The activation of oxidative damage, neuroinflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in secondary pathomechanisms following spinal cord injury (SCI). These pathophysiological processes lead to cell death and are tightly regulated by nuclear factor E2-related factor 2/antioxidant response element (Nrf2/ARE) signaling. Here, we investigated whether activation of Nrf2/ARE is neuroprotective following SCI. Female Fischer rats were subjected to mild thoracic SCI (T8) using the New York University injury device. As early as 30 min after SCI, levels of Nrf2 transcription factor were increased in both nuclear and cytoplasmic fractions of neurons and astrocytes at the lesion site and remained elevated for 3 days. Treatment of injured rats with sulforaphane, an activator of Nrf2/ARE signaling, significantly increased levels of Nrf2 and glutamate-cysteine ligase (GCL), a rate-limiting enzyme for synthesis of glutathione, and decreased levels of inflammatory cytokines, interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) thus leading to a reduction in contusion volume and improvement in coordination. These results show that activation of the Nrf2/ARE pathway following SCI is neuroprotective and that sulforaphane is a viable compound for neurotherapeutic intervention in blocking pathomechanisms following SCI.
antioxidant response element; inflammation; neuroprotection; nuclear factor E2-related factor 2; oxidative stress; SCI
Biobanks and archived datasets collecting samples and data have become crucial engines of genetic and genomic research. Unresolved, however, is what responsibilities biobanks should shoulder to manage incidental findings (IFs) and individual research results (IRRs) of potential health, reproductive, or personal importance to individual contributors (using “biobank” here to refer to both collections of samples and collections of data). This paper reports recommendations from a 2-year, NIH-funded project. The authors analyze responsibilities to manage return of IFs and IRRs in a biobank research system (primary research or collection sites, the biobank itself, and secondary research sites). They suggest that biobanks shoulder significant responsibility for seeing that the biobank research system addresses the return question explicitly. When re-identification of individual contributors is possible, the biobank should work to enable the biobank research system to discharge four core responsibilities: to (1) clarify the criteria for evaluating findings and roster of returnable findings, (2) analyze a particular finding in relation to this, (3) re-identify the individual contributor, and (4) recontact the contributor to offer the finding. The authors suggest that findings that are analytically valid, reveal an established and substantial risk of a serious health condition, and that are clinically actionable should generally be offered to consenting contributors. The paper specifies 10 concrete recommendations, addressing new biobanks and biobanks already in existence.
incidental findings; return of results; biobanks; research ethics; bioethics; genetics; genomics
Spinal cord injury (SCI) induces a glial response in which astrocytes become activated and produce inflammatory mediators. The molecular basis for regulation of glial-innate immune responses remains poorly understood. Here, we examined the activation of retinoic acid inducible gene (RIG)-like receptors (RLRs) and their involvement in regulating inflammation following SCI. We show that astrocytes express two intracellular RLRs: RIG-I and melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5). SCI and stretch injury of cultured astrocytes stimulated RLR signaling as determined by phosphorylation of IRF3 leading to production of type I interferons (IFNs). RLR signaling stimulation with synthetic RNA resulted in RLR activation, phosphorylation of interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3), and increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein and vimentin, two hallmarks of reactive astrocytes. Moreover, mitochondrial E3 ubiquitin protein ligase 1 (MUL1), an RLR inhibitor, decreased production of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin following RIG-I signaling stimulation. Our findings identify a role for RLR signaling and type I IFN in regulating astrocyte innate immune responses after SCI.
Innate immunity; Neuroinflammation; Spinal Cord Injury; Astrocytes
Following early amnesic case reports, there is now considerable evidence suggesting a link between remembering the past and envisioning the future. This link is evident in the overlap in neural substrates as well as cognitive processes involved in both kinds of tasks. While constructing a future narrative requires multiple processes, neuroimaging and lesion data converge on a critical role for the medial temporal lobes (MTL) in retrieving and recombining details from memory in the service of novel simulations. Deficient detail retrieval and recombination may lead to impairments not only in episodic, but also in semantic prospection. MTL contributions to scene construction and mental time travel may further compound impairments in amnesia on tasks that pose additional demands on these processes, but are unlikely to form the core deficit underlying amnesics’ cross-domain future thinking impairment. Future studies exploring the role of episodic memory in other forms of self-projection or future-oriented behaviour may elucidate further the adaptive role of memory.
