The worst Ebola virus (EV) outbreak in history has hit Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea hardest and the trend lines in this crisis are grave, and now represents a global public health threat concern. Limited therapeutic and/or prophylactic options are available for people suffering from Ebola virus disease (EVD) and further complicate the situation. Previous studies suggested that the EV glycoprotein (GP) is the main determinant causing structural damage of endothelial cells that triggers the hemorrhagic diathesis, but molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon remains elusive. Using the informational spectrum method (ISM), a virtual spectroscopy method for analysis of the protein-protein interactions, the interaction of GP with endothelial extracellular matrix (ECM) was investigated. Presented results of this in silico study suggest that Elastin Microfibril Interface Located Proteins (EMILINs) are involved in interaction between GP and ECM. This finding could contribute to a better understanding of EV/endothelium interaction and its role in pathogenesis, prevention and therapy of EVD.
LL-37, a cationic antimicrobial peptide, has numerous immune-modulating effects. However, the identity of a receptor that mediates the responses in immune cells remains uncertain. We have recently demonstrated that LL-37 interacts with the αMI-domain of integrin αMβ2 (Mac-1), a major receptor on the surface of myeloid cells, and induces a migratory response in Mac-1-expressing monocyte/macrophages as well as activation of Mac-1 on neutrophils. Here, we show that LL-37 and its C-terminal derivative supported strong adhesion of various Mac-1-expressing cells, including human embryonic kidney cells stably transfected with Mac-1, human U937 monocytic cells, and murine IC-21 macrophages. The cell adhesion to LL-37 was partially inhibited by specific Mac-1 antagonists, including monoclonal antibody against the αM integrin subunit and neutrophil inhibitory factor, and completely blocked when anti-Mac-1 antibodies were combined with heparin, suggesting that cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans act cooperatively with integrin Mac-1. Coating both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria with LL-37 significantly potentiated their phagocytosis by macrophages, and this process was blocked by a combination of anti-Mac-1 monoclonal antibody and heparin. Furthermore, phagocytosis by wild-type murine peritoneal macrophages of LL-37-coated latex beads, a model of foreign surfaces, was several fold higher than that of untreated beads. In contrast, LL-37 failed to augment phagocytosis of beads by Mac-1-deficient macrophages. These results identify LL-37 as a novel ligand for integrin Mac-1 and demonstrate that the interaction between Mac-1 on macrophages and bacteria-bound LL-37 promotes phagocytosis.
This manuscript explores the role of embodied views of language comprehension and production in bilingualism and specific language impairment. Reconceptualizing popular models of bilingual language processing, the embodied theory is first extended to this area. Issues such as semantic grounding in a second language and potential differences between early and late acquisition of a second language are discussed. Predictions are made about how this theory informs novel ways of thinking about teaching a second language. Secondly, the comorbidity of speech, language, and motor impairments and how embodiment theory informs the discussion of the etiology of these impairments is examined. A hypothesis is presented suggesting that what is often referred to as specific language impairment may not be so specific due to widespread subclinical motor deficits in this population. Predictions are made about how weaknesses and instabilities in speech motor control, even at a subclinical level, may disrupt the neural network that connects acoustic input, articulatory motor plans, and semantics. Finally, I make predictions about how this information informs clinical practice for professionals such as speech language pathologists and occupational and physical therapists. These new hypotheses are placed within the larger framework of the body of work pertaining to semantic grounding, action-based language acquisition, and action-perception links that underlie language learning and conceptual grounding.
A key factor in the effectiveness of the seasonal influenza vaccine is its immunological compatibility with the circulating viruses during the season. Here we propose a new bioinformatics approach for analysis of influenza viruses which could be used as an efficient tool for selection of vaccine viruses, assessment of the effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccines, and prediction of the epidemic/pandemic potential of novel influenza viruses.
Manual therapy has long been a component of physical rehabilitation programs, especially to treat those in pain. The mechanisms of manual therapy, however, are not fully understood, and it has been suggested that its pain modulatory effects are of neurophysiological origin and may be mediated by the descending modulatory circuit. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to examine the neurophysiological response to different types of manual therapy, in order to better understand the neurophysiological mechanisms behind each therapy’s analgesic effects. It is concluded that different forms of manual therapy elicit analgesic effects via different mechanisms, and nearly all therapies appear to be at least partially mediated by descending modulation. Additionally, future avenues of mechanistic research pertaining to manual therapy are discussed.
Study Aim: This study examined the item difficulty and item discrimination scores for the HRFK PE Metrics cognitive assessment tool for 5th-grade students.
Materials and Methods: Ten elementary physical education teachers volunteered to participate. Based on convenience, participating teachers selected two 5th grade physical education classes. Teachers then gave students (N = 633) a 28-question paper and pencil HRFK exam using PE Metrics Standards 3 and 4. Item difficulty and discrimination analysis and Rasch Modeling were used data to determine underperforming items.
Results: Analysis suggests that at least three items are problematic. The Rasch Model confirmed this result and identified similar items with high outfit mean square values and low Point Biserial correlation values.
Conclusions: Teachers are in need of valid and reliable HRFK assessment tools. Without the removal of three items in the PE Metrics HRFK exam for 5th-grade students, complete use of the exam could offer incorrect conclusions.
