Quantifying the effect of pollen dispersal and flowering traits on mating success is essential for understanding evolutionary responses to changing environments and establishing strategies for forest tree breeding. This study examined, quantitatively, the effects of male fecundity, interindividual distance and anisotropic pollen dispersal on the mating success of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), utilizing a well-mapped Scots pine seed orchard. Paternity analysis of 1021 seeds sampled from 87 trees representing 28 clones showed that 53% of the seeds had at least one potential pollen parent within the orchard. Pronounced variation in paternal contribution was observed among clones. Variations in pollen production explained up to 78% of the variation in mating success, which was 11.2 times greater for clones producing the largest amount of pollen than for clones producing the least pollen. Mating success also varied with intertree distance and direction, which explained up to 28% of the variance. Fertilization between neighboring trees 2.3 m apart was 2.4 times more frequent than between trees 4.6 m apart, and up to 12.4 times higher for trees downwind of the presumed prevailing wind direction than for upwind trees. The effective number of pollen donors recorded in the seed orchard (12.2) was smaller than the theoretical expectation (19.7). Based on the empirical observations, a mating model that best describes the gene dispersal pattern in clonal seed orchards was constructed.
anisotropic pollen dispersal; male fecundity; distance effect; mating model; paternity assignment
Opioid action was thought to exert reinforcing effects solely via the initial agonism of opioid receptors. Here we present evidence for an additional novel contributor to opioid reward: the innate immune pattern-recognition receptor, Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), and its MyD88-dependent signaling. Blockade of TLR4/MD2 by administration of the non-opioid, unnatural isomer of naloxone, (+)-naloxone (rats), or two independent genetic knockouts of MyD88-TLR4-dependent signaling (mice), suppressed opioid-induced conditioned place preference. (+)-Naloxone also reduced opioid (remifentanil) self-administration (rats), another commonly used behavioral measure of drug reward. Moreover, pharmacological blockade of morphine-TLR4/MD2 activity potently reduced morphine-induced elevations of extracellular dopamine in rat nucleus accumbens, a region critical for opioid reinforcement. Importantly, opioid-TLR4 actions are not a unidirectional influence on opioid pharmacodynamics, since TLR4 −/− mice had reduced oxycodone-induced p38 and JNK phosphorylation, whilst displaying potentiated analgesia. Similar to our recent reports of morphine-TLR4/MD2 binding, here we provide a combination of in silico and biophysical data to support (+)-naloxone and remifentanil binding to TLR4/MD2. Collectively, these data indicate that the actions of opioids at classical opioid receptors, together with their newly identified TLR4/MD2 actions, affect the mesolimbic dopamine system which amplifies opioid-induced elevations in extracellular dopamine levels and therefore possibly explaining altered opioid reward behaviors. Thus, the discovery of TLR4/MD2 recognition of opioids as foreign xenobiotic substances adds to the existing hypothesized neuronal reinforcement mechanisms, identifies a new drug target in TLR4/MD2 for the treatment of addictions, and provides further evidence supporting a role for central proinflammatory immune signaling in drug reward.
Sunitinib (Su), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor of VEGFR, is effective at producing tumour response in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (cRCC), but resistance to therapy is inevitable. As COX-2 is a known mediator of tumour growth, we explored the potential benefit of COX-2 inhibition in combination with VEGFR inhibition in attempts at delaying tumour progression on Su.
COX-2 expression was compared with areas of hypoxia in tumours that progressed on Su vs untreated tumours. Mice bearing human cRCC xenografts were treated with Su and the COX-2 inhibitor, celecoxib, and the effects on tumour growth were assessed. Sequential vs concurrent regimens were compared.
COX-2 expression was increased in cRCC xenografts in areas of tumour hypoxia. The combination of Su and celecoxib achieved longer times to tumour progression compared to treatment with either agent alone or to untreated control animals in four models. This effect was seen with concurrent but not with sequential therapy.
