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The endogenous cannabinoid system plays important roles in the retina of mice and monkeys via their classic CB1 and CB2 receptors. We have previously reported that the G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55), a putative cannabinoid receptor, is exclusively expressed in rod photoreceptors in the monkey retina, suggesting its possible role in scotopic vision. To test this hypothesis, we recorded full-field electroretinograms (ERGs) after the intravitreal injection of the GPR55 agonist lysophosphatidylglucoside (LPG) or the selective GPR55 antagonist CID16020046 (CID), under light- and dark-adapted conditions. Thirteen vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus) were used in this study: four controls (injected with the vehicle dimethyl sulfoxide, DMSO), four injected with LPG and five with CID. We analyzed amplitudes and latencies of the a-wave (photoreceptor responses) and the b-wave (rod and cone system responses) of the ERG. Our results showed that after injection of LPG, the amplitude of the scotopic b-wave was significantly higher, whereas after the injection of CID, it was significantly decreased, compared to the vehicle (DMSO). On the other hand, the a-wave amplitude, and the a-wave and b-wave latencies, of the scotopic ERG responses were not significantly affected by the injection of either compound. Furthermore, the photopic ERG waveforms were not affected by either drug. These results support the hypothesis that GPR55 plays an instrumental role in mediating scotopic vision.
Cerebrovascular accidents due to Moyamoya disease, a disorder characterized by arterial stenosis at the base of the brain accompanied by typical net-like collateral vessels, occurred in two young Japanese women with Graves' disease when they were in thyrotoxicosis. In one patient, a second attack of cerebral infarction occurred with the recurrence of thyrotoxicosis. Association of Moyamoya disease and Graves' thyrotoxicosis is rare and the pathegenetic relationship is discussed.
Two kinds of obviously different-sized –Si3N4 whiskers were grown from silicon melt with different pretreatment vacuum conditions. Their growth interface structures were studied in a cross-section view from micro-areas to macro-areas by combination of micro-area state analysis with chemical shift mapping of Si Kβ bands using electron probe microanalysis. The one pretreated under the lower vacuum condition with a rotary pump was 10–20 μm in diameter and hundreds of micrometers in length, and another pretreated under the higher vacuum condition with a diffusion pump was 0.1–0.2 mm in diameter and 2–5 mm in length. The small Si3N4 whiskers were grown from the surface of the SiC particles within the Si melt. The large Si3N4 whiskers were grown from the surface of Si3N4 crucible. On the basis of these results, their growth mechanisms are discussed from the view of the nucleation sites, impurity source, and thermodynamic stability of the SiC particles. Compared with the Si3N4 grains, the SiC particles influenced the nucleation deeply and caused the process to grow small-sized crystals. Preventing the carbon impurities into the Si melt from forming the SiC particles in the pretreatment process was one effective way to grow the large-sized β–Si3N4 single crystals.