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Previous studies have shown that the function of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is involved in the characterization of personality traits. FK506-binding protein 51 (FKBP51 or FKBP5) is a co-chaperone of heat-shock protein 90, and plays an important role in the negative feedback regulation of HPA axis function. It has been reported that a C/T single nucleotide polymorphism in the intron 2 of FKBP5 gene (rs1360780) affects FKBP5 protein levels and cortisol response to dexamethasone and psychological stress tests. Therefore, it is hypothesized that the FKBP5 polymorphism affects personality traits. In the present study, we studied the association between this polymorphism and personality traits in healthy subjects.
Subjects were 826 Japanese healthy volunteers. Personality traits were assessed by the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), and the FKBP5 genotype was detected by a real-time PCR and cycling probe technology for SNP typing.
In total subjects, the group with the T allele predictive of impaired negative feedback regulation of the HPA axis had higher scores of harm avoidance (p = 0.043) and lower scores of cooperativeness (p = 0.019) compared to that without the T allele. The T allele was associated with higher scores of harm avoidance in females (p = 0.020) and lower scores of cooperativeness in males (p = 0.015).
The present study thus suggests that the FKBP5 polymorphism affects harm avoidance and cooperativeness in healthy subjects, with gender specificity.
Previous studies have shown that the function of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is involved in the characterization of personality traits. Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is the most important regulator of the HPA axis negative feedback system, and several polymorphisms of the GR gene are associated with altered glucocorticoid sensitivity. In the present study, we examined the associations between the GR polymorphisms and personality traits in healthy subjects.
Subjects were 880 Japanese healthy volunteers. Personality traits were assessed by the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Two polymorphisms of the GR gene, i.e., G/C SNP in the intron 2 (BcII polymorphism, rs41423247) and A/G SNP in the exon 9β (9β polymorphism, rs6198), were detected by a real-time PCR and cycling probe technology for SNP typing.
The genotype distributions were G/G = 614, G/C = 240, and C/C = 26 for the BcII polymorphism, and A/A = 879 and A/G = 1 for the 9β polymorphism, respectively. There were no significant associations between the BcII genotype groups in any TCI dimension score.
The present study suggests that these two GR polymorphisms (BcII and 9β polymorphism) are not involved in the characterization of personality traits in healthy subjects.
Neurocognitive and functional neuroimaging studies point to frontal lobe abnormalities in schizophrenia. Molecular and behavioural genetic studies suggest that the frontal lobe is under significant genetic influence. We carried out structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the frontal lobe in monozygotic (MZ) twins concordant or discordant for schizophrenia and healthy MZ control twins.
The sample comprised 21 concordant pairs, 17 discordant affected and 18 discordant unaffected twins from 19 discordant pairs, and 27 control pairs. Groups were matched on sociodemographic variables. Patient groups (concordant, discordant affected) did not differ on clinical variables. Volumes of superior, middle, inferior and orbital frontal gyri were calculated using the Cavalieri principle on the basis of manual tracing of anatomic boundaries. Group differences were investigated covarying for whole-brain volume, gender and age.
Results for superior frontal gyrus showed that twins with schizophrenia (i.e. concordant twins and discordant affected twins) had reduced volume compared to twins without schizophrenia (i.e. discordant unaffected and control twins), indicating an effect of illness. For middle and orbital frontal gyrus, concordant (but not discordant affected) twins differed from non-schizophrenic twins. There were no group differences in inferior frontal gyrus volume.
These findings suggest that volume reductions in the superior frontal gyrus are associated with a diagnosis of schizophrenia (in the presence or absence of a co-twin with schizophrenia). On the other hand, volume reductions in middle and orbital frontal gyri are seen only in concordant pairs, perhaps reflecting the increased genetic vulnerability in this group.
There is a growing body of data suggesting the gene-environment interaction in the characterization of personality traits, but variation in ordinary parental rearing among environmental factors has not been focused yet. We examined the effects of the interaction between the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism and parental rearing on personality traits.
Subjects were 710 Japanese healthy volunteers. Perceived parental rearing was assessed by the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), which consists of the care and protection factors. Personality assessment was performed by the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), which has 7 dimensions, i.e., novelty seeking, harm avoidance, reward dependence, persistence, self-directedness, cooperativeness, and self-transcendence. The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism was detected by the PCR-RFLP method.
Parental rearing has significant main effects on all TCI dimensions except novelty seeking, while no significant main effects of the BDNF genotype on the TCI scores were found. The interaction between the BDNF genotype and maternal care of the PBI had significant effects on harm avoidance and self-directedness of the TCI. Post-hoc analyses showed that decreased maternal care was correlated with increased harm avoidance and decreased self-directedness in most of the genotype groups, and for both personality traits the correlation was highest in the Met/Met genotype and lowest in the Val/Val genotype and that for the Val/Met genotype was in between the two values.
