48 research outputs found

    Catalytic Materials by Design

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    Recent activities of our group in the design of catalytic materials are briefly surveyed. Special attention is given to sol-gel-derived mixed oxide aerogels and organic-inorganic hybrid gels, and to supported noble metals with controlled particle size. Examples discussed embrace: organically modified titania-silica aerogels for the epoxidation of bulky olefins, Ru-containing silica hybrid gels for the synthesis of formic-acid derivatives, and colloid-derived supported gold catalysts with controlled metal particle size

    Vascular Alterations in a Murine Model of Acute Graft-Versus-Host Disease Are Associated With Decreased Serum Levels of Adiponectin and an Increased Activity and Vascular Expression of Indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenase

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    Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is the limiting complication after bone marrow transplantation (BMT), and its pathophysiology seems to be highly influenced by vascular factors. Our study aimed at elucidating possible mechanisms involved in vascular GVHD. For this purpose, we used a fully MHC-mismatched model of BALB/c mice conditioned according to two different intensity protocols with total body irradiation and transplantation of allogeneic (C57BL/6) or syngeneic bone marrow cells and splenocytes. Mesenteric resistance arteries were studied in a pressurized myograph. We also quantified the expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), endothelial (eNOS), and inducible NO synthase (iNOS), as well as several pro-and anti-inflammatory cytokines. We measured the serum levels of tryptophan (trp) and kynurenine (kyn), the kyn/trp ratio (KTR) as a marker of IDO activity, and adiponectin (APN). The myographic study showed a correlation of GVHD severity after allogeneic BMT with functional vessel alterations that started with increased vessel stress and ended in eccentric vessel remodeling, increased vessel strain, and endothelial dysfunction. These alterations were accompanied by increasing IDO activity and decreasing APN levels in the serum of allogeneic animals. The mRNA expression showed significantly elevated IDO, decreased eNOS, and elevation of most studied pro-and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Our study provides further data supporting the importance of vessel alterations in GVHD and is the first to show an association of vascular GVHD with hypoadiponectinemia and an increased activity and vascular expression of IDO. Whether there is also a causative involvement of these two factors in the development of GVHD needs to be further investigated

    Complement Regulator FHR-3 Is Elevated either Locally or Systemically in a Selection of Autoimmune Diseases

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    Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a very common complication after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) and is associated with a poor prognosis. Generally, the kidneys are assumed to not be no direct targets of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), and renal impairment is often attributed to several other factors occurring in the early phase after BMT. Our study aimed to prove the existence of renal GvHD in a fully major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-mismatched model of BALB/c mice conditioned and transplanted according to 2 different intensity protocols. Syngeneically transplanted and untreated animals served as controls. Four weeks after transplantation, allogeneic animals developed acute GvHD that was more pronounced in the high-intensity protocol (HIP) group than in the low-intensity protocol (LIP) group. Urea and creatinine as classic serum markers of renal function could not verify renal impairment 4 weeks after BMT. Creatinine levels were even reduced as a result of catabolic metabolism and loss of muscle mass due to acute GvHD. Proteinuria, albuminuria, and urinary N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) levels were measured as additional renal markers before and after transplantation. Albuminuria and NAG were only significantly increased after allogeneic transplantation, correlating with disease severity between HIP and LIP animals. Histological investigations of the kidneys showed renal infiltration of T cells and macrophages with endarteriitis, interstitial nephritis, tubulitis, and glomerulitis. T cells consisted of CD4+, CD8+, and FoxP3+ cells. Renal expression analysis of allogeneic animals showed increases in indoleamine-2,3 dioxygenase (IDO), different cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha, interferon-gamma, interleukin 1 alpha [IL-1 alpha], IL-2, IL-6, and IL-10), and adhesion molecules (intercellular adhesion molecule 1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1), resembling findings from other tissues in acute GvHD. In summary, our study supports the entity of renal GvHD with histological features suggestive of cellmediated renal injury. Albuminuria and urinary NAG levels may serve as early markers of renal impairment

