Severe Stress (severe + stress)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Hyperthermia in utero due to maternal influenza is an environmental risk factor for schizophrenia

Marshall J. Edwards
ABSTRACT A hypothesis is presented that the association between maternal influenza and other causes of fever during the second trimester of pregnancy and the subsequent development of schizophrenia in the child is due to the damage caused by hyperthermia to the developing amygdalohippocampal complex and associated structures in the fetal brain. Hyperthermia is a known cause of congenital defects of the central nervous system and other organs after sufficiently severe exposures during early organogenesis. The pathogenic mechanisms include death of actively dividing neuroblasts, disruption of cell migration and arborization and vascular damage. In experimental studies, hyperthermia during later stages of central nervous system development also caused damage to the developing brainstem that was associated with functional defects. This damage usually results in hypoplasia of the parts undergoing active development at the time of exposure. Recent studies have shown no evidence of direct invasion of the fetus by the influenza virus. Factors that might interact with hyperthermia include familial liability to schizophrenia, season of birth, maternal nutrition, severe stress and medications used to alleviate the symptoms of fevers. The time of the development of the fetal amygdalohippocampal complex and the changes found in its structure and associated areas of the brain are compatible with the known effects of hyperthermia. [source]

China's Rangelands under Stress: A Comparative Study of Pasture Commons in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region

Peter Ho
China's economic reforms have exacerbated the problems of over-grazing and desertification in the country's pastoral areas. In order to deal with rangeland degradation, the Chinese government has resorted to nationalization, or semi-privatization. Since the implementation of rangeland policy has proved very difficult, however, experiments with alternative rangeland tenure systems merit our attention. In Ningxia, in northwest China, local attempts have been undertaken to establish communal range management systems with the village as the basic unit of use and control. Some of these management regimes are under severe stress, due to large-scale digging for medicinal herbs in the grasslands. This digging has resulted in serious conflicts between Han and Hui Muslim Chinese, during which several farmers have been killed. It is against this backdrop that this article explores the institutional dynamics of range management in two different villages. [source]

Adaptation, extinction and global change

Graham Bell
Abstract We discuss three interlinked issues: the natural pace of environmental change and adaptation, the likelihood that a population will adapt to a potentially lethal change, and adaptation to elevated CO2, the prime mover of global change. 1.,Environmental variability is governed by power laws showing that ln difference in conditions increases with ln elapsed time at a rate of 0.3,0.4. This leads to strong but fluctuating selection in many natural populations. 2.,The effect of repeated adverse change on mean fitness depends on its frequency rather than its severity. If the depression of mean fitness leads to population decline, however, severe stress may cause extinction. Evolutionary rescue from extinction requires abundant genetic variation or a high mutation supply rate, and thus a large population size. Although natural populations can sustain quite intense selection, they often fail to adapt to anthropogenic stresses such as pollution and acidification and instead become extinct. 3.,Experimental selection lines of algae show no specific adaptation to elevated CO2, but instead lose their carbon-concentrating mechanism through mutational degradation. This is likely to reduce the effectiveness of the oceanic carbon pump. Elevated CO2 is also likely to lead to changes in phytoplankton community composition, although it is not yet clear what these will be. We emphasize the importance of experimental evolution in understanding and predicting the biological response to global change. This will be one of the main tasks of evolutionary biologists in the coming decade. [source]

Effects of trimetazidine, a partial inhibitor of fatty acid oxidation, on ventricular function and survival after myocardial infarction and reperfusion in the rat

Frederic Mouquet
Abstract Trimetazidine (TMZ), a partial inhibitor of fatty acid oxidation, has been effective in treating chronic angina, but its effects on the development of post-myocardial infarction (MI) left ventricular remodeling are not defined. In this study, we tested whether chronic pre-MI administration of TMZ would be beneficial during and after acute MI. Two-hundred male Wistar rats were studied in four groups: sham + TMZ diet (n = 20), sham + control diet (n = 20), MI + TMZ diet (n = 80), and MI + control diet (n = 80) splitted into one short-term and one long-term experiments. Sham surgery consisted of a thoracotomy without coronary ligation. MI was induced by coronary occlusion followed by reperfusion. Left ventricle (LV) function and remodeling were assessed by serial echocardiography throughout a 24-week post-MI period. LV remodeling was also assessed by quantitative histological analysis of post-MI scar formation at 24 weeks post-MI. During the short-term experiment, 10/80 rats died after MI, with no difference between groups (MI + control = 7/40, MI + TMZ = 3/40, P = 0.3). In the long-term experiment, the deaths occurred irregularly over the 24 weeks with no difference between groups (MI + control = 16% mortality, MI + TMZ = 17%, P = 0.8). There was no difference between groups as regard to LV ejection fraction (MI + control = 36 13%, MI + TMZ = 35 13%, P = 0.6). In this experimental model, TMZ had no effects on the post-MI occurrence of LV dysfunction or remodeling. Further investigations are warranted to assess whether the partial inhibition of fatty acid oxidation may limit the ability of the heart to respond to acute severe stress. [source]


