112 research outputs found

    HL-1 cells express an inwardly rectifying K+ current activated via muscarinic receptors comparable to that in mouse atrial myocytes

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    An inwardly rectifying K^+ current is present in atrial cardiac myocytes that is activated by acetylcholine (I_{KACh}). Physiologically, activation of the current in the SA node is important in slowing the heart rate with increased parasympathetic tone. It is a paradigm for the direct regulation of signaling effectors by the Gβγ G-protein subunit. Many questions have been addressed in heterologous expression systems with less focus on the behaviour in native myocytes partly because of the technical difficulties in undertaking comparable studies in native cells. In this study, we characterise a potassium current in the atrial-derived cell line HL-1. Using an electrophysiological approach, we compare the characteristics of the potassium current with those in native atrial cells and in a HEK cell line expressing the cloned Kir3.1/3.4 channel. The potassium current recorded in HL-1 is inwardly rectifying and activated by the muscarinic agonist carbachol. Carbachol-activated currents were inhibited by pertussis toxin and tertiapin-Q. The basal current was time-dependently increased when GTP was substituted in the patch-clamp pipette by the non-hydrolysable analogue GTPγS. We compared the kinetics of current modulation in HL-1 with those of freshly isolated atrial mouse cardiomyocytes. The current activation and deactivation kinetics in HL-1 cells are comparable to those measured in atrial cardiomyocytes. Using immunofluorescence, we found GIRK4 at the membrane in HL-1 cells. Real-time RT-PCR confirms the presence of mRNA for the main G-protein subunits, as well as for M2 muscarinic and A1 adenosine receptors. The data suggest HL-1 cells are a good model to study IKAch

    Large Anomalous Hall effect in a silicon-based magnetic semiconductor

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    Magnetic semiconductors are attracting high interest because of their potential use for spintronics, a new technology which merges electronics and manipulation of conduction electron spins. (GaMn)As and (GaMn)N have recently emerged as the most popular materials for this new technology. While Curie temperatures are rising towards room temperature, these materials can only be fabricated in thin film form, are heavily defective, and are not obviously compatible with Si. We show here that it is productive to consider transition metal monosilicides as potential alternatives. In particular, we report the discovery that the bulk metallic magnets derived from doping the narrow gap insulator FeSi with Co share the very high anomalous Hall conductance of (GaMn)As, while displaying Curie temperatures as high as 53 K. Our work opens up a new arena for spintronics, involving a bulk material based only on transition metals and Si, and which we have proven to display a variety of large magnetic field effects on easily measured electrical properties.Comment: 19 pages with 5 figure

    Pediatricians' weight assessment and obesity management practices

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Clinician adherence to obesity screening guidelines from United States health agencies remains suboptimal. This study explored how personal and career demographics influence pediatricians' weight assessment and management practices.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>A web-based survey was distributed to U.S. pediatricians. Respondents were asked to identify the weight status of photographed children and about their weight assessment and management practices. Associations between career and personal demographic variables and pediatricians' weight perceptions, weight assessment and management practices were evaluated using univariate and multivariate modeling.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>3,633 pediatric medical providers correctly identified the weight status of children at a median rate of 58%. The majority of pediatric clinicians were white, female, and of normal weight status with more than 10 years clinical experience. Experienced pediatric medical providers were less likely than younger colleagues to correctly identify the weight status of pictured children and were also less likely to know and use BMI criteria for assessing weight status. General pediatricians were more likely than subspecialty practitioners to provide diverse interventions for weight management. Non-white and Hispanic general practitioners were more likely than counterparts to consider cultural approaches to weight management.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Pediatricians' perceptions of children's weight and their weight assessment and management practices are influenced by career and personal characteristics. Objective criteria and clinical guidelines should be uniformly applied by pediatricians to screen for and manage pediatric obesity.</p

    Development of a Multivalent Subunit Vaccine against Tularemia Using Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) Based Delivery System

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    Francisella tularensisis a facultative intracellular pathogen, and is the causative agent of a fatal human disease known as tularemia. F. tularensis is classified as a Category A Biothreat agent by the CDC based on its use in bioweapon programs by several countries in the past and its potential to be used as an agent of bioterrorism. No licensed vaccine is currently available for prevention of tularemia. In this study, we used a novel approach for development of a multivalent subunit vaccine against tularemia by using an efficient tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) based delivery platform. The multivalent subunit vaccine was formulated to contain a combination of F. tularensis protective antigens: OmpA-like protein (OmpA), chaperone protein DnaK and lipoprotein Tul4 from the highly virulent F. tularensisSchuS4 strain. Two different vaccine formulations and immunization schedules were used. The immunized mice were challenged with lethal (10xLD100) doses of F. tularensisLVS on day 28 of the primary immunization and observed daily for morbidity and mortality. Results from this study demonstrate that TMV can be used as a carrier for effective delivery of multiple F. tularensisantigens. TMV-conjugate vaccine formulations are safe and multiple doses can be administered without causing any adverse reactions in immunized mice. Immunization with TMV-conjugated F. tularensisproteins induced a strong humoral immune response and protected mice against respiratory challenges with very high doses of F. tularensis LVS. This study provides a proof-of-concept that TMV can serve as a suitable platform for simultaneous delivery of multiple protective antigens of F. tularensis. Refinement of vaccine formulations coupled with TMV-targeting strategies developed in this study will provide a platform for development of an effective tularemia subunit vaccine as well as a vaccination approach that may broadly be applicable to many other bacterial pathogens

