77 research outputs found

    Fluorescence imaging for the anterior segment of the eye

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    Diagnostic technologies for the anterior segment of the eye, especially for hard-to-diagnose diseases such as microbial keratitis, are still lacking. Although in vivo confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography are becoming more widely applicable to a variety of conditions, they are often prohibitively expensive, require specialized training and equipment, and are intrinsically insensitive to chemical changes. Here, ultraviolet-fluorescence imaging is proposed as a new technique to aid in investigation of the anterior segment. In this work, a novel two-color line-of-sight fluorescence imaging technique is described for imaging of the anterior segment. The technique is applied to seven ex vivo porcine eyes to illustrate the utility of the technique. The image data was used to estimate an effective fluorescence quantum yield of each eye at 370 nm. The eyes were then inoculated with bacteria to simulate microbial keratitis, a common sight-threatening infection, and the measurement was repeated. A simplified fluorescence-extinction model was developed to describe and analyze the relative intensities of the eye and biofilm fluorescence. Overall, the technique appears to have utility in clinical practice and with proper development may be suitable for detecting chemical changes in the eye, or the presence of foreign matter; however, further investigation is needed to develop the technique and analysis procedures into a quantitative diagnostic tool

    Stability of strings binding heavy-quark mesons

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    We investigate the stability against small deformations of strings dangling into AdS_5-Schwarzschild from a moving heavy quark-anti-quark pair. We speculate that emission of massive string states may be an important part of the evolution of certain unstable configurations.Comment: 14 pages, 4 figure

    Circadian clock proteins regulate neuronal redox homeostasis and neurodegeneration

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    Brain aging is associated with diminished circadian clock output and decreased expression of the core clock proteins, which regulate many aspects of cellular biochemistry and metabolism. The genes encoding clock proteins are expressed throughout the brain, though it is unknown whether these proteins modulate brain homeostasis. We observed that deletion of circadian clock transcriptional activators aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator–like (Bmal1) alone, or circadian locomotor output cycles kaput (Clock) in combination with neuronal PAS domain protein 2 (Npas2), induced severe age-dependent astrogliosis in the cortex and hippocampus. Mice lacking the clock gene repressors period circadian clock 1 (Per1) and period circadian clock 2 (Per2) had no observed astrogliosis. Bmal1 deletion caused the degeneration of synaptic terminals and impaired cortical functional connectivity, as well as neuronal oxidative damage and impaired expression of several redox defense genes. Targeted deletion of Bmal1 in neurons and glia caused similar neuropathology, despite the retention of intact circadian behavioral and sleep-wake rhythms. Reduction of Bmal1 expression promoted neuronal death in primary cultures and in mice treated with a chemical inducer of oxidative injury and striatal neurodegeneration. Our findings indicate that BMAL1 in a complex with CLOCK or NPAS2 regulates cerebral redox homeostasis and connects impaired clock gene function to neurodegeneration

    Retinoic Acid Mediates Long-Paced Oscillations in Retinoid Receptor Activity: Evidence for a Potential Role for RIP140

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    Mechanisms that underlie oscillatory transcriptional activity of nuclear receptors (NRs) are incompletely understood. Evidence exists for rapid, cyclic recruitment of coregulatory complexes upon activation of nuclear receptors. RIP140 is a NR coregulator that represses the transactivation of agonist-bound nuclear receptors. Previously, we showed that RIP140 is inducible by all-trans retinoic acid (RA) and mediates limiting, negative-feedback regulation of retinoid signaling.Here we report that in the continued presence of RA, long-paced oscillations of retinoic acid receptor (RAR) activity occur with a period ranging from 24 to 35 hours. Endogenous expression of RIP140 and other RA-target genes also oscillate in the presence of RA. Cyclic retinoid receptor transactivation is ablated by constitutive overexpression of RIP140. Further, depletion of RIP140 disrupts cyclic expression of the RA target gene HOXA5. Evidence is provided that RIP140 may limit RAR signaling in a selective, non-redundant manner in contrast to the classic NR coregulators NCoR1 and SRC1 that are not RA-inducible, do not cycle, and may be partially redundant in limiting RAR activity. Finally, evidence is provided that RIP140 can repress and be induced by other nuclear receptors in a manner that suggests potential participation in other NR oscillations.We provide evidence for novel, long-paced oscillatory retinoid receptor activity and hypothesize that this may be paced in part, by RIP140. Oscillatory NR activity may be involved in mediating hormone actions of physiological and pathological importance

