Sleep quality and ethnicity are related to a host of general health outcomes including the experience of pain, yet it remains unclear whether poor sleep quality and ethnicity might interactively affect pain catastrophizing and laboratory-evoked acute pain reports. The current study examined the cross-sectional associations of subjective sleep quality, ethnicity, and their interaction with pain catastrophizing and pain reports.
Healthy (N = 149), ethnically diverse (58% Caucasian American, 23% Asian American, 19% African American) young adults were subjected to a cold pressor task (CPT). Prior to CPT, participants completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and a standard version of the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS). Following CPT, participants completed a situation-specific version of the PCS.
Adjusted analyses revealed a significant sleep quality by ethnicity interaction for standard catastrophizing reports. Particularly, African Americans with poor overall sleep quality reported the greatest level of catastrophizing on the standard PCS relative to their Caucasian and Asian American counterparts. Furthermore, African Americans with poorer sleep efficiency reported greater catastrophizing on the situation-specific PCS compared to Caucasian and Asian Americans. Catastrophizing was significantly correlated with pain reports.
These results suggest that African Americans with poorer sleep quality may be at greater risk for catastrophizing, a known contributor to more intense pain and increased pain-related emotional distress. Whether interventions that improve the sleep quality of ethnic minorities affect pain catastrophizing is in need of investigation.
Ethnicity; sleep quality; pain catastrophizing; cold pressor; disparities
Women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) mutations must choose between prophylactic surgeries and screening to manage their high risks of breast and ovarian cancer, comparing options in terms of cancer incidence, survival, and quality of life. A clinical decision tool could guide these complex choices.
We built a Monte Carlo model for BRCA1/2 mutation carriers, simulating breast screening with annual mammography plus magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) from ages 25 to 69 years and prophylactic mastectomy (PM) and/or prophylactic oophorectomy (PO) at various ages. Modeled outcomes were cancer incidence, tumor features that shape treatment recommendations, overall survival, and cause-specific mortality. We adapted the model into an online tool to support shared decision making.
We compared strategies on cancer incidence and survival to age 70 years; for example, PO plus PM at age 25 years optimizes both outcomes (incidence, 4% to 11%; survival, 80% to 83%), whereas PO at age 40 years plus MRI screening offers less effective prevention, yet similar survival (incidence, 36% to 57%; survival, 74% to 80%). To characterize patients' treatment and survivorship experiences, we reported the tumor features and treatments associated with risk-reducing interventions; for example, in most BRCA2 mutation carriers (81%), MRI screening diagnoses stage I, hormone receptor-positive breast cancers, which may not require chemotherapy.
Cancer risk-reducing options for BRCA1/2 mutation carriers vary in their impact on cancer incidence, recommended treatments, quality of life, and survival. To guide decisions informed by multiple health outcomes, we provide an online tool for joint use by patients with their physicians (http://brcatool.stanford.edu).
A substantial increase in transportation of goods on railway may be hindered by public fear of increased vibration and noise leading to annoyance and sleep disturbance. As the majority of freight trains run during night time, the impact upon sleep is expected to be the most serious adverse effect. The impact of nocturnal vibration on sleep is an area currently lacking in knowledge. We experimentally investigated sleep disturbance with the aim to ascertain the impact of increasing vibration amplitude.
The impacts of various amplitudes of horizontal vibrations on sleep disturbance and heart rate were investigated in a laboratory study. Cardiac accelerations were assessed using a combination of polysomnography and ECG recordings. Sleep was assessed subjectively using questionnaires. Twelve young, healthy subjects slept for six nights in the sleep laboratory, with one habituation night, one control night and four nights with a variation of vibration exposures whilst maintaining the same noise exposure. With increasing vibration amplitude, we found a decrease in latency and increase in amplitude of heart rate as well as a reduction in sleep quality and increase in sleep disturbance.
We concluded that nocturnal vibration has a negative impact on sleep and that the impact increases with greater vibration amplitude. Sleep disturbance has short- and long-term health consequences. Therefore, it is necessary to define levels that protect residents against sleep disruptive vibrations that may arise from night time railway freight traffic.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal disorder of reproductive-age women. Yet the cause of BV has not been established. To uncover key determinants of BV, we employed a multi-omic, systems-biology approach, including both deep 16S rRNA gene-based sequencing and metabolomics of lavage samples from 36 women. These women varied demographically, behaviorally, and in terms of health status and symptoms.
