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  • 1
    ISSN: 1471-4159
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: The brain is protected against invading pathogens by the blood–brain barrier, and also by its own innate defence system consisting of microglia and neurons in a coordinated network. Antimicrobial peptides are a part of the innate immune system at epithelial surfaces, and may also have important functions in the brain. Recently, we characterized the rat homologue of the human cathelicidin LL-37, designated rCRAMP. Here we present several lines of evidence for this peptide being expressed in rat CNS. (1) A peptide/protein extract of rat brain is active against bacteria in a salt-dependent manner. (2) Western blot analysis demonstrates the presence of rCRAMP in rat brain extract. (3) rCRAMP peptide and mRNA are present mainly in specific CNS regions (olfactory bulb, cerebellum, medulla oblongata and spinal cord). (4) rCRAMP-like immunoreactivity is detected in olfactory bulb, cerebellum and spinal cord by immunohistochemistry. (5) Moreover, the transcript of rCRAMP is detected in primary cultures from hippocampus, striatum, cerebellum and spinal cord, as shown with RT–PCR and Southern blot analyses. In addition, the rCRAMP peptide exhibits in vitro activity against the neuropathogenic bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. Taken together, these data suggest that the cathelicidin rCRAMP may play a role in the innate immunity of the CNS.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1471-4159
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract: Phospholipase D (PLD) activity was determined in rat hippocampal slices between postnatal days 3 and 35. After birth, basal PLD activity was low and, within 2 weeks, increased to reach a plateau that was maintained up to the adult age. Likewise the response to glutamate developed postnatally to reach a maximum at day 8, but then faded rapidly and was almost absent at day 35. Activation of PLD by 4β-phorbol 12β,13α-dibutyrate (PDB) was independent of age, whereas the effect of aluminum fluoride (AlF4−) increased to a plateau within the first week. At day 8, PLD stimulation by glutamate via metabotropic receptors involved protein kinase C activation, but was independent of Ca2+ influx; the time course of PLD activation by PDB or AlF4− was linear throughout the experiment, whereas the response to glutamate or 1-aminocyclopentane-1,3-dicarboxylic acid followed a biphasic pattern: the rapid “first phase activation” desensitized within a few minutes and disclosed a small, but maintained “second phase.” Pretreatment experiments confirmed desensitization of PLD activation by glutamate, but not by AlF4− or PDB. The biphasic pattern of glutamatergic PLD activation changed during development, i.e., the first phase activation faded and the second phase remained. These results were fully confirmed by the time courses of the PLD-mediated efflux of choline evoked by glutamate. In conclusion, postnatal glutamatergic activation of hippocampal PLD is composed of a pronounced and desensitizing first phase activation and a small, but nondesensitizing second phase. The first, but not the second, phase activation fades rapidly during development. The hypothesis is discussed that the glutamatergic activation of PLD occurs along different pathways in neonate and adult tissue.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1460-9568
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Functional neuro-imaging studies of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and animal models show inconsistent cortical responses to sensory stimulation: some present increased sensorimotor cortex activation contradicting classical basal ganglia–cortex circuitry models, whereas others show decreased activation. As functional neuro-imaging activation is defined as the signal difference between stimulation ON and stimulation OFF, reduced ‘activation’ can point to either increased neuronal activity during stimulation ON or to decreased basal neuronal activity during stimulation OFF. A unique non-invasive method that uses the temporal and the spatial variances of functional magnetic resonance imaging signal is employed here to compare basal neuronal activity levels and ‘functional homogeneity’ between groups. Based on the assumption that the temporal variance reflects average neuronal activity, the variance of activity within a predefined region is defined as the region's ‘functional homogeneity’, which is assumed to estimate neuronal synchronization. Comparison of temporal and spatial variances of the sensorimotor cortex and the striatum in the 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) PD rat model and a control rat group show bilaterally decreased temporal and spatial variances in the 6-OHDA rat group, suggesting bilateral reduction of basal neuronal activity levels together with an increase in local neuronal synchronization in line with classical basal ganglia–cortex circuit models.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1460-9568
