Mouse and human pregnancy-specific glycoproteins (PSG) are known to exert immunomodulatory functions during pregnancy by inducing maternal leukocytes to secrete anti-inflammatory cytokines that promote a tolerogenic decidual microenvironment. Many such anti-inflammatory mediators also function as proangiogenic factors, which, along with the reported association of murine PSG with the uterine vasculature, suggest that PSG may contribute to the vascular adaptations necessary for successful implantation and placental development. We observed that PSG22 is strongly expressed around the embryonic crypt on Gestation Day 5.5, indicating that trophoblast giant cells are the main source of PSG22 during the early stages of pregnancy. PSG22 treatment up-regulated the secretion of transforming growth factor beta 1 and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) in murine macrophages, uterine dendritic cells, and natural killer cells. A possible role of PSGs in uteroplacental angiogenesis is further supported by the finding that incubation of endothelial cells with PSG22 resulted in the formation of tubes in the presence and absence of VEGFA. We determined that PSG22, like human PSG1 and murine PSG17 and PSG23, binds to the heparan sulfate chains in syndecans. Therefore, our findings indicate that despite the independent evolution and expansion of human and rodent PSG, members in both families have conserved functions that include their ability to induce anti-inflammatory cytokines and proangiogenic factors as well as to induce the formation of capillary structures by endothelial cells. In summary, our results indicate that PSG22, the most abundant PSG expressed during mouse early pregnancy, is likely a major contributor to the establishment of a successful pregnancy.
Pregnancy-specific glycoprotein 22, expressed by trophoblast giant cells early during gestation, stimulates TGFB and VEGFA production by primary immune cells and promotes the differentiation of capillary tubes by vascular endothelial cells.
angiogenesis; implantation; pregnancy; pregnancy-specific glycoprotein 22; trophoblast
We evaluated predictors of coronary heart disease (CHD) death and sudden cardiac death (SCD) in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study.
Methods and Results
The study population included 13 621 men and women 45 to 65 years of age free from manifest cardiovascular disease at entry. Hazard ratios from Cox regression with 95% confidence intervals were computed for 18 dichotomized repolarization‐related ECG variables. The average follow‐up was 14 years. Independent predictors of CHD death in men were TaVR‐ and rate‐adjusted QTend (QTea), with a 2‐fold increased risk for both, and spatial angles between mean QRS and T vectors and between Tpeak (Tp) and normal R reference vectors [θ(Rm|Tm) and θ(Tp|Tref), respectively], with a >1.5‐fold increased risk for both. In women, independent predictors of the risk of CHD death were θ(Rm|Tm), with a 2‐fold increased risk for θ(Rm|Tm), and θ(Tp|Tref), with a 1.7‐fold increased risk. Independent predictors of SCD in men were θ(Tp|Tref) and QTea, with a 2‐fold increased risk, and θ(Tinit|Tterm), with a 1.6‐fold increased risk. In women, θ(Tinit|Tterm) was an independent predictor of SCD, with a >3‐fold increased risk, and θ(Rm|Tm) and TV1 were >2‐fold for both.
θ(Rm|Tm) and θ(Tp|Tref), reflecting different aspects of ventricular repolarization, were independent predictors of CHD death and SCD, and TaVR and TV1 were also independent predictors. The risk levels for independent predictors for both CHD death and SCD were stronger in women than in men, and QTea was a significant predictor in men but not in women.