16S rRNA gene-based community composition profiles reflected Nugent scores, but not Amsel criteria. In contrast, metabolomic profiles were markedly more concordant with Amsel criteria. Metabolomic profiles revealed two distinct symptomatic BV types (SBVI and SBVII) with similar characteristics that indicated disruption of epithelial integrity, but each type was correlated to the presence of different microbial taxa and metabolites, as well as to different host behaviors. The characteristic odor associated with BV was linked to increases in putrescine and cadaverine, which were both linked to Dialister spp. Additional correlations were seen with the presence of discharge, 2-methyl-2-hydroxybutanoic acid, and Mobiluncus spp., and with pain, diethylene glycol and Gardnerella spp.
The results not only provide useful diagnostic biomarkers, but also may ultimately provide much needed insight into the determinants of BV.
The extended-release formulation of zolpidem (Ambien CR®) is approved for the treatment of insomnia without a treatment duration limit. Acutely zolpidem impairs performance, and no research to date has examined whether tolerance develops to these performance impairments during nighttime awakening. The present double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined whether tolerance develops to zolpidem-induced acute performance impairment after repeated (22–30 days) nightly use. Effects of bedtime administration of zolpidem extended-release (ZOL; 12.5 mg) were tested on a battery of performance measures assessed during a forced nighttime awakening in 15 healthy male volunteers who completed overnight polysomnographic recording sessions in our laboratory at baseline and after approximately a month of at-home ZOL. As expected, bedtime ZOL administration was associated with changes in sleep architecture and impairments across all performance domains during nighttime testing (psychomotor function, attention, working memory, episodic memory, metacognition) with no residual next morning impairment. Tolerance did not develop to the observed ZOL-related impairments on any outcome. Possible evidence of acute abstinence effects following discontinuation of ZOL was observed on some performance and sleep outcomes. Overall, these findings suggest that performance is significantly impaired during nighttime awakening even after a month of nightly ZOL administration and these impairments could significantly impact safety should nighttime awakening require unimpaired functioning (e.g., driving; combat-related activities in the military).
zolpidem; Ambien; psychomotor; cognition; tolerance; memory
A simple method for birdcage coil design (high pass, low pass, and band pass) is presented. Rather than iteratively approaching the Larmor resonant frequency with known capacitances and calculated inductances, a more versatile approach to birdcage coil design is developed and validated, in which the necessary capacitances are calculated using a desired current pattern, a calculated inductance, and a predetermined resonant frequency. In order to expedite coil design for experienced and novice coil builders, a computer program (BirdcageBuilder) is also implemented based on this method. Experimental results show that the calculated capacitances and actual capacitances for several existing birdcage coils are in good agreement.
birdcage coil; radio frequency coil; coil; software
Thermoresponsive hydrogel nanoparticles composed of poly(N-isopropylmethacrylamide) (pNIPMAm) and the disulfide-based cross-linker N,N’-bis(acryloyl)cystamine (BAC) have been prepared using a redox-initiated, aqueous precipitation polymerization approach, leading to improved stability of the disulfide bond compared to traditional thermally-initiated methods. The resultant particles demonstrate complete erosion in response to reducing conditions or thiol competition. This stands in contrast to the behavior of thermally-initiated particles, which retain a cross-linked network following disulfide cleavage due to uncontrolled chain-branching and self-cross-linking side reactions. The synthetic strategy has also been combined with the non-degradable cross-linker N,N-methylenebisacrylamide (BIS) to generate “co-cross-linked” pNIPMAm-BAC-BIS microgels. These particles are redox-responsive, swell upon BAC cross-link scission and present reactive thiols. This pendant thiol functionality was demonstrated to be useful for conjugation of thiol-reactive probes and in reversible network formation by assembling particles cross-linked by disulfide linkages.
The mitogen-activated protein–kinase pathway consisting of the kinases RAF, MEK, and ERK is central to cell proliferation and survival and is deregulated in more than 90% of melanomas. MEK inhibitors are currently trialled in the clinic, but despite efficient target inhibition, cytostatic rather than cytotoxic activity limits their efficacy.
