1,993 research outputs found

    THE SOCIAL CAPITAL FOUNDATIONS OF TRUST IN GLOBAL AGRI-FOOD SYSTEM TRANSACTIONS

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    The concept of social capital is defined as a third process (along with individual incentives and authority relationships) for assuring transaction cost efficiency. Social capital is especially relevant to international transactions because cultural differences, large distances, and limited international institutional scope lessen the effectiveness of incentives and authority relationships while social capital can be built within the context of specific international transactions. Methods for building social capital in international settings are explored. A research agenda is articulated as well as a list of managerial implications for using social capital in an international context.Agribusiness,

    Extended twin study of alcohol use in Virginia and Australia

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    Drinking alcohol is a normal behavior in many societies, and prior studies have demonstrated it has both genetic and environmental sources of variation. Using two very large samples of twins and their first-degree relatives (Australia ≈ 20,000 individuals from 8,019 families; Virginia ≈ 23,000 from 6,042 families), we examine whether there are differences: (1) in the genetic and environmental factors that influence four interrelated drinking behaviors (quantity, frequency, age of initiation, and number of drinks in the last week), (2) between the twin-only design and the extended twin design, and (3) the Australian and Virginia samples. We find that while drinking behaviors are interrelated, there are substantial differences in the genetic and environmental architectures across phenotypes. Specifically, drinking quantity, frequency, and number of drinks in the past week have large broad genetic variance components, and smaller but significant environmental variance components, while age of onset is driven exclusively by environmental factors. Further, the twin-only design and the extended twin design come to similar conclusions regarding broad-sense heritability and environmental transmission, but the extended twin models provide a more nuanced perspective. Finally, we find a high level of similarity between the Australian and Virginian samples, especially for the genetic factors. The observed differences, when present, tend to be at the environmental level. Implications for the extended twin model and future directions are discussed

    Cross-cultural comparison of genetic and cultural transmission of smoking initiation using an extended twin kinship model

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    Background: Considerable evidence from twin and adoption studies indicates that genetic and shared environmental factors play a role in the initiation of smoking behavior. Although twin and adoption designs are powerful to detect genetic and environmental influences, they do not provide information on the processes of assortative mating and parent–offspring transmission and their contribution to the variability explained by genetic and/or environmental factors. Methods: We examined the role of genetic and environmental factors in individual differences for smoking initiation (SI) using an extended kinship design. This design allows the simultaneous testing of additive and non-additive genetic, shared and individual-specific environmental factors, as well as sex differences in the expression of genes and environment in the presence of assortative mating and combined genetic and cultural transmission, while also estimating the regression of the prevalence of SI on age. A dichotomous lifetime ‘ever’ smoking measure was obtained from twins and relatives in the ‘Virginia 30,000’ sample and the ‘Australian 25,000’. Results: Results demonstrate that both genetic and environmental factors play a significant role in the liability to SI. Major influences on individual differences appeared to be additive genetic and unique environmental effects, with smaller contributions from assortative mating, shared sibling environment, twin environment, cultural transmission, and resulting genotype-environment covariance. Age regression of the prevalence of SI was significant. The finding of negative cultural transmission without dominance led us to investigate more closely two possible mechanisms for the lower parent–offspring correlations compared to the sibling and DZ twin correlations in subsets of the data: (1) age × gene interaction, and (2) social homogamy. Neither of the mechanism provided a significantly better explanation of the data. Conclusions: This study showed significant heritability, partly due to assortment, and significant effects of primarily non-parental shared environment on liability to SI

    The role of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) uncoupling in acute hyperglycemia – induced oxidative stress and vascular endothelial dysfunction by measuring blood nitric oxide and hydrogen peroxide in real-time

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    Acute hyperglycemia can impair vascular endothelial function in non-diabetic subjects in addition to diabetic patients. Decreased eNOS derived nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability and increased reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as superoxide (SO) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), are the major characteristics of vascular endothelial dysfunction. Furthermore, eNOS can change from coupled to an uncoupled status resulting in SO production instead of NO production. The role of eNOS uncoupling in acute hyperglycemia induced vascular dysfunction is unclear in vivo. In this study we hypothesized that acute hyperglycemia (200 mg/dL) would increase H2O2 and decrease NO release in blood relative to saline control. By contrast, 5,6,7,8-tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4, an essential cofactor of coupled eNOS) (MW=241.247 g/mol, 6.5 mg/kg) or L-arginine (the substrate of coupled eNOS) (MW=210.66 g/mol, 600 mg/kg) would attenuate acute hyperglycemia-induced blood NO/H2O2 change. However, 7,8-dihydrobiopterin (BH2, an oxidized form of BH4 and serves as a cofactor for uncoupled eNOS) (MW=239.231 g/mol, 4 mg/kg) will exacerbate acute hyperglycemia-induced blood NO/H2O2 change. Blood NO or H2O2 levels were measured simultaneously using calibrated NO or H2O2 microsensors (100 µm WPI Inc.) by placing them into the femoral veins of male Sprague-Dawley rats. The electrical traces were recorded at baseline and throughout 3 hours of infusion with saline or 20% D-glucose with or without a drug and converted into concentration based on the calibration curve. We found that acute hyperglycemia (200 mg/dL) significantly increased H2O2 (n=6) and reduced NO (n=6) blood levels compared to the saline group (n=7, p2 exacerbated hyperglycemia– induced increased H2O2 levels (n=7) and decreased NO levels (n=4) (p4 (n=6), significantly attenuated hyperglycemia– induced increased H2O2 levels and decreased NO levels (p2O2 (n=5) and NO (n=6) blood levels as BH4, showing significant reduction of blood H2O2 and enhancement of blood NO (p2O2 and reduced NO blood levels. Uncoupled eNOS serves as a significant source mediating acute hyperglycemia-induced vascular dysfunction. Therefore, promotion of eNOS coupling may be effective in protecting vascular endothelial function from hyperglycemic insult

