309 research outputs found

    Mathematical modelling of tissue-engineering angiogenesis

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    We present a mathematical model for the vascularisation of a porous scaffold following implantation in vivo. The model is given as a set of coupled non-linear ordinary differential equations (ODEs) which describe the evolution in time of the amounts of the different tissue constituents inside the scaffold. Bifurcation analyses reveal how the extent of scaffold vascularisation changes as a function of the parameter values. For example, it is shown how the loss of seeded cells arising from slow infiltration of vascular tissue can be overcome using a prevascularisation strategy consisting of seeding the scaffold with vascular cells. Using certain assumptions it is shown how the system can be simplified to one which is partially tractable and for which some analysis is given. Limited comparison is also given of the model solutions with experimental data from the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay

    Microbial Cycling of C and N in Northern Hardwood Forests Receiving Chronic Atmospheric NO 3 − Deposition

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    Sugar maple ( Acer saccharum Marsh.)-dominated northern hardwood forests in the upper Lakes States region appear to be particularly sensitive to chronic atmospheric NO 3 − deposition. Experimental NO 3 − deposition (3 g NO 3 − N m −2 y −1 ) has significantly reduced soil respiration and increased the export of DOC/DON and NO 3 − across the region. Here, we evaluate the possibility that diminished microbial activity in mineral soil was responsible for these ecosystem-level responses to NO 3 − deposition. To test this alternative, we measured microbial biomass, respiration, and N transformations in the mineral soil of four northern hardwood stands that have received 9 years of experimental NO 3 − deposition. Microbial biomass, microbial respiration, and daily rates of gross and net N transformations were not changed by NO 3 − deposition. We also observed no effect of NO 3 − deposition on annual rates of net N mineralization. However, NO 3 − deposition significantly increased (27%) annual net nitrification, a response that resulted from rapid microbial NO 3 − assimilation, the subsequent turnover of NH 4 + , and increased substrate availability for this process. Nonetheless, greater rates of net nitrification were insufficient to produce the 10-fold observed increase in NO 3 − export, suggesting that much of the exported NO 3 − resulted directly from the NO 3 − deposition treatment. Results suggest that declines in soil respiration and increases in DOC/DON export cannot be attributed to NO 3 − -induced physiological changes in mineral soil microbial activity. Given the lack of response we have observed in mineral soil, our results point to the potential importance of microbial communities in forest floor, including both saprotrophs and mycorrhizae, in mediating ecosystem-level responses to chronic NO 3 − deposition in Lake States northern hardwood forests.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/41375/1/10021_2005_Article_85.pd

    Glucagon-like peptide 1 decreases lipotoxicity in non-alcoholic steatophepatitis

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    OBJECTIVE: Insulin resistance and lipotoxicity are pathognomonic in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogues are licensed for type 2 diabetes, but no prospective experimental data exists in NASH. This study determined the effect of a long-acting GLP-1 analogue, liraglutide, on organ-specific insulin sensitivity, hepatic lipid handling and adipose dysfunction in biopsy-proven NASH.DESIGN: 14 patients were randomised to 1.8mg liraglutide or placebo for 12-weeks of the mechanistic component of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (ClinicalTrials.gov-NCT01237119). Patients underwent paired hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic clamps, stable isotope tracers, adipose microdialysis and serum adipocytokine/metabolic profiling. In vitro isotope experiments on lipid flux were performed on primary human hepatocytes.RESULTS: Liraglutide reduced BMI (-1.9 vs. +0.04 kg/m2;p&lt;0.001), HbA1c (-0.3 vs. +0.3%;p&lt;0.01), cholesterol-LDL (-0.7 vs. +0.05 mmol/L;p&lt;0.01), ALT (-54 vs -4.0 IU/L;p&lt;0.01) and serum leptin, adiponectin, and CCL-2 (all p&lt;0.05). Liraglutide increased hepatic insulin sensitivity (-9.36 vs. -2.54% suppression of hepatic endogenous glucose production with low-dose insulin;p&lt;0.05). Liraglutide increased adipose tissue insulin sensitivity enhancing the ability of insulin to suppress lipolysis both globally (-24.9 vs. +54.8 pmol/L insulin required to œ maximally suppress serum NEFA; p&lt;0.05), and specifically within subcutaneous adipose tissue (p&lt;0.05). In addition, liraglutide decreased hepatic DNL in-vivo (-1.26 vs. +1.30%; p&lt;0.05); a finding endorsed by the effect of GLP-1 receptor agonist on primary human hepatocytes (24.6% decrease in lipogenesis vs. untreated controls; p&lt;0.01).CONCLUSIONS: Liraglutide reduces metabolic dysfunction, insulin resistance and lipotoxicity in the key metabolic organs in the pathogenesis of NASH. Liraglutide may offer the potential for a disease-modifying intervention in NASH.</p