We assessed the cytotoxicity to MEK inhibitors (PD184352 and selumetinib) in melanoma cells by toluidine-blue staining, caspase 3 cleavage, and melanoma-sphere growth. Western blotting and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction were applied to determine SMAD-specific E3 ubiquitin protein ligase 2 (SMURF2), PAX3, and MITF expression. Human melanoma samples (n = 77) from various stages were analyzed for SMURF2 and PAX3 expression. RNA interference was performed to target SMURF2 during MEK inhibition in vivo in melanoma xenografts in mice and zebrafish. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Activation of transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signalling sensitized melanoma cells to the cytotoxic effects of MEK inhibition. Melanoma cells resistant to the cytotoxic effects of MEK inhibitors counteracted TGF-β signalling through overexpression of the E3 ubiquitin ligase SMURF2, which resulted in increased expression of the transcription factors PAX3 and MITF. High MITF expression protected melanoma cells against MEK inhibitor cytotoxicity. Depleting SMURF2 reduced MITF expression and substantially lowered the threshold for MEK inhibitor–induced apoptosis. Moreover, SMURF2 depletion sensitized melanoma cells to the cytotoxic effects of selumetinib, leading to cell death at concentrations approximately 100-fold lower than the concentration required to induce cell death in SMURF2-expressing cells. Mice treated with selumetinib alone at a dosage of 10mg/kg body weight once daily produced no response, but in combination with SMURF2 depletion, selumetinib suppressed tumor growth by 97.9% (95% confidence interval = 38.65% to 155.50%, P = .005).
Targeting SMURF2 may be a novel therapeutic approach for increasing the antitumor efficacy of MEK inhibitors.
The structural proteins of the extracellular matrix (ECM) form fibers with finely tuned mechanical properties matched to the time scales of cell traction forces. Several proteins such as fibronectin (Fn) and fibrin undergo molecular conformational changes that extend the proteins and are believed to be a major contributor to the extensibility of bulk fibers. The dynamics of these conformational changes have been thoroughly explored since the advent of single molecule force spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations but remarkably, these data have not been rigorously applied to the understanding of the time dependent mechanics of bulk ECM fibers. Using measurements of protein density within fibers, we have examined the influence of dynamic molecular conformational changes and the intermolecular arrangement of Fn within fibers on the bulk mechanical properties of Fn fibers. Fibers were simulated as molecular strands with architectures that promote either equal or disparate molecular loading under conditions of constant extension rate. Measurements of protein concentration within micron scale fibers using deep ultraviolet transmission microscopy allowed the simulations to be scaled appropriately for comparison to in vitro measurements of fiber mechanics as well as providing estimates of fiber porosity and water content, suggesting Fn fibers are approximately 75% solute. Comparing the properties predicted by single molecule measurements to in vitro measurements of Fn fibers showed that domain unfolding is sufficient to predict the high extensibility and nonlinear stiffness of Fn fibers with surprising accuracy, with disparately loaded fibers providing the best fit to experiment. This work shows the promise of this microstructural modeling approach for understanding Fn fiber properties, which is generally applicable to other ECM fibers, and could be further expanded to tissue scale by incorporating these simulated fibers into three dimensional network models.
There is growing awareness of the role of mechanical properties within biological tissues. Cells both generate force and are sensitive to applied forces, however nuanced sensitivity to externally applied forces also extends outside the cell to the fibrous structural proteins of the extracellular matrix. It has been shown that stretching these proteins under force can change their biochemical properties in a way that impacts tissue function. In this work we were able, for the first time, to measure the concentration of protein within fibronectin extracellular matrix fibers. This key measurement then enabled us to evaluate a model that links mechanical properties of fibers directly to molecular structural changes that form the physical basis for force sensitivity. The model was found to be predictive of fiber mechanical properties without fitting. This combination of modeling and experiment also offers insights into molecular forces, as well as estimates of fiber hydration and porosity.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is accompanied by smell dysfunction, as measured by psychophysical tests. Currently it is unknown whether AD-related alterations in central olfactory system neural activity, as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), are detectable beyond those observed in healthy elderly. Moreover, it is not known whether such changes are correlated with indices of odor perception and dementia. To investigate these issues, twelve early stage AD patients and thirteen non-demented controls underwent fMRI while being exposed to each of three concentrations of lavender oil odorant. All participants were administered the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT), the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale-2 (DRS-2), and the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale (CDR). The Blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal at primary olfactory cortex (POC) was weaker in AD than in HC subjects. At the lowest odorant concentration, the BOLD signals within POC, hippocampus, and insula were significantly correlated with UPSIT, MMSE, DRS-2, and CDR scores. The BOLD signal intensity and activation volume within the POC increased significantly as a function of odorant concentration in the AD group, but not in the control group. These findings demonstrate that olfactory fMRI is sensitive to the AD-related olfactory and functional cognitive decline.
