• Modulation of Interleukin-6 by levonorgestrel in murine osteoblasts

      Raez, Arlynn G.; School of Graduate Studies (1997-01)
    • Multifaceted role of progesterone upon the reproductive functions of the female rat

      Putnam, Carla D.; Deparment of Physiology and Endocrinology (1990-07)
    • Creating a new life : the process of temperance for perinatal cocaine crack users

      Pursley-Crotteau, Margaret Suzanne; School of Nursing (1995-03)
    • Comparison of two work schedules and interference with personal activities and employee attitudes

      Pompey, Joyce; School of Nursing (1990-03)
      In nursing job dissatisfaction and nursing turnover are· high. One strategy that has been developed to attempt to alleviate some of these problems is the introduction of alternate work schedules into the ·health care fields. One such alternate work schedule is the twelve-hbu~ shift. This comparative ex-post facto study design systematically examines the attitudes of two groups of regist~red nurses in relatidn to the twelve-hour -alterriate work .schedule: and the traditional eight-hour work schequle. One group of nurses - worked twelve hours per day at -least.two days per week. The other group of hurses worked eight hour~ per day, four tb five days per ~~ek~ _:·surveys·were·c6mp1eted by the registered nurses, and the results-wefe analyzed to· - determine the attitudes of each group regarding the spe6ific schedule worked and the amount of interference with personal activities. No significant difference Was found between the two groups in ralation to attitudes toward the ~chedule. ·Howe~er, there was a signijicant difference in the amount of interference with personal activities. The twelve-hour group consistently reported less interference with personal activities than the eight-hour group.
    • Molecular mechanisms of high glucose-induced vascular endothelial growth factor expression in retinal endothelial cells

      Platt, Daniel H; School of Graduate Studies (2004-10)
      Studies in diabetic patients, experimental animal models and tissue culture cells treated with high glucose have shown a close association between pathologic vascular growth, over-expression of the angiogenic factor vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and oxidative stress. Studies of diabetic patients and high glucose treated cells have also shown increased levels of tyrosine nitration, a marker for the formation of the reactive nitrogen species peroxynitrite. Excess formation of reactive oxygen/nitrogen species has been shown to activate two transcription factors that regulate the expression of VEGF, hypoxia-inducible factor-I (HIF-1) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). These observations suggest that diabetes causes increases in VEGF expression due to the effects of high glucose in stimulating the formation of peroxynitrite, which l~ads to the activation of the transcription factors HIF-1 and/or ST AT3 and increases in VEGF expression. This hypothesis was tested by experiments using primary cultures of retinal endothelial cells treated with peroxynitrite or high glucose. Both treatments .increased VEGF mRNA and protein levels. Further, pretreatment with the 'specific peroxynitrite decomposition catalyst FeTPPs blocked the increase in VEGF expression. To determine if HIF-1 and/or STAT3 play a role in the peroxynitrite-induced VEGF expression, studies were done to analyze the activation patterns of both transcription factors. These studies showed that peroxynitrite had no effect on the activation or nuclear translocation of HIF-1 a, but did induce a rapid activation and nuclear translocation of STAT3. To further explore the role of STAT3 in the VEGF expression, cells were treated with peroxynitrite or high glucose in the presence or absence of an adenoviral vector expressing dominant-negative STAT3. Overexpression of the dominant-negative STAT3 blocked the effects of either peroxynitrite or high glucose in increasing VEGF mRNA. Further, treatment with FeTPPS blocked the effects of high glucose in stimulating activation of STAT3. A non-receptor tyrosine kinase, cSrc, has been shown to play a role in the activation of ST AT3 as well as the induction of VEGF expression during tumor angiogenesis. To determine if cSrc plays a role in ST AT3 regulated VEGF transcriptional activation, retinal endothelial cells were transduced with an adenovirus over-expressing a constitutively active Src (vSrc). The vSrc transduction induced activation of STAT3 and increased VEGF expression. Further, FeTPPs blocked the effects of peroxynitrite and high glucose in stimulating activation of cSrc. Additionally, the Src inhibitor PPl blocked the effects of peroxynitrite anμ high glucose in· increasing VEGF mRNA and protein expression. This work is the first to show that 1) high glucose-induced peroxynitrite formation increases· VE_GF expression, 2) STAT3 activation by high glucose-induced peroxynitrite formation regulates VEGF expression and 3) cSrc activation by high glucose-induced peroxynitrite formation activates STAT3 and increases VEGF expression.
    • Efficacy of Epigallocatechin-3-gallate-palmitate as a Virucidal Compound Against Norovirus

