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A primary challenge facing the development of interventions for dyslexia is identifying effective predictors of intervention response. While behavioral literature has identified core cognitive characteristics of response, the distinction of reading versus executive cognitive contributions to response profiles remains unclear, due in part to the difficulty of segregating these constructs using behavioral outputs. In the current study we used functional neuroimaging to piece apart the mechanisms of how/whether executive and reading network relationships are predictive of intervention response. We found that readers who are responsive to intervention have more typical pre-intervention functional interactions between executive and reading systems compared to nonresponsive readers. These findings suggest that intervention response in dyslexia is influenced not only by domain-specific reading regions, but also by contributions from intervening domain-general networks. Our results make a significant gain in identifying predictive bio-markers of outcomes in dyslexia, and have important implications for the development of personalized clinical interventions.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
A subgroup of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients treated with dopaminergic therapy develop compulsive reward-driven behaviors, which can result in life-altering morbidity. The mesocorticolimbic dopamine network guides reward-motivated behavior; however, its role in this treatment-related behavioral phenotype is incompletely understood. Here, mesocorticolimbic network function in PD patients who develop impulsive and compulsive behaviors (ICB) in response to dopamine agonists was assessed using BOLD fMRI. The tested hypothesis was that network connectivity between the ventral striatum and the limbic cortex is elevated in patients with ICB and that reward-learning proficiency reflects the extent of mesocorticolimbic network connectivity. To evaluate this hypothesis, 3.0T BOLD-fMRI was applied to measure baseline functional connectivity on and off dopamine agonist therapy in age and sex-matched PD patients with (n = 19) or without (n = 18) ICB. An incentive-based task was administered to a subset of patients (n = 20) to quantify positively or negatively reinforced learning. Whole-brain voxelwise analyses and region-of-interest-based mixed linear effects modeling were performed. Elevated ventral striatal connectivity to the anterior cingulate gyrus (P = 0.013), orbitofrontal cortex (P = 0.034), insula (P = 0.044), putamen (P = 0.014), globus pallidus (P < 0.01), and thalamus (P < 0.01) was observed in patients with ICB. A strong trend for elevated amygdala-to-midbrain connectivity was found in ICB patients on dopamine agonist. Ventral striatum-to-subgenual cingulate connectivity correlated with reward learning (P < 0.01), but not with punishment-avoidance learning. These data indicate that PD-ICB patients have elevated network connectivity in the mesocorticolimbic network. Behaviorally, proficient reward-based learning is related to this enhanced limbic and ventral striatal connectivity. Hum Brain Mapp 39:509-521, 2018. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
In the developing hypothalamus, the fat-derived hormone leptin stimulates the growth of axons from the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARH) to other regions that control energy balance. These projections are significantly reduced in leptin deficient (Lep ) mice and this phenotype is largely rescued by neonatal leptin treatments. However, treatment of mature Lep mice is ineffective, suggesting that the trophic action of leptin is limited to a developmental critical period. To temporally delineate closure of this critical period for leptin-stimulated growth, we treated Lep mice with exogenous leptin during a variety of discrete time periods, and measured the density of Agouti-Related Peptide (AgRP) containing projections from the ARH to the ventral part of the dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (DMHv), and to the medial parvocellular part of the paraventricular nucleus (PVHmp). The results indicate that leptin loses its neurotrophic potential at or near postnatal day 28. The duration of leptin exposure appears to be important, with 9- or 11-day treatments found to be more effective than shorter (5-day) treatments. Furthermore, leptin treatment for 9 days or more was sufficient to restore AgRP innervation to both the PVHmp and DMHv in Lep females, but only to the DMHv in Lep males. Together, these findings reveal that the trophic actions of leptin are contingent upon timing and duration of leptin exposure, display both target and sex specificity, and that modulation of leptin-dependent circuit formation by each of these factors may carry enduring consequences for feeding behavior, metabolism, and obesity risk.