    Committee Reports

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    Contains reports from the following committees of the Washington State Bar Association: Administrative Law, Civil Rights, Code Commission, Cooperation with American Bar Association, Federal Legislation, Improvement of Probate Statutes, Law Examiners, Legal Education, Legal Ethics, Legal Institutes, Legislative, Obituary, Selection of Judges, and Unauthorized Practice of Law. Also includes the auditor\u27s report

    Gp91ds-tat, a Selective NADPH Oxidase Peptide Inhibitor, Increases Blood Nitric Oxide (NO) Bioavailability in Bind Limb Ischemia and Reperfusion (I/R)

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    I/R injury induces cell death and organ dysfunction in part due to a burst of reactive oxygen species that occurs upon the reintroduction of oxygen into the ischemic area, leading to endothelial dysfunction: decreased blood NO and increased hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 ) levels. We’ve previously shown in isolated rat hearts subjected to I/R injury, gp91ds-tat attenuated cardiac contractile dysfunction and reduced infarct size compared to controls presumably by the inhibition of NADPH oxidase induced superoxide release. Superoxide can quench NO via the formation of peroxynitrite and also be converted to H2O2 in blood. We attempted to confirm this hypothesis using a rat hind limb I/R model that permitted real time measurements of changes in blood NO and H2O2. NO or H2O2 microsensors were inserted into both femoral veins in anesthetized male rats. One limb’s femoral artery/vein is subjected to I(30min)/R(45min) while the other served as a non-ischemic sham. Preliminary results show blood NO release significantly increased by the end of reperfusion in gp91ds-tat treated rats (1.2 mg/kg, MW 2452g/mol, n=5) compared to saline treated rats (n=3;

    Mitoquinone (mitoQ) Exerts Antioxidant Effects Independent of Mitochondrial Targeted Effects in Phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA) or N-formyl-L-methiony-L-leucyl-L-phenylalanine (fMLP) Stimulated Polymorphonuclear Leukocyte (PMN) Superoxide (SO) Release

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    MitoQ is a mitochondrial-targeted coenzyme Q antioxidant analog that dose-dependently restored cardiac function and reduced infarct size in isolated perfused rat hearts subjected to ischemia reperfusion (I/R). Moreover, mitoQ also dose-dependently attenuated PMA stimulated PMN superoxide (SO) release at the same concentration (10uM) as the cardioprotective dose. NADPH oxidase is the principle source of PMN SO release. We speculate that mitoQ may exert antioxidant effects independent of the mitochondria. Therefore, we hypothesized that inhibition of mitoQ on PMN-SO release will be similar as other coenzyme Q analogs: coenzyme Q1 and decylubiquinone without affecting cell viability. SO release was measured spectrophotometrically from isolated rat PMNs measured by the reduction of ferricytochrome c and were stimulated with 100nM PMA. The absorbance was measured at 550 nm up to 360sec. Positive control samples were given SO dismutase (SOD; 10ug/ml) which inhibited PMA induced SO release by \u3e90%. MitoQ significantly inhibited SO release by 56 + 3% (10uM, n=10 ,

    The Role of Autophagy During Myocardial Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury

