• Activation of the kinin system in the ovary during ovulation: role of endogenous progesterone.

      Brann, Darrell W; Greenbaum, Lowell M; Mahesh, Virendra B; Gao, XiaoXing; Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; Department of Physiology; Department of Surgery (2003-10-29)
      BACKGROUND: Previous work by our group and others has implicated a role for kinins in the ovulatory process. The purpose of the present study was to elucidate whether endogenous progesterone, which is an intraovarian regulator of ovulation, might be responsible for induction of the kinin system in the ovary during ovulation. The gonadotropin-primed immature rat was used as the experimental model, and the role of endogenous progesterone was explored using the antiprogestin, RU486. RESULTS: The results of the study revealed that RU486 treatment, as expected, significantly attenuated ovulation. Activity of the kinin-generating enzyme, kallikrein, was elevated in the ovary in control animals prior to ovulation with peak values observed at 4 h post hCG, only to fall to low levels at 10 h, with a recovery at 20 h post hCG. RU486 treatment had no significant effect on ovarian kallikrein activity as compared to the control group. Total ovarian kininogen levels in control animals increased significantly at 12-14 h after hCG - coinciding with initiation of ovulation. Thereafter, ovarian kininogen levels fell to low levels at 20 h, only to show a rebound from 24-38 h post-hCG. RU486 treatment had no significant effect on the rise of total ovarian kininogen levels from 12-14 h after hCG; however, from 30-40 h post hCG, RU486-treated animals had significantly higher total ovarian kininogen levels versus control animals, suggesting that endogenous progesterone may act to restrain elevations of kininogens in the post-ovulatory ovary. This robust elevation of ovarian kininogen levels by RU486 was found to be primarily due to an increase in T-kininogen, which is a potent cysteine protease inhibitor. CONCLUSIONS: Taken as a whole, these results suggest that endogenous progesterone does not regulate kallikrein activity or kininogens prior to ovulation, but may provide a restraining effect on T-kininogen levels in the post-ovulatory ovary.
    • Blood lead level and risk of asthma.

      Joseph, Christine L.M.; Havstad, Suzanne L; Ownby, Dennis R; Peterson, Edward L; Maliarik, Mary; McCabe, Michael J; Barone, Charles; Johnson, Christine Cole; Department of Pediatrics (2005-07-08)
      Asthma and lead poisoning are prevalent among urban children in the United States. Lead exposure may be associated with excessive production of immunoglobulin E, possibly increasing asthma risk and contributing to racial disparities. The objective of this study was to examine racial differences in the association of blood lead level (BLL) to risk of developing asthma. We established and followed a cohort prospectively to determine asthma onset, using patient encounters and drug claims obtained from hospital databases. Participants were managed care enrollees with BLL measured and documented at 1-3 years of age. We used multiple variable analysis techniques to determine the relationship of BLL to period prevalent and incident asthma. Of the 4,634 children screened for lead from 1995 through 1998, 69.5% were African American, 50.5% were male, and mean age was 1.2 years. Among African Americans, BLL > or = 5 and BLL > or = 10 microg/dL were not associated with asthma. The association of BLL > or = 5 microg/dL with asthma among Caucasians was slightly elevated, but not significant [adjusted hazard ratio (adjHR) = 1.4; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.7-2.9; p = 0.40]. Despite the small number of Caucasians with high BLL, the adjHR increased to 2.7 (95% CI, 0.9-8.1; p = 0.09) when more stringent criteria for asthma were used. When compared with Caucasians with BLL < 5 microg/dL, African Americans were at a significantly increased risk of asthma regardless of BLL (adjHR = 1.4-3.0). We conclude that an effect of BLL on risk of asthma for African Americans was not observed. These results demonstrate the need for further exploration of the complex interrelationships between race, asthma phenotype, genetic susceptibilities, and socioenvironmental exposures, including lead.
    • Cj0596 is a periplasmic peptidyl prolyl cis-trans isomerase involved in Campylobacter jejuni motility, invasion, and colonization.