olfaction; Alzheimer’s disease; functional magnetic resonance imaging; microsmia; primary olfactory cortex
Nucleotide excision repair (NER) is responsible for protecting DNA in skin cells against ultraviolet radiation-induced damage. Using a candidate pathway approach, a matched case-control study nested within a prospective, community-based cohort was carried out to test the hypothesis that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in NER genes are associated with susceptibility to non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). Histologically-confirmed cases of NMSC (n=900) were matched to controls (n=900) on age, gender, and skin type. Associations were measured between NMSC and 221 SNPs in 26 NER genes. Using the additive model, two tightly linked functional SNPs in ERCC6 were significantly associated with increased risk of NMSC: rs2228527 (odds ratio (OR) 1.57, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20 – 2.05), and rs2228529 (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.20 – 2.05). These associations were confined to basal cell carcinoma of the skin (BCC) (rs2228529, OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.30 – 2.44; rs2228527 OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.31 – 2.43). These hypothesis-generating findings suggest functional variants in ERCC6 may be associated with an increased risk of NMSC that may be specific to BCC.
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is amongst the most lethal of all cancers. GBM consist of a heterogeneous population of tumor cells amongst which a tumor initiating and treatment-resistant subpopulation, here termed GBM stem cells (GSC), have been identified as primary therapeutic targets. Here, we describe a high-throughput small molecule screening approach that enables the identification and characterization of chemical compounds that are effective against GSC. The paradigm uses a tissue culture model to enrich for GSC derived from human GBM resections and combines a phenotype-based screen with gene target-specific screens for compound identification. We used 31,624 small molecules from seven chemical libraries that we characterized and ranked based on their effect on a panel of GSC-enriched cultures as well as their effect on the expression of a module of genes whose expression negatively correlates with clinical outcome: MELK, ASPM, TOP2A and FOXM1b. Of the 11 compounds meeting criteria for exerting differential effects across cell types used, 4 compounds demonstrated selectivity by inhibiting multiple GSC-enriched cultures compared to non-enriched cultures: Emetine, N-Arachidonoyldopamine (NADA), N-Oleoyldopamine (OLDA), and N-Palmitoyldopamine (PALDA). ChemBridge compounds #5560509 and #5256360 inhibited the expression of the 4 mitotic module genes. OLDA, Emetine, and compounds #5560509 and #5256360 were chosen for more detailed study and inhibited GSC in self-renewal assays in vitro and in a xenograft model in vivo. These studies demonstrate that our screening strategy provides potential candidates as well as a blueprint for lead compound identification in larger scale screens or screens involving other cancer types.
5256360; 5485415; 5560509; 6-Formylindolo Carbazole; Anisomycin; Benzethonium; Biomol; C8 Ceramine; Camptothecin; Cancer; Chelidonine monohydrate; ChemBridge; Chrysenequinone; Emetine; Methiazole; N-Arachidonoyldopamine; NADA; Neurosphere; N-Oleoyldopamine; OLDA; N-Palmitoyldopamine; PALDA; Prestwick; Ro 31-8220; Cancer Stem Cell; Glioma; Neural Stem Cell; Chemical Screen
The binding of cytochrome c to pH and thermoresponsive colloidal hydrogels was investigated using multiangle light scattering, measuring loading through changes in particle molar mass and root mean square radius. Loosely cross-linked microgels [composed of a random copolymer of N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAm) and acrylic acid (AAc)] demonstrated a high loading capacity for protein. Encapsulation was dependent on both the charge characteristics of the network and the salinity of the medium. Under favorable binding conditions (neutral pH, low ionic strength), microgels containing the highest studied charge density (30 mol% AAc) were capable of encapsulating greater than 9.7 × 105 cytochrome c molecules per particle. Binding resulted in the formation of a polymer-protein complex and condensation of the polymer. Anionic microgels demonstrated a change in density ~20-fold in the presence of oppositely charged proteins. These studies of cytochrome c encapsulation represent a significant step towards direct measurement of encapsulation efficiency in complex media as we pursue responsive nanogels and microgels for the delivery of macromolecular therapeutic agents.
There has been recent interest in characterizing potential abnormalities of pain processing in patients with sleep disorders such as Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). The aim of this study was to evaluate psychophysical responses to noxious heat and pressure stimuli in both treated and untreated RLS patients, compared to matched controls.
