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1.  Morphine induced exacerbation of sepsis is mediated by tempering endotoxin tolerance through modulation of miR-146a 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:1977.
Development of tolerance to endotoxin prevents sustained hyper inflammation during systemic infections. Here we report for the first time that chronic morphine treatment tempers endotoxin tolerance resulting in persistent inflammation, septicemia and septic shock. Morphine was found to down-regulate endotoxin/LPS induced miR-146a and 155 in macrophages. However, only miR-146a over expression, but not miR-155 abrogates morphine mediated hyper-inflammation. Conversely, antagonizing miR-146a (but not miR-155) heightened the severity of morphine-mediated hyper-inflammation. These results suggest that miR-146a acts as a molecular switch controlling hyper-inflammation in clinical and/or recreational use of morphine.
PMCID: PMC3679508  PMID: 23756365
2.  Opioid Drug Abuse and Modulation of Immune Function: Consequences in the Susceptibility to Opportunistic Infections 
Infection rate among intravenous drug users (IDU) is higher than the general public, and is the major cause of morbidity and hospitalization in the IDU population. Epidemiologic studies provide data on increased prevalence of opportunistic bacterial infections such as TB and pneumonia, and viral infections such as HIV-1 and hepatitis in the IDU population. An important component in the intravenous drug abuse population and in patients receiving medically indicated chronic opioid treatment is opioid withdrawal. Data on bacterial virulence in the context of opioid withdrawal suggest that mice undergoing withdrawal had shortened survival and increased bacterial load in response to Salmonella infection. As the body of evidence in support of opioid dependency and its immunosuppressive effects is growing, it is imperative to understand the mechanisms by which opioids exert these effects and identify the populations at risk that would benefit the most from the interventions to counteract opioid immunosuppressive effects. Thus, it is important to refine the existing animal model to closely match human conditions and to cross-validate these findings through carefully controlled human studies. Better understanding of the mechanisms will facilitate the search for new therapeutic modalities to counteract adverse effects including increased infection rates. This review will summarize the effects of morphine on innate and adaptive immunity, identify the role of the mu opioid receptor in these functions and the signal transduction activated in the process. The role of opioid withdrawal in immunosuppression and the clinical relevance of these findings will also be discussed.
PMCID: PMC3601186  PMID: 21789507
Opioid Drug abuse; Morphine; Immune Function; Opportunistic infections
Chronic drug users account for a third of all cases of AIDS in the USA and the progression to AIDS dementia is accelerated in opiate drug abusers. Clinically, microglial activation better correlates with HIV associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) than productive HIV-1 infection in the CNS. Moreover, pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common opportunistic infection in individuals with HAND. We show that co-infection with S. pneumoniae may be a contributing factor in the increased prevalence of HAND in the opioid dependent population. Till date there have been no studies published implicating the Toll like receptors (TLR) in the neurocognitive disorders associated with Neuroaids in the context of opportunistic infection. Our studies show for the first time, in a morphine dependent model, synergistic increase and activation of TLR expression in the presence of HIV-1 protein TAT and S. pneumoniae with a significant increase in proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6, TNF-α) levels. Furthermore, concurrent increases in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) production leading to increased Caspase 3 activation are also observed in both murine and human microglial cells. These effects are recapitulated with TLR 2, 4 & 9 cognate ligands (Pam3CSK4, LPS & CpG) and significantly attenuated in TLR 2, 4 knockout mice and TLR2/4 double knockout mice. Thereby, our findings clearly suggest for the first time that activation of TLRs on microglia cells by morphine and TAT in the context of S. pneumoniae infection may be a potential mechanism for the increased prevalence of HAND in HIV infected opioid dependent patients.
PMCID: PMC3417042  PMID: 22815507
Morphine; NeuroAIDS; Toll like receptors; S. pneumoniae; TAT
4.  Morphine Induces Bacterial Translocation in Mice by Compromising Intestinal Barrier Function in a TLR-Dependent Manner 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54040.
