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Women are at higher risk than men to develop major depressive disorder (MDD), but the mechanisms underlying the higher risk for MDD in women are unknown. There is a wealth of data showing gender differences in brain morphology and function. In addition, preclinical studies have demonstrated reciprocal relationships between ovarian hormones and serotonin neurotransmission. Thus, gender differences in brain serotonin neurotransmission are potential underlying mechanisms. In the present study, we compared normalized α-[11C]methyl-L-tryptophan brain trapping constant (α-[11C]MTrp K*; ml/g/min), an index of serotonin synthesis, between men and women with MDD.
α-[11C]MTrp K* was measured in 25 medication-free individuals with MDD (13 females and 12 males) using positron emission tomography. Comparisons of normalized α-[11C]MTrp K* values between men and women were conducted at the voxel level using Statistical Parametric Mapping 2 (SPM2) analysis.
Women with MDD displayed significantly higher (p< 0.005) normalized α-[11C]MTrp K* than men in the inferior frontal gyrus, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), parahippocampal gyrus, precuneus and superior parietal lobule, and occipital lingual gyrus.
This finding suggests that depressive women have higher serotonin synthesis in multiple regions of the prefrontal cortex and limbic system involved with mood regulation. Gender differences in brain serotonin synthesis may be associated with higher risk for MDD in women because extra levels of tissue 5-HT could create non-physiological connections influencing changes in mood.
The correlation of stress in Silicon Carbide (SiC) crystal and frequency shift in micro- Raman spectroscopy was determined by an experimental method. We applied uniaxial stress to 4H- and 6H-SiC single crystal square bar specimen shaped with (0001) and (11-20) faces by four point bending test, under measuring the frequency shift in micro-Raman spectroscopy. The results revealed that the linearity coefficients between stress and Raman shift were -1.96 cm-1/GPa for FTO(2/4)E2 on 4H-SiC (0001) face, -2.08 cm-1/GPa for FTO(2/4)E2 on 4H-SiC (11-20) face and -2.70 cm-1/GPa for FTO(2/6)E2 on 6H-SiC (0001) face. Determination of these coefficients has made it possible to evaluate the residual stress in SiC crystal quantitatively by micro-Raman spectroscopy. We evaluated the residual stress in SiC substrate that was grown in our laboratory by utilizing the results obtained in this study. The result of estimation indicated that the SiC substrate with a diameter of 6 inch remained residual stress as low as ±15 MPa.
To increase X-ray photon number generated by laser-cluster interaction, it is important to understand the dependence of X-ray generation on cluster size. We carried out Xe K-shell X-ray generation using a conical nozzle with Xe clusters, the radius of which was controllable by adjusting the backing pressure. The experiment clarifies the result that the Xe K-shell X-ray photon number increases with increasing cluster radius from 8 to 12 nm, and saturates at the radius between 12 and 17 nm. We also investigated the Xe K-shell X-ray photon number dependence on laser intensity, and found that the threshold laser intensity of the Xe K-shell X-ray generation exists between 2 × 1017 and 5 × 1018 W/cm2.
We investigated particle acceleration and shock structure associated with an unmagnetized
relativistic jet propagating into an unmagnetized plasma. Strong magnetic fields generated
in the trailing shock contribute to the electrons transverse deflection and acceleration.
We have calculated, self-consistently, the radiation from electrons accelerated in these
turbulent magnetic fields. We found that the synthetic spectra depend on the bulk Lorentz
factor of the jet, its temperature and strength of the generated magnetic fields. We have
also investigated accelerated electrons in strong magnetic fields generated by kinetic
shear (Kelvin-Helmholtz) instabilities. The calculated properties of the emerging
radiation will guide our understanding of the complex time evolution and/or spectral
structure in gamma-ray bursts, relativistic jets in general, and supernova remnants.
We perform two-dimensional relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations of a mildly
relativistic shock propagating through an inhomogeneous medium. Simulation results show
that the postshock region becomes turbulent owing to preshock density inhomogeneity, and
the magnetic field is strongly amplified due to the stretching and folding of field lines
in the turbulent velocity field. The amplified magnetic field evolves into a filamentary
structure in two-dimensional simulations. The magnetic energy spectrum is flatter than the
Kolmogorov spectrum and indicates that the so-called small-scale dynamo is occurring in
the postshock region.
