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Finasteride is commonly used in the management of alopecia and nodular prostatic hyperplasia. It was reported to have a harmful effect on spermatogenesis with subsequent infertility. Thus, this research was to determine the ameliorative effect of resveratrol against testicular damage caused by finasteride. Forty adult male rats were randomly divided into four main groups: group I acted as the control, group II was administrated resveratrol 20 mg/kg/day, group III was administrated finasteride 5 mg/kg/day, and group IV was administrated finasteride and resveratrol as in the previous groups. Finasteride induced a significant decrement in the testosterone and dihydrotestosterone levels. The level of malondialdehyde significantly increased, while the levels of glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and catalase significantly decreased in the finasteride-administrated rats. Variable histopathological alterations in the testes were revealed in the form of irregular seminiferous tubules. Some seminiferous tubules appeared with degenerated germinal epithelium. Others showed detachment of their germinal epithelium. Congested blood vessels and homogeneous acidophilic substance in-between tubules were also detected. A significant decrement in PCNA positive cells and a significant increment in Bax expression were demonstrated. Ultrastructural examination showed Sertoli cells with rarefied cytoplasm. Vacuolated cytoplasm, shrunken nuclei, and dilated perinuclear spaces were also revealed in the spermatogonia, primary spermatocytes, and early spermatids. On the contrary, few changes were noticed in rats received resveratrol concomitant with finasteride. This study indicated that resveratrol exerted a potent ameliorative effect against testicular injury caused by finasteride.
A scanning precession electron diffraction system has been integrated with a direct electron detector to allow the collection of improved quality diffraction patterns. This has been used on a two-phase α–β titanium alloy (Timetal® 575) for phase and orientation mapping using an existing pattern-matching algorithm and has been compared to the commonly used detector system, which consisted of a high-speed video-camera imaging the small phosphor focusing screen. Noise is appreciably lower with the direct electron detector, and this is especially noticeable further from the diffraction pattern center where the real electron scattering is reduced and both diffraction spots and inelastic scattering between spots are weaker. The results for orientation mapping are a significant improvement in phase and orientation indexing reliability, especially of fine nanoscale laths of α-Ti, where the weak diffracted signal is rather lost in the noise for the optically coupled camera. This was done at a dose of ~19 e−/Å2, and there is clearly a prospect for reducing the current further while still producing indexable patterns. This opens the way for precession diffraction phase and orientation mapping of radiation-sensitive crystalline materials.
Scanning electron microscopy, coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), is a powerful tool used in many scientific fields. It can provide nanoscale images, allowing size and morphology measurements, as well as provide information on the spatial distribution of elements in a sample. This study compares the capabilities of a traditional EDS detector with a recently developed annular EDS detector when analyzing electron transparent and beam-sensitive NaCl particles on a TEM grid. The optimal settings for single particle analysis are identified in order to minimize beam damage and optimize sample throughput via the choice of acceleration voltage, EDS acquisition time, and quantification model. Here, a linear combination of two models is used to bridge results for particle sizes, which are neither bulk nor sufficiently thin to assume electron transparent. Additionally, we show that the increased count rate obtainable with the annular detector enables mapping as a viable analysis strategy compared with feature detection methods, which only scan segmented regions. Finally, we discuss advantages and disadvantages of the two analysis strategies.
Suicidal behavior in termite workers is an extreme defensive strategy, probably a consequence of having a low number of soldiers available in the colony and there being high predation from enemies. We investigated the suicidal mechanism in workers of the Neotropical termite Neocapritermes opacus, which involves salivary gland autothysis followed by body cuticle rupture and the release of a defensive secretion. Autothysis was triggered by a physical stimulus such as a soldier bite that causes the protrusion of the salivary acini, burst reservoirs, and foregut. Histochemical and ultrastructural analyses showed salivary acini composed of peripheral parietal cells and two types of central cells, types I and II. Type I cells are filled with large electron-lucent secretory vesicles, which reacted positively to bromophenol blue and xylidine-Ponceau tests, indicating the occurrence of proteins. Type II cells are elongated and display smaller apical secretory vesicles. Parietal cells present an intracellular canaliculus with dense microvilli and cytoplasm rich in mitochondria and large electron-dense vesicles, which may participate in the self-destructive mechanism. Worker suicidal behavior was previously reported for N. taracua and N. braziliensis. N. opacus is a new species in which a salivary weapon has been developed and factors contributing to this altruistic response are discussed.
