153 research outputs found

    Small but crucial : the novel small heat shock protein Hsp21 mediates stress adaptation and virulence in Candida albicans

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    Local circuits targeting parvalbumin-containing interneurons in layer IV of rat barrel cortex

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    Interactions between inhibitory interneurons and excitatory spiny neurons and also other inhibitory cells represent fundamental network properties which cause the so-called thalamo-cortical response transformation and account for the well-known receptive field differences of cortical layer IV versus thalamic neurons. We investigated the currently largely unknown morphological basis of these interactions utilizing acute slice preparations of barrel cortex in P19-21 rats. Layer IV spiny (spiny stellate, star pyramidal and pyramidal) neurons or inhibitory (basket and bitufted) interneurons were electrophysiologically characterized and intracellularly biocytin-labeled. In the same slice, we stained parvalbumin-immunoreactive (PV-ir) interneurons as putative target cells after which the tissue was subjected to confocal image acquisition. Parallel experiments confirmed the existence of synaptic contacts in these types of connection by correlated light and electron microscopy. The axons of the filled neurons differentially targeted barrel PV-ir interneurons: (1) The relative number of all contacted PV-ir cells within the axonal sphere was 5–17% for spiny (n = 10), 32 and 58% for basket (n = 2) and 12 and 13% for bitufted (n = 2) cells. (2) The preferential subcellular site which was contacted on PV-ir target cells was somatic for four and dendritic for five spiny cells; for basket cells, there was a somatic and for bitufted cells a dendritic preference in each examined case. (3) The highest number of contacts on a single PV-ir cell was 9 (4 somatic and 5 dendritic) for spiny neurons, 15 (10 somatic and 5 dendritic) for basket cells and 4 (1 somatic and 3 dendritic) for bitufted cells. These patterns suggest a cell type-dependent communication within layer IV microcircuits in which PV-ir interneurons provide not only feed-forward but also feedback inhibition thus triggering the thalamo-cortical response transformation

    Climate and species affect fine root production with long-term fertilization in acidic tussock tundra near Toolik Lake, Alaska

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    Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2007. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Springer for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Oecologia 153 (2007): 643-652, doi:10.1007/s00442-007-0753-8.Long-term fertilization of acidic tussock tundra has led to changes in plant species composition, increases in aboveground production and biomass and substantial losses of soil organic carbon (SOC). Root litter is an important input to SOC pools, though little is known about fine root demography in tussock tundra. In this study, we examined the response of fine root production and live standing fine root biomass to short- and long-term fertilization, as changes in fine root demography may contribute to observed declines in SOC. Live standing fine root biomass increased with long-term fertilization, while fine root production declined, reflecting replacement of the annual fine root system of Eriophorum vaginatum, with the long-lived fine roots of Betula nana. Fine root production increased in fertilized plots during an unusually warm growing season, but remained unchanged in control plots, consistent with observations that B. nana shows a positive response to climate warming. Calculations based on a few simple assumptions suggest changes in fine root demography with long-term fertilization and species replacement could account for between 20 and 39% of observed declines in SOC stocks.This project was supported by National Science Foundation research grants 9810222, 9911681, 0221606 and 0528748

    Digital reconstruction of the inner ear of Leptictidium auderiense (Leptictida, Mammalia) and North American leptictids reveals new insight into leptictidan locomotor agility

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    Leptictida are basal Paleocene to Oligocene eutherians from Europe and North America comprising species with highly specialized postcranial features including elongated hind limbs. Among them, the European Leptictidium was probably a bipedal runner or jumper. Because the semicircular canals of the inner ear are involved in detecting angular acceleration of the head, their morphometry can be used as a proxy to elucidate the agility in fossil mammals. Here we provide the first insight into inner ear anatomy and morphometry of Leptictida based on high-resolution computed tomography of a new specimen of Leptictidium auderiense from the middle Eocene Messel Pit (Germany) and specimens of the North American Leptictis and Palaeictops. The general morphology of the bony labyrinth reveals several plesiomorphic mammalian features, such as a secondary crus commune. Leptictidium is derived from the leptictidan groundplan in lacking the secondary bony lamina and having proportionally larger semicircular canals than the leptictids under study. Our estimations reveal that Leptictidium was a very agile animal with agility score values (4.6 and 5.5, respectively) comparable to Macroscelidea and extant bipedal saltatory placentals. Leptictis and Palaeictops have lower agility scores (3.4 to 4.1), which correspond to the more generalized types of locomotion (e.g., terrestrial, cursorial) of most extant mammals. In contrast, the angular velocity magnitude predicted from semicircular canal angles supports a conflicting pattern of agility among leptictidans, but the significance of these differences might be challenged when more is known about intraspecific variation and the pattern of semicircular canal angles in non-primate mammals

