Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

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  • Selected Abstracts

    Effects of oyster extract on the reproductive function of zinc-deficient mice: Bioavailability of zinc contained in oyster extract

    Yoshikazu Matsuda
    ABSTRACT Zinc is a vital nutrient in the normal reproductive function and embryonic development of mammals, and it is well known that oyster extract contains significant amounts of zinc. The effects of oyster extract on reproductive function, such as embryonic development, serum levels of zinc and sperm maturation were examined in zinc-deficient mice. Zinc deficiency in dams during pregnancy induced a decrease in the successful pregnancy rate, maternal weight gain, the number of live fetuses and fetal body weight. Zinc deficiency for 12 weeks in male mice induced a decrease in body weight, testis weight and sperm count in the epididymis. However, reproductive failure, embryonic defects and decreased sperm motility in zinc-deficient mice were improved by supplementation with oyster extract. Some nutrients contained in oyster extract, such as taurine and glycogen, may be related to the recovery of reproductive function. There were significantly lower serum concentrations of zinc in dams fed a zinc-deficient diet However, the serum zinc concentration was normal in the oyster extract-supplemented group. No difference in the concentration of serum zinc was observed between the oyster extract- and zinc carbonate-supplemented groups. From these findings, it is suggested that oyster extract is a useful supplement that can prevent reproductive defects from zinc deficiency, and the bioavailability of zinc may be identical to zinc carbonate. [source]

    Radiological protection for diagnostic examination of pregnant women

    Tomoko Kusama
    ABSTRACT, Application of diagnostic X-ray examination to pregnant women is complicated since risks to both mother and embryo/fetus must be considered. Embryos and fetuses are more sensitive to radiation than adults or children. The threshold doses for fetal death, malformations and mental retardation which are deterministic effects, are reported to be 100,200 mGy or higher. The relative risk for childhood cancer due to radiation at an absorbed dose of 10 mGy during embryonic/fetal development has been estimated at 1.4. However, the absorbed dose of the embryo/fetus during X-ray diagnostic examination in which the X-ray beam does not irradiate the embryo/fetus directly such as maternal skull and chest X-ray is extremely low, less than 0.01 mGy. Thus these diagnostic procedures are not a problem from the perspective of radiological protection of the embryo/fetus. However, for pelvic CT scan and barium enema in which the uterus is directly within the X-ray beam, the absorbed doses to the embryo/fetus are about 20,80 mGy and 10,20 mGy, respectively. Therefore, medical staff must pay careful attention to the embryo/fetus in application of these examinations. Pregnant women who were not aware of pregnancy at the time of their diagnostic exposure have great anxiety about radiation from such X-ray examinations. However, fetal doses below 100 mGy should not be considered a reason for terminating a pregnancy. [source]

    Formation and ageing of L-glutamic acid spherulites

    R. Beck
    Abstract Polycrystalline spherulites of L-glutamic acid have been crystallized by pH-shift precipitation from stirred aqueous solutions. The time dependent behaviour of the spherulites has been studied during the crystallization process and batch filtration tests have been performed. It has been shown that the FBRM mean chord length of the investigated spherulites decreases in the course of time. The fact that the size reduction progresses faster at higher temperature and the solubility of resuspended polycrystalline particles decreasing with time, implies an ageing mechanism to be responsible for the observed changes in the particle size. It has been shown that the surface area decreases with time, ruling out particle breakage as a possible explanation for the decrease in particle size. XRD and Raman studies of L-glutamic acid, however, show only marginal differences in the crystalline structure of particles obtained from different time stages. The ageing may occur due to several different mechanisms like phase transformation and Ostwald ripening. L-glutamic acid spherulites after 3 h exhibit a 3-fold higher value for the cake resistance as compared to particles after 0.5 h. However, particles obtained after 22 h exhibit an 8-fold lower cake resistance as compared to the initially obtained spherulites, The increase in the cake resistance is attributed to the appearance of small plate-like crystals and a change in the interaction between the crystal surface and the solution. ( 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

    Human soleus muscle protein synthesis following resistance exercise

    ACTA PHYSIOLOGICA, Issue 2 2004
    T. A. Trappe
    Abstract Aim:, It is generally believed the calf muscles in humans are relatively unresponsive to resistance training when compared with other muscles of the body. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the muscle protein synthesis response of the soleus muscle following a standard high intensity bout of resistance exercise. Methods:, Eight recreationally active males (27 4 years) completed three unilateral calf muscle exercises: standing calf press/heel raise, bent-knee calf press/heel raise, and seated calf press/heel raise. Each exercise consisted of four sets of 15 repetitions (,15 repetition maximum, RM, or ,70% 1RM). Fractional rate of muscle protein synthesis (FSR) was determined with a primed constant infusion of [2H5]phenylalanine coupled with muscle biopsies immediately and 3 h following the exercise in both the exercise and non-exercise (resting control) leg. Results:, FSR was elevated (P < 0.05) in the exercise (0.069 0.010) vs. the control (0.051 0.012) leg. Muscle glycogen concentration was lower (P < 0.05) in the exercise compared with the control leg (Decrease from control; immediate post-exercise: 54 5; 3 h post-exercise: 36 4 mmol kg,1 wet wt.). This relatively high amount of glycogen use is comparable with previous studies of resistance exercise of the thigh (i.e. vastus lateralis; ,41,49 mmol kg,1 wet wt.). However, the exercise-induced increase in FSR that has been consistently reported for the vastus lateralis (,0.045,0.060% h,1) is on average ,200% higher than reported here for the soleus (0.019 0.003% h,1). Conclusions:, These results suggest the relatively poor response of soleus muscle protein synthesis to an acute bout of resistance exercise may be the basis for the relative inability of the calf muscles to respond to resistance training programs. [source]