      Rathbun, Kimberly M; Hall, Johanna E; Thompson, Stuart A; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2009-08-31)
      BACKGROUND: Campylobacter jejuni is a gastrointestinal pathogen of humans, but part of the normal flora of poultry, and therefore grows well at the respective body temperatures of 37 degrees C and 42 degrees C. Proteomic studies on temperature regulation in C. jejuni strain 81-176 revealed the upregulation at 37 degrees C of Cj0596, a predicted periplasmic chaperone that is similar to proteins involved in outer membrane protein folding and virulence in other bacteria. RESULTS: The cj0596 gene was highly conserved in 24 strains and species of Campylobacter, implying the importance of this gene. To study the role that Cj0596 plays in C. jejuni pathogenesis, a mutant derivative of strain 81-176 was constructed in which the cj0596 gene was precisely deleted. A revertant of this mutant was isolated by restoring the gene to its original chromosomal location using streptomycin counterselection. The cj0596 mutant strain demonstrated a slightly decreased growth rate and lower final growth yield, yet was more motile and more invasive of human intestinal epithelial cells than wild-type. In either single or mixed infections, the mutant was less able to colonize mice than 81-176. The cj0596 mutant also expressed altered levels of several proteins. CONCLUSION: Mutation of cj0596 has an effect on phenotypes related to C. jejuni pathogenesis, probably due to its role in the proper folding of critical outer membrane proteins.
    • Combined use of preoperative 18F FDG-PET imaging and intraoperative gamma probe detection for accurate assessment of tumor recurrence in patients with colorectal cancer.

      Sarikaya, Ismet; Povoski, Stephen P; Al-Saif, Osama H; Kocak, Ergun; Bloomston, Mark; Marsh, Steven; Cao, Zongjian; Murrey, Douglas A; Zhang, Jun; Hall, Nathan C; et al. (2007-08-09)
      BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to combine intraoperative gamma probe (GP) detection with preoperative fluorine 18-fluoro-2-deoxy-glucose positron emission tomography (18F FDG-PET) imaging in order to improve detection of tumor recurrence in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. METHODS: Twenty-one patients (12 females, 9 males) with a mean age of 54 years (range 31-78) were enrolled. Patients were suspected to have recurrent CRC by elevated CEA (n = 11), suspicious CT findings (n = 1), and clinically suspicious findings (n = 9). Preoperative FDG-PET scan and intraoperative GP study were performed in all patients. Mean time interval between preoperative FDG-PET scan and surgery was 16 days (range 1-41 days) in 19 patients. For intraoperative GP studies, 19 patients were injected with a dose of 10-15 mCi 18F FDG at approximately 30 minutes before the planned surgery time. In two patients, the intraoperative GP study was performed immediately after preoperative FDG-PET scan. RESULTS: Preoperative FDG-PET and intraoperative GP detected 48 and 45 lesions, respectively. A total of 50 presumed site of recurrent disease from 20 patients were resected. Thirty-seven of 50 presumed sites of recurrent disease were histological-proven tumor positive and 13 of 50 presumed sites of recurrent disease were histological-proven tumor negative. When correlated with final histopathology, the number of true positive lesions and false positive lesions by preoperative FDG-PET and intraoperative GP were 31/9 and 35/8, respectively. Both preoperative FDG-PET and intraoperative GP were true positive in 29 lesions. Intraoperative GP detected additional small lesions in the omentum and pelvis which were not seen on preoperative FDG-PET scan. FDG-PET scan demonstrated additional liver metastases which were not detected by intraoperative GP. Preoperative FDG-PET detected distant metastasis in the lung in one patient. The estimated radiation dose received by a surgeon during a single 18F FDG GP surgery was below the occupational limit. CONCLUSION: The combined use of preoperative FDG-PET and intraoperative GP is potentially helpful to the surgeon as a roadmap for accurately locating and determining the extent of tumor recurrence in patients with CRC. While intraoperative GP appears to be more sensitive in detecting the extent of abdominal and pelvic recurrence, preoperative FDG-PET appears to be more sensitive in detecting liver metastases. FDG-PET is also a valuable method in detecting distant metastases.
    • Definitions, pathophysiology, and epidemiology of acute cholangitis and cholecystitis: Tokyo Guidelines.