COX-2 inhibition can extend the effectiveness of VEGFR inhibition. This effect is dependent on the timing of therapy. Clinical trials combining Su and COX-2 inhibitors should be considered as a means delaying time to progression on sunitinib in patients with metastatic cRCC.
renal cell carcinoma; anti-angiogenic therapy; COX-2 inhibitor; sunitinib
Hypoxia induces the expansion of glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs), but the mechanism underlying it is still unclear. Here, we supply evidence that hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) induced activation of Notch pathway is essential for hypoxia-mediated maintenance of GSC. Either depletion of HIF-1α or inactivation of Notch signaling partly inhibits the hypoxia-mediated maintenance of GSC. Further data suggest a role for HIF-1α in the interaction and stabilization of intracellular domain of Notch (NICD), and activation of Notch signaling. The mRNA level of HIF-1α and Notch target gene FABP7 was elevated in GSC. And the STAT3 pathway responsible for the HIF-1α gene transcription, the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt and ERK1/2, both of which are contributed to HIF-1α protein translation, are also preferentially activated in GSC. Inhibition of these pathways partly reduces the hypoxia-induced activation of the Notch pathway and subsequent GSC maintenance. Taken together, our findings suggest that HIF-1α requires Notch pathway to drive the maintenance of GSC. The activated regulation of HIF-1α makes GSC more sensitive to hypoxia-mediated maintenance. These findings enhance our understanding of mechanism of hypoxia-mediated GSC expansion and provide HIF-1α as an attractive target for glioblastoma therapy.
cancer stem cell; hypoxia; Notch; Stat3; PI3K/AKT/mTOR
Carious lesions are distributed nonuniformly across tooth surfaces of the complete dentition, suggesting that the effects of risk factors may be surface-specific. Whether genes differentially affect caries risk across tooth surfaces is unknown. We investigated the role of genetics on two classes of tooth surfaces, pit and fissure surfaces (PFS) and smooth surfaces (SMS), in more than 2,600 subjects from 740 families. Participants were examined for surface-level evidence of dental caries, and caries scores for permanent and/or primary teeth were generated separately for PFS and SMS. Heritability estimates (h2, i.e. the proportion of trait variation due to genes) of PFS and SMS caries scores were obtained using likelihood methods. The genetic correlations between PFS and SMS caries scores were calculated to assess the degree to which traits covary due to common genetic effects. Overall, the heritability of caries scores was similar for PFS (h2 = 19–53%; p < 0.001) and SMS (h2 = 17–42%; p < 0.001). Heritability of caries scores for both PFS and SMS in the primary dentition was greater than in the permanent dentition and total dentition. With one exception, the genetic correlation between PFS and SMS caries scores was not significantly different from 100%, indicating that (mostly) common genes are involved in the risk of caries for both surface types. Genetic correlation for the primary dentition dfs (decay + filled surfaces) was significantly less than 100% (p < 0.001), indicating that genetic factors may exert differential effects on caries risk in PFS versus SMS in the primary dentition.
Dental caries; Genetic correlation; Genetics; Heritability; Permanent dentition; Pit and fissure surfaces; Primary dentition; Smooth surfaces
Macrophages are viewed as amplifiers of ischemic brain injury, but the origin of injury-producing macrophages is poorly defined. The role of resident brain macrophages—microglial cells—in stroke remains controversial. To determine if microglial cells exert injurious effects after neonatal focal stroke, we selectively depleted these cells with intracerebral injection of liposome-encapsulated clodronate before transient middle cerebral artery occlusion in postnatal day seven rats. Phagocytosis of apoptotic neurons by activated microglia was poor in animals with unmanipulated microglia, and depletion of these cells did not increase the number of apoptotic neurons. Lack of microglia increased the brain levels of several cytokines and chemokines already elevated by ischemia–reperfusion, and also increased the severity and volume of injury, suggesting that microglial cells contribute to endogenous protection during the subacute injury phase. Then, to determine if accumulation of reactive oxygen species in microglia adversely affects phagocytosis of dying neurons and contributes to injury, we delivered reduced glutathione (GSH) into microglia, again using liposomes. Remarkably, pharmacologically increased intracellular GSH concentrations in microglia induced superoxide accumulation in lipid rafts in these cells, further increased the brain levels of macrophage chemoattractants, and exacerbated injury. Taken together, these data show that microglia are part of the endogenous defense mechanisms and that, while antioxidants can protect the injured neonatal brain, high levels of reducing equivalents in activated microglia, GSH, trigger superoxide production, favor the reorganization of lipids, amplify local inflammation and exacerbate injury.