Tramadol is a centrally acting analgesic drug, used for the management of moderate to severe pain in a variety of diseases. The long-term use of tramadol can induce endocrinopathy. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of tramadol dependence on the adrenal cortex and the effect of its withdrawal. Thirty adult male rats were divided into three experimental groups: the control group, the tramadol-dependent group that received increasing therapeutic doses of tramadol orally for 1 month, and the recovery group that received tramadol in a dose and duration similar to the previous group followed by a withdrawal period for another month. Specimens from the adrenal cortex were processed for histological, immunohistochemical, enzyme assay, and quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) studies. Tramadol induced a significant increase in malondialdehyde level and a significant decrease in the levels of glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase. A significant decrease in the levels of adrenocorticotrophic hormones, aldosterone, cortisol, corticosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate was also detected. Severe histopathological changes in the adrenal cortex were demonstrated in the form of disturbed architecture, swollen cells, and shrunken cells with pyknotic nuclei. Inflammatory cellular infiltration and variable-sized homogenized areas were also detected. A significant increase in P53 and Bax immunoreaction was detected and confirmed by RT-qPCR. The ultrastructural examination showed irregular, shrunken adrenocorticocytes with dense nuclei. Dilated smooth endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria with disrupted cristae, and numerous coalesced lipid droplets were also demonstrated. All these changes started to return to normal after the withdrawal of tramadol. Thus, it was confirmed that the long-term use of tramadol can induce severe adrenal changes with subsequent insufficiency.
Exosomes derived from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells are nanovesicles and are involved in the occurrence and development of HCC, they also serve as important carriers and drug targets of nanodrug delivery systems. The external shape and internal structure of exosomes are important indexes of identification, and isolated intact morphology is crucial to biological function integrity. However, given their susceptibility to various influencing factors, the external shape and internal structure of exosomes derived from HCC cells remain incompletely studied. In this study, exosomes purified from HCC cells were isolated at different centrifugation speeds and examined via multiple electron microscopy (EM) techniques. The results demonstrate that exosomes possess a nearly spherical shape and bilipid membranous vesicle with a concave cavity structure containing electron-dense and coated vesicles, suggesting the possible existence of subpopulations of exosomes with specific functions. The exosomes isolated at ultracentrifugation (UC) speed (≥110,000×g) presented irregular and diverse external morphologies, indicating the effect on the integrity of the exosomes. Transforming growth factor signaling bioactive substances (TGF-β1, S100A8, and S100A9) can be found in exosomes by performing Western blotting, showing that the internal content is associated with metastasis of HCC. These findings show that EMelectron microscopy and UC speed can affect exosome characteristics, including external shape, internal structure, and content of bioactive substances. The electron-dense and coated vesicles that had been discovered in exosomes might become new additional morphological features, which could help to improve the interpretation of experimental results and widen our understanding of exosome morphology.
Saimiri collinsi is used as an animal model in biotechnology research for conservation of species from the genus Saimiri. However, the development of biotechnologies depends on a proper knowledge of the sperm morphology to understand the basic aspects of sperm physiology, as potential male fertility depends on different cellular sperm structures. With this purpose, this study characterized the micromorphological and ultrastructural characteristics of squirrel monkeys (Saimiri collinsi) sperm using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). SEM electromyography revealed that a normal Saimiri collinsi sperm measures 71.7 ± 0.7 μm with lateral tail insertion, a paddle-shaped flattened head and an acrosome occupying most of the head. TEM also showed that the middle piece is characterized by a central 9 + 2 microtubule axoneme surrounded by nine dense fibres, and that the mitochondria were juxtaposed, forming the mitochondrial sheath. Here we provide the first micromorphological and ultrastructure description of S. collinsi sperm.
This study aimed to compare three methods of cell death assessment [trypan blue exclusion (TBE), propidium iodide viability assay (PIVA), and transmission electron microscopy] to evaluate fresh and frozen–thawed chicken primordial germ cells (PGCs). For this study, chicken PGCs were collected from ROSS 908 and Oravka breed hens, cryopreserved-thawed according to the protocol, and submitted for different cell death assessments. We observed significant differences between TBE and PIVA techniques in the detectable proportion of dead cells in fresh (14.14 ± 1.27 versus 7.16 ± 1.02%, respectively) and frozen–thawed (44.00 ± 2.11 versus 33.33 ± 1.67%, respectively) samples of the Oravka breed. Moreover, significant differences (p < 0.05) between TBE and PIVA techniques in the detectable proportion of dead cells in fresh (9.20 ± 0.60 versus 5.37 ± 0.51%) samples of ROSS 908 breed were recorded. Differences may be due to methodological, sensitivity, and toxicity features of each technique tested, where TB stains cell cytoplasm of dead cells and PI penetrates and intercalates into DNA of dead cells. Therefore, we suggest using a more precise and sensitive PIVA for viability evaluation of PGCs. Further research is needed to apply various fluorochromes for more detailed cell viability evaluation.