    Overexpression of CD7 in classical Hodgkin lymphoma-infiltrating T lymphocytes,

    CYTOMETRY, Issue 3 2009
    Adam C. Seegmiller
    Abstract Background: Diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is sometimes complicated by the scarcity of neoplastic cells in a reactive inflammatory background. Immunophenotyping by flow cytometry (FC) has not played a significant role in HL diagnosis because of its consistent failure to identify these neoplastic cells. However, HL-infiltrating T cells have been shown to play a role in HL pathogenesis. This study characterizes the FC immunophenotype of these T lymphocytes to determine whether they can be used to assist in the diagnosis of HL. Methods: Cell suspensions from 76 lymph nodes involved by HL and 156 lymph nodes with reactive lymphadenopathy (LAD) were analyzed by flow cytometry to assess the expression of T-cell antigens. Results: The CD4:CD8 ratio and CD7 expression in both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells are increased in HL compared with reactive lymph nodes and there are significant differences between these features in different subtypes of HL. However, only the expression of CD7 in CD4(+) T cells distinguishes between HL and reactive LAD. This is especially true for classical HL in younger patients. Using a CD7 mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) cutoff value generated by this data, 37/47 FNA specimens were correctly diagnosed. Conclusions: There are significant differences in the immunophenotypes of HL-infiltrating T cells. Of these, the CD7 expression in CD4(+) T cells discriminates between HL and reactive LAD, suggesting that this could be a useful and practical adjunctive tool in the diagnosis of HL. It may also further our understanding of the pathophysiology of this disease. 2008 Clinical Cytometry Society [source]

    A 75% insulin lispro/25% NPL mixture provides a longer duration of insulin activity compared with insulin lispro alone in patients with Type 1 diabetes

    DIABETIC MEDICINE, Issue 11 2003
    P. Roach
    Abstract Aims To compare a new insulin formulation, high mix (HM) [75% lispro (LP) and 25% neutral protamine lispro (NPL)], to regular human insulin (HR) and LP with respect to glucose response and pharmacokinetics following a test meal in patients with Type 1 diabetes. Methods After fasting overnight, patients received an intravenous insulin infusion to standardize blood glucose (BG) to 7.5 mmol/l (135 mg/dl). In a randomised, three-way crossover study, HR was injected 30 min before, and LP or HM was injected immediately before the test meal on three separate occasions. For each patient, LP and HR were administered at identical doses; the HM dose was one and one third times that of HR and LP to maintain the same dose of short or rapid-acting insulin. The insulin infusion was stopped 15 min after the insulin injection. Free insulin and BG concentrations were measured frequently for 7 h following the test meal. Results HM and LP resulted in better glycaemic control than HR during the observation period. BG concentrations during the first 4,5 h did not differ between HM and LP. However, HM exhibited prolonged insulin activity relative to LP beyond 5 h, extending the duration of action by approximately 1 h, and resulting in lower overall BG concentrations when the 0,6- and 0,7-h intervals were considered. Conclusions Compared with LP, HM provided similar glycaemic control for up to 5 h and superior glycaemic control from 5 to 7 h following a standard test meal [source]

    Quine, Davidson, and the Naturalization of Metaethics

    DIALECTICA, Issue 2 2001
    Robert Feleppa
    Quine's ethical views typify what might seem to be natural sympathies between empiricism and ethical noncognitivism. LikeAyer, he sees a case for noncognitivism rooted in an epistemic discontinuity between ethics and science. Quine argues that the absence of genuine moral observation sentences, and thus the absence of empirical checkpoints for the resolution of theoretical disputes, renders ethics, as he terms it, "methodologically infirm" However, recent papers in this journal make clear that Quine appears to be voicing mutually incompatible commitments to both noncognitivism and cognitivism. Here I argue that Davidson's theory of interpretation offers promising ways to resolve these tensions. His constructive program fleshes out the implications of Quine's largely destructive critique of intensional semantics and contains a fairly well-articulated account of evaluative semantics, one which seems to combine cognitivist and noncognitivist elements harmoniously. Moreover, it is argued that Davidson's long-standing differences with Quine over the epistemological status Quine accords observation sentences with do not undermine Quine's metaethical critique. [source]

    Vulnerability of community businesses to environmental disasters

    DISASTERS, Issue 1 2009
    Yang Zhang
    Business plays important roles in community functioning., However, disaster research has been disproportionately focused on units of analysis such as families, households and government agencies. This paper synthesises the major findings within the business development research field and the disaster research field. It constructs a framework for evaluating business vulnerability to natural disasters. Our theoretical integration of the research conducted to date addresses five major issues. First, it defines the ways in which businesses are subject to the impacts of natural disasters. Second, it identifies the factors that determine the magnitude of business impacts after a disaster. Third, it identifies how and when businesses return to their pre-disaster level in the disaster stricken community. Fourth, it describes measures that can be taken by individual firms and community planners to reduce the impacts of environmental disasters. Fifth, it identifies needs for public policy and future research to reduce business vulnerability to environmental disasters. [source]