    Eplerenone prevents salt-induced vascular stiffness in Zucker diabetic fatty rats: a preliminary report

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    Background Aldosterone levels are elevated in a rat model of type 2 diabetes mellitus, the Zucker Diabetic fatty rat (ZDF). Moreover blood pressure in ZDF rats is salt-sensitive. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of the aldosterone antagonist eplerenone on structural and mechanical properties of resistance arteries of ZDF-rats on normal and high-salt diet. Methods After the development of diabetes, ZDF animals were fed either a normal salt diet (0.28%) or a high-salt diet (5.5%) starting at an age of 15 weeks. ZDF rats on high-salt diet were randomly assigned to eplerenone (100 mg/kg per day, in food) (ZDF+S+E), hydralazine (25 mg/kg per day) (ZDF+S+H), or no treatment (ZDF+S). Rats on normal salt-diet were assigned to eplerenone (ZDF+E) or no treatment (ZDF). Normoglycemic Zucker lean rats were also divided into two groups receiving normal (ZL) or high-salt diet (ZL+S) serving as controls. Systolic blood pressure was measured by tail cuff method. The experiment was terminated at an age of 25 weeks. Mesenteric resistance arteries were studied on a pressurized myograph. Specifically, vascular hypertrophy (media-to-lumen ratio) and vascular stiffness (strain and stress) were analyzed. After pressurized fixation histological analysis of collagen and elastin content was performed. Results Blood pressure was significantly higher in salt-loaded ZDF compared to ZDF. Eplerenone and hydralazine prevented this rise similarily, however, significance niveau was missed. Media-to-lumen ratio of mesenteric resistance arteries was significantly increased in ZDF+S when compared to ZDF and ZL. Both, eplerenone and hydralazine prevented salt-induced vascular hypertrophy. The strain curve of arteries of salt-loaded ZDF rats was significantly lower when compared to ZL and when compared to ZDF+S+E, but was not different compared to ZDF+S+H. Eplerenone, but not hydralazine shifted the strain-stress curve to the right indicating a vascular wall composition with less resistant components. This indicates increased vascular stiffness in salt-loaded ZDF rats, which could be prevented by eplerenone but not by hydralazine. Collagen content was increased in ZL and ZDF rats on high-salt diet. Eplerenone and hydralazine prevented the increase of collagen content. There was no difference in elastin content. Conclusion Eplerenone and hydralazine prevented increased media-to-lumen ratio in salt-loaded ZDF-rats, indicating a regression of vascular hypertrophy, which is likely mediated by the blood pressure lowering-effect. Eplerenone has additionally the potential to prevent increased vascular stiffness in salt-loaded ZDF-rats. This suggests an effect of the specific aldosterone antagonist on adverse vascular wall remodelling

    Cyclosporine A Impairs Norepinephrine-Induced Vascular Contractility

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    Usage of cyclosporine A (CsA) after kidney transplantation may be associated with development of nephrotoxicity and vasculopathy, but the mechanisms by which CsA causes vascular dysfunction are still under scrutiny. We established a transplantation model and investigated the effect of CsA on vascular contractility with the aid of a pressurized myograph in comparison with control and unilaterally nephrectomized rats. Results were correlated with mRNA expression studies of α- and ÎČ-adrenoreceptors, in mesenteric resistance arteries versus the thoracic aorta. Consequences of everolimus on functional properties as well as adrenoreceptor expression were also studied. CsA significantly downregulated expression of mesenteric adrenoreceptors, whereas no effect on aortic adrenoreceptors was seen. Administration of everolimus had no influence on mRNA adrenoreceptor expression in mesenteric resistance arteries. Furthermore, contractile responses of mesenteric resistance arteries to norepinephrine were markedly reduced after treatment with CsA, while there was no difference in contraction by endothelin. Everolimus did not alter the contractility response at all. In summary, norepinephrine-induced, but not endothelin-induced, contractile responses of mesenteric resistance arteries are blunted in CsA-treated rats. This finding was accompanied by a marked downregulation of adrenoreceptors in mesenteric resistance arteries and was limited to the usage of CsA

