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1.  Changes in Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers in Human Herpesvirus-6-Associated Acute Encephalopathy/Febrile Seizures 
Mediators of Inflammation  2014;2014:564091.
To determine the involvement of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of acute encephalopathy associated with human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) infection, we measured the levels of oxidative stress markers 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and hexanoyl-lysine adduct (HEL), tau protein, and cytokines in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) obtained from patients with HHV-6-associated acute encephalopathy (HHV-6 encephalopathy) (n = 16) and complex febrile seizures associated with HHV-6 (HHV-6 complex FS) (n = 10). We also examined changes in CSF-8OHdG and CSF-HEL levels in patients with HHV-6 encephalopathy before and after treatment with edaravone, a free radical scavenger. CSF-8-OHdG levels in HHV-6 encephalopathy and HHV-6 complex FS were significantly higher than in control subjects. In contrast, CSF-HEL levels showed no significant difference between groups. The levels of total tau protein in HHV-6 encephalopathy were significantly higher than in control subjects. In six patients with HHV-6 infection (5 encephalopathy and 1 febrile seizure), the CSF-8-OHdG levels of five patients decreased after edaravone treatment. Our results suggest that oxidative DNA damage is involved in acute encephalopathy associated with HHV-6 infection.
doi:10.1155/2014/564091
PMCID: PMC4177780  PMID: 25294958
2.  Recessive mutations in EPG5 cause Vici syndrome, a multisystem disorder with defective autophagy 
Nature genetics  2012;45(1):83-87.
Vici syndrome is a recessively inherited multisystem disorder characterized by callosal agenesis, cataracts, cardiomyopathy, combined immunodeficiency and hypopigmentation. To investigate the molecular basis of Vici syndrome, we carried out exome and Sanger sequence analysis in a cohort of 18 patients. We identified recessive mutations in EPG5 (previously KIAA1632), indicating a causative role in Vici syndrome. EPG5 is the human homologue of the metazoan-specific autophagy gene epg-5, encoding a key autophagy regulator (ectopic P-granules autophagy protein 5) implicated in the formation of autolysosomes. Further studies demonstrated a severe block of autophagosomal clearance in muscle and fibroblasts from EPG5 mutant patients, resulting in autophagic cargo accumulation in autophagosomes. These findings indicate Vici syndrome as a paradigm of a human multisystem disorder associated with defective autophagy, and suggest a fundamental role of the autophagy pathway in the anatomical and functional formation of organs such as the brain, the heart and the immune system.
doi:10.1038/ng.2497
PMCID: PMC4012842  PMID: 23222957
3.  Common allometric response of open-grown leader shoots to tree height in co-occurring deciduous broadleaved trees 
Annals of Botany  2011;108(7):1279-1286.
Background and Aims
Morphology of crown shoots changes with tree height. The height of forest trees is usually correlated with the light environment and this makes it difficult to separate the effects of tree size and of light conditions on the morphological plasticity of crown shoots. This paper addresses the tree-height dependence of shoot traits under full-light conditions where a tree crown is not shaded by other crowns.
Methods
Focus is given to relationships between tree height and top-shoot traits, which include the shoot's leaf-blades and non-leafy mass, its total leaf-blade area and the length and basal diameter of the shoot's stem. We examine the allometric characteristics of open-grown current-year leader shoots at the tops of forest tree crowns up to 24 m high and quantify their responses to tree height in 13 co-occurring deciduous hardwood species in a cool-temperate forest in northern Japan.
Key Results
Dry mass allocated to leaf blades in a leader shoot increased with tree height in all 13 species. Specific leaf area decreased with tree height. Stem basal area was almost proportional to total leaf area in a leader shoot, where the proportionality constant did not depend on tree height, irrespective of species. Stem length for a given stem diameter decreased with tree height.
Conclusions
In the 13 species observed, height-dependent changes in allometry of leader shoots were convergent. This finding suggests that there is a common functional constraint in tree-height development. Under full-light conditions, leader shoots of tall trees naturally experience more severe water stress than those of short trees. We hypothesize that the height dependence of shoot allometry detected reflects an integrated response to height-associated water stress, which contributes to successful crown expansion and height gain.
doi:10.1093/aob/mcr228
PMCID: PMC3197456  PMID: 21914698
Allometry; current-year leader shoot; hierarchical Bayesian model; pipe model; tree height; water stress
4.  Lesions of Acetylcholine Neurons in Refractory Epilepsy 
ISRN Neurology  2012;2012:404263.
We have examined brainstem lesions in patients with refractory epilepsy disorders, including West syndrome (WS), Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), and dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA). Acetylcholinergic neurons (AchNs) in the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPN) are involved in mental development, and disruption of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors can lead to epilepsy. In order to investigate the involvement of lesions of AchNs in refractory epilepsy, we performed immunohistochemical analyses of AchNs in the PPN in autopsy cases who had a past history of WS and/or LGS and in DRPLA cases who showed progressive myoclonic epilepsy. In addition, we performed a preliminary quantification of the levels of acetylcholine, neuropeptides, and monoamine metabolites in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with WS and benign convulsions associated with mild gastroenteritis (CwG). In the PPN analysis, the total number of neurons and the number of AchNs were reduced in WS/LGS and WS cases, while DRPLA cases showed a decrease in the number and percentage of AchNs. In the CSF analysis, WS patients demonstrated a reduction in the levels of inhibitory neuropeptides, while CwG patients showed increased levels of acetylcholine and decreased levels of serotonin metabolites. These data suggest the possible involvement of lesions of AchNs in WS and DRPLA.
doi:10.5402/2012/404263
PMCID: PMC3425792  PMID: 22934193

Results 1-4 (4)