    Identification of novel target genes of nerve growth factor (NGF) in human mastocytoma cell line (HMC-1 (V560G c-Kit)) by transcriptome analysis

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a potent growth factor that plays a key role in neuronal cell differentiation and may also play a role in hematopoietic differentiation. It has been shown that NGF induced synergistic action for the colony formation of CD34 positive hematopoietic progenitor cells treated with macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF or CSF-1), or stem cell factor (SCF). However, the exact role of NGF in hematopoietic system is unclear. It is also not clear whether NGF mediated signals in hematopoietic cells are identical to those in neuronal cells.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>To study the signal transduction pathways induced by NGF treatment in hematopoietic cells, we utilized the mastocytoma cell line HMC-1(V560G c-Kit) which expresses the NGF receptor, tropomyosin-receptor-kinase (Trk)A, as well as the constitutively activated SCF receptor, V560G c-Kit, which can be inhibited completely by treatment with the potent tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib mesylate (imatinib). NGF rescues HMC-1(V560G c-Kit) cells from imatinib mediated cell death and promotes proliferation. To examine the NGF mediated proliferation and survival in these cells, we compared the NGF mediated upregulated genes (30 and 120 min after stimulation) to the downregulated genes by imatinib treatment (downregulation of c-Kit activity for 4 h) by transcriptome analysis. The following conclusions can be drawn from the microarray data: Firstly, gene expression profiling reveals 50% overlap of genes induced by NGF-TrkA with genes expressed downstream of V560G c-Kit. Secondly, NGF treatment does not enhance expression of genes involved in immune related functions that were down regulated by imatinib treatment. Thirdly, more than 55% of common upregulated genes are involved in cell proliferation and survival. Fourthly, we found Kruppel-like factor (KLF) 2 and Smad family member 7 (SMAD7) as the NGF mediated novel downstream genes in hematopoietic cells. Finally, the downregulation of KLF2 gene enhanced imatinib induced apoptosis.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>NGF does not induce genes which are involved in immune related functions, but induces proliferation and survival signals in HMC-1(V560G c-Kit) cells. Furthermore, the current data provide novel candidate genes, KLF2 and SMAD7 which are induced by NGF/TrkA activation in hematopoietic cells. Since the depletion of KLF2 causes enhanced apoptosis of HMC-1(V560G c-Kit), KLF2 may play a role in the NGF mediated survival signal.</p

    Lack of clinical efficacy of imatinib in metastatic melanoma

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    This two-centre phase-II trial aimed at investigating the efficacy of imatinib in metastasised melanoma patients in correlation to the tumour expression profile of the imatinib targets c-kit and platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGF-R). The primary study end point was objective response according to RECIST, secondary end points were safety, overall and progression-free survival. In all, 18 patients with treatment-refractory advanced melanoma received imatinib 800 mg day−1. In 16 evaluable patients no objective responses could be observed. The median overall survival was 3.9 months, the median time to progression was 1.9 months. Tumour biopsy specimens were obtained from 12 patients prior to imatinib therapy and analysed for c-kit, PDGF-Rα and -Rβ expression by immunohistochemistry. In four cases, cell lines established from these tumour specimens were tested for the antiproliferative effects of imatinib and for functional mutations of genes encoding the imatinib target molecules. The tumour specimens stained positive for CD117/c-kit in nine out of 12 cases (75%), for PDGF-Rα in seven out of 12 cases (58%) and for PDGF-Rβ in eight out of 12 cases (67%). The melanoma cell lines showed a heterogenous expression of the imatinib target molecules without functional mutations in the corresponding amino-acid sequences. In vitro imatinib treatment of the cell lines showed no antiproliferative effect. In conclusion, this study did not reveal an efficacy of imatinib in advanced metastatic melanoma, regardless of the expression pattern of the imatinib target molecules c-kit and PDGF-R

