The present study endeavored to identify predictors of headache during pregnancy, shortly after delivery, and at 8-week follow-up.
Many women suffer from headaches during pregnancy and the postpartum period. However, little is known about factors that predict headache surrounding childbirth.
Secondary analysis of longitudinal cohort study of 2434 parturients hospitalized for cesarean or vaginal delivery in four university hospitals in the United States and Europe. Data were gathered from interviews and review of medical records shortly after delivery; 972 of the women were contacted 8 weeks later to assess persistent headache. The primary outcome measures were experiencing headache during pregnancy, headache within 72 hours after delivery, and headache at 8 weeks after delivery.
Of the parturients, 10% experienced headache during pregnancy, 3.7% within 72 hours after delivery, and 3.6% at 8 weeks post delivery. Compared to those without a history of headache, a history of headache prior to pregnancy was the strongest predictor of headache during pregnancy (9.8% versus 23.5%; RR 2.4; 95% CI: 1.4 to 4.0). Experiencing headache during pregnancy (adjusted HR 3.8; 95% CI: 2.4 to 6.2) and receiving needle-based regional anesthesia for pain treatment (adjusted HR 2.2; 95% CI: 1.1 to 4.5) were independently associated with headache within 72 hours after delivery with event rates of 11.1% and 10.5%, respectively. Compared to those without such a history, headache before pregnancy was significantly associated with experiencing headache 8 weeks after delivery (4.0% versus 23.8%; RR = 6.0; 95% CI: 2.0 to 8.0), but headache during pregnancy or shortly after delivery was not. Several other psychosocial predictors (e.g., somatization, smoking before pregnancy) were statistically associated with at least one headache outcome.
A history of headache prior to pregnancy is a strong predictor of headache during and after pregnancy, the latter independent of but compounded by spinal injection. Physicians should attend to prior headache history when making decisions about pain management during and after childbirth. As the lack of formal ICHD-II headache diagnoses is a limitation of this study, future longitudinal studies should replicate the present design while including headache subtyping consistent with ICHD-II nosology.
Pregnancy; migraine; spinal anesthesia
The dopamine (DA) D2 receptors exist in 2 states: a high-affinity state (D2high) that is linked to second messenger systems, responsible for functional effects, exhibits high affinity for agonists (e.g., DA), and a low-affinity state that is functionally inert exhibits lower affinity for agonists. The DA D3 receptor subtype exhibits high agonist affinity, whereas the existence of the multiple affinity states is controversial. Preclinical studies in animal models of psychosis have shown a selective increase of D2high as the common factor in psychosis, and the D3 receptor has been suggested to be involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.
We studied D2high and D3 in people at clinical high risk (CHR) for schizophrenia and in antipsychotic-naive patients with schizophrenia using the novel positron emission tomography radiotracer, [11C]-(+)-PHNO. The binding potential nondisplaceable (BPND) was examined in the regions of interest (ROI; caudate, putamen, ventral striatum, globus pallidus, substantia nigra and thalamus) using an ROI and a voxel-wise approach while participants performed a cognitive task.
We recruited 12 CHR individuals and 13 antipsychotic-naive patients with schizophrenia-spectrum disorder, whom we compared with 12 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. The BPND between patients and controls did not differ in any of the ROIs, consistent with the voxel-wise analysis. Correlations between the BPND in D3-rich regions and psychopathology warrant further investigation.
In the absence of resting-state (baseline) BPND data, or following a depletion paradigm (i.e., α-methyl partyrosine), it is not possible to ascertain whether the lack of difference among the groups is owing to different levels of baseline DA or to release during the cognitive task.
To our knowledge, the present study represents the first effort to measure the D2 and D3 receptors under a cognitive challenge in individuals putative/prodromal for schizophrenia using [11C]-(+)-PHNO.
The pstSCAB-phoU operon encodes the phosphate-specific transport system (Pst). Loss of Pst constitutively activates the Pho regulon and decreases bacterial virulence. However, specific mechanisms underlying decreased bacterial virulence through inactivation of Pst are poorly understood. In uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) strain CFT073, inactivation of pst decreased urinary tract colonization in CBA/J mice. The pst mutant was deficient in production of type 1 fimbriae and showed decreased expression of the fimA structural gene which correlated with differential expression of the fimB, fimE, ipuA, and ipbA genes, encoding recombinases, mediating inversion of the fim promoter. The role of fim downregulation in attenuation of the pst mutant was confirmed using a fim phase-locked-on derivative, which demonstrated a significant gain in virulence. In addition, the pst mutant was less able to invade human bladder epithelial cells. Since type 1 fimbriae contribute to UPEC virulence by promoting colonization and invasion of bladder cells, the reduced bladder colonization by the pst mutant is predominantly attributed to downregulation of these fimbriae. Elucidation of mechanisms mediating the control of type 1 fimbriae through activation of the Pho regulon in UPEC may open new avenues for therapeutics or prophylactics against urinary tract infections.