electrocardiography; ischemic heart disease; prognosis; repolarization; sudden death
Insect steroid hormones (ecdysteroids) are important for female reproduction in many insect species and are required for the initiation and coordination of vital developmental processes. Ecdysteroids are also important for adult male physiology and behavior, but their exact function and site of synthesis remains unclear, although previous studies suggest that the reproductive system may be their source. We have examined expression profiles of the ecdysteroidogenic Halloween genes, during development and in adults of the flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. Genes required for the biosynthesis of ecdysone (E), the precursor of the molting hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), are expressed in the tubular accessory glands (TAGs) of adult males. In contrast, expression of the gene encoding the enzyme mediating 20E synthesis was detected in the ovaries of females. Further, Spookiest (Spot), an enzyme presumably required for endowing tissues with competence to produce ecdysteroids, is male specific and predominantly expressed in the TAGs. We also show that prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH), a regulator of E synthesis during larval development, regulates ecdysteroid levels in the adult stage in Drosophila melanogaster and the gene for its receptor Torso seems to be expressed specifically in the accessory glands of males. The composite results suggest strongly that the accessory glands of adult male insects are the main source of E, but not 20E. The finding of a possible male-specific source of E raises the possibility that E and 20E have sex-specific roles analogous to the vertebrate sex steroids, where males produce primarily testosterone, the precursor of estradiol. Furthermore this study provides the first evidence that PTTH regulates ecdysteroid synthesis in the adult stage and could explain the original finding that some adult insects are a rich source of PTTH.
Previous studies suggest that human pregnancy specific beta-1-glycoproteins (PSGs) play immunomodulatory roles during pregnancy; however, other possible functions of PSGs have yet to be explored. We have observed that PSGs induce transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFB1), which among its other diverse functions inhibits T-cell function and has proangiogenic properties. The present study investigates a potential role for PSG1, the most abundant PSG in maternal serum, as a possible inducer of proangiogenic growth factors known to play an important role in establishment of the vasculature at the maternal-fetal interface. To this end, we measured TGFB1, vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) A and C, and placental growth factor (PGF) protein levels in several cell types after PSG1 treatment. In addition, tube formation and wound healing assays were performed to investigate a possible direct interaction between PSG1 and endothelial cells. PSG1 induced up-regulation of both TGFB1 and VEGFA in human monocytes, macrophages, and two human extravillous trophoblast cell lines. We did not observe induction of VEGFC or PGF by PSG1 in any of the cells tested. PSG1 treatment resulted in endothelial tube formation in the presence and absence of VEGFA. Site-directed mutagenesis was performed to map the essential regions within the N-domain of PSG1 required for functional activity. We found that the aspartic acid at position 95, previously believed to be required for binding of PSGs to cells, is not required for PSG1 activity but that the amino acids implicated in the formation of a salt bridge within the N-domain are essential for PSG1 function.
Human pregnancy specific beta-1-glycoprotein 1 (PSG1) induces TGFB1 and VEGFA in monocytes/macrophages and trophoblast, and TGFB1 secretion and tube formation in endothelial cells.
angiogenesis; growth factors; placenta; placental angiogenesis; pregnancy; pregnancy-specific glycoprotein 1; syncytiotrophoblast; transforming growth factor beta 1; vascular endothelial growth factor
Drosophila females commit tremendous resources to egg production and males produce some of the longest sperm in the animal kingdom. We know little about the coordinated regulation of gene expression patterns in distant somatic tissues that support the developmental cost of gamete production.
We determined the non-gonadal gene expression patterns of Drosophila females and males with or without a germline. Our results show that germline-dependent expression in the non-gonadal soma is extensive. Interestingly, gene expression patterns and hormone titers are consistent with a hormone axis between the gonads and non-gonadal soma.
The germline has a long-range influence on gene expression in the Drosophila sexes. We suggest that this is the result of a germline/soma hormonal axis.
Retrotransposons (RTEs) are a principal component of most eukaryotic genomes, representing 50%-80% of some grass genomes. RTE sequences have been shown to be preferentially present in disease resistance gene clusters in plants. Arabidopsis thaliana has over 1,600 annotated RTE sequences and 56 of these appear to be expressed because of the exact expressed sequence tag (EST) matches and the presence of intact open reading frames. Of the 22 represented in the Affymetrix ATH1 array, AtCOPIA4 was found to be expressed at a higher level than all other RTEs across different developmental stages. Since AtCOPIA4 is located in the RPP5 gene cluster and is adjacent to RPP4 which confers resistance to the downy mildew oomycete Hyaloperonospora parasitica isolate EMWA1, we evaluated AtCOPIA4 mutants for resistance to this pathogen. T-DNA insertional and antisense knockout of AtCOPIA4 was found to reduce the resistance of wild type plants by 2-4 folds. Our results suggest that retrotransposon can be exapted to participate in plant defense response.
