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  • 1
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Oxford, UK : Blackwell Science Ltd
    Addiction 99 (2004), S. 0 
    ISSN: 1360-0443
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine , Psychology
    Notes: This paper presents an outline of the Japanese Society of Alcohol-Related Problems. The precursor of the Society was the Japan Alcoholism Treatment Research Group, inaugurated in 1979, by merging two local research groups in the Tokyo and Osaka areas, both of which were exclusive gatherings of psychiatrists associated with alcoholism clinics. The Research Group developed into the Society in 1992, as the number of participants including those from other medical professions increased yearly, and the subjects of the group widened to include all addictive behaviours. In reflecting the process of establishment, it is unique in many aspects as a scientific society. The Society is not a science-orientated body for presentation of new research findings. The main programme of the annual meeting is therefore a set of symposia in which members participate and discuss clinical and/or social problems arising from dependency on alcohol or drugs. Perhaps because of its content, the annual meeting is attended each year by the largest number of participants among all the societies in Japan concerned with alcohol and drugs. For the next several years, the Society's activities will be directed at (1) establishment of guidelines for early identification of and intervention in alcohol-related problems; (2) expansion of its membership to include those in related fields of medicine and non-medical professions; (3) improvement of the system of journal publication; and (4) creation of a system for timely adequate response to social problems associated with drugs and alcohol.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1365-2958
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Staphylococcal LukF and Hlg2 are water-soluble monomers of γ-haemolysin that assemble into oligomeric pores on the erythrocyte membranes. Here, we have created double-cysteine LukF mutants, in which single disulphide bonds connect either the prestem domain and the cap domain (V12C-T136C, Cap–Stem), or two β-strands within the prestem domain (T117C-T136C, Stem–Stem) to control pore assembly of γ-haemolysin at intermediate stages. The disulphide-trapped mutants were inactive in erythrocyte lysis, but gained full haemolytic activity if the disulphide bonds were reduced. The disulphide bonds blocked neither the membrane binding ability nor the intermediate prepore oligomerization, but efficiently inhibited the transition from prepores to pores. The prepores of Cap–Stem were dissociated into monomers in 1% SDS. In contrast, the prepores of Stem–Stem were stable in SDS and had ring-shaped structures similar to those of wild-type LukF, as observed by transmission electron microscopy. The transition of both mutants from prepores to pores could even be achieved by reducing disulphide bonds at low temperature (2°C), whereas prepore oligomerization was effectively inhibited by low temperature. Finally, real-time transition of Stem–Stem from prepores to pores on ghost cells, visualized using a Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent indicator (Rhod2), was shown by the sequential appearance of fluorescence spots, indicating pore-opening events. Taken together, these data indicate that the prepores are legitimate intermediates during γ-haemolysin pore assembly, and that conformational changes around residues 117 and 136 of the prestem domain are essential for pore formation, but not for membrane binding or prepore oligomerization. We propose a mechanism for γ-haemolysin pore assembly based on the demonstrated intermediates.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1471-4159
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract: Membrane depolarization stimuli (high potassium concentration and veratridine) increased neuropeptide Y (NPY) mRNA abundance time-dependently, without a change in β-actin mRNA level, in NG108-15 and PC12 cells. Although the induction by veratridine was blocked completely by tetrodotoxin, the induction by potassium was suppressed minimally. Voltage-dependent Ca channel blockers and calmodulin antagonists inhibited the increases by both depolarization stimuli completely, suggesting involvement of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinases (CaM kinases). Transient assay using chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter genes containing the rat NPY gene promoter indicated that membrane depolarization and Ca entry stimulate transcription of the NPY gene. The depolarization-induced transactivation was also blocked by CaM kinase inhibitors. The 200-bp 5′-upstream region (−344/−145) was localized as a Ca2+/calmodulin-responsive element (CaMRE), which confers depolarization-induced transactivation. It is interesting that this CaMRE did not contain the canonical Ca-responsive elements such as CRE, SRE, NF-AT, or the C/EBPβ-binding site and was separated from a 64-bp cyclic AMP/phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate-responsive element (−144/−81). These findings suggested that membrane depolarization regulates the NPY gene transcription positively through the unique CaMRE by activation of CaM kinases following Ca entry through L-type Ca channels.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1365-2486
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology , Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Geography