      Widjaja, Nicole; Department of Oral Biology and Diagnostic Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-05)
      Norovirus is a highly infectious, non-enveloped virus found to be the leading cause of global gastroenteritis outbreaks. Every year within the United States, this virus is responsible for an average of 19-21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis, approximately 570-800 deaths, and has been the cause of 1.7 to 1.9 million outpatient visits. On a global scale, healthcare costs and lost productivity are estimated to $60 billion due to illnesses and outbreaks caused by the burden of norovirus. Unfortunately, current measures to prevent the transmission of norovirus remain insufficient as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can only recommend hand washing with soap and water as the best preventative measure. The only other hand hygiene method available is alcohol-based hand sanitizers, but the CDC states that they are not effective in inactivating norovirus particles and warns that it should not be considered a substitute to hand washing. Recently, epigallocatecin-3-gallate (EGCG) a major component extracted from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, also commonly known as tea plant, has shown potential to be the next viable candidate as an antiviral solution. Lipid derivatives of EGCG, most notably EGCGpalmitate, has shown to express potent antiviral properties and has showed to play a crucial role in the fight against other non-enveloped viruses such as poliovirus and adenovirus. In this study, we determined the efficacy of EGCG-palmitate in novel formulations against human norovirus surrogates by utilizing the EU international standards for hand hygiene in vitro studies against norovirus. Evidence is provided determining the virucidal activity of alcohol-based ProtecTeaV formulations containing EGCG-palmitate as well as the potential for EGCG-palmitate as a persistent residual virucidal activity against norovirus surrogates, feline calicivirus (FCV) and murine norovirus-1 (MNV-1). By creating an effective, environmentally friendly, non-toxic and long lasting solution composed of EGCG-palmitate, the results of this innovative approach would expand the options available to reduce the transmission of norovirus essentially bridging the gap for a new preventative hand hygiene and ultimately impacting the spread of norovirus on a worldwide scale.
    • THE SECURITY DILEMMA IN RELATION TO RUSSIA’S CYBERAGGRESSION TOWARDS THE UNITED STATES DURING THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

      O'Neil, Rachelle; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-05)
      Voting for public office is often touted as a right, and the ability to do so without interference is vital to the democratic process of the United States. However, during the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election, Russia interfered with the voting process. Given that Russia and the U.S. has a long tenuous relationship that consist of a mutual back and forth, this paper proposes that the security dilemma theory offers an explanation outlining Russia’s cyberaggression toward the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election and whether the aggression posturing was offensive, defensive, or an exchange of both. Additionally, this paper conducts a literature review of the security dilemma theory and the rise of the cybersecurity dilemmas its derivative and ascertains their applicability to the proposed thesis. The paper further argues that in relation to the U.S., Russia, as a Great Power, more likely favors cyberaggression when threatened, real or perceived. This paper uses case analysis as the methodology for testing its research question and answering its thesis. The case analysis comprises of examples of the security dilemma theory, aggression, the cybersecurity dilemma , and cyberaggression exchanged between Russia and the U.S. during the Cold War and 21st Century. After reviewing analysis trends, a discussion follows that covers gapsin this research; advanced knowledge about the theory; the thesis astested; the development or testing of the theory; methodology of cases analyzed; the sources used; measurement of variables; limitations of the study; generalization of results; and finally the reliability or replicability of the results.
    • The Cybersecurity Dilemma and Targeted Advertising