Advantageous economic decision making requires flexible adaptation of gain-based and loss-based preference hierarchies. However, where the neuronal blueprints for economic preference hierarchies are kept and how they may be adapted remains largely unclear. Phasic cortical dopamine release likely mediates flexible adaptation of neuronal representations. In this PET study, cortical-binding potential (BP) for the D2-dopamine receptor ligand [11C]FLB 457 was examined in healthy participants during multiple sessions of a probabilistic four-choice financial decision-making task with two behavioral variants. In the changing-gains/constant-losses variant, the implicit gain-based preference hierarchy was unceasingly changing, whereas the implicit loss-based preference hierarchy was constant. In the constant-gains/changing-losses variant, it was the other way around. These variants served as paradigms, respectively, contrasting flexible adaptation versus maintenance of loss-based and gain-based preference hierarchies. We observed that in comparison with the constant-gains/changing-losses variant, the changing-gains/constant-losses variant was associated with a decreased D2-dopamine receptor-BP in the right lateral frontopolar cortex. In other words, lateral frontopolar D2-dopamine receptor stimulation was specifically increased during continuous adaptation of mental representations of gain-based preference hierarchies. This finding provides direct evidence for the existence of a neuronal blueprint of gain-based decision-making in the lateral frontopolar cortex and a crucial role of local dopamine in the flexible adaptation of mental concepts of future behavior.
PMID: 22020993 CAMSID: cams2371
dopamine; feedback-learning; frontopolar; FLB; imaging; gambling
Autotransporters are a large family of virulence factors of Gram-negative bacterial pathogens. The autotransporter adhesin involved in diffuse adherence (AIDA-I) is an outer membrane protein of Escherichia coli, which allows binding to epithelial cells as well as the autoaggregation of bacteria. AIDA-I is glycosylated by a specific heptosyltransferase encoded by the aah gene that forms an operon with the aidA gene. aidA is highly prevalent in strains that cause disease in pigs. Nevertheless, there are only two published whole-length sequences for this gene. In this study, we sequenced the aah and aidA genes of 24 aidA-positive porcine strains harboring distinct virulence factor profiles. We compared the obtained sequences and performed phylogenetic and pulsed-field electrophoresis analyses. Our results suggest that there are at least 3 different alleles for aidA, which are associated with distinct virulence factor profiles. The genes are found on high-molecular-weight plasmids and seem to evolve via shuffling mechanisms, with one of the sequences showing evidence of genetic recombination. Our work suggests that genetic plasticity allows the evolution of aah-aidA alleles that are selected during pathogenesis.
Impulse control disorders such as pathological gambling (PG) are a serious and common adverse effect of dopamine (DA) replacement medication in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Patients with PG have increased impulsivity and abnormalities in striatal DA, in common with behavioural and substance addictions in the non-PD population. To date, no studies have investigated the role of extrastriatal dopaminergic abnormalities in PD patients with PG. We used the PET radiotracer, [11C] FLB-457, with high-affinity for extrastriatal DA D2/3 receptors. 14 PD patients on DA agonists were imaged while they performed a gambling task involving real monetary reward and a control task. Trait impulsivity was measured with the Barratt Impulsivity Scale (BIS). Seven of the patients had a history of PG that developed subsequent to DA agonist medication. Change in [11C] FLB-457 binding potential (BP) during gambling was reduced in PD with PG patients in the midbrain, where D2/D3 receptors are dominated by autoreceptors. The degree of change in [11C] FLB-457 binding in this region correlated with impulsivity. In the cortex, [11C] FLB-457 BP was significantly greater in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in PD patients with PG during the control task, and binding in this region was also correlated with impulsivity. Our findings provide the first evidence that PD patients with PG have dysfunctional activation of DA autoreceptors in the midbrain and low DA tone in the ACC. Thus, altered striatal and cortical DA homeostasis may incur vulnerability for the development of PG in PD, linked with the impulsive personality trait.