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Arrestins play a prominent role in shutting down signaling via G protein-coupled receptors. In recent years, a signaling role for arrestins independent of their function in receptor desensitization has been discovered. Two ubiquitously expressed arrestin isoforms, arrestin-2 and arrestin-3, perform similarly in the desensitization process and share many signaling functions, enabling them to substitute for one another. However, signaling roles specific to each isoform have also been described. Mice lacking arrestin-3 (ARR3KO) were reported to show blunted acute responsiveness to the locomotor stimulatory effect of amphetamine (AMPH). It has been suggested that mice with deletion of arrestin-2 display a similar phenotype. Here we demonstrate that the AMPH-induced locomotion of male ARR3KO mice is reduced over the 7-day treatment period and during AMPH challenge after a 7-day withdrawal. The data are consistent with impaired locomotor sensitization to AMPH and suggest a role for arrestin-3-mediated signaling in the sensitization process. In contrast, male ARR2KO mice showed enhanced early responsiveness to AMPH and the lack of further sensitization, suggesting a role for impaired receptor desensitization. The comparison of mice possessing one allele of arrestin-3 and no arrestin-2 with ARR2KO littermates revealed reduced activity of the former line, consistent with a contribution of arrestin-3-mediated signaling to AMPH responses. Surprisingly, ARR3KO mice with one arrestin-2 allele showed significantly reduced locomotor responses to AMPH combined with lower novelty-induced locomotion, as compared to the ARR3KO line. These data suggest that one allele of arrestin-2 is unable to support normal locomotor behavior due to signaling and/or developmental defects.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - To compare the electrophysiological and morphological responses to acute, moderately elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in Sprague-Dawley (SD), Long-Evans (LE) and Brown Norway (BN) rat eyes.
METHODS - Eleven-week-old SD (n = 5), LE (n = 5) and BN (n = 5) rats were used. Scotopic threshold responses (STRs), Maxwellian flash electroretinograms (ERGs) or ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography (UHR-OCT) images of the rat retinas were collected from both eyes before, during and after IOP elevation of one eye. IOP was raised to ~35 mmHg for 1 h using a vascular loop, while the other eye served as a control. STRs, ERGs and UHR-OCT images were acquired on 3 days separated by 1 day of no experimental manipulation.
RESULTS - There were no significant differences between species in baseline electroretinography. However, during IOP elevation, peak positive STR amplitudes in LE (mean ± standard deviation 259 ± 124 µV) and BN (228 ± 96 µV) rats were about fourfold higher than those in SD rats (56 ± 46 µV) rats (p = 0.0002 for both). Similarly, during elevated IOP, ERG b-wave amplitudes were twofold higher in LE and BN rats compared to those of SD rats (947 ± 129 µV and 892 ± 184 µV, vs 427 ± 138 µV; p = 0.0002 for both). UHR-OCT images showed backward bowing in all groups during IOP elevation, with a return to typical form about 30 min after IOP elevation.
CONCLUSION - Differences in the loop-induced responses between the strains are likely due to different inherent retinal morphology and physiology.
Visual stimuli with emotional content appearing in close temporal proximity either before or after a target stimulus can hinder conscious perceptual processing of the target via an emotional attentional blink (EAB). This occurs for targets that appear after the emotional stimulus (forward EAB) and for those appearing before the emotional stimulus (retroactive EAB). Additionally, the traditional attentional blink (AB) occurs because detection of any target hinders detection of a subsequent target. The present study investigated the relations between these different attentional processes. Rapid sequences of landscape images were presented to thirty-one male participants with occasional landscape targets (rotated images). For the forward EAB, emotional or neutral distractor images of people were presented before the target; for the retroactive EAB, such images were also targets and presented after the landscape target. In the latter case, this design allowed investigation of the AB as well. Erotic and gory images caused more EABs than neutral images, but there were no differential effects on the AB. This pattern is striking because while using different target categories (rotated landscapes, people) appears to have eliminated the AB, the retroactive EAB still occurred, offering additional evidence for the power of emotional stimuli over conscious attention.
We report a novel approach for the delivery of curcumin to the brain via inhalation of the aerosol for the potential treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The percentage of plaque fraction in the subiculum and hippocampus reduced significantly when young 5XFAD mice were treated with inhalable curcumin over an extended period of time compared to age-matched nontreated counterparts. Further, treated animals demonstrated remarkably improved overall cognitive function, no registered systemic or pulmonary toxicity associated with inhalable curcumin observed during the course of this work.
