Τετάρτη, 6 Δεκεμβρίου 2017

Wrist accelerometry for physical activity measurement in individuals with spinal cord injury – a need for individually calibrated cut-points

Publication date: Available online 6 December 2017
Source:Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Author(s): Laura A. McCracken, Jasmin K. Ma, Christine Voss, Franco H.N. Chan, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, Christopher R. West
ObjectiveTo create and compare individual and group-based cut-points for wrist-accelerometry that corresponds to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in people with spinal cord injury (SCI).DesignParticipants completed a graded treadmill-wheeling test while being assessed for oxygen consumption, wrist-acceleration vector magnitude, and spoke acceleration. Oxygen consumption was converted to SCI metabolic equivalents (SCI METS) and linear regression was applied to determine an individualized vector magnitude cut-point (counts per minute, VM-CPM) corresponding with MVPA (≥3 SCI METS). Multilevel linear regression was applied to determine a group MVPA cut-point. Participants then completed a 6-day monitoring period while wearing the accelerometers.SettingA local SCI research centre.ParticipantsTwenty manual wheelchair users (30-64yrs, C5-L1) with chronic (>1 year) SCI.InterventionsNot applicable.Main outcome measuresMean total daily MVPA, wheeled MVPA, and non-wheeled MVPA were calculated using both the individual and group cut-points. Agreement on measures of min/day of MVPA between the individual and group mean cut-point method was compared using Bland-Altman plots.ResultsIndividual cut-points for MVPA ranged from 6040 to 21540 VM-CPM, with a group cut-point of 11652 (CI 7395 – 15909). For total daily MVPA, Bland-Altman analysis revealed a bias of 0.22 ± 33.0 minutes, with 95% limits of agreement from -64.5 to 64.9 minutes, suggesting a large discrepancy between total MVPA calculated from individual and group-mean cut-points.ConclusionsIndividual calibration of wrist-worn accelerometry is recommended for effective habitual PA monitoring in this population.



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Kv4.2 channel activity controls intrinsic firing dynamics of arcuate kisspeptin neurons

Abstract

Kisspeptin neurons in the hypothalamus are critically involved in reproductive function, via their effect on GnRH neuron activity and consequent gonadotropin release. Kisspeptin neurons show an intrinsic irregularity of firing, but the mechanism of this remains unclear. To address this, we carried out targeted whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of kisspeptin neurons in the arcuate nucleus (Kiss1Arc), in brain slices isolated from adult male Kiss-Cre:tdTomato mice. Cells fired irregularly in response to constant current stimuli, with a wide range of spike time variability, and prominent subthreshold voltage fluctuations. In voltage-clamp, both a persistent sodium (NaP) current and a fast transient (A-type) potassium current were apparent, activating at potentials just below the threshold for spiking. These currents have also previously been described in irregular-spiking cortical interneurons, in which the A-type current, mediated by Kv4 channels, interacts with NaP current to generate complex dynamics of the membrane potential, and irregular firing. In Kiss1Arc neurons, A-type current was blocked by phrixotoxin, a specific blocker of Kv4.2/4.3 channels, and consistent expression of Kv4.2 transcripts was detected by single-cell RT-PCR. In addition, firing irregularity was correlated to the density of A-type current in the membrane. Using conductance injection, we demonstrated that adding Kv4-like potassium conductance (gKv4) to a cell produces a striking increase in firing irregularity, and excitability is reduced, while subtracting gKv4 has the opposite effects. Thus, we propose that Kv4 interacting dynamically with NaP, is a key determinant of the irregular firing behaviour of Kiss1Arc neurons, shaping their physiological function in gonadotropin release.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved



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Repeated measurement of MO2 in small aquatic organisms: a manual intermittent flow respirometer using off-the-shelf components

Measurement of rates of oxygen consumption (MO2) in small aquatic embryos or larvae (< 1mm) in response to altered environmental conditions has traditionally been challenging. Here, using modifications of a commercially available fluorescent optode flow-through cell (FTC: PreSens™ FTC-PSt3) and routine laboratory supplies (syringes, stopcocks, tubing), we have constructed a manual intermittent flow respirometer (MIFR) that allows measurement of MO2 in small numbers of individuals when sequentially exposed to different environmental conditions (e.g. changes in seawater pH) through a gravity-driven media replacement perfusion system. We first show that the FTC can be used in 'static' mode while incubating small numbers of embryos/larvae contained within the planar oxygen sensor (POS) chamber with Nitex filters. We then demonstrate the use of the MIFR by exposing larval echinoderms (Fellaster zelandiae, Evechinus chloroticus, Centrostephanus rodgersii) to seawater equilibrated with elevated CO2, and measured MO2 during acute and chronic exposure to hypercapnia. This MIFR method will allow investigators to address questions regarding the respiratory physiology of small aquatic animals, such as the thresholds for metabolic depression in embryonic and larval forms.



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Influence of age and gender on the phase and strength of the relation between heart period and systolic blood pressure spontaneous fluctuations

Aging affects baroreflex regulation. The effect of senescence on baroreflex control was assessed from spontaneous fluctuations of heart period (HP) and systolic arterial pressure (SAP) through the HP-SAP gain, while the HP-SAP phase and strength are usually disregarded. This study checks whether the HP-SAP phase and strength, as estimated respectively via the phase of the HP-SAP cross-spectrum (PhHP-SAP) and squared coherence function (K2HP-SAP), varies with age in healthy individuals and trends are gender-dependent. We evaluated 110 healthy volunteers (55 males) divided into five age subgroups (21-30; 31-40; 41-50; 51-60; 61-70 yr). Each subgroup was formed by 22 subjects (11 males). HP series was extracted from electrocardiogram and SAP from finger arterial pressure at supine resting (REST) and during active standing (STAND). PhHP-SAP and K2HP-SAP functions were sampled in low frequency (LF, from 0.04 to 0.15 Hz) and in high frequency (HF, above 0.15 Hz) bands. Both at REST and during STAND PhHP-SAP(LF) showed a negative correlation with age regardless of gender even though values were more negative in women. This trend was shown to be compatible with a progressive increase of the baroreflex latency with age. At REST K2HP-SAP(LF) decreased with age regardless of gender but during STAND the high values of K2HP-SAP(LF) were more preserved in men than women. At REST and during STAND the association of PhHP-SAP(HF) and K2HP-SAP(HF) with age was absent. The findings points to a greater instability of baroreflex control with age that seems to affect to a greater extent women than men.



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Long-duration bed rest modifies sympathetic neural recruitment strategies in males and females

To understand the impact of physical deconditioning with head-down tilt bed rest (HDBR) on the malleability of sympathetic discharge patterns, we studied a) baseline integrated muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA; microneurography) from 13 females participating in the WISE-2005 60-day HDBR study (Female, retrospective analysis), b) integrated MSNA and multi-unit action potential (AP) analysis in 13 males (Male) performed on data collected at baseline and during physiological stress imposed by end-inspiratory apnea, in a new 60-day HDBR study, and c) a repeatability study (Control, n = 6, retrospective analysis, 4 weeks between tests). Neither baseline integrated burst frequency nor incidence were altered with HDBR (both P>0.35). However, baseline integrated burst latency increased in both HDBR studies (Male: 1.35 ±0.02 to 1.39 ±0.02 s, P<0.01; Female: 1.23 ±0.02 to 1.29 ±0.02 s, P<0.01), while Controls exhibited no change across two visits (1.25 ±0.02 to 1.25 ±0.02 s, Group-by-Time Interaction: P=0.02). With the exception of increased AP latency (P=0.03), Male baseline AP data did not change with HDBR (all P>0.19). The change in AP frequency on going from baseline to apnea ( 94 ±25 to 317 ±55 AP/min, P<0.01), and the number of active sympathetic clusters per burst ( 0 ±0.2 to 1 ±0.2 clusters/burst, P=0.02), was greater post- compared to pre-HDBR. The change in total clusters with apnea was 0 ±0.5 pre- and 2 ±0.7 clusters post-HDBR (P=0.07). These data indicate that 60-days HDBR modified discharge characteristics in baseline burst latency and sympathetic neural recruitment during apneic stress.



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Cardiovascular response to prescribed detraining among recreational athletes.

Exercise-induced cardiac remodeling (EICR) and the attendant myocardial adaptations characteristic of the athlete's heart may regress during periods of exercise reduction or abstinence. The time course and mechanisms underlying this reverse remodeling, specifically the impact of concomitant plasma volume (PV) contraction on cardiac chamber size, remain incompletely understood. We therefore studied recreational runners (n=21, aged 34 ± 7 years; 48% male) who completed an 18-week training program (~7 h.w-1) culminating in the 2016 Boston Marathon after which total exercise exposure was confined to <2 h.w-1 (no single session >1 hour) for 8 weeks. Cardiac structure and function, exercise capacity, and PV were assessed at peak fitness (10-14 days before) and at 4- and 8-weeks post marathon. Mixed linear modeling adjusting for age, sex, VO2peak and marathon finish time was used to compare data across time points. Physiologic detraining was evidenced by serial reductions in treadmill performance. Two distinct phases of myocardial remodeling and hematologic adaptation were observed. After 4 weeks of detraining, there were significant reductions in PV ( -6.0%, P<0.01), left ventricular (LV) wall thickness ( -8.1%, <0.05), LV mass ( -10.3%, P<0.001), and right atrial area ( -8.2%, P<0.001). After 8 weeks of detraining, there was a significant reduction in right ventricle chamber size (end-diastolic area = -8.0%, P <0.05) without further concomitant reductions in PV or LV wall thickness. Abrupt reductions in exercise training stimulus result in a structure-specific time course of reverse cardiac remodeling that occurs largely independently of PV contraction.



