214 research outputs found

    Taking the strain: quantifying the contributions of all cell behaviours to changes in epithelial shape

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    Computer-assisted tracking of the shapes of many cells over long periods of development has driven the exploration of novel ways to quantify the contributions of different cell behaviours to morphogenesis. A handful of similar methods have now been published that are used to calculate tissue deformations (strain rates) in epithelia. These methods are further used to quantify strain rates attributable to each of the cell behaviours in the tissue, such as cell shape change, cell rearrangement and cell division, that together sum to the tissue strain rates. In this review, aimed at developmental biologists, I will introduce the general approach, characterize differences in current approaches and highlight extensions of these methods that remain to be fully explored. The methods will make a major contribution to the emerging field of tissue mechanics. Precisely quantified strain rates are an essential first step towards exploring constitutive equations relating stress to strain via tissue mechanical properties. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Systems morphodynamics: understanding the development of tissue hardware’.G.B.B. was supported by grant no. 15.23(k) from the Isaac Newton Trust and by Wellcome Trust grant no. 100329/Z/12/Z awarded to Prof. William Harris

    Geometry can provide long-range mechanical guidance for embryogenesis

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    Downstream of gene expression, effectors such as the actomyosin contractile machinery drive embryo morphogenesis. During Drosophila\textit{Drosophila} embryonic axis extension, actomyosin has a specific planar-polarised organisation, which is responsible for oriented cell intercalation. In addition to these cell rearrangements, cell shape changes also contribute to tissue deformation. While cell-autonomous dynamics are well described, understanding the tissue-scale behaviour challenges us to solve the corresponding mechanical problem at the scale of the whole embryo, since mechanical resistance of all neighbouring epithelia will feedback on individual cells. Here we propose a novel numerical approach to compute the whole-embryo dynamics of the actomyosin-rich apical epithelial surface. We input in the model specific patterns of actomyosin contractility, such as the planar-polarisation of actomyosin in defined ventro-lateral regions of the embryo. Tissue strain rates and displacements are then predicted over the whole embryo surface according to the global balance of stresses and the material behaviour of the epithelium. Epithelia are modelled using a rheological law that relates the rate of deformation to the local stresses and actomyosin anisotropic contractility. Predicted flow patterns are consistent with the cell flows observed when imaging Drosophila\textit{Drosophila} axis extension in toto\textit{in toto}, using light sheet microscopy. The agreement between model and experimental data indicates that the anisotropic contractility of planar-polarised actomyosin in the ventro-lateral germband tissue can directly cause the tissue-scale deformations of the whole embryo. The three-dimensional mechanical balance is dependent on the geometry of the embryo, whose curved surface is taken into account in the simulations. Importantly, we find that to reproduce experimental flows, the model requires the presence of the cephalic furrow, a fold located anteriorly of the extending tissues. The presence of this geometric feature, through the global mechanical balance, guides the flow and orients extension towards the posterior end.All the computations presented in this paper were performed using the Cactus platform of the CIMENT infrastructure (https://ciment.ujf-grenoble.fr), which is supported by Région Rhône-Alpes (GRANT CPER07-13, http://en.rhonealpes.fr/370-the-quality-of-the-research.htm). MD, PS and JE thank Région Rhône-Alpes (CIBLE and IXXI, all authors; CMIRA, JE only), MD thanks Malian government and French embassy in Bamako "Bourse d’Excellences" programme, LIPHY and LJK (CNRS and Univ. Grenoble Alpes) for financial support. MD and JE thank ANR-12-BS09-0020-01 "Transmig" and ANR-11-LABX-0030 "Tec21", and are members of GDR 3570 MecaBio and GDR 3070 CellTiss of CNRS. JE thanks the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences for its hospitality during the programme "Coupling Geometric PDEs with Physics for Cell Morphology, Motility and Pattern Formation" supported by EPSRC Grant Number EP/K032208/1. CML, GBB and BS were supported by Wellcome Trust Investigator Award 099234/Z/12/Z to BS

    DRhoGEF2 Regulates Cellular Tension and Cell Pulsations in the Amnioserosa during Drosophila Dorsal Closure

