34,919 research outputs found

    Pregnancy and cardiac disease

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    Developmental Cascades Link Maternal–Newborn Skin-to-Skin Contact with Young Adults’ Psychological Symptoms, Oxytocin, and Immunity; Charting Mechanisms of Developmental Continuity from Birth to Adulthood

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    Premature birth disrupts the continuity of maternal–newborn bodily contact, which underpins the development of physiological and behavioral support systems. Utilizing a unique cohort of mother–preterm dyads who received skin-to-skin contact (Kangaroo Care, KC) versus controls, and following them to adulthood, we examined how a touch-based neonatal intervention impacts three adult outcomes; anxiety/depressive symptoms, oxytocin, and secretory immunoglobulin A (s-IgA), a biomarker of the immune system. Consistent with dynamic systems’ theory, we found that links from KC to adult outcomes were indirect, mediated by its effects on maternal mood, child attention and executive functions, and mother–child synchrony across development. These improvements shaped adult outcomes via three mechanisms; (a) “sensitive periods”, where the infancy improvement directly links with an outcome, for instance, infant attention linked with higher oxytocin and lower s-IgA; (b) “step-by-step continuity”, where the infancy improvement triggers iterative changes across development, gradually shaping an outcome; for instance, mother–infant synchrony was stable across development and predicted lower anxiety/depressive symptoms; and (c) “inclusive mutual-influences”, describing cross-time associations between maternal, child, and dyadic factors; for instance, from maternal mood to child executive functions and back. Findings highlight the long-term impact of a birth intervention across development and provide valuable insights on the mechanisms of “developmental continuity”, among the key topics in developmental research

    Systematic review and rationale of using psychedelics in the treatment of cannabis use disorder

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    IntroductionCannabis use disorder (CUD) is prevalent in ~2–5% of adults in the United States and is anticipated to increase as restrictions to cannabis decrease and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content in cannabis products increase. No FDA-approved medications for CUD are currently available, despite trials of dozens of re-purposed and novel drugs. Psychedelics have garnered interest as a therapeutic class in other substance use disorders, and self-report surveys suggest they may result in positive outcomes for CUD. Herein, we review the existing literature pertaining to psychedelic use in persons with or at risk for CUD and consider the potential rationale underpinning psychedelics as a treatment for CUD.MethodsA systematic search was performed in several databases. Inclusion criteria were primary research reporting use of psychedelics or related substances and CUD for treatment in human subjects. Exclusion criteria were results including psychedelics or related substances without changes in cannabis use or risks associated with CUD.ResultsThree hundred and five unique results were returned. One article was identified using the non-classical psychedelic ketamine in CUD; three articles were identified as topically relevant based on their secondary data or consideration of mechanism. Additional articles were reviewed for purposes of background, review of safety considerations, and formulating rationale.ConclusionLimited data and reporting are available on the use of psychedelics in persons with CUD, and more research is needed given the anticipated increase in CUD incidence and increasing interest in psychedelic use. While psychedelics, broadly, have a high therapeutic index with infrequent serious adverse effects, particular adverse effects at risk in the CUD population, such as psychosis and cardiovascular events, should be considered. Possible mechanisms by which psychedelics have therapeutic potential in CUD are explored

    Machine Learning Approaches for the Prioritisation of Cardiovascular Disease Genes Following Genome- wide Association Study

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    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed thousands of genetic loci, establishing itself as a valuable method for unravelling the complex biology of many diseases. As GWAS has grown in size and improved in study design to detect effects, identifying real causal signals, disentangling from other highly correlated markers associated by linkage disequilibrium (LD) remains challenging. This has severely limited GWAS findings and brought the method’s value into question. Although thousands of disease susceptibility loci have been reported, causal variants and genes at these loci remain elusive. Post-GWAS analysis aims to dissect the heterogeneity of variant and gene signals. In recent years, machine learning (ML) models have been developed for post-GWAS prioritisation. ML models have ranged from using logistic regression to more complex ensemble models such as random forests and gradient boosting, as well as deep learning models (i.e., neural networks). When combined with functional validation, these methods have shown important translational insights, providing a strong evidence-based approach to direct post-GWAS research. However, ML approaches are in their infancy across biological applications, and as they continue to evolve an evaluation of their robustness for GWAS prioritisation is needed. Here, I investigate the landscape of ML across: selected models, input features, bias risk, and output model performance, with a focus on building a prioritisation framework that is applied to blood pressure GWAS results and tested on re-application to blood lipid traits

    Induction of RIPK3/MLKL-mediated necroptosis by Erigeron breviscapus injection exhibits potent antitumor effect

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    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of tumor-related deaths worldwide. Resistance of tumor cells to drug-induced apoptosis highlights the need for safe and effective antitumor alternatives. Erigeron breviscapus (Dengzhanxixin in China) injection (EBI), extracted from the natural herb Erigeron breviscapus (Vant.) Hand.-Mazz (EHM), has been widely used in clinical practice for cardiovascular diseases. Recent studies have suggested that EBI’s main active ingredients exhibit potential antitumor effects. This study aims to explore the anti-CRC effect of EBI and elucidate the underlying mechanism. The anti-CRC effect of EBI was evaluated in vitro using CCK-8, flow cytometry, and transwell analysis, and in vivo through a xenograft mice model. RNA sequencing was utilized to compare the differentially expressed genes, and the proposed mechanism was verified through in vitro and in vivo experiments. Our study demonstrates that EBI significantly inhibits the proliferation of three human CRC cell lines and effectively suppresses the migration and invasion of SW620 cells. Moreover, in the SW620 xenograft mice model, EBI markedly retards tumor growth and lung metastasis. RNA-seq analysis revealed that EBI might exert antitumor effects by inducing necroptosis of tumor cells. Additionally, EBI activates the RIPK3/MLKL signaling pathway, a classical pathway of necroptosis and greatly promotes the generation of intracellular ROS. Furthermore, the antitumor effect of EBI on SW620 is significantly alleviated after the pretreatment of GW806742X, the MLKL inhibitor. Our findings suggest that EBI is a safe and effective inducer of necroptosis for CRC treatment. Notably, necroptosis is a non-apoptotic programmed cell death pathway that can effectively circumvent resistance to apoptosis, which provides a novel approach for overcoming tumor drug resistance