PMID: 22766031 CAMSID: cams2373
Parkinson’s disease; Dopamine agonists; Pathological gambling; Impulsivity
Positron emission tomography (PET) findings suggesting lower D2-type dopamine receptors and dopamine concentration in brains of stimulant users have prompted speculation that increasing dopamine signaling might help in drug-treatment. However, this strategy needs to consider the possibility, based on animal and postmortem human data, that dopaminergic activity at the related D3 receptor might, in contrast, be elevated, and thereby contribute to drug-taking behavior. We tested the hypothesis that D3 receptor binding is above-normal in methamphetamine (MA) polydrug users, using PET and the D3-preferring ligand [11C]-(+)-PHNO. Sixteen control subjects and 16 polydrug users reporting MA as their primary drug of abuse underwent PET scanning following [11C]-(+)-PHNO. Compared to control subjects, drug users had higher [11C]-(+)-PHNO binding in the D3-rich midbrain substantia nigra (SN, +46%, p<0.02) and in the globus pallidus (+9%, p=0.06) and ventral pallidum (+11%, p=0.1), whereas binding was slightly lower in the D2-rich dorsal striatum (~−4%, NS; −12% in heavy users, p=0.01) and related to drug-use severity. [11C]-(+)-PHNO binding ratio in D3-rich SN vs. D2-rich dorsal striatum was 55% higher in MA users (p=0.004), with heavy but not moderate users having ratios significantly different from controls. [11C]-(+)-PHNO binding in SN was related to self-reported “drug-wanting.” We conclude that the dopamine D3 receptor, unlike the D2 receptor, might be upregulated in brains of MA polydrug users although lower dopamine levels in MA users could have contributed to the finding. Pharmacological studies are needed to establish whether normalization of D3 receptor function could reduce vulnerability to relapse in stimulant abuse.
D3 dopamine receptor; [11C]-(+)-PHNO; Positron Emission Tomography; Methamphetamine withdrawal
Body-weight-supported treadmill training (BWSTT)-related locomotor recovery has been shown in spinalized animals. Only a few animal studies have demonstrated locomotor recovery after BWSTT in an incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI) model, such as contusion injury. The contribution of spared descending pathways after BWSTT to behavioral recovery is unclear. Our goal was to evaluate locomotor recovery in contused rats after BWSTT, and to study the role of spared pathways in spinal plasticity after BWSTT. Forty-eight rats received a contusion, a transection, or a contusion followed at 9 weeks by a second transection injury. Half of the animals in the three injury groups were given BWSTT for up to 8 weeks. Kinematics and the Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan (BBB) test assessed behavioral improvements. Changes in Hoffmann-reflex (H-reflex) rate depression property, soleus muscle mass, and sprouting of primary afferent fibers were also evaluated. BWSTT-contused animals showed accelerated locomotor recovery, improved H-reflex properties, reduced muscle atrophy, and decreased sprouting of small caliber afferent fibers. BBB scores were not improved by BWSTT. Untrained contused rats that received a transection exhibited a decrease in kinematic parameters immediately after the transection; in contrast, trained contused rats did not show an immediate decrease in kinematic parameters after transection. This suggests that BWSTT with spared descending pathways leads to neuroplasticity at the lumbar spinal level that is capable of maintaining locomotor activity. Discontinuing training after the transection in the trained contused rats abolished the improved kinematics within 2 weeks and led to a reversal of the improved H-reflex response, increased muscle atrophy, and an increase in primary afferent fiber sprouting. Thus continued training may be required for maintenance of the recovery. Transected animals had no effect of BWSTT, indicating that in the absence of spared pathways this training paradigm did not improve function.
