Book chapters will be unavailable on Saturday 24th August between 8am-12pm BST. This is for essential maintenance which will provide improved performance going forwards. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Ovulation is considered an inflammatory, cytokine-mediated event. Cytokines, which are recognized as growth factors with immunoregulatory properties, are involved in many cellular processes at the ovarian level. In this sense, cytokines affect fertility and are involved in the development of different ovarian disorders such as bovine cystic ovarian disease (COD). Because it has been previously demonstrated that ovarian cells represent both sources and targets of cytokines, the aim of this study was to examine the expression of several cytokines, including IL-1β, IL-1RA, IL-1RI, IL-1RII, IL-4 and IL-8, in ovarian follicular structures from cows with spontaneous COD. The protein expression of these cytokines was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Additionally, IL-1β, IL-4 and IL-8 concentrations in follicular fluid (FF) and serum were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In granulosa and theca cells, IL-1RI, IL-1RII, IL-1RA and IL-4 expression levels were higher in cystic follicles than in the control dominant follicles. The serum and FF concentrations of IL-1β and IL-4 showed no differences between groups, whereas IL-8 concentration was detected only in FF of cysts from cows with COD. The FF and serum concentrations of IL-1β and IL-8 showed no significant differences, whereas IL-4 concentration was higher in FF than in serum in both the control and COD groups. These results evidenced an altered expression of cytokines in ovaries of cows with COD that could contribute to the pathogenesis of this disease.
Over recent decades, biomass gains in remaining old-growth Amazonia forests have declined due to environmental change. Amazonia’s huge size and complexity makes understanding these changes, drivers, and consequences very challenging. Here, using a network of permanent monitoring plots at the Amazon–Cerrado transition, we quantify recent biomass carbon changes and explore their environmental drivers. Our study area covers 30 plots of upland and riparian forests sampled at least twice between 1996 and 2016 and subject to various levels of fire and drought. Using these plots, we aimed to: (1) estimate the long-term biomass change rate; (2) determine the extent to which forest changes are influenced by forest type; and (3) assess the threat to forests from ongoing environmental change. Overall, there was no net change in biomass, but there was clear variation among different forest types. Burning occurred at least once in 8 of the 12 riparian forests, while only 1 of the 18 upland forests burned, resulting in losses of carbon in burned riparian forests. Net biomass gains prevailed among other riparian and upland forests throughout Amazonia. Our results reveal an unanticipated vulnerability of riparian forests to fire, likely aggravated by drought, and threatening ecosystem conservation at the Amazon southern margins.
The ability of “comfort-food” (CF) diet to revert long-term effects of early-life stress (ELS) is less well known. The objective of this study was to verify if the chronic exposure to CF diet in animals submitted to ELS could relief the stress response at behavioral, neuroendocrine, and neurobiochemical levels, via differences in glucocorticoid receptors expression in brain areas involved in the stress response. From the second day of life, litters of Wistar rats and their mothers were submitted to the reduced nesting material protocol (ELS). In adult life, ELS and a control group were exposed chronically to two diet schemes: standard rat chow only or both “CF” diet, containing fat (34%) and sugar (20%) and a diet similar to the standard diet. Anxiety-like behavior, neuroendocrine response stress, leptin, GR, SOCS-3, pSTAT3, and the abdominal fat were evaluated. The anxiety-like behavior results showed that ELS group when exposed to comfort food were not different from the others groups. Chronic exposure to CF diet induced an anxiety-like behavior in the control group. Groups chronically exposed to CF diet had lower levels of corticosterone over time independent of the neonatal group. The ELS group exposed to the “CF” diet had higher levels of hippocampal GR, lower levels of hypothalamic SOCS-3 and greater accumulation of abdominal fat. Chronic CF diet consumption is able to reduce corticosterone levels independent of the neonatal history, but is associated with anxiety-like behavior in animals without previous history of trauma. Metabolic disturbances like increased adiposity and altered SOCS-3 seem to be a result of multiple insults (neonatal trauma followed by chronic CF diet). We highlight that the Control-chow and ELS-chow data were previously published, and are included in this study for comparative analysis.