      Kimura, Yasutoshi; Takada, Tadahiro; Kawarada, Yoshifumi; Nimura, Yuji; Hirata, Koichi; Sekimoto, Miho; Yoshida, Masahiro; Mayumi, Toshihiko; Wada, Keita; Miura, Fumihiko; et al. (2007-01-25)
      This article discusses the definitions, pathophysiology, and epidemiology of acute cholangitis and cholecystitis. Acute cholangitis and cholecystitis mostly originate from stones in the bile ducts and gallbladder. Acute cholecystitis also has other causes, such as ischemia; chemicals that enter biliary secretions; motility disorders associated with drugs; infections with microorganisms, protozoa, and parasites; collagen disease; and allergic reactions. Acute acalculous cholecystitis is associated with a recent operation, trauma, burns, multisystem organ failure, and parenteral nutrition. Factors associated with the onset of cholelithiasis include obesity, age, and drugs such as oral contraceptives. The reported mortality of less than 10% for acute cholecystitis gives an impression that it is not a fatal disease, except for the elderly and/or patients with acalculous disease. However, there are reports of high mortality for cholangitis, although the mortality differs greatly depending on the year of the report and the severity of the disease. Even reports published in and after the 1980s indicate high mortality, ranging from 10% to 30% in the patients, with multiorgan failure as a major cause of death. Because many of the reports on acute cholecystitis and cholangitis use different standards, comparisons are difficult. Variations in treatment and risk factors influencing the mortality rates indicate the necessity for standardized diagnostic, treatment, and severity assessment criteria.
    • Dentin Sialophosphoprotein (DSPP) Gene-Silencing Inhibits Key Tumorigenic Activities in Human Oral Cancer Cell Line, OSC2

      Joshi, Rajeshree; Tawfik, Amany; Edeh, Nneka; McCloud, Veronica; Looney, Stephen W.; Lewis, Jill; Hsu, Stephen; Ogbureke, Kalu U.E.; Department of Oral Biology; Department of Pathology; et al. (2010-11-12)
      Background: We determined recently that dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP), a member of the SIBLING (Small integrin-binding ligand N-linked glycoproteins) family of phosphoglycoproteins, is highly upregulated in human oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs) where upregulation is associated with tumor aggressiveness. To investigate the effects of DSPP-silencing on the tumorigenic profiles of the oral cancer cell line, OSC2, short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) interference was employed to silence DSPP in OSC2 cells.
    • Differential Regulation of the Variations Induced by Environmental Richness in Adult Neurogenesis as a Function of Time: A Dual Birthdating Analysis

      Llorens-Martí­n, Marí­a; Tejeda, Gonzalo S.; Trejo, José L.; Tsien, Joe Z.; Department of Neurology (2010-08-16)
      Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) augments after environmental enrichment (EE) and it has been related to some of the anxiolytic, antidepressant and neuroprotective effects of EE. Indeed, it has been suggested that EE specifically modulates hippocampal neurogenic cell populations over the course of time. Here we have used dual-birthdating to study two subpopulations of newborn neuron in mice (Mus musculus): those born at the beginning and at the end of enrichment. In this way, we demonstrate that while short-term cell survival is upregulated after an initial 1 week period of enrichment in 2 month old female mice, after long-term enrichment (2 months) neither cell proliferation nor the survival of the younger newly born cell populations are distinguishable from that observed in non-enriched control mice. In addition, we show that the survival of older newborn neurons alone (i.e. those born at the beginning of the enrichment) is higher than in controls, due to the significantly lower levels of cell death. Indeed, these parameters are rapidly adjusted to the sudden cessation of the EE conditions. These findings suggest both an early selective, long-lasting effect of EE on the neurons born in the initial stages of enrichment, and a quick response when the environment again becomes impoverished. Therefore, EE induces differential effects on distinct subpopulations of newborn neurons depending on the age of the immature cells and on the duration of the EE itself. The interaction of these two parameters constitutes a new, specific regulation of these neurogenic populations that might account for the long-term enrichment's behavioral effects.
    • Genetic and gene expression analyses of the polycystic ovary syndrome candidate gene fibrillin-3 and other fibrillin family members in human ovaries.