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Neuronal dynamics supporting formation and recombination of cross-modal olfactory-tactile association in the rat hippocampal formation

The present study is aimed at describing some aspects of the neural dynamics supporting discrimination of olfactory-tactile paired-associated stimuli during acquisition of new pairs and during recombination of previously-learned pairs in the rat. To solve the task, animals have to identify one odor-texture (OT) combination associated with a food reward among three cups with overlapping elements. Previous experiments demonstrated that the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) is involved in the processes underlying OT acquisition while the dorsal hippocampus (DH) is selectively involved in the recombination processes. In the present study, local field potentials were recorded form the anterior piriform cortex (aPC), the LEC and the DH in freely moving rats performing these tasks. Signal analysis focused on theta (5-12 Hz) and beta band (15-40 Hz) oscillatory activities both in term of amplitude and synchrony. The results showed that cue sampling was associated with a significant increase in the beta band activity during the choice period in both the aPC and the LEC, and is modulated by level of expertise and animal's decision. In addition, this increase was significantly higher during the recombination when compared to the acquisition of the OT task, specifically when animals had to neglect the odor previously associated with the reward. Finally, a significant decrease in coherence in the theta band between LEC and DH was observed in the recombination but not in the acquisition task. These data point to specific neural signatures of simple and complex cross-modal sensory processing in the LEC-DH complex.



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Altered synaptic transmission and maturation of hippocampal CA1 neurons in a mouse model of human chr16p11.2 microdeletion

The pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental disorders is often expressed early in infancy and toddlerhood. Mouse models of syndromic disorders have provided insight regarding mechanisms of action, but most studies have focused on characterization in juveniles and adults. Insight into developmental trajectories, particularly related to circuit and synaptic function, likely will yield important information regarding disorder pathogenesis that leads to symptom progression. Chromosome 16p11.2 microdeletion is one of the most common copy number variations associated with a spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders. Yet, how haploinsufficiency of chr16p11.2 affects early synaptic maturation and function is unknown. To address this knowledge gap, the present study focused on three key components of circuit formation and function-basal synaptic transmission, local circuit function, and maturation of glutamatergic synapses -in developing hippocampal CA1 neurons in a chr16p11.2 microdeletion mouse model. The data demonstrate increased excitability, imbalance in excitation and inhibition, and accelerated maturation of glutamatergic synapses in heterozygous mutant CA1 neurons. Given the critical role of early synaptic development in shaping neuronal connectivity and circuitry formation, these newly identified synaptic abnormalities in chr16p11.2 microdeletion mice may alter the developmental trajectory and function of the developing brain.



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Robust mixture modeling reveals category-free selectivity in reward region neuronal ensembles

Classification of neurons into clusters based on their response properties is an important tool for gaining insight into neural computations. However, it remains unclear to what extent neurons fall naturally into discrete functional categories. We developed a Bayesian method that models the tuning properties of neural populations as a mixture of multiple types of task-relevant response patterns. We applied this method to data from several cortical and striatal regions in economic choice tasks. In all cases, neurons fell into only two clusters: one multiple selectivity cluster containing all cells driven by task variables of interest and another of no selectivity for those variables. The single cluster of task-sensitive cells argues against robust categorical tuning in these areas. The no selectivity cluster was unanticipated and raises important questions about what distinguishes these neurons and what role they play. Moreover, the ability to formally identify these non-selective cells allows for more accurate measurement of ensemble effects by excluding or appropriately down-weighting them in analysis. Our findings provide a valuable tool for analysis of neural data, challenge simple categorization schemes previously proposed for these regions, and place useful constraints on neurocomputational models of economic choice and control.



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Rhythmic arm cycling training improves walking and neurophysiological integrity in chronic stroke-the arms can give legs a helping hand in rehabilitation

Training locomotor pattern generating networks (CPGs) through arm and leg cycling improves walking in chronic stroke. These outcomes are presumed to result from enhanced interlimb connectivity and CPG function. The extent to which rhythmic arm training activates interlimb CPG networks for locomotion remains unclear and was assessed by studying chronic stroke participants before and after 5-weeks of arm cycling training. Strength was assessed bilaterally via maximal voluntary isometric contractions in the legs and hands. Muscle activation during arm cycling and transfer to treadmill walking were assessed in the more affected (MA) and less affected (LA) sides via surface electromyography. Changes to interlimb coupling during rhythmic movement were evaluated using modulation of cutaneous reflexes elicited by electrical stimulation of the superficial radial nerve at the wrist. Bilateral soleus stretch reflexes were elicited at rest and during 1Hz arm cycling. Clinical function tests assessed walking, balance and motor function. Results show significant changes in function and neurophysiological integrity. Training increased bilateral grip strength, force during MA plantarflexion and muscle activation. 'Normalization' of cutaneous reflex modulation was found during arm cycling. There was enhanced activity in the dorsiflexor muscles on the MA side during swing phase of walking. Enhanced interlimb coupling was shown by increased modulation of MA soleus stretch reflexes amplitudes during arm cycling after training. Clinical evaluations showed enhanced walking ability and balance. These results are consistent with training-induced changes in CPG function and interlimb connectivity and underscore the need for arm training in the functional rehabilitation of walking after neurotrauma.



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Response inhibition activates distinct motor cortical inhibitory processes

We routinely cancel pre-planned movements that are no longer required. If stopping is forewarned, proactive processes are engaged to selectively decrease motor cortex excitability. However, without advance information there is a non-selective reduction in motor cortical excitability. Here we examine modulation of human primary motor cortex inhibitory networks during response inhibition tasks with informative and uninformative cues using paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation. Long- and short-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI and SICI), indicative of GABAB- and GABAA-receptor mediated inhibition respectively, were examined from motor evoked potentials obtained in task-relevant and task-irrelevant hand muscles when response inhibition was preceded by informative and uninformative cues. When the participants (10 male and 8 female) were cued to stop only a subcomponent of the bimanual response, the remaining response was delayed, and the extent of delay was greatest in the more reactive context, when cues were uninformative. For LICI, inhibition was reduced in both muscles during all types of response inhibition trials compared with the pre-task resting baseline. When cues were uninformative and left hand responses were suddenly cancelled, task-relevant LICI positively correlated with response times of the responding right hand. In trials where left hand responding was highly probable or known (informative cues), task-relevant SICI was reduced compared when cued to rest, revealing a motor set indicative of responding. These novel findings indicate that the GABAB-receptor mediated pathway may set a default inhibitory tone according to task context, whereas the GABAA-receptor mediated pathways are recruited proactively with response certainty.



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Phasic and Tonic Cell Types in the Zebra Finch Auditory Caudal Mesopallium

The caudal mesopallium (CM) is a cortical-level area in the songbird auditory pathway where selective, invariant responses to familiar songs emerge. To characterize the cell types that perform this computation, we made whole-cell recordings from brain slices in juvenile zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) of both sexes. We found three groups of putatively excitatory neurons with distinct firing patterns. Tonic cells produced sustained responses to depolarizing step currents, phasic cells produced only a few spikes at the onset, and an intermediate group was also phasic but responded for up to a few hundred ms. Phasic cells had smaller dendritic fields, higher resting potentials, and strong low-threshold outward rectification. Pharmacological treatment with voltage-gated potassium channel antagonists 4-aminopyridine or α-dendrotoxin converted phasic to tonic firing. When stimulated with broadband currents, phasic cells fired coherently with frequencies up to 20-30 Hz, whereas tonic neurons were more responsive to frequencies around 0-10 Hz. The distribution of peak coherence frequencies was similar to the distribution of temporal modulation rates in zebra finch song. We reproduced these observations in a single-compartment biophysical model by varying cell size and the magnitude of a slowly inactivating, low-threshold potassium current (ILT). These data suggest that intrinsic dynamics in CM are matched to the temporal statistics of conspecific song.



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Reward activations and face fields in monkey cingulate motor areas

Several premotor areas have been identified within primate cingulate cortex, however their function is yet to be uncovered. Recent brain imaging work in humans revealed a topographic anatomo-functional overlap between feedback processing during exploratory behaviors and the corresponding body fields in the rostral cingulate motor area (RCZa), suggesting an embodied representation of feedback. In particular, a face field in RCZa processes juice feedback. Here we tested an extension of the embodied principle in which unexpected or relevant information obtained through the eye or the face would be processed by face fields in cingulate motor areas, and whether this applied to monkey cingulate cortex. We show that activations for juice reward, eye movement, eye blink, and tactile stimulation on the face overlap over two subfields within the cingulate sulcus likely corresponding to the rostral and caudal cingulate motor areas. This suggests that in monkeys as is the case in humans, behaviorally relevant information is processed through multiple cingulate body/effector maps.



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The influence of vertical disparity gradient and cue conflict on EEG omega complexity in Panum's limiting case

Using behavioral measures and ERP technique, researchers discovered at least two factors could influence the final perception of depth in Panum's limiting case, which are the vertical disparity gradient and the degree of cue conflict between 2D and 3D shapes. Although certain ERP components have been proved to be sensitive to the different levels of these two factors, some methodological limitations existed in this technique. In this study, we proposed that the omega complexity of EEG signal may serve as an important supplement of the traditional ERP technique. We found that the trials with lower vertical gradient disparity has lower omega complexity (i.e., higher global functional connectivity) of the occipital region, especially that of the right-occipital hemisphere. Moreover, for occipital omega complexity, the trials with low cue conflict have significantly larger omega complexity than those with medium and high cue conflict. It is also found that the electrodes located in the middle-line of occipital region (i.e., POz and Oz) are more crucial to the impact of different levels of cue conflict on omega complexity than the other electrodes located in the left- and right-occipital hemisphere. These evidences demonstrated that the EEG omega complexity could reflect distinct neural activities evoked by Panum's limiting case configurations with different levels of vertical disparity gradient and cue conflict. Besides, the influence of vertical disparity gradient and cue conflict on spatial omega complexity may be regional-dependent.



