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Cerebral ischemia is the third most common cause of death and a major cause of disability worldwide. Beyond a shortage of essential metabolites, ischemia triggers many interconnected pathophysiological events, including excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis. Here, we investigated the neuroprotective mechanisms of JM-20, a novel synthetic molecule, focusing on the phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt survival pathway and glial cell response as potential targets of JM-20. For this purpose, we used organotypic hippocampal slice cultures exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) to achieve ischemic/reperfusion damage in vitro. Treatment with JM-20 at 0.1 and 10 μM reduced PI incorporation (indicative of cell death) after OGD. OGD decreased the phosphorylation of Akt (pro-survival) and GSK 3β (pro-apoptotic), resulting in respective inhibition and activation of these proteins. Treatment with JM20 prevented the reduced phosphorylation of these proteins after OGD, representing a shift from pro-apoptotic to pro-survival signaling. The OGD-induced activation of caspase-3 was also attenuated by JM-20 treatment at 10 μM. Moreover, in cultures treated with JM-20 and exposed to OGD conditioning, we observed a decrease in activated microglia, as well as a decrease in interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α release into the culture medium, while the level of the anti-inflammatory IL-10 increased. GFAP immunostaining and IB4 labeling showed that JM-20 treatment significantly augmented GFAP immunoreactivity after OGD, when compared with cultures exposed to OGD only, suggesting the activation of astroglial cells. Our results confirm that JM-20 has a strong neuroprotective effect against ischemic injury and suggest that the mechanisms involved in this effect may include the modulation of reactive astrogliosis, as well as neuroinflammation and the anti-apoptotic cell signaling pathway. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights
JM-20 (3-ethoxycarbonyl-2-methyl-4-(2-nitrophenyl)-4,11-dihydro-1H-pyrido[2,3-b][1,5]benzodiazepine) is a novel benzodiazepine dihydropyridine hybrid molecule, which has been shown to be a neuroprotective agent in brain disorders involving glutamate receptors. However, the effect of JM-20 on the functionality of the glutamatergic system has not been investigated. In this study, by using different in vitro preparations, we investigated the effects of JM-20 on (i) rat brain synaptic vesicles (L-[(3)H]-glutamate uptake, proton gradient built-up and bafilomycin-sensitive H(+)-ATPase activity), (ii) rat brain synaptosomes (glutamate release) and (iii) primary cultures of rat cortical neurons, astrocytes and astrocyte-neuron co-cultures (L-[(3)H]-glutamate uptake and glutamate release). We observed here that JM-20 impairs H(+)-ATPase activity and consequently reduces vesicular glutamate uptake. This molecule also inhibits glutamate release from brain synaptosomes and markedly increases glutamate uptake in astrocytes alone, and co-cultured neurons and astrocytes. The impairment of vesicular glutamate uptake by inhibition of the H(+)-ATPase caused by JM-20 could decrease the amount of the transmitter stored in synaptic vesicles, increase the cytosolic levels of glutamate, and will thus down-regulate neurotransmitter release. Together, these results contribute to explain the anti-excitotoxic effect of JM-20 and its strong neuroprotective effect observed in different in vitro and in vivo models of brain ischemia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ethylene biosynthesis in plants involves different 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase (ACS) genes. The regulation of each ACS gene during fruit development is unclear. Here, we characterized another apple (Malus×domestica) ACS gene, MdACS6. The transcript of MdACS6 was observed not only in fruits but also in other tissues. During fruit development, MdACS6 was initiated at a much earlier stage, whereas MdACS3a and MdACS1 began to be expressed at 35 d before harvest and immediateley after harvest, respectively. Moreover, the enzyme activity of MdACS6 was significantly lower than that of MdACS3a and MdACS1, accounting for the low ethylene biosynthesis in young fruits. Overexpression of MdACS6 (MdACS6-OE) by transient assay in apple showed enhanced ethylene production, and MdACS3a was induced in MdACS6-OE fruits but not in control fruits. In MdACS6 apple fruits silenced by the virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) system (MdACS6-AN), neither ethylene production nor MdACS3a transcript was detectable. In order to explore the mechanism through which MdACS3a was induced in MdACS6-OE fruits, we investigated the expression of apple ethylene-responsive factor (ERF) genes. The results showed that the expression of MdERF2 was induced in MdACS6-OE fruits and inhibited in MdACS6-AN fruits. Yeast one-hybrid assay showed that MdERF2 protein could bind to the promoter of MdACS3a. Moreover, down-regulation of MdERF2 in apple flesh callus led to a decrease of MdACS3a expression, demonstrating the regulation of MdERF2 on MdACS3a. The mechanism through which MdACS6 regulates the action of MdACS3a was discussed. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: email@example.com.