Roger Heine
Most corporate finance practitioners understand the trade-off involved in making effective use of debt capacity while safeguarding the firm's ability to execute its business strategy without disruption. But quantifying that trade-off to arrive at an optimal level of debt can be a complicated and challenging task. This paper develops a simulation model of capital structure that starts by generating multiple estimates of market rates (LIBOR, currency rates) and corresponding company operating cash flows. To arrive at an optimal capital structure, the model then incorporates the shareholder value effects of alternative financing decisions by directly measuring the costs of financial distress, including the costs of missed investment opportunities and higher working capital requirements. The model generates both a target credit rating and a lower fallback rating that permits a higher level of debt to maintain investments and dividends when operating cash flows are weak. As the model shows, companies with volatile cash flows and significant investment opportunities can add substantial shareholder value by establishing a fallback credit rating that is one or two notches below the target rating. The model also optimizes the mix of fixed versus floating debt, the maturity structure, and the currency composition. Another distinctive feature of the model is its ability to estimate the expected cost of alternative liability structures that can provide the liquidity insurance necessary to sustain the firm through periods of severe stress. This cost turns out to be quite small relative to the total market capitalization of the average firm. [source]

JNK phosphorylates the HSF1 transcriptional activation domain: Role of JNK in the regulation of the heat shock response

Jeonghyeon Park
Abstract The role of c-Jun NH2 -terminal kinase (JNK) signaling cascade in the stress-inducible phosphorylation of heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) was investigated using known agonists and antagonists of JNK. We showed that treatment of HeLa cells with MG132, a proteasome inhibitor and known JNK activator, caused the transcriptional activation domain of HSF1 to be targeted and phosphorylated by JNK2 in vivo. Dose-response and time course studies of the effects of heat shock and anisomycin treatment showed a close correlation of the activation of JNK and hyperphosphorylation of HSF1. SB203580 inhibited JNK at the 100 ,M concentration and significantly reduced the amount of hyperphosphorylated HSF1 upon heat shock or anisomycin treatment. SB203580 and dominant-negative JNK suppress hsp70 promoter-driven reporter gene expression selectively at 45C but not at 42C heat stress, suggesting that JNK would be preferentially associated with the protective heat shock response against severe heat stress. The possibility that JNK-mediated phosphorylation of HSF1 may selectively stabilize the HSF1 protein and confers protection to cells under conditions of severe stress is discussed. J. Cell. Biochem. 82: 326,338, 2001. 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Ecophysiological Response of Plants to Combined Pollution from Heavy-duty Vehicles and Industrial Emissions in Higher Humidity

Hong-Xia Cui
Abstract Pollution can be aggravated in industrial areas if traffic exhausts are mixed with industrial emissions under high humidity conditions. Plants growing in such environments may suffer from severe stress. The impact of vehicle emissions on urban vegetation in an industrial area in Qingdao, China, was investigated by studying seven plant species at visible, physiological and chemical levels. The traits of plant species in certain environmental conditions were compared between a clear area, Badaguan (BDG), and polluted area, Roadside (RS). We found that foliar sulfur uptake for all species was not significantly high at RS compared with BDG, although the sulfur content of atmosphere and surface soils at RS were much higher than those at BDG. For Ailanthus altissima Swingle, the content of foliar pigment and net photosynthesis rate (PN) decreased by 20%. Meanwhile, leaves became incrassate and no visible leaf damage was noted, suggesting this species could adapt well to pollution. A 50% decrease in PN occurred in Hibiscus syriacus L., but there was no statistical change in content of chlorophyll a and b and water uptake. Also, thickened leaves may prevent the pollutant from permeation. Foliar water content was still at a low level, although a water compensation mechanism was established for Fraxinus chinensis Rosb. reflected by low water potential and high water use efficiency. More adversely, a 65% decrease in PN happened inevitably with the significant decomposition of photosynthetic pigments, which exhibited visible damage. We also noted in one evergreen species (Magnolia grandiflora L.) that water absorption driven by low water potential should be helpful to supply water loss induced by strong stomatal transpiration and maintain normal growth. Furthermore, photosynthetic pigment content did not decline statistically, but supported a stable net assimilation. Two herbaceous species, Poa annua L. and Ophiopogon japonicus Ker-Gawl., were very tolerant to adverse stress compared to other woody species, especially in assimilation through a compensatory increase in leaf area. A more remarkable decline in PN (decrease 80%) was noted in the exotic but widespread species, Platanus orientalis L., with serious etiolation and withering being exhibited on the whole canopy. Our results suggested, special for woody species, that most native species are more tolerant to pollution and therefore should to be broadly used in a humid urban industrial environment with heavy-duty vehicle emissions. (Managing editor: Ya-Qin Han) [source]

Binding of nerve growth factor to its p75 receptor in stressed cells induces selective I,B-, degradation and NF-,B nuclear translocation