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BOLD temporal variability differentiates wakefulness from anesthesia-induced unconsciousness

Even though a number of findings, based on information content or information integration, are shown to define neural underpinnings characteristic of a conscious experience, the neurophysiological mechanism of consciousness is still poorly understood. Here, we investigated the brain activity and functional connectivity changes that occur in the isoflurane anesthetized unconscious state in contrast to the awake-state in rats (awake and/or anesthetized n=68 rats). We examined nine information measures previously shown to distinguish between conscious states; BOLD variability, functional connectivity strength, modularity, weighted modularity, efficiency, clustering coefficient, small-worldness, and spatial and temporal Lempel-Ziv complexity measure. We also identified modular membership, seed based network connectivity, and absolute and normalized power spectrums to assess the integrity of the BOLD functional networks between awake and anesthesia. fMRI BOLD variability and related absolute power were the only information measures significantly higher during the awake-state compared to isoflurane anesthesia across animals, and with varying levels of anesthesia, after correcting for motion and respiration confounds. Thus, we conclude that, at least under the specific conditions examined here, global measures of information integration/sharing do not properly distinguish the anesthetized state from wakefulness, and heightened overall, global and local, BOLD variability is the most reliable determinant of conscious brain activity relative to isoflurane anesthesia.



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Task dependence of odor discrimination: choosing between speed and accuracy

Odor discrimination is a complex task that may be improved by increasing sampling time to facilitate evidence accumulation. However, experiments testing this phenomenon in olfaction have produced conflicting results. To resolve this disparity Frederick et al. (Journal of Neuroscience 1797-16, 2017) conducted experiments that suggest that sampling time and performance are task-dependent. Their findings have implications for understanding olfactory processing and experimental design, specifically the effect of subtle differences in experimental design on study results.



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Distributed force feedback in the spinal cord and the regulation of limb mechanics

This review is an update on the role of force feedback from Golgi tendon organs in the regulation of limb mechanics during voluntary movement. Some current ideas about the role of force feedback are based on circuit motifs linking idealized systems of agonists, synergists and antagonistic muscles. Force feedback is widely distributed across the muscles of a limb and cannot be understood based on these circuit motifs. Muscle architecture similarly cannot be understood in terms of idealized systems. It is hypothesized that distributed force feedback better represents the complex mechanical interactions of muscles, including viscoelastic coupling and inertial coupling across joints and axes of rotation. Signals from Golgi tendon organs appear to represent the stresses in the musculosketal network born by muscle articulations, myofascial force transmission and inertial coupling. Together with the strains of muscle fascicles measured by length feedback from muscle spindle receptors, this integrated proprioceptive feedback represents the mechanical state of the musculoskeletal system. Within the spinal cord, force feedback has excitatory and inhibitory components that co-exist in various combinations based on motor task and integrated with length feedback at the pre-motoneuronal and motoneuronal levels. It is concluded that, in agreement with other investigators, that autogenic, excitatory force feedback contributes to propulsion and weight support. It is further concluded that coexistent inhibitory force feedback, together with length feedback, evolved to manage interjoint coordination in the face of destabilizing inertial forces and positive force feedback, as required by the accelerations and changing directions of both predator and prey.



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Done in 100 ms: Path-dependent visuomotor transformation in the human upper limb

A core assumption underlying mental chronometry is that more complex tasks increase cortical processing, prolonging reaction times. Here we show that increases in task complexity alter the magnitude, rather than the latency, of the output for a circuit that rapidly transforms visual information into motor actions. We quantified visual stimulus-locked responses (SLRs), which are changes in upper limb muscle recruitment that evolve at a fixed latency ~100 ms after novel visual stimulus onset. First, we studied the underlying reference frame of the SLR, by dissociating initial eye and hand position. Despite its quick latency, we found that the SLR was expressed in a hand-centric reference frame, suggesting that the circuit mediating the SLR integrated retinotopic visual information with body configuration. Next, we studied the influence of planned movement trajectory, requiring participants to prepare and generate curved or straight reaches in the presence of obstacles to attain the same visual stimulus. We found that SLR magnitude is also influenced by the planned movement trajectory to the same visual stimulus. Based on these results, we suggest that the circuit mediating the SLR lies in parallel to other well-studied corticospinal pathways. Although the fixed latency of the SLR precludes extensive cortical processing, inputs conveying information relating to task complexity, such as body configuration and planned movement trajectory, can pre-set nodes within the circuit underlying to the SLR to modulate its magnitude.



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Advances in stereotactic navigation for pelvic surgery

Abstract

Background

Stereotactic navigation could improve the quality of surgery for rectal cancer. Critical challenges related to soft tissue stereotactic pelvic navigation include the potential difference in patient anatomy between intraoperative lithotomy and preoperative supine position for imaging. The objective of this study was to determine the difference in patient anatomy, sacral tilt, and skin fiducial position between these different patient positions and to investigate the feasibility and optimal set-up for stereotactic pelvic navigation.

Methods

Four consecutive human anatomical specimens were submitted to repeated CT-scans in a supine and several degrees of lithotomy position. Patient anatomy, sacral tilt, and skin fiducial position were compared by means of an image computing platform. In two specimens, a 10-degree wedge was introduced to reduce the natural tilt of the sacrum during the shift from supine to lithotomy position. A simulation of laparoscopic and transanal surgical procedures was performed to assess the accuracy of the stereotactic navigation.

Results

An up-to-supracentimetric change in patient anatomy was noted between different patient positions. This observation was minimized through the application of a wedge. When switching from supine to another position, sacral retroversion occurred independent of the use of a wedge. There was considerable skin fiducial motion between different positions. Accurate stereotactic navigation was obtained with the least registration error (1.9 mm) when the position of the anatomical specimen was registered in a supine position with straight legs, without pneumoperitoneum, using a conventional CT-scan with an identical specimen positioning.

Conclusion

The change in patient anatomy is small during the sacral tilt induced by positional changes when using a 10-degree wedge, allowing for an accurate stereotactic surgical navigation. This opens up new promising opportunities to increase the quality of surgery for rectal cancer cases where it is difficult or impossible to identify and dissect along the anatomical planes.



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Robotic skills can be aided by laparoscopic training

Abstract

Background

General Surgery is currently the fastest growing specialty with regards to robotic surgical system utilization. Contrary to the experience in laparoscopy, simulator training for robotic surgery is not widely employed partly because robotic surgical simulators are expensive. We sought to determine the effect of a robotic simulation curriculum and whether robotic surgical skills could be derived from those psychomotor skills attained in laparoscopic training.

Methods

Twenty-seven trainees with no prior robotic experience and limited laparoscopy exposure were randomly assigned to one of three training groups: no simulator training, training on a fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery (FLS™) standard box trainer, and training on a robotic computer based simulator (da Vinci Skills Simulator™). Baseline robotic surgical skills were assessed on the clinical robot docked to a standard FLS trainer box on two tasks—intracorporeal knot tying and peg transfer. Subjects subsequently underwent four 1-h long training sessions in their assigned training environment over a course of several weeks. Robotic surgical skills were reassessed on the robot on the same two tasks used to assess skills prior to training.

Results

FLS training resulted in a greater score improvement than no training for both knot and peg scores. FLS training was also determined to result in greater score improvement than robotic simulator training for knot tying. There was no significant difference in peg transfer or knot tying scores when comparing robotic simulator training and no training.

Conclusions

Robotic surgical skills can be in part derived from psychomotor skills developed in a laparoscopic trainer, especially for complex skills such as intracorporeal knot tying. Acquisition of robotic surgical skills may be enhanced by practice on a laparoscopic simulator using the FLS curriculum. This may be especially helpful when a robotic simulator is not available or is poorly accessible.



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Predictors of upstage diagnosis after endoscopic resection of gastric low-grade dysplasia

Abstract

Background

The optimal management of precursor lesions such as gastric low-grade dysplasia is crucial in order to improve gastric cancer-related mortality. However, there are no universally accepted management guidelines regarding which lesions should be resected or should be monitored by follow-up visits.

Patients and methods

We retrospectively analyzed data from 1006 gastric low-grade dysplasia lesions that had been resected via endoscopic submucosal dissection. We also evaluated the endoscopic risk factors associated with upstage diagnosis from low-grade dysplasia to high-grade dysplasia or gastric cancer.

Results

The mean age of our patients was 63.7 ± 9.1 years and 70.3% of our study population included men. The predominant location and gross type of lesions was the lower third of the stomach (78.6%) and the elevated type (57.8%), respectively. The rates of pathological concordance, upstage, and downstage diagnosis were 85.3, 12.1, and 2.6%, respectively. Multivariate analysis, after adjusting for age and sex, showed that a lesion size ≥ 10 mm (Odds ratio [OR] 2.231; p = 0.003), erythema (OR 7.315; p < 0.001), nodularity (OR 5.589; p < 0.001), depression (OR 3.024; p = 0.002), and erosion (OR 7.680; p < 0.001) were all factors significantly associated with upstage diagnosis. Furthermore, an increasing number of risk factors was associated with an increasing frequency of upstage diagnosis; if there were no risk factors, then there was no upstage diagnosis.

Conclusions

This study identified several risk factors that were significantly associated with the upstage diagnosis of gastric low-grade dysplasia: lesion size ≥ 10 mm and a variety of surface changes (erythema, nodularity, depression, and erosion). Our data indicate that if there is no evidence of these endoscopic risk factors, then regular follow-up may be considered, according to the patient's combined comorbid conditions.



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Pharmacotherapies for apnoea of prematurity: Time to pause and consider targeted sex-specific strategies?

Abstract

Developmental plasticity in the neural network orchestrating respiratory control is such that pre-term birth is associated with the elaboration of dysrhythmic breathing patterns characterized by periodic suppression of the central drive to breathe, evoking recurrent respiratory pauses termed central apnoeas.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved



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Erol Başar, 1938–2017

It is our deep regret to announce Erol Başar's passing on the 28th of October 2017 in Istanbul.