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Cortico-cortical connections through the corpus callosum are a major candidate for mediating bimanual coordination. However, aside from the deficits observed after lesioning this connection, little positive evidence indicates its function in bimanual tasks. In order to address this issue, we simultaneously recorded neuronal activity at multiple sites within the arm area of motor cortex in both hemispheres of awake primates performing different bimanual and unimanual movements. By employing an adapted form of the joint peri-stimulus time histogram technique, we discovered rapid movement-related correlation changes between the local field potentials (LFPs) of the two hemispheres that escaped detection by time-averaged cross-correlation methods. The frequency and amplitude of dynamic modifications in correlations between the hemispheres were similar to those within the same hemisphere. As in previous EEG studies, we found that, on average, correlation decreased during movements. However, a subset of recording site pairs did show transiently increased correlations around movement onset (57% of all pairs and conditions in monkey G, 39% in monkey P). In interhemispheric pairs, these increases were consistently related to the mode of coupling between the two arms. Both the correlations between the movements themselves and the interhemispheric LFP correlation increases were strongest during bimanual symmetric movements, and weaker during bimanual asymmetric and unimanual movements. Increased correlations occurred mainly around movement onset, whilst decreases in correlation dominated during movement execution. The task-specific way in which interhemispheric correlations are modulated is compatible with the notion that interactions between the hemispheres contribute to behavioural coupling between the arms.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1460-9568
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: During development, a highly differential neurotrophin dependency is reported for various types of nerve endings in the whisker follicle. To what extent these dependencies extend and play a role in adulthood is largely unresolved. We show here, using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry that the expression of neurotrophins and trk/p75 receptors persists in adulthood. As suggested by their expression profiles, many classes of cutaneous nerve endings disclose similar ligand–receptor dependencies in adult animals as during development, while other populations appear to switch their dependency. Furthermore, our data suggest that sensory endings that have a high turnover due to mechanical wear and tear, e.g. Merkel cell–neurite complexes at the level of ring sinus show a more complex ligand–receptor expression phenotype than do endings with a less vulnerable location, e.g. the Merkel cell–neurite complexes at the rete ridge collar. Thus, neurotrophin-3 (NT3)/trkA signalling is suggested to be important for a continuous terminal plasticity of Merkel cell–neurite complexes at the level of ring sinus in adulthood. Evidence supporting a role for neurotrophin signalling in maintaining the adult cutaneous innervation also comes from the close correlation between altered ligand–receptor expression(s) and axonal/terminal aberrations in senescence. Thus, an ageing-related decrease in target neurotrophin expression, notably NT3 and NT4, results in a site-specific loss of sensory terminals concomitant with an aberrant growth of regenerating/sprouting axons into new target fields. Ageing of the cutaneous innervation, manifested in degenerative and regenerative events, seems strongly associated with changes in neurotrophic interactions between sensory neurons and target tissues.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1365-2133
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Background  Hypotrichosis with juvenile macular dystrophy (HJMD) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by sparse and short scalp hair from birth, followed within a few years by progressive macular degeneration leading to blindness. HJMD was shown to result from mutations in CDH3 encoding P-cadherin.Objectives  In the present study, we attempted to identify the molecular basis of abnormal hair growth in two siblings of Arab Muslim origin with hypotrichosis but no visual symptoms.Methods  Mutation analysis was performed using direct sequencing and polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis.Results  Patients displayed sparse and short hair since birth. Significant macular degenerative pigmentary changes were noticed in the face of normal visual acuity. Despite the fact that a single CDH3 mutation had previously been described in several families of Israeli Arab Muslim origin, the two affected patients were found to be homozygous carriers of a novel nonsense mutation (Y615X) predicted to result in premature termination of P-cadherin translation.Conclusions  The present results indicate that all patients with congenital hypotrichosis should undergo thorough fundus examination, which, when revealing pigmentary macular changes, can be considered as indicative of an underlying CDH3 causative mutation.