    Anatomy of a Pennine peat slide, Northern England

    Dr. Jeff Warburton
    Abstract This paper describes and analyses the structure and deposits of a large UK peat slide, located at Hart Hope in the North Pennines, northern England. This particular failure is unusual in that it occurred in the winter (February, 1995) and shows excellent preservation of the sedimentary structures and morphology, both at the failure scar and downstream. The slide was triggered by heavy rain and rapid snowmelt along the line of an active peatland stream flush. Detailed mapping of the slide area and downstream deposits demonstrate that the slide was initiated as a blocky mass that degenerated into a debris flow. The slide pattern was complex, with areas of extending and compressive movement. A wave-like motion may have been set up in the failure. Within the slide site there was relatively little variability in block size (b axis); however, downstream the block sizes decrease rapidly. Stability analysis suggests the area at the head of the scar is most susceptible to failure. A ,secondary' slide area is thought to have only been initiated once the main failure had occurred. Estimates of the velocity of the flowing peat mass as it entered the main stream channel indicate a flow velocity of approximately 10 m s,1, which rapidly decreases downstream. A sediment budget for the peat slide estimates the failed peat mass to be 30 800 t. However, sediment delivery to the stream channel was relatively low. About 37% of the failed mass entered the stream channel and, despite moving initially as debris flow, the amount of deposition along the stream course and on the downstream fan is small (only about 1%). The efficiency of fluvial systems in transporting the eroded peat is therefore high. Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Species-specific responses to atmospheric carbon dioxide and tropospheric ozone mediate changes in soil carbon

    ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 11 2009
    Alan F. Talhelm
    Abstract We repeatedly sampled the surface mineral soil (0,20 cm depth) in three northern temperate forest communities over an 11-year experimental fumigation to understand the effects of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) and/or elevated phyto-toxic ozone (O3) on soil carbon (C). After 11 years, there was no significant main effect of CO2 or O3 on soil C. However, within the community containing only aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.), elevated CO2 caused a significant decrease in soil C content. Together with the observations of increased litter inputs, this result strongly suggests accelerated decomposition under elevated CO2. In addition, an initial reduction in the formation of new (fumigation-derived) soil C by O3 under elevated CO2 proved to be only a temporary effect, mirroring trends in fine root biomass. Our results contradict predictions of increased soil C under elevated CO2 and decreased soil C under elevated O3 and should be considered in models simulating the effects of Earth's altered atmosphere. [source]

    Comparison of methanol and acetonitrile as solvents for the separation of sertindole and its major metabolites by capillary zone electrophoresis

    ELECTROPHORESIS, Issue 17 2005
    Xavier Subirats
    Abstract Sertindole (1-[2-[4-[5-chloro-1-(4-fluorophenyl)-1H -indol-3-yl]-1-piperidinyl]ethyl]-2-imidazolidinone), an atypical antipsychotic drug, was separated by capillary electrophoresis from its two main metabolites norsertindole and dehydrosertindole. The low solubility of the analytes in water (octanol-water partition coefficient is about 105) is overcome by the use of methanol (MeOH) and acetonitrile (ACN) as solvents for the background electrolyte (BGE). Mobilities were measured in BGEs with defined pH in a broad range. It was found that in MeOH the mobility of the analytes is mainly governed by acid,base equilibria, whereas in ACN other reactions like ion pairing and homoconjugation play a pronounced role and lead to a complex pattern of the mobility as function of the pH. However, separation can be obtained in less than 10,min in both solvent systems. [source]

    Thermodynamic Analysis of Energy Transfer in Acidogenic Cultures

    J.-R. Bastidas-Oyanedel
    Abstract A global thermodynamic analysis, normally used for pure cultures, has been performed for steady-state data sets from acidogenic mixed cultures. This analysis is a combination of two different thermodynamic approaches, based on tabulated standard Gibbs energy of formation, global stoichiometry and medium compositions. It takes into account the energy transfer efficiency, ,, together with the Gibbs free energy dissipation, ,Go, analysis of the different data. The objective is to describe these systems thermodynamically without any heat measurement. The results show that , is influenced by environmental conditions, where increasing hydraulic retention time increases its value all cases. The pH effect on , is related to metabolic shifts and osmoregulation. Within the environmental conditions analyzed, , ranges from 0.23 for a hydraulic retention time of 20,h and pH,4, to 0.42 for a hydraulic retention time of 8,h and a pH ranging from 7,8.5. The estimated values of ,Go are comparable to standard Gibbs energy of dissipation reported in the literature. For the data sets analyzed, ,Go ranges from ,1210,kJ/molx, corresponding to a stirring velocity of 300,rpm, pH,6 and a hydraulic retention time of 6,h, to ,20744,kJ/molx for pH,4 and a hydraulic retention time of 20,h. For average conclusions, the combined approach based on standard Gibbs energy of formation and global stoichiometry, used in this thermodynamic analysis, allows for the estimation of Gibbs energy dissipation values from the extracellular medium compositions in acidogenic mixed cultures. Such estimated values are comparable to the standard Gibbs energy dissipation values reported in the literature. It is demonstrated that , is affected by the environmental conditions, i.e., stirring velocity, hydraulic retention time and pH. However, a relationship that relates this parameter to environmental conditions was not found and will be the focus of further research. [source]