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High density SNP and DArT-based genetic linkage maps of two closely related oil palm populations

Abstract

Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) is an outbreeding perennial tree crop with long breeding cycles, typically 12 years. Molecular marker technologies can greatly improve the breeding efficiency of oil palm. This study reports the first use of the DArTseq platform to genotype two closely related self-pollinated oil palm populations, namely AA0768 and AA0769 with 48 and 58 progeny respectively. Genetic maps were constructed using the DArT and SNP markers generated in combination with anchor SSR markers. Both maps consisted of 16 major independent linkage groups (2n = 2× = 32) with 1399 and 1466 mapped markers for the AA0768 and AA0769 populations, respectively, including the morphological trait "shell-thickness" (Sh). The map lengths were 1873.7 and 1720.6 cM with an average marker density of 1.34 and 1.17 cM, respectively. The integrated map was 1803.1 cM long with 2066 mapped markers and average marker density of 0.87 cM. A total of 82% of the DArTseq marker sequence tags identified a single site in the published genome sequence, suggesting preferential targeting of gene-rich regions by DArTseq markers. Map integration of higher density focused around the Sh region identified closely linked markers to the Sh, with D.15322 marker 0.24 cM away from the morphological trait and 5071 bp from the transcriptional start of the published SHELL gene. Identification of the Sh marker demonstrates the robustness of using the DArTseq platform to generate high density genetic maps of oil palm with good genome coverage. Both genetic maps and integrated maps will be useful for quantitative trait loci analysis of important yield traits as well as potentially assisting the anchoring of genetic maps to genomic sequences.



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Genetic and clinical data predict onset of cryoglobulinemia in HCV patients and cryoglobulins clearance



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Evaluating bevacizumab in combination with FOLFIRI after the failure of platinum-etoposide regimen in patients with advanced poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma: the PRODIGE 41 − BEVANEC randomized phase II study

Patients with gastroenteropancreatic (GEP), metastatic or locally advanced, non-resectable, grade 3 poorly-differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC) are treated with cisplatin (or carboplatin)-etoposide in first-line palliative chemotherapy (CT1). However, nearly all patients will develop resistance and there is no standard second-line treatment.

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Hydrolyzed Formula With Reduced Protein Content Supports Adequate Growth: A Randomized Controlled Non-Inferiority Trial

ABSTRACT Objective: A high protein content of non-hydrolyzed infant formula exceeding metabolic requirements can induce rapid weight gain and obesity. Hydrolyzed formula with too low protein (LP) content may result in inadequate growth. The aim of this study was to investigate non-inferiority of partial and extensively hydrolyzed formulas (pHF, eHF) with lower hydrolyzed protein content than conventionally, regularly used formulas, with or without synbiotics for normal growth of healthy term infants. Patients and Methods: In an European multi-centre, parallel, prospective, controlled, double-blind trial, 402 formula-fed infants were randomly assigned to four groups: LP-formulas (1.9 g protein/100 kcal) as pHF (i) with or (ii) without synbiotics, (iii) LP-eHF-formula with synbiotics, or (iv) regular protein eHF (2.3 g protein/100 kcal). 101 breastfed infants served as observational reference group. As primary endpoint, non-inferiority of daily weight gain during the first 4 months of life was investigated comparing the LP-group (i) to a regular protein eHF group (iv). Results: A comparison of daily weight gain in infants receiving LPpHF (2.15 g/d (CI [−0.18,inf.[) with infants receiving regular protein eHF showed non-inferior weight gain (- 3.5 g/d margin) (PP population). Non-inferiority was also confirmed for the other tested LP-formulas. Likewise, analysis of metabolic parameters and plasma amino acid concentrations demonstrated a safe and balanced nutritional composition. Energetic efficiency for growth (weight) was slightly higher in LPeHF+synbiotics compared to LPpHF+synbiotics. Conclusion: All tested hydrolyzed LP-formulas allowed normal weight gain without being inferior to regular protein eHF in the first 4 months of life. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov, NCT01143233. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Kirsten Beyer, MD, Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Immunology, Charité -Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany (e-mail: kirsten.beyer@charite.de). Received 6 February, 2017 Accepted 15 November, 2017 http://ift.tt/1pydFNc Identifier: NCT01143233. Funding: This study was funded by HiPP GmbH & Co. Vertrieb KG, Pfaffenhofen, Germany. Relevant conflicts of interests: BA received a travel reimbursement and honorarium from Allergopharma for active participation in a scientific seminar. NH has received speaker's honoraria from Nestle, Milupa, Hipp, Novolac and Baxter, is running studies for Nestle, Hipp and Winicker Norimed and is currently receiving a grant (No: 15378) from the Austrian National Bank "Jubilee Fund". EH received a travel reimbursement and honorarium from Nutricia and Milupa for his active participation in scientific seminars. Analyses of energetic efficacy of infant formulae by MF were performed within her research activity at the Dr. von Hauner Children's Hospital Munich. MF is now an employee of HiPP GmbH & Co. Vertrieb KG. AK has received honoraria from HiPP GmbH & Co. Vertrieb KG. BK is a member of the National Breastfeeding Committee and declares bias towards breastfeeding. The Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) of Munich Medical Centre and its employees BK and CH had scientific and educational collaboration with manufacturers of nutritional products for infants and children, primarily as part of research collaboration funded by the European Commission, the European Research Council and also with German government funding. The work performed at LMU and reported in this manuscript has been financially supported in part by Hipp. BK does not report a conflict of interest which would represent "a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgement or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest", as defined by the US Institute of Medicine. UW received Speaker's fees: ALK, Allergopharma, Stallergenes, Nutricia, Nestle, FAES Pharma; Consultation fees: ALK, Allergopharma, Stallergenes, Novartis, Danone, Hipp, MEDA, Biomay KB has no direct conflict of interest. However, she reports grants and personal fees outside the submitted work from the European Union, German Research Foundation, Danone Research, Nestle, ThermoFisher Scientific, DST Diagnostic, Hycor, DBV, Aimmune, Meda Pharma, ALK, Bausch & Lomb, Novartis, Unilever, Allergopharma, HAL, and MedUpdate. Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text, and links to the digital files are provided in the HTML text of this article on the journal's Web site (www.jpgn.org). © 2017 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,

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Long-term Results and Quality of Life Assessment in Biliary Atresia Patients: A 35-Year Experience in a Tertiary Hospital

ABSTRACT Objectives: To review long-term transplant-free survival and quality of life of patients with biliary atresia. Methods: A retrospective study reviewing all patients with Kasai operation between 1 January 1980 and 31 December 2015 was performed to evaluate the transplant-free survival. Subgroup analysis of patients over 20 years old was carried out to assess the quality of life using the Short Form-36 Health Survey and incidences of disease-related complications. Comparison between patients with native and transplanted liver was performed using two-tailed independent samples t-test (p-value 

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Yield of Endoscopic Ultrasound in Children and Adolescent with Acute Recurrent Pancreatitis

ABSTRACT Objectives: Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is an established tool for evaluation of adults with acute recurrent pancreatitis (ARP) while data in pediatrics is limited. Our study assessed the role of EUS in identifying etiology including changes of chronic pancreatitis (CP) in children and adolescents with ARP. Methods: Children with ARP (≥2 episodes of acute pancreatitis) were prospectively evaluated with a detailed clinical proforma and EUS. Subjects with known etiology of ARP or CP on ultrasonography/computed tomography and magnetic resonance cholangio-pancreatography (MRCP, Cambridge grade ≥3) were excluded. Parenchymal and ductal changes on EUS as per minimal standards terminology features were noted. Results: 32 children (22 boys, age 14 [8–18] years) with ARP (median of 3[2–5] episodes of AP) were enrolled. EUS was safe and technically successful in all. GB sludge was found in 1 (3%) case and none had other pancreatobiliary structural abnormalities. EUS diagnosis of CP (≥4 features) was made in 10/32 (31%) cases. Subjects with CP on EUS had a longer disease duration than those without CP (45 [10–97] vs 22 [8–78] months; p = ns). MRCP was normal in 28 and showed pancreas divisum in 1 case. Three cases had equivocal (Cambridge II) changes at initial MRCP and 2 of them had repeat MRCP which showed definite (Cambridge IV) CP. All these 3 cases had CP on EUS. Conclusions: EUS diagnosed CP (≥4 features) in 31% and biliary abnormality in 3% children with ARP. EUS is safe, sensitive and useful for early diagnosis of CP in children with ARP. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Prof. Surender K. Yachha, MD, DM, Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow- 226014, Uttar Pradesh, India (e-mail: skyachha@yahoo.co.in). Received 6 September, 2017 Accepted 16 November, 2017 Funding source: No funding was secured for this study. Conflict of interest: none of the authors have any conflict of interest Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text, and links to the digital files are provided in the HTML text of this article on the journal's Web site (www.jpgn.org). © 2017 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,

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Corticosteroids for Preventing Caustic Esophageal Strictures: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

ABSTRACT Objectives: Caustic ingestion can have a complicated clinical course. Corticosteroids are widely used but there is uncertainty about its role in preventing esophageal stricture formation following caustic ingestion. This systematic review and meta-analysis assessed the available clinical evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of corticosteroids for preventing esophageal strictures following caustic injury. Methods: We assessed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared corticosteroids versus no corticosteroids in the prevention of esophageal stricture formation following caustic ingestion. We searched the following databases from inception to March 2017: PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Two reviewers retrieved eligible articles, assessed risk of bias, and performed data extraction. The main outcome measure was the prevention of esophageal stricture formation. Results: The search identified 763 citations. Three RCTs involving 244 participants met the inclusion criteria. There was no benefit of corticosteroids in the prevention of esophageal strictures following the ingestion of caustic materials (RR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.29–1.37). Conclusions: The available evidence does not support the use of corticosteroids for the prevention of esophageal strictures following caustic ingestion. The overall quality of the evidence is limited due to methodological weaknesses and small sample sizes in the primary studies. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Professor Anthony K. Akobeng, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Sidra Medical and Research Center, P O Box 26999, Doha, Qatar (e-mail: aakobeng@sidra.org). Received 19 October, 2017 Accepted 19 November, 2017 Conflict of interest and source funding: None declared Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text, and links to the digital files are provided in the HTML text of this article on the journal's Web site (www.jpgn.org). © 2017 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,