      Prodoehl, Mark J; Hatzirodos, Nicholas; Irving-Rodgers, Helen F; Zhao, Zhen Z; Painter, Jodie N; Hickey, Theresa E; Gibson, Mark A; Rainey, William E; Carr, Bruce R; Mason, Helen D; et al. (2009-11-13)
      Several studies have demonstrated an association between polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and the dinucleotide repeat microsatellite marker D19S884, which is located in intron 55 of the fibrillin-3 (FBN3) gene. Fibrillins, including FBN1 and 2, interact with latent transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta-binding proteins (LTBP) and thereby control the bioactivity of TGFbetas. TGFbetas stimulate fibroblast replication and collagen production. The PCOS ovarian phenotype includes increased stromal collagen and expansion of the ovarian cortex, features feasibly influenced by abnormal fibrillin expression. To examine a possible role of fibrillins in PCOS, particularly FBN3, we undertook tagging and functional single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis (32 SNPs including 10 that generate non-synonymous amino acid changes) using DNA from 173 PCOS patients and 194 controls. No SNP showed a significant association with PCOS and alleles of most SNPs showed almost identical population frequencies between PCOS and control subjects. No significant differences were observed for microsatellite D19S884. In human PCO stroma/cortex (n = 4) and non-PCO ovarian stroma (n = 9), follicles (n = 3) and corpora lutea (n = 3) and in human ovarian cancer cell lines (KGN, SKOV-3, OVCAR-3, OVCAR-5), FBN1 mRNA levels were approximately 100 times greater than FBN2 and 200-1000-fold greater than FBN3. Expression of LTBP-1 mRNA was 3-fold greater than LTBP-2. We conclude that FBN3 appears to have little involvement in PCOS but cannot rule out that other markers in the region of chromosome 19p13.2 are associated with PCOS or that FBN3 expression occurs in other organs and that this may be influencing the PCOS phenotype.
    • Heat shock response in CHO mammalian cells is controlled by a nonlinear stochastic process.

      Lipan, Ovidiu; Navenot, Jean-Marc; Wang, Zixuan; Huang, Lei; Peiper, Stephen C; Department of Pathology; GHSU Cancer Center; Immunotherapy Center; Department of Radiology; Center for Molecular Chaperone/Radiobiology & Cancer Virology (2007-10-30)
      In many biological systems, the interactions that describe the coupling between different units in a genetic network are nonlinear and stochastic. We study the interplay between stochasticity and nonlinearity using the responses of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) mammalian cells to different temperature shocks. The experimental data show that the mean value response of a cell population can be described by a mathematical expression (empirical law) which is valid for a large range of heat shock conditions. A nonlinear stochastic theoretical model was developed that explains the empirical law for the mean response. Moreover, the theoretical model predicts a specific biological probability distribution of responses for a cell population. The prediction was experimentally confirmed by measurements at the single-cell level. The computational approach can be used to study other nonlinear stochastic biological phenomena.
    • Hydrogen peroxide improves the visibility of ulcer bases in acute non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding: a single-center prospective study.

      Sridhar, Subbaramiah; Chamberlain, Sherman; Thiruvaiyaru, Dharma; Sethuraman, Sankara; Patel, Jigneshkumar; Schubert, Moonkyung; Cuartas-Hoyos, Francisco; Schade, Robert R.; Department of Medicine (2009-10-19)
      BACKGROUND: Acute non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding (ANVB) or hemorrhage (used interchangeably) is an emergency. Endoscopically applied hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) has been shown to improve visualization of the ulcer base. AIMS: To test the hypothesis that ulcer base clot clearance with 3% H2O2 improves the visualization of ANVB lesions compared to water alone. METHODS: In this single-center prospective study, 320 patients with ANVB were examined, of which 81 met the entry criteria for evaluation. All patients with ANVB underwent urgent endoscopy. Those with adherent clots on the ulcer base were sprayed with 250 ml of water, followed by up to 100 ml of 3% H2O2. The main outcome measurement was Kalloo"s Visual Scores of the ulcer base before and after water and H2O2. RESULTS: Eighty-one patients with gastric ulcers (GU; 34) and duodenal ulcers (DU; 47) met the entry criteria. The mean improvement in grade from water to H2O2 was 2.04 (95% confidence interval [CI] (1.86, 2.23)). The mean volume of H2O2 used to clear clots was higher (70 ml) in patients who were negative for both Helicobacter pylori and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use than in those who were positive for both (31 ml) (P = 0.00). More DU patients (72%) had visible vessels than GU patients (44%) (P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: H2O2 improved the visualization of ulcer bases in ANVB. A smaller volume of H2O2 was required to clear clots in patients who used NSAIDs and had H. pylori infection. H2O2 identified more DU vessels. The use of H2O2 should be considered as a standard therapy in the management of clots in ANVB.
    • IFN-c Upregulates Survivin and Ifi202 Expression to Induce Survival and Proliferation of Tumor-Specific T Cells