body-weight-supported treadmill training; contusion; monosynaptic reflex
Developmental differences in peripheral neuron characteristics and functionality exist. Direct measurement of active and passive electrophysiologic and receptive field characteristics of single mechanosensitive neurons in glabrous skin was performed and phenotypic characterization of fiber subtypes was applied to analyze developmental differences in peripheral mechanosensitive afferents. After Institutional approval, male Sprague-Dawley infant (P7: postnatal day 7) and juvenile (P28) rats were anesthetized and single cell intracellular electrophysiology was performed in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) soma of mechanosensitive cells with receptive field (RF) in the glabrous skin of the hindpaw. Passive and active electrical properties of the cells and RF size and characteristics determined. Fiber subtype classification was performed and developmental differences in fiber subtype properties analyzed. RF size was smaller at P7 for both low and high threshold mechanoreceptor (LTMR and HTMR) with no differences between A- and C-HTMR (AHTMR and CHTMR). The RF size was also correlated to anatomic location on glabrous skin, toes having smaller RF. Conduction velocity (CV) was adequate at P28 for AHTMR and CHTMR classification, but not at P7. Only width of the action potential at half height (D50) was significantly different between HTMR at P7, while D50, CV and Amplitude of the AP were significant for HTMR at P28. RF size is determined in part by the RF distribution of the peripheral neuron. Developmental differences in RF size occur with larger RF sizes occurring in younger animals. This is consistent with RF size differences determined by measuring RF in the spinal cord, except the peripheral RF is much smaller, more refined, and in some cases pinpoint. Developmental differences make CV alone unreliable for neuron classification. Utilizing integration of all measured parameters allows classification of neurons into subtypes even at the younger ages. This will prove important in understanding changes that occur in the peripheral sensory afferents in the face of ongoing development and injury early in life.
development; electrophysiology; peripheral nerve; postnatal; receptive field
To evaluate chronic illness care delivery from the patient’s perspective and to examine its main correlates.
Cross-sectional, descriptive study using questionnaires and medical chart review.
Nine teaching family practices in Quebec.
A total of 364 patients with diabetes, hypertension, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Main outcomes measures
Score on the Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (PACIC) questionnaire, which evaluates the patient’s perspective on the care received based on the chronic care model (CCM); patients characteristics (sex, level of education, number of chronic illnesses); patient-physician relationship (relational continuity, interpersonal communication assessed from the patient’s perspective); and interdisciplinary care and technical quality of care abstracted from patients’ medical charts.
The mean PACIC score obtained (2.8 out of 5) indicates that, on average, CCM-concordant care “generally did not occur” or occurred only “sometimes” in this network of teaching practices. However, with a mean technical quality-of-care score of nearly 80%, physicians in this network showed a high degree of adherence to clinical guidelines for the chronic illnesses under study. Patient education level lower than high school was negatively associated with PACIC scores, while positive associations were found with male sex, number of chronic illnesses, relational continuity, interpersonal communication, interdisciplinary care, and technical quality of care.
Patients with less education reported receiving less CCM-concordant care. The patient-physician relationship was the strongest correlate of PACIC scores, while interdisciplinary care and technical quality of care had modest contributions.
Loss of endothelial cell integrity and selective permeability barrier is an early event in the sequence of oxidant-mediated injury and may result in atherosclerosis, hypertension and facilitation of transendothelial migration of cancer cells during metastasis. We already reported that endothelial cell integrity is tightly regulated by the balanced co-activation of p38 and ERK pathways. In particular, we showed that phosphorylation of tropomyosin-1 (tropomyosin alpha-1 chain = Tm1) at Ser283 by DAP kinase, downstream of the ERK pathway might be a key event required to maintain the integrity and normal functions of the endothelium in response to oxidative stress.
Endothelial permeability was assayed by monitoring the passage of Dextran-FITC through a tight monolayer of HUVECs grown to confluence in Boyden chambers. Actin and Tm1 dynamics and distribution were evaluated by immunofluorescence. We modulated the expression of Tm1 by siRNA and lentiviral-mediated expression of wild type and mutated forms of Tm1 insensitive to the siRNA. Transendothelial migration of HT-29 colon cancer cells was monitored in Boyden chambers similarly as for permeability.
We provide evidence indicating that Tm1 phosphorylation at Ser283 is essential to regulate endothelial permeability under oxidative stress by modulating actin dynamics. Moreover, the transendothelial migration of colon cancer cells is also regulated by the phosphorylation of Tm1 at Ser283.
Our finding strongly support the role for the phosphorylation of endothelial Tm1 at Ser283 to prevent endothelial barrier dysfunction associated with oxidative stress injury.