The present study suggests that the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism moderates the effects of parenting rearing, especially maternal care, on harm avoidance and self-directedness in healthy subjects.
It has been shown that certain personality traits are related to mortality and disease morbidity, but the biological mechanism linking them remains unclear. Telomeres are tandem repeat DNA sequences located at the ends of chromosomes, and shorter telomere length is a predictor of mortality and late-life disease morbidity. Thus, it is possible that personality traits influence telomere length. In the present study, we examined the relationship of leukocyte telomere length with personality traits in healthy subjects.
Subjects and methods:
The subjects were 209 unrelated healthy Japanese who were recruited from medical students at 4th–5th grade. Assessment of personality traits was performed by the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Leukocyte relative telomere length was determined by a quantitative real-time PCR method for a ratio of telomere/single copy gene.
In the stepwise multiple regression analysis, shorter telomere length was related to lower scores of neuroticism (P < 0.01) and conscientiousness (P < 0.05) of the NEO-PI-R, and lower scores of harm avoidance (P < 0.05) and reward dependence (P < 0.05) of the TCI.
The present study suggests that leukocyte telomere length is associated with some personality traits, and this association may be implicated in the relationship between personality traits and mortality.
It has been reported that certain personality traits are related to mortality and disease morbidity, but the biological mechanism linking them remains unclear. Telomeres are tandem repeat DNA sequences located at the ends of chromosomes, and shorter telomere length is a predictor of mortality and late-life disease morbidity. Thus, it is possible that personality traits influence telomere length. In the present study, we examined the relationship of leukocyte telomere length with personality traits in healthy subjects. The subjects were 209 unrelated physically healthy Japanese who were recruited from medical students at 4th-5th grade. None had psychiatric disorders. 128 subjects were males, and 81 were females. The mean±SD (range) of age was 23.3±1.7 (20-30) years. Personality traits were assessed by the revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Leukocyte relative telomere length was determined by a quantitative real-time PCR method for a ratio of telomere/single copy gene. In the stepwise multiple regression analysis, shorter telomere length was related to lower scores of Neuroticism (β=0.208, p< 0.01) and Conscientiousness (β=0.146, p< 0.05) of the NEO-PI-R, and lower scores of Harm avoidance (β=0.144, p< 0.05) and Reward dependence (β=0.170, p< 0.05) of the TCI. The present study suggests that leukocyte telomere length is associated with some personality traits, and this association may be implicated in the relationship between personality traits and mortality.
Interpersonal sensitivity is defined as undue and excessive awareness of, and sensitivity to, the behavior and feelings of others and is one of the vulnerable factors to depression. In a twin study, it was suggested that this personality trait was characterized by both genetic and environmental factors. In the present study, we examined the effects of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism and parental rearing on interpersonal sensitivity. The subjects were 725 unrelated healthy Japanese volunteers (mean age±SD=27.1±8.5, 405 males and 320 females). Assessment of interpersonal sensitivity was performed by the Japanese version of the Interpersonal Sensitivity Measure (IPSM). Perceived parental rearing was assessed by the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), which consists of the care and protection factors. The BDNF polymorphism was detected by the PCR-RFLP method. There was no main effect of the BDNF genotype on the IPSM score, while the PBI factors except maternal care had significant main effect on the IPSM score. There was significant interaction effect between the BDNF genotype and maternal care of the PBI on the IPSM score. Post-hoc analysis of simple slopes showed that the negative relationship between the IPSM score and maternal care was strongest and significant in the Met/Met genotype group, intermediate in the Val/Met genotype group, and weakest in the Val/Val genotype group. The present study suggests that the interaction between the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and parental rearing, especially maternal care, influences interpersonal sensitivity in healthy subjects.
P-glycoprotein, which is encoded by the multidrug resistance 1 (MDR1) gene, serves as a barrier to entry and as an active elimination for xenobiotics and cellular metabolites including cortisol, which is implicated in multiple brain functions. Meanwhile, previous studies suggested that genetic factors and cortisol are involved in formation of interpersonal sensitivity, a personality trait predisposing to depression. In the present study, we examined the effects of the C3435T MDR1 polymorphism on interpersonal sensitivity. The subjects were 842 healthy Japanese volunteers. The mean age ±SD of the subjects was 26.7±8.1 (490 males and 352 females). The C3435T polymorphism of MDR1 gene was detected by a PCR method, and interpersonal sensitivity was assessed by the Interpersonal Sensitivity Measure (IPSM). In total subjects, the C allele of the C3435T MDR1 polymorphism was associated with higher scores of the IPSM. In females the C/C genotype group had higher IPSM scores than the C/T genotype group and the T/T genotype group, and the C/T genotype group had higher IPSM scores than the T/T genotype group. In males no significant association was found between the MDR1 genotype and the IPSM scores. The present study suggests that the C3435T polymorphism of the MDR1 gene affects formation of a depression-prone personality trait in Japanese females.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Schizophrenia is associated with robust hippocampal volume deficits but subregion volume deficits, their associations with cognition, and contributing genes remain to be determined.