As the major cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, Clostridium difficile is a serious problem in health care facilities worldwide. C. difficile produces two large toxins, TcdA and TcdB, which are the primary virulence factors in disease. The respective functions of these toxins have been difficult to discern, in part because the cytotoxicity profiles for these toxins differ with concentration and cell type. The goal of this study was to develop a cell culture model that would allow a side-by-side mechanistic comparison of the toxins. Conditionally immortalized, young adult mouse colonic (YAMC) epithelial cells demonstrate an exquisite sensitivity to both toxins with phenotypes that agree with observations in tissue explants. TcdA intoxication results in an apoptotic cell death that is dependent on the glucosyltransferase activity of the toxin. In contrast, TcdB has a bimodal mechanism; it induces apoptosis in a glucosyltransferase-dependent manner at lower concentrations and glucosyltransferase-independent necrotic death at higher concentrations. The direct comparison of the responses to TcdA and TcdB in cells and colonic explants provides the opportunity to unify a large body of observations made by many independent investigators.
Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Emerging evidence supports an important role for T cells in the genesis of hypertension. Because this work has predominantly been performed in experimental animals, we sought to determine whether human T cells are activated in hypertension. We used a humanized mouse model in which the murine immune system is replaced by the human immune system. Angiotensin II increased systolic pressure to 162 versus 116 mm Hg for sham-treated animals. Flow cytometry of thoracic lymph nodes, thoracic aorta, and kidney revealed increased infiltration of human leukocytes (CD45(+)) and T lymphocytes (CD3(+) and CD4(+)) in response to angiotensin II infusion. Interestingly, there was also an increase in the memory T cells (CD3(+)/CD45RO(+)) in the aortas and lymph nodes. Prevention of hypertension using hydralazine and hydrochlorothiazide prevented the accumulation of T cells in these tissues. Studies of isolated human T cells and monocytes indicated that angiotensin II had no direct effect on cytokine production by T cells or the ability of dendritic cells to drive T-cell proliferation. We also observed an increase in circulating interleukin-17A producing CD4(+) T cells and both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells that produce interferon-γ in hypertensive compared with normotensive humans. Thus, human T cells become activated and invade critical end-organ tissues in response to hypertension in a humanized mouse model. This response likely reflects the hypertensive milieu encountered in vivo and is not a direct effect of the hormone angiotensin II.
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.
Angiotensin II-induced hypertension is associated with an increase in T-cell production of interleukin-17A (IL-17A). Recently, we reported that IL-17A(-/-) mice exhibit blunted hypertension, preserved natriuresis in response to a saline challenge, and decreased renal sodium hydrogen exchanger 3 expression after 2 weeks of angiotensin II infusion compared with wild-type mice. In the current study, we performed renal transporter profiling in mice deficient in IL-17A or the related isoform, IL-17F, after 4 weeks of Ang II infusion, the time when the blood pressure reduction in IL-17A(-/-) mice is most prominent. Deficiency of IL-17A abolished the activation of distal tubule transporters, specifically the sodium-chloride cotransporter and the epithelial sodium channel and protected mice from glomerular and tubular injury. In human proximal tubule (HK-2) cells, IL-17A increased sodium hydrogen exchanger 3 expression through a serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1-dependent pathway. In mouse distal convoluted tubule cells, IL-17A increased sodium-chloride cotransporter activity in a serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1/Nedd4-2-dependent pathway. In both cell types, acute treatment with IL-17A induced phosphorylation of serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1 at serine 78, and treatment with a serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1 inhibitor blocked the effects of IL-17A on sodium hydrogen exchanger 3 and sodium-chloride cotransporter. Interestingly, both HK-2 and mouse distal convoluted tubule 15 cells produce endogenous IL-17A. IL17F had little or no effect on blood pressure or renal sodium transporter abundance. These studies provide a mechanistic link by which IL-17A modulates renal sodium transport and suggest that IL-17A inhibition may improve renal function in hypertension and other autoimmune disorders.
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.