    Mortality risk up to 25 years after initiation of treatment among 420 Swedish women with alcohol addiction

    ADDICTION, Issue 3 2009
    Brit Haver
    ABSTRACT Aims Women treated for alcohol addiction have mortality rates three to five times those of women from the general population (GP). However, these figures may be inflated because socially disadvantaged women with advanced drinking careers are over-represented in previous studies. Our aim was to study the long-term mortality of socially relatively well-functioning patients coming to their first treatment, compared to matched GP controls. Design The mortality rates and causes of death were compared between patients and their matched GP controls, using data from the Causes of Death Register throughout the follow-up period (0,25 years). Setting A specialized treatment programme for women only, called ,Early treatment for Women with Alcohol Addiction' (EWA) at the Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. Participants Subjects (n = 420) receiving their first treatment at the EWA programme, compared to a group of matched GP women (n = 2037). Findings The women patients had significantly higher mortality than matched GP controls throughout the whole follow-up period, with a relative risk of 2.4. However, the younger women had four times higher mortality than their matched controls. The peak of deaths occurred during the first 5 years, and alcohol-related causes of death were highly over-represented, as were uncertain suicides and accidents. Conclusions First-time-treated women with alcohol addiction have a substantially lower mortality than reported previously from clinical samples, except for the youngest group. Our figures were corrected for confounding factors such as socio-demographic status. We believe our results could apply to broader groups of heavy drinking women, inside or outside specialized treatment settings. [source]

    Monitoring pyrethroid resistance in field collected Blattella germanica Linn. (Dictyoptera: Blattellidae) in Indonesia

    Intan AHMAD
    Abstract The German cockroach, Blattella germanica, is a major and the most common pest in public areas in Indonesia. Although intensive control measures have been carried out to control the populations of this pest, results have been far from successful, which is believed to be because of its resistance to insecticides. A standard World Health Organization (WHO) glass jar test was carried out to determine the resistance level of this insect to pyrethroid insecticides, the most commonly used insecticides for cockroach control in Indonesia. A susceptible S1 strain collected from Tembagapura Papua was compared with four strains collected from Bandung, West Java: strain S2, from a local restaurant; strain S3, from the Bandung train station; and strains S4 and S5, from two different hotels. All strains showed low resistance to the pyrethroid, except the S5 strain, which had a Resistance Ratio (RR)50 of 95 for permethrin. The addition of piperonyl butoxide (PBO) suggests that the detoxifying enzyme mixed function oxidases (MFO) played an important role in the development of resistance to permethrin in the S5 strain, suggested by the high Synergist Ratio (SR) of 70.4. However, the low level of resistance to cypermethrin was not affected by PBO, suggesting that other mechanisms of pyrethroid resistance are involved. Our study is the first report of German cockroach resistance to permethrin in Indonesia, and the findings can be used in formulating potential strategies for cockroach resistance management. [source]

    Variation in toxin compositions of two harmful raphidophytes, Chattonella antiqua and Chattonella marina, at different salinities

    Shahroz Mahean Haque
    Abstract Toxin compositions of the two species of raphidophytes, Chattonella antiqua (Hada) Ono and Chattonella marina (Subrahmanyan) Hara et Chihara, were investigated at different salinities under laboratory conditions. C. antiqua contained toxin components CaTx-I, CaTx-II, CaTx-III, and CaTx-IV, which corresponded to brevetoxin components PbTx-1, PbTx-2, PbTx-3, and oxidized PbTx-2. Similarly, C. marina included CmTx-I, CmTx-II, CmTx-III, and CmTx-IV corresponding to PbTx-2, PbTx-9, PbTx-3, and oxidized PbTx-2. Toxin yields in both species varied markedly with a change in salinity concentration. In C. antiqua CaTx-I, CaTx-II, and CaTx-III peaked at 25 P.P.t. with yields of 0.99, 0.42, and 2.90 pg/cell, but the highest yield (2.35 pg/cell) of CaTx-IV was attained at 30 P.P.t. The yields of all CaTx components decreased sharply at salinities exceeding 30 P.P.t. On the other hand, C. marina yielded higher proportions of CmTx-I (0.55 pg/cell) and CmTx-III (2.50 pg/cell) at 25 P.P.t. However, CmTx-IV was present in its highest amount (1.65 pg/cell) at 30 P.P.t., as seen in C. antiqua. A small amount of CmTx-II was also detected at 20 P.P.t.,35 P.P.t. Both species showed the highest ichthyotoxicities at 25 P.P.t., at which the maximum cell division rate was obtained. 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 17: 113,118, 2002; Published online in Wiley InterScience ( DOI 10.1002/tox.10039 [source]

    Interaction of stilbene compounds with human and rainbow trout estrogen receptors

