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58 Publications

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    Pastalkova Lab
    12/17/03 | A battery of tests for quantitative examination of idiothetic and allothetic place navigation modes in humans.
    Stepankova K, Pastalkova E, Kalova E, Kalina M, Bures J
    Behavioural Brain Research. 2003 Dec 17;147(1-2):95-105. doi: 10.1016/S0166-4328(03)00141-4

    Research into the neural mechanisms of place navigation in laboratory animals has led to the definition of allothetic and idiothetic navigation modes that can be examined by quantitative analysis of the generated tracks. In an attempt to use this approach in the study of human navigation behavior, 10 young subjects were examined in an enclosed arena (2.9 m in diameter, 3 m high) equipped with a computerized tracking system. Idiothetic navigation was studied in blindfolded subjects performing the following tasks-Simple Homing, Complex Homing and Idiothesis Supported by Floor-Related Signals. Allothetic navigation was examined in sighted subjects instructed to find in an empty arena the acoustically signaled unmarked goal region and later to retrieve its position using tasks (Natural Navigation, Cue-Controlled Navigation, Snapshot Memory, Map Reading) that evaluated different aspects of allothesis. The results indicate that allothetic navigation is more accurate than idiothetic, that the poor accuracy of idiothesis is due to angular rather than to distance errors, and that navigation performance is best when both allothetic and idiothetic modes contribute to the solution of the task. The proposed test battery may contribute to better understanding of the navigation disturbances accompanying various neurological disorders and to objective evaluation of the results of drug therapy and of rehabilitation procedures.

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    12/01/03 | Inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS2) promoter CCTTT repeat polymorphism: relationship to in vivo nitric oxide production/NOS activity in an asymptomatic malaria-endemic population.
    Boutlis CS, Hobbs MR, Marsh RL, Misukonis MA, Tkachuk AN, Lagog M, Booth J, Granger DL, Bockarie MJ, Mgone CS, Levesque MC, Weinberg JB, Anstey NM
    The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2003 Dec;69:569-73

    Polymorphisms in the inducible nitric oxide synthase gene (NOS2) promoter have been associated with clinical outcome from malaria. These include a CCTTT repeat (CCTTTn) 2.5 kilobases upstream from the NOS2 transcription start site, and two single nucleotide substitutions: G–>C at position -954 (G-954C), and C–>T at position -1173 (C-1173T). Although hypothesized to influence NO production in vivo, the functional relevance of (CCTTT)n and G-954C is uncertain because disease association studies have yielded inconsistent results. This study found no association between CCTTT repeat number and levels of plasma NO metabolites or peripheral blood mononuclear cell NOS activity in a cohort of asymptomatic malaria-exposed coastal Papua New Guineans 1-60 years old. This suggests that (CCTTT)n does not independently influence NOS2 transcription in vivo. Neither the G-954C nor the C-1173T polymorphisms were identified in this population, indicating the variability and complexity of selection for NOS2 promoter polymorphisms in different malaria-endemic populations.

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    12/01/03 | Nitric oxide produced in rat liver mitochondria causes oxidative stress and impairment of respiration after transient hypoxia.
    Schild L, Reinheckel T, Reiser M, Horn TF, Wolf G, Augustin W
    The FASEB Journal: Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 2003 Dec;17:2194-201. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.06.072

    Nitric oxide (NO) is produced in mammals by different isoforms of NO synthase (NOS), including the constitutive mitochondrial enzyme (mtNOS). Here we demonstrate that the concentration of NO resulting from a mitochondrial NOS activity increases under hypoxic conditions in isolated rat liver mitochondria. We show that mitochondrially derived NO mediates the impairment of active (state 3) respiration as measured in the presence of the substrates glutamate and malate after reoxygenation. Simultaneously, NO induces oxidative stress in mitochondria, characterized by an increase in the amount of protein carbonyls and a decrease in glutathione (GSH). Both the accumulation of oxidative stress markers during and the impaired respiration after reoxygenation were prevented by blocking NO production with the NOS inhibitor L-NAME. These observations suggest that mitochondria are exposed to high amounts of NO generated by a mitochondrial NOS upon hypoxia/reoxygenation. Such increased NO levels, in turn, inhibit mitochondrial respiration and may cause oxidative stress that leads to irreversible impairment of mitochondria.

