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The in vitro corrosion mechanism of the biodegradable cast Mg–10% Ca binary alloy in Hanks' solution was evaluated through transmission electron microscopy observations. The corrosion behavior depends strongly on the microstructural peculiarity of Mg2Ca phase surrounding the island-like primary Mg phase and the fast corrosion induced by the interdiffusion of O and Ca via the Mg2Ca phase of lamellar structure. At the corrosion front, we found that a nanosized crack-like pathway was formed along the interface between the Mg2Ca phase and the primary Mg phase. Through the crack-like pathway, O and Ca are atomically exchanged each other and then the corroded Mg2Ca phase was transformed to Mg oxides. The in vitro corrosion by the exchange of Ca and O at the nanosized pathway led to the rapid bulk corrosion in the Mg–Ca alloys.
Undifferentiated stem cells may support a greater development of cloned embryos compared with differentiated cell types due to their ease of reprogramming during the nuclear transfer (NT) process. Hence, stem cells may be more suitable as nuclear donor cells for NT procedures than are somatic cells. Embryonic germ (EG) cells are undifferentiated stem cells that are isolated from cultured primordial germ cells (PGC) and can differentiate into several cell types. In this study, the in vitro development of NT embryos using porcine EG cells and their derivative neural precursor (NP) cells was investigated, thus eliminating any variation in genetic differences. The rates of fusion did not differ between NT embryos from EG and NP cells; however, the rate of cleavage in NT embryos derived from EG cells was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that from NP cells (141/247 [57.1%] vs. 105/228 [46.1%]). Similarly, the rate of blastocyst development was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in NT using EG cells than the rate using NP cells (43/247 [17.4%] vs. 18/228 [7.9%]). The results obtained from the present study in pigs demonstrate a reduced capability for nuclear donor cells to be reprogrammed following the differentiation of porcine EG cells. Undifferentiated EG cells may be more amenable to reprogramming after reconstruction compared with differentiated somatic cells.
Assessment of frontal lobe impairment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a matter of great importance, since it often causes ALS patients to decrease medication and nursing compliance, thus shortening their survival time.
The frontal assessment battery (FAB) is a short and rapid method for assessing frontal executive functions. We investigated the applicability of the FAB as a screening method for assessing cognitive impairments in 61 ALS patients. Depending on the results of the FAB, we classified patients into two subgroups: FAB-normal and FAB-abnormal. We then performed additional evaluations of cognitive function using the Korean version of the mini-mental state examination (K-MMSE), a verbal fluency test (COWAT), and a neuropsychiatric inventory (NPI). Results of these tests were compared between the two groups using Mann-Whitney U-tests, and Spearman correlation analyses were used to investigate the relationships between FAB score and disease duration and severity.
Of the 61 sporadic ALS patients included in this study, 14 were classified as FAB-abnormal and 47 were classified as FAB-normal. The FAB-normal and FAB-abnormal patients performed significantly differently in all domains of the COWAT. There was no difference in behavioral disturbance, as assessed by the NPI, between the two groups. The FAB scores were found to significantly correlate with both disease duration and severity.
The FAB shows promise as a method of screening for frontal lobe dysfunction in ALS, as it is not only quick and easy, but also reliable. Additional studies should examine how FAB performance changes as ALS progresses.
Human complement regulatory protein hCD46 may reduce the hyperacute rejection (HAR) in pig-to-human xenotransplantation. In this study, an hCD46 gene was introduced into porcine embryonic germ (EG) cells. Treatment of human serum did not affect the survival of hCD46-transgenic EG cells, whereas the treatment significantly reduced the survival of non-transgenic EG cells (p < 0.01). The transgenic EG cells presumably capable of alleviating HAR were transferred into enucleated oocytes. Among 235 reconstituted oocytes, 35 (14.9%) developed to the blastocyst stage. Analysis of individual embryos indicated that 80.0% (28/35) of embryos contained the transgene hCD46. The result of the present study demonstrates resistance of hCD46-transgenic EG cells against HAR, and the usefulness of the transgenic approach may be predicted by this cytolytic assessment prior to actual production of transgenic pigs. Subsequently performed EG cell nuclear transfer gave rise to hCD46-transgenic embryos. Further study on the transfer of these embryos to recipients may produce hCD46-transgenic pigs.
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