    Glucagon-like peptide 1 decreases lipotoxicity in non-alcoholic steatophepatitis

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    Background & AimsInsulin resistance and lipotoxicity are pathognomonic in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogues are licensed for type 2 diabetes, but no prospective experimental data exists in NASH. This study determined the effect of a long-acting GLP-1 analogue, liraglutide, on organ-specific insulin sensitivity, hepatic lipid handling and adipose dysfunction in biopsy-proven NASH.MethodsFourteen patients were randomised to 1.8mg liraglutide or placebo for 12-weeks of the mechanistic component of a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial (ClinicalTrials.gov-NCT01237119). Patients underwent paired hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic clamps, stable isotope tracers, adipose microdialysis and serum adipocytokine/metabolic profiling. In vitro isotope experiments on lipid flux were performed on primary human hepatocytes.ResultsLiraglutide reduced BMI (−1.9 vs. +0.04kg/m2; p<0.001), HbA1c (−0.3 vs. +0.3%; p<0.01), cholesterol-LDL (−0.7 vs. +0.05mmol/L; p<0.01), ALT (−54 vs. −4.0IU/L; p<0.01) and serum leptin, adiponectin, and CCL-2 (all p<0.05). Liraglutide increased hepatic insulin sensitivity (−9.36 vs. −2.54% suppression of hepatic endogenous glucose production with low-dose insulin; p<0.05). Liraglutide increased adipose tissue insulin sensitivity enhancing the ability of insulin to suppress lipolysis both globally (−24.9 vs. +54.8pmol/L insulin required to Âœ maximally suppress serum non-esterified fatty acids; p<0.05), and specifically within subcutaneous adipose tissue (p<0.05). In addition, liraglutide decreased hepatic de novo lipogenesis in vivo (−1.26 vs. +1.30%; p<0.05); a finding endorsed by the effect of GLP-1 receptor agonist on primary human hepatocytes (24.6% decrease in lipogenesis vs. untreated controls; p<0.01).ConclusionsLiraglutide reduces metabolic dysfunction, insulin resistance and lipotoxicity in the key metabolic organs in the pathogenesis of NASH. Liraglutide may offer the potential for a disease-modifying intervention in NASH

    The positive transcriptional elongation factor (P-TEFb) is required for neural crest specification

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    Regulation of gene expression at the level of transcriptional elongation has been shown to be important in stem cells and tumour cells, but its role in the whole animal is only now being fully explored. Neural crest cells (NCCs) are a multipotent population of cells that migrate during early development from the dorsal neural tube throughout the embryo where they differentiate into a variety of cell types including pigment cells, cranio-facial skeleton and sensory neurons. Specification of NCCs is both spatially and temporally regulated during embryonic development. Here we show that components of the transcriptional elongation regulatory machinery, CDK9 and CYCLINT1 of the P-TEFb complex, are required to regulate neural crest specification. In particular, we show that expression of the proto-oncogene c-Myc and c-Myc responsive genes are affected. Our data suggest that P-TEFb is crucial to drive expression of c-Myc, which acts as a ‘gate-keeper’ for the correct temporal and spatial development of the neural crest

    Can We Calculate Mean Arterial Pressure in Humans?