    Biofilm Development on Caenorhabditis elegans by Yersinia Is Facilitated by Quorum Sensing-Dependent Repression of Type III Secretion

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    Yersinia pseudotuberculosis forms biofilms on Caenorhabditis elegans which block nematode feeding. This genetically amenable host-pathogen model has important implications for biofilm development on living, motile surfaces. Here we show that Y. pseudotuberculosis biofilm development on C. elegans is governed by N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL)-mediated quorum sensing (QS) since (i) AHLs are produced in nematode associated biofilms and (ii) Y. pseudotuberculosis strains expressing an AHL-degrading enzyme or in which the AHL synthase (ypsI and ytbI) or response regulator (ypsR and ytbR) genes have been mutated, are attenuated. Although biofilm formation is also attenuated in Y. pseudotuberculosis strains carrying mutations in the QS-controlled motility regulator genes, flhDC and fliA, and the flagellin export gene, flhA, flagella are not required since fliC mutants form normal biofilms. However, in contrast to the parent and fliC mutant, Yop virulon proteins are up-regulated in flhDC, fliA and flhA mutants in a temperature and calcium independent manner. Similar observations were found for the Y. pseudotuberculosis QS mutants, indicating that the Yop virulon is repressed by QS via the master motility regulator, flhDC. By curing the pYV virulence plasmid from the ypsI/ytbI mutant, by growing YpIII under conditions permissive for type III needle formation but not Yop secretion and by mutating the type III secretion apparatus gene, yscJ, we show that biofilm formation can be restored in flhDC and ypsI/ytbI mutants. These data demonstrate that type III secretion blocks biofilm formation and is reciprocally regulated with motility via QS

    Genetic Variation in the Platelet Endothelial Aggregation Receptor 1 Gene Results in Endothelial Dysfunction

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    We gratefully acknowledge our Amish liaisons and field workers and the extraordinary cooperation and support of the Amish community, without which these studies would not have been possible. We also acknowledge Dr. Alan Shuldiner for his impactful insights and guidance.Platelet Endothelial Aggregation Receptor 1 (PEAR1) is a newly identified membrane protein reported to be involved in multiple vascular and thrombotic processes. While most studies to date have focused on the effects of this receptor in platelets, PEAR1 is located in multiple tissues including the endothelium, where it is most highly expressed. Our first objective was to evaluate the role of PEAR1 in endothelial function by examining flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery in 641 participants from the Heredity and Phenotype Intervention Heart Study. Our second objective was to further define the impact of PEAR1 on cardiovascular disease computationally through meta-analysis of 75,000 microarrays, yielding insights regarding PEAR1 function, and predictions of phenotypes and diseases affected by PEAR1 dysregulation. Based on the results of this meta-analysis we examined whether genetic variation in PEAR1 influences endothelial function using an ex vivo assay of endothelial cell migration. We observed a significant association between rs12041331 and flow-mediated dilation in participants of the Heredity and Phenotype Intervention Heart Study (P = 0.02). Meta-analysis results revealed that PEAR1 expression is highly correlated with several genes (e.g. ANG2, ACVRL1, ENG) and phenotypes (e.g. endothelial cell migration, angiogenesis) that are integral to endothelial function. Functional validation of these results revealed that PEAR1 rs12041331 is significantly associated with endothelial migration (P = 0.04). Our results suggest for the first time that genetic variation of PEAR1 is a significant determinant of endothelial function through pathways implicated in cardiovascular disease.Yeshttp://www.plosone.org/static/editorial#pee

    Monitoring AKT activity and targeting in live tissue and disease contexts using a real-time Akt-FRET biosensor mouse

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    Aberrant AKT activation occurs in a number of cancers, metabolic syndrome, and immune disorders, making it an important target for the treatment of many diseases. To monitor spatial and temporal AKT activity in a live setting, we generated an Akt-FRET biosensor mouse that allows longitudinal assessment of AKT activity using intravital imaging in conjunction with image stabilization and optical window technology. We demonstrate the sensitivity of the Akt-FRET biosensor mouse using various cancer models and verify its suitability to monitor response to drug targeting in spheroid and organotypic models. We also show that the dynamics of AKT activation can be monitored in real time in diverse tissues, including in individual islets of the pancreas, in the brown and white adipose tissue, and in the skeletal muscle. Thus, the Akt-FRET biosensor mouse provides an important tool to study AKT dynamics in live tissue contexts and has broad preclinical applications
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