Hippocampal formation (HF) subregion volumes were obtained using FreeSurfer 6.0 from individuals with schizophrenia (n = 176, mean age ± s.d. = 39.0 ± 11.5, 132 males) and healthy volunteers (n = 173, mean age ± s.d. = 37.6 ± 11.3, 123 males) with similar mean age, gender, handedness, and race distributions. Relationships between the HF subregion volume with the largest between group difference, neuropsychological performance, and single-nucleotide polymorphisms were assessed.
This study found a significant group by region interaction on hippocampal subregion volumes. Compared to healthy volunteers, individuals with schizophrenia had significantly smaller dentate gyrus (DG) (Cohen's d = −0.57), Cornu Ammonis (CA) 4, molecular layer of the hippocampus, hippocampal tail, and CA 1 volumes, when statistically controlling for intracranial volume; DG (d = −0.43) and CA 4 volumes remained significantly smaller when statistically controlling for mean hippocampal volume. DG volume showed the largest between group difference and significant positive associations with visual memory and speed of processing in the overall sample. Genome-wide association analysis with DG volume as the quantitative phenotype identified rs56055643 (β = 10.8, p < 5 × 10−8, 95% CI 7.0–14.5) on chromosome 3 in high linkage disequilibrium with MOBP. Gene-based analyses identified associations between SLC25A38 and RPSA and DG volume.
This study suggests that DG dysfunction is fundamentally involved in schizophrenia pathophysiology, that it may contribute to cognitive abnormalities in schizophrenia, and that underlying biological mechanisms may involve contributions from MOBP, SLC25A38, and RPSA.
Blazar OJ287 exhibits large thermal flares at least twice every 12 years. The times of these flares have been predicted successfully using the model of a quasi-Keplerian eccentric black hole binary where the secondary impacts the accretion disk of the primary, creating the thermal flares. New measurements of the historical light curve have been combined with the observations of the 2015 November/December flare to identify the impact record since year 1886, and to constrain the orbit of the binary. The orbital solution shows that the binary period, now 12.062 years, is decreasing at the rate of 36 days per century. This corresponds to an energy loss to gravitational waves that is 6.5 ± 4 % less than the rate predicted by the standard quadrupolar gravitational wave (GW) emission. We show that the difference is due to higher order gravitational radiation reaction terms that include the dominant order tail contributions.
Experimental Echinococcus multilocularis infection and deworming was repeated three or five times in nine dogs at various re-infection schedules. The mean number of worms decreased more than 91% in dogs with repeated infection, compared to first infection controls (n= 6). The copro-antigen assay and the egg count in the faeces suggested that the worm burden gradually decreased each time the dogs were re-infected. To examine whether such worm exclusion was a non-specific response, five dogs were sequentially infected with the parasite four times and subsequently fed freely for 6 months. Even after the 6-month interval, the five dogs that were infected five times with the parasite were still able largely to exclude the adult worms. The results suggested that the ability of worm exclusion in dogs that developed a resistance did not become rapidly extinct. Observation of the condition of faeces and the excretion of hooks in the faeces of repeatedly infected dogs revealed that the exclusion of worms started at the first week after the re-infection, and it continued during the patent period. Serum antibodies specific to the parasite antigen increased gradually until the third infection and significantly decreased during the 6-month interval. There was little enhancement of serum antibodies after the fifth infection in most dogs, although no clear correlation was observed between the antibody response and the worm burden. These findings suggested the possibility of developing a vaccine.
Bone contouring is currently the best treatment for fibro-osseous lesions after bone growth arrest. Navigation systems available for this surgery allow intra-operative visualisation with improved cosmetic outcomes. However, conventional navigation systems using superficial skin registration cannot prevent subtle discrepancies.
To address this problem, we used a non-invasive cranial bone registration that uses patient-specific dental templates to maintain exact registration. We created the preset goal using the mirror image of the unaffected side for unilateral lesions, and using images obtained before the onset of symptoms for bilateral lesions. This system achieved precise pre-operative simulation. A sound aid in the navigation system provided information regarding proximity to critical structures and to the preset goal.
