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The assessment of inter-regional functional connectivity (FC) has allowed for the description of the putative mechanism of action of treatments such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the nucleus accumbens in patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). Nevertheless, the possible FC alterations of other clinically-effective DBS targets have not been explored. Here we evaluated the FC patterns of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) in patients with OCD, as well as their association with symptom severity.
Eighty-six patients with OCD and 104 healthy participants were recruited. A resting-state image was acquired for each participant and a seed-based analysis focused on our two regions of interest was performed using statistical parametric mapping software (SPM8). Between-group differences in FC patterns were assessed with two-sample t test models, while the association between symptom severity and FC patterns was assessed with multiple regression analyses.
In comparison with controls, patients with OCD showed: (1) increased FC between the left STN and the right pre-motor cortex, (2) decreased FC between the right STN and the lenticular nuclei, and (3) increased FC between the left BNST and the right frontopolar cortex. Multiple regression analyses revealed a negative association between clinical severity and FC between the right STN and lenticular nucleus.
This study provides a neurobiological framework to understand the mechanism of action of DBS on the STN and the BNST, which seems to involve brain circuits related with motor response inhibition and anxiety control, respectively.
Prematurity is a risk factor for hypertension, vascular stiffness, nephron deficit and adult onset cardiorenal disease. The vascular tree and kidneys share morphogenic drivers that promote maturation in utero before 36 weeks of gestation. Vascular elastin accrual terminates after birth leaving collagen to promote vascular stiffness. Our objective was to determine if the histomorphometry of the umbilical artery, an extension of the aorta, parallels nephron mass across gestational age groups. From a cohort of 54 newborns, 32 umbilical cord specimens were adequate for evaluation. The umbilical cord was sectioned, stained with trichrome, and digitalized. Muscular and collagenous areas of the umbilical artery were measured in pixels using the Image J 1.48q software. Total kidney volume was measured by ultrasound and factored by body surface area (TKV/BSA). The umbilical artery total area was significantly greater in term v. preterm infants (9.3±1.3 v. 7.0±2.0 mm2; P<0.05) and increased with gestational age; while the percent muscular and collagen areas were independent of gestational age (R2=0.04; P=ns). Percent muscular area correlated positively with TKV/BSA (r=0.53; P=0.002); while an increase in collagen correlated inversely with kidney mass (r=−0.53; P=0.002). In conclusion, an enhanced % muscular area and presumed vascular elasticity was associated with increased renal mass in all infants. Umbilical artery histomorphometry provides a link between the intrauterine environment, vascular and kidney development.
Recent studies point to overlap between neuropsychiatric disorders in symptomatology and genetic aetiology.
To systematically investigate genomics overlap between childhood and adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and major depressive disorder (MDD).
Analysis of whole-genome blood gene expression and genetic risk scores of 318 individuals. Participants included individuals affected with adult ADHD (n = 93), childhood ADHD (n = 17), MDD (n = 63), ASD (n = 51), childhood dual diagnosis of ADHD–ASD (n = 16) and healthy controls (n = 78).
Weighted gene co-expression analysis results reveal disorder-specific signatures for childhood ADHD and MDD, and also highlight two immune-related gene co-expression modules correlating inversely with MDD and adult ADHD disease status. We find no significant relationship between polygenic risk scores and gene expression signatures.
Our results reveal disorder overlap and specificity at the genetic and gene expression level. They suggest new pathways contributing to distinct pathophysiology in psychiatric disorders and shed light on potential shared genomic risk factors.
The in vitro leishmanicidal activity of a series of imidazole-containing phthalazine derivatives 1–4 was tested on Leishmania infantum, Leishmania braziliensis and Leishmania donovani parasites, and their cytotoxicity on J774·2 macrophage cells was also measured. All compounds tested showed selectivity indexes higher than that of the reference drug glucantime for the three Leishmania species, and the less bulky monoalkylamino substituted derivatives 2 and 4 were clearly more effective than their bisalkylamino substituted counterparts 1 and 3. Both infection rate measures and ultrastructural alterations studies confirmed that 2 and 4 were highly leishmanicidal and induced extensive parasite cell damage. Modifications to the excretion products of parasites treated with 2 and 4 were also consistent with substantial cytoplasmic alterations. On the other hand, the most active compounds 2 and 4 were potent inhibitors of iron superoxide dismutase enzyme (Fe-SOD) in the three species considered, whereas their impact on human CuZn-SOD was low. Molecular modelling suggests that 2 and 4 could deactivate Fe-SOD due to a sterically favoured enhanced ability to interact with the H-bonding net that supports the antioxidant features of the enzyme.
The subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) is considered to be an important site of abnormality in major depressive disorder. However, structural alterations in this region have not been a consistent finding and functional imaging studies have also implicated additional areas.
A total of 32 patients with major depressive disorder, currently depressed, and 64 controls underwent structural imaging with MRI. Also, 26 patients and 52 controls were examined using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during performance of the n-back working memory task. Structural and functional changes were evaluated using whole-brain, voxel-based methods.
The depressed patients showed volume reductions in the sgACC and orbitofrontal cortex bilaterally, plus in both temporal poles and the hippocampus/parahippocampal gyrus on the left. Functional imaging revealed task-related hypoactivation in the left lateral prefrontal cortex and other regions, as well as failure of deactivation in a subcallosal medial frontal cortical area which included the sgACC.
Whole-brain, voxel-based analysis finds evidence of both structural and functional abnormality in the sgACC in major depressive disorder. The fact that the functional changes in this area took the form of failure of deactivation adds to previous findings of default mode network dysfunction in the disorder.
The paper presents the analysis of Raman scattering spectra of non-conjugated and bio-conjugated CdSe/ZnS core–shell quantum dots in the range of Raman shifts of 80 - 2000 cm-1. Commercial CdSe/ZnS QDs covered by polymer and characterized by color emission with the maxima at 605 and 655 nm (1.89 and 2.04 eV) were used. Raman scattering spectra were measured at 300K and the excitation by the line 785.0 nm of a solid state LED. The analysis of Raman spectra has shown that the QD bio-conjugation to the immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies of the Pseudorabies virus is accompanied by the changes of the intensity of Raman lines related to the CdSe/ZnS core/shell QDs, PEG polymer covered QDs, the Si substrate and/or some organic groups of antibody molecules. The comparison of Raman spectra of CdSe/ZnS QDs with different sizes in non-conjugated and bio-conjugated states gives the opportunity to detect the bio-conjugation without mistake.
Sirtuin proteins form a family of NAD+-dependent protein deacetylases that are considered potential drug targets against parasites. Here, we present the first characterization of a sirtuin orthologue from Leishmania amazonensis, an aetiological agent of American tegumentary leishmaniasis that has been the subject of many studies focused in the development of therapeutic approaches. The protein has high sequence identity with other Kinetoplastid Silent information regulator 2 Related Protein 1 (Sir2RP1) and was named LaSir2RP1. The gene exists as a single copy, encoding a monomeric protein (LaSir2RP1) of approximately 41 kDa that has NAD+-dependent deacetylase activity. LaSir2RP1 was immunodetected in total protein extracts, in cytoplasmic granules, and in the secreted material of both promastigotes and lesion-derived amastigotes. Analysis of both lectin‑affinity purified promastigote and amastigote extracts revealed the presence of a major enriched protein of approximately 66 kDa that was recognized by an anti-LaSir2RP1 serum, suggesting that a parasite sirtuin could be glycosylated in vivo.