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The Role of Combination Therapy in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): A Clinical Report from the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

ABSTRACT The treatment goal for children suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been evolving with biologic therapies like anti-TNF agents assuming a more central role in treatment of more aggressive and extensive phenotype. Earlier introduction of anti-TNF agents have shown to be more effective and may even alter the natural history of IBD. However, development of anti-drug antibodies (ADA) limits long term usage and leads to dose adjustment in almost half of patients treated with these medications. One of the strategies to minimize the development of ADA has been concomitant use of immunomodulator (IM) medications, resulting in fewer infusion reactions and sustained trough levels, potentially lowering the need for dose adjustments. However, balanced with these benefits of optimized dosing and likely more sustained response, is the concern about increased risk of complications, such as infections and malignancies. The current manuscript reviews the available pediatric literature regarding efficacy, safety and side effect profile of combination (IM and biologics) therapy in pediatric Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, with particular emphasis on cost constraints, and recommendations for selection of patients who would benefit most from combination therapy. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Professor Andrew S. Day, Department of Paediatrics, University of Otago, Christchurch, P.O. Box 4345, Christchurch, 8140, New Zealand (e-mail: andrew.day@otago.ac.nz). Received 28 June, 2016 Accepted 17 November, 2017 The authors report no conflicts of interest. © 2017 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,

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Safety of Appetite Manipulation in Children with Feeding Disorders Admitted to an Inpatient Feeding Program

ABSTRACT Objectives: Appetite manipulation can be effective in weaning children off gastrostomy tube (G-tube) feeding dependence but can cause dehydration, hypoglycemia and ketone body production, which is anorexigenic. Since the safety of this approach has not been described, our aim was to describe adverse events observed when weaning children from G-tube dependence using our appetite manipulation protocol. Methods: This was a retrospective study of prospectively collected data of patients who completed our inpatient tube-weaning protocol. Daily safety parameters included twice-daily urine specific gravities and urine ketones and fasting capillary blood glucose. Graded clinical interventions to manage adverse events were collected. Results: 143 children with a mean age of 4.8 ± 2.4 years were seen in the inpatient feeding program of which 74 (51.7%) were male. The children were hospitalized 10.1 ± 2.5 days with the vast majority being discharged between days 11 and 14. Overall, 78.2% of patients experienced at least one adverse event: urine specific gravity > 1.020 was seen in 60.5%, ketonuria in 48.9%, and hypoglycemia (≤60 mg/dL) in 13.4%. Only two children had blood glucose levels 

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Celiac Disease by The Age of 13 Years is Not Associated With Probiotics Administration in Infancy

ABSTRACT Probiotics are theoretically promising in primary prevention of celiac disease (CD), but research evidence on the topic is scarce. We used the data and material of a clinical double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial on primary allergy prevention (n = 1223) to investigate in an exploratory study whether administration of a mix of pro- and prebiotics during late pregnancy and first 6 months of life was associated with prevalence of CD during 13-year follow-up. Children who fulfilled diagnostic criteria for CD (n = 11) and subjects with a serum sample available for analyzing CD-antibodies (n = 867) were included. CD or elevated tissue transglutaminase IgA antibodies were not associated with probiotics or placebo. Nor were there any associations with the mode of delivery, the duration of exclusive or total breastfeeding or respiratory infections during the first 2 years of life. Allergic diseases or sensitization by the age of 2 or 5 years were not clearly associated with the development of CD. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Emma Merike Savilahti, Biomedicum 1, POB 700, 00029 HUS (Helsinki) Finland (e-mail: emma.savilahti@hus.fi). Received 21 September, 2017 Accepted 15 November, 2017 Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: The authors declare no conflict of interest. The study was funded by Helsinki University Central Hospital research funds and the Foundation for Pediatric Research. © 2017 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,

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Splenda® in the Milk: Hitting the Sweet Spot

No abstract available

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Faecal Calprotectin; What Does this Mean for the Paediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Phenotype?

No abstract available

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Familial Association of Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor Autoantibodies in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

ABSTRACT Objectives: Elevated Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor auto-antibodies (GM-CSF Ab) are associated with increased intestinal permeability and stricturing behavior in Crohn's Disease (CD). We tested for familial association of serum GM-CSF Ab level in CD and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) families. Methods: Serum GM-CSF Ab concentration was determined in 230 pediatric CD probands and 404 of their unaffected parents and siblings, and 45 UC probands and 71 of their unaffected parents and siblings. A linear mixed effects model was used to test for familial association. The Intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to determine the degree of association of the serum GM-CSF Ab level within families in comparison to the degree of association among families. Results: The median (IQR) serum GM-CSF Ab concentration was higher in CD probands than in UC probands (1.5(0.5,5.4) mcg/mL versus 0.7(0.3,1.6) mcg/mL, p = 0.0002). The frequency of elevated serum GM-CSF Ab concentration ≥ 1.6 mcg/mL was increased in unaffected siblings of CD probands with elevated GM-CSF Ab, compared to unaffected siblings of CD probands without elevated GM-CSF Ab (33% versus 13%, respectively, p = 0.04). A similar result was observed within UC families. In families of CD patients, the mean (95th CI) ICC was equal to 0.153 (0.036,0.275), p = 0.001, while in families of UC patients, the mean (95th CI) ICC was equal to 0.27(0.24,0.31), p = 0.047. Conclusions: These data confirmed familial association of serum GM-CSF Ab levels. This could be accounted for by either genetic or environmental factors shared within the family. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Lee A. Denson, MD, MLC 2010, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3026 (E-mail: lee.denson@cchmc.org). Received 7 October, 2016 Accepted 10 August, 2017 Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text, and links to the digital files are provided in the HTML text of this article on the journal's Web site (www.jpgn.org). Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding. Dr. Denson has received research support from Janssen to study GM-CSF Ab. This work was supported by NIH/NIDDK via R01DK078683 (LAD), R01DK098231 (LAD & SK), and T32 DK007727 (SSW and AT). Word count: 3226; two tables and two figures Author Contributions: Sandra S. Wright, MD: study design, data acquisition, drafting of the work, and final approval. Anna Trauernicht, MD: study design, data acquisition, revising of the work, and final approval. Erin Bonkowski, BA: data acquisition, revising of the work, and final approval. Courtney A. McCall, BS: data acquisition, revising of the work, and final approval. Elizabeth A. Maier, BS: data acquisition, revising of the work, and final approval. Ramona Bezold, BSN: data acquisition, revising of the work, and final approval. Kathleen Lake, MSW: data acquisition, revising of the work, and final approval. Claudia Chalk, BS: data acquisition, revising of the work, and final approval. Bruce C. Trapnell, MD: study design, data interpretation, revising of the work, and final approval. Mi-Ok Kim, PhD: study design, data analysis & interpretation, revising of the work, and final approval. Subra Kugathasan, MD: study design, data interpretation, revising of the work, and final approval. Lee A. Denson, MD: study design, data interpretation, revising of the work, and final approval. © 2017 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,

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Comment on “Indoor terrestrial gamma dose rate mapping in France: A case study using two different geostatistical models” by Warnery et al. (J. Environ. Radioact. 2015, 139, 140–148)

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Publication date: Available online 6 December 2017
Source:Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
Author(s): G.M. Kendall, M.P. Little, R. Wakeford




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Response to comment on "Indoor terrestrial gamma dose rate mapping in France: A case study using two different geostatistical models" by Warnery et al.

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Publication date: Available online 6 December 2017
Source:Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
Author(s): F. Marquant, C. Demoury, G. Ielsch, D. Laurier, D. Hémon, J. Clavel
Elements to answer the points raised in the Letter in question are proposed, notably about exposure metrics and their influence on the results and statistical power of epidemiological studies.



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Mapping of radiation anomalies using UAV mini-airborne gamma-ray spectrometry

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Publication date: February 2018
Source:Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Volume 182
Author(s): Ondřej Šálek, Milan Matolín, Lubomír Gryc
Localization of size-limited gamma-ray anomalies plays a fundamental role in uranium prospecting and environmental studies. Possibilities of a newly developed mini-airborne gamma-ray spectrometric equipment were tested on a uranium anomaly near the village of Třebsko, Czech Republic. The measurement equipment was based on a scintillation gamma-ray spectrometer specially developed for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) mounted on powerful hexacopter. The gamma-ray spectrometer has two 103 cm3 BGO scintillation detectors of relatively high sensitivity. The tested anomaly, which is 80 m by 40 m in size, was investigated by ground gamma-ray spectrometric measurement in a detail rectangular measurement grid. Average uranium concentration is 25 mg/kg eU attaining 700 mg/kg eU locally. The mini-airborne measurement across the anomaly was carried out on three 100 m long parallel profiles at eight flight altitudes from 5 to 40 m above the ground. The resulting 1 s 1024 channel gamma-ray spectra, recorded in counts per second (cps), were processed to concentration units of K, U and Th, while total count (TC) was reported in cps. Increased gamma ray intensity of the anomaly was indicated by mini-airborne measurement at all profiles and altitudes, including the highest altitude of 40 m, at which the recorded intensity is close to the natural radiation background. The reported instrument is able to record data with comparable quality as standard airborne survey, due to relative sensitive detector, lower flight altitude and relatively low flight speed of 1 m/s. The presented experiment brings new experience with using unmanned semi-autonomous aerial vehicles and the latest mini-airborne radiometric instrument. The experiment has demonstrated the instrument's ability to localize size-limited uranium anomalies.