Despite emerging evidence that distress and adversity can contribute to negative health outcomes in cancer, little is known about the brain networks, regions, or circuits that can contribute to individual differences in affect/distress states and health outcomes in treated cancer patients. To understand the state-of-the-science in this regard, we reviewed neuroimaging studies with cancer patients that examined the associations between negative affect (distress) and changes in the metabolism or structure of brain regions. Cancer patients showed changes in function and/or structure of key brain regions such as the prefrontal cortex, thalamus, amygdala, hippocampus, cingulate cortex (mainly subgenual area), hypothalamus, basal ganglia (striatum and caudate), and insula, which are associated with greater anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and distress. These results provide insights for understanding the effects of these psychological and emotional factors on peripheral stress-related biobehavioral pathways known to contribute to cancer progression and long-term health outcomes. This line of work provides leads for understanding the brain-mediated mechanisms that may explain the health effects of psychosocial interventions in cancer patients and survivors. A multilevel and integrated model for distress management intervention effects on psychological adaptation, biobehavioral processes, cancer pathogenesis, and clinical outcomes is proposed for future research.
Whole-crop maize forage was ensiled without inoculant (control), inoculated with Lactobacillus buchneri and L. plantarum at a rate of 1 × 105 cfu/g fresh forage per bacterium (LBLP), or inoculated with Bacillus subtilis and L. plantarum at a rate 1 × 105 cfu/g fresh forage per bacterium (BSLP) with the goal to investigate the growth performance of finishing feedlot lambs. Thirty Dorper × Santa Ines lambs (29 ± 3.5 kg initial body weight) were used in the feedlot programme and assigned (n = 10) to one of three diets containing control, LBLP or BSLP silages in a 60:40 forage:concentrate ratio. Inoculation of maize silage did not alter dry matter intake (overall mean = 1.16 kg/day) and average daily gain (overall mean = 0.217 kg/day) of lambs. Consequently, feed efficiency remained unchanged. Inoculation of maize silage did not alter carcass and meat traits of lambs, with the exception of meat colour, wherein yellowness (b*) decreased by feeding LBLP and BSLP diets compared with the untreated diet. Regarding ruminal fermentation, there was an interaction between diets and the interval at which ruminal fluid was sampled for determining total volatile fatty acid concentration, but inoculation yielded no obvious results. In conclusion, the use of diets based on maize silage inoculated with L. plantarum combined with either L. buchneri or B. subtilis did not display relevant effects on growth performance of lambs; this response might be related to the limited impact of these bacterial inoculants on silage composition.
Epidemiological studies have found coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Thus, the aim of this randomised, cross-over single-blind study was to investigate the effects of regular coffee, regular coffee with sugar and decaffeinated coffee consumption on glucose metabolism and incretin hormones. Seventeen healthy men participated in five trials each, during which they consumed coffee (decaffeinated, regular (containing caffeine) or regular with sugar) or water (with or without sugar). After 1 h of each intervention, they received an oral glucose tolerance test with one intravenous dose of [1-13C]glucose. The Oral Dose Intravenous Label Experiment was applied and glucose and insulin levels were interpreted using a stable isotope two-compartment minimal model. A mixed-model procedure (PROC MIXED), with subject as random effect and time as repeated measure, was used to compare the effects of the beverages on glucose metabolism and incretin parameters (glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP)) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)). Insulin sensitivity was higher with decaffeinated coffee than with water (P<0·05). Regular coffee with sugar did not significantly affect glucose, insulin, C-peptide and incretin hormones, compared with water with sugar. Glucose, insulin, C-peptide, GLP-1 and GIP levels were not statistically different after regular and decaffeinated coffee compared with water. Our findings demonstrated that the consumption of decaffeinated coffee improves insulin sensitivity without changing incretin hormones levels. There was no short-term adverse effect on glucose homoeostasis, after an oral glucose challenge, attributable to the consumption of regular coffee with sugar.