    Notes: The net primary production of tropical forests and its partitioning between long-lived carbon pools (wood) and shorter-lived pools (leaves, fine roots) are of considerable importance in the global carbon cycle. However, these terms have only been studied at a handful of field sites, and with no consistent calculation methodology. Here we calculate above-ground coarse wood carbon productivity for 104 forest plots in lowland New World humid tropical forests, using a consistent calculation methodology that incorporates corrections for spatial variations in tree-size distributions and wood density, and for census interval length. Mean wood density is found to be lower in more productive forests. We estimate that above-ground coarse wood productivity varies by more than a factor of three (between 1.5 and 5.5 Mg C ha−1 a−1) across the Neotropical plots, with a mean value of 3.1 Mg C ha−1 a−1. There appear to be no obvious relationships between wood productivity and rainfall, dry season length or sunshine, but there is some hint of increased productivity at lower temperatures. There is, however, also strong evidence for a positive relationship between wood productivity and soil fertility. Fertile soils tend to become more common towards the Andes and at slightly higher than average elevations, so the apparent temperature/productivity relationship is probably not a direct one. Coarse wood productivity accounts for only a fraction of overall tropical forest net primary productivity, but the available data indicate that it is approximately proportional to total above-ground productivity. We speculate that the large variation in wood productivity is unlikely to directly imply an equivalent variation in gross primary production. Instead a shifting balance in carbon allocation between respiration, wood carbon and fine root production seems the more likely explanation.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1365-3040
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: This investigation was performed to examine qualitatively and quantitatively the reverse flow in partially dried roots of Sesbania rostrata using the constant power heat balance method. First, a semi-empirical technique for estimating sheath conductance of sap-flow sensors without assuming that sap flow is zero at night was proposed. Sap flow measured with the heat balance method was compared with water uptake as measured by a potometric method. Sap flow was overestimated by 56·1% for a 3·3-mm-diameter root, and by 40·0% for 6·1 mm and 33·3% for 8·8 mm roots. However, high correlation coefficients between the rates of water uptake and sap flow demonstrated that calibration would provide reliable values for root sap flow. To detect reverse flow, a split root experiment was conducted using a S. rostrata plant with its root system divided between dry and wet compartments. Daily sap flow of the drying compartment declined whereas that in ‘wet’ root increased, suggesting that the decrease in water uptake by ‘dry’ roots was offset by the ‘wet’ roots. Reverse flow was observed at night in the root on the dry side of the container when the soil water potential was less than –0·30 MPa. The total amount of water released into the soil during the night period was estimated to be 22·5 g.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1365-2826
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is believed to be an important orexigenic peptide mainly localized in the lateral hypothalamic area. Its involvement in the hyperphagia induced by hypothalamic lesions and lactation remains unclear. In this study, we investigated MCH immunoreactivity in the hypothalamus using immunohistochemistry and MCH concentration in the peripheral circulation using an enzyme immunoassay in rats with a lesion in the ventromedial hypothalamus or the paraventricular nucleus, and in lactating rats. Bilateral lesions of the ventromedial or paraventricular nuclei were performed using an electrolytic method. Quantification of immunoreactivity by image analysis revealed that the number and mean staining intensity of MCH-immunoreactive neurones in the lateral hypothalamic area and the zona incerta were significantly decreased by both types of lesions compared to sham controls, whereas circulating MCH concentration was not significantly different on day 7 postlesion. By contrast, in lactating rats on days 11–12 postpartum, the expression of MCH in the lateral hypothalamic area and the zona incerta was significantly increased compared to nonlactating controls. Circulating MCH concentration was not changed in lactating rats. These results suggest that hyperphagia induced by lactation, but not hypothalamic lesion, might be induced by excessive expression of MCH in the lateral hypothalamic area and the zona incerta.
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1365-2826
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Orexins are endogenous neuropeptides that potently facilitate appetite and food consumption. In the present study, we examined orexin immunoreactivity and prepro-orexin mRNA expression in the lateral hypothalamus by immunohistochemistry and competitive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) methods in different models of hyperphagia in rats. Hyperphagia was induced by lesions of either the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMHL) or the paraventricular nucleus (PVNL), and we also compared lactating rats to nonlactating controls. Both VMHL and PVNL increased food intake and body weight compared to shams. On day 7 post lesion, serum leptin and insulin concentrations exhibited 3.2- and 2.8-fold increases in VMHL rats, and nonsignificant 1.8- and 1.8-fold increases in PVNL rats; there were significant decreases (48% and 33%) in lactating rats on day 12 postpartum compared to controls, respectively. Serum glucose concentrations were not significantly changed compared to controls in these rats. Quantification by image analysis suggests that VMHL significantly decreased the number and mean staining intensity of orexin-A immunoreactive neurones compared to those in the sham-lesioned group; while PVNL did not change orexin-A immunoreactivity. Competitive RT-PCR analysis showed that VMHL significantly decreased the prepro-orexin mRNA expression compared to those in the sham-lesioned group, and PVNL did not change it. Lactating rats on days 11–12 of lactation had significantly greater number and mean staining intensity of orexin-A immunoreactive neurones, prepro-orexin mRNA expression food intake and body weight than nonlactating postpartum rats. Thus, changes in orexin-A immunoreactivity and prepro-orexin mRNA expression were not consistent between the hyperphagia models. These results suggest that the hyperphagia from VMHL or PVNL and lactating rats differ in their involvement of orexin-A, and the change in circulating leptin and insulin concentrations may be involved in the change of orexin-A immunoreactivity in these rats.