      Zimmerman, Mary; Yang, Dafeng; Hu, Xiaolin; Liu, Feiyan; Singh, Nagendra; Browning, Darren; Ganapathy, Vadivel; Chandler, Phillip; Choubey, Divaker; Abrams, Scott I.; et al. (2010-11-22)
      Background: A common procedure in human cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) adoptive transfer immunotherapy is to expand tumor-specific CTLs ex vivo using CD3 mAb prior to transfer. One of the major obstacles of CTL adoptive immunotherapy is a lack of CTL persistence in the tumor-bearing host after transfer. The aim of this study is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of stimulation conditions on proliferation and survival of tumor-specific CTLs.
    • Lemierre's syndrome complicating pregnancy.

      Thompson, M; Awonuga, A O; Bell, Jason; Ray, C; Awonuga, M T; Helfgott, Andrew; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Department of Pediatrics (2007-08-21)
      Lemierre's syndrome is an anaerobic suppurative thrombophlebitis involving the internal jugular vein secondary to oropharyngeal infection. There is only one previous case report in pregnancy which was complicated by premature delivery of an infant that suffered significant neurological damage. We present an atypical case diagnosed in the second trimester with a live birth at term. By reporting this case, we hope to increase the awareness of obstetricians to the possibility of Lemierre's syndrome when patients present with signs of unabating oropharyngeal infection and pulmonary symptoms.
    • Nasolaryngoscopy in a family medicine clinic: indications, findings, and economics.

      Wilkins, Thad; Gillies, Ralph A; Getz, April; Zimmerman, Dave; Kang, Larry; Department of Family Medicine (2010-09)
      Nasopharyngeal complaints are common among patients who present to primary care. Patients with these complaints are often referred for nasolaryngoscopy evaluation to exclude serious conditions such as laryngeal cancer.
    • Niclosamide Suppresses Cancer Cell Growth By Inducing Wnt Co-Receptor LRP6 Degradation and Inhibiting the Wnt/β-Catenin Pathway

      Lu, Wenyan; Lin, Cuihong; Roberts, Michael J.; Waud, William R.; Piazza, Gary A.; Li, Yonghe; Mei, Lin; Department of Neurology; College of Graduate Studies (2011-12-16)
      The Wnt/b-catenin signaling pathway is important for tumor initiation and progression. The low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-6 (LRP6) is an essential Wnt co-receptor for Wnt/b-catenin signaling and represents a promising anticancer target. Recently, the antihelminthic drug, niclosamide was found to inhibit Wnt/b-catenin signaling, although the mechanism was not well defined. We found that niclosamide was able to suppress LRP6 expression and phosphorylation, block Wnt3A-induced b-catenin accumulation, and inhibit Wnt/b-catenin signaling in HEK293 cells. Furthermore, the inhibitory effects of niclosamide on LRP6 expression/phosphorylation and Wnt/b-catenin signaling were conformed in human prostate PC-3 and DU145 and breast MDA-MB-231 and T-47D cancer cells. Moreover, we showed that the mechanism by which niclosamide suppressed LRP6 resulted from increased degradation as evident by a shorter half-life. Finally, we demonstrated that niclosamide was able to induce cancer cell apoptosis, and displayed excellent anticancer activity with IC50 values less than 1 mM for prostate PC-3 and DU145 and breast MDA-MB-231 and T-47D cancer cells. The IC50 values are comparable to those shown to suppress the activities of Wnt/b-catenin signaling in prostate and breast cancer cells. Our data indicate that niclosamide is a unique small molecule Wnt/b-catenin signaling inhibitor targeting the Wnt co-receptor LRP6 on the cell surface, and that niclosamide has a potential to be developed a novel chemopreventive or therapeutic agent for human prostate and breast cancer.
    • Operant Sensation Seeking Requires Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 5 (mGluR5)