We compute the real and imaginary parts of the electric permittivities and magnetic permeabilities of relativistic electrons from quantum electrodynamics at finite temperatures and densities, for weak fields, neglecting electron–electron interactions. For non-zero temperatures, electromagnetic responses are reduced to one-dimensional integrals computed numerically. For zero temperature, we find analytic expressions for both their real/dispersive and imaginary/absorptive parts. As an application of our results, we obtain the dispersion relation for longitudinal electric plasmons. Present calculations support our recent claim that, at low frequencies and long wavelengths, the system will exhibit simultaneously negative electric and magnetic responses.
Urban slums provide suitable conditions for infestation by rats, which harbour and shed a wide diversity of zoonotic pathogens including helminths. We aimed to identify risk factors associated with the probability and intensity of infection of helminths of the digestive tract in an urban slum population of Rattus norvegicus. Among 299 rats, eleven species/groups of helminths were identified, of which Strongyloides sp., Nippostrongylus brasiliensis and, the human pathogen, Angiostrongylus cantonensis were the most frequent (97, 41 and 39%, respectively). Sex interactions highlighted behavioural differences between males and females, as eg males were more likely to be infected with N. brasiliensis where rat signs were present, and males presented more intense infections of Strongyloides sp. Moreover, rats in poor body condition had higher intensities of N. brasiliensis. We describe a high global richness of parasites in R. norvegicus, including five species known to cause disease in humans. Among these, A. cantonensis was found in high prevalence and it was ubiquitous in the study area – knowledge which is of public health importance. A variety of environmental, demographic and body condition variables were associated with helminth species infection of rats, suggesting a comparable variety of risk factors for humans.
The present study aimed to evaluate trace mineral status of organic dairy herds in northern Spain and the sources of minerals in different types of feed. Blood samples from organic and conventional dairy cattle and feed samples from the respective farms were analysed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to determine the concentrations of the essential trace elements (cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), iodine (I), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), nickel (Ni), selenium (Se) and zinc (Zn)) and toxic trace elements (arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb)). Overall, no differences between organic and conventional farms were detected in serum concentrations of essential and toxic trace elements (except for higher concentrations of Cd on the organic farms), although a high level of inter-farm variation was detected in the organic systems, indicating that organic production greatly depends on the specific local conditions. The dietary concentrations of the essential trace elements I, Cu, Se and Zn were significantly higher in the conventional than in the organic systems, which can be attributed to the high concentration of these minerals in the concentrate feed. No differences in the concentrations of trace minerals were found in the other types of feed. Multivariate chemometric analysis was conducted to determine the contribution of different feed sources to the trace element status of the cattle. Concentrate samples were mainly associated with Co, Cu, I, Se and Zn (i.e. with the elements supplemented in this type of feed). However, pasture and grass silage were associated with soil-derived elements (As, Cr, Fe and Pb) which cattle may thus ingest during grazing.
In this study, diabetes mellitus (DM) was induced in Wistar rats during pregnancy and maintained in the postpartum period (PP) and we evaluated systolic blood pressure (SBP), glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and renal immunohistochemical and morphometric studies from different groups: G1 (non-pregnant control rats), G2 (non-pregnant diabetic rats), G3 (control mothers) and G4 (diabetic mothers). We found that there were no differences in relation to SBP, but there was a tendency for reduction in GFR from G4 compared with the other groups (G). There was increased total kidney weight/body weight ratio of G4 compared with other G. There were increase in glomerular tuft area in G3 and G4 compared with G1 and G2. G2 and G4 showed even higher percentage of cortical collagen. G3 showed increased glomerular proliferating cells compared with G1 and G2, while in G4 this number was smaller than G3. Cell proliferation was higher in the tubulointerstitial (TBI) compartment from G4. Glomerular and TBI α-smooth muscle actin expression was increased in G4 compared with other G. The glomerular p-p38 expression showed a pattern similar to proliferation cell nuclear antigen, with a reduction of p-p38 in G4 relative to other G. The immunoreactivity of p-JNK was higher in both the glomeruli and TBI compartment in G4 compared with G1, G2 and G3. The DM induced during pregnancy and maintained in the PP resulted in renal structural and functional changes to mothers. In addition, altered mitogen-activated protein kinase expression in association with these changes may play an important role in renal damage observed in the present investigation.