    Denina Bobbie Dawn Simmons
    Abstract Compounds with stilbene structures are widely used as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and are present in plants. A suite of stilbene-related compounds, including PPCPs and plant-derived compounds were tested in vitro for interactions with the human and rainbow trout estrogen receptors and in vivo with rainbow trout using vitellogenin levels as a biomarker. Among the compounds with antagonistic activity, the common structural similarity was (in addition to the stilbene backbone) the presence of 4-hydroxy substitution. Stilbene-related compounds found to act as inhibitors at the estrogen receptor included the plant-derived compound resveratrol and two formulations of fluorescent whitening agents used in detergents, 4,4,-bis(2-sulfostyryl)biphenyl and diaminostilbene-1. In the yeast estrogenicity screening assay, the concentrations which caused a 50% inhibition in estrogenic response (IC50s) with the human estrogen receptor ranged from 2.56 10,6 to 2.56 10,6 M. In the rainbow trout estrogen receptor assay, the IC50s ranged from 7.75 10,8 to 1.11 10,5 M. However, in the in vivo rainbow trout vitellogenin assay, tamoxifen was the only stilbene of the compounds tested to have a significant effect as an inhibitor of estrogenicity. [source]

    Whole-body sodium concentration in larval fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) during and following copper exposure

    Holly M. Zahner
    Abstract This research used whole-body sodium concentration to characterize exposure and recovery of larval fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) from acute pulsed copper exposures. Whole-body sodium was chosen because the acute mechanism of copper toxicity to fishes is putative disruption of ion regulation, resulting in a loss of sodium and eventually leading to mortality. Whole-body sodium response in larval fathead minnows exposed to copper was both concentration and duration dependent. The loss of sodium to approximately 70% of control levels occurred within 12 h of exposure. Organisms demonstrated an ability to recover whole-body sodium within 48 h after exposure to concentrations below 0.47 ,M Cu2+ for 3, 6, or 9 h. However, at higher concentrations, organisms required more than 48 h to recover. Whole-body sodium concentrations and mortality for all continuous exposures were strongly correlated. These results may facilitate development of a physiologically based model to predict the response of organisms to copper in receiving streams. [source]

    Water-extractability, free ion activity, and pH explain cadmium sorption and toxicity to Folsomia candida (Collembola) in seven soil-pH combinations

    Cornelis A. M. van Gestel
    Abstract Toxicity of cadmium to Folsomia candida was determined in soils at different pHs (3.5, 5.0, and 6.5). The Langmuir sorption constant (KL), based on pore-water or water-extractable concentrations, showed a pH-related increase of cadmium sorption that was most pronounced when using free Cd2+ ion activities ({Cd2+}s). Two-species Langmuir isotherms that used total cadmium concentration ([Cd]) or {Cd2+} and pH in the water-extractable fractions gave the best description of cadmium sorption on all soils together. Cadmium concentrations causing 50% reduction of growth and reproduction (median effective concentrations [EC50s]) differed by a factor of 4.5 to 20 when based on total soil concentrations and increased with increasing pH. However, when based on water-extractable or pore-water [Cd] or {Cd2+}, EC50s decreased with increasing pH, but differences between soils were still a factor of 4.5 to 32. The EC50s differed by less than a factor of 2.2 when based on body [Cd] in the surviving animals. Two-species Langmuir isotherms were used to relate body [Cd] in survivors to {Cd2+}, corrected for pH in water-extractable or pore-water fractions. An excellent description of effects on growth and reproduction was found when related to the body concentrations predicted in this way; the difference in EC50s between soils was reduced to a factor <2. This demonstrates that F. candida is mainly exposed to cadmium through the soil solution, and suggests that principles of a biotic ligand model approach may be applicable for this soil organism. [source]

    The metabolic syndrome in overweight epileptic patients treated with valproic acid

    EPILEPSIA, Issue 2 2010
    Alberto Verrotti
    Summary Purpose:, To evaluate the presence of metabolic syndrome (MS) in children and adolescents treated with valproate (VPA). Methods:, One hundred fourteen patients (54 male and 60 female) were studied. These patients were followed from the beginning of therapy for at least 24 months; at the end of follow-up, 46 patients (40.4%) had a considerable increase in body weight, whereas the other patients (59.6%) remained with the same weight. The MS was defined as having at least three of the following: abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance, and hypertension. Results:, Forty-six patients developed obesity; 20 (43.5%) of 46 patients developed MS. Abnormal glucose homeostasis was identified in 45% of patients. High total serum cholesterol concentrations were noted in 10 (50%), high serum triglyceride concentrations in 7 (35%), and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in 15 (75%) of the 20 subjects with MS. However, there were no significant differences in the features of MS between boys and girls with MS. Conclusions:, Patients who gain weight during VPA therapy can develop MS with a possible risk of cardiovascular disease. [source]

    Navigating toward Fetal and Maternal Health: The Challenge of Treating Epilepsy in Pregnancy