    Increased Systemic Th17 Cytokines Are Associated with Diastolic Dysfunction in Children and Adolescents with Diabetic Ketoacidosis

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    Diastolic dysfunction suggestive of diabetic cardiomyopathy is established in children with T1DM, but its pathogenesis is not well understood. We studied the relationships of systemic inflammatory cytokines/chemokines and cardiac function in 17 children with T1DM during and after correction of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Twenty seven of the 39 measured cytokines/chemokines were elevated at 6–12 hours into treatment of DKA compared to values after DKA resolution. Eight patients displayed at least one parameter of diastolic abnormality (DA) during acute DKA. Significant associations were present between nine of the cytokine/chemokine levels and the DA over time. Interestingly, four of these nine interactive cytokines (GM-CSF, G-CSF, IL-12p40, IL-17) are associated with a Th17 mediated cell response. Both the DA and CCL7 and IL-12p40, had independent associations with African American patients. Thus, we report occurrence of a systemic inflammatory response and the presence of cardiac diastolic dysfunction in a subset of young T1DM patients during acute DKA

    Accelerated turnover of taste bud cells in mice deficient for the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1

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    Background: Mammalian taste buds contain several specialized cell types that coordinately respond to tastants and communicate with sensory nerves. While it has long been appreciated that these cells undergo continual turnover, little is known concerning how adequate numbers of cells are generated and maintained. The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 has been shown to influence cell number in several developing tissues, by coordinating cell cycle exit during cell differentiation. Here, we investigated its involvement in the control of taste cell replacement by examining adult mice with targeted ablation of the p27Kip1 gene.Results: Histological and morphometric analyses of fungiform and circumvallate taste buds reveal no structural differences between wild-type and p27Kip1-null mice. However, when examined in functional assays, mutants show substantial proliferative changes. In BrdU incorporation experiments, more S-phase-labeled precursors appear within circumvallate taste buds at 1 day post-injection, the earliest time point examined. After 1 week, twice as many labeled intragemmal cells are present, but numbers return to wild-type levels by 2 weeks. Mutant taste buds also contain more TUNEL-labeled cells and 50% more apoptotic bodies than wild-type controls. In normal mice, p27 Kip1 is evident in a subset of receptor and presynaptic taste cells beginning about 3 days post-injection, correlating with the onset of taste cell maturation. Loss of gene function, however, does not alter the proportions of distinct immunohistochemically-identified cell types.Conclusions: p27Kip1 participates in taste cell replacement by regulating the number of precursor cells available for entry into taste buds. This is consistent with a role for the protein in timing cell cycle withdrawal in progenitor cells. The equivalence of mutant and wild-type taste buds with regard to cell number, cell types and general structure contrasts with the hyperplasia and tissue disruption seen in certain developing p27Kip1-null sensory organs, and may reflect a compensatory capability inherent in the regenerative taste system

    Innate Immune Responses of Drosophila melanogaster Are Altered by Spaceflight

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    Alterations and impairment of immune responses in humans present a health risk for space exploration missions. The molecular mechanisms underpinning innate immune defense can be confounded by the complexity of the acquired immune system of humans. Drosophila (fruit fly) innate immunity is simpler, and shares many similarities with human innate immunity at the level of molecular and genetic pathways. The goals of this study were to elucidate fundamental immune processes in Drosophila affected by spaceflight and to measure host-pathogen responses post-flight. Five containers, each containing ten female and five male fruit flies, were housed and bred on the space shuttle (average orbit altitude of 330.35 km) for 12 days and 18.5 hours. A new generation of flies was reared in microgravity. In larvae, the immune system was examined by analyzing plasmatocyte number and activity in culture. In adults, the induced immune responses were analyzed by bacterial clearance and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) of selected genes following infection with E. coli. The RNA levels of relevant immune pathway genes were determined in both larvae and adults by microarray analysis. The ability of larval plasmatocytes to phagocytose E. coli in culture was attenuated following spaceflight, and in parallel, the expression of genes involved in cell maturation was downregulated. In addition, the level of constitutive expression of pattern recognition receptors and opsonins that specifically recognize bacteria, and of lysozymes, antimicrobial peptide (AMP) pathway and immune stress genes, hallmarks of humoral immunity, were also reduced in larvae. In adults, the efficiency of bacterial clearance measured in vivo following a systemic infection with E. coli post-flight, remained robust. We show that spaceflight altered both cellular and humoral immune responses in Drosophila and that the disruption occurs at multiple interacting pathways
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