Background: We investigated cytokines and angiogenic factors (CAFs) in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) treated in a randomized phase II clinical trial of sorafenib versus sorafenib+ interferon-α (IFN-α) that yielded no differences in progression-free survival (PFS). We aimed to link the CAF profile to PFS and select candidate predictive and prognostic markers for further study.
Methods: The concentrations of 52 plasma CAFs were measured pretreatment (n = 69), day 28, and day 56 using multiplex bead arrays and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We investigated the association between baseline levels of CAFs with PFS and posttreatment changes.
Results: Unsupervised CAF clustering analysis revealed two distinct mRCC patient groups with elevated proangiogenic or proinflammatory mediators. A six-marker baseline CAF signature [osteopontin, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), carbonic anhydrase 9, collagen IV, VEGF receptor-2, and tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand] correlated with PFS benefit (hazard ratio 0.20 versus 2.25, signature negative versus positive, respectively; P = 0.0002). While changes in angiogenic factors were frequently attenuated by the sorafenib+ IFN combination, most key immunomodulatory mediators increased.
Conclusions: Using CAF profiling, we identified two mRCC patient groups, a candidate plasma signature for predicting PFS benefit, and distinct marker changes occurring with each treatment. This platform may provide valuable insights into renal cell carcinoma biology and the molecular consequences of targeted therapies.
CAF profiling; interferon; RCC combinations; renal cell carcinoma; sorafenib
Dental caries is the most common chronic disease in children and a major public health concern due to its increasing incidence, serious health and social co-morbidities, and socio-demographic disparities in disease burden. We performed the first genome-wide association scan for dental caries to identify associated genetic loci and nominate candidate genes affecting tooth decay in 1305 US children ages 3-12 yrs. Affection status was defined as 1 or more primary teeth with evidence of decay based on intra-oral examination. No associations met strict criteria for genome-wide significance (p < 10E-7); however, several loci (ACTN2, MTR, and EDARADD, MPPED2, and LPO) with plausible biological roles in dental caries exhibited suggestive evidence for association. Analyses stratified by home fluoride level yielded additional suggestive loci, including TFIP11 in the low-fluoride group, and EPHA7 and ZMPSTE24 in the sufficient-fluoride group. Suggestive loci were tested but not significantly replicated in an independent sample (N = 1695, ages 2-7 yrs) after adjustment for multiple comparisons. This study reinforces the complexity of dental caries, suggesting that numerous loci, mostly having small effects, are involved in cariogenesis. Verification/replication of suggestive loci may highlight biological mechanisms and/or pathways leading to a fuller understanding of the genetic risks for dental caries.
caries; childhood caries; fluoride(s); genetics; genome-wide association study; genomics
A tunneling nanotube (TNT) is a newly discovered structure involved in cell–cell communication and is found in various types of cells. Here we identify S100A4 as an extracellular molecule and describe its role in attracting the growth direction of TNTs. Together with its putative receptor, receptor for advanced glycation end product, we demonstrate their involvement in TNT direction guidance. Our results further suggest a mechanism for direction guidance of TNTs. In TNT-initiating cells, p53 activates caspase-3, which leads to S100A4 cleavage and its subsequent decrease in cellular concentration. The decrease in cellular S100A4 induces the formation of a gradient of S100A4, from a low concentration in initiating cells toward a high concentration in target cells. This concentration gradient of S100A4 induces direction guidance for TNTs.
tunneling nanotube; direction; S100A4; caspase-3; cell death
On monolithic Ni-Nb metallic glass films, we experimentally revealed 6.6% elastic strain limit by in-situ transmission electron microscopy observations. The origin of high elastic strain limit may link with high free volume in the film, causing the rearrangement of loosely bonded atomic clusters (or atoms) upon elastic deformation. This high elastic limit of metallic glass films will shed light on new application fields for metallic glasses, and also trigger more studies for deformation mechanism of amorphous materials in general.