    Unraveling the temperature dependence of the yield strength in single-crystal tungsten using atomistically-informed crystal plasticity calculations

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    We use a physically-based crystal plasticity model to predict the yield strength of body-centered cubic (bcc) tungsten single crystals subjected to uniaxial loading. Our model captures the thermally-activated character of screw dislocation motion and full non-Schmid effects, both of which are known to play a critical role in bcc plasticity. The model uses atomistic calculations as the sole source of constitutive information, with no parameter fitting of any kind to experimental data. Our results are in excellent agreement with experimental measurements of the yield stress as a function of temperature for a number of loading orientations. The validated methodology is then employed to calculate the temperature and strain-rate dependence of the yield strength for 231 crystallographic orientations within the standard stereographic triangle. We extract the strain-rate sensitivity of W crystals at different temperatures, and finish with the calculation of yield surfaces under biaxial loading conditions that can be used to define effective yield criteria for engineering design models

    Principles of mRNA transport in yeast

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    mRNA localization and localized translation is a common mechanism by which cellular asymmetry is achieved. In higher eukaryotes the mRNA transport machinery is required for such diverse processes as stem cell division and neuronal plasticity. Because mRNA localization in metazoans is highly complex, studies at the molecular level have proven to be cumbersome. However, active mRNA transport has also been reported in fungi including Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Ustilago maydis and Candida albicans, in which these events are less difficult to study. Amongst them, budding yeast S. cerevisiae has yielded mechanistic insights that exceed our understanding of other mRNA localization events to date. In contrast to most reviews, we refrain here from summarizing mRNA localization events from different organisms. Instead we give an in-depth account of ASH1 mRNA localization in budding yeast. This approach is particularly suited to providing a more holistic view of the interconnection between the individual steps of mRNA localization, from transcriptional events to cytoplasmic mRNA transport and localized translation. Because of our advanced mechanistic understanding of mRNA localization in yeast, the present review may also be informative for scientists working, for example, on mRNA localization in embryogenesis or in neurons

    Erhöhung des Grasanteils in der MilchviehfĂŒtterung: Auswirkungen auf Milchleistung und Einkommen

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    Die Analyse untersucht fĂŒr die Schweiz den Zusammenhang zwischen dem Grasanteil in der MilchviehfĂŒtterung einerseits und der Milchleistung sowie dem Arbeitsverdienst, dem Jahreseinkommen einer Vollzeitfamilienarbeitskraft, andererseits. Auf Basis von ĂŒber 6500 Betriebsbeobachtungen aus dem schweizerischen Informationsnetz Landwirtschaftlicher Buchhaltungen werden die Futteranteile von Gras, Silomais und Kraftfutter berechnet. Die Korrelations- und Regressionsanalysen zeigen einen negativen Einfluss des Grasanteils auf die Milchleistung. Der Effekt eines zusĂ€tzlichen Prozents Gras in der Futterration auf den Arbeitsverdienst ist hingegen mit ĂŒber CHF 420.- positiv

    Exploring within- and between-effects of the factors influencing off-farm work decisions in Switzerland

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    We examine the determinants of off-farm work in Swiss agriculture between 2003 and 2013. By differentiating between the between-farm effects and the within-farm effects, our model provides new insights into the labour allocation process as compared with standard cross-sectional or panel data models. As regards the between-farm variations, our results show that younger farm families without children and farm households with higher non-agricultural education levels of both the farmer and the partner are more involved in working activities outside the farm. However, the within-farm time effects provided a more differentiated picture: impacts of changes in most variables over time tended to be smaller, and in case of two variables show opposite directions. In addition to a negative between-effect of farm income on the allocation of off-farm labour, our results on within-farm effects suggest that an increase in farm income per annual family work unit could be compatible with a higher share of off-farm work during the analysed period