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
Traumatic brain injury (TBI), the third most common central nervous system (CNS) pathology, plagues 5.3 million Americans with permanent TBI-related disabilities. To evaluate injury severity and prognosis, physicians rely on clinical variables. Here we seek objective, biochemical markers reflecting molecular injury mechanisms specific to the CNS as more accurate measurements of injury severity and outcome. One such secondary injury mechanism, the innate immune response, is regulated by the inflammasome, a molecular platform that activates caspase-1 and interleukin-1β.
We investigated whether inflammasome components are present in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 23 TBI patients, and whether levels of inflammasome components correlate with outcome. We performed immunoblot analysis of CSF samples from TBI patients and non-trauma controls and assessed outcome five months post-injury by the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS). Data were analyzed by Mann-Whitney U tests and linear regression analysis.
Patients with severe or moderate cranial trauma exhibited significantly higher CSF levels of the inflammasome proteins apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain (ASC), caspase-1, and NAcht leucine-rich-repeat protein-1 (NALP-1) compared to non-trauma controls (P < 0.0001; P = 0.0029; P = 0.0202, respectively). Expression of each protein correlated significantly with GOS at five months post-injury (P < 0.05). ASC, caspase-1, and NALP-1 were significantly higher in the CSF of patients with unfavorable outcomes, including death and severe disability (P < 0.0001).
NALP-1 inflammasome proteins are potential biomarkers to assess TBI severity, outcome, and the secondary injury mechanisms impeding recovery, serving as adjuncts to clinical predictors.
biomarkers; traumatic brain injury; inflammation; innate immunity; inflammasome
Hfq is an RNA chaperone protein that has been broadly implicated in sRNA function in bacteria. Here we describe the construction and characterization of a null allele of the gene that encodes the RNA chaperone Hfq in Shewanella oneidensis strain MR-1, a dissimilatory metal reducing bacterium.
Loss of hfq in S. oneidensis results in a variety of mutant phenotypes, all of which are fully complemented by addition of a plasmid-borne copy of the wild type hfq gene. Aerobic cultures of the hfq∆ mutant grow more slowly through exponential phase than wild type cultures, and hfq∆ cultures reach a terminal cell density in stationary phase that is ~2/3 of that observed in wild type cultures. We have observed a similar growth phenotype when the hfq∆ mutant is cultured under anaerobic conditions with fumarate as the terminal electron acceptor, and we have found that the hfq∆ mutant is defective in Cr(VI) reduction. Finally, the hfq∆ mutant exhibits a striking loss of colony forming units in extended stationary phase and is highly sensitive to oxidative stress induced by H2O2 or methyl viologen (paraquat).
The hfq mutant in S. oneidensis exhibits pleiotropic phenotypes, including a defect in metal reduction. Our results also suggest that hfq mutant phenotypes in S. oneidensis may be at least partially due to increased sensitivity to oxidative stress.
Shewanella oneidensis; Hfq; Metal reduction; Oxidative stress; Stationary phase survival
Chordomas are rare, slow-growing malignant bone tumours arising from cellular remnants of the notochord. These tumours are locally invasive but have also a metastastic potential.
Chordomas are characterized by the presence of physaliferous cells in a myxofibrillary stromal background. In cytological aspirates, these characteristic cells are usually absent, revealing only clusters of cells with varying degrees of vacuolation. This makes definitive diagnosis of chordoma difficult as the tumor can mimic other myxoid neoplasms including renal cell carcinomas and well-differentiated chondrosarcomas. In such situations, a confident diagnosis of chordoma requires comparison with histology of the primary tumor.
We describe the first case of metastatic chordoma diagnosed by endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA).