Recent PIC simulations of relativistic electron-positron (electron-ion) jets injected into a stationary medium show that particle acceleration occurs in the shocked regions. Simulations show that the Weibel instability is responsible for generating and amplifying highly nonuniform, small-scale magnetic fields and for particle acceleration. These magnetic fields contribute to the electron's transverse deflection behind the shock. The “jitter” radiation from deflected electrons in turbulent magnetic fields has properties different from synchrotron radiation calculated in a uniform magnetic field. This jitter radiation may be important for understanding the complex time evolution and/or spectral structure of gamma-ray bursts, relativistic jets in general, and supernova remnants. In order to calculate radiation from first principles and go beyond the standard synchrotron model, we have used PIC simulations. We present synthetic spectra to compare with the spectra obtained from Fermi observations.
X-ray-excited luminescence of GaN doped with Eu ions as a luminescent center was observed in the wavelength range from 350 nm to 650 nm. Three peaks at 375 nm, 550 nm and 622 nm were found. To survey the mechanism of the photoluminescence due to non-resonance excitation, photoluminescence X-ray excitation spectra are also measured. The mechanism of the luminescence occurrence was briefly discussed based on the model developed by Emura et al.
Recent PIC simulations of relativistic electron-positron (electron-ion) jets injected into a stationary medium show that particle acceleration occurs in the shocked regions. Simulations show that the Weibel instability is responsible for generating and amplifying highly nonuniform, small-scale magnetic fields and for particle acceleration. These magnetic fields contribute to the electron's transverse deflection behind the shock. The “jitter” radiation from deflected electrons in turbulent magnetic fields has different properties from synchrotron radiation calculated in a uniform magnetic field. This jitter radiation may be important for understanding the complex time evolution and/or spectral structure of gamma-ray bursts, relativistic jets in general, and supernova remnants. In order to calculate radiation from first principles and go beyond the standard synchrotron model, we have used PIC simulations. We will present detailed spectra for conditions relevant to various astrophysical sites of collisionless shock formation. In particular we will discuss application to GRBs and SNRs.
The wettability of Pb-free Sn-based solder over the Cu-based Cu60Zr30Ti10 bulk metallic glass surface was investigated. We observed that the as-polished surface was nonwetting for the solder, which was due to the surface oxide layer of ZrOx formed in air. After complete removal of the oxide layer, a thin layer of Ag was deposited on the clean Cu60Zr30Ti10 surface. The Ag-covered Cu60Zr30Ti10 surface showed relatively high resistivity to the reoxidation even in air, and thus the wettability of the Cu60Zr30Ti10 surface for the Sn-based solder was greatly improved.
Three cDNAs encoding rhoptry-associated protein 1 (RAP-1) homologues were found in the Babesia gibsoni EST database. Based on similarities to BgRAP-1a, which was identified previously by serological screening of a cDNA merozoite library, the two new genes were designated BgRAP-1b (33·7%) and BgRAP-1c (57%). Mice antiserum raised against each recombinant protein reacted specifically with B. gibsoni parasites as determined by Western blotting, which showed native molecular sizes of the BgRAP-1a (51 kDa), BgRAP-1b (53 kDa) and BgRAP-1c (47 kDa) consistent with predictable molecular weights. Immunofluoresence using these antibodies revealed localization of all BgRAP-1s within the matrix of merozoites; however, BgRAP-1a appeared to diverge from the other two when it was found secreted into the cytoplasm of infected erythrocytes. Apical localization of all 3 BgRAP-1s during the extracellular stage of the parasite combined with their ability to bind a canine erythrocyte membrane fraction was suggestive of a role for these proteins in erythrocyte attachment. Lastly, the ability of these recombinant proteins to be used as diagnostic reagents was tested by ELISA and the sensitivities of BgRAP-1a and BgRAP-1c were found increased through N-terminal truncation. Taken together, our data suggest divergent roles for the 3 BgRAP-1s in the merozoite stage of B. gibsoni.
Peptidases of parasitic protozoa are currently under intense investigation in order to identify novel virulence factors, drug targets, and vaccine candidates, except in Babesia. Leucine aminopeptidases in protozoa, such as Plasmodium and Leishmania, have been identified to be involved in free amino acid regulation. We report here the molecular and enzymatic characterization, as well as the localization of a leucine aminopeptidase, a member of the M17 cytosolic aminopeptidase family, from B. gibsoni (BgLAP). A functional recombinant BgLAP (rBgLAP) expressed in Escherichia coli efficiently hydrolysed synthetic substrates for aminopeptidase, a leucine substrate. Enzyme activity of the rBgLAP was found to be optimum at pH 8·0 and at 37°C. The substrate profile was slightly different from its homologue in P. falciprum. The activity was also strongly dependent on metal divalent cations, and was inhibited by bestatin, which is a specific inhibitor for metalloprotease. These results indicated that BgLAP played an important role in free amino acid regulation.