    EPILEPSIA, Issue 10 2004
    Torbjrn Tomson
    Summary:, A rational approach to the treatment of women of childbearing potential with epilepsy has been hampered by the lack of conclusive data on the comparative teratogenic potential of different antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Although, several cohort studies on birth defects associated with AED use during pregnancy have been published, these have generally failed to demonstrate differences in malformation rates between AEDs, probably mainly due to insufficient power. In particular, pregnancies with new generation AEDs have been too few. In recent years, pregnancy registries have been introduced to overcome this problem,EURAP (an international collaboration), the North American, and the U.K. AED and pregnancy registries are observational studies that prospectively assess pregnancy outcome after AED exposure using slightly different methods. Each has enlisted 3,5,000 pregnancies in women with epilepsy, and the North American and the U.K. have released preliminary observations. Thus the U.K. registry reported a higher malformation rate with valproate, 5.9% (4.3,8.2%; 95% CI), than with carbamazepine, 2.3% (1.4,3.7%), and lamotrigine, 2.1% (1.0,4.0%). Most of the more recent cohort studies have also identified a nonsignificant trend toward a higher teratogenicity with valproate. These signals need to be interpreted with some caution since none of the studies to date have fully assessed the impact of possible confounders, such as type of epilepsy, family history of birth defects, etc. However, with increasing number of pregnancies it should be possible in the near future for the pregnancy registries to take such confounding factors into account and thus make more reliable assessments of the causal relationship between exposure to specific AEDs and teratogenic risks. While awaiting more conclusive results, it appears reasonable to be cautious in prescribing valproate to women considering to become pregnant if other suitable treatment alternatives, and with less teratogenic potential, are available. Any attempt to change treatment should, however, be accomplished well before conception. The importance of maintained seizure control must also be kept in mind, and the woman who needs valproate to control her seizures should not be discouraged from pregnancy, provided that counseling at the best of available knowledge is given. [source]

    Clinical anatomy of the equine sphenopalatine sinus

    J. L. McCANN
    Summary Reasons for performing study: Disorders of the equine sphenopalatine sinus, including empyema and neoplasia, have been reported to cause damage to cranial nerves II and V. However, the clinical anatomy of these sinuses is not well described in horses. Objective: To examine the anatomy of the sphenopalatine sinuses in a range of equidae and, in particular, to examine the relationship of these sinuses to adjacent major nerves and vessels. Methods: The anatomy of the sphenoidal and palatine paranasal sinuses was examined in 16 equidae, primarily using transverse skull sections. Relevant structures were documented and photographed. Results: There was much variation between individual horses in sphenopalatine sinus anatomy. The sphenoidal sinuses were small in young horses and appeared to become larger and more complex with age. Variation was present in the extent that the sphenopalatine sinus extended into the basisphenoid bone. The septum dividing left and right sphenoidal sinuses was frequently not midline, but was intact in all cases. The sphenoidal and palatine sinuses communicated in most horses. In such cases, what could accurately be termed the (combined) sphenopalatine sinuses usually drained directly into the caudal maxillary sinuses. Additionally, in 5 out of 16 cases, some compartments of the sphenoidal sinus also drained into the ethmoidal sinus. The dorsal and lateral walls of the sphenoidal sinus were very thin and directly adjacent to cranial nerves II, III, IV, V and VI and major blood vessels. Conclusions: The equine sphenoidal and palatine sinuses are very variable in their anatomy, but are always in close proximity to multiple cranial nerves and major blood vessels. Potential relevance: Many cranial nerves and blood vessels could be damaged with disorders involving the sphenopalatine sinus, potentially causing major and variable neurological syndromes, haemorrhage and extension of sepsis. [source]

    The impact of HLA-A and -DRB1 on age at onset, disease course and severity in Scandinavian multiple sclerosis patients

    C. Smestad
    The human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class II haplotype DRB1*15,DQB1*06 (DR15,DQ6) is associated with susceptibility to multiple sclerosis (MS), and HLA class I associations in MS have also been reported. However, the influence of HLA class I and II alleles on clinical phenotypes in MS has not yet been completely studied. This study aimed at evaluating the impact of HLA-A and -DRB1 alleles on clinical variables in Scandinavian MS patients. The correlation between HLA-A or -DRB1 alleles and age at onset, disease course and Multiple Sclerosis Severity Score (MSSS) were studied in 1457 Norwegian and Swedish MS patients by regression analyses and Kruskal,Wallis rank sum test. Presence of HLA-DRB1*15 was correlated with younger age at onset of disease (corrected P = 0.009). No correlation was found between HLA-A and the variables studied. This study analysed the effect of HLA-A on clinical variables in a large Scandinavian sample set, but could not identify any significant contribution from HLA-A on the clinical phenotype in MS. However, associations between HLA-DRB1*15 and age at onset of MS were reproduced in this extended Scandinavian MS cohort. [source]

    NMDA receptor-mediated metaplasticity during the induction of long-term depression by low-frequency stimulation

    Bruce Mockett
    Abstract Metaplasticity refers to the activity-dependent modification of the ability of synapses to undergo subsequent synaptic plasticity. Here, we have addressed the question of whether metaplasticity contributes to the induction of long-term depression (LTD) by low-frequency stimulation (LFS). The experiments were conducted using standard extracellular recording techniques in stratum radiatum of area CA1 in hippocampal slices made from adult Sprague,Dawley rats. The degree of LTD induction was found to be a nonlinear function of the number of pulses during a 1-Hz LFS. Little LTD was observed following 600 or 900 pulses, but a significant LTD occurred following 1200 pulses of LFS, whether delivered in one episode, or in two bouts of 600 pulses given 10 min apart. A similar pattern was observed for 3 Hz LFS. The data support the suggestion that pulses occurring early in the LFS train prime synapses for LTD induction, as triggered by later occurring stimuli. The priming effect lasted at least 120 min, when tested by giving two bouts of 1 Hz LFS (600 pulses each) at different intervals. Neither heterosynaptic nor homosynaptic stimulation by itself was sufficient to prime LTD. However, a combination of the stimuli, induced by increased stimulus strength during the LFS, appeared necessary for inducing the effect. An N -methyl- d -aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist markedly reduced total LTD induction, regardless of whether it was administered during the first or second LFS in a protocol employing two bouts of 600 pulse LFS, 30 min apart. These findings strongly support the hypothesis that NMDA receptor-dependent metaplasticity processes contribute to the induction of LTD during standard LFS protocols. [source]