The difference in the defect structures produced by different ion masses in a tungsten lattice is investigated using 80 MeV Au7+ ions and 10 MeV B3+ ions. The details of the defects produced by ions in recrystallized tungsten foil samples are studied using transmission electron microscopy. Dislocations of type b = 1/2 and  were observed in the analysis. While highly energetic gold ion produced small clusters of defects with very few dislocation lines, boron has produced large and sparse clusters with numerous dislocation lines. The difference in the defect structures could be due to the difference in separation between primary knock-on atoms produced by gold and boron ions.
Trichomonas vaginalis is a protozoan parasite that causes trichomoniasis in humans, the most prevalent non-viral sexually transmitted disease (STD). Imidazole compounds are used for the treatment of trichomoniasis, and metronidazole is the most commonly prescribed. However, these compounds can lead to parasite resistance and unwanted side effects. Therefore, there is a need for an alternative treatment for this disease. Here, we explored the potential of clotrimazole (CTZ) and zinc compounds, as well as CTZ complexed with zinc salts ( acetate [Zn(CTZ)2(Ac)2] and  a chloride [Zn(CTZ)2Cl2] complexes) against T. vaginalis. We synthesized the zinc complexed CTZ compounds and determined their concentration values that inhibited parasite growth by 50% (IC50). We used scanning and transmission electron microscopy to visualize the ultrastructural alterations induced by CTZ and their zinc complexes. The incubation of the parasites with [Zn(CTZ)2(Ac)2] complex inhibited their growth, yielding an IC50 of 4.9 µm. Moreover, there were changes in the shape of treated parasites, including the formation of surface projections that subsequently detached from the cell, in addition to changes in the hydrogenosomes, endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex. We found [Zn(CTZ)2(Ac)2] to be a highly effective compound against T. vaginalis in vitro, suggesting its potential utility as an alternative chemotherapy for trichomoniasis.
Highly-directional image artifacts such as ion mill curtaining, mechanical scratches, or image striping from beam instability degrade the interpretability of micrographs. These unwanted, aperiodic features extend the image along a primary direction and occupy a small wedge of information in Fourier space. Deleting this wedge of data replaces stripes, scratches, or curtaining, with more complex streaking and blurring artifacts—known within the tomography community as “missing wedge” artifacts. Here, we overcome this problem by recovering the missing region using total variation minimization, which leverages image sparsity-based reconstruction techniques—colloquially referred to as compressed sensing (CS)—to reliably restore images corrupted by stripe-like features. Our approach removes beam instability, ion mill curtaining, mechanical scratches, or any stripe features and remains robust at low signal-to-noise. The success of this approach is achieved by exploiting CS's inability to recover directional structures that are highly localized and missing in Fourier Space.
Early detection of altered epithelium can help in controlling the further progression by timely intervention. Alterations in cellular adhesion are one of the hallmarks of cancer progression, which can be detected at the intracellular level using high-resolution electron microscopy. This study aimed to evaluate the role of electron microscopy in the establishment of ultrastructural markers for early detection of altered epithelium using tissues from 4-Nitroquinoline-1-Oxide (4NQO) induced rat tongue carcinogenesis. Our previous study using light microscopy displayed no histopathological alterations in 4NQO treated tissues until 40 days of treatment, while dysplasia, papilloma and carcinoma were detected at 80/120, 160 and 200 days, respectively. However, electron microscopy detected alterations such as detachment of desmosomes from cell membranes and their clustering in the cytoplasm, increased tonofilaments, keratohyaline granules and thickened corneum in 40 days treated corresponding tissues. These alterations are apparent with hyperkeratosis/hyperplasia but remained undetected using light microscopy. Further, in dysplasia, papilloma and carcinoma, gradual and significant loss of desmosomes, leading to the significant widening of intercellular spaces, was observed using iTEM software. These parameters may serve as indicators for progression of oral cancer. Our results highlight the importance of electron microscopy in the early detection of subcellular changes in the altered epithelium.