Opiates are among the most prescribed drugs for pain management. However, morphine use or abuse results in significant gut bacterial translocation and predisposes patients to serious infections with gut origin. The mechanism underlying this defect is still unknown. In this report, we investigated the mechanisms underlying compromised gut immune function and bacterial translocation following morphine treatment. We demonstrate significant bacterial translocation to mesenteric lymph node (MLN) and liver following morphine treatment in wild-type (WT) animals that was dramatically and significantly attenuated in Toll-like receptor (TLR2 and 4) knockout mice. We further observed significant disruption of tight junction protein organization only in the ileum but not in the colon of morphine treated WT animals. Inhibition of myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) blocked the effects of both morphine and TLR ligands, suggesting the role of MLCK in tight junction modulation by TLR. This study conclusively demonstrates that morphine induced gut epithelial barrier dysfunction and subsequent bacteria translocation are mediated by TLR signaling and thus TLRs can be exploited as potential therapeutic targets for alleviating infections and even sepsis in morphine-using or abusing populations.
PMCID: PMC3548814  PMID: 23349783
5.  A Novel Role for Lh3 Dependent ECM Modifications during Neural Crest Cell Migration in Zebrafish 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54609.
During vertebrate development, trunk neural crest cells delaminate along the entire length of the dorsal neural tube and initially migrate as a non-segmented sheet. As they enter the somites, neural crest cells rearrange into spatially restricted segmental streams. Extracellular matrix components are likely to play critical roles in this transition from a sheet-like to a stream-like mode of migration, yet the extracellular matrix components and their modifying enzymes critical for this transition are largely unknown. Here, we identified the glycosyltransferase Lh3, known to modify extracellular matrix components, and its presumptive substrate Collagen18A1, to provide extrinsic signals critical for neural crest cells to transition from a sheet-like migration behavior to migrating as a segmental stream. Using live cell imaging we show that in lh3 null mutants, neural crest cells fail to transition from a sheet to a stream, and that they consequently enter the somites as multiple streams, or stall shortly after entering the somites. Moreover, we demonstrate that transgenic expression of lh3 in a small subset of somitic cells adjacent to where neural crest cells switch from sheet to stream migration restores segmental neural crest cell migration. Finally, we show that knockdown of the presumptive Lh3 substrate Collagen18A1 recapitulates the neural crest cell migration defects observed in lh3 mutants, consistent with the notion that Lh3 exerts its effect on neural crest cell migration by regulating post-translational modifications of Collagen18A1. Together these data suggest that Lh3–Collagen18A1 dependent ECM modifications regulate the transition of trunk neural crest cells from a non-segmental sheet like migration mode to a segmental stream migration mode.
PMCID: PMC3548841  PMID: 23349938
6.  Identification of scaffold/Matrix Attachment (S/MAR) like DNA element from the gastrointestinal protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:386.
Chromatin in the nucleus of all eukaryotes is organized into a system of loops and domains. These loops remain fastened at their bases to the fundamental framework of the nucleus, the matrix or the scaffold. The DNA sequences which anchor the bases of the chromatin loops to the matrix are known as Scaffold/Matrix Attachment Regions or S/MARs. Though S/MARs have been studied in yeast and higher eukaryotes and they have been found to be associated with gene organization and regulation of gene expression, they have not been reported in protists like Giardia. Several tools have been discovered and formulated to predict S/MARs from a genome of a higher eukaryote which take into account a number of features. However, the lack of a definitive consensus sequence in S/MARs and the randomness of the protozoan genome in general, make it a challenge to predict and identify such sequences from protists.
Here, we have analysed the Giardia genome for the probable S/MARs predicted by the available computational tools; and then shown these sequences to be physically associated with the nuclear matrix. Our study also reflects that while no single computational tool is competent to predict such complex elements from protist genomes, a combination of tools followed by experimental verification is the only way to confirm the presence of these elements from these organisms.
This is the first report of S/MAR elements from the protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia. This initial work is expected to lay a framework for future studies relating to genome organization as well as gene regulatory elements in this parasite.
PMCID: PMC3017767  PMID: 20565887
7.  Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Biotinylated Carboxyl-terminal Parathyroid Hormone Peptides that Specifically Crosslink to the CPTH-receptor 
Peptides  2006;27(12):3352-3362.