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Rapid and irreversible sorption behavior of 7Be assessed to evaluate its use as a catchment sediment tracer

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Publication date: February 2018
Source:Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Volume 182
Author(s): N. Ryken, B. Al-Barri, W. Blake, A. Taylor, F.M.G. Tack, E. Van Ranst, S. Bodé, P. Boeckx, A. Verdoodt
Beryllium-7 (7Be) has been used as a sediment tracer to evaluate soil redistribution rates at hillslopes and as a tool to estimate sediment residence time in river systems. A key assumption for the use of 7Be as a sediment tracer is the rapid and irreversible sorption of 7Be upon contact with the soil particles. However, recent studies have raised questions about the validity of these assumptions. Seven soil types were selected to assess the adsorption rate of 7Be on the soil particles, subsequently an extraction experiment was performed to assess the rate of desorption. Next, different treatments were applied to assess the impact of soil pH, fertilizer, humic acid and organic matter on the adsorption of Be. Finally, the influence of regularly occurring cations present on the soil complex on the adsorption of Be on pure clay minerals was evaluated. The adsorption rate experiment showed a rapid and nearly complete sorption of Be for Luvisols and Cambisols under agriculture. For a temperate climate Stagnosol under forest and two highly weathered tropical Ferralsols sorption of Be was less rapid and less complete. This may result in an incomplete adsorption of 7Be on these three soils when runoff initiates, which could lead to an overestimation of erosion rates and sediment residence time. Additional observations were made during the extraction experiment, showing a significant loss of Be from the forest Stagnosol and a stable binding of Be to the arable soils. Of the different treatments applied, only pH showed to be of influence. Finally, Ca2+ and NH4+ on the soil complex had only a limited effect on the adsorption of Be, while Al3+ in combination with a low pH inhibits the adsorption of Be on the exchange complex of the pure clay minerals. All these findings more rigorously support the use of 7Be as a soil redistribution tracer in arable soils in a temperate climate at a hillslope scale. The use of 7Be in highly weathered Ferralsols or forest rich environments should be limited to avoid overestimations of erosion rates. The spatially extended use of 7Be to evaluate residence times of sediments should be avoided in catchments with rapid changing environmental parameters as they might influence the sorption behavior of 7Be.



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Kinetics of 3H, 90Sr and 137Cs content changes in hydrosphere in the Vltava River system (Czech Republic)

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Publication date: Available online 6 December 2017
Source:Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
Author(s): Eduard Hanslík, Diana Marešová, Eva Juranová, Barbora Sedlářová
The paper presents results and interpretation of long-term monitoring of occurrence and behaviour of radioisotopes 3H, 90Sr, and 137Cs in the vicinity of the Temelín Nuclear Power Plant. 3H, 90Sr, and 137Cs originate predominantly from residual contamination due to atmospheric nuclear weapons tests and the Chernobyl disaster in the last century. Monitoring of radionuclides comprised surface waters, river sediments, aquatic plants, and fish. This enables an up-to-date appraisal of the Temelín Nuclear Power Plant impact on the hydrosphere in all indicators at standard power plant operation, as well as at critical situations. The time and spatial variability of these radionuclide concentrations were monitored in the hydrosphere at in- and out-flow of the Orlík Water Reservoir. The basic evaluated radioecological characteristics can be used in assessing the long-term kinetics of decline and behaviour of radionuclides and their potential release into the environment. A very slow decline in 3H concentration at unaffected sites was observed. At sites downstream from the power plant the 3H concentrations were significantly higher, an evident impact of the power plant operation. A decline in 90Sr and 137Cs concentrations was observed in all the monitored indicators. Also, the characteristic effective and ecological half-lives were evaluated.



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6 Bleeding control products to assist prehospital treatment

Find important bleeding control products that can be used for incidents involving a single patient to dozens of casualties

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911 calls in Sonoma County wildfires released

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The 911 calls made during the Sonoma County wildfires were released.

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911 calls in Sonoma County wildfires released

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The 911 calls made during the Sonoma County wildfires were released.

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911 calls in Sonoma County wildfires released

AP_17284110695170.jpg

The 911 calls made during the Sonoma County wildfires were released.

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911 calls in Sonoma County wildfires released

AP_17284110695170.jpg

The 911 calls made during the Sonoma County wildfires were released.

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Nasolacrimal anatomy and haplorhine origins

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Publication date: January 2018
Source:Journal of Human Evolution, Volume 114
Author(s): James B. Rossie, Timothy D. Smith, K. Christopher Beard, Marc Godinot, Timothy B. Rowe
Computed tomography X-ray imaging of the internal face in well-preserved primate fossil crania permits reconstruction of the nature of their nasal anatomy, including some soft-tissue features. These features are diagnostic of the primate suborder Haplorhini, and allow reevaluation of the phylogenetic status of several purported early members of the group. Here we examine the nasolacrimal morphology of a broad sample of extant primates, as well as a number of Paleogene fossils. The extant sample confirms the distinctiveness of the two suborders. Of the fossils studied, only Shoshonius cooperi from the late-early Eocene exhibits evidence of a haplorhine nose. This suggests that the haplorhine oronasal complex may have evolved before the postorbital septum, and strengthens the claim that Shoshonius is a close relative of tarsiers and anthropoids. These results indicate that Omomyiformes is not a monophyletic group, and that few of its members possessed the derived oronasal morphology that characterizes crown haplorhines.



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Emu Oil Improves Clinical Indicators of Disease in a Mouse Model of Colitis-Associated Colorectal Cancer

Abstract

Background/Aims

Ulcerative colitis is a remitting and relapsing inflammatory bowel disorder. Current treatments are limited, and if poorly controlled, colitis may progress to colorectal cancer. Previously, Emu Oil protected the intestine in experimental models of gut damage. We aimed to determine whether Emu Oil could reduce the severity of chronic colitis and prevent the onset of neoplasia in a mouse model of colitis-associated colorectal cancer.

Methods

Female C57BL/6 mice were injected (day 0) with azoxymethane, followed by ad libitum access to three dextran sulfate sodium/water cycles (7 days of dextran sulfate sodium and 14 days of water). Mice (n = 9/group) were orally administered either water or Emu Oil (low dose 80 µL or high dose 160 µL), thrice weekly for 9 weeks. Bodyweight and disease activity index were measured daily. Colitis progression was monitored by colonoscopy on days 20, 41 and 62. At killing, tumor number and size were recorded.

Results

Azoxymethane/dextran sulfate sodium induced significant bodyweight loss (maximum 24%) which was attenuated by Emu Oil treatment (low dose days 9, 10, 14: maximum 7%; high dose days 7–15, 30–36: maximum 11%; p < 0.05). Emu Oil reduced disease activity index of azoxymethane/dextran sulfate sodium mice at most time points (maximum 20%; p < 0.05). Additionally, Emu Oil reduced colonoscopically assessed colitis severity (days 20 and 62) compared to disease controls (p < 0.05). Finally, in azoxymethane/dextran sulfate sodium mice, low-dose Emu Oil resulted in fewer small colonic tumors (p < 0.05) compared to controls.

Conclusions

Emu Oil improved clinical indicators and reduced severity of colitis-associated colorectal cancer, suggesting therapeutic potential in colitis management.



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Reliability of a semi-automated algorithm for the vastus lateralis muscle architecture measurement based on ultrasound images

Abstract

Purpose

The assessment of muscle architecture with B-mode ultrasound is an established method in muscle physiology and mechanics. There are several manual, semi-automated and automated approaches available for muscle architecture analysis from ultrasound images or videos. However, most approaches have limitations such as workload, subjectivity, drift or they are applicable to short muscle fascicles only. Addressing these issues, an algorithm was developed to analyse architectural parameters of the vastus lateralis muscle (VL).

Methods

In 17 healthy young men and women, ultrasound images were taken five times on two different days during passive knee joint flexion. From the images, fascicle length (FL), pennation angle (PAN) and muscle thickness (MTH) were calculated for both test days using the algorithm. Interday differences were determined using a two-way ANOVA. Interday and intraday reliability were assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and root mean square (RMS) differences.

Results

FL, MTH and PAN did not differ between day one and two. The within day ICCs were above 0.94 for all tested parameters. The average interday ICCs were 0.86 for the FL, 0.96 for MTH and 0.60 for PAN. The average RMS differences between both days were 5.0%, 8.5% and 12.0% for MTH, FL and PAN, respectively.

Conclusion

The proposed algorithm provides high measurement reliability. However, the interday reliability might be influenced by small differences in probe position between days.



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Type 2 diabetes specifically attenuates purinergic skin vasodilatation without affecting muscarinic and nicotinic skin vasodilatation and sweating

Abstract

The present study evaluated whether type 2 diabetes (T2D) attenuates muscarinic and/or nicotinic cutaneous vasodilatation and sweating as well as purinergic cutaneous vasodilatation. Cutaneous vascular conductance and sweat rate were evaluated in 12 healthy nondiabetic older adults (Control, 60 ± 8 years) and 13 older adults with T2D (62 ± 10 years) at three intradermal forearm skin sites perfused with the following: 1) methacholine (muscarinic receptor agonist, 5 doses: 0.0125, 0.25, 5, 100, 2000 mm), 2) nicotine (nicotinic receptor agonist, 5 doses: 1.2, 3.6, 11, 33, 100 mm), or 3) ATP (purinergic receptor agonist, 5 doses: 0.03, 0.3, 3, 30, 300 mm). Each agonist was administered for 25 min per dose. At the end of the protocol, 50 mm sodium nitroprusside was administered to all skin sites to elicit maximum cutaneous vasodilatation. Cutaneous vascular conductance during methacholine and nicotine administration did not differ between groups (all P > 0.05). By contrast, cutaneous vascular conductance during administration of 30 mm (42 ± 28 vs. 63 ± 26 %max, P ≤ 0.05) and 300 mm ATP (56 ± 24 vs. 71 ± 20 %max, P ≤ 0.05) was attenuated in individuals with T2D in comparison to the Control participants. Further, cutaneous vascular conductance during administration of 50 mm sodium nitroprusside was lower in individuals with T2D relative to Control (P = 0.04). Methacholine- and nicotine-induced sweating was similar between groups (all P > 0.05). Thus, T2D attenuates purinergic mediated cutaneous vasodilatation without affecting muscarinic and nicotinic cutaneous vascular and sweating responses.