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    Mean arterial pressure (MAP) is either measured with an oscillometric cuff and then systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressures are estimated from an unknown algorithm; or SBP and DBP are measured via auscultation and MAP calculated using measures of systolic pressure (SBP), diastolic pressure (DBP), and a form-factor (FF; equation: [(SBP-DBP)*FF]+DBP). The typical FF used is 0.33 though others (0.4) have been proposed. Recent work indicates that estimation of aortic MAP via a FF leads to inaccurate values and should therefore be interpreted with caution, whether this is the case for local MAP is unknown. While the implications for hypertension (HTN) diagnosis are minimal, the calculation of local MAP is essential to the study of blood pressure regulation and exercise hemodynamics in patient populations (e.g. heart failure). PURPOSE: To compare the calculation of local MAP using catheter waveforms and a FF, against MAP derived from the pressure-time integral (PTI; i.e. average pressure across the cardiac cycle) measured via radial arterial catheterization. METHODS: We analyzed radial arterial catheter waveforms from 39 patients (Age: 71±7 years; BMI: 38.4±6.7; Female: 66%; HTN prevalence: 97%) with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) at rest and during cycling exercise at 20 Watts. We compared the PTI (from the catheter waveform) with the calculation of MAP from the peak and nadir of the same waveforms (5-beat averages) using the 0.33 and 0.4 FF’s in the FF equation. RESULTS: Compared to the PTI (91±13 mmHg), resting MAP was not significantly different when calculated using the 0.33 FF (91±11 mmHg, P\u3e0.999) but was higher when using the 0.4 FF (96±12 mmHg, PCONCLUSION:While the 0.33 FF provides an accurate assessment of MAP on average during rest and exercise in the radial artery in patients with HFpEF, the limits of agreement are large reflecting a lack of precision in measurement at an individual level. Indirect calculations of MAP via a FF may lead to inaccurate conclusions regarding the mechanisms of blood pressure regulation both at rest and during exercise testing in this population

    Utilisation and clinical outcomes of kidney transplants from deceased donors with albuminuria in the UK: a national cohort study.

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    BACKGROUND: Urinalysis is a standard component of potential deceased kidney donor assessment in the UK. The value of albuminuria as a biomarker for organ quality is uncertain. We examined the relationship between deceased donor albuminuria and kidney utilisation, survival, and function. METHODS: We performed a national cohort study on adult deceased donors and kidney transplant recipients between 2016 and 2020, using data from the UK Transplant Registry. We examined the influence of donor albuminuria, defined as ≄ 2 + on dipstick testing, on kidney utilisation, early graft function, graft failure, and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). RESULTS: Eighteen % (1681/9309) of consented donors had albuminuria. After adjustment for confounders, kidneys from donors with albuminuria were less likely to be accepted for transplantation (74% vs 82%; OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.61 to 0.81). Of 9834 kidney transplants included in our study, 1550 (16%) came from donors with albuminuria. After a median follow-up of 2 years, 8% (118/1550) and 9% (706/8284) of transplants from donors with and without albuminuria failed, respectively. There was no association between donor albuminuria and graft failure (HR 0.91, 95% CI 0.74 to 1.11). There was also no association with delayed graft function, patient survival, or eGFR at 1 or 3 years. CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests reluctance in the UK to utilise kidneys from deceased donors with dipstick albuminuria but no evidence of an association with graft survival or function. This may represent a potential to expand organ utilisation without negatively impacting transplant outcomes

    A database of microRNA expression patterns in Xenopus laevis

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    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, non-coding RNAs around 22 nucleotides long. They inhibit gene expression either by translational repression or by causing the degradation of the mRNAs they bind to. Many are highly conserved amongst diverse organisms and have restricted spatio-temporal expression patterns during embryonic development where they are thought to be involved in generating accuracy of developmental timing and in supporting cell fate decisions and tissue identity. We determined the expression patterns of 180 miRNAs in Xenopus laevis embryos using LNA oligonucleotides. In addition we carried out small RNA-seq on different stages of early Xenopus development, identified 44 miRNAs belonging to 29 new families and characterized the expression of 5 of these. Our analyses identified miRNA expression in many organs of the developing embryo. In particular a large number were expressed in neural tissue and in the somites. Surprisingly none of the miRNAs we have looked at show expression in the heart. Our results have been made freely available as a resource in both XenMARK and Xenbase