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    Autophagy is a housekeeping process to remove damaged cytoplasmic constituents. However, a debate persists on whether autophagy is beneficial or detrimental when an ischemic/reperfusion (I/R) insult occurs in the heart. This study tested the effects of autophagy enhancers (e.g. rapamycin and trehalose) and autophagy inhibitor (e.g. 3-methyladenine) on heart function and infarct size after global I (30 minutes) and R (45 minutes) when given prior to ischemia (pre-treatment) or at the beginning of reperfusion (post-treatment). We found that Rapamycin (25nM) pre-treatment and post-treatment significantly restored final left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP) to 75.4±9.1% and 60±5% of initial baseline respectively (both n=5, p\u3c0.05), compared to I/R group (n=9) that recovered to 35±5.5% of initial baseline. Likewise, trehalose (5mM) pre-treatment and post-treatment also significantly restored final LVDP to 61.4±3.7% (n=6) and 69.1±2.7% (n=5) of initial baseline respectively, compared to I/R group. However, 3-methyladenine (1mM) pre-treatment (n=6) and post-treatment (n=5) showed similar reduction in final LVDP to 24.7±9.1% and 33.4±12.8 % of initial baseline respectively, as I/R group. Moreover, infarction percentage was significantly reduced by rapamycin pre-treatment and post-treatment (14 ± 2.8% and 21.4 ± 5.3%, respectively; both p\u3c0.05); and trehalose pre-treatment and post-treatment (19.2 ± 3% and 15.2% ± 3, respectively; both p\u3c0.05), but not by 3-methyladenine pre-treatment and post-treatment (26±2% and 28±4.1%, respectively) when compared to I/R group (38.6±4.3%). The data suggests that autophagy enhancement before ischemia or at reperfusion is beneficial for reducing I/R injury

    The effects of mitoquinone pretreatment on doxorubicin-induced acute cardiac dysfunction

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    Introduction: Doxorubicin (DOX) is a widely used anti-cancer drug notorious for its irreversible cardiac toxicity. Currently, Dexrazoxane is the only FDA-approved treatment for this toxicity. However, Dexrazoxane still bears some serious adverse events, and developing new strategies to mitigate DOX-induced heart damage is critical. Our lab has shown that pretreatment of the H9c2 myoblast cells with mitoquinone (MitoQ), a mitochondrial-targeted antioxidant, and significantly improved cells’ resiliency to DOX. This study aimed to determine if MitoQ pretreatment can preserve cardiac function against DOX-induced damage in isolated rat hearts. Objectives: The effects of DOX and MitoQ on cardiac function were evaluated in isolated rat hearts. Moreover, the benefits of MitoQ pretreatment on DOX-induced cardiac dysfunction were also assessed. Methods: Langendorff heart preparation was performed after anesthesia of male SD rats (275-325 g). Hearts were isolated and retrograde perfused with Krebs’ buffer at a constant pressure of 80 mmHg with 37 ⁰C and pH of 7.35-7.45. Cardiac parameters, including left ventricle end-systolic pressure (LVESP), left ventricle end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP), left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP=LVESP-LVEDP), maximal rate of rise of LVP (dP/dt(max)), and heart rate (HR), were measured by a pressure transducer placed in the left ventricle of the rat heart. After obtaining a stable initial cardiac function, DOX (20 µM or 25 µM) or MitoQ (0.1-0.5 or 1-2.5 µM) were infused into the heart for 60 min. to determine the individual drug\u27s effects on the cardiac function. Moreover, another set of hearts was pretreated with MitoQ (0.25-0.5 or 1-2.5 µM) for 10-15 min before giving DOX (25 µM) to evaluate if MitoQ pretreatment would mitigate DOX-induced cardiac dysfunction. Cardiac functions were recorded every 5 min. throughout the experiments. The ratio between the final and initial recordings was calculated and compared among experimental groups. Results: Acute infusion of DOX into the isolated hearts dose-dependently reduced some cardiac parameters. Higher dose DOX (25 μM, n=5) induced a higher reduction in the ratios of LVESP, LVDP, and dP/dt(max) to 0.39±0.05, 0.35±0.06, and 0.26±0.05 than those of lower dose DOX infusion (20 μM, n=2; 0.77±0.01, 0.75±0.01, and 0.57±0.01), respectively. DOX had no effects on LVEDP and HR. Moreover, lower doses of MitoQ (0.1-0.5 μM, n=6) only slightly reduced HR to 0.77±0.01 without affecting other parameters. By contrast, higher doses of MitoQ (1-5 μM, n=4) reduced the ratios of LVESP, LVDP, dP/dt(max), and HR to 0.72±0.12, 0.51±0.18, and 0.45±0.17 0.65±0.07, respectively. Interestingly, MitoQ pretreatment before DOX (25 µM) exhibited better cardiac function accompanied by reduced HR than DOX alone. Higher MitoQ (1-2.5 µM) pretreatment improved the ratios of cardiac LVESP, LVDP, and dP/dt(max) to 0.67±0.14, 0.65±0.16, and 0.40±0.09, which were higher than those of lower dose MitoQ (0.25-0.5 μM, n=3; 0.49±0.11, 0.44±0.11, and 0.36±0.08), respectively. Conclusion: The preliminary data suggest that infusion of DOX into the heart acutely attenuated cardiac systolic function. Higher doses of MitoQ, not lower doses, also suppressed cardiac function. MitoQ pretreatment mitigated DOX-induced heart dysfunction. Acknowledgement: The project is funded by CCDA at PCOM
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