Tropomyosin phosphorylation; Permeability; Oxidative stress; Transendothelial migration
Effective noninvasive interventions for insomnia are needed. High-resolution, relational, resonance-based, electroencephalic mirroring (HIRREM™) is a noninvasive, electroencephalography (EEG)-based method to facilitate greater client-unique, autocalibrated improvements of balance and harmony in cortical neural oscillations. This study explores using HIRREM for insomnia. Twenty subjects, with an Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) score of ≥15 (14 women, mean age 45.4, mean ISI 18.6), were enrolled in this randomized, unblinded, wait-list control, crossover, superiority study. Subjects were randomized to receive 8–12 HIRREM sessions over 3 weeks, plus usual care (HUC), or usual care alone (UC). Pre- and post-HIRREM data collection included ISI (primary outcome), and many secondary, exploratory measures (CES-D, SF-36, HR, BP, neurocognitive testing, and VAS scales). The UC group later crossed over to receive HIRREM. ISI was also repeated 4–6 weeks post-HIRREM. All subjects completed the primary intervention period. Analysis for differential change of ISI in the initial intervention period for HUC versus UC showed a drop of 10.3 points (95% CI: −13.7 to −6.9, P < 0.0001, standardized effect size of 2.68). Key secondary outcomes included statistically identical differential change for the crossed-over UC group, and persistence of the effect on the ISI up to > 4 weeks post-HIRREM. Differential change in the HUC group was also statistically significant for CES-D (−8.8, 95% CI: −17.5 to −0.1, P = 0.047), but other exploratory outcomes were not statistically significant. For all receiving HIRREM (n = 19), decreased high-frequency total power was seen in the bilateral temporal lobes. No adverse events were seen. This pilot clinical trial, the first using HIRREM as an intervention, suggests that HIRREM is feasible and effective for individuals having moderate-to-severe insomnia, with clinically relevant, statistically significant benefits based on differential change in the ISI. Effects persisted for 4 weeks after completion of HIRREM. Larger controlled clinical trials are warranted.
Biofeedback; EEG; HIRREM; insomnia; neural oscillations
Pathological gambling is an impulse control disorder reported in association with dopamine agonists used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Although impulse control disorders are conceptualized as lying within the spectrum of addictions, little neurobiological evidence exists to support this belief. Functional imaging studies have consistently demonstrated abnormalities of dopaminergic function in patients with drug addictions, but to date no study has specifically evaluated dopaminergic function in Parkinson’s disease patients with impulse control disorders. We describe results of a [11C] raclopride positron emission tomography (PET) study comparing dopaminergic function during gambling in Parkinson’s disease patients, with and without pathological gambling, following dopamine agonists. Patients with pathological gambling demonstrated greater decreases in binding potential in the ventral striatum during gambling (13.9%) than control patients (8.1%), likely reflecting greater dopaminergic release. Ventral striatal bindings at baseline during control task were also lower in patients with pathological gambling. Although prior imaging studies suggest that abnormality in dopaminergic binding and dopamine release may be markers of vulnerability to addiction, this study presents the first evidence of these phenomena in pathological gambling. The emergence of pathological gambling in a number of Parkinson’s disease patients may provide a model into the pathophysiology of this disorder.
PMID: 19346328 CAMSID: cams2369
Parkinson’s disease; dopamine; impulse control disorders; pathological gambling; PET; functional imaging
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to report a case of bilateral vitreopapillary traction, previously misdiagnosed as papilledema. Methods. A case report is presented of a 47-year-old woman with a prior diagnosis of papilledema, who is shown to have bilateral vitreopapillary traction rather than true optic disc swelling, confirmed by optical coherence tomography (OCT). Results. OCT showed vitreous traction surrounding the optic discs of both eyes. Fluorescein angiography demonstrated focal leakage of both discs. Conclusion. Bilateral disc elevation caused by vitreous traction can be confused with papilledema. In such cases, OCT can be used to arrive at the correct diagnosis. Although the phenomenon of vitreopapillary traction is well reported, this case indicates that not all ophthalmologists recognize the condition.
The choice of reference region in positron emission tomography (PET) human brain imaging of the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2), a marker of striatal dopamine innervation, has been arbitrary, with cerebellar, whole cerebral, frontal, or occipital cortices used. To establish whether levels of VMAT2 are in fact low in these cortical areas, we measured VMAT2 protein distribution by quantitative immunoblotting in autopsied normal human brain (n=6). Four or five species of VMAT2 immunoreactivity (75, 55, 52, 45, 35 kDa) were detected, which were all markedly reduced in intensity in nigrostriatal regions of patients with parkinsonian conditions versus matched controls (n=9 to 10 each). Using the intact VMAT2 immunoreactivity, cerebellar and cerebral neocortices had levels of the transporter >100-fold lower than the VMAT2-rich striatum and with no significant differences among the cortical regions. We conclude that human cerebellar and cerebral cortices contain negligible VMAT2 protein versus the striatum and, in this respect, all satisfy a criterion for a useful reference region for VMAT2 imaging. The slightly lower PET signal for VMAT2 binding in occipital (the currently preferred reference region) versus cerebellar cortex might not therefore be explained by differences in VMAT2 protein itself but possibly by other imaging variables, for example, partial volume effects.