This study is a cross-sectional group comparison of RLS patients with matched controls. A total of 31 patients (15 treated, 16 untreated) with a confirmed diagnosis of RLS were compared to 18 controls with no history of RLS or related sleep disorders.
RLS patients (both treated and untreated) demonstrated reduced pain thresholds and reported greater clinical pain relative to controls. Moreover, RLS patients demonstrated enhanced temporal summation of heat pain (p< .05), which may reflect aberrant central nervous system facilitation of pain transmission. Both treated and untreated RLS patients reported disrupted sleep relative to controls, and mediation analyses suggested that the reduced pain thresholds in RLS were attributable to sleep disturbance. However, the effect of RLS on the magnitude of temporal summation of heat pain was independent of sleep disturbance.
These findings suggest that central nervous system pain processing may be amplified in RLS, perhaps partially as a consequence of sleep disruption. RLS patients, even those whose symptoms are managed pharmacologically, may be at elevated long-term risk for the development or maintenance of persistent pain conditions. Further studies in larger samples could help to improve the prospects for pain management in RLS patients.
Nosema ceranae, a newly introduced parasite of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is contributing to worldwide colony losses. Other Nosema species, such as N. apis, tend to be associated with increased defecation and spread via a fecal-oral pathway, but because N. ceranae does not induce defecation, it may instead be spread via an oral-oral pathway. Cages that separated older infected bees from young uninfected bees were used to test whether N. ceranae can be spread during food exchange. When cages were separated by one screen, food could be passed between the older bees and the young bees, but when separated by two screens, food could not be passed between the two cages. Young uninfected bees were also kept isolated in cages, as a solitary control. After 4 days of exposure to the older bees, and 10 days to incubate infections, young bees were more likely to be infected in the 1-Screen Test treatment vs. the 2-Screen Test treatment (P = 0.0097). Young bees fed by older bees showed a 13-fold increase in mean infection level relative to young bees not fed by older bees (1-Screen Test 40.8%; 2-Screen Test 3.4%; Solo Control 2.8%). Although fecal-oral transmission is still possible in this experimental design, oral-oral infectivity could help explain the rapid spread of N. ceranae worldwide.
Depression is frequently cited as the reason for sickness absence, and it is estimated that sickness certificates are issued in one third of consultations for depression. Previous research has considered GP views of sickness certification but not specifically in relation to depression.
This study aimed to explore GPs views of sickness certification in relation to depression.
A purposive sample of GP practices across Scotland was selected to reflect variations in levels of incapacity claimants and antidepressant prescribing. Qualitative interviews were carried out between 2008 and 2009.
A total of 30 GPs were interviewed. A number of common themes emerged including the perceived importance of GP advocacy on behalf of their patients, the tensions between stakeholders involved in the sickness certification system, the need to respond flexibly to patients who present with depression and the therapeutic nature of time away from work as well as the benefits of work. GPs reported that most patients with depression returned to work after a short period of absence and that it was often difficult to predict which patients would struggle to return to work.
GPs reported that dealing with sickness certification and depression presents distinct challenges. Sickness certificates are often viewed as powerful interventions, the effectiveness of time away from work for those with depression should be subject to robust enquiry.
Depression; Mood disorder; Primary care; Occupational; Environmental medicine; Doctor-patient relationship; Mental health
The purpose of this study was to assess the long-term (six months) effects of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) in patients with chronic pain. The results of the pre-post treatment effects have been reported previously. The therapy was delivered by an advanced practice nurse in a research setting using a parallel-group, randomized, single blind trial of CBT-I with a contact/measurement control condition. Outcomes included sleep diary, the Insomnia Severity Index, the Multidimensional Pain Inventory, the Beck Depression Inventory, the Profile of Mood States-short form, and the Pain Disability Index. Measurement time points were end-of-treatment, three-month and six-month posttherapy. Subjects receiving CBT-I (n = 19), as compared to control subjects (n = 9), did not exhibit any significant group by visit effects on measures of sleep, pain, mood, or function after end of treatment. However, subjects in the treatment group exhibited statistically (P = 0.03)
and clinically significant improvement in total sleep time (23 minutes) over the six months following treatment. In this paper, cognitive behavioral therapy directed to improve insomnia was successfully delivered to patients with moderate-to-severe chronic pain and the positive effects of CBT-I continued to improve despite the presence of continued moderate-to-severe pain.