Chordoma; metastasis; endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration
This study examined the latent structure of psychiatric disorders in a sample with a high prevalence of PTSD. A series of confirmatory factor analyses tested competing models for the covariation between SCID diagnoses among 1,325 Vietnam veterans. The best fitting solution was a three-factor model that included two correlated internalizing factors: anxious-misery, defined by PTSD and major depression, and fear, defined by panic disorder/agoraphobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The third factor, externalizing, was defined by antisocial personality disorder, alcohol abuse/dependence, and drug abuse/dependence. Both substance-related disorders also showed significant, albeit smaller, cross-loadings on the anxious-misery factor. These findings shed new light on the structure of psychiatric comorbidity in a treatment-seeking sample characterized by high rates of PTSD.
Interferon gamma release assays (IGRAs) are used to diagnose latent tuberculosis infection. Two IGRAs are commercially available: the Quantiferon TB Gold In Tube (QFT-IT) and the T-SPOT.TB. There is debate as to which test to use in HIV+ individuals. Previous publications from high TB burden countries have raised concerns that the sensitivity of the QFT-IT assay, but not the T-SPOT.TB, may be impaired in HIV+ individuals with low CD4+ T-cell counts. We sought to compare the tests in a low TB burden setting.
T-SPOT.TB, QFT-IT, and tuberculin skin tests (TST) were performed in HIV infected individuals. Results were related to patient characteristics. McNemar’s test, multivariate regression and correlation analysis were carried out using SPSS (SPSS Inc). 256 HIV infected patients were enrolled in the study. The median CD4+ T-cell count was 338 cells/µL (range 1–1328). 37 (14%) patients had a CD4+ T-cell count of <100 cells/µL. 46/256 (18% ) of QFT-IT results and 28/256 (11%) of T-SPOT.TB results were positive. 6 (2%) of QFT-IT and 18 (7%) of T-SPOT.TB results were indeterminate. An additional 9 (4%) of T-SPOT.TB results were unavailable as tests were not performed due to insufficient cells or clotting of the sample. We found a statistically significant association between lower CD4+ T-cell count and negative QFT-IT results (OR 1.055, p = 0.03), and indeterminate/unavailable T-SPOT.TB results (OR 1.079, p = 0.02).
In low TB prevalence settings, the QFT-IT yields more positive and fewer indeterminate results than T-SPOT.TB. Negative results on the QFT-IT and indeterminate/unavailable results on the T-SPOT.TB were more common in individuals with low CD4+ T-cell counts.
Policy initiatives to improve retention of the rural health workforce have relied primarily on evidence for rural doctors, most of whom practice under a private business model. Much of the literature for rural allied health (AH) workforce focuses on the public sector. The AH professions are diverse, with mixed public, private or combined practice settings. This study explores sector differences in factors affecting retention of rural AH professionals.
This study compared respondents from the 2008 Rural Allied Health Workforce (RAHW) survey recruiting all AH professionals in rural New South Wales. Comparisons between public (n = 833) and private (n = 756) groups were undertaken using Chi square analysis to measure association for demographics, job satisfaction and intention to leave. The final section of the RAHW survey comprised 33 questions relating to retention. A factor analysis was conducted for each cohort. Factor reliability was assessed and retained factors were included in a binary logistic regression analysis for each cohort predicting intention to leave.
Six factors were identified: professional isolation, participation in community, clinical demand, taking time away from work, resources and ‘specialist generalist’ work. Factors differed slightly between groups. A seventh factor (management) was present only in the public cohort. Gender was not a significant predictor of intention to leave. Age group was the strongest predictor of intention to leave with younger and older groups being significantly more likely to leave than middle aged.
In univariate logistic analysis (after adjusting for age group), the ability to get away from work did not predict intention to leave in either group. In multivariate analysis, high clinical demand predicted intention to leave in both the public (OR = 1.40, 95% CI = 1.08, 1.83) and private (OR = 1.61, 95% CI = 1.15, 2.25) cohorts. Professional isolation (OR = 1.39. 95% CI = 1.11, 1.75) and Participation in community (OR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.13, 2.19) also contributed to the model in the public cohort.