cerebellum; occipital cortex; positron emission tomography; reference region; substantia nigra; vesicular monoamine transporter 2
Theory predicts that if most mutations are deleterious to both overall fitness and condition-dependent traits affecting mating success, sexual selection will purge mutation load and increase nonsexual fitness. We explored this possibility with populations of mutagenized Drosophila melanogaster exhibiting elevated levels of deleterious variation and evolving in the presence or absence of male-male competition and female choice. After 60 generations of experimental evolution, monogamous populations exhibited higher total reproductive output than polygamous populations. Parental environment also affected fitness measures—flies that evolved in the presence of sexual conflict showed reduced nonsexual fitness when their parents experienced a polygamous environment, indicating trans-generational effects of male harassment and highlighting the importance of a common garden design. This cost of parental promiscuity was nearly absent in monogamous lines, providing evidence for the evolution of reduced sexual antagonism. There was no overall difference in egg-to-adult viability between selection regimes. If mutation load was reduced by the action of sexual selection in this experiment, the resultant gain in fitness was not sufficient to overcome the costs of sexual antagonism.
Sexual selection; experimental evolution; mutation load; adaptation; good genes; indirect benefits; sexual conflict; mutagenesis; condition; sexually antagonistic coevolution
This report describes the case of a patient with chronic idiopathic meralgia paresthetica associated with bilateral sacroiliac joint dysfunction who was managed with chiropractic care.
A 35-year-old white woman presented to a private chiropractic clinic with a complaint of numbness in the right anterolateral thigh region. Neurological assessment revealed a diminution of sensibility and discrimination on the right lateral femoral cutaneous nerve territory. Pain was rated as 8.5 on a numeric pain scale of 0 to 10. Musculoskeletal examination of the pelvic region disclosed bilateral sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
Intervention and Outcomes
Chiropractic management included pelvic mobilizations, myofascial therapy, transverse friction massage, and stretching exercises. After 3 visits (2 weeks later), result of neurological evaluation was normal, with no residual numbness over the lateral thigh.
In the present case, chiropractic management with standard and applied kinesiology techniques resulted in recovery of meralgia paresthetica symptoms for this patient.
Meralgia paresthetica; Chiropractic; Sacroiliac joint; Musculoskeletal manipulations
This article describes the kinetic modeling of [18F]-FEPPA binding to translocator protein 18 kDa in the human brain using high-resolution research tomograph (HRRT) positron emission tomography. Positron emission tomography scans were performed in 12 healthy volunteers for 180 minutes. A two-tissue compartment model (2-CM) provided, with no exception, better fits to the data than a one-tissue model. Estimates of total distribution volume (VT), specific distribution volume (VS), and binding potential (BPND) demonstrated very good identifiability (based on coefficient of variation (COV)) for all the regions of interest (ROIs) in the gray matter (COV VT<7%, COV VS<8%, COV BPND<11%). Reduction of the length of the scan to 2 hours is feasible as VS and VT showed only a small bias (6% and 7.5%, respectively). Monte Carlo simulations showed that, even under conditions of a 500% increase in specific binding, the identifiability of VT and VS was still very good with COV<10%, across high-uptake ROIs. The excellent identifiability of VT values obtained from an unconstrained 2-CM with data from a 2-hour scan support the use of VT as an appropriate and feasible outcome measure for [18F]-FEPPA.
