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- Modulation of TRESK Background K(+) Channel by Membrane Stretch. [Journal Article]
- PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e64471.
The two-pore domain K(+) channel TRESK is expressed in dorsal root ganglion and trigeminal sensory neurons where it is a major contributor to background K(+) current. TRESK acts as a break to prevent excessive sensory neuron activation and decreases in its expression or function have been involved in neuronal hyperexcitability after injury/inflammation, migraine or altered sensory perception (tingling, cooling and pungent burning sensations). All these effects have implicated this channel in nociception and mechanotransduction. To determine the role of TRESK in sensory transduction, we studied its sensitivity to changes in membrane tension (stretch) in heterologous systems, F-11 cells and trigeminal neurons. Laminar shear stress increased TRESK currents by 22-30%. An increase in membrane tension induced by cell swelling (hypotonic medium) produced a reversible elevation of TRESK currents (39.9%). In contrast, cell shrinkage (hypertonic solution) produced the opposite effect. Membrane crenators or cup-formers produced equivalent effects. In trigeminal sensory neurons, TRESK channels were mechanically stimulated by negative pressure, which led to a 1.51-fold increase in channel open probability. TRESK-like currents in trigeminal neurons were additively inhibited by arachidonic acid, acidic pH and hypertonic stimulation, conditions usually found after tissue inflammation. Our results show that TRESK is modulated by changes in cell membrane tension and/or cell volume. Several key players released during inflammation or tissue injury could modulate sensory neuron activation through small changes in membrane tension.
- Risk Perception, Preventive Behaviors, and Vaccination Coverage in the Korean Population during the 2009-2010 Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1): Comparison between High-Risk Group and Non-High-Risk Group. [Journal Article]
- PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e64230.
This study was carried out to estimate the vaccination coverage, public perception, and preventive behaviors against pandemic influenza A (H1N1) and to understand the motivation and barriers to vaccination between high-risk and non-high-risk groups during the outbreak of pandemic influenza A (H1N1). METHODOLOGYPRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A cross-sectional nationwide telephone survey of 1,650 community-dwelling Korean adults aged 19 years and older was conducted in the later stage of the 2009-2010 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) outbreak. The questionnaire identified the demographics, vaccination status of participants and all household members, barriers to non-vaccination, perceived threat, and preventive behaviors. In Korea, the overall rate of pandemic influenza vaccination coverage in the surveyed population was 15.5%; vaccination coverage in the high-risk group and non-high-risk group was 47.3% and 8.0%, respectively. In the high-risk group, the most important triggering event for vaccination was receiving a notice from a public health organization. In the non-high-risk group, vaccination was more strongly influenced by previous experience with influenza or mass media campaigns. In both groups, the most common reasons for not receiving vaccination was that their health was sufficient to forgo the vaccination, and lack of time. There was no significant difference in how either group perceived the threat or adopted preventive behavior. The predictive factors for pandemic influenza vaccination were being elderly (age ≥65 years), prior seasonal influenza vaccination, and chronic medical disease. CONCLUSIONSSIGNIFICANCE: With the exception of vaccination coverage, the preventive behaviors of the high-risk group were not different from those of the non-high-risk group during the 2009-2010 pandemic. For future pandemic preparedness planning, it is crucial to reinforce preventive behaviors to avoid illness before vaccination and to increase vaccination coverage in the high-risk group.
- Probiotics VSL#3 Protect against Development of Visceral Pain in Murine Model of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. [Journal Article]
- PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e63893.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is linked to post-inflammatory and stress-correlated factors that cause changes in the perception of visceral events. Probiotic bacteria may be effective in treating IBS symptoms. Here, we have investigated whether early life administration of VSL#3, a mixture of 8 probiotic bacteria strains, protects against development of visceral hypersensitivity driven by neonatal maternal separation (NMS), a rat model of IBS.Male NMS pups were treated orally with placebo or VSL#3 from days 3 to 60, while normal, not separated rats were used as controls. After 60 days from birth, perception of painful sensation induced by colorectal distension (CRD) was measured by assessing the abdominal withdrawal reflex (score 0-4). The colonic gene expression was assessed by using the Agilent Whole Rat Genome Oligo Microarrays platform and confirmed by real time PCR.NMS rats exhibited both hyperalgesia and allodynia when compared to control rats. VSL#3 had a potent analgesic effect on CRD-induced pain without changing the colorectal compliance. The microarray analysis demonstrated that NMS induces a robust change in the expression of subsets of genes (CCL2, NOS3, THP1, NTRK1, CCR2, BDRKRB1, IL-10, TNFRSF1B, TRPV4, CNR1 and OPRL1) involved in pain transmission and inflammation. TPH1, tryptophan hydroxylase 1, a validated target gene in IBS treatment, was markedly upregulated by NMS and this effect was reversed by VSL#3 intervention.Early life administration of VSL#3 reduces visceral pain perception in a model of IBS and resets colonic expression of subsets of genes mediating pain and inflammation. TRANSCRIPT PROFILING: Accession number of repository for expression microarray data is GSE38942 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo/query/acc.cgi?acc=GSE38942).