We used this system to contour fibro-osseous lesions in three patients. All patients achieved good facial contours and improvement in symptoms.
This method offers a safe, rapid surgical aid in treating orbital fibro-osseous lesions.
Praseodymium doped CaFe2As2 (122 structure) and CaFeAs2 (112 structure) are characterized by modulated Low Magnetic Field Microwave Absorption (LFMA) spectroscopy. In both (Pr,Ca)122 and (Pr,Ca)112 structures, a strong hysteretic LFMA is found, with a TcH of ∼30 K and ∼26 K, respectively. However, in (Pr,Ca)122, measurements also show an unusual Narrow Peak (NP) LFMA signal appearing at higher temperatures, above the lower TcH superconducting state until a TcNP of 49 K. We associate this NP LFMA with interfacial superconductivity, which has been found previously by highly anisotropic magnetization measurements. Furthermore, the absence of NP in (Pr,Ca)112 correlates with the absence of an interfacial phase. These results give useful information about the microwave signature of interfacial superconductivity present in the (Pr,Ca)122 system, and may form a roadmap towards a stabilized high temperature superconducting phase in pnictides.
We show that high-efficiency and low-degradation hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) p-i-n solar cells can be obtained by depositing absorber layers in a triode-type plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) process. Although the deposition rate is relatively low (0.01-0.03 nm/s) compared to the conventional diode-type PECVD process (∼0.2 nm/s), the light-induced degradation in conversion efficiency of single-junction solar cell is substantially reduced (Δη/ηini∼10%) due to the suppression of light-induced metastable defects in the a-Si:H absorber layer. So far, we have attained an independently-confirmed stabilized efficiency of 10.11% for a 220-nm-thick a-Si:H solar cell which was light soaked under 1 sun illumination for 1000 hours at cell temperature of 50°C. We further demonstrate that stabilized efficiencies as high as 10% can be maintained even when the solar cell is thickened to >300 nm.
We carried out large–scale (4 × 2 degree) CO multi–line observations toward the central molecular zone (CMZ) in the Galactic center (GC) with the NANTEN2 4m telescope and mapped several diffuse molecular features located at relatively high Galactic latitudes above 0°.6. These high–latitude features are composed of diffuse molecular halo gas and molecular filaments according to their morphological aspects. Their high velocities and high intensity ratios between 12CO J = (2−1) and J = (1−0) clearly indicate their location in the GC, and their total mass amount to ∼10% of that of the CMZ. We discuss that magnetic field is a possible mechanism of these high–latitude molecular features lifting up toward high galactic latitude.
We have prepared 2% Al doped ZnO (AZO) thin films on SrTiO3 and Al2O3 substrates by Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) technique at various deposition temperatures (Tdep = 300 °C – 600 °C). Transport and thermoelectric properties of AZO thin films were studied in low temperature range (300 K - 600 K). AZO/STO films present superior performance respect to AZO/Al2O3 films deposited at the same temperature, except for films deposited at 400 °C. Best film is the fully c-axis oriented AZO/STO deposited at 300 °C, with electrical conductivity 310 S/cm, Seebeck coefficient -65 μV/K and power factor 0.13 × 10-3 Wm-1K-2 at 300 K. Its performance increases with temperature. For instance, power factor is enhanced up to × 10-3 Wm-1K-2 at 600 K, surpassing the best AZO film previously reported in literature.
Intake of marine-based n-3 fatty acids (EPA, docosapentaenoic acid and DHA) is recommended to prevent CHD. Stearidonic acid (SDA), a plant-based n-3 fatty acid, is a precursor of EPA and may be more readily converted to EPA than α-linolenic acid (ALA). While transgenic soyabeans might supply SDA at low cost, it is unclear whether SDA is associated with CHD risk. Furthermore, associations of other n-3 fatty acids with CHD risk remain inconsistent. The present ancillary study examined the association of erythrocyte SDA as well as other n-3 fatty acids with the risk of CHD. In a prospective nested case–control study of the Physicians' Health Study, we randomly selected 1000 pairs of incident CHD with matching controls. Erythrocyte fatty acids were measured using GC. We used conditional logistic regression to estimate relative risks. Mean age was 68·7 (sd 8·7) years. In a multivariable model controlling for matching factors and established CHD risk factors, OR for CHD for each standard deviation increase of log-SDA was 1·03 (95 % CI 0·90, 1·18). Corresponding values for log-ALA and log-marine n-3 fatty acids were 1·04 (95 % CI 0·94, 1·16) and 0·97 (95 % CI 0·88, 1·07), respectively. In conclusion, the present data did not show an association among erythrocyte SDA, ALA or marine n-3 fatty acids and the risk of CHD in male physicians.