      Martin, Elizabeth; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-05)
      A great debate remains regarding whether cyberspace is offense dominant or defense dominant. This paper reviews the literature of scholars within the cybersecurity offense-defense balance theory discipline. It discusses both the offensive and defensive arguments in detail and determines the United States should ultimately pursue a defensive dominance to ensure cyber superiority. To emphasize the need for defense, the three-year, social-media platform-based, Russian Federation Information Operation serves as a baseline example. Russia not only sowed distrust in the American Democratic process but was successful in inflaming fragile social issues throughout the United States. Russia directly threatened United States sovereignty across an extended period of time and did so, literally from half a world away. This paper serves to develop the role Information Warfare has in manipulation of the Offense-Defense Balance and concludes with the discussion for much needed legislation change, industrial herd immunity, and increased and direct investment in defense and education.
    • The Influence of Instructional Rounds on Teacher Metacognition in a Middle School Context: A Mixed Methods Study

      Townsend, Holly; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 2020-05)
      This study investigated, quantified, and observed metacognitive transformation in middle school ELA and math teachers through the implementation of instructional rounds as a change agent in comparison to the traditional, one-stop workshop format of professional development. A mixed method design was utilized that addressed two research questions: How is teacher metacognition impacted through professional development, and what is the difference in teacher metacognition scores after receiving traditional professional development versus instructional rounds? The results of the study suggested that teacher metacognition is positively impacted by instructional rounds and there were positive attitudes towards instructional rounds as an alternative to traditional professional development. Additionally, the qualitative data indicated that instructional rounds did have a positive impact on instructional practices and supported a progressive maturation of teacher metacognition that could be ultimately transferred to the learner. First, the results elucidated that normal teaching practice is inherently metacognitive and embodies the metacognitive knowledge tenets: person, task, and strategy. Next, teacher collaboration supports the perpetuation of a metacognitive experience, which innately lends itself to reflection. Thirdly, teacher reflection fosters metacognitive goals, thereby resulting in regulation of actions or strategies. Finally, teacher action derived from goal setting is, by definition, metacognitive action. In summary, instructional rounds appeared to be an effective form of professional development that increased and matured teacher metacognition.
    • The Influence of Instructional Rounds on Teacher Metacognition in a Middle School Context: A Mixed Methods Study

      Scoggins, Katherine; Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation (Augusta University, 2020-05)
      This study investigated, quantified, and observed metacognitive transformation in middle school ELA and math teachers through the implementation of instructional rounds as a change agent in comparison to the traditional, one-stop workshop format of professional development. A mixed method design was utilized that addressed two research questions: How is teacher metacognition impacted through professional development, and what is the difference in teacher metacognition scores after receiving traditional professional development versus instructional rounds? The results of the study suggested that teacher metacognition is positively impacted by instructional rounds and there were positive attitudes towards instructional rounds as an alternative to traditional professional development. Additionally, the qualitative data indicated that instructional rounds did have a positive impact on instructional practices and supported a progressive maturation of teacher metacognition that could be ultimately transferred to the learner. First, the results elucidated that normal teaching practice is inherently metacognitive and embodies the metacognitive knowledge tenets: person, task, and strategy. Next, teacher collaboration supports the perpetuation of a metacognitive experience, which innately lends itself to reflection. Thirdly, teacher reflection fosters metacognitive goals, thereby resulting in regulation of actions or strategies. Finally, teacher action derived from goal setting is, by definition, metacognitive action. In summary, instructional rounds appeared to be an effective form of professional development that increased and matured teacher metacognition.
    • PREDICTING TRAINEE PSYCHOTHERAPIST GRADUATE STUDENT SUCCESS WITH ACADEMIC AND PERSONALITY MEASURES

      Lewis, Casey; Department of Psychological Sciences (Augusta University, 2019-12)
      Success in counseling psychology programs includes both academic and clinical performance. Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) and undergraduate grade point average (UGPA) have been linked to the academic aspects of success in programs (e.g., Daehnert & Carter, 1987). Letters of recommendation, personal statements, and interviews are thought to assess interpersonal functioning, which is important in therapeutic ability (e.g., Barnicot, Wampold, & Priebe, 2014). However, these assessments have significant limitations. The current study uses standardized personality assessments in conjunction with GRE and UGPA to predict student success. The Empathic Concern subscale of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI; Davis, 1980, 1983) was used to assess self-reported empathy. Additionally, a performance-based measure, the Social Cognition and Object Relations Scale – Global Rating Method (SCORS-G; Westen, 1995) was used to rate Thematic Apperception Test (TAT; Murray, 1973) narratives to assess trainees’ interpersonal functioning. Variables related to students’ completion vs. non-completion of the first year of a master in clinical and counseling psychology program were analyzed using t-tests and discriminant function analyses. Our findings suggest that a performance-based measure of interpersonal ability is useful at assessing applicants to counseling psychology programs, while GRE scores may not be as useful in the admissions process. Additionally, a significantly higher rate of male vs. female non-completers may reveal a trend in clinical/counseling psychology programs that needs to be addressed.
    • AN ACTOR-NETWORK VIEW OF THE CYBER DOMAIN’S EFFECTS ON DEMOCRATIZATION THROUGH ELECTIONS