    The interplay of continuous milk ejection and milking system with and without prestimulation at different vacuum settings.

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    Efficient machine milking requires an optimal interaction of alveolar milk ejection in the udder and milk removal by the milking machine. The aim of the present study was to test whether the equilibrium between continuous milk ejection and milk removal can also be maintained at very fast milking through a particularly high vacuum. Eight Holstein dairy cows were milked at 42, 52, or 60 kPa, with (PS) or without (nPS) prestimulation. Each of the 6 treatments was conducted at 2 afternoon milkings in each animal. The prestimulation lasted 40 s and consisted of forestripping and teat cleaning. The cluster attachment followed after a 20-s latency period. Throughout each milking, B-mode ultrasound videos of the gland cistern of 1 front quarter as well as milk flow and claw vacuum curves were recorded. Total milk yield was neither affected by nPS or PS nor by the vacuum level. Milk removed within the first minute and the first 2 min of milking and average milk flow were higher, and the duration of incline and time until peak milk flow were shorter at PS than at nPS milkings at all vacuum levels. Machine-on time was shorter at PS than at nPS milkings, although only at 42 and 52 kPa vacuum, obviously caused by the high percentage of bimodalities occurring in nPS milkings (17% bimodalities in PS vs. 92% bimodalities in nPS milkings). The frequency of bimodalities was higher at high than at low vacuum both in PS and nPS milkings. Peak flow rate and average milk flow were both higher at higher vacuum levels. The duration of milk flow plateau was shorter at 60 kPa than at 42 kPa milkings. At the highest vacuum (60 kPa), the shorter plateau phase indicated a declining milk ejection rate toward the end of the plateau phase, and milk ejection could no longer keep up with the fast milk removal; hence, a higher milking efficiency at a higher vacuum level could only be achieved as long as the gland cistern remained sufficiently filled by the continuous milk ejection. The ultrasound imaging confirmed this finding as the duration of cisternal area plateau in the recorded front quarter was shorter at high than at low vacuum. Thus, the highest vacuum of 60 kPa did not cause a shorter machine-on time than 52 kPa. In conclusion, milking at a very high vacuum can increase milking efficiency compared with a low vacuum. However, a vacuum reduction at the start and toward the end of milking is required to prevent overmilking if milking is performed at a very high vacuum

    Brief versus long maternal separation in lactating rats: Consequences on maternal behavior, emotionality, and brain oxytocin receptor binding

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    Maternal separation is a widely used animal model to study early life adversity in offspring. However, only a few studies have focused on the impact of disrupting the maternal bond from the mother's perspective. Such studies reveal alterations in behavior, whereas the underlying neuroendocrine mechanisms remain largely unknown. In this study, we compared the consequences of daily brief maternal separation (BMS; 15 min) versus long maternal separation (LMS; 180 min) during the first week postpartum with respect to behavioral and neuroendocrine changes in lactating Sprague–Dawley dams. Mothers were tested for their maternal care before and after separation, maternal motivation to retrieve pups, as well as anxiety-related and stress-coping behaviors. In addition, we analyzed their basal plasma corticosterone levels and oxytocin receptor binding in selected brain regions of the limbic system and maternal network. LMS dams showed higher levels of behavioral alterations compared to BMS and non-maternally separated (NMS) dams, including increased licking and grooming of the pups and decreased maternal motivation. Anxiety-related behavior was not affected by either separation paradigm, whereas passive stress-coping behavior tended to increase in the LMS group. Plasma corticosterone concentrations were not different between groups. Oxytocin receptor binding was higher in the medial preoptic area and tended to be higher in the prelimbic cortex of LMS dams, only. Our results demonstrate that especially daily prolonged maternal separation impacts on the mothers' behavior and oxytocin system, which suggests that enhanced oxytocin receptor binding could be a compensatory mechanism for potentially decreased central oxytocin release due to limited pup contact

    Mentalization, Oxytocin, and Cortisol in the General Population

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    Although evidence suggests the role of oxytocin and cortisol in social cognition and emotion regulation, it is less known how their peripheral levels are related to social perception (biological motion detection) and mentalization (self-reflection, emotional awareness, and affect regulation) in the general population. We assessed 150 healthy individuals from the general community on a mentalization questionnaire, a scale measuring the intensity of positive and negative emotions, and measured oxytocin and cortisol levels in the saliva. Oxytocin but not cortisol level and biological motion detection predicted mentalization abilities. There was a positive correlation between mentalization and positive emotions and between mentalization and biological motion detection. These results suggest that oxytocin, but not cortisol, plays a role in low-level perceptual and self-reflective aspects of social cognition
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