The house mouse (Mus musculus) and the black rat (Rattus rattus) are reservoir hosts for zoonotic pathogens, several of which cause neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Studies of the prevalence of these NTD-causing zoonotic pathogens, in house mice and black rats from tropical residential areas are scarce. Three hundred and two house mice and 161 black rats were trapped in 2013 from two urban neighbourhoods and a rural village in Yucatan, Mexico, and subsequently tested for Trypanosoma cruzi, Hymenolepis diminuta and Leptospira interrogans. Using the polymerase chain reaction we detected T. cruzi DNA in the hearts of 4·9% (8/165) and 6·2% (7/113) of house mice and black rats, respectively. We applied the sedimentation technique to detect eggs of H. diminuta in 0·5% (1/182) and 14·2% (15/106) of house mice and black rats, respectively. Through the immunofluorescent imprint method, L. interrogans was identified in 0·9% (1/106) of rat kidney impressions. Our results suggest that the black rat could be an important reservoir for T. cruzi and H. diminuta in the studied sites. Further studies examining seasonal and geographical patterns could increase our knowledge on the epidemiology of these pathogens in Mexico and the risk to public health posed by rodents.
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and psychosis share deficits in social cognition. The insular region has been associated with awareness of self and reality, which may be basic for proper social interactions.
Total and regional insular volume and thickness measurements were obtained from a sample of 30 children and adolescents with ASD, 29 with early onset first-episode psychosis (FEP), and 26 healthy controls (HC). Total, regional, and voxel-level volume and thickness measurements were compared between groups (with correction for multiple comparisons), and the relationship between these measurements and symptom severity was explored.
Compared with HC, a shared volume deficit was observed for the right (but not the left) anterior insula (ASD: p = 0.007, FEP: p = 0.032), and for the bilateral posterior insula: (left, ASD: p = 0.011, FEP: p = 0.033; right, ASD: p = 0.004, FEP: p = 0.028). A voxel-based morphometry (VBM) conjunction analysis showed that ASD and FEP patients shared a gray matter volume and thickness deficit in the left posterior insula. Within patients, right anterior (r = −0.28, p = 0.041) and left posterior (r = −0.29, p = 0.030) insular volumes negatively correlated with the severity of insight deficits, and left posterior insular volume negatively correlated with the severity of ‘autistic-like’ symptoms (r = −0.30, p = 0.028).
The shared reduced volume and thickness in the anterior and posterior regions of the insula in ASD and FEP provides the first tentative evidence that these conditions share structural pathology that may be linked to shared symptomatology.
CVD affect a large proportion of the world’s population, with dyslipidaemia as the major risk factor. The regular consumption of both probiotic bacteria and yeast has been associated with improvement in the serum lipid profile. Thus, the present review aims to describe and discuss the potential mechanisms responsible for the hypocholesterolaemic effect of regular consumption of probiotic bacteria and yeast. Regarding the hypocholesterolaemic effect of probiotic bacteria, the potential mechanisms responsible include: deconjugation of bile salts; modulation of lipid metabolism; and decreased absorption of intestinal cholesterol through co-precipitation of intestinal cholesterol with the deconjugated bile salts, incorporation and assimilation of cholesterol in the cell membrane of the probiotics, intestinal conversion of cholesterol in coprostanol, and inhibition of the expression of the intestinal cholesterol transporter Niemann–Pick C1 like 1 (NPC1L1) in the enterocytes. The potential mechanisms responsible for the hypocholesterolaemic effect of probiotic yeasts include: deconjugation of bile salts; co-precipitation of intestinal cholesterol with the deconjugated bile salts; incorporation and assimilation of cholesterol in the cell membrane; and inhibition of hepatic cholesterol synthesis. The regular consumption of probiotic bacteria and yeast, as a non-pharmaceutical approach to help manage cardiovascular risk, holds promise, according to the beneficial hypocholesterolaemic effects described herein. However, the hypocholesterolaemic effects vary according to the strains used, the physiological state of the host, and the type of diet to which the probiotics are added. Further studies are necessary to fill the gaps with regard to the knowledge related to this topic.