Arabidopsis thaliana; retrotransposon; downy mildew resistance; knockout
Periodic pulses of the insect steroid molting hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), acting via its nuclear receptor complex (EcR/USP), control gene expression at many stages throughout Drosophila development. However, during the last larval instar of some lepidopteran insects, subtle changes in titers of ecdysteroids have been documented, including the so-called "commitment peak". This small elevation of 20E reprograms the larva for metamorphosis to the pupa. Similar periods of ecdysteroid immunoreactivity have been observed during the last larval instar of Drosophila. However, due to low amplitude and short duration, along with small body size and staging difficulties, their timing and ecdysteroid composition have remained uncertain. Employing a rigorous regimen of Drosophila culture and a salivary gland reporter gene, Sgs3-GFP, we used RP-HPLC and differential ecdysteroid RIA analysis to determine whole body titers of 20E during the last larval instar. Three small peaks of 20E were observed at 8, 20 and 28 hr following ecdysis, prior to the well-characterized large peak around the time of pupariation. The possible regulation of 20E levels by biosynthetic P450 enzymes and the roles of these early peaks in coordinating gene expression and late larval development are discussed.
ecdysteroid; ecdysone-responsive genes; Sgs3; GFP; CYP enzyme; Disembodied; Phantom; metamorphosis; RP-HPLC; RIA
In insects, control of body size is intimately linked to nutritional quality as well as environmental and genetic cues that regulate the timing of developmental transitions. Prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH) has been proposed to play an essential role in regulating the production and/or release of ecdysone, a steroid hormone that stimulates molting and metamorphosis. In this report we examine the consequences on Drosophila development of ablating the PTTH-producing neurons. Surprisingly, PTTH production is not essential for molting or metamorphosis. Instead, loss of PTTH results in delayed larval development and eclosion of larger flies with more cells. Prolonged feeding, without changing the rate of growth, causes the developmental delay and is a consequence of low ecdysteroid titers. These results indicate that final body size in insects is determined by a balance between growth rate regulators such as insulin and developmental timing cues such as PTTH that set the duration of the feeding interval.
Coelacanths are well-known sarcopterygian (lobe-finned) fishes, which together with lungfishes are the closest extant relatives of land vertebrates (tetrapods). Coelacanths have both living representatives and a rich fossil record, but lack fossils older than the late Middle Devonian (385–390 Myr ago), conflicting with current phylogenies implying coelacanths diverged from other sarcopterygians in the earliest Devonian (410–415 Myr ago). Here, we report the discovery of a new coelacanth from the Early Devonian of Australia (407–409 Myr ago), which fills in the approximately 20 Myr ‘ghost range’ between previous coelacanth records and the predicted origin of the group. This taxon is based on a single lower jaw bone, the dentary, which is deep and short in form and possesses a dentary sensory pore, otherwise seen in Carboniferous and younger taxa.
Actinistia; Sarcopterygii; Early Devonian; ghost range
This paper presents a model for analysis of chronic disease prescribing action over time in terms of transitions in status of therapy as indicated in electronic prescribing records. The quality of alerts derived from these therapeutic state transitions is assessed in the context of antihypertensive prescribing.
A set of alert criteria is developed based on analysis of state-transition in past antihypertensive prescribing of a rural Australian General Practice. Thirty active patients coded as hypertensive with alerts on six months of previously un-reviewed prescribing, and 30 hypertensive patients without alerts, are randomly sampled and independently reviewed by the practice’s two main general practice physicians (GPs), each GP reviewing 20 alert and 20 non-alert cases (providing 10 alert and 10 non-alert cases for agreement assessment).
GPs provide blind assessment of quality of hypertension management and retrospective assessment of alert relevance.
Alerts were found on 66 of 611 cases with coded hypertension with 37 alerts on the 30 sampled alert cases. GPs assessed alerting sensitivity as 74% (CI 52% - 89%) and specificity as 61% (CI 45% - 74%) for the sample, which is estimated as 26% sensitivity and 93% specificity for the antihypertensive population. Agreement between the GPs on assessment of alert relevance was fair (kappa = 0.37).
