149 research outputs found

    The influence of tension mean stress to the crack initiation process at the very high cycle fatigue regime for a high strength steel

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    Strain controlled tests were performed on a high strength steel to investigate the influence of tension mean stress to the crack initiation process at the very high cycle fatigue regime. It is supposed that the variation of stress the state in the vicinity of a non-metallic inclusion results in a change to the energy transferred to the surrounding metallic matrix. To prove this, incremental step tests on cylindrical specimen were realized in which the tension mean stress was stepwise increased. It could be verified that the hysteresis area, which is a criterion of the work transferred to the specimen, decreases with increasing tension mean stress. The test results provide a reasonable physical model to estimate the influence of tension mean stress to the crack initiation process in the very high cycle fatigue regime

    9-PAHSA displays a weak anti-inflammatory potential mediated by specific antagonism of chemokine G protein-coupled receptors

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    Introduction: 9-PAHSA belongs to a class of endogenous mammalian bioactive lipids, fatty acid esters of hydroxy fatty acids (FAHFA), that are present in circulation at nanomolar concentrations in mice and humans. Published preclinical data suggest beneficial effects of 9-PAHSA treatment on glucose metabolism as well as modulation of immune function. However, receptor molecules with high affinity towards these lipids have not been identified so far.Methods: In a broad screen of a panel of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) we discovered that 9-PAHSA displays antagonist activity with an IC50 in the micromolar range on selected chemokine receptors, namely, CCR6, CCR7, CXCR4, and CXCR5. The potential immunomodulatory activities in a human cellular model of innate immunity were then investigated.Results and discussion: In our in vitro experiments, a weak anti-inflammatory potential for high concentrations of 9-PAHSA (10–100 µM) could be detected, as treatment reduced the LPS-induced secretion of certain chemokines, such as CXCL10, MIP-1 beta and MCP. Regarding metabolic effects, we re-investigated 9-PAHSA on glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in vitro and in mice confirming conclusions from our earlier study that FAHFAs lack glucoregulatory activity following an acute treatment. In conclusion, the specific interactions with a subset of chemokine receptors may contribute to weak anti-inflammatory properties of 9-PAHSA, but further studies are needed to confirm its in anti-inflammatory potential in vivo

    Development of a Model System to Identify Differences in Spring and Winter Oat

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    Our long-term goal is to develop a Swedish winter oat (Avena sativa). To identify molecular differences that correlate with winter hardiness, a winter oat model comprising of both non-hardy spring lines and winter hardy lines is needed. To achieve this, we selected 294 oat breeding lines, originating from various Russian, German, and American winter oat breeding programs and tested them in the field in south- and western Sweden. By assaying for winter survival and agricultural properties during four consecutive seasons, we identified 14 breeding lines of different origins that not only survived the winter but also were agronomically better than the rest. Laboratory tests including electrolytic leakage, controlled crown freezing assay, expression analysis of the AsVrn1 gene and monitoring of flowering time suggested that the American lines had the highest freezing tolerance, although the German lines performed better in the field. Finally, six lines constituting the two most freezing tolerant lines, two intermediate lines and two spring cultivars were chosen to build a winter oat model system. Metabolic profiling of non-acclimated and cold acclimated leaf tissue samples isolated from the six selected lines revealed differential expression patterns of 245 metabolites including several sugars, amino acids, organic acids and 181 hitherto unknown metabolites. The expression patterns of 107 metabolites showed significant interactions with either a cultivar or a time-point. Further identification, characterisation and validation of these metabolites will lead to an increased understanding of the cold acclimation process in oats. Furthermore, by using the winter oat model system, differential sequencing of crown mRNA populations would lead to identification of various biomarkers to facilitate winter oat breeding

    Ex Vivo Expansion of Human CD8+ T Cells Using Autologous CD4+ T Cell Help

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    Background: Using in vivo mouse models, the mechanisms of CD4+ T cell help have been intensively investigated. However, a mechanistic analysis of human CD4+ T cell help is largely lacking. Our goal was to elucidate the mechanisms of human CD4+ T cell help of CD8+ T cell proliferation using a novel in vitro model. Methods/Principal Findings: We developed a genetically engineered novel human cell-based artificial APC, aAPC/mOKT3, which expresses a membranous form of the anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody OKT3 as well as other immune accessory molecules. Without requiring the addition of allogeneic feeder cells, aAPC/mOKT3 enabled the expansion of both peripheral and tumor-infiltrating T cells, regardless of HLA-restriction. Stimulation with aAPC/mOKT3 did not expand Foxp3+ regulatory T cells, and expanded tumor infiltrating lymphocytes predominantly secreted Th1-type cytokines, interferon-Îł and IL-2. In this aAPC-based system, the presence of autologous CD4+ T cells was associated with significantly improved CD8+ T cell expansion in vitro. The CD4+ T cell derived cytokines IL-2 and IL-21 were necessary but not sufficient for this effect. However, CD4+ T cell help of CD8+ T cell proliferation was partially recapitulated by both adding IL-2/IL-21 and by upregulation of IL-21 receptor on CD8+ T cells. Conclusions: We have developed an in vitro model that advances our understanding of the immunobiology of human CD4+ T cell help of CD8+ T cells. Our data suggests that human CD4+ T cell help can be leveraged to expand CD8+ T cells in vitro

    Focused Examination of the Intestinal lamina Propria Yields Greater Molecular Insight into Mechanisms Underlying SIV Induced Immune Dysfunction