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1365-2133
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: We present a unique case of an infant with acute monocytic leukaemia who presented at birth with multiple rubbery, erythematous to violaceous subcutaneous nodules secondary to leukaemia cutis. As these infiltrates regressed with chemotherapy, numerous white to yellow linear confluent papules appeared in a scratch-like pattern. These lesions were widely disseminated but were concentrated across her face, trunk and extremities with relative sparing of the napkin area and back. We propose that these lesions represent a form of dystrophic calcinosis cutis that occurred secondary to koebnerization in an infant with congenital leukaemia cutis.
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  • 8
    ISSN: 1365-2133
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: In a longitudinal study (two measurements with a 1-year interval), 69 patients with psoriasis completed the Illness Perception Questionnaire, the Medical Outcomes Study SF-20 Health Survey, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Data on coping (Utrecht Coping List) and severity of illness (body surface scores) were also collected. The results of regression analyses indicated that a strong illness identity was associated with more visits to the outpatient clinic, and worse outcome on physical health, social functioning, mental health, health perceptions and depression. Strong beliefs that the disease is controllable/curable and that the disease has disabling consequences were also related to more clinic visits and more negative perceived health, respectively. Patients who initially engaged in coping characterized by more expression of emotions, seeking more social support, seeking more distraction, and less passive coping were prescribed a lower number of different therapies, were less anxious, less depressed, and had a better physical health 1 year later. These results have implications for the management of patients with psoriasis, which reinforces current views on integrating psychosocial aspects into clinical care.
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  • 9
    ISSN: 1365-2230
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Mutations in the keratin 1 (KRT1) gene underlie epidermolytic hyperkeratosis (EHK). This autosomal dominant disorder is characterized by phenotypic heterogeneity. In the present study, we assessed a 33-year-old individual presenting with severe palmoplantar keratoderma and histopathological findings suggestive of EHK. We analysed genomic DNA extracted from the patient's blood lymphocytes for pathogenic mutations in KRT1. A heterozygous 4-bp deletion was identified in intron 1 of the gene (591+3_+6delGAGT), suggesting the possibility that it may interfere with the normal splicing of intron 1. We detected a 66-bp deletion in KRT1 mRNA extracted from the patient's skin, predicted to result in the translation of a mutant KRT1 lacking 22 amino acids, including the conserved helix initiation motif. The identification of this unusual and novel mutation underscores the diagnostic importance of sequence analysis of keratin gene noncoding regions.
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  • 10
    ISSN: 1365-2036
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Background : Helicobacter pylori-associated atrophy of the gastric corpus is associated with the presence of anti-canalicular autoantibodies. Also, long-term profound acid suppression in H. pylori-infected subjects may cause atrophic corpus gastritis.Aim : To investigate whether long-term acid suppression by omeprazole leads to antigastric autoantibodies.Methods : Fifty patients, of which 34 H. pylori-positive on entry of the study, were treated with omeprazole (20–40 mg once daily) for reflux oesophagitis, and were evaluated for anti-gastric autoantibody responses by immunohistochemistry before and after treatment. H. pylori was not eradicated and patients were followed for an average of 6.6 years (range 3–14.1 years). In addition to immunohistochemistry, anti-H+, K+-ATPase reactivity was assessed by Western blot in paired sera of 41 patients (26 H. pylori-positive and 15 uninfected) and results are critically evaluated.Results : In immunohistochemistry, all patients were negative for anti-canalicular autoantibodies when omeprazole therapy started, except for two patients with corpus-predominant gastritis in the presence of H. pylori. One patient, who was H. pylori-negative, newly developed an anti-canalicular antibody response during therapy.Conclusions : Our results indicate that, as compared with non-infected patients, long-term profound acid suppression therapy in H. pylori-infected gastro-oesophageal reflux disease patients does not increase or accelerate gastric autoimmunity.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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