      Olsen, Christopher M.; Childs, Daniel S.; Stanwood, Gregg D.; Winder, Danny G.; Tsien, Joe Z.; Department of Neurology; College of Graduate Studies (2010-11-30)
      Pharmacological and genetic studies have suggested that the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) is critically involved in mediating the reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse, but not food. The purpose of this study was to use mGluR5 knockout (KO), heterozygous (Het), and wildtype (WT) mice to determine if mGluR5 modulates operant sensation seeking (OSS), an operant task that uses varied sensory stimuli as a reinforcer. We found that mGluR5 KO mice had significantly reduced OSS responding relative to WT mice, while Het mice displayed a paradoxical increase in OSS responding. Neither KO nor Het mice exhibited altered operant responding for food as a reinforcer. Further, we assessed mGluR5 KO, Het and WT mice across a battery of cocaine locomotor, place preference and anxiety related tests. Although KO mice showed expected differences in some locomotor and anxiety measures, Het mice either exhibited no phenotype or an intermediate one. In total, these data demonstrate a key role for mGluR5 in OSS, indicating an important role for this receptor in reinforcement-based behavior.
    • The prevalence of intragenic deletions in patients with idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and Kallmann syndrome.

      Pedersen-White, Jennifer R; Chorich, Lynn P; Bick, David P; Sherins, Richard J; Layman, Lawrence C; Department of Medicine; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics; Institute of Neuroscience (2008-06-23)
      Idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) and Kallmann syndrome (KS) are clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorders caused by a deficiency of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Mutations in three genes--KAL1, GNRHR and FGFR1--account for 15-20% of all causes of IHH/KS. Nearly all mutations are point mutations identified by traditional PCR-based DNA sequencing. The relatively new method of multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) has been successful for detecting intragenic deletions in other genetic diseases. We hypothesized that MLPA would detect intragenic deletions in approximately 15-20% of our cohort of IHH/KS patients. Fifty-four IHH/KS patients were studied for KAL1 deletions and 100 were studied for an autosomal panel of FGFR1, GNRH1, GNRHR, GPR54 and NELF gene deletions. Of all male and female subjects screened, 4/54 (7.4%) had KAL1 deletions. If only anosmic males were considered, 4/33 (12.1%) had KAL1 deletions. No deletions were identified in any of the autosomal genes in 100 IHH/KS patients. We believe this to be the first study to use MLPA to identify intragenic deletions in IHH/KS patients. Our results indicate approximately 12% of KS males have KAL1 deletions, but intragenic deletions of the FGFR1, GNRH1, GNRHR, GPR54 and NELF genes are uncommon in IHH/KS.
    • Reduced-folate carrier (RFC) is expressed in placenta and yolk sac, as well as in cells of the developing forebrain, hindbrain, neural tube, craniofacial region, eye, limb buds and heart.