Parathyroid hormone (PTH) regulates calcium, phosphorous and skeletal homeostasis via interaction with the G protein-coupled PTH/PTHrP receptor, which is fully activated by the amino-terminal 34 amino-acid portion of the hormone. Recent evidence points to the existence of another class of receptors for PTH that recognize the carboxyl (C)-terminal region of intact PTH(1–84) (CPTHRs) and are highly expressed by osteocytes. Here we report the synthesis and characterization of two novel bifunctional CPTH ligands that include benzoylphenylalanine (Bpa) substitutions near their amino-termini and carboxyl-terminal biotin moieties, as well as a tyrosine34 substitution to enable radioiodination. These peptides are shown to bind to CPTHRs with affinity similar to that of PTH (1–84) and to be specifically and covalently cross-linked to CPTHRs upon exposure to ultraviolet light. Crosslinking to osteocytes or osteoblastic cells generates complexes of 80kDa and 220kDa, of which the larger form represents an aggregate that can be resolved into the 80kDa. The crosslinked products can be further purified using immunoaffinity and avidin-based affinity procedures. While the molecular structure of the CPTHR(s) remains undefined, these bifunctional ligands represent powerful new tools for use in isolating and characterizing CPTHR protein(s).
PMCID: PMC1764451  PMID: 17028061
Parathyroid Hormone; Carboxy-terminal Parathyroid Hormone; Parathyroid Hormone Receptor Type-1; Benzoylphenylalanine
8.  Loss of Flight and Associated Neuronal Rhythmicity in Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptor Mutants of Drosophila 
Coordinated flight in winged insects requires rhythmic activity of the underlying neural circuit. Here, we show that Drosophila mutants for the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3 ) receptor gene (itpr) are flightless. Electrophysiological recordings from thoracic indirect flight muscles show increased spontaneous firing accompanied by a loss of rhythmic flight activity patterns normally generated in response to a gentle puff of air. In contrast, climbing speed, the jump response, and electrical properties of the giant fiber pathway are normal, indicating that general motor coordination and neuronal excitability are much less sensitive to itpr mutations. All mutant phenotypes are rescued by expression of an itpr+ transgene in serotonin and dopamine neurons. Pharmacological and immunohistochemical experiments support the idea that the InsP3 receptor functions to modulate flight specifically through serotonergic interneurons. InsP3 receptor action appears to be important for normal development of the flight circuit and its central pattern generator.
PMCID: PMC1289272  PMID: 15356199
calcium; aminergic; serotonin; central pattern generator; inositol 1, 4, 5-triphosphate receptor; flight
10.  Concept of foreign body-its past and present 
Believe it or not, once upon a time, to remove a foreign body from the ear canal, the clinicians used to introduce the severed head of a living lizard which was still then gasping for breath. It was hoped that, the opening and closing jaw movements of the gasping lizard would at one time grasp the Foreign Body. Afterwards the removal of the lizard’s head would also lead to the removal of the Foreign Body.
Today the safe and simple removal is not considered as the ultimate treatment of Foreign body. Amongst the victims of self introduced Foreign bodies, are mostly children. Specially those who do it repeatedly and on others, are thought to be mentally retarded or frustrated. Such children should be subjected to Psychoanalysis and if the said study confirms one to be so, he should be given appropriate treatment. This will help him to grow normally by alleviating his various other behavioural disorders. In addition, it will stop his tendeny to do it again and save him suffering from problems of other mental disorders which can crop up in his future life if left untreated.
PMCID: PMC3451020  PMID: 23119590
11.  Looking for paediatric ENT care 
PMCID: PMC3451031  PMID: 23119534
13.  Your image is always in our heart 
PMCID: PMC3451424  PMID: 23119451
14.  Notable men in ENT 
PMCID: PMC3450984  PMID: 23119420
15.  Original article 
Pinna is present in mammals only and not found in any other living species. Various congenital anomalies of Human pinna often mimic the appearance of normal pinna of many mammals of lower order. Ecology has been observed to play a role in the development of pinna. Anomalous pinna though frustrating for both patients and clinicians, are mostly amenable to treatment.
PMCID: PMC3451001  PMID: 23119399
16.  Corrigendum 
PMCID: PMC3451244
17.  Fifty years ago 
PMCID: PMC3450909  PMID: 23119319
18.  Hundred years of laryngology 
PMCID: PMC3450585  PMID: 23119298
19.  Notable men in ent 
PMCID: PMC3450590  PMID: 23119318
20.  Prof. G. N. Dash 
PMCID: PMC3450730
21.  Discovery of nasal speculum 
PMCID: PMC3450742  PMID: 23119239

Results 1-21 (21)