The ATHENA observatory is the second large-class mission in ESA Cosmic Vision 2015-2025, with a launch foreseen in 2028 towards the L2 orbit. The mission addresses the science theme "The Hot and Energetic Universe", by coupling a high-performance X-ray Telescope with two complementary focal-plane instruments. One of these is the X-ray Integral Field Unit (X-IFU): it is a TES based kilo-pixel order array able to provide spatially resolved high-resolution spectroscopy (2.5 eV at 6 keV) over a 5 arcmin FoV. The X-IFU sensitivity is degraded by the particles background expected at L2 orbit, which is induced by primary protons of both galactic and solar origin, and mostly by secondary electrons. To reduce the background level and enable the mission science goals, a Cryogenic Anticoincidence (CryoAC) detector is placed < 1 mm below the TES array. It is a 4- pixel TES based detector, with wide Silicon absorbers sensed by Ir:Au TESes. The CryoAC development schedule foresees by Q1 2017 the delivery of a Demonstration Model (DM) to the X-IFU FPA development team. The DM is a single-pixel detector that will address the final design of the CryoAC. It will verify some representative requirements at single-pixel level, especially the detector operation at 50 mK thermal bath and the threshold energy at 20 keV. To reach the final DM design we have developed and tested the AC-S7 prototype, with 1 cm2 absorber area sensed by 65 Ir TESes. Here we will discuss the pulse analysis of this detector, which has been illuminated by the 60 keV line from a 241Am source. First, we will present the analysis performed to investigate pulses timings and spectrum, and to disentangle the athermal component of the pulses from the thermal one. Furthermore, we will show the application to our dataset of an alternative method of pulse processing, based upon Principal Component Analysis (PCA). This kind of analysis allow us to recover better energy spectra than achievable with traditional methods
Larval survival and oviposition behavior of three genotypes of diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella L. (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), (homozygous Cry1Ac-susceptibile, Cry1Ac-resistant, and their F1 hybrids), on transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) broccoli expressing different levels of Cry1Ac protein were evaluated in laboratory. These Bt broccoli lines were designated as relative low, medium, and high, respectively, according to the Cry1Ac content. Untransformed brocccoli plants were used as control. Larval survival of diamondback moth on non-Bt leaves was not significantly different among the three genotypes. The Cry1Ac-resistant larvae could survive on the low level of Bt broccoli plants, while Cry1Ac-susceptible and F1 larvae could not survive on them. The three genotypes of P. xylostella larvae could not survive on medium and high levels of Bt broccoli. In oviposition choice tests, there was no significant difference in the number of eggs laid by the three P. xylostella genotypes among different Bt broccoli plants. The development of Cry1Ac-susceptible and Cry1Ac-resistant P. xylostella on intact Bt plants was also tested in greenhouse. All susceptible P. xylostella larvae died on all Bt plants, while resistant larvae could survive on broccoli, which expresses low Cry1Ac protein under greenhouse conditions. The results of the greenhouse trials were similar to that of laboratory tests. This study indicated that high dose of Bt toxins in broccoli cultivars or germplasm lines is required for effective resistance management. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.
Periodic stimulation of occipital areas using transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) at alpha (α) frequency (8-12 Hz) enhances electroencephalographic (EEG) α-oscillation long after tACS-offset. Two mechanisms have been suggested to underlie these changes in oscillatory EEG activity: tACS-induced entrainment of brain oscillations and/or tACS-induced changes in oscillatory circuits by spike-timing dependent plasticity. We tested to what extent plasticity can account for tACS-aftereffects when controlling for entrainment "echoes." To this end, we used a novel, intermittent tACS protocol and investigated the strength of the aftereffect as a function of phase continuity between successive tACS episodes, as well as the match between stimulation frequency and endogenous α-frequency. 12 healthy participants were stimulated at around individual α-frequency for 11-15 min in four sessions using intermittent tACS or sham. Successive tACS events were either phase-continuous or phase-discontinuous, and either 3 or 8 s long. EEG α-phase and power changes were compared after and between episodes of α-tACS across conditions and against sham. α-aftereffects were successfully replicated after intermittent stimulation using 8-s but not 3-s trains. These aftereffects did not reveal any of the characteristics of entrainment echoes in that they were independent of tACS phase-continuity and showed neither prolonged phase alignment nor frequency synchronization to the exact stimulation frequency. Our results indicate that plasticity mechanisms are sufficient to explain α-aftereffects in response to α-tACS, and inform models of tACS-induced plasticity in oscillatory circuits. Modifying brain oscillations with tACS holds promise for clinical applications in disorders involving abnormal neural synchrony. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. 2b1af7f3a8