Jose Miguel Cosgaya
Nerve growth factor (NGF) regulates the activity of the transcription factor NF-,B (nuclear factor-,B) through its low affinity receptor, p75. In the present study we found that NGF binding to p75 induces nuclear translocation of p65 and increases NF-,B binding activity in a cell line overexpressing p75, but only after the cells have been subjected to a previous stress. Under physiological conditions, in the absence of stress, NGF is unable to alter p65 nuclear levels. Tumor necrosis factor-, (TNF-,) induces a down-regulation of I,B-,, -, and -, both in physiological and in stress, i.e. serum-free, conditions. In contrast, NGF only induces the specific degradation of I,B-, after serum withdrawal, without affecting I,B-, or -, either in the presence or in the absence of stress. I,B-, consists of several isoforms, whose relative abundance is regulated by serum withdrawal. NGF does not target all the I,B-, isoforms with the same potency, being more effective in reducing the levels of the isoforms up-regulated by serum withdrawal. TRAF-6 is expressed at the same level under both physiological and stress conditions. These results indicate that NGF is able to induce NF-,B nuclear translocation by a mechanism that involves specific I,B-, degradation only after the cells have been subjected to a severe stress. [source]

Photosynthetic Responses of a Temperate Liana to Xylella fastidiosa Infection and Water Stress

A. J. McElrone
Abstract Xylella fastidiosa is a xylem-limited bacterial plant pathogen that causes bacterial leaf scorch in its hosts. Our previous work showed that water stress enhances leaf scorch symptom severity and progression along the stem of a liana, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, infected by X. fastidiosa. This paper explores the photosynthetic gas exchange responses of P. quinquefolia, with the aim to elucidate mechanisms behind disease expression and its interaction with water stress. We used a 2 2-complete factorial design, repeated over two growing seasons, with high and low soil moisture levels and infected and non-infected plants. In both years, low soil moisture levels reduced leaf water potentials, net photosynthesis and stomatal conductance at all leaf positions, while X. fastidiosa -infection reduced these parameters at basally located leaves only. Intercellular CO2 concentrations were reduced in apical leaves, but increased at the most basal leaf location, implicating a non-stomatal reduction of photosynthesis in leaves showing the greatest disease development. This result was supported by measured reductions in photosynthetic rates of basal leaves at high CO2 concentrations, where stomatal limitation was eliminated. Repeated measurements over the summer of 2000 showed that the effects of water stress and infection were progressive over time, reaching their greatest extent in September. By reducing stomatal conductances at moderate levels of water stress, P. quinquefolia maintained relatively high leaf water potentials and delayed the onset of photosynthetic damage due to pathogen and drought-induced water stress. In addition, chlorophyll fluorescence measurements showed that P. quinquefolia has an efficient means of dissipating excess light energy that protects the photosynthetic machinery of leaves from irreversible photoinhibitory damage that may occur during stress-induced stomatal limitation of photosynthesis. However, severe stress induced by disease and drought eventually led to non-stomatal decreases in photosynthesis associated with leaf senescence. [source]

Escherichia coli Hsp31 functions as a holding chaperone that cooperates with the DnaK-DnaJ-GrpE system in the management of protein misfolding under severe stress conditions

Mirna Mujacic
Summary Escherichia coli Hsp31 is a homodimeric protein that exhibits chaperone activity in vitro and is a representative member of a recently recognized family of heat shock proteins (Hsps). To gain insights on Hsp31 cellular function, we deleted the hchA gene from the MC4100 chromosome and combined the resulting null allele with lesions in other cytoplasmic chaperones. Although the hchA mutant only exhibited growth defects when cultivated at 48C, loss of Hsp31 had a strong deleterious effect on the ability of cells to survive and recover from transient exposure to 50C, and led to the enhanced aggregation of a subset of host proteins at this temperature. The absence of Hsp31 did not significantly affect the ability of the ClpB-DnaK-DnaJ-GrpE system to clear thermally aggregated proteins at 30C suggesting that Hsp31 does not possess disaggregase activity. Although it had no effect on the growth of groES30, ,clpB or ,ibpAB cells at high temperatures, the hchA deletion aggravated the temperature sensitive phenotype of dnaK756 and grpE280 mutants and led to increased aggregation in stressed dnaK756 cells. On the basis of biochemical, structural and genetic data, we propose that Hsp31 acts as a modified holding chaperone that captures early unfolding intermediates under prolonged conditions of severe stress and releases them when cells return to physiological conditions. This additional line of defence would complement the roles of DnaK-DnaJ-GrpE, ClpB and IbpB in the management of thermally induced cellular protein misfolding. [source]

Adaptive coping under conditions of extreme stress: Multilevel influences on the determinants of resilience in maltreated children

Dante Cicchetti
The study of resilience in maltreated children reveals the possibility of coping processes and resources on multiple levels of analysis as children strive to adapt under conditions of severe stress. In a maltreating context, aspects of self-organization, including self-esteem, self-reliance, emotion regulation, and adaptable yet reserved personalities, appear particularly important for more competent coping. Moreover, individual differences in biological processes ranging from gene by environment interactions to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to brain organization related to emotion also are shown to influence the resilience in maltreated youth, highlighting the multifaceted contributions to successful coping. [source]