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PURPOSE - We sought to determine whether women with overactive bladder who required third line therapy would demonstrate greater central sensitization, indexed by temporal summation to heat pain stimuli, than those with overactive bladder.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - We recruited 39 women with overactive bladder from the urology clinic who were planning to undergo interventional therapy for medication refractory overactive bladder with onabotulinumtoxinA bladder injection or sacral neuromodulation. We also recruited 55 women with overactive bladder who were newly seen at our urology clinic or who responded to advertisements for study participation. Participants underwent quantitative sensory testing using a thermal temporal summation protocol. The primary study outcome was the degree of temporal summation as reflected in the magnitude of positive slope of the line fit to the series of 10 stimuli at a 49C target temperature. We compared the degree of temporal summation between the study groups using linear regression.
RESULTS - Women in the group undergoing third line therapy showed significantly higher standardized temporal summation slopes than those in the nontreatment group (β = 1.57, 95% CI 0.18-2.96, t = 2.25, p = 0.027). On exploratory analyses a history of incontinence surgery or hysterectomy was associated with significantly greater temporal summation.
CONCLUSIONS - In this study the degree of temporal summation was elevated in women undergoing third line overactive bladder therapy compared to women with overactive bladder who were not undergoing that therapy. These findings suggest there may be pathophysiological differences, specifically in afferent nerve function and processing, in some women with overactive bladder.
Copyright © 2018 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
There remains a need for new non-ionic detergents that are suitable for use in biochemical and biophysical studies of membrane proteins. Here we explore the properties of n-dodecyl-β-melibioside (β-DDMB) micelles as a medium for membrane proteins. Melibiose is d-galactose-α(1→6)-d-glucose. Light scattering showed the β-DDMB micelle to be roughly 30 kDa smaller than micelles formed by the commonly used n-dodecyl-β-maltoside (β-DDM). β-DDMB stabilized diacylglycerol kinase (DAGK) against thermal inactivation. Moreover, activity assays conducted using aliquots of DAGK purified into β-DDMB yielded activities that were 40% higher than those of DAGK purified into β-DDM. β-DDMB yielded similar or better TROSY-HSQC NMR spectra for two single-pass membrane proteins and the tetraspan membrane protein peripheral myelin protein 22. β-DDMB appears be a useful addition to the toolbox of non-ionic detergents available for membrane protein research.
BACKGROUND - People with Alzheimer's disease (AD) report pain less frequently and receive less pain medication than people without AD. Recent studies have begun to elucidate how pain may be altered in those with AD. However, potential sex differences in pain responsiveness have never been explored in these patients. It is unclear whether sex differences found in prior studies of healthy young and older individuals extend to people with AD.
OBJECTIVE - The purpose of this study was to examine sex differences in the psychophysical response to experimental thermal pain in people with AD.
METHODS - Cross-sectional analysis of 14 male and 14 female age-matched (≥65 years of age, median = 74) and AD severity-matched (Mini-Mental State Exam score <24, median = 16) communicative people who completed thermal psychophysics.
RESULTS - There was a statistically significant main effect of sex for both temperature and unpleasantness ratings that persisted after controlling for average and current pain (mixed-effects general liner model: temperature: p = 0.004, unpleasantness: p < 0.001). Females reported sensing mild pain and moderate pain percepts at markedly lower temperatures than did males (mild: Cohen's d = 0.72, p = 0.051, moderate: Cohen's d = 0.80, p = 0.036). By contrast, males rated mild and moderate thermal pain stimuli as more unpleasant than did females (mild: Cohen's d = 0.80, p = 0.072, moderate: Cohen's d = 1.32, p = 0.006). There were no statistically significant correlations of temperature with perceived unpleasantness for mild or moderate pain (rs = 0.29 and rs = 0.20 respectively, p > 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS - Results suggest experimental pain-related sex differences persist in older adults with AD in a different manner than those previously demonstrated in cognitively intact older adults. These findings could potentially aid in developing targeted pain management approaches in this vulnerable population. Further studies are warranted to replicate the findings from this pilot work.
The Complex II homolog quinol:fumarate reductase (QFR, FrdABCD) catalyzes the interconversion of fumarate and succinate at a covalently attached FAD within the FrdA subunit. The SdhE assembly factor enhances covalent flavinylation of Complex II homologs, but the mechanisms underlying the covalent attachment of FAD remain to be fully elucidated. Here, we explored the mechanisms of covalent flavinylation of the QFR FrdA subunit. Using a Δ strain, we show that the requirement for the assembly factor depends on the cellular redox environment. We next identified residues important for the covalent attachment and selected the FrdA residue, which contributes to proton shuttling during fumarate reduction, for detailed biophysical and structural characterization. We found that QFR complexes containing FrdA have a structure similar to that of the WT flavoprotein, but lack detectable substrate binding and turnover. In the context of the isolated FrdA subunit, the anticipated assembly intermediate during covalent flavinylation, FrdA variants had stability similar to that of WT FrdA, contained noncovalent FAD, and displayed a reduced capacity to interact with SdhE. However, small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) analysis of WT FrdA cross-linked to SdhE suggested that the FrdA residue is unlikely to contribute directly to the FrdA-SdhE protein-protein interface. We also found that no auxiliary factor is absolutely required for flavinylation, indicating that the covalent flavinylation is autocatalytic. We propose that multiple factors, including the SdhE assembly factor and bound dicarboxylates, stimulate covalent flavinylation by preorganizing the active site to stabilize the quinone-methide intermediate.
