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  • 1
    ISSN: 1460-9568
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Scorpion α-toxins from Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus, LqhII and LqhIII, are similarly toxic to mice when administered by a subcutaneous route, but in mouse brain LqhII is 25-fold more toxic. Examination of the two toxins effects in central nervous system (CNS), peripheral preparations and expressed sodium channels revealed the basis for their differential toxicity. In rat brain synaptosomes, LqhII binds with high affinity, whereas LqhIII competes only at high concentration for LqhII-binding sites in a voltage-dependent manner. LqhII strongly inhibits sodium current inactivation of brain rBII subtype expressed in HEK293 cells, whereas LqhIII is weakly active at 2 μm, suggesting that LqhIII affects sodium channel subtypes other than rBII in the brain. In the periphery, both toxins inhibit tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium current inactivation in dorsal root ganglion neurons, and are strongly active directly on the muscle and on expressed μI channels. Only LqhII, however, induced repetitive end-plate potentials in mouse phrenic nerve–hemidiaphragm muscle preparation by direct effect on the motor nerve. Thus, rBII and sodium channel subtypes expressed in peripheral nervous system (PNS) serve as the main targets for LqhII but are mostly not sensitive to LqhIII. Toxicity of both toxins in periphery may be attributed to the direct effect on muscle. Our data elucidate, for the first time, how different toxins affect mammalian central and peripheral excitable cells, and reveal unexpected subtype specificity of toxins that interact with receptor site 3.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1365-4632
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Background  Recurrent infection syndrome (RIS) results from repeated interactions between hosts and environmental infectious agents and is considered normal (NRIS) because of its benign evolution and positive effects in the development of normal immune responses. Abnormal RIS (ARIS) is characterized by the unusually high frequency of severe infections, either as a result of anatomical or functional abnormalities or due to primary or secondary immunodeficiencies (PIDs and SIDs, respectively). Recurrent mucocutaneous infections (MCIs) can be manifestations of RIS or ARIS and could be more frequent in primary immunodeficiencies. Similarly, etiologic agents might vary from what is observed in the general population.Methods  We carried out a descriptive study to determine the prevalence of aerobic bacterial and fungal mucocutaneous infections in 452 patients with recurrent infections, using clinical records to establish immunological status associated with the presence and characteristics of the infections. Microbiological analyses from mucocutaneous lesions were used to confirm the etiology.Results  We found mucocutaneous infections in 50 patients for a total of 62 episodes (bacterial or fungal infections in 38 vs. 12 patients, respectively). Mucocutaneous infections were more frequent (21.8% vs. 9.1%; OR = 2.8) and recurrent (8.7% vs. 0.2%; P= 0.000) in primary immunodeficient patients. Furthermore, those with defects in phagocytic cells presented more mucocutaneous infections (56.2%) than patients with other primary immunodeficiencies (11.3%; OR = 10.1).Conclusions  Bacterial and fungal mucocutaneous infections are more frequent and severe in primary immunodeficient patients, particularly those with defective phagocytosis. Early and adequate assessment of the nature of mucocutaneous infections in ARIS should impact the ability of physicians to treat promptly, avoid complications and reduce the costs of medical assistance.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 3
    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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  • 4
    ISSN: 1365-2516
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary.  Fresh frozen plasma (FFP) is the main source of factor IX (FIX) in the treatment of bleeding episodes of haemophilia B in the Philippines. Cryoprecipitate-removed plasma otherwise known in the Philippines as cryosupernate, is a by-product of cryoprecipitate preparation. These blood products expire in storage or are just thrown- away because of less demand for clinical use. By theory, this product should have almost the same amount of FIX as in FFP, therefore can be used in the treatment of haemophilia B. There is no local data on the actual FIX content of the cryoprecipitate-removed plasma. Hence, the authors established these data to support the use of this product. Eighty-three bags of cryoprecipitate-removed plasma received from three different blood banks in Manila, Philippines were tested for FIX activity using an activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT)-based one-stage FIX assay. The FIX content in each bag of cryoprecipitate-removed plasma was calculated by multiplying its volume in mL with that of FIX activity per mL of plasma measured in vitro. The total mean FIX content per bag was 212.20 U (±88.98) exceeding the contents set by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB, 70–90 U). The mean FIX activity per bag was 127.62% (±38.23) with the mean volume of 164.28 mL (±52.23). Statistically significant difference on volume (P = 0.000) was found across the three sources resulting to a significant variation of the actual FIX content (P = 0.000).
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1460-9568
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: The extent of the cortical somatotopic map and its relationship to phantom phenomena was tested in five subjects with congenital absence of an upper limb, four traumatic amputees with phantom limb pain and five healthy controls. Cortical maps of the first and fifth digit of the intact hand, the lower lip and the first toe (bilaterally) were obtained using neuroelectric source imaging. The subjects with congenital upper limb atrophy showed symmetric positions of the left and right side of the lower lip and the first toe, whereas the traumatic amputees with pain showed a significant shift (about 2.4 cm) of the cortical representation of the lower lip towards the hand region contralateral to the amputation side but no shift for the toe representation. In healthy controls, no significant hemispheric differences between the cortical representation of the digits, lower lip or first toe were found. Phantom phenomena were absent in the congenital but extensive in the traumatic amputees. These data confirm the assumption that congenital absence of a limb does not lead to cortical reorganization or phantom limbs whereas traumatic amputations that are accompanied by phantom limb pain show shifts of the cortical areas adjacent to the amputation zone towards the representation of the deafferented body part.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1474-8673
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine
    Notes: 1 Our aim was to study the role of nitric oxide (NO) and arachidonic acid pathways in the α1-adrenoceptor-mediated vasoconstriction in mesenteric resistance arteries from 3–4 and 22 to 23-month-old Sprague-Dawley rats. 2 The expression of NO synthase (NOS), cyclooxygenase (COX) isoforms, soluble guanylate cyclase, superoxide dismutase and the NAD(P)H oxidase subunits p22phox and p47phox were determined. 3 The NG-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester, a non-selective NOS inhibitor, shifted to the left but indomethacin and NS 398, non-selective and selective COX-2 inhibitors, shifted to the right the concentration-response curve for the vasoconstriction by phenylephrine in both age groups. 4 Ageing up-regulated endothelial NOS and p22phox expression but did not modify COX, soluble guanylate cyclase, superoxide dismutase and p47phox expression. 5 These data suggest that the observed enhancement of eNOS protein expression could constitute a compensatory mechanism to counter-regulate a chronic loss of NO possibly through increased superoxide anion production from NAD(P)H oxidase induced by age.
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