    Derivation of Recovery Kinetics From Stress Relaxation Tests,

    Sheila Bhaumik
    The recovery behavior of a commercial aluminum alloy 3103 was investigated by the means of two alternative experimental methods: stress relaxation (SR) and double tension tests (DT). In case of SR, the stress,time evolution after deformation was recorded, and for DT the yield stress after several recovery times were measured. The DT tests were further sub-divided into tests with and without external load during recovery. The results revealed that the recovery kinetics is clearly accelerated by the external stress during the SR. However, the difference between the DT and SR stresses is much larger. It is caused by continued dislocation glide after the deformation, which causes continued plastic elongation of the specimens. This is demonstrated quantitatively by appropriate evaluation models for both experiments. In contrast to DT, the SR evaluation accounts for the elastic SR due to plastic elongation, but the recovery parameters are the same ones as for DT. This makes it possible to replace DT by SR experiments, which are materially less laborious. [source]

    Differential roles of corticotropin-releasing factor receptor subtypes 1 and 2 in opiate withdrawal and in relapse to opiate dependence

    Lin Lu
    Abstract The possible effects on the morphine withdrawal signs of the nonspecific corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) receptor antagonist ,-helical CRF, the selective CRF receptor subtype 1 antagonist CP-154,526 and the selective CRF receptor subtype 2 antagonist antisauvagine-30 (AS-30) were investigated in rats. The most withdrawal signs, including jumping, teeth chatter, writhing, shakes, lacrimation, piloerection, irritability and diarrhoea, were attenuated by pretreatment with ,-helical CRF (10 g i.c.v.) and CP-154,526 (30 mg/kg i.p.). However, no morphine withdrawal signs except for diarrhea were significantly affected by pretreatment with AS-30 (10 g, i.c.v.). To investigate the possible role of different CRFR antagonists (,-helical CRF, CP-154,526 and AS-30) in relapse to opiate dependence, the 28-day extinction of morphine-conditioned place preference (CPP) was used. The morphine-CPP disappeared following a 28-day extinction and then was reactivated by a single injection of 10 mg/kg morphine. Pretreatment with ,-helical CRF (10 g, i.c.v.) and CP-154,526 (30 mg/kg, i.p.) could significantly block this reactivation of morphine-CPP. In contrast, pretreatment with AS-30 (1 or 10 g i.c.v.) did not affect this reactivation of morphine-CPP. The present study demonstrated that activation of the CRF receptor is involved in morphine withdrawal signs and relapse to morphine dependence, and that the role of CRF receptor subtypes 1 and 2 in withdrawal and reactivation of morphine dependence is not identical. CRF receptor subtype 1, but not subtype 2, is largely responsible for the action of the CRF system on opiate dependence. These results suggest that the CRF receptor antagonists, particularly the CRF receptor subtype 1 antagonist, might be of some value in the treatment and prevention of drug dependence. [source]

    Adsorption of phthalic acid and salicylic acid by two variable charge soils as influenced by sulphate and phosphate

    R. K. Xu
    Summary Low-molecular-weight (LMW) organic acids exist widely in soils, especially in the rhizosphere, and the adsorption of these acids may affect their reactions in soils. The adsorption behaviour of phthalic acid and salicylic acid by two variable charge soils (a Rhodic Ferralsol and a Haplic Acrisol) was investigated. Both soils exhibited great adsorption capacity for these organic acids, with a greater affinity for phthalic acid. The Rhodic Ferralsol adsorbed more organic acids of both kinds than the Haplic Acrisol, which was consistent with the content of iron and aluminum oxides in the two soils. The iron oxides in these soils played a significant role in adsorption of the organic acids, whilst the soil aluminosilicate minerals, such as kaolinite, showed a small adsorption capacity. The presence of phosphate and sulphate caused a decrease in the adsorption of both organic acids because of their competition with them for sorption sites. The phosphate showed a bigger inhibition on the adsorption than sulphate as a result of a greater amount of phosphate adsorbed by the soils. The adsorption of both organic acids was affected by pH only slightly at pH < 4.5. However, the adsorption decreased with the increase in pH at pH > 4.5. A similar trend was observed for the phosphate system, but the opposite was seen for the sulphate system. This suggests that the inhibition of sulphate on the adsorption of the organic acids decreased with the increase in pH, because the adsorption of sulphate decreased strongly with increasing pH. [source]

    Dissolved organic phosphorus and sulphur as influenced by sorptive interactions with mineral subsoil horizons