Two preferred textures were observed in the Alhama de Murcia Fault rocks: (a) foliated bands (>100 µm thick) rich in well-crystallized dioctahedral micas, quartz, hematite and dolomite; and (b) ultrafine-grained bands (<100 µm thick) made of patches composed of small mica crystals (<15 µm) and dispersed Fe-oxides. In both textures, kaolinite forms intergrowths or patches of randomly oriented crystals filling gaps or opening layers of presumably inherited detrital mica crystals, which is interpreted as an epitaxial growth from fluids. The Na/K ratio of mica crystals in the thin ultrafine-grained bands shows a wider range than the micas from the foliated bands including muscovitic, intermediate Na/K and paragonitic compositions. The absence of the 0.98 nm intermediate peak in the diffractograms indicates that the small micas are submicroscopically paragonite and phengite intergrowths. The d001 values of the K-dioctahedral micas in the <2 µm and whole fractions are clearly different from each other. The d001 values of micas of the <2 µm fraction are larger, indicating a higher K and lower Na content in the small micas. Their composition corresponds to lower temperatures, suggesting their growth during a genetic episode in the fault. The textural relationships indicate a late growth of kaolinite, probably due to the fluid–rock interaction along fault planes and fractures. The neoformed clay minerals might alter the stability of the fault plane. The absence of expandable clay minerals and the relatively high frictional strength of kaolinite under wet conditions might explain the observed velocity-neutral behaviour of this gouge and earthquake propagation towards the surface.
This study investigated the histomorphological features of developing rabbit respiratory acini during the postnatal period. On the 1st day of postnatal life, the epithelium of terminal bronchiole consisted of clear cells which intercalated between few ciliated and abundant non-ciliated (Clara) cells. At this age, the rabbit lung was in the alveolar stage. The terminal bronchioles branched into several alveolar ducts, which opened into atria that communicated to alveolar sacs. All primary and secondary inter-alveolar septa were thick and showed a double-capillary network (immature septa). The primitive alveoli were lined largely by type-I pneumocytes and mature type-II pneumocytes. The type-I pneumocytes displayed an intimate contact with the endothelial cells of the blood capillaries forming the blood–air barrier (0.90 ± 0.03 µm in thickness). On the 3rd day, we observed intense septation and massive formation of new secondary septa giving the alveolar sac a crenate appearance. The mean thickness of the air–blood barrier decreased to reach 0.78 ± 0.14 µm. On the 7th day, the terminal bronchiole epithelium consisted of ciliated and non-ciliated cells. The non-ciliated cells could be identified as Clara cells and serous cells. New secondary septa were formed, meanwhile the inter-alveolar septa become much thinner and the air–blood barrier thickness was 0.66 ± 0.03 µm. On the 14th day, the terminal bronchiole expanded markedly and the pulmonary alveoli were thin-walled. Inter-alveolar septa become much thinner and single capillary layers were observed. In the 1st month, the secondary septa increased in length forming mature cup-shaped alveoli. In the 2nd month, the lung tissue grew massively to involve the terminal respiratory unit. In the 3rd month, the pulmonary parenchyma appeared morphologically mature. All inter-alveolar septa showed a single-capillary layer, and primordia of new septa were also observed. The thickness of the air–blood barrier was much thinner; 0.56 ± 0.16 µm. TUNEL assay after birth revealed that the apoptotic cells were abundant and distributed in the epithelium lining of the pulmonary alveoli and the interstitium of the thick interalveolar septa. On the 7th day, and onward, the incidence of apoptotic cells decreased markedly. This study concluded that the lung development included two phases: the first phase (from birth to the 14th days) corresponds to the period of bulk alveolarization and microvascular maturation. The second phase (from the 14th days to the full maturity) corresponds to the lung growth and late alveolarization.
Although atom probe tomography (APT) reconstructions do not directly influence the local elemental analysis, any structural inferences from APT volumes demand a reliable reconstruction of the point cloud. Accurate estimation of the reconstruction parameters is crucial to obtain reliable spatial scaling. In the current work, a new automated approach of calibrating atom probe reconstructions is developed using only one correlative projection electron microscopy (EM) image. We employed an algorithm that implements a 2D cross-correlation of microstructural features observed in both the APT reconstructions and the corresponding EM image. We apply this protocol to calibrate reconstructions in a Cu(In,Ga)Se2-based semiconductor and in a Co-based superalloy. This work enables us to couple chemical precision to structural information with relative ease.