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    Background: The Gastrointestinal (GI) tract is critical to AIDS pathogenesis as it is the primary site for viral transmission and a major site of viral replication and CD4 + T cell destruction. Consequently GI disease, a major complication of HIV/SIV infection can facilitate translocation of lumenal bacterial products causing localized/systemic immune activation leading to AIDS progression. Methodology/Principal Findings: To better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying GI disease we analyzed global gene expression profiles sequentially in the intestine of the same animals prior to and at 21 and 90d post SIV infection (PI). More importantly we maximized information gathering by examining distinct mucosal components (intraepithelial lymphocytes, lamina propria leukocytes [LPL], epithelium and fibrovascular stroma) separately. The use of sequential intestinal resections combined with focused examination of distinct mucosal compartments represents novel approaches not previously attempted. Here we report data pertaining to the LPL. A significant increase (61.7-fold) in immune defense/inflammation, cell adhesion/migration, cell signaling, transcription and cell division/differentiation genes were observed at 21 and 90d PI. Genes associated with the JAK-STAT pathway (IL21, IL12R, STAT5A, IL10, SOCS1) and T-cell activation (NFATc1, CDK6, Gelsolin, Moesin) were notably upregulated at 21d PI. Markedly downregulated genes at 21d PI included IL17D/IL27 and IL28B/IFNc3 (anti-HIV/viral), activation induced cytidine deaminase (B-cell function) an

    Characterization of a Recombinant Adeno-Associated Virus Type 2 Reference Standard Material

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    A recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 2 Reference Standard Material (rAAV2 RSM) has been produced and characterized with the purpose of providing a reference standard for particle titer, vector genome titer, and infectious titer for AAV2 gene transfer vectors. Production and purification of the reference material were carried out by helper virus–free transient transfection and chromatographic purification. The purified bulk material was vialed, confirmed negative for microbial contamination, and then distributed for characterization along with standard assay protocols and assay reagents to 16 laboratories worldwide. Using statistical transformation and modeling of the raw data, mean titers and confidence intervals were determined for capsid particles ({X}, 9.18 × 1011 particles/ml; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7.89 × 1011 to 1.05 × 1012 particles/ml), vector genomes ({X}, 3.28 × 1010 vector genomes/ml; 95% CI, 2.70 × 1010 to 4.75 × 1010 vector genomes/ml), transducing units ({X}, 5.09 × 108 transducing units/ml; 95% CI, 2.00 × 108 to 9.60 × 108 transducing units/ml), and infectious units ({X}, 4.37 × 109 TCID50 IU/ml; 95% CI, 2.06 × 109 to 9.26 × 109 TCID50 IU/ml). Further analysis confirmed the identity of the reference material as AAV2 and the purity relative to nonvector proteins as greater than 94%. One obvious trend in the quantitative data was the degree of variation between institutions for each assay despite the relatively tight correlation of assay results within an institution. This relatively poor degree of interlaboratory precision and accuracy was apparent even though attempts were made to standardize the assays by providing detailed protocols and common reagents. This is the first time that such variation between laboratories has been thoroughly documented and the findings emphasize the need in the field for universal reference standards. The rAAV2 RSM has been deposited with the American Type Culture Collection and is available to the scientific community to calibrate laboratory-specific internal titer standards. Anticipated uses of the rAAV2 RSM are discussed

    Consensus guidelines for the use and interpretation of angiogenesis assays

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    The formation of new blood vessels, or angiogenesis, is a complex process that plays important roles in growth and development, tissue and organ regeneration, as well as numerous pathological conditions. Angiogenesis undergoes multiple discrete steps that can be individually evaluated and quantified by a large number of bioassays. These independent assessments hold advantages but also have limitations. This article describes in vivo, ex vivo, and in vitro bioassays that are available for the evaluation of angiogenesis and highlights critical aspects that are relevant for their execution and proper interpretation. As such, this collaborative work is the first edition of consensus guidelines on angiogenesis bioassays to serve for current and future reference

    Voluntary disclosure of corporate strategy: determinants and outcomes. An empirical study into the risks and payoffs of communicating corporate strategy.

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    Business leaders increasingly face pressure from stakeholders to be transparent. There appears however little consensus on the risks and payoffs of disclosing vital information such as corporate strategy. To fill this gap, this study analyzes firm-specific determinants and organisational outcomes of voluntary disclosure of corporate strategy. Stakeholder theory and agency theory help to understand whether companies serve their interest to engage with stakeholders and overcome information asymmetries. I connect these theories and propose a comprehensive approach to measure voluntary disclosure of corporate strategy. Hypotheses from the theoretical framework are empirically tested through panel regression of data on identified determinants and outcomes and of disclosed strategy through annual reports, corporate social responsibility reports, corporate websites and corporate press releases by the 70 largest publicly listed companies in the Netherlands from 2003 through 2008. I found that industry, profitability, dual-listing status, national ranking status and listing age have significant effects on voluntary disclosure of corporate strategy. No significant effects are found for size, leverage and ownership concentration. On outcomes, I found that liquidity of stock and corporate reputation are significantly influenced by voluntary disclosure of corporate strategy. No significant effect is found for volatility of stock. My contributions to theory, methodology and empirics offers a stepping-stone for further research into understanding how companies can use transparency to manage stakeholder relations

    ATLAS Run 1 searches for direct pair production of third-generation squarks at the Large Hadron Collider