This paper demonstrates differences between those working in public versus private sectors and suggests that effectiveness of policy initiatives may be improved through better targeting.
Several authors have noted that there are no reported cases of people with schizophrenia who were born blind or who developed blindness shortly after birth, suggesting that congenital or early (C/E) blindness may serve as a protective factor against schizophrenia. By what mechanisms might this effect operate? Here, we hypothesize that C/E blindness offers protection by strengthening cognitive functions whose impairment characterizes schizophrenia, and by constraining cognitive processes that exhibit excessive flexibility in schizophrenia. After briefly summarizing evidence that schizophrenia is fundamentally a cognitive disorder, we review areas of perceptual and cognitive function that are both impaired in the illness and augmented in C/E blindness, as compared to healthy sighted individuals. We next discuss: (1) the role of neuroplasticity in driving these cognitive changes in C/E blindness; (2) evidence that C/E blindness does not confer protective effects against other mental disorders; and (3) evidence that other forms of C/E sensory loss (e.g., deafness) do not reduce the risk of schizophrenia. We conclude by discussing implications of these data for designing cognitive training interventions to reduce schizophrenia-related cognitive impairment, and perhaps to reduce the likelihood of the development of the disorder itself.
schizophrenia; blindness; perception; cognition; vision; vision disorders; plasticity
Data was prospectively collected on 850 consecutive patients undergoing central venous catheterisation (CVC) to receive total parenteral nutrition (TPN) in a major university teaching hospital over a 46 months period.
Data included information about CVC insertion and clinical outcomes, most notably, suspected catheter-related blood stream infections (CRBSI).
The internal jugular vein was the most common site (n = 882, 68%), followed by the subclavian vein (n = 344, 24.6%) and femoral vein (n = 95, 6.5%). The CRBSI rate per 100 line feeding days was 0.93% in patients cared for in a non ICU setting versus 1.98% for ICU managed patients. The mean number of line days preceding a pyrexial spike was 13.1. CRBSI was commonest in patients with femoral lines (n = 21/95, 22.1%), especially those cared for in a non-ICU setting (29.6% versus 14.5% for those in the ICU group). Preference should be given to internal jugular or subclavian-sited CVCs in ICU and non-ICU patients to reduce the risk of CRBSI. If femoral catheterisation is unavoidable, strict attention to aseptic technique is mandatory.
The aim of this study was to investigate the rate and pattern of CRBSI and to recommend changes in protocol, technique and equipment as deemed necessary from these findings.
Total Parenteral Nutrition; Catheter related blood stream infection; Central venous catheterisation
Researchers have long been enthralled with the idea that gene duplication can generate novel functions, crediting this process with great evolutionary importance. Empirical data shows that whole-genome duplications (WGDs) are more likely to be retained than small-scale duplications (SSDs), though their relative contribution to the functional fate of duplicates remains unexplored. Using the map of genetic interactions and the re-sequencing of 27 Saccharomyces cerevisiae genomes evolving for 2,200 generations we show that SSD-duplicates lead to neo-functionalization while WGD-duplicates partition ancestral functions. This conclusion is supported by: (a) SSD-duplicates establish more genetic interactions than singletons and WGD-duplicates; (b) SSD-duplicates copies share more interaction-partners than WGD-duplicates copies; (c) WGD-duplicates interaction partners are more functionally related than SSD-duplicates partners; (d) SSD-duplicates gene copies are more functionally divergent from one another, while keeping more overlapping functions, and diverge in their sub-cellular locations more than WGD-duplicates copies; and (e) SSD-duplicates complement their functions to a greater extent than WGD–duplicates. We propose a novel model that uncovers the complexity of evolution after gene duplication.