Colorectal cancer represents the fourth commonest malignancy, and constitutes a major cause of significant morbidity and mortality among other diseases. However, the chemical therapy is still under development. Angiogenesis plays an important role in colon cancer development. We developed HMQ18–22 (a novel analog of taspine) with the aim to target angiogenesis. We found that HMQ18–22 significantly reduced angiogenesis of chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) and mouse colon tissue, and inhibited cell migration and tube formation as well. Then, we verified the interaction between HMQ18–22 and VEGFR2 by AlphaScreen P-VEGFR assay, screened the targets on angiogenesis by VEGF Phospho Antibody Array, validated the target by western blot and RNAi in lovo cells. We found HMQ18–22 could decrease phosphorylation of VEGFR2(Tyr1214), VEGFR1(Tyr1333), Akt(Tyr326), protein kinase Cα (PKCα) (Tyr657) and phospholipase-Cγ-1 (PLCγ-1) (Tyr771). Most importantly, HMQ18–22 inhibited proliferation of lovo cell and tumor growth in a human colon tumor xenografted model of athymic mice. Compared with normal lovo cells proliferation, the inhibition on proliferation of knockdown cells (VEGFR2, VEGFR1, Akt, PKCα and PLCγ-1) by HMQ18–22 decreased. These results suggested that HMQ18–22 is a novel angiogenesis inhibitor and can be a useful therapeutic candidate for colon cancer intervention.
HMQ18–22; angiogenesis; VEGFR; inhibition; signaling pathway
Glutamate dehydrogenase 1 (GLUD1) is a mitochondrial enzyme expressed in all tissues, including brain. Although this enzyme is expressed in glutamatergic pathways, its function as a regulator of glutamate neurotransmitter levels is still not well defined. In order to gain an understanding of the role of GLUD1 in the control of glutamate levels and synaptic release in mammalian brain, we generated transgenic (Tg) mice that over-express this enzyme in neurons of the central nervous system. The Tg mice have increased activity of GLUD, as well as elevated levels and increased synaptic and depolarization-induced release of glutamate. These mice suffer age-associated losses of dendritic spines, nerve terminals, and neurons. The neuronal losses and dendrite structural changes occur in select regions of the brain. At the transcriptional level in the hippocampus, cells respond by increasing the expression of genes related to neurite growth and synapse formation, indications of adaptive or compensatory responses to the effects of increases in the release and action of glutamate at synapses. Because these Tg mice live to a relatively old age they are a good model of the effects of a “hyperglutamatergic” state on the aging process in the nervous system. The mice are also useful in defining the molecular pathways affected by the over-activation of GLUD in glutamatergic neurons of the brain and spinal cord.
Glutamate dehydrogenase; Depolarization-induced glutamate release; Spine loss; Synapse loss; LTP; Aging; Transcriptomic changes
Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I chain-related gene A (MICA), a ligand for the activating immunoreceptor natural killer group 2D (NKG2D), is expressed on stressed cells such as tumor cells. Study of expression of this molecule on tumor cells and patients’ sera is useful to define patients’ stages leading to proper selection of therapy. In this study, mouse anti-MICA monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were produced by DNA immunization using a gene gun. Screening of anti-MICA-producing mouse and hybridomas were performed by immunoblot and cell enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) against MICA-positive HeLa and -negative Me1386 cell lines. MAbs were characterized against MICA-positive and -negative cell lines by immunoblot, cell ELISA and flow cytometry. The mAbs were also characterized for locus and allele specificities of MICA and MHC class I chain-related gene B (MICB) as well as for their ability to stain formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues by immunohistochemistry. Although all mouse immune sera were positive with MICA-positive cells by both immunoblot and cell ELISA methods, some hybridomas were positive only with one method. The mAbs had diverse specificities to detect MICA and MICB and different abilities to stain formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues. Thus, DNA immunization by gene gun is an effective method to generate immune mice for the production of mAbs with a variety of specificities against native and denatured forms of MIC proteins.
major histocompatibility complex class I chain-related gene A; major histocompatibility complex class I chain-related gene B; monoclonal antibody; NKG2D ligand
We propose a novel, information-theoretic, characterisation of cascades within the spatiotemporal dynamics of swarms, explicitly measuring the extent of collective communications. This is complemented by dynamic tracing of collective memory, as another element of distributed computation, which represents capacity for swarm coherence. The approach deals with both global and local information dynamics, ultimately discovering diverse ways in which an individual’s spatial position is related to its information processing role. It also allows us to contrast cascades that propagate conflicting information with waves of coordinated motion. Most importantly, our simulation experiments provide the first direct information-theoretic evidence (verified in a simulation setting) for the long-held conjecture that the information cascades occur in waves rippling through the swarm. Our experiments also exemplify how features of swarm dynamics, such as cascades’ wavefronts, can be filtered and predicted. We observed that maximal information transfer tends to follow the stage with maximal collective memory, and principles like this may be generalised in wider biological and social contexts.