© 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Cytochrome P450 (P450, CYP) 21A2 is the major steroid 21-hydroxylase, converting progesterone to 11-deoxycorticosterone and 17α-hydroxyprogesterone (17α-OH-progesterone) to 11-deoxycortisol. More than 100 variants give rise to congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). We previously reported a structure of WT human P450 21A2 with bound progesterone and now present a structure bound to the other substrate (17α-OH-progesterone). We found that the 17α-OH-progesterone- and progesterone-bound complex structures are highly similar, with only some minor differences in surface loop regions. Twelve P450 21A2 variants associated with either salt-wasting or nonclassical forms of CAH were expressed, purified, and analyzed. The catalytic activities of these 12 variants ranged from 0.00009% to 30% of WT P450 21A2 and the extent of heme incorporation from 10% to 95% of the WT. Substrate dissociation constants () for four variants were 37-13,000-fold higher than for WT P450 21A2. Cytochrome , which augments several P450 activities, inhibited P450 21A2 activity. Similar to the WT enzyme, high noncompetitive intermolecular kinetic deuterium isotope effects (≥ 5.5) were observed for all six P450 21A2 variants examined for 21-hydroxylation of 21--progesterone, indicating that C-H bond breaking is a rate-limiting step over a 10-fold range of catalytic efficiency. Using UV-visible and CD spectroscopy, we found that P450 21A2 thermal stability assessed in bacterial cells and with purified enzymes differed among salt-wasting- and nonclassical-associated variants, but these differences did not correlate with catalytic activity. Our in-depth investigation of CAH-associated P450 21A2 variants reveals critical insight into the effects of disease-causing mutations on this important enzyme.
© 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
BACKGROUND - It is currently unknown why people with Alzheimer's disease (AD) receive less pain medication and report pain less frequently.
OBJECTIVE - The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of AD on thermal psychophysics and resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) among sensory, affective, descending modulatory, and default mode structures.
METHODS - Controls (n = 23, 13 = female) and age-matched people with AD (n = 23, 13 = females) underwent psychophysical testing to rate perceptions of warmth, mild, and moderate pain and then completed resting-state fMRI. Between groups analysis in psychophysics and RSFC were conducted among pre-defined regions of interest implicated in sensory and affective dimensions of pain, descending pain modulation, and the default mode network.
RESULTS - People with AD displayed higher thermal thresholds for warmth and mild pain but similar moderate pain thresholds to controls. No between-group differences were found for unpleasantness at any percept. Relative to controls, people with AD demonstrated reduced RSFC between the right posterior insula and left anterior cingulate and also between right amygdala and right secondary somatosensory cortex. Moderate pain unpleasantness reports were associated with increased RSFC between right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and left ACC in controls only.
CONCLUSIONS - While AD had little effect on unpleasantness, people with AD had increased thermal thresholds, altered RSFC, and no association of psychophysics with RSFC in pain regions. Findings begin to elucidate that in people with AD, altered integration of pain sensation, affect, and descending modulation may, in part, contribute to decreased verbal pain reports and thus decreased analgesic administration.
INTRODUCTION - This study sought to provide a preliminary assessment of whether spinally mediated afferent hyperactivity (i.e., central sensitization) might contribute to manifestations of overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) in women as indexed by elevated temporal summation of evoked heat pain stimuli.
METHODS - We recruited 20 adult women with OAB who were planning to undergo interventional therapy for OAB with either onabotulinumtoxinA injection or sacral neuromodulation and 23 healthy controls without OAB symptoms to undergo quantitative sensory testing with cutaneous thermal pain temporal summation. The primary study outcome was the degree of temporal summation, as reflected in the magnitude of positive slope of the line fitted to the series of 10 stimuli at the 49°C target temperatures. Linear regression and analysis of covariance were utilized to compare the degree of temporal summation between study groups.
RESULTS - The standardized slope of temporal summation trials for women with OAB was significantly higher than for controls (β = 3.43, 95% confidence interval = 0.6-6.2, P = 0.017). The adjusted means ±SE of the standardized temporal summation slopes for the full OAB and control groups were 3.0 ± 0.5 (95% confidence interval = 2.0, 4.1) and 1.7 ± 0.5 (95% confidence interval = 0.7, 2.7), respectively.