- Modifying Bodily Self-Awareness during Acupuncture Needle Stimulation Using the Rubber Hand Illusion. [Journal Article]
- Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2013.:849602.
Background.The rubber hand illusion (RHI) is an experimental paradigm that manipulates important aspects of body self-awareness.
Objectives.We were interested in whether modifying bodily self-awareness by manipulation of body ownership and visual expectations using the RHI would change the subjective perception of pain as well as the autonomic response to acupuncture needle stimulation. Methods. Acupuncture needle stimulation was applied to the real hand during the RHI with (experiment 1) or without (experiment 2) visual expectation while measuring concurrent autonomic changes such as the skin conductance response (SCR). Subjective responses such as perception of the RHI and perceived pain were measured by questionnaires.
Results.In experiment 1, the amplitude of the increase in SCR was visibly higher during the synchronous session compared with that of the asynchronous session. In experiment 2, the amplitude of the increase of SCR was lower for the synchronous session compared with that for the asynchronous session. Comparing these two experiments, the visual expectation of needle stimulation produced a greater autonomic response to acupuncture stimulation.
Conclusions.Our findings suggest that the sympathetic response to acupuncture needle stimulation is primarily influenced by visual expectation rather than by modifications of body ownership.
- Three- and five-year follow-up of a combined inpatient-outpatient treatment of obese children and adolescents. [Journal Article]
- Int J Pediatr 2013.:856743.
Aim."The combined DAK therapy for obesity in children and adolescents" combines a 6-week inpatient with a 10.5-month outpatient treatment. The aim of the study is to evaluate whether the therapeutic achievements are maintained two and four years after intervention.
Method.All subjects who had participated in the 12-month program in 2004/2005 were included in the follow-up study. Body weight, height, and physical fitness were assessed through direct measurements, behaviour, and quality of life by self-report questionnaires. Statistical analysis is based on an intention-to-treat analysis.
Results.The response rate after three years was 63.4% and 42.2% after five years. Within three years, participants reduced their BMI-SDS significantly by 0.20 (SD 0.49) and by 0.15 (SD 0.51) within five years. Significant positive changes could be observed with respect to the participants eating behaviour. Similarly, the food intake, particularly the consumption of calorie-reduced beverages, increased significantly while that of nonrecommended foods decreased. Improvement was also seen in the subjective quality of life as well as several aspects of self-perception.
Conclusion.Compared to baseline data, significant reduction of BMI-SDS and positive changes of health-related behaviours could be observed even three and five years after the start of the initial program.
- Developmental dyslexia and vision. [Journal Article]
- Clin Ophthalmol 2013.:869-81.
Developmental dyslexia affects almost 10% of school-aged children and represents a significant public health problem. Its etiology is unknown. The consistent presence of phonological difficulties combined with an inability to manipulate language sounds and the grapheme-phoneme conversion is widely acknowledged. Numerous scientific studies have also documented the presence of eye movement anomalies and deficits of perception of low contrast, low spatial frequency, and high frequency temporal visual information in dyslexics. Anomalies of visual attention with short visual attention spans have also been demonstrated in a large number of cases. Spatial orientation is also affected in dyslexics who manifest a preference for spatial attention to the right. This asymmetry may be so pronounced that it leads to a veritable neglect of space on the left side. The evaluation of treatments proposed to dyslexics whether speech or oriented towards the visual anomalies remains fragmentary. The advent of new explanatory theories, notably cerebellar, magnocellular, or proprioceptive, is an incentive for ophthalmologists to enter the world of multimodal cognition given the importance of the eye's visual input.
- Miniature curved artificial compound eyes. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2013 May 20.