Gene duplication involves the doubling of a gene, originating an identical gene copy. Early evolutionary theory predicted that, as one gene copy is performing the ancestral function, the other gene copy, devoid from strong selection constraints, could evolve exploring alternative functions. Because of its potential to generate novel functions, hence biological complexity, gene duplication has been credited with enormous evolutionary importance. The way in which duplicated genes acquire novel functions remains the focus of intense research. Does the mechanism of duplication—duplication of small genome regions versus genome duplication—influence the fate of duplicates? Although it has been shown that the mechanism of duplication determines the persistence of genes in duplicate, a model describing the functional fates of duplicates generated by whole-genome or small-scale duplications remains largely obscure. Here we show that despite the large amount of genetic material originated by whole-genome duplication in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, these duplicates specialized in subsets of ancestral functions. Conversely, small-scale duplicates originated novel functions. We describe and test a model to explain the evolutionary dynamics of duplicates originated by different mechanisms. Our results shed light on the functional fates of duplicates and role of the duplication mechanism in generating functional diversity.
The Cognitive Neuroscience Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia initiative highlighted a contour integration test as a promising index of visual integration impairment because of its well-established psychometric properties; its prior validation in healthy adults, patients, and nonhuman primates; and its potential sensitivity to treatment effects. In this multisite study, our goals were to validate the task on the largest subject sample to date, clarify the task conditions and number of trials that best discriminate patients from controls, and determine whether this discrimination can occur in standard clinical trial settings. For our task, subjects briefly observed a field of disconnected, oriented elements and attempted to decide whether a subset of those elements formed a leftward- or rightward-pointing shape. Difficulty depended on the amount of orientational jitter that was added to the shape’s elements. Two versions of this Jittered Orientation Visual Integration task (JOVI) were examined. Study 1 did not reveal between-group differences in threshold (ie, the jitter magnitude needed to reach a performance level of ∼80%), but this likely owed to the wide sampling distribution of jitter levels and resulting floor/ceiling effects in many conditions. Study 2 incorporated a narrower range of difficulty levels and revealed lower thresholds (worse performance) among patients (p < .001). This group difference remained even when only the first half of the trials was analyzed (p = .001). Thus, the JOVI-2 provides a brief, sensitive measure of visual integration deficits in schizophrenia. Neural implications and potential future applications of the JOVI are discussed.
schizophrenia; perception; cognition; neuroscience; psychometrics; psychophysics; vision; contour integration
Since 1996, 16 states and the District of Columbia in the United States have enacted legislation to decriminalize marijuana for medical use. Although marijuana is the most commonly detected nonalcohol drug in drivers, its role in crash causation remains unsettled. To assess the association between marijuana use and crash risk, the authors performed a meta-analysis of 9 epidemiologic studies published in English in the past 2 decades identified through a systematic search of bibliographic databases. Estimated odds ratios relating marijuana use to crash risk reported in these studies ranged from 0.85 to 7.16. Pooled analysis based on the random-effects model yielded a summary odds ratio of 2.66 (95% confidence interval: 2.07, 3.41). Analysis of individual studies indicated that the heightened risk of crash involvement associated with marijuana use persisted after adjustment for confounding variables and that the risk of crash involvement increased in a dose-response fashion with the concentration of 11-nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol detected in the urine and the frequency of self-reported marijuana use. The results of this meta-analysis suggest that marijuana use by drivers is associated with a significantly increased risk of being involved in motor vehicle crashes.
accidents, traffic; automobiles; cannabis; motor vehicles; substance abuse detection
States’ pandemic influenza plans and school closure statutes are intended to guide state and local officials, but most faced a great deal of uncertainty during the 2009 influenza H1N1 epidemic. Questions remained about whether, when, and for how long to close schools and about which agencies and officials had legal authority over school closures.
This study began with analysis of states’ school-closure statutes and pandemic influenza plans to identify the variations among them. An agent-based model of one state was used to represent as constants a population’s demographics, commuting patterns, work and school attendance, and community mixing patterns while repeated simulations explored the effects of variations in school closure authority, duration, closure thresholds, and reopening criteria.