    K. KaiserArticle first published online: 6 JAN 200
    Summary This study tested the hypothesis that, like dissolved organic nitrogen (N), dissolved organic phosphorus (P) and sulphur (S) are more mobile in soil than is organic carbon (C). To do so, I compared the sorption of organic P and S to subsoil materials with that of organic C. Soil samples were equilibrated with water-soluble organic matter from the forest floor at pH 4 and in the equilibrium solutions organic C, P, and S, and their distributions between the hydrophilic and hydrophobic fraction were determined. Sorption of C within the organic matter did not differ from that of P and S. However, the hydrophilic fraction contained the vast majority of P and S and sorbed far less than the hydrophobic fraction. So the overall retention of organic P and S was smaller than that of organic C. This result suggested that dissolved organic matter is more important in the loss of plant nutrients than in the release of C from soil. [source]

    Capuchin monkey tool use: Overview and implications

    Eduardo B. Ottoni
    Abstract Nutcracking capuchins are mentioned in reports dating as far back as the sixteenth century,1, 2 as well as in Brazilian folklore.3 However, it was barely a decade ago that primatologists "discovered" the spontaneous use of stones to crack nuts in a semi-free ranging group of tufted capuchin monkeys. Since then, we have found several more capuchin populations in savanna-like environments which employ this form of tool use.5,7 The evidence so far only weakly supports genetically based behavioral differences between populations and does not suggest that dietary pressures in poor environments are proximate determinants of the likelihood of tool use. Instead, tool use within these capuchin populations seems to be a behavioral tradition that is socially learned and is primarily associated with more terrestrial habits. However, differences in the diversity of "tool kits" between populations remain to be understood. [source]

    Human evolution at the Matuyama-Brunhes boundary

    Article first published online: 12 FEB 200, Giorgio Manzi
    Abstract The cranial morphology of fossil hominids between the end of the Early Pleistocene and the beginning of the Middle Pleistocene provides crucial evidence to understand the distribution in time and space of the genus Homo. This evidence is critical for evaluating the competing models regarding diversity within our genus. The debate focuses on two alternative hypotheses, one basically anagenetic and the other cladogenetic. The first suggests that morphological change is so diffused, slow, and steady that it is meaningless to apply species names to segments of a single lineage. The second is that the morphological variation observed in the fossil record can best be described as a number of distinct species that are not connected in a linear ancestor-descendant sequence. Today much more fossil evidence is available than was in the past to test these alternative hypotheses, as well as intermediate variants. Special attention must be paid to Africa because this is the most probable continental homeland for both the origin of the genus Homo (around 2.5,2 Ma),1 as well as the site, two million or so years later, of the emergence of the species H. sapiens.2 However, the African fossil record is very poorly represented between 1 Ma and 600 ka. Europe furnishes recent discoveries in this time range around the Matuyama-Brunhes chron boundary (780,000 years ago), a period for which, at present, we have no noteworthy fossil evidence in Africa or the Levant. Two penecontemporaneous sources of European fossil evidence, the Ceprano calvaria (Italy)3 and the TD6 fossil assemblage of Atapuerca (Spain)4 are thus of great interest for testing hypotheses about human evolution in the fundamental time span bracketed between the late Early and the Middle Pleistocene. This paper is based on a phenetic approach to cranial variation aimed at reviewing the Early-to-Middle Pleistocene trajectories of human evolution. The focus of the paper is on neither the origin nor the end of the story of the genus Homo, but rather its chronological and phylogenetic core. Elucidation of the evolutionary events that happened around 780 ka during the transition from the Early to Middle Pleistocene is one of the new frontiers for human paleontology, and is critical for understanding the processes that ultimately led to the origin of H. sapiens. [source]

    Dynamics of a Transgene Expression in Acute Rat Brain Slices Transfected with Adenoviral Vectors

    C. E. L. Stokes
    We present a quantitative account of the expression dynamics of a transgene (enhanced green fluorescent protein, EGFP) in acute brain slices transfected with an adenoviral vector (AVV) under control of the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) promoter. Micromolar concentrations of EGFP could be detected in brainstem and hippocampal slices as early as 7 h after in vitro transfection with a viral titre of 4.4 109 plaque-forming units (pfu) ml,1. Although initially EGFP appeared mainly in glia, it could be detected in neurones with longer incubation times of 10-12 h. However, fluorescence was never detected within some populations of neurones, such as hippocampal pyramidal cells, or within the hypoglossal motor nucleus. The density of cells expressing EGFP peaked at 10 h and then decreased, possibly suggesting that high concentrations of EGFP are toxic. The age of the animal significantly affected the speed of EGFP accumulation: after 10 h of incubation in 30-day-old rats only 4.88 0.51 cells/10 000 ,m2 were fluorescent compared to 7.28 0.39 cells/10 000 ,m2 in 12-day-old rats (P < 0.05). HCMV promoter-driven transgene expression depended on the activity of protein kinase A, and was depressed with a cAMP/protein kinase A antagonist (20 ,M Rp-cAMPS; P < 0.0005). This indicates that expression of HCMV-driven constructs is likely to be skewed towards cellular populations where cAMP-dependent signalling pathways are active. We conclude that acute transfection of brain slices with AVVs within hours causes EGFP expression in micromolar concentrations and that such transfected cells may remain viable for use in physiological experiments. [source]