We tested the hypothesis that motor planning and programming of speech articulation and verbal short-term memory (vSTM) depend on partially overlapping networks of neural regions. We evaluated this proposal by testing 76 individuals with acute ischemic stroke for impairment in motor planning of speech articulation (apraxia of speech, AOS) and vSTM in the first day of stroke, before the opportunity for recovery or reorganization of structure-function relationships. We also evaluated areas of both infarct and low blood flow that might have contributed to AOS or impaired vSTM in each person. We found that AOS was associated with tissue dysfunction in motor-related areas (posterior primary motor cortex, pars opercularis; premotor cortex, insula) and sensory-related areas (primary somatosensory cortex, secondary somatosensory cortex, parietal operculum/auditory cortex); while impaired vSTM was associated with primarily motor-related areas (pars opercularis and pars triangularis, premotor cortex, and primary motor cortex). These results are consistent with the hypothesis, also supported by functional imaging data, that both speech praxis and vSTM rely on partially overlapping networks of brain regions.
Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a chronic progressive liver disease that often leads to fibrosis, cirrhosis, and end-stage liver disease. The diagnosis is made when there is evidence of cholestasis and reactivity to the antimitochondrial antibody. The etiology of PBC is poorly understood; however, several lines of evidence suggest an environmental factor that triggers a series of immune-mediated inflammatory reactions in the bile ducts in a genetically susceptible individual. Fatigue and pruritus are the most common symptoms of PBC; however, many patients are diagnosed with PBC only based on laboratory abnormalities. The only pharmacological treatment approved for PBC is ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). Several controlled studies have shown that UDCA improves liver biochemistries and prolongs transplant-free survival in PBC patients. Nearly 40% of PBC patients do not respond to UDCA, and those patients are at high risk of serious adverse events, such as the development of liver failure. Therefore, newer alternative therapeutic options for PBC are needed. Obeticholic acid is a first-in-class farnesoid X receptor agonist that has been recently evaluated in PBC patients with inadequate response to UDCA, and demonstrated beneficial results in improving liver biochemistries. Several other agents (fibrates and glucocorticoids) have been previously examined in PBC patients with inadequate response to UDCA, and preliminary results showed biochemical improvement. However, large-scale controlled clinical trials are needed to determine the long-term effects of fibrates and glucocorticoids on the clinical outcomes of PBC. Clinical trials of NGM282 (a fibroblast growth factor-19 analog) and Abatacept (a fusion protein composed of the Fc portion of immunoglobulin G1 fused to CTLA4) are currently underway.
Background: To identify social ecological correlates of objectively measured workplace sedentary behavior.
Methods: Participants from 24 worksites - across academic, industrial, and government sectors - wore an activPAL-micro accelerometer for 7-days (Jan-Nov 2016). Work time was segmented using daily logs. Sedentary behavior outcomes included time spent sitting, standing, in light intensity physical activity (LPA, stepping cadence <100 steps/min), and in prolonged sitting bouts (>30 min). Outcomes were standardized to an 8 h work day. Two electronic surveys were completed to derive individual (job type and work engagement), cultural (lunch away from the desk, walking at lunch and face-to-face interaction), physical (personal printer and office type) and organizational (sector) factors. Mixed-model analyses with worksite-level clustering were performed to examine multi-level associations. Secondary analyses examined job type and sector as moderators of these associations. All models were adjusted for age, race/ethnicity and gender.
Results: Participants (N = 478; 72% female; age: 45.0 ± 11.3 years; 77.8% non-Hispanic white) wore the activPAL-micro for 90.2 ± 15.5% of the reported workday. Walking at lunch was positively associated with LPA (5.0 ± 0.5 min/8 h, P < 0.001). Regular face-to-face interaction was negatively associated with prolonged sitting (−11.3 ± 4.8 min/8 h, P < 0.05). Individuals in private offices sat more (20.1 ± 9.1 min/8 h, P < 0.05), stood less (−21.5 ± 8.8 min/8 h, P < 0.05), and engaged in more prolonged sitting (40.9 ± 11.2 min/8 h, P < 0.001) than those in public office space. These associations were further modified by job type and sector.
Conclusions: Work-specific individual, cultural, physical and organizational factors are associated with workplace sedentary behavior. Associations vary by job type and sector and should be considered in the design of workplace interventions to reduce sedentary behavior.
Background: The majority of individuals with post-traumatic headache have symptoms that are indistinguishable from migraine. The overlap in symptoms amongst these individuals raises the question as to whether post-traumatic headache has a unique pathophysiology or if head trauma triggers migraine. The objective of this study was to compare brain structure in individuals with persistent post-traumatic headache (i.e. headache lasting at least 3 months following a traumatic brain injury) attributed to mild traumatic brain injury to that of individuals with migraine.
Methods: Twenty-eight individuals with persistent post-traumatic headache attributed to mild traumatic brain injury and 28 individuals with migraine underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging on a 3 T scanner. Regional volumes, cortical thickness, surface area and curvature measurements were calculated from T1-weighted sequences and compared between subject groups using ANCOVA. MRI data from 28 healthy control subjects were used to interpret the differences in brain structure between migraine and persistent post-traumatic headache.
Results: Differences in regional volumes, cortical thickness, surface area and brain curvature were identified when comparing the group of individuals with persistent post-traumatic headache to the group with migraine. Structure was different between groups for regions within the right lateral orbitofrontal lobe, left caudal middle frontal lobe, left superior frontal lobe, left precuneus and right supramarginal gyrus (p < .05). Considering these regions only, there were differences between individuals with persistent post-traumatic headache and healthy controls within the right lateral orbitofrontal lobe, right supramarginal gyrus, and left superior frontal lobe and no differences when comparing the migraine cohort to healthy controls.
Conclusions: In conclusion, persistent post-traumatic headache and migraine are associated with differences in brain structure, perhaps suggesting differences in their underlying pathophysiology. Additional studies are needed to further delineate similarities and differences in brain structure and function that are associated with post-traumatic headache and migraine and to determine their specificity for each of the headache types.