Sleep difficulty is a common symptom of cannabis withdrawal, but little research has objectively measured sleep or explored the effects of hypnotic medication on sleep during cannabis withdrawal.
Twenty daily cannabis users completed a within-subject crossover study. Participants alternated between periods of ad-libitum cannabis use and short-term cannabis abstinence (3 days). Placebo was administered at bedtime during one abstinence period (withdrawal test) and extended-release zolpidem, a non-benzodiazepine GABAA receptor agonist, was administered during the other. Polysomnographic (PSG) sleep architecture measures, subjective ratings, and cognitive performance effects were assessed each day.
During the placebo-abstinence period, participants had decreased sleep efficiency, total sleep time, percent time spent in Stage 1 and Stage 2 sleep, REM latency and subjective sleep quality, as well as increased sleep latency and time spent in REM sleep compared with when they were using cannabis. Zolpidem attenuated the effects of abstinence on sleep architecture and normalized sleep efficiency scores, but had no effect on sleep latency. Zolpidem was not associated with any significant side effects or next-day cognitive performance impairments.
These data extend prior research that indicates abrupt abstinence from cannabis can lead to clinically significant sleep disruption in daily users. The findings also indicate that sleep disruption associated with cannabis withdrawal can be attenuated by zolpidem, suggesting that hypnotic medications might be useful adjunct pharmacotherapies in the treatment of cannabis use disorders.
Cannabis; Marijuana; Sleep; Withdrawal; Zolpidem; Pharmacotherapy
Although sleep deprivation is known to heighten pain sensitivity, the mechanisms by which sleep modifies nociception are largely unknown. Few studies of sleep-pain interactions have utilized quantitative sensory testing models that implicate specific underlying physiologic mechanisms. One possibility, which is beginning to receive attention, is that differences in sleep may alter the analgesic effects of distraction. We utilized the heat-capsaicin nociceptive model to examine whether self-reported habitual sleep duration is associated with distraction analgesia, the degree of secondary hyperalgesia and skin flare, markers implicating both central and peripheral processes that heighten pain. Twenty-eight healthy participants completed three experimental sessions in a randomized within subjects design. In the pain only condition, pain was induced for approximately 70-minutes via application of heat and capsaicin to the dorsum of the non-dominant hand. Verbal pain ratings were obtained at regular intervals. In the distraction condition, identical procedures were followed, but during heat-capsaicin pain, subjects played a series of video games. The third session involved assessing performance on the video games (no capsaicin). Participants indicated their normal self-reported habitual sleep duration over the past month. Individuals who slept less than 6.5 hours/night in the month prior to the study experienced significantly less behavioral analgesia, increased skin flare and augmented secondary hyperalgesia. These findings suggest that reduced sleep time is associated with diminished analgesic benefits from distraction and/or individuals obtaining less sleep have a reduced ability to disengage from pain-related sensations. The secondary hyperalgesia finding may implicate central involvement, whereas enhanced skin flare response suggests that sleep duration may also impact peripheral inflammatory mechanisms.
Sleep; Pain; Capsaicin; Distraction; Flare; Secondary Hyperalgesia
Quantification of the traction forces that cells apply to their surroundings has been critical to the advancement of our understanding of cancer, development and basic cell biology. This field was made possible through the development of engineered cell culture systems that permit optical measurement of cell-mediated displacements and computational algorithms that allow conversion of these displacements into stresses and forces. Here, we present a novel advancement of traction force microscopy on polyacrylamide (PAA) gels that addresses limitations of existing technologies. Through an indirect patterning technique, we generated PAA gels with fluorescent 1 μm dot markers in a regularized array. This improves existing traction measurements since (i) multiple fields of view can be measured in one experiment without the need for cell removal; (ii) traction vectors are modeled as discrete point forces, and not as a continuous field, using an extremely simple computational algorithm that we have made available online; and (iii) the pattern transfer technique is amenable to any of the published techniques for producing patterns on glass. In the future, this technique will be used for measuring traction forces on complex patterns with multiple, spatially distinct ligands in systems for applying strain to the substrate, and in sandwich cultures that generate quasi-three-dimensional environments for cells.