Aeromonas has been recognized as an important enteropathogen, but factors related to its virulence have not been clarified. For most enteric pathogens, attachment is a prerequisite for infection and for the effective delivery of toxins to the intestinal epithelial cells. We examined a total of 273 strains isolated from stool, food and environmental specimens by an assay for mannose-resistant adhesion to INT407 cells in vitro. Seventeen of the 102 faecal isolates were adhesive strains with more than 10 bacteria adhering per cell, while only 2 of the 118 isolates from foods and river water adhered to the cells (P < 0·001). It is possible that the adhesion might serve as a marker for discrimination between the pathogenic and nonpathogenic isolates. The 8 highly adhesive strains with more than 20 adhering organisms per cell were scrutinized for the mechanism of adhesion. No correlation was apparent between the adhesion to INT407 cells and hydrophobicity. It was noted that fucose inhibited the adhesion of four strains as well as haemagglutination by them. Electronmicroscopic studies showed the presence of flexible and curvilinear fimbriae in only 2 of the 8 highly adhesive strains.
The dense granule antigen 4 (GRA4) is known as an immundominant antigen of Toxoplasma gondii and, therefore, is considered as a vaccine candidate. For further evaluation of its vaccine effect, a recombinant plasmid and vaccinia virus, both expressing GRA4, were constructed, and a heterologous prime-boost vaccination regime was performed in a mouse model. The mice immunized with the heterologous prime-boost vaccination regime showed a high level of specific antibody response against GRA4 and a significantly high level of gamma interferon (IFN-γ) production and survived completely against a subsequent challenge infection with a lethal dose of T. gondii. In addition, the formation of cysts was inhibited in the mice vaccinated with the heterologous prime-boost vaccination regime. These results demonstrate that the heterologous prime-boost vaccination regime using DNA and a vaccinia virus, both expressing GRA4, could induce both humoral and cellular immune responses and provide effective protection against lethal acute and chronic T. gondii infections in mice.
We cloned and expressed a novel gene encoding a 32-kDa merozoite protein of Babesia gibsoni (BgP32). The length of nucleotide sequence of the cDNA was 1464 bp with an open reading frame of 969 bp. The truncated recombinant BgP32 (rBgP32) without a signal peptide and C-terminal hydrophobic sequence was expressed in Escherichia coli as a soluble glutathione-S-transferase (GST) fusion protein. Western blotting demonstrated that the native protein was 32-kDa, consistent with molecular weight of the predicted mature polypeptide. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using rBgP32 detected specific antibodies from 8 days to 541 days post-infection in the sequential sera from a dog experimentally infected with B. gibsoni. Moreover, the antigen did not cross-react with B. canis subspecies and closely related protozoan parasites, indicating that rBgP32 is a specific diagnostic antigen. Analysis of 47 sera taken from dogs with anaemic signs revealed that rBgP32 detected a higher proportion of B. gibsoni seropositive samples (77%) than its previously identified rBgP50 (68%) homologue. These results indicate that the BgP32 is a novel immunodominant antigen of B. gibsoni, and rBgP32 might be useful for diagnosis of B. gibsoni infection.
Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157 (O157) is infectious to humans, particularly children, at very low doses and causes not only haemorrhagic colitis but also other serious symptoms. To investigate an association between intestinal bacterial flora and resistance to such infections, we screened faecal samples for the presence of enteric bacteria that are able to suppress the growth of O157. Samples from 303 individuals, 35 children (aged [les ]6 years) and 268 adults (aged 20–59 years), were examined. Colonies with different appearances on sorbitol MacConkey agar medium were screened for the production of bacteriocins inhibitory for O157 in an overlay agar plate assay. O157-inhibiting strains were isolated from 52 individuals. The prevalence of these bacteria tended to rise with age, and was significantly higher among 40- to 59-year-old adults (23/101, 22·8%) than among children (3/35, 8·6%; P<0·05). To test the hypothesis that these bacteriocin-producing strains contribute to resistance against O157 in human adults, we examined faecal samples of 25 healthy O157 carriers. Inhibitory bacteria were more prevalent among the latter (9/25, 36·0%) than among age-matched subjects who did not carry O157 (49/268, 18·3%). It appears, therefore, that inhibitory bacteria in the human gut may play a role in inhibiting propagation of O157 and/or suppressing expression of virulence factors by this pathogen.