    DHODH modulates transcriptional elongation in the neural crest and melanoma

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    Melanoma is a tumour of transformed melanocytes, which are originally derived from the embryonic neural crest. It is unknown to what extent the programs that regulate neural crest development interact with mutations in the BRAF oncogene, which is the most commonly mutated gene in human melanoma1. We have used zebrafish embryos to identify the initiating transcriptional events that occur on activation of human BRAF(V600E) (which encodes an amino acid substitution mutant of BRAF) in the neural crest lineage. Zebrafish embryos that are transgenic for mitfa:BRAF(V600E) and lack p53 (also known as tp53) have a gene signature that is enriched for markers of multipotent neural crest cells, and neural crest progenitors from these embryos fail to terminally differentiate. To determine whether these early transcriptional events are important for melanoma pathogenesis, we performed a chemical genetic screen to identify small-molecule suppressors of the neural crest lineage, which were then tested for their effects on melanoma. One class of compound, inhibitors of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH), for example leflunomide, led to an almost complete abrogation of neural crest development in zebrafish and to a reduction in the self-renewal of mammalian neural crest stem cells. Leflunomide exerts these effects by inhibiting the transcriptional elongation of genes that are required for neural crest development and melanoma growth. When used alone or in combination with a specific inhibitor of the BRAF(V600E) oncogene, DHODH inhibition led to a marked decrease in melanoma growth both in vitro and in mouse xenograft studies. Taken together, these studies highlight developmental pathways in neural crest cells that have a direct bearing on melanoma formation

    Attitude towards and factors affecting uptake of population based BRCA testing in the Ashkenazi Jewish population: a cohort study

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    Objective To evaluate factors affecting unselected‐population‐based‐BRCA‐testing in Ashkenazi‐Jews (AJ). Design Cohort‐study set within recruitment to the GCaPPS‐trial (ISRCTN73338115). Setting North‐London AJ‐population. Population or Sample AJ women/men >18‐years, recruited through self‐referral. Methods AJ‐women/men underwent pre‐test counselling for BRCA‐testing through recruitment clinics (clusters). Consenting individuals provided blood‐sample for BRCA‐testing. Socio‐demographic/family‐history/knowledge/psychological well‐being data along‐with benefits/risks/cultural‐influences (18‐item‐questionnaire measuring ‘attitude’) were collected. 4‐item likert‐scales analysed initial ‘interest’ and ‘intention‐to‐test’ pre‐counselling. Uni‐&‐multivariable logistic‐regression‐models evaluated factors affecting uptake/interest/intention‐to undergo BRCA‐testing. Statistical inference was based on cluster robust standard‐errors and joint Wald‐tests for significance. Item‐Response‐Theory and graded‐response‐models modelled responses to 18‐item questionnaire. Main Outcome Measures Interest, intention, uptake, attitude towards BRCA‐testing. Results 935 (women=67%/men=33%; mean‐age=53.8(S.D=15.02) years) individuals underwent pre‐test genetic‐counselling. Pre‐counselling 96% expressed interest but 60% indicated clear intention‐to undergo BRCA‐testing. Subsequently 88% opted for BRCA‐testing. BRCA‐related knowledge (p=0.013) and degree‐level education(p=0.01) were positively and negatively (respectively) associated with intention‐to‐test. Being married/cohabiting had four‐fold higher‐odds for BRCA‐testing uptake (p=0.009). Perceived benefits were associated with higher pre‐counselling odds for interest and intention‐to undergo BRCA‐testing. Reduced uncertainty/reassurance were the most important factors contributing to decision‐making. Increased importance/concern towards risks/limitations (confidentiality/insurance/emotional‐impact/inability to prevent cancer/marriage‐ability/ethnic‐focus/stigmatization) were significantly associated with lower‐odds of uptake‐of BRCA‐testing, and discriminated between acceptors and decliners. Male‐gender/degree‐level‐education (p=0.001) had weaker, while having children had stronger (p=0.005) attitudes towards BRCA‐testing. Conclusions BRCA‐testing in the AJ‐population has high acceptability. Pre‐test counselling increases awareness of disadvantages/limitations of BRCA‐testing, influencing final cost‐benefit perception and decision‐making on undergoing testing. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
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