The polarized molecules predominately distributing at hepatocyte canalicular surface play a vital role in disclosing the process of bile formation and etiopathogenisis of cholestatic live diseases. Therefore, it is important to find novel polarized molecules on hepatocyte canalicular membrane. In the present study, canalicular membrane vesicles (CMVs) isolated from rat hepatocyte by density gradient centrifugation were used as immunogens to produce hybridoma and 46 strains of monoclonal antibodies (mAb) against CMVs were obtained. With a series of morphological assay methods, including immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and immuno-electron microscope, the antigens recognized by canalicular mAb1 (CM1) and canalicular mAb2 (CM2) were confirmed to predominately distribute at hepatocyte canalicular membrane. Transport activity assay revealed that CM2 could inhibit ATP-dependent E217βG uptake of rat hepatocyte CMVs. Meanwhile, Western blotting analysis showed that the molecular mass of CM2 antigen was approximately 110kDa, which was much less than Mr 180kDa of multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (MRP2) involved in glucuronide transport. These data indicated that CM2 antigen might be a potential novel molecule participating in glucuronide transport on the hepatocyte canalicular membrane.
hepatocyte canalicular membrane; glucuronide transport; canalicular mAb2 (CM2); hybridoma technique.
The success of pancreatic β-cells transplantation to treat type 1 diabetes has been hindered by massive β-cell dysfunction and loss of β-cells that follows the procedure. Hypoxia-mediated cell death has been considered one of the main difficulties that must be overcome for transplantation to be regarded as a reliable therapy. Here we have investigated the mechanisms underlying β-cell death in response to hypoxia (1% O2). Our studies show that mouse insulinoma cell line 6 (Min6) cells undergo apoptosis with caspase-3 activation occurring as early as 2 h following exposure to hypoxia. Hypoxia induces endoplasmic reticulum stress in Min6 cells leading to activation of the three branches of the unfolded protein response pathway. In response to hypoxia the pro-apoptotic transcription factor C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) is upregulated. The important role of CHOP in the apoptotic process was highlighted by the rescue of Min6 cells from hypoxia-mediated apoptosis observed in CHOP-knockdown cells. Culturing isolated pancreatic mouse islets at normoxia showed intracellular hypoxia with accumulation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α and upregulation of CHOP, the latter one occurring as early as 4 h after isolation. Finally, we observed that pancreatic islets of type 2 db/db diabetic mice were more hypoxic than their counterpart in normoglycemic animals. This finding indicates that hypoxia-mediated apoptosis may occur in type 2 diabetes.
hypoxia; pancreatic β-cells; UPR; ER stress; apoptosis; CHOP
In addition to apolipoprotein E (APOE), recent large genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified nine other genes/loci (CR1, BIN1, CLU, PICALM, MS4A4/MS4A6E, CD2AP, CD33, EPHA1 and ABCA7) for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD). However, the genetic effect attributable to known loci is about 50%, indicating that additional risk genes for LOAD remain to be identified. In this study, we have used a new GWAS data set from the University of Pittsburgh (1291 cases and 938 controls) to examine in detail the recently implicated nine new regions with Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk, and also performed a meta-analysis utilizing the top 1% GWAS single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with P<0.01 along with four independent data sets (2727 cases and 3336 controls) for these SNPs in an effort to identify new AD loci. The new GWAS data were generated on the Illumina Omni1-Quad chip and imputed at ∼2.5 million markers. As expected, several markers in the APOE regions showed genome-wide significant associations in the Pittsburg sample. While we observed nominal significant associations (P<0.05) either within or adjacent to five genes (PICALM, BIN1, ABCA7, MS4A4/MS4A6E and EPHA1), significant signals were observed 69–180 kb outside of the remaining four genes (CD33, CLU, CD2AP and CR1). Meta-analysis on the top 1% SNPs revealed a suggestive novel association in the PPP1R3B gene (top SNP rs3848140 with P=3.05E–07). The association of this SNP with AD risk was consistent in all five samples with a meta-analysis odds ratio of 2.43. This is a potential candidate gene for AD as this is expressed in the brain and is involved in lipid metabolism. These findings need to be confirmed in additional samples.