Adding Au to Pd nanoparticles (NPs) can impart high catalytic activity with respect to hydrogenation of a wide range of substances. These materials are often synthesized by reducing metallic precursors; hence, sonochemical and solvothermal processes are commonly used to anchor these bimetals onto thin supports, including graphene. Although similar NPs have been studied reasonably well, a clear understanding of structural characteristics relative to their synthesis parameters is lacking, due to limitations in characterization techniques, which may prevent optimization of this very promising catalyst. In this report, a strategic approach has been used to identify this structural and material synthesis correlation, starting with controlled sample preparation and followed by detailed characterization. This includes advanced scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy; the latter using a state-of-the-art instrumentation to map the distribution of Pd and Au, and to identify chemical state of the Pd NPs, which has not been previously reported. Results show that catalytic bimetal NP clusters were made of small zero-valent Pd NPs aggregating to form a shell around an Au core. Not only can the described characterization approach be applied to similar material systems, but the results can guide the optimization of the synthesis procedures.
There are more than 30 distinct types of mammalian retinal ganglion cells, each sensitive to different features of the visual environment. In rabbit retina, they can be grouped into four classes according to their morphology and stratification of their dendrites in the inner plexiform layer (IPL). The goal of this study was to describe the synaptic inputs to one type of Class IV ganglion cell, the third member of the sparsely branched Class IV cells (SB3). One cell of this type was partially reconstructed in a retinal connectome developed using automated transmission electron microscopy (ATEM). It had slender, relatively straight dendrites that ramify in the sublamina a of the IPL. The dendrites of the SB3 cell were always postsynaptic in the IPL, supporting its identity as a ganglion cell. It received 29% of its input from bipolar cells, a value in the middle of the range for rabbit retinal ganglion cells studied previously. The SB3 cell typically received only one synapse per bipolar cell from multiple types of presumed OFF bipolar cells; reciprocal synapses from amacrine cells at the dyad synapses were infrequent. In a few instances, the bipolar cells presynaptic to the SB3 ganglion cell also provided input to an amacrine cell presynaptic to the ganglion cell. There was apparently no crossover inhibition from narrow-field ON amacrine cells. Most of the amacrine cell inputs were from axons and dendrites of GABAergic amacrine cells, likely providing inhibitory input from outside the classical receptive field.
The finding of this study is that the interaction volume in electron microscopy in transmission is well ordered laterally, with a remarkable and unexpected consequence being that lateral subsections of the interaction volume produce subsections of the Kikuchi diffraction pattern. It makes the microstructure of samples directly visible in Kikuchi patterns. This is first illustrated with polycrystalline Ti–10Al–25Nb with an on-axis transmission Kikuchi diffraction set-up in a scanning electron microscope. It is then shown via a Monte Carlo simulation and a large-angle convergent-beam electron diffraction experiment that this phenomenon finds its origin in the nature of the differential elastic and quasi-elastic cross sections. This phenomenon is then quantified by a careful image analysis of Kikuchi patterns recorded across a vertical interface in a silicon sample specifically designed and fabricated. A Monte Carlo simulation reproducing all the geometric parameters is conducted. Experiments and simulations match very well qualitatively, but with a slight quantitativity gap. The specificity of the thermal diffuse scattering cross-section, not available in the simulation, is thought to be responsible for this gap. Beside Kikuchi diffraction, the case of diffraction spots and diffuse background present in the pattern is also discussed.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the potential use of titanium foil coated with sputtered silver and copper films as a novel brazing filler for joining TiAl alloys. For this purpose, a detailed microstructural characterization of the resulting brazing interfaces was carried out. The development of brazing fillers that allow the joining of TiAl alloys without compromising the service temperature is a fruitful prospect. Brazing experiments were performed in a vacuum at 900, 950, and 980°C, with a dwell time of 30 min. Microstructural characterization reveals that brazing joints can be obtained successfully at 950 and 980°C. The interface consists of a large central region of α-Ti with an amount of Al and Ti–Ag compound and thin layers, mainly composed of intermetallic compounds, formed close to the base material. A novel brazing filler consisting of Ti foil coated with sputtered Ag and Cu films inhibits the extensive formation of soft (Ag) zones or coarse brittle Ti–Al–(Cu,Ni) particles. Hence, the need for post-brazing heat treatments for the joining of TiAl alloys was avoided.
This research focuses on the microstructural characterization of nickel matrix composites reinforced by carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The nanocomposites were produced by a conventional powder metallurgy process and the dispersion of CNTs and mixture with nickel powders was performed in a single step by ultrasonication. Microstructural characterization of Ni–CNT nanocomposites was performed by scanning and transmission electron microscopy, electron backscattered diffraction, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, selected area electron diffraction, and fast Fourier transform analyses. This characterization revealed CNTs embedded in the nickel grains and mainly presented as clusters at the grain boundaries. CNTs hinder recrystallization during sintering, and dislocation cells and subgrains form as a result of the recovery process.