      Garrett, Eric; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2020-05)
      Cyberspace conceptualizations include combinations of Internet infrastructure, the devices used to access it, and applications used to encapsulate or communicate data. Other conceptualizations are more abstract. Whether it directly enables democracy as a public sphere, drives economics in the private sector, or securitizes as a domain for information operations, or cyber warfare. These conceptualizations obscure understanding cyberspace’s first order effects on events, and second order understanding related to intelligence and security studies. The research question, can actor-network theory supply a robust theoretical framework to understand and describe cyberspace’s core qualities as a democratizing medium, will be examined in Kenyan, Nigerian, and Zambian use of cyberspace related to elections. Examination of these data points through four elemental characteristics of cyberspace, proliferation, evolution, “spatial hereness,” and linkability, within an actor-network theory will lead to a determination if the totality of cyberspace is a democratizing medium. Lastly, this paper will make general recommendations that can lead to greater understanding of cyberspace that can influence policy and decision making as well as encourage democratic maturity in cyberspace by applying the considerations gained from an actor-network theory perspective.
    • OSTEOPONTIN AS A NOVEL IMMUNE CHECKPOINT

      Klement, John; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Augusta University, 2020-05)
      The host adaptive immune system functions to discriminate self from non-self, eliminating threats from viral infection to tumors. Cytotoxic lymphocytes (CTLs) are the primary effector arm of adaptive immunity. To prevent aberrant activation and autoimmunity, immune checkpoints function physiologically to restrain the CTL response. Tumors pathologically express these checkpoints, preventing immune-driven tumor clearance. Accordingly, immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have shown remarkable clinical success. However, many types of malignancies, as well as many individual patients with responsive tumor types, fail to benefit from current ICI immunotherapies. This conundrum suggests that as-yet undiscovered immune checkpoints exist. We observed that mice deficient in the transcription factor interferon regulatory factor eight (IRF8) tolerated allogenic tumor grafts and demonstrated impaired CTL activation with an accumulation of CD44hi memory-like CTLs. We sought to investigate the mechanism of this immunosuppression. Conditional deletion of IRF8 in T cells, as well as a mixed chimera model, demonstrated that IRF8 did not directly control CTL activation or differentiation into a CD44hi population. Instead, global loss of IRF8 lead to an expansion of an immature myeloid CD11b+Ly6G+Ly6Clo population which highly expressed osteopontin (OPN), a physiological ligand for CD44. Elevated levels of OPN were shown to suppress murine CTL activation and proliferation. A similar IRF8-OPN-CD44 axis was observed in murine and human colorectal cancer, which is refractory to current ICI therapies. Malignant cells and human patients displayed enhanced OPN levels relative to healthy donor controls. This was shown to be mediated by loss of IRF8 expression, which directly bound to the OPN promoter to repress its transcription. Elevated levels of OPN similarly prevented human CTL activation, and higher levels of OPN were correlated with decreased survival in human patients. We have shown that the IRF8-OPN-CD44 axis functions as a novel immune checkpoint in both myeloid and tumor cells. Blockade of OPN may have potent anti-tumor activity, expanding the pool of patients responsive to ICI therapy.
    • Effect of tobacco smoke components on NFkB activation in human monocytes

      Perry, Mary Heather; School of Graduate Studies (2002-07)
    • Preschoolers' knowledge of health and healthy behaviors