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    Coordination of apical constriction in epithelial sheets is a fundamental process during embryogenesis. Here, we show that DRhoGEF2 is a key regulator of apical pulsation and constriction of amnioserosal cells during Drosophila dorsal closure. Amnioserosal cells mutant for DRhoGEF2 exhibit a consistent decrease in amnioserosa pulsations whereas overexpression of DRhoGEF2 in this tissue leads to an increase in the contraction time of pulsations. We probed the physical properties of the amnioserosa to show that the average tension in DRhoGEF2 mutant cells is lower than wild-type and that overexpression of DRhoGEF2 results in a tissue that is more solid-like than wild-type. We also observe that in the DRhoGEF2 overexpressing cells there is a dramatic increase of apical actomyosin coalescence that can contribute to the generation of more contractile forces, leading to amnioserosal cells with smaller apical surface than wild-type. Conversely, in DRhoGEF2 mutants, the apical actomyosin coalescence is impaired. These results identify DRhoGEF2 as an upstream regulator of the actomyosin contractile machinery that drives amnioserosa cells pulsations and apical constriction

    Varespladib and cardiovascular events in patients with an acute coronary syndrome: the VISTA-16 randomized clinical trial

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    IMPORTANCE: Secretory phospholipase A2(sPLA2) generates bioactive phospholipid products implicated in atherosclerosis. The sPLA2inhibitor varespladib has favorable effects on lipid and inflammatory markers; however, its effect on cardiovascular outcomes is unknown. OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of sPLA2inhibition with varespladib on cardiovascular outcomes. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A double-blind, randomized, multicenter trial at 362 academic and community hospitals in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India, and North America of 5145 patients randomized within 96 hours of presentation of an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) to either varespladib (n = 2572) or placebo (n = 2573) with enrollment between June 1, 2010, and March 7, 2012 (study termination on March 9, 2012). INTERVENTIONS: Participants were randomized to receive varespladib (500 mg) or placebo daily for 16 weeks, in addition to atorvastatin and other established therapies. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary efficacy measurewas a composite of cardiovascular mortality, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), nonfatal stroke, or unstable angina with evidence of ischemia requiring hospitalization at 16 weeks. Six-month survival status was also evaluated. RESULTS: At a prespecified interim analysis, including 212 primary end point events, the independent data and safety monitoring board recommended termination of the trial for futility and possible harm. The primary end point occurred in 136 patients (6.1%) treated with varespladib compared with 109 patients (5.1%) treated with placebo (hazard ratio [HR], 1.25; 95%CI, 0.97-1.61; log-rank P = .08). Varespladib was associated with a greater risk of MI (78 [3.4%] vs 47 [2.2%]; HR, 1.66; 95%CI, 1.16-2.39; log-rank P = .005). The composite secondary end point of cardiovascular mortality, MI, and stroke was observed in 107 patients (4.6%) in the varespladib group and 79 patients (3.8%) in the placebo group (HR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.02-1.82; P = .04). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In patients with recent ACS, varespladib did not reduce the risk of recurrent cardiovascular events and significantly increased the risk of MI. The sPLA2inhibition with varespladib may be harmful and is not a useful strategy to reduce adverse cardiovascular outcomes after ACS. TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01130246. Copyright 2014 American Medical Association. All rights reserved

    Neural dynamics of shooting decisions and the switch from freeze to fight

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    Real-life shooting decisions typically occur under acute threat and require fast switching between vigilant situational assessment and immediate fight-or-flight actions. Recent studies suggested that freezing facilitates action preparation and decision-making but the neurocognitive mechanisms remain unclear. We applied functional magnetic resonance imaging, posturographic and autonomic measurements while participants performed a shooting task under threat of shock. two independent studies, in unselected civilians (N = 22) and police recruits (N = 54), revealed that preparation for shooting decisions under threat is associated with postural freezing, bradycardia, midbrain activity (including the periaqueductal gray-PAG) and PAG-amygdala connectivity. Crucially, stronger activity in the midbrain/pAG during this preparatory stage of freezing predicted faster subsequent accurate shooting. Finally, the switch from preparation to active shooting was associated with tachycardia, perigenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC) activity and pgACC-amygdala connectivity. These findings suggest that threat-anticipatory midbrain activity centred around the PAG supports decision-making by facilitating action preparation and highlight the role of the pgACC when switching from preparation to action. These results translate animal models of the neural switch from freeze-to-action. In addition, they reveal a core neural circuit for shooting performance under threat and provide empirical evidence for the role of defensive reactions such as freezing in subsequent action decision-making

    Size limits the formation of liquid jets during bubble bursting

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    A bubble reaching an air–liquid interface usually bursts and forms a liquid jet. Jetting is relevant to climate and health as it is a source of aerosol droplets from breaking waves. Jetting has been observed for large bubbles with radii of R≫100 μm. However, few studies have been devoted to small bubbles (R<100 μm) despite the entrainment of a large number of such bubbles in sea water. Here we show that jet formation is inhibited by bubble size; a jet is not formed during bursting for bubbles smaller than a critical size. Using ultrafast X-ray and optical imaging methods, we build a phase diagram for jetting and the absence of jetting. Our results demonstrate that jetting in bubble bursting is analogous to pinching-off in liquid coalescence. The coalescence mechanism for bubble bursting may be useful in preventing jet formation in industry and improving climate models concerning aerosol production

