirate in 1 infant. All Gram stains and cultures of the aqueous humor were negative for fungal elements. Despite successful treatment of the fungal infection, visual outcomes were light perception, counting fingers, and no light perception, respectively for the 3 cases. Two eyes developed glaucoma and one developed a retinal detachment with subsequent phthisis.
Candida lens abscesses may present as a lenticular opacity with ocular inflammation at variable times after neonatal Candida sepsis and onset can be delayed for months. Candida can be difficult to culture from an infant with a Candida lens abscess. Obtaining a culture of the lens aspirate or membranes in the anterior chamber should be included in the diagnostic work-up. The prognosis for functional vision is poor in these eyes.
Fanconi anemia (FA) patients are highly susceptible to solid tumors at multiple anatomical sites including head and neck region. A subset of head and neck cancers (HNCs) is associated with ‘high-risk’ HPVs, particularly HPV16. However, the correlation between HPV oncogenes and cancers in FA patients is still unclear. We previously learned that FA deficiency in mice predisposes HPV16 E7 transgenic mice to HNCs. To address HPV16 E6’s oncogenic potential under FA deficiency in HNCs, we utilized HPV16 E6-transgenic mice (K14E6) and HPV16 E6/E7-bi-transgenic mice (K14E6E7) on genetic backgrounds sufficient or deficient for one of the fanc genes, fancD2 and monitored their susceptibility to HNCs. K14E6 mice failed to develop tumor. However, E6 and fancD2-deficiency accelerated E7-driven tumor development in K14E6E7 mice. The increased tumor incidence was more correlated with E7-driven DNA damage than proliferation. We also found that deficiency of pocket proteins, pRb, p107, and p130 that are well-established targets of E7, could recapitulate E7’s induction of DNA damage. Our findings support the hypothesis that E7 induces HPV-associated HNCs by promoting DNA damage through the inactivation of pocket proteins, which explains why a deficiency in DNA damage repair would increase susceptibility to E7-driven cancer. Our results further demonstrate the unexpected finding that FA deficiency does not predispose E6 transgenic mice to HNCs, indicating a specificity in the synergy between FA deficiency and HPV oncogenes in causing HNCs.
Microvascular inflammation occurs during sepsis and the endogenous opioid-like peptide nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) is known to regulate inflammation. This study aimed to determine the inflammatory role of N/OFQ and its receptor NOP (ORL1) within the microcirculation, along with anti-inflammatory effects of the NOP antagonist UFP-101 (University of Ferrara Peptide-101) in an animal model of sepsis (endotoxemia).
Male Wistar rats (220 to 300 g) were administered lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for 24 h (-24 h, 1 mg kg-1; -2 h, 1 mg kg-1 i.v., tail vein). They were then either anesthetised for observation of the mesenteric microcirculation using fluorescent in vivo microscopy, or isolated arterioles (~200 µm) were studied in vitro with pressure myography.
200 nM kg-1 fluorescently labelled N/OFQ (FITC-N/OFQ, i.a., mesenteric artery) bound to specific sites on the microvascular endothelium in vivo, indicating sparse distribution of NOP receptors. In vitro, arterioles (~200 µm) dilated to intraluminal N/OFQ (10-5M) (32.6 + 8.4%) and this response was exaggerated with LPS (62.0 +7.9%, p=0.031). In vivo, LPS induced macromolecular leak of FITC-BSA (0.02 g kg-1 i.v.) (LPS: 95.3 (86.7 to 97.9)%, p=0.043) from post-capillary venules (<40 µm) and increased leukocyte rolling as endotoxemia progressed (p=0.027), both being reduced by 150 nmol kg-1 UFP-101 (i.v., jugular vein).
Firstly, the rat mesenteric microcirculation expresses NOP receptors and secondly, NOP function (ability to induce dilation) is enhanced with LPS. UFP-101 also reduced microvascular inflammation to endotoxemia in vivo. Hence inhibition of the microvascular N/OFQ-NOP pathway may have therapeutic potential during sepsis and warrants further investigation.
The Janzen-Connell hypothesis is among the most important theories put forward to explain species coexistence in species-rich communities. However, the relative importance of Janzen-Connell effects with respect to other prominent mechanisms of community assembly, such as dispersal limitation, self-thinning due to competition, or habitat association, is largely unresolved. Here we use data from a 24-ha Gutianshan subtropical forest to address it. First we tested for significant associations of adults, juveniles, and saplings with environmental variables. Second we evaluated if aggregation decreased with life stage. In a third analysis we approximately factored out the effect of habitat association and comprehensively analyzed the spatial associations of intraspecific adults and offspring (saplings, juveniles) of 46 common species at continuous neighborhood distances. We found i) that, except for one, all species were associated with at least one environmental variable during at least one of their life stages, but the frequency of significant habitat associations declined with increasing life stage; ii) a decline in aggregation with increasing life stage that was strongest from juveniles to adults; and iii) intraspecific adult-offspring associations were dominated by positive relationships at neighborhood distances up to 10 m. Our results suggest that Janzen-Connell effects were not the dominant mechanisms in structuring the spatial patterns of established trees in the subtropical Gutianshan forest. The spatial patterns may rather reflect the joint effects of size-dependent self-thinning, dispersal limitation and habitat associations. Our findings contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the relative importance of Janzen-Connell effects in influencing plant community structure under strong topographic heterogeneity.
Heartland virus (HRTV), the first pathogenic Phlebovirus (Family: Bunyaviridae) discovered in the United States, was recently described from two Missouri farmers. In 2012, we collected 56,428 ticks representing three species at 12 sites including both patients' farms. Amblyomma americanum and Dermacentor variabilis accounted for nearly all ticks collected. Ten pools composed of deplete nymphs of A. americanum collected at a patient farm and a nearby conservation area were reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction positive, and eight pools yielded viable viruses. Sequence data from the nonstructural protein of the Small segment indicates that tick strains and human strains are very similar, ≥ 97.6% sequence identity. This is the first study to isolate HRTV from field-collected arthropods and to implicate ticks as potential vectors. Amblyomma americanum likely becomes infected by feeding on viremic hosts during the larval stage, and transmission to humans occurs during the spring and early summer when nymphs are abundant and actively host seeking.