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  • 1
    ISSN: 1440-1681
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: 1. Relaxin is an extracellular matrix (ECM)-remodelling hormone that is functionally important in reproductive tissues, brain, lung and heart.2. Recently, the human relaxin receptor was identified as leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor 7 (LGR7).3. Using human LGR7 as a template, we identified mouse and rat LGR7 orthologues in the Celera and National Centre for Biotechnology Information databases.4. At the protein level, mouse and rat LGR7 share 85.2 and 85.7% identity with human LGR7, respectively.5. Mouse LGR7 mRNA was detected in all tissues where relaxin binding is observed.6. Mouse and rat LGR7 bound [33P]-relaxin with high affinity and, upon relaxin treatment, both receptors stimulated cAMP production in transfected HEK 293T cells.7. These results indicate that mouse and rat LGR7 are the relaxin receptors in these species.8. The actions of relaxin in rodents are well characterized, providing an established platform for research into the molecular pharmacology of the highly conserved relaxin receptor.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1365-2230
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: We describe a rare case of pemphigus foliaceus associated with familial myasthenia gravis (MG). A 35-year-old woman developed MG during oral corticosteroid treatment for pemphigus foliaceus. She had been operated on for a thyroid gland tumour that was confirmed histopathologically to be papillary carcinoma without metastasis. At the time of treatment, her mother had had MG for 30 years and undergone thymectomy 22 years ago. A specific ELISA technique showed that antidesmoglein 1 antibody was present in the daughter. There are many reports of multiple diseases such as pemphigus, thymoma, malignancy, and other autoimmune diseases associated with MG. However, familial MG following pemphigus foliaceus has not been reported previously.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1432-0827
    Keywords: Key words: Osteoporosis — Bone mineral density — Genetic risk factor — Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase — Homocysteine.
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine , Physics
    Notes: Abstract. The pathogenesis of osteoporosis is controlled by genetic and environmental factors. Considering the high prevalence of osteoporosis in homocystinuria, abnormal homocysteine metabolism would contribute to the pathogenesis of osteoporosis. It is known that the polymorphism of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), the enzyme catalyzing the reduction of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, correlates with hyperhomocysteinemia. In this study, we examined the association of this polymorphism with bone mineral density (BMD). BMD was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in 307 postmenopausal women. MTHFR A/V polymorphism was analyzed using polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). We compared BMD, clinical characteristics, and bone metabolic markers among MTHFR groups (AA, AV, VV). The groups did not differ in terms of baseline data. The values of lumbar spine BMD and total body BMD were as follows: lumbar spine: AA, 0.91 ± 0.18, AV, 0.88 ± 0.16, VV, 0.84 ± 0.14 g/cm2; total body: AA, 0.97 ± 0.11, AV, 0.96 ± 0.11, VV, 0.93 ± 0.09 g/cm2. In the VV genotype, lumbar spine BMD values were significantly lower than those of the women with the AA genotype (P= 0.016) and total body BMD was significantly lower than those of the women with AA genotype (P= 0.03) and AV genotype (P= 0.04). This is the first report that suggests that the VV genotype of MTHFR is one of the genetic risk factors for low BMD.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1077-3118
    Source: AIP Digital Archive
    Topics: Physics
    Notes: In this work, submicron-size (down to 0.273 μm2) spin–dependent tunnel junctions with resistance as low as ∼30 Ω μm2 have been fabricated, where the tunneling barrier of AlOx was formed by in situ natural oxidation. These junctions annealed at 250 °C for 5 h showed tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) of 14.3% and 25.8% for the pinned layers of CoFe/RuRhMn and CoFe/PtMn, respectively, while the TMR is further increased to 31.6% for a synthetic antiferromagnetic pinned layer of CoFe/Ru/CoFe/PtMn due to less interdiffusion at CoFe/Ru interface. The investigation has indicated that the growth of ultrathin Al layer is very sensitive to the surface roughness of bottom ferromagnetic electrode, and large surface roughness leads to small junction resistance. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1089-7550