The results show no basis on which to justify statewide rather than school-specific or community-specific authority for school closures. Nor do these simulations offer evidence to require school closures promptly at the earliest stage of an epidemic. More important are criteria based on monitoring of local case incidence and on authority to sustain closure periods sufficiently to achieve epidemic mitigation.
This agent-based simulation suggests several ways to improve statutes and influenza plans. First, school closure should remain available to state and local authorities as an influenza mitigation strategy. Second, influenza plans need not necessarily specify the threshold for school closures but should clearly define provisions for early and ongoing local monitoring. Finally, school closure authority may be exercised at the statewide or local level, so long as decisions are informed by monitoring incidence in local communities and schools.
We previously identified a functional variant in a let-7 microRNA (miRNA) complementary site in the 3′-untranslated region of the KRAS oncogene (rs61764370) which is associated with cancer. We aimed to investigate the association of this KRAS variant with breast cancer and tumour biology.
We assessed frequency distributions of the KRAS variant in 415 patients with histologically confirmed breast cancer and 457 controls from Connecticut, USA (study group 1) and association of this variant with breast-cancer subtypes in 690 Irish women with known oestrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and HER2 statuses, and 360 controls (study group 2). We pooled data for study groups 1 and 2 with a cohort of 140 women with triple-negative breast cancer and 113 controls to assess the association of the KRAS variant with triple-negative breast cancer risk, and genome-wide mRNA and specific miRNA expression in patients with triple-negative breast cancer.
Although frequency distributions of the KRAS variant in study group 1 did not differ between all genotyped individuals, eight (33%) of 24 premenopausal women with ER/PR-negative cancer had the KRAS variant, compared with 27 (13%) of 201 premenopausal controls (p=0·015). In study group 2, the KRAS variant was significantly enriched in women with triple-negative breast cancer (19 [21%] of 90 cases) compared with 64 (13%) of 478 for luminal A, 13 (15%) of 87 for luminal B, and two (6%) of 35 for HER2-positive subgroups (p=0·044). Multivariate analysis in the pooled study groups showed that the KRAS variant was associated with triple-negative breast cancer in premenopausal women (odds ratio 2·307, 95% CI 1·261–4·219, p=0·0067). Gene-expression analysis of triple-negative breast-cancer tumours suggested that KRAS-variant positive tumours have significantly altered gene expression, and are enriched for the luminal progenitor and BRCA1 deficiency signatures. miRNA analysis suggested reduced levels of let-7 miRNA species in KRAS-variant tumours.
The KRAS variant might be a genetic marker for development of triple-negative breast cancer in premenopausal women, and altered gene and miRNA expression signatures should enable molecular and biological stratification of patients with this subgroup of breast cancer.
US National Institutes of Health.
The current study examined the role of maternal behavior and toddlers' emotion regulation strategies in the development of children's sustained attention abilities. Participants for this study included 447 children (232 girls) obtained from three different cohorts participating in a larger ongoing longitudinal study. When the children were 2 years of age, mothers brought their children to the laboratory and were videotaped during several tasks designed to elicit emotion regulation and mother– child interaction. Sustained attention was also measured at the same visit via a laboratory task and in a subsequent visit when children were 4.5 years of age. Results indicated that toddlers' use of help-seeking emotion regulation strategies was positively related to sustained attention while avoidance behaviors and maternal behavior characterized by high levels of overcontrolling/intrusiveness were negatively related to sustained attention at age 2. Significant interactions emerged such that high levels of maternal warmth/responsiveness buffered the negative associations between low use of distraction and high use of self-comforting emotion regulation strategies and sustained attention at age 2. Maternal behavior characterized by high levels of warmth/responsiveness also predicted greater growth in sustained attention from age 2 to 4.5. These findings are discussed in terms of how maternal behaviors and children's use of active versus passive emotion regulation strategies relate to sustained attention abilities.