inflammation; kinetic modeling; microglia; mitochondria; positron emission tomography
The Agouti-like peptides including AgRP, ASIP and the teleost-specific A2 (ASIP2 and AgRP2) peptides have potent and diverse functional roles in feeding, pigmentation and background adaptation mechanisms. There are contradictory theories about the evolution of the Agouti-like peptide family as well the nomenclature. Here we performed comprehensive mining and annotation of vertebrate Agouti-like sequences. We identified A2 sequences from salmon, trout, seabass, cod, cichlid, tilapia, gilt-headed sea bream, Antarctic toothfish, rainbow smelt, common carp, channel catfish and interestingly also in lobe-finned fish. Moreover, we surprisingly found eight novel homologues from the kingdom of arthropods and three from fungi, some sharing the characteristic C-x(6)-C-C motif which are present in the Agouti-like sequences, as well as approximate sequence length (130 amino acids), positioning of the motif sequence and sharing of exon-intron structures that are similar to the other Agouti-like peptides providing further support for the common origin of these sequences. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the AgRP sequences cluster basally in the tree, suggesting that these sequences split from a cluster containing both the ASIP and the A2 sequences. We also used a novel approach to determine the statistical evidence for synteny, a sinusoidal Hough transform pattern recognition technique. Our analysis shows that the teleost AgRP2 resides in a chromosomal region that has synteny with Hsa 8, but we found no convincing synteny between the regions that A2, AgRP and ASIP reside in, which would support that the Agouti-like peptides were formed by whole genome tetraplodization events. Here we suggest that the Agouti-like peptide genes were formed through classical subsequent gene duplications where the AgRP is the most distantly related to the three other members of that group, first splitting from a common ancestor to ASIP and A2, and then later the A2 split from ASIP followed by a split resulting in ASIP2 and AgRP2.
Human 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (17β-HSD1) is a steroid-converting enzyme that has long been known to play critical roles in estradiol synthesis and more recently in dihydrotestosterone (DHT) inactivation, showing a dual function that promotes breast cancer cell proliferation. Previously, we reported the first observation of the influence of the enzyme on endogenous estrogen-responsive gene expression. Here, we demonstrate the impact of 17β-HSD1 expression on the breast cancer cell proteome and investigate its role in cell migration.
17β-HSD1 was stably transfected in MCF7 cells and the proteome of the generated cells overexpressing 17β-HSD1 (MCF7-17βHSD1 cells) was compared to that of the wild type MCF7 cells. Proteomics study was performed using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by mass spectrometry analysis of differentially expressed protein spots. Reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) was used to investigate the transcription of individual gene. The effect of 17β-HSD1 on MCF7 cell migration was verified by a wound-healing assay.
Proteomic data demonstrate that the expression of more than 59 proteins is modulated following 17β-HSD1 overexpression. 17β-HSD1 regulates the expression of important genes and proteins that are relevant to cell growth control, such as BRCA2 and CDKN1A interacting protein (BCCIP) and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) which are down- and upregulated in MCF7-17βHSD1 cells, respectively. RT-qPCR data reveal that 17β-HSD1 increases the mRNA levels of estrogen receptors (ER) alpha and beta by 171 and 120%, respectively, while decreasing that of the androgen receptor by 64%. Interestingly, 17β-HSD1 increases the mRNA transcript (by 3.6 times) and the protein expression of the metastasis suppressor gene nm23-H1 and the expression of the two enzymes are closely correlated. We have further shown that 17β-HSD1 expression is associated with an increase of MCF7 cell migration.
In addition to the regulation of important genes, we have demonstrated for the first time that 17β-HSD1 increases breast cancer cell migration, in spite of its positive regulation of the antimetastatic gene NM23. This is also correlated to its stimulation of breast cancer cell growth, further confirming its targeting in ER positive breast cancer. The novel findings in this study suggest several directions for future research on the contribution of 17β-HSD1 to breast cancer progression and related treatment.
This study provides preliminary data and a framework to facilitate cost comparisons for pharmacologic versus behavioral approaches to headache prophylactic treatment.
There are few empirical demonstrations of cumulative costs for pharmacologic and behavioral headache treatments, and there are no direct comparisons of short and long range (5 year) costs for pharmacologic versus behavioral headache treatments.
Two separate pilot surveys were distributed to a convenience sample of behavioral specialists and physicians identified from the membership of the American Headache Society. Costs of prototypical regimens for Preventive Pharmacologic Treatment (PPT), Clinic-Based Behavioral Treatment (CBBT), Minimal-Contact Behavioral Treatment (MCBT), and Group Behavioral Treatment (GBT) were assessed. Each survey addressed total cost accumulated during treatment (i.e., intake, professional fees) excluding costs of acute medications. The total costs of preventive headache therapy by type of treatment were then evaluated and compared over time.