Data-driven development of alerts from electronic prescribing records using analysis of therapeutic state transition shows promise for derivation of high-specificity alerts to improve the quality of chronic disease management activities.
Adenovirus translocation to the nucleus occurs through a well characterized minus end-directed transport along microtubules. Here, we show that the adenovirus infection process has a significant impact on the stability and dynamic behavior of host cell microtubules. Adenovirus-infected cells had elevated levels of acetylated and detyrosinated microtubules compared with uninfected cells. The accumulation of modified microtubules within adenovirus-infected cells required active RhoA. Adenovirus-induced changes in microtubule dynamics were characterized at the centrosome and at the cell periphery in living cells. Adenovirus infection resulted in a transient enhancement of centrosomal microtubule nucleation frequency. At the periphery of adenovirus-infected cells, the dynamic instability of microtubules plus ends shifted toward net growth, compared with the nearly balanced growth and shortening observed in uninfected cells. In infected cells, microtubules spent more time in growth, less time in shortening, and underwent catastrophes less frequently compared with those in uninfected cells. Drug-induced inhibition of Rac1 prevented most of these virus-induced shifts in microtubule dynamic instability. These results demonstrate that adenovirus infection induces a significant stabilizing effect on host cell microtubule dynamics, which involve, but are not limited to, the activation of the RhoGTPases RhoA and Rac1.
The toxic effects of cadmium and other heavy metals have been well established, and many of these and other environmental pollutants are known to be embryotoxic or teratogenic. However, it has proven difficult to identify individual cells that respond to toxicants among the wide range of cell populations in an intact animal, particularly during early development when cells are continually changing their molecular and physiologic characteristics as they differentiate. Here we report the establishment of an in vivo system that uses hsp70 gene activation as a measure of cadmium toxicity in living early larvae of transgenic zebrafish carrying a stably integrated hsp70-enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) reporter gene. We demonstrate that eGFP expression in this strain of fish acts as an accurate and reproducible indicator of cell-specific induction of hsp70 gene expression. Furthermore, the transgene responds in a dose-dependent manner at concentrations similar to those observed for morphologic indicators of early-life-stage toxicity and is sensitive enough to detect cadmium at doses below the median combined adverse effect concentration and the median lethal concentration. The stable nature of this transgenic line should allow for extremely rapid and reproducible toxicologic profiling of embryos and larvae throughout development.
In Canada, hunger is believed to be rare. This study examined the prevalence of hunger among Canadian children and the characteristics of, and coping strategies used by, families with children experiencing hunger.
The data originated from the first wave of data collection for the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, conducted in 1994, which included 13 439 randomly selected Canadian families with children aged 11 years or less. The respondents were asked about the child‚s experience of hunger and consequent use of coping strategies. Sociodemographic and other risk factors for families experiencing hunger, use of food assistance programs and other coping strategies were analyzed by means of multiple logistic regression analysis.
Hunger was experienced by 1.2% (206) of the families in the survey, representing 57 000 Canadian families. Single-parent families, families relying on social assistance and off-reserve Aboriginal families were overrepresented among those experiencing hunger. Hunger coexisted with the mother‚s poor health and activity limitation and poor child health. Parents offset the needs of their children by depriving themselves of food.
Physicians may wish to use these demographic characteristics to identify and assist families with children potentially at risk for hunge
The objective of this study was to determine the feasibility of using airborne T3 coliphage as a viral tracer in microbial aerosols. Although T3 coliphage was relatively stable when stored either at temperatures ranging from 21 to 37 C or in the frozen state at -20 C, there was a 2-log loss in infectivity when stored for 72 days at 4 C. Either agitation of stored coliphage suspensions held at 31 C or wide fluctuations in storage temperature produced an increased loss of infectivity. In the airborne state, freshly prepared coliphage and stored coliphage behaved similarly, with survival diminishing as the relative humidity (RH) was lowered. The greatest loss occurred during the first five min following aerosolization. The results showed that only under certain conditions of temperature and relative humidity can T3 coliphage be used as a satisfactory aerosol tracer.