    Populations of Radial Glial Cells Respond Differently to Reelin and Neuregulin1 in a Ferret Model of Cortical Dysplasia

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    Radial glial cells play an essential role during corticogenesis through their function as neural precursors and guides of neuronal migration. Both reelin and neuregulin1 (NRG1) maintain the radial glial scaffold; they also induce expression of Brain Lipid Binding Protein (BLBP), a well known marker of radial glia. Although radial glia in normal ferrets express both vimentin and BLBP, this coexpression diverges at P3; vimentin is expressed in the radial glial processes, while BLBP appears in cells detached from the ventricular zone. Our lab developed a model of cortical dysplasia in the ferret, resulting in impaired migration of neurons into the cortical plate and disordered radial glia. This occurs after exposure to the antimitotic methylazoxymethanol (MAM) on the 24th day of development (E24). Ferrets treated with MAM on E24 result in an overall decrease of BLBP expression; radial glia that continue to express BLBP, however, show only mild disruption compared with the strongly disrupted vimentin expressing radial glia. When E24 MAM-treated organotypic slices are exposed to reelin or NRG1, the severely disrupted vimentin+ radial glial processes are repaired but the slightly disordered BLBP+ processes are not. The realignment of vimentin+ processes was linked with an increase of their BLBP expression. BLBP expressing radial glia are distinguished by being both less affected by MAM treatment and by attempts at repair. We further investigated the effects induced by reelin and found that signaling was mediated via VLDLR/Dab1/Pi3K activation while NRG1 signaling was mediated via erbB3/erbB4/Pi3K. We then tested whether radial glial repair correlated with improved neuronal migration. Repairing the radial glial scaffold is not sufficient to restore neuronal migration; although reelin improves migration of neurons toward the cortical plate signaling through ApoER2/Dab1/PI3K activation, NRG1 does not

    Response of Benthic Foraminifera to organic matter quantity and quality and bioavailable concentrations of metals in Aveiro Lagoon (Portugal)

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    This work analyses the distribution of living benthic foraminiferal assemblages of surface sediments in different intertidal areas of Ria de Aveiro (Portugal), a polihaline and anthropized coastal lagoon. The relationships among foraminiferal assemblages in association with environmental parameters (temperature, salinity, Eh and pH), grain size, the quantity and quality of organic matter (enrichment in carbohydrates, proteins and lipids), pollution caused by metals, and mineralogical data are studied in an attempt to identify indicators of adaptability to environmental stress. In particular, concentrations of selected metals in the surficial sediment are investigated to assess environmental pollution levels that are further synthetically parameterised by the Pollution Load Index (PLI). The PLI variations allowed the identification of five main polluted areas. Concentrations of metals were also analysed in three extracted phases to evaluate their possible mobility, bioavailability and toxicity in the surficial sediment. Polluted sediment in the form of both organic matter and metals can be found in the most confined zones. Whereas enrichment in organic matter and related biopolymers causes an increase in foraminifera density, pollution by metals leads to a decline in foraminiferal abundance and diversity in those zones. The first situation may be justified by the existence of opportunistic species (with high reproduction rate) that can live in low oxic conditions. The second is explained by the sensitivity of some species to pressure caused by metals. The quality of the organic matter found in these places and the option of a different food source should also explain the tolerance of several species to pollution caused by metals, despite their low reproductive rate in the most polluted areas. In this study, species that are sensitive and tolerant to organic matter and metal enrichment are identified, as is the differential sensitivity/tolerance of some species to metals enrichment.CNPq [401803/2010-4]; [PEst-OE/CTE/UI4035/2014]info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio
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