Alzheimer's disease; genome-wide association study; meta-analysis; PPP1R3B; PTK2B; single-nucleotide polymorphisms
Pressure-induced amorphous-to-amorphous configuration changes in Ca-Al metallic glasses (MGs) were studied by performing in-situ room-temperature high-pressure x-ray diffraction up to about 40 GPa. Changes in compressibility at about 18 GPa, 15.5 GPa and 7.5 GPa during compression are detected in Ca80Al20, Ca72.7Al27.3, and Ca66.4Al33.6 MGs, respectively, whereas no clear change has been detected in the Ca50Al50 MG. The transfer of s electrons into d orbitals under pressure, reported for the pressure-induced phase transformations in pure polycrystalline Ca, is suggested to explain the observation of an amorphous-to-amorphous configuration change in this Ca-Al MG system. Results presented here show that the pressure induced amorphous-to-amorphous configuration is not limited to f electron-containing MGs.
Circadian oscillation and cell cycle progression are the two most essential rhythmic events present in almost all organisms. Circadian rhythms keep track of time and provide temporal regulation with a period of about 24 h. The cell cycle is optimized for growth and division, but not for time keeping. Circadian gated cell divisions are observed in nearly all organisms. However, the implications of this coupling to the physiology of mammals are unknown. A mutation (S662G) in the clock protein PERIOD2 (PER2) is responsible for familial advanced sleep phase syndrome in which sleep onset occurs in the early evening and wakefulness occurs in the early morning. Here, we provide evidence that the PER2S662 mutation leads to enhanced resistance to X-ray-induced apoptosis and increased E1A- and RAS-mediated oncogenic transformation. Accordingly, the PER2S662 mutation affects tumorigenesis in cancer-sensitized p53R172H/+ mice. Finally, analyzing the clock-controlled cell cycle genes p21, c-Myc, Cyclin D1 and p27, we found that the relative phases between p21 and Cyclin D expression profiles have been changed significantly in these Per2 allele mutant mouse embryonic fibroblasts. This key role of the Per2-mediated phase alteration of p21 provides what we believe to be a novel mechanism in understanding cell cycle progression, its plasticity and its resistance to interference.
PER2; circadian rhythms; cell cycle; tumorigenesis; FASPS
The aim of this study was to explore the effects of the bisphosphonate zoledronate on calcification induced by inorganic phosphate (Pi) and/or bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) and the underlying mechanisms. Primary vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) from rats were treated with 3 mM Pi or 3 mM Pi/BMP-2, with and without addition of zoledronate; 1.4 mM Pi served as a control. Calcium deposits, expression of core binding factor α-1 (Cbfa-1), osteopontin (OPN), parathyroid pituitary-specific transcription factor (Pit)-1 and Pit-2, and Pi uptake of VSMCs was determined. The calcification of VSMCs induced by elevated Pi or Pi/BMP-2 was significantly inhibited by zoledronate. The expression of Cbfa-1, OPN and Pit-1 was increased significantly after treatment with an elevated level of Pi or Pi/BMP-2, and this expression was significantly suppressed by addition of zoledronate. Pi uptake of VSMCs increased following treatment with elevated Pi and significantly decreased by addition of zoledronate. These results indicated that zoledronate effectively inhibited calcification induced by Pi/BMP-2, and this may have been achieved by means of the downregulation of expression of calcification-related proteins and uptake of Pi.
vascular calcification; zoledronate; bone morphogenetic protein 2; osteopontin; core binding factor α-1; phosphate uptake
Traditionally, insights into neural computation have been furnished by averaged firing rates from many stimulus repetitions or trials. We pursue an analysis of neural response variance to unveil neural computations that cannot be discerned from measures of average firing rate. We analyzed single-neuron recordings from the lateral intraparietal area (LIP), during a perceptual decision-making task. Spike count variance was divided into two components using the law of total variance for doubly stochastic processes: (i) variance of counts that would be produced by a stochastic point process with a given rate, and loosely (ii) the variance of the rates that would produce those counts (i.e., “conditional expectation”). The variance and correlation of the conditional expectation exposed several neural mechanisms: mixtures of firing rate states preceding the decision, accumulation of stochastic “evidence” during decision formation, and a stereotyped response at decision end. These analyses help to differentiate among several alternative decision-making models.