sustained attention; development; children; emotion regulation; maternal behavior
Here we report the isolation of a murine model for heritable T cell lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (T-ALL) called Spontaneous dominant leukemia (Sdl). Sdl heterozygous mice develop disease with a short latency and high penetrance, while mice homozygous for the mutation die early during embryonic development. Sdl mice exhibit an increase in the frequency of micronucleated reticulocytes, and T-ALLs from Sdl mice harbor small amplifications and deletions, including activating deletions at the Notch1 locus. Using exome sequencing it was determined that Sdl mice harbor a spontaneously acquired mutation in Mcm4 (Mcm4D573H). MCM4 is part of the heterohexameric complex of MCM2–7 that is important for licensing of DNA origins prior to S phase and also serves as the core of the replicative helicase that unwinds DNA at replication forks. Previous studies in murine models have discovered that genetic reductions of MCM complex levels promote tumor formation by causing genomic instability. However, Sdl mice possess normal levels of Mcms, and there is no evidence for loss-of-heterozygosity at the Mcm4 locus in Sdl leukemias. Studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae indicate that the Sdl mutation produces a biologically inactive helicase. Together, these data support a model in which chromosomal abnormalities in Sdl mice result from the ability of MCM4D573H to incorporate into MCM complexes and render them inactive. Our studies indicate that dominantly acting alleles of MCMs can be compatible with viability but have dramatic oncogenic consequences by causing chromosomal abnormalities.
Our study investigated a spontaneous mouse model for dominantly inherited T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. Using genetic methods, we identified a mutant allele of Mcm4 (Mcm4D573H) in this model. Interestingly, this Mcm4 allele promotes the accumulation of focal chromosomal gains and losses, including aberrations at the Notch1 locus that drive the formation of T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. Previous studies of hypomorphic Mcm alleles have demonstrated that a decrease in MCM levels can cause tumorigenesis. However, total and chromatin bound MCM levels were similar to wild-type in our model, indicating that Mcm alleles that do not drastically impact MCM levels can cause genomic aberrations that drive tumor formation.
In vivo electroporation has become a gold standard method for DNA immunization. The method assists the DNA entry into cells, results in expression and the display of the native form of antigens to professional cells of the immune system, uses both arms of immune system, has a built-in adjuvant system, is relatively safe, and is cost-effective. However, there are challenges for achieving an optimized reproducible process for eliciting strong humoral responses and for the screening of specific immune responses, in particular, when the aim is to mount humoral responses or to generate monoclonal antibodies via hybridoma technology. Production of monoclonal antibodies demands generation of high numbers of primed B and CD4 T helper cells in lymphoid organs needed for the fusion that traditionally is achieved by a final intravenous antigen injection. The purified antigen is also needed for screening of hundreds of clones obtained upon fusion of splenocytes. Such challenges make DNA vaccination dependent on purified proteins. Here, we have optimized methods for in vivo electroporation, production, and use of cells expressing the antigen and an in-cell Western screening method. These methods resulted in (1) reproducibly mounting robust humoral responses against antigens with different cell localizations, and (2) the ability to screen for antigen eliminating a need for protein/antigen purification. This process includes optimized parameters for in vivo electroporation, the use of transfected cells for final boost, and mild fixation/permeabilization of cells for screening. Using this process, upon two vaccinations via in vivo electroporation (and final boost), monoclonal antibodies against nucleus and cytoplasmic and transmembrane proteins were achieved.
Sibling warmth has been identified as a protective factor from life events, but stressor–support match-mismatch and social domains perspectives suggest that sibling warmth may not efficiently protect youths from all types of life events. We tested whether sibling warmth moderated the association between each of family-wide, youths’ personal, and siblings’ personal life events and both depressive symptoms and risk-taking behaviors. Participants were 187 youths aged 9–18 (M = 11.80 years old, SD = 2.05). Multiple regression models revealed that sibling warmth was a protective factor from depressive symptoms for family-wide events, but not for youths’ personal and siblings’ personal life events. Findings highlight the importance of contextualizing protective functions of sibling warmth by taking into account the domains of stressors and adjustment.
adolescence; depressive symptoms; life events; risk-taking behaviors; sibling relationships