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Phelan-McDermid syndrome and cancer predisposition: The value of a karyotype



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Auditory evoked potentials in children and adolescents with Down syndrome

Down syndrome, or trisomy 21, is the most common genetic alteration in humans. The syndrome presents with several features, including hearing loss and changes in the central nervous system, which may affect language development in children and lead to school difficulties. The present study aimed to investigate group differences in the central auditory system by long-latency auditory evoked potentials and cognitive potential. An assessment of 23 children and adolescents with Down syndrome was performed, and a control group composed of 43 children and adolescents without genetic and/or neurological changes was used for comparison. All children underwent evaluation with pure tone and vocal audiometry, acoustic immitance measures, long-latency auditory evoked potentials, and cognitive potential. Longer latencies of the waves were found in the Down syndrome group than the control group, without significant differences in amplitude, suggesting that individuals with Down syndrome have difficulty in discrimination and auditory memory. It is, therefore, important to stimulate and monitor these children in order to enable adequate development and improve their life quality. We also emphasize the importance of the application of auditory evoked potentials in clinical practice, in order to contribute to the early diagnosis of hearing alterations and the development of more research in this area.



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Intrafamilial variability in the clinical manifestations of mucopolysaccharidosis type II: Data from the Hunter Outcome Survey (HOS)

Several cases of phenotypic variability among family members with mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPS II) have been reported, but the data are limited. Data from patients enrolled in the Hunter Outcome Survey (HOS) were used to investigate intrafamilial variability in male siblings with MPS II. As of July 2015, data were available for 78 patients aged ≥5 years at last visit who had at least one affected sibling (39 sibling pairs). These patients were followed prospectively (i.e., they were alive at enrollment in HOS). The median age at the onset of signs and symptoms was the same for the elder and younger brothers (2.0 years); however, the younger brothers were typically diagnosed at a younger age than the elder brothers (median age, 2.5 and 5.1 years, respectively). Of the 39 pairs, eight pairs were classified as being discordant (the status of four or more signs and symptoms differed between the siblings); 21 pairs had one, two, or three signs and symptoms that differed between the siblings, and 10 pairs had none. Regression status of the majority of the developmental milestones studied was generally concordant among siblings. Functional classification, a measure of central nervous system involvement, was the same in 24/28 pairs, although four pairs were considered discordant as functional classification differed between the siblings. Overall, this analysis revealed similarity in the clinical manifestations of MPS II among siblings. This information should help to improve our understanding of the clinical presentation of the disease, including phenotype prediction in affected family members.



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Distribution of cardiac sodium channels in clusters potentiates ephaptic interactions in the intercalated disc

Abstract

It has been proposed that ephaptic interactions in intercalated discs, mediated by extracellular potentials, contribute to cardiac impulse propagation when gap junctional coupling is reduced. However, experiments demonstrating ephaptic effects on the cardiac Na+ current (INa) are scarce. Furthermore, Na+ channels form clusters around gap junction plaques, but the electrophysiological significance of these clusters has never been investigated. In patch clamp experiments with HEK cells stably expressing human Nav1.5 channels, we examined how restricting the extracellular space modulates INa elicited by an activation protocol. In parallel, we developed a high-resolution computer model of the intercalated disc to investigate how the distribution of Na+ channels influences ephaptic interactions. Approaching the HEK cells to a non-conducting obstacle always increased peak INa at step potentials near the threshold of INa activation and decreased peak INa at step potentials far above threshold (7 cells, P = 0.0156, Wilcoxon signed rank test). These effects were consistent with corresponding control simulations with a uniform Na+ channel distribution. In the intercalated disc computer model, redistributing the Na+ channels into a central cluster of the disc potentiated ephaptic effects. Moreover, ephaptic impulse transmission from one cell to another was facilitated by clusters of Na+ channels facing each other across the intercellular cleft when gap junctional coupling was reduced. In conclusion, our proof-of-principle experiments demonstrate that confining the extracellular space modulates cardiac INa, and our simulations reveal the functional role of the aggregation of Na+ channels in the perinexus. These findings highlight novel concepts in the physiology of cardiac excitation.

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Ca2+ and lipid signals hold hands at ER-plasma membrane contact sites

Abstract

Discovery of the STIM1 and Orai proteins as the principal components of store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) has drawn attention to contact sites between the ER and the plasma membrane (PM). Such contacts between adjacent membranes of different cellular organelles, primarily between the mitochondria and the ER, had already been known as the sites where Ca2+ released from the ER can be efficiently channeled to the mitochondria and also where phosphatidylserine synthesis and transfer takes place. Recent studies have identified contact sites between virtually every organelle and the ER and the functional importance of these small specialized membrane domains is increasingly recognized. Most recent developments have highlighted the role of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI4P) gradients as critical determinants of the non-vesicular transport of various lipids from the ER to other organelles, such as the Golgi or PM. As we learn more about membrane contact sites it becomes apparent that Ca2+ is not only transported at these sites but also controls both the dynamics and the lipid transfer efficiency of these processes. Conversely, lipids are critical for regulating the Ca2+ entry process. This review will summarize some of the most exciting recent developments in this rapidly expanding research field.

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Usefulness of indocyanine green fluorescence imaging: A case of laparoscopic distal gastrectomy after distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy

Abstract

Safe preservation of the remnant stomach during distal gastrectomy in patients who have undergone distal pancreatectomy is important. During distal pancreatectomy, the splenic artery that supplies arterial blood to the cardiac part of stomach is resected. Previous reports suggested that blood flow to the remnant stomach may be insufficient when supplied by only the left inferior phrenic artery. In the present case, a 79-year-old woman who underwent distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy 20 years before she was diagnosed with gastric cancer and referred to our hospital. We performed laparoscopic distal gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y reconstruction because preoperative CT scan indicated a developed left inferior phrenic artery. To evaluate the blood supply, we employed indocyanine green fluorescence and were able to safely preserve the remnant stomach. Our experience suggests that indocyanine green fluorescence is potentially useful for evaluating blood flow to the remnant stomach.



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Mapping upper-limb motor performance after stroke - a novel method with utility for individualized motor training

Chronic upper limb motor impairment is a common outcome of stroke. Therapeutic training can reduce motor impairment. Recently, a growing interest in evaluating motor training provided by robotic assistive devi...

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A multisession evaluation of an adaptive competitive arm rehabilitation game

People with neurological injuries such as stroke should exercise frequently and intensely to regain their motor abilities, but are generally hindered by lack of motivation. One way to increase motivation in re...

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Recreational football practice attenuates postprandial lipaemia in normal and overweight individuals

Abstract

Introduction

The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of playing football on postprandial lipaemia in normal and overweight individuals.

Methods

Fifteen (7 normal weight, age = 32.3 ± 6.0 years, BMI = 22.8 ± 3.4 kg/m2 and 8 overweight, age = 33.3 ± 5.5 years, BMI = 29.2 ± 3.2 kg/m2, mean ± SD) recreational football players were recruited. On the evening of day 1, participants played a 60-min 9-a-side football match (FOOT) or rested (control; CON) in a randomised counterbalanced cross-over design. Activity profile, heart rate and rate of perceived exertion were recorded. The next morning (> 10 h after the match), blood samples were collected before (0), 0.75, 2, 4, and 6 h after a high-fat meal.

Results

Total area under the curve for triglycerides were 22% and 28% lower for the normal weight (p < 0.01; 95% CI − 2.45 to − 0.68; ES = 0.87) and overweight (p < 0.01; 95% CI − 8.14 to − 0.88; ES = 0.68) groups in the FOOT compared to the CON. The postprandial incremental area under the curve for triglycerides was 31% lower in the normal weight group (ES = 0.79) for the FOOT compared to CON trial and a discernible trend was shown for the overweight group (22%; ES = 0.51). Two-hour Insulin Sensitivity Index was lower (ES = − 0.95) for FOOT compared to CON trial in the overweight group only.

Conclusion

Playing a 60-min football match can attenuate the triglyceride response to a high-fat meal in normal and overweight individuals.



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The use of the CR-10 scale to allow self-regulation of isometric exercise intensity in pre-hypertensive and hypertensive participants

Abstract

Purpose

Isometric exercise (IE) has been shown to lower blood pressure (BP). Using equipment with force output displays, intensity is usually regulated at 30% maximal voluntary contraction (MVC); however, the cost of programmable equipment and their requirement for maximal contractions presents limitations. A simple, cost-effective alternative deserves investigation. The purpose of this study was (1) to explore the relationship between %MVC, change in systolic BP (ΔSBP), and perceived exertion (CR-10) and (2) to assess the validity of self-regulation of intensity during isometric hand-grip exercise.

Methods

Fourteen pre-hypertensive and hypertensive adults completed eight, 2-min isometric hand-grip exercises at randomised intensities; participants estimated their perceived exertion at 30-s intervals (estimation task). Subsequently, on three separate occasions, participants performed four 2-min contractions at an exertion level that they perceived to be equivalent to CR-10 "Level-6" (production task).

Results

There were significant linear relationships between the estimated exertion on the CR-10 scale, and ΔSBP (r = 0.784) and %MVC (r = 0.845). Level-6 was equivalent to an average ΔSBP of 38 mmHg (95% CI; 44, 32 mmHg) and a relative force of 33% MVC (95% CI; 36.2, 30%). During the production task, %MVC was not significantly different between the estimation task and each production trial. In at least the first two repetitions of each production trial, ΔSBP was significantly lower than that observed in the estimation task.

Conclusion

These findings show that CR-10 "Level-6" is an appropriate method of self-regulating isometric hand-grip intensity; its use offers an affordable and accessible alternative for isometric exercise prescription aimed at reducing BP.