In most animal species, vision is mediated by compound eyes, which offer lower resolution than vertebrate single-lens eyes, but significantly larger fields of view with negligible distortion and spherical aberration, as well as high temporal resolution in a tiny package. Compound eyes are ideally suited for fast panoramic motion perception. Engineering a miniature artificial compound eye is challenging because it requires accurate alignment of photoreceptive and optical components on a curved surface. Here, we describe a unique design method for biomimetic compound eyes featuring a panoramic, undistorted field of view in a very thin package. The design consists of three planar layers of separately produced arrays, namely, a microlens array, a neuromorphic photodetector array, and a flexible printed circuit board that are stacked, cut, and curved to produce a mechanically flexible imager. Following this method, we have prototyped and characterized an artificial compound eye bearing a hemispherical field of view with embedded and programmable low-power signal processing, high temporal resolution, and local adaptation to illumination. The prototyped artificial compound eye possesses several characteristics similar to the eye of the fruit fly Drosophila and other arthropod species. This design method opens up additional vistas for a broad range of applications in which wide field motion detection is at a premium, such as collision-free navigation of terrestrial and aerospace vehicles, and for the experimental testing of insect vision theories.
- Linking infant-directed speech and face preferences to language outcomes in infants at risk for autism spectrum disorder. [Journal Article]
- J Speech Lang Hear Res 2013 Apr; 56(2):567-76.
In this study, the authors aimed to examine whether biases for infant-directed (ID) speech and faces differ between infant siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (SIBS-A) and infant siblings of typically developing children (SIBS-TD), and whether speech and face biases predict language outcomes and risk group membership.Thirty-six infants were tested at ages 6, 8, 12, and 18 months. Infants heard 2 ID and 2 adult-directed (AD) speech passages paired with either a checkerboard or a face. The authors assessed expressive language at 12 and 18 months and general functioning at 12 months using the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (Mullen, 1995).Both infant groups preferred ID to AD speech and preferred faces to checkerboards. SIBS-TD demonstrated higher expressive language at 18 months than did SIBS-A, a finding that correlated with preferences for ID speech at 12 months. Although both groups looked longer to face stimuli than to the checkerboard, the magnitude of the preference was smaller in SIBS-A and predicted expressive vocabulary at 18 months in this group. Infants' preference for faces contributed to risk-group membership in a logistic regression analysis.Infants at heightened risk of ASD differ from typically developing infants in their preferences for ID speech and faces, which may underlie deficits in later language development and social communication.
- Interplay between sucrose and folate modulates auxin signalling in Arabidopsis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Plant Physiol 2013 May 20.
As sessile organisms growing in an ever-changing environment, plants must integrate multiple regulatory inputs to promote the appropriate developmental responses. One such nutritional signal is cellular sugar levels, which rise and fall throughout the day and affect a variety of developmental processes. To uncover signalling pathways that modulate sugar perception, compounds from the library of active compounds in Arabidopsis (LATCA) were screened for the ability to perturb developmental responses to sucrose in Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings. This screen found that sulfonamides, which inhibit folate biosynthesis in plants, restrict hypocotyl elongation in a sugar-dependent fashion. Transcriptome analysis identified a small set of transcripts that respond the interaction between sulfonamide and sucrose, including a number of transcripts encoding Aux/IAAs, negative regulators of auxin signal transduction. Chemical inhibition of auxin transport or genetic disruption of auxin signalling relieved this interaction, suggesting that responses to these two nutritional stimuli are mediated by auxin. Reporter systems used to track auxin signalling and distribution showed enhanced activity in the vascular region of the hypocotyl in response to co-treatment of sucrose and sulfonamide, yet no change in auxin abundance was observed. Taken together, these findings suggest that the interplay between sucrose and folates acts to fine-tune auxin sensitivity and affects auxin distribution during seedling development.
- Views of the Scottish general public on non-medical prescribing. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Clin Pharm 2013 May 22.
Background Under UK legislation, suitably qualified non-medical professionals can practise as prescribers. Few studies have explored the views of the general public towards non-medical prescribing. Objective The aim was to explore the views of the Scottish general public on non-medical prescribing. Setting General community in Scotland. Method A pre-piloted survey was mailed to a random sample of 5,000 members of the general public in Scotland. In addition to the items on awareness of and attitudes towards non-medical prescribing, respondents were asked to 'give any other comments, issues or concerns you have in relation to health professionals other than doctors prescribing.' Responses were subjected to content analysis. Main outcome measures Key themes identified from content analysis. Results The overall questionnaire response rate was 37.1 % (n = 1,855) of which 27.2 % (n = 505) provided comments. Most were directly related to pharmacist prescribing (n = 312) while others referred to non-medical prescribers generically (n = 172) or other healthcare professionals (n = 79). Nine themes were identified: perception of knowledge and training; support for a limited range of non-medical prescribing; access to medical records; motivation and convenience; confidence, faith and trust; privacy and confidentiality; risks, controls and continuity of care; supervision and conflict of interest; communication and cooperation. Conclusions The findings identify support for non-medical prescribing but indicate the need for non-medical prescribers to engage more with the general public. The comments also provide insight into the challenges for non-medical prescribers, as they strive to fulfil their extended healthcare roles.