To date, only a few sporadic cases of infections due to Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) producers have been reported in Portugal. Here, we report for the first time an outbreak of K. pneumoniae KPC-3 producers in a tertiary-care hospital during 2013. Twenty-seven ertapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae were identified in patients at a tertiary-care hospital during 2013 isolated predominantly from urine (48·1%) and blood (25·9%) cultures. All isolates were highly resistant to β-lactam antibiotics and most showed intermediate resistance to imipenem. The more frequent β-lactamases were TEM- (77·7%), CTX-M- (70·3%) and KPC-type (66·6%). KPC-3 was identified by sequencing. The blaKPC−3 gene was associated with an IncF plasmid, and efficiently transferred to E. coli J53. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis typing revealed three clusters of isolates which were further characterized by multi-locus sequence typing as ST11, ST15 and ST348. Ertapenem-resistant ST15 was already in circulation in the hospital, related to expression of OmpK36 modified porin, but the other two sequence types had not been previously found in the hospital. We conclude that the IncF plasmid mediated transfer of KPC-3 in the outbreak and that implementation of carbapenemase gene screening in isolates from patients on admission to hospital is advisable in order to control dissemination of these antimicrobial resistance elements.
Little is known about the mental health of partners of survivors of high levels of trauma in post-conflict countries.
We studied 677 spouse dyads (n = 1354) drawn from a community survey (response 82.4%) in post-conflict Timor-Leste. We used culturally adapted measures of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychological distress, explosive anger and grief.
Latent class analysis identified three classes of couples: class 1, comprising women with higher trauma events (TEs), men with intermediate TEs (19%); class 2, including men with higher TEs, women with lower TEs (23%); and class 3, comprising couples in which men and women had lower TE exposure (58%) (the reference group). Men and women partners of survivors of higher TE exposure (classes 1 and 2) had increased symptoms of explosive anger and grief compared with the reference class (class 3). Women partners of survivors of higher TE exposure (class 2) had a 20-fold increased rate of PTSD symptoms compared with the reference class, a pattern that was not evident for men living with women exposed to higher levels of trauma (class 1).
Men and women living with survivors of higher levels of trauma showed an increase in symptoms of grief and explosive anger. The manifold higher rate of PTSD symptoms amongst women living with men exposed to high levels of trauma requires replication. It is important to assess the mental health of partners when treating survivors of high levels of trauma in post-conflict settings.
Clozapine remains the only evidence-based antipsychotic for treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS). The ability to predict which patients with their first onset of schizophrenia would subsequently meet criteria for treatment resistance (TR) could help to diminish the severe functional disability which may ensue if TR is not recognized and correctly treated.
This is a 5-year longitudinal assessment of clinical outcomes in a cohort of 246 first-episode schizophrenia spectrum patients recruited as part of the NIHR Genetics and Psychosis (GAP) study conducted in South London from 2005 to 2010. We examined the relationship between baseline demographic and clinical measures and the emergence of TR. TR status was determined from a review of electronic case records. We assessed for associations with early-, and late-onset TR, and non-TR, and differences between those TR patients treated with clozapine and those who were not.
Seventy per cent (n = 56) of TR patients, and 23% of the total study population (n = 246) were treatment resistant from illness onset. Those who met criteria for TR during the first 5 years of illness were more likely to have an early age of first contact for psychosis (<20 years) [odds ratio (OR) 2.49, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25–4.94] compared to those with non-TR. The relationship between an early age of first contact (<20 years) and TR was significant in patients of Black ethnicity (OR 3.71, 95% CI 1.44–9.56); and patients of male gender (OR 3.13 95% CI 1.35–7.23).
For the majority of the TR group, antipsychotic TR is present from illness onset, necessitating increased consideration for the earlier use of clozapine.