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Co-ingestion of protein or a protein hydrolysate with carbohydrate enhances anabolic signaling, but not glycogen resynthesis, following recovery from prolonged aerobic exercise in trained cyclists

Abstract

Purpose

The effect of carbohydrate (CHO), or CHO supplemented with either sodium caseinate protein (CHO–C) or a sodium caseinate protein hydrolysate (CHO–H) on the recovery of skeletal muscle glycogen and anabolic signaling following prolonged aerobic exercise was determined in trained male cyclists [n = 11, mean ± SEM age 28.8 ± 2.3 years; body mass (BM) 75.0 ± 2.3 kg; VO2peak 61.3 ± 1.6 ml kg−1 min−1].

Methods

On three separate occasions, participants cycled for 2 h at ~ 70% VO2peak followed by a 4-h recovery period. Isoenergetic drinks were consumed at + 0 and + 2 h of recovery containing either (1) CHO (1.2 g kg −1 BM), (2) CHO–C, or (3) CHO–H (1.04 and 0.16 g kg−1 BM, respectively) in a randomized, double-blind, cross-over design. Muscle biopsies from the vastus lateralis were taken prior to commencement of each trial, and at + 0 and + 4 h of recovery for determination of skeletal muscle glycogen, and intracellular signaling associated with protein synthesis.

Results

Despite an augmented insulin response following CHO–H ingestion, there was no significant difference in skeletal muscle glycogen resynthesis following recovery between trials. CHO–C and CHO–H co-ingestion significantly increased phospho-mTOR Ser2448 and 4EBP1 Thr37/46 versus CHO, with CHO–H displaying the greatest change in phospho-4EBP1 Thr37/46. Protein co-ingestion, compared to CHO alone, during recovery did not augment glycogen resynthesis.

Conclusion

Supplementing CHO with intact sodium caseinate or an insulinotropic hydrolysate derivative augmented intracellular signaling associated with skeletal muscle protein synthesis following prolonged aerobic exercise.



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Crosslink of calcium and sodium signalling in health and disease

Abstract

Transmembrane ionic gradients, that are indispensable feature of life, are utilised for generation of cytosolic ionic signals that regulate a host of cellular functions. Intracellular signalling mediated by Ca2+ and Na+ is tightly linked through several molecular pathways that generate Ca2+ and Na+ fluxes and are in turn regulated by both ions. Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels bridge endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release with generation of Na+ and Ca2+ currents. Plasmalemmal Na+/Ca2+ exchanger by flickering between forward and reverse mode coordinates influx and efflux of both ions with membrane polarisation and cytosolic ion concentration. The mitochondrial calcium uniporter channel (MCU) and mitochondrial Na+/Ca2+ exchanger, NCLX, mediate Ca2+ entry into and release from this organelle and couple cytosolic Ca2+ and Na+ fluctuations with cellular energetics. Cellular Ca2+ and Na+ signalling controls numerous functional responses and, in the CNS, provides for fast regulation of astroglial homeostatic cascades that are critical for maintenance of synaptic transmission.

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Endogenous peripheral hydrogen sulfide is propyretic: Its permissive role in brown adipose tissue thermogenesis in rats

Abstract

In recent years hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has been reported as a gaseous modulator acting in several tissues in health and disease. In systemic inflammation animal models, plasma H2S concentration increases in response to endotoxin (bacterial lipopolysaccharide, LPS). The most striking response in the acute phase reaction of systemic inflammation is fever, but reports of the peripheral action of H2S on this thermoregulatory response are not found. We aimed at investigating whether endogenous systemic H2S modulates LPS-induced fever. A temperature datalogger capsule was inserted in abdominal cavity of male Wistar rats (220–270 g) to record body core temperature. These animals received an intraperitoneal (ip) injection of a systemic H2S inhibitor (propargylglycine; 50 or 75 mg kg−1) immediately followed by an ip injection of LPS (50 or 2,500 μg kg−1), and were exposed to different ambient temperatures (16, 22 or 27°C). At 22°C, but not at 27°C, propargylglycine at 75 mg kg−1 significantly attenuated (P < 0.0001) LPS (50 μg kg−1)-induced fever, indicating a modulatory (permissive) action of endogenous peripheral H2S on brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis. Evidence on the modulatory role of peripheral H2S in BAT thermogenesis was made stronger when we discarded (i) the possible influence of the gas on febrigenic signaling (when measuring plasma cytokines), and (ii) its interaction with the nitric oxide pathway, and mainly when (iii) we carried out physiological and pharmacological activations of BAT. Endogenous peripheral H2S modulates (permits) BAT activity not only in fever but also maintaining thermal homeostasis in cold environments.

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Choice of desflurane or propofol for the maintenance of general anesthesia does not affect the risk of periprocedural myocardial damage in patients undergoing transfemoral transcatheter aortic valve implantation

Abstract

Purpose

This study aimed to reveal whether the occurrence of periprocedural myocardial damage (PMD) decreases in patients who received volatile anesthetics to maintain general anesthesia compared with those who received propofol during transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).

Methods

We included one hundred and forty adult patients who underwent transfemoral TAVI under general anesthesia from January 2015 to March 2017 in this single-center retrospective review. We compared the rate of patients who developed PMD between those who received desflurane (Group D, n = 72) and propofol (Group P, n = 68) for anesthetic maintenance. PMD was represented by the peak levels of creatine kinase myocardial band (CK-MB) and troponin I within 72 h following the procedure and defined as an increase >5 times in CK-MB or >15 times in troponin I compared with the institutional upper reference limits. Further analysis was performed to identify the independent predictors of PMD.

Results

There was no significant difference in the rate of PMD between groups (Group D 72.2% to Group P 70.6%, P = 0.85) or levels of CK-MB (Group D 7.85 [1.3–72.7] ng/mL to Group P 8.45 [1.8–49.7] ng/mL; P = 0.59) and troponin I (Group D 1.061 [0.050–10.8] ng/mL to Group P 1.214 [0.036–29.0] ng/mL; P = 0.97). The risk of PMD was higher in patients with more intraprocedural blood loss (odds ratio 1.49 per 100 mL, P = 0.048) and lower in those with an implanted permanent pacemaker (odds ratio 0.17; P = 0.02).

Conclusions

Desflurane does not appear to be more cardioprotective than propofol when used for anesthetic maintenance in patients undergoing transfemoral TAVI.



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Hey1 and Hey2 are differently expressed during mouse tooth development

Publication date: January 2018
Source:Gene Expression Patterns, Volume 27
Author(s): Kotono Kibe, Mitsushiro Nakatomi, Shinji Kataoka, Takashi Toyono, Yuji Seta
The Hey family (also known as Chf, Herp, Hesr, and Hrt) is a set of Hairy/Enhancer of Split-related basic helix-loop-helix type transcription factors. Hey1, Hey2, and HeyL have been identified in mammals. Although Hey proteins are known to regulate cardiovascular development, muscle homeostasis, osteogenesis, neurogenesis, and oncogenesis, their roles in tooth development have been largely obscure. Therefore, this study aimed to clarify detailed spatiotemporal expression patterns of Hey1 and Hey2 in developing molars and incisors of mice by section in situ hybridization. Hey1 and Hey2 were not significantly expressed in tooth germs at epithelial thickening, bud, and cap stages during molar development. In the dental epithelium in molars at the bell stage and incisors, Hey2 transcripts were restricted to the undifferentiated inner enamel epithelium and down-regulated in preameloblasts and ameloblasts. On the other hand, Hey1 was mainly expressed in preameloblasts and down-regulated in differentiated ameloblasts. Both genes were not significantly expressed in other dental epithelial tissues, including the outer enamel epithelium, stellate reticulum, and stratum intermedium cells. In the dental mesenchyme, Hey1 was intensely transcribed in the subodontoblastic layer of the dental pulp in both molars and incisors, whereas Hey2 was barely detectable in mesenchymal components. Our data implied that Hey2 function is restricted to transient amplifying cells of the ameloblast cell lineage and that Hey1 plays a role in the composition of the subodontoblastic layer, in addition to ameloblast differentiation. These findings provide novel clues for the better understanding of tooth development.



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Comparative expression analyses of bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) expressions in muscles of tilapia and common carp indicate that BMP4 plays a role in the intermuscular bone distribution in a dose-dependent manner

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Publication date: Available online 26 November 2017
Source:Gene Expression Patterns
Author(s): Shengyan Su, Zaijie Dong
Intermuscular bones in fish negatively influence both meet processing and attractiveness to consumers. Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and common carp (Cyprinus carpio) are both major farmed fish species globally, but whereas the former does not possess intermuscular bones, the latter does. Therefore, these two species might present a good model to study the genetic control of distribution of intermuscular bones in fish. Bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) gene is associated with tissue ossification and bone regeneration in mammals, but in fish its role in ossification remains understudied. To study the relationship between BMP4 and bone distribution in fish, we determined the expression of BMP4 in muscle tissues of common carp and tilapia on transcriptional and translational levels. As the gene has been merely predicted in silico from the genome of common carp, we have cloned and characterized it. The gene (GenBank: HQ446455) contains one intron and two exons, which encode a 400-amino acid protein with high homology to other known BMP4 protein sequences. Phylogenetic analysis showed that common carp clustered within the Cypriniformes clade (zebrafish was the closest ortholog) and tilapia within the Percomorpha clade. Using microCT scanning, we confirmed that intermuscular bones could be observed only in common carp (none in tilapia), but only in dorsal and caudal muscles (none in the ventral muscle). Expression levels of BMP4 in the muscles of common carp were in agreement with this observation both on transcriptional (qPCR) and translational (immunohistochemistry) level: higher in dorsal and caudal muscles, and lower in the ventral muscle. In tilapia, expression of BMP4 gene was also detectable in all three muscles, but expression levels in all three muscles were comparable to the one observed in the ventral muscle of carp, i.e., very low. Therefore, among the six studied muscles, the expression of BMP4 was high only in the two that possess intermuscular bones: dorsal and caudal muscles of common carp. The results of this study suggest that BMP4 is likely to play a key role in the determination of intermuscular bone distribution in fish in a dose-dependent manner.



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