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  • 8
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Oxford, UK : Blackwell Science Ltd
    Histopathology 47 (2005), S. 0 
    ISSN: 1365-2559
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Aims : To characterize a series of colorectal polyps, focusing on the clinicopathological features of serrated adenoma (SA), mixed polyp (MP) and the recently recognized sessile serrated adenoma (SSA).Methods and results : Eight hundred and ninety-one conventional adenomas (AD), 298 hyperplastic polyps (HP), 27 SSA, 10 MP and 24 traditional SA were obtained from patients during colonoscopic examination. SSA were more likely to be proximally located than other polyps. All SA, MP and SSA and a randomly selected subset of HP (n = 61) and ADs (n = 93) were assessed for expression of mucin, MLH1, MGMT, and Ki67. SSA expressed more MUC5AC than either HP or SA. Loss of MLH1 was not observed in any serrated polyps and in only one AD. Loss of MGMT occurred in 13% of AD, and showed no correlation with histological type, size or location. Loss of MGMT occurred in 24% of SSA, MP and SA (combined), and was more frequent in proximal lesions and larger lesions. SSA had a higher proliferative index than HP. In MP, the proliferative index of the non-dysplastic component was closer to HP than SSA, while the dysplastic component was intermediate between SA and AD.Conclusions : SSA differ from other serrated polyps of colorectum in terms of location, morphology and immunophenotype.
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  • 9
    ISSN: 1365-2559
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Aims:  To study the role of mast cell chymase in the inflammatory processes of human chronic gastritis. Experimental studies have shown that mast cell chymase stimulates inflammatory cell accumulation, and contributes to angiotensin II formation.Methods and results:  Tissue sections from human stomachs with Helicobacter pylori-associated gastritis (surgery/autopsy n = 20; biopsy n = 16) and normal stomachs (n = 10) were studied using immunohistochemical single and double labelling techniques. Monoclonal antibodies used were directed against mast cell chymase, tryptase, neutrophils (CD66b, elastase, and myeloperoxidase), macrophages, T-lymphocytes, and interleukin (IL)-4. The expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme and angiotensin II type 1 receptor was investigated using immunohistochemical analysis and the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The number of chymase-positive mast cells was significantly higher (P 〈 0.0001) in H. pylori-associated gastritis than in normal stomachs. Increased expression of chymase in inflamed mucosa was closely related to an increase in the accumulation of neutrophils, macrophages, T-lymphocytes, and IL-4-positive cells. The expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme and angiotensin II type 1 receptor was not altered in gastritis specimens.Conclusions:  These observations suggest that mast cell chymase may be an important mediator in the inflammatory processes of human H. pylori-associated gastritis.
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  • 10
    ISSN: 1365-2826
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: This study examined the effect of suckling on nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPH-d, a histochemical marker for nitric oxide synthase, NOS) reactivity and neuronal NOS mRNA expression in the paraventricular (PVN) and supraoptic (SON) nuclei of lactating rats. Freely nursing (non-separated) dams and those separated from pups for 12 h and then reunited for 0, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120 and 180 min were used for the study. Dams separated from pups and sacrificed at time zero (without reunion) showed a significant decrease in NADPH-d staining and NADPH-d positive cells as well as in the NOS mRNA expression in the PVN and SON compared to that observed in non-separated dams. Reunion with pups and restoration of suckling significantly increased NADPH-d reactivity after 15, 30, 60 min, but not after 90, 120 and 180 min compared to non-reunited pups-deprived dams. A pattern of NADPH-d reactivity and neuronal NOS mRNA expression indistinguishable from that observed during free lactation was reinstated shortly (15 min) after the restoration of suckling stimulus, suggesting that the NADPH-d reactivity in lactation depends on the presence of the suckling stimulus. These results show that suckling stimulus may play a modulatory role in the regulation of NOS reactivity in the magnocellular neurones of the hypothalamic PVN and SON during lactation.
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