Cell adhesion; ECM (extracellular matrix); Fibronectin; Micropatterning; Traction force microscopy
Four 12-rung linear birdcage-type coils were built to experimentally examine the effects of the end-ring/shield configuration on radiofrequency magnetic field (B1) homogeneity and SNR at 125 MHz. The coil configurations include (a) a cylindrical shield (conventional), (b) a shield with annular extensions to closely shield the end-rings (surrounding shield), (c) a shield with annular extensions connected to the rungs (solid connection), and (d) a shield with radially oriented conductors connected to the rungs (radial connection). These coils were also modeled closely with finite difference time domain (FDTD) methods to corroborate experimental findings. Images of a human head were acquired, and the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was measured on the central axial, sagittal, and coronal slices. B1 field homogeneity in the unloaded coils was assessed on images of an oil phantom. Among the four configurations, the solid connection configuration has a lower SNR than the conventional configuration and the surrounding shield configuration but a higher SNR than the radial connection. Although there is no significant difference between the overall SNR of the conventional configuration and the surrounding shield configuration, the surrounding shield configuration has the potential to be tuned to higher frequencies than the conventional configuration. The conventional birdcage coil results in the most homogeneous B1 field in the oil phantom. Numerical results are also compared with the experimental results.
RF coil; end-ring; B1 homogeneity; SNR; FDTD
Despite local therapy with curative intent, approximately 30% of men suffer from biochemical relapse. Though some of these PSA relapses are not life threatening, many men eventually progress to metastatic disease and die of prostate cancer. Local therapy is an option for some men, but many have progression of disease following local salvage attempts. One significant issue in this setting is the lack of reliable imaging biomarkers to guide the use of local salvage therapy, as the likely reason for a low cure rate is the presence of undetected micrometastatic disease outside of the prostate/prostate bed. Androgen deprivation therapy is a cornerstone of therapy in the salvage setting. While subsets may benefit in terms of delay in time to metastatic disease and/or death, research is ongoing to improve salvage systemic therapy. Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is highly overexpressed by the majority of prostate cancers. While initial methods of exploiting PSMA's high and selective expression were suboptimal, additional work in both imaging and therapeutics is progressing. Salvage therapy and imaging modalities in this setting are briefly reviewed, and the rationale for PSMA-based systemic salvage radioimmunotherapy is described.
Transmit coil arrays allowing independent control of individual coil drives facilitate adjustment of the B1 field distribution, but when the B1 field distribution is changed the electric field and SAR distributions are also altered. This makes safety evaluation of the transmit array a challenging problem because there are potentially an infinite number of possible field distributions in the sample. Local SAR levels can be estimated with numerical calculations, but it is not practical to perform separate full numerical calculations for every current distribution of interest. Here we evaluate superposition of separate electric field calculations—one for each coil—for predicting SAR in a full numerical calculation where all coils are driven simultaneously. It is important to perform such an evaluation because the effects of coil coupling may alter the result. It is shown that while there is good agreement between the superimposed and simultaneous drive results when using current sources in the simulations, the agreement is not as good when voltage sources are used. Finally, we compare maximum local SAR levels for B1 field distributions that are either unshimmed or shimmed over one of three regions of interest. When B1 field homogeneity is improved in a small region of interest without regard for SAR, the maximum local SAR can become very high.
MRI; transmit array; RF shimming; SAR; simulations; electric field
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The multicenter FIND consortium aims to identify genes for DN and its associated quantitative traits, e.g. the urine albumin:creatinine ratio (ACR). Herein, the results of whole-genome linkage analysis and a sparse association scan for ACR and a dichotomous DN phenotype are reported in diabetic individuals.
A genomewide scan comprising more than 5,500 autosomal single nucleotide polymorphism markers (average spacing of 0.6 cM) was performed on 1,235 nuclear and extended pedigrees (3,972 diabetic participants) ascertained for DN from African-American (AA), American-Indian (AI), European-American (EA) and Mexican-American (MA) populations.
Strong evidence for linkage to DN was detected on chromosome 6p (p = 8.0 × 10−5, LOD = 3.09) in EA families as well as suggestive evidence for linkage to chromosome 7p in AI families. Regions on chromosomes 3p in AA, 7q in EA, 16q in AA and 22q in MA displayed suggestive evidence of linkage for urine ACR. The linkage peak on chromosome 22q overlaps the MYH9/APOL1 gene region, previously implicated in AA diabetic and nondiabetic nephropathies.
These results strengthen the evidence for previously identified genomic regions and implicate several novel loci potentially involved in the pathogenesis of DN.
Albuminuria; Diabetes mellitus; Renal failure; End-stage renal disease; Linkage; Allelic association