      Pearre, Rena C.; School of Nursing (1993-05)
      Children's knowledge and thoughts about health can influence their adult health behaviors, because behaviors learned in childhood are frequently carried throughout life. The purpose of this study was to explore preschoolers' knowledge of health. Twenty preschool children were interviewed using Flaherty's (1986) Preschool Health Picture Interview (PHPI). Data analyzed by t-tests revealed the age of the child to be a significant factor in the childs knowledge of health. The findings of this study suggest that preschoolers recognize pictures that indicate situations that could be hazardous to health as well as activities that promote health. Nurses need to work with preschoolers to promote health education so that these behaviors will continue in adulthood.
    • Adrenal zona glomerulosa targeting in transgenic mice

      Parmar, Jeniel; School of Graduate Studies (2009-12)
      The final step in the production of aldosterone is performed by the enzyme aldosterone synthase (CYP11 B2)-. CYP11 B2 is primarily expressed in the zona glomerulosa (ZG). of the adrenal cortex. Adrenocortical, expression of CYP11 B2 is primarily regulated by circulating levels of angiotensin II (Ang II) and K+, but the molecular mechanisms that control its ZG-specific expression are not clearly defined. Con$iderable in vitro analyses have been performed towards defining the mechanisms that control CYP11 B2 expression. Previous studies from our laboratory and others have identified · several cis-regulatory elements on the 5' · flanking promoter region (at -71/64, -129/114, -351/343 and -773/766) that regulate basal expression as well as maximal stimulation of CYP11 B2 gene transcription. Moreover, key· transcription factors that bind these cis-regulatory regions including NGFIB, NURR1, SF-1 and COUP-TF have also been identified. Hence, through several in vitro analyses, a considerable evidence exists supporting the contention that these regulatory elements found within the 5' flanking promoter region may control ZG-specific expression of CYP 11 B2 gene. However, thus far, all evidence is based on in. vitro analyses of transcriptional regulation, which does not always depict in vivo_occurrences. To initiate our in vivo assessment of CYP1182 promoter, we began by comparing the DNA sequences between human, mouse, and rat CYP1182 genes, which interestingly revealed high sequence similarity in the · 5' flanking promoter region of the CYP1182 gene. This result suggested that the cisregulatory regions identified by in vitro analyses likely plays an important role in CYP1182 ZG-specific gene expression. Therefore, we generated transgenic mouse lines by pronuclear injection of a Transgenic (Tg) DNA construct containing 985 base pairs (bp) of the mouse Cyp11 b2 promoter driving expression of a Lacz reporter gene.· Importantly, 4 founder Tg mouse lines revealed Lacz expression exclusively in the adrenal ZG. Mice fed a normal sodium diet (0.3 %) and a low sodium diet (0.03 %) showed Lacz mRNA expression exclusively in adrenal tissue. Furthermore, (3-galactosidase protein (the product of LacZ) was localized solely in the ZG of the Tg mice. Hence, the role of the proximal promoter region of the Cyp11 b2 gene was confirmed, in vivo, as this region allowed induction of Lacz exclusively in the adrenal ZG of Tg mice. Moreover, with the expression of Lacz properly restricted to adrenal ZG, we concluded that regions required for Cyp11 b2 gene repression in the adjacent inner two zones of the adrenal cortex were also confined within the 985 bp promoter. This regulatory fragment. will be an invaluable tool for adrenal ZG targeting of genes believed to play a role in adrenocortical diseases and aldosterone dysregulation. While developing Tg mice, we also focused on characterization and development of novel adrenocortical cell lines. As aforementioned, in vitro culture models have allowed a multitude of studies that have broadened our understanding of normal adrenocortical endocrine function. Primary cultures of adrenocortical cells have been an excellent source for in vitro studies. However, the eventual onset of senescence in primary cultures of cells creates a recurring need for the costly · and difficult isolations of fresh adrenocortical cells. Hence, the use of primary cultures has been increasingly supplemented by immortalized cell lines. We utilized an adrenocortical carcinoma to develop a human adrenocortical cell line. We entitled it the human adrenocortical carcinoma cell line clone 15 (HAC15). HAC15 represents only the second human adrenocortical cell line available that exhibits physiological hormonal responses, steroid.ogenesis, and expression of steroid-metabolizing enzymes. The ability of HAC15 to respond to Ang II, K+, and ACTH makes it the first adrenal cell line capable of responding to the three main physiologic regulators of the adrenal cortex.