CONCLUSION - In this preliminary study, we demonstrated that women with OAB refractory to primary and secondary therapies exhibited greater thermal cutaneous temporal summation than women without OAB symptoms. This suggests that central sensitization, indexed by temporal summation, may be an underlying factor contributing to OAB in some women. Neurourol. Urodynam. 36:1108-1112, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
BACKGROUND - Compared to healthy controls, people with Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been shown to receive less pain medication and report pain less frequently. It is unknown if these findings reflect less perceived pain in AD, an inability to recognize pain, or an inability to communicate pain.
METHODS - To further examine aspects of pain processing in AD, we conducted a cross-sectional study of sex-matched adults ≥65 years old with and without AD (AD: n = 40, female = 20, median age = 75; control: n = 40, female = 20, median age = 70) to compare the psychophysical response to contact-evoked perceptual heat thresholds of warmth, mild pain, and moderate pain, and self-reported unpleasantness for each percept.
RESULTS - When compared to controls, participants with AD required higher temperatures to report sensing warmth (Cohen's d = 0.64, p = 0.002), mild pain (Cohen's d = 0.51, p = 0.016), and moderate pain (Cohen's d = 0.45, p = 0.043). Conversely, there were no significant between-group differences in unpleasantness ratings (p > 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS - The between-group findings demonstrate that when compared to controls, people with AD are less sensitive to the detection of thermal pain but do not differ in affective response to the unpleasant aspects of thermal pain. These findings suggest that people with AD may experience greater levels of pain and potentially greater levels of tissue or organ damage prior to identifying and reporting injury. This finding may help to explain the decreased frequency of pain reports and consequently a lower administration of analgesics in AD.
Mesoscale local functional organizations of the primate spinal cord are largely unknown. Using high-resolution fMRI at 9.4 T, we identified distinct interhorn and intersegment fMRI activation patterns to tactile versus nociceptive heat stimulation of digits in lightly anesthetized monkeys. Within a spinal segment, 8 Hz vibrotactile stimuli elicited predominantly fMRI activations in the middle part of ipsilateral dorsal horn (iDH), along with significantly weaker activations in ipsilateral (iVH) and contralateral (cVH) ventral horns. In contrast, nociceptive heat stimuli evoked widespread strong activations in the superficial part of iDH, as well as in iVH and contralateral dorsal (cDH) horns. As controls, only weak signal fluctuations were detected in the white matter. The iDH responded most strongly to both tactile and heat stimuli, whereas the cVH and cDH responded selectively to tactile versus nociceptive heat, respectively. Across spinal segments, iDH activations were detected in three consecutive segments in both tactile and heat conditions. Heat responses, however, were more extensive along the cord, with strong activations in iVH and cDH in two consecutive segments. Subsequent subunit B of cholera toxin tracer histology confirmed that the spinal segments showing fMRI activations indeed received afferent inputs from the stimulated digits. Comparisons of the fMRI signal time courses in early somatosensory area 3b and iDH revealed very similar hemodynamic stimulus-response functions. In summary, we identified with fMRI distinct segmental networks for the processing of tactile and nociceptive heat stimuli in the cervical spinal cord of nonhuman primates. Significance statement: This is the first fMRI demonstration of distinct intrasegmental and intersegmental nociceptive heat and touch processing circuits in the spinal cord of nonhuman primates. This study provides novel insights into the local functional organizations of the primate spinal cord for pain and touch, information that will be valuable for designing and optimizing therapeutic interventions for chronic pain management.
Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3510493-10$15.00/0.
Recent demonstrations of correlated low-frequency MRI signal variations between subregions of the spinal cord at rest in humans, similar to those found in the brain, suggest that such resting-state functional connectivity constitutes a common feature of the intrinsic organization of the entire central nervous system. We report our detection of functional connectivity within the spinal cords of anesthetized squirrel monkeys at rest and show that the strength of connectivity within these networks is altered by the effects of injuries. By quantifying the low-frequency MRI signal correlations between different horns within spinal cord gray matter, we found distinct functional connectivity relationships between the different sensory and motor horns, a pattern that was similar to activation patterns evoked by nociceptive heat or tactile stimulation of digits. All horns within a single spinal segment were functionally connected, with the strongest connectivity occurring between ipsilateral dorsal and ventral horns. Each horn was strongly connected to the same horn on neighboring segments, but this connectivity reduced drastically along the spinal cord. Unilateral injury to the spinal cord significantly weakened the strength of the intrasegment horn-to-horn connectivity only on the injury side and in slices below the lesion. These findings suggest resting-state functional connectivity may be a useful biomarker of functional integrity in injured and recovering spinal cords.