      Maddox, Dennis M; Manlapat, Anna K; Roon, Penny; Prasad, Puttur D; Ganapathy, Vadivel; Smith, Sylvia B; Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Department of Ophthalmology (2003-10-29)
      BACKGROUND: Folate is essential for cellular proliferation and tissue regeneration. As mammalian cells cannot synthesize folates de novo, tightly regulated cellular uptake processes have evolved to sustain sufficient levels of intracellular tetrahydrofolate cofactors to support biosynthesis of purines, pyrimidines, and some amino acids (serine, methionine). Though reduced-folate carrier (RFC) is one of the major proteins mediating folate transport, knowledge of the developmental expression of RFC is lacking. We utilized in situ hybridization and immunolocalization to determine the developmental distribution of RFC message and protein, respectively. RESULTS: In the mouse, RFC transcripts and protein are expressed in the E10.0 placenta and yolk sac. In the E9.0 to E11.5 mouse embryo RFC is widely detectable, with intense signal localized to cell populations in the neural tube, craniofacial region, limb buds and heart. During early development, RFC is expressed throughout the eye, but by E12.5, RFC protein becomes localized to the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). CONCLUSIONS: Clinical studies show a statistical decrease in the number of neural tube defects, craniofacial abnormalities, cardiovascular defects and limb abnormalities detected in offspring of female patients given supplementary folate during pregnancy. The mechanism, however, by which folate supplementation ameliorates the occurrence of developmental defects is unclear. The present work demonstrates that RFC is present in placenta and yolk sac and provides the first evidence that it is expressed in the neural tube, craniofacial region, limb buds and heart during organogenesis. These findings suggest that rapidly dividing cells in the developing neural tube, craniofacial region, limb buds and heart may be particularly susceptible to folate deficiency.
    • Restricted Morphological and Behavioral Abnormalities following Ablation of β-Actin in the Brain

      Cheever, Thomas R.; Li, Bin; Ervasti, James M.; Mei, Lin; Department of Neurology; College of Graduate Studies (2012-03-5)
      The local translation of β-actin is one mechanism proposed to regulate spatially-restricted actin polymerization crucial for nearly all aspects of neuronal development and function. However, the physiological significance of localized β-actin translation in neurons has not yet been demonstrated in vivo. To investigate the role of β-actin in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS), we characterized brain structure and function in a CNS-specific β-actin knock-out mouse (CNS-ActbKO). β-actin was rapidly ablated in the embryonic mouse brain, but total actin levels were maintained through upregulation of other actin isoforms during development. CNS-ActbKO mice exhibited partial perinatal lethality while survivors presented with surprisingly restricted histological abnormalities localized to the hippocampus and cerebellum. These tissue morphology defects correlated with profound hyperactivity as well as cognitive and maternal behavior impairments. Finally, we also identified localized defects in axonal crossing of the corpus callosum in CNS-ActbKO mice. These restricted defects occurred despite the fact that primary neurons lacking β-actin in culture were morphologically normal. Altogether, we identified novel roles for β-actin in promoting complex CNS tissue architecture while also demonstrating that distinct functions for the ubiquitously expressed β-actin are surprisingly restricted in vivo.
    • The Role of Growth Retardation in Lasting Effects of Neonatal Dexamethasone Treatment on Hippocampal Synaptic Function

      Wang, Yu-Chen; Huang, Chiung-Chun; Hsu, Kuei-Sen; Mei, Lin; Department of Neurology; College of Graduate Studies (2010-09-21)
    • Synaptic Defects in the Spinal and Neuromuscular Circuitry in a Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

      Ling, Karen K. Y.; Lin, Ming-Yi; Zingg, Brian; Feng, Zhihua; Ko, Chien-Ping; Mei, Lin; Department of Neurology; College of Graduate Studies (2010-11-11)
      Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a major genetic cause of death in childhood characterized by marked muscle weakness. To investigate mechanisms underlying motor impairment in SMA, we examined the spinal and neuromuscular circuitry governing hindlimb ambulatory behavior in SMA model mice (SMNÎ 7). In the neuromuscular circuitry, we found that nearly all neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) in hindlimb muscles of SMNÎ 7 mice remained fully innervated at the disease end stage and were capable of eliciting muscle contraction, despite a modest reduction in quantal content. In the spinal circuitry, we observed a â ¼28% loss of synapses onto spinal motoneurons in the lateral column of lumbar segments 3â 5, and a significant reduction in proprioceptive sensory neurons, which may contribute to the 50% reduction in vesicular glutamate transporter 1(VGLUT1)-positive synapses onto SMNÎ 7 motoneurons. In addition, there was an increase in the association of activated microglia with SMNÎ 7 motoneurons. Together, our results present a novel concept that synaptic defects occur at multiple levels of the spinal and neuromuscular circuitry in SMNÎ 7 mice, and that proprioceptive spinal synapses could be a potential target for SMA therapy.