    Short-Term Enrichment Makes Male Rats More Attractive, More Defensive and Alters Hypothalamic Neurons

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    Innate behaviors are shaped by contingencies built during evolutionary history. On the other hand, environmental stimuli play a significant role in shaping behavior. In particular, a short period of environmental enrichment can enhance cognitive behavior, modify effects of stress on learned behaviors and induce brain plasticity. It is unclear if modulation by environment can extend to innate behaviors which are preserved by intense selection pressure. In the present report we investigate this issue by studying effects of relatively short (14-days) environmental enrichment on two prominent innate behaviors in rats, avoidance of predator odors and ability of males to attract mates. We show that enrichment has strong effects on both the innate behaviors: a) enriched males were more avoidant of a predator odor than non-enriched controls, and had a greater rise in corticosterone levels in response to the odor; and b) had higher testosterone levels and were more attractive to females. Additionally, we demonstrate decrease in dendritic length of neurons of ventrolateral nucleus of hypothalamus, important for reproductive mate-choice and increase in the same in dorsomedial nucleus, important for defensive behavior. Thus, behavioral and hormonal observations provide evidence that a short period of environmental manipulation can alter innate behaviors, providing a good example of gene-environment interaction

    Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara Exerts Potent Immune Modulatory Activities in a Murine Model

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    Background: Modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA), a highly attenuated strain of vaccinia virus, has been used as vaccine delivery vector in preclinical and clinical studies against infectious diseases and malignancies. Here, we investigated whether an MVA which does not encode any antigen (Ag) could be exploited as adjuvant per se. Methodology/Principal Findings: We showed that dendritic cells infected in vitro with non-recombinant (nr) MVA expressed maturation and activation markers and were able to efficiently present exogenously pulsed Ag to T cells. In contrast to the dominant T helper (Th) 1 biased responses elicited against Ags produced by recombinant MVA vectors, the use of nrMVA as adjuvant for the co-administered soluble Ags resulted in a long lasting mixed Th1/Th2 responses. Conclusions/Significance: These findings open new ways to potentiate and modulate the immune responses to vaccin

    The Primary Prevention of PTSD in Firefighters: Preliminary Results of an RCT with 12-Month Follow-Up

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    AIM: To develop and evaluate an evidence-based and theory driven program for the primary prevention of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). DESIGN: A pre-intervention / post-intervention / follow up control group design with clustered random allocation of participants to groups was used. The "control" group received "Training as Usual" (TAU). METHOD: Participants were 45 career recruits within the recruit school at the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) in Western Australia. The intervention group received a four-hour resilience training intervention (Mental Agility and Psychological Strength training) as part of their recruit training school curriculum. Data was collected at baseline and at 6- and 12-months post intervention. RESULTS: We found no evidence that the intervention was effective in the primary prevention of mental health issues, nor did we find any significant impact of MAPS training on social support or coping strategies. A significant difference across conditions in trauma knowledge is indicative of some impact of the MAPS program. CONCLUSION: While the key hypotheses were not supported, this study is the first randomised control trial investigating the primary prevention of PTSD. Practical barriers around the implementation of this program, including constraints within the recruit school, may inform the design and implementation of similar programs in the future. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) ACTRN12615001362583

    Endocytic and Recycling Endosomes Modulate Cell Shape Changes and Tissue Behaviour during Morphogenesis in Drosophila

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    During development tissue deformations are essential for the generation of organs and to provide the final form of an organism. These deformations rely on the coordination of individual cell behaviours which have their origin in the modulation of subcellular activities. Here we explore the role endocytosis and recycling on tissue deformations that occur during dorsal closure of the Drosophila embryo. During this process the AS contracts and the epidermis elongates in a coordinated fashion, leading to the closure of a discontinuity in the dorsal epidermis of the Drosophila embryo. We used dominant negative forms of Rab5 and Rab11 to monitor the impact on tissue morphogenesis of altering endocytosis and recycling at the level of single cells. We found different requirements for endocytosis (Rab5) and recycling (Rab11) in dorsal closure, furthermore we found that the two processes are differentially used in the two tissues. Endocytosis is required in the AS to remove membrane during apical constriction, but is not essential in the epidermis. Recycling is required in the AS at early stages and in the epidermis for cell elongation, suggesting a role in membrane addition during these processes. We propose that the modulation of the balance between endocytosis and recycling can regulate cellular morphology and tissue deformations during morphogenesis
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