During the initial months of treatment, PPT with inexpensive mediations (< .75¢/day) represents the least costly regimen and is comparable to MCBT in expense until 6 months. After 6 months, PPT is expected to become more costly, particularly when medication cost exceeds .75¢ a day. When using an expensive medication (>3$/day), preventive drug treatment becomes more expensive than CBBT after the first year. Long term, and within year one, MCBT was found to be the least costly approach to migraine prevention.
Through year 1 of treatment, inexpensive prophylactic medications (such as generically available beta-blocker or tricyclic antidepressant medications) and behavioral interventions utilizing limited delivery formats (minimal-contact behavior treatment) are the least costly of the empirically validated interventions. This analysis suggests that, relative to pharmacologic options, limited format behavioral interventions are cost competitive in the early phases of treatment and become more cost efficient as the years of treatment accrue.
migraine; headache; cost; behavioral
At the current time, technical skills are not directly evaluated by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) as part of the certification process in urology. Rather, the RCPSC relies on the evaluation of Program Directors to ensure that trainees have acquired the necessary surgical skills.
An electronic survey was sent out to the members of the Canadian Academy of Urological Surgeons (CAUS), including the 13 Canadian urology program directors, to assess the teaching and evaluation of technical skills of urology trainees.
The response rate was 37% (33/89), including 8 of the 13 (62%) Program Directors from across Canada. For the teaching of technical skills, most programs had access to live animal laboratories (69%), dedicated teaching time in simulation (59%) and physical training models (59%). Most relied on voluntary faculty. There was a wide variety of structured evaluations for technical skills used across programs, while 36% of respondents did not use structured evaluations. For trainees with deficiencies in technical skills, 67% of programs offered extra operative time with designated faculty, 26% offered additional simulation focused on the deficiency and 19% offered faculty tutorial sessions.
Among Canadian urology residency programs, there is considerable variability in the assessment of technical skills of trainees. Standardized objective assessment tools would help ensure that all trainees have acquired adequate surgical proficiency to operate independently.
Obesity prevalence among inmates in the United States is unknown. Since incarceration disproportionately affects minorities, excluding inmates from surveys may bias national obesity estimates. Including inmates may also help explain racial obesity disparities among men. This descriptive study summarizes obesity prevalence among US male inmates and analyzes the effect of incarceration on national prevalence estimates. Data for male inmates came from the 2002 Survey of Inmates in Local Jails and the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities. Data for the non-incarcerated US adult male population came from the National Health Interview Survey. Self-reported weight and height data were analyzed from men aged 25 – 59 years for all surveys (obesity equaled BMI≥30.0 kg/m2). Pooled inmate obesity prevalence was less than non-incarcerated estimates across all race/ethnic-education subgroups. However, unlike non-incarcerated estimates, inmates had obesity disparities between Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites. Merging inmate and non-incarcerated estimates lowered obesity prevalence among men aged 25 – 39 with lower education levels. Merged estimates showed a positive obesity gradient within Whites by education. This study indicates that the exclusion of inmates from national obesity estimates leads to overestimates in obesity prevalence, particularly for low SES White and Black men.
USA; racial disparities; obesity; incarceration; gender disparities; prisons; men
Traumatic insults to the spinal cord induce both immediate mechanical damage and subsequent tissue degeneration leading to a substantial physiological, biochemical, and functional reorganization of the spinal cord. Various spinal cord injury (SCI) models have shown the adaptive potential of the spinal cord and its limitations in the case of total or partial absence of supraspinal influence. Meaningful recovery of function after SCI will most likely result from a combination of therapeutic strategies, including neural tissue transplants, exogenous neurotrophic factors, elimination of inhibitory molecules, functional sensorimotor training, and/or electrical stimulation of paralyzed muscles or spinal circuits. Peripheral nerve grafts provide a growth-permissive substratum and local neurotrophic factors to enhance the regenerative effort of axotomized neurons when grafted into the site of injury. Regenerating axons can be directed via the peripheral nerve graft toward an appropriate target, but they fail to extend beyond the distal graft–host interface because of the deposition of growth inhibitors at the site of SCI. One method to facilitate the emergence of axons from a graft into the spinal cord is to digest the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans that are associated with a glial scar. Importantly, regenerating axons that do exit the graft are capable of forming functional synaptic contacts. These results have been demonstrated in acute injury models in rats and cats and after a chronic injury in rats and have important implications for our continuing efforts to promote structural and functional repair after SCI.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13311-011-0024-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Spinal cord injury; peripheral nerve graft; axon regeneration; transplantation; neuroplasticity; chondroitinase