    Source: AIP Digital Archive
    Topics: Physics
    Notes: Experiments on the longitudinal biasing of microsized magnetic tunnel junctions have been conducted using permanent magnets partially overlapping the junction area. The tunneling magnetoresistance ratio showed a strong dependency on the overlap length, since even a 10% overlap of the sensor length resulted in a 25% drop from its initial value without overlap. Analytical and micromagnetic analyses have demonstrated that this decrease comes from extra current channels, located in the regions below the permanent magnets, that shorted a large amount of the sense current from the central active region in the antiparallel magnetization state. The high uniaxial anisotropy field, induced by the permanent magnets in the overlapped regions, created particular magnetic configurations responsible for these low resistance paths. Several alternatives, using antiferromagnetic material in place of the permanent magnets or a modified design of the magnetic tunnel junction structure, are presented and discussed to prevent this extra current channel effect. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1437-7799
    Keywords: Key words Pirfenidone ; 5-Methyl-1-phenyl-2-(1H)-pyridone ; Anti-Thy-1 nephritis ; Extracellular matrix
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract Background. 5-Methyl-1-phenyl-2-(1H)-pyridone (pirfenidone [PD]) has anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory effects. Previous reports have indicated that PD can prevent the progression of chronic kidney fibrosis in some animal models. It has not yet been reported, however, whether PD is capable of controlling acute inflammation of the kidney. Methods. The present study was designed to observe the effect of PD on an acute phase of anti-Thy-1 nephritis, a well known model for acute kidney inflammation. Male standard Wistar rats (specific pathogen-free [SPF] level), 7 weeks old (day −10, 141.52 ± 2.60 g) were divided into two groups. In group C (n = 7), 0.7 ml of anti-Thy-1 antibody was injected intravenously on day 0. In group P (n = 6), anti-Thy-1 antibody was injected similarly, and PD (500 mg/kg BW per day) was given daily by dietary intake starting 1 day before the first injection and continuing throughout the study. All rats were killed on day 7 and subjected to light microscopic and serum biochemical examinations. The degree of glomerular extracellular matrix (ECM) expansion was determined as a matrix score, using a semiquantitative method. Differences between the two group scores were analyzed by a non-parametric test. Results. The mean matrix score for group C was 87.6 ± 11.8, against 71.5 ± 12.5 (P 〈 0.05) for group P. The mean cell count for the 140 glomeruli in group C was 75.3 ± 6.1, and for the 120 glomeruli in group P it was 78.2 ± 11.6 (no significant difference). However, the possibility could not be ruled out that the degree of initial mesangiolysis in group P had been smaller than that in group C. Serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels were within the normal range in both groups. Conclusions. It is possible that PD is capable of partially controlling acute phases of anti-Thy-1 nephritis. More detailed studies in the future will establish the validity of the short-term effects of PD on this animal model.
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1089-7550
    Source: AIP Digital Archive
    Topics: Physics
    Notes: In this work, the dielectric breakdown in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) was studied. The MTJ structure is Ta50/NiFe100/Co20/AlOx/Co30/RuRhMn100/Ta50 with the bottom lead of Ta50/Cu500/Ta50 and the top lead of Cu2000/Ta50 (in Å), where the tunneling barrier was formed by 2–20 min radical oxygen oxidation of a 10 Å-thick Al layer. The junctions with area from 2×2 to 20×20 μm2 were patterned using the photolithography process, leading to tunneling magnetoresistance up to 17.2% and resistance-area product ranging from 350 Ω μm2 to 200 kΩ μm2. The junctions studied show dc breakdown voltage from 0.7 to 1.3 V, depending on the junction area and the oxidation time. Long oxidation time up to 14 min and a small junction area results in a large dc breakdown voltage. The electrostatic discharge (ESD) of MTJs was tested by using a human body model. The ESD breakdown voltage increases with decreasing junction resistance. These results are discussed in terms of the E-model based on the field-induced distortion of atomic bonds in the oxide barrier. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.
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