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    12/01/03 | Tre1, a G protein-coupled receptor, directs transepithelial migration of Drosophila germ cells.
    Kunwar PS, Starz-Gaiano M, Bainton RJ, Heberlein U, Lehmann R
    PLoS Biology. 2003 Dec;1(3):E80. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0000080

    In most organisms, germ cells are formed distant from the somatic part of the gonad and thus have to migrate along and through a variety of tissues to reach the gonad. Transepithelial migration through the posterior midgut (PMG) is the first active step during Drosophila germ cell migration. Here we report the identification of a novel G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), Tre1, that is essential for this migration step. Maternal tre1 RNA is localized to germ cells, and tre1 is required cell autonomously in germ cells. In tre1 mutant embryos, most germ cells do not exit the PMG. The few germ cells that do leave the midgut early migrate normally to the gonad, suggesting that this gene is specifically required for transepithelial migration and that mutant germ cells are still able to recognize other guidance cues. Additionally, inhibiting small Rho GTPases in germ cells affects transepithelial migration, suggesting that Tre1 signals through Rho1. We propose that Tre1 acts in a manner similar to chemokine receptors required during transepithelial migration of leukocytes, implying an evolutionarily conserved mechanism of transepithelial migration. Recently, the chemokine receptor CXCR4 was shown to direct migration in vertebrate germ cells. Thus, germ cells may more generally use GPCR signaling to navigate the embryo toward their target.

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    12/01/03 | What you didn't know about evo-devo
    David L Stern
    Development. 12/2003;130(23):5560-5561. doi: 10.1242/dev.00767

    As most of us are aware, today's primary school, high school and undergraduate biology programs are struggling to incorporate even a fraction of the 'molecular revolution'of biological knowledge and technologies that surround us. In the first term alone, life science and biology classes of the new millennia routinely cover condensed versions of the year-long classes taught in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Teachers no longer have the luxury of spending half a year presenting Mendel and his peas.

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    12/01/03 | Wind spectra and the response of the cercal system in the cockroach.
    Rinberg D, Davidowitz H
    Journal of Comparative Physiology. A, Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology. 2003 Dec;189(12):867-76. doi: 10.1007/s00359-003-0460-9

    Experiments on the cercal wind-sensing system of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, showed that the firing rate of the interneurons coding wind information depends on the bandwidth of random noise wind stimuli. The firing rate was shown to increase with decreases in the stimulus bandwidth, and be independent of changes in the total power of the stimulus with constant spectral composition. A detailed analysis of ethologically relevant stimulus parameters is presented. A phenomenological model of these relationships and their relevance to wind-mediated cockroach behavior is proposed.

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    11/26/03 | Surface vibrational spectroscopy on shear-aligned poly(tetrafluoroethylene) films.
    Ji N, Ostroverkhov V, Lagugné-Labarthet Fc, Shen Y
    Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2003 Nov 26;125(47):14218-9. doi: 10.1021/ja037964l

    Sum-frequency vibrational spectroscopy was used to obtain the first surface vibrational spectra of shear-deposited highly oriented poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE, Teflon) thin films. The surface PTFE chains appeared to lie along the shearing direction. Vibrational modes observed at 1142 and 1204 cm-1 were found to have the E1 symmetry, in support of some earlier analysis in the long-lasting controversy over the assignment of these modes.

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    11/26/03 | The hyperpolarization-activated HCN1 channel is important for motor learning and neuronal integration by cerebellar Purkinje cells.
    Nolan MF, Malleret G, Lee KH, Gibbs E, Dudman JT, Santoro B, Yin D, Thompson RF, Siegelbaum SA, Kandel ER, Morozov A
    Cell. 2003 Nov 26;115(5):551-64. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2010.00147

    In contrast to our increasingly detailed understanding of how synaptic plasticity provides a cellular substrate for learning and memory, it is less clear how a neuron’s voltage-gated ion channels interact with plastic changes in synaptic strength to influence behavior. We find, using generalized and regional knockout mice, that deletion of the HCN1 channel causes profound motor learning and memory deficits in swimming and rotarod tasks. In cerebellar Purkinje cells, which are a key component of the cerebellar circuit for learning of correctly timed movements, HCN1 mediates an inward current that stabilizes the integrative properties of Purkinje cells and ensures that their input-output function is independent of the previous history of their activity. We suggest that this nonsynaptic integrative function of HCN1 is required for accurate decoding of input patterns and thereby enables synaptic plasticity to appropriately influence the performance of motor activity.

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    11/11/03 | Intensity versus identity coding in an olfactory system.
    Stopfer M, Jayaraman V, Laurent G
    Neuron. 2003 Sep 11;39(6):991-1004

    We examined the encoding and decoding of odor identity and intensity by neurons in the antennal lobe and the mushroom body, first and second relays, respectively, of the locust olfactory system. Increased odor concentration led to changes in the firing patterns of individual antennal lobe projection neurons (PNs), similar to those caused by changes in odor identity, thus potentially confounding representations for identity and concentration. However, when these time-varying responses were examined across many PNs, concentration-specific patterns clustered by identity, resolving the apparent confound. This is because PN ensemble representations changed relatively continuously over a range of concentrations of each odorant. The PNs’ targets in the mushroom body-Kenyon cells (KCs)-had sparse identity-specific responses with diverse degrees of concentration invariance. The tuning of KCs to identity and concentration and the patterning of their responses are consistent with piecewise decoding of their PN inputs over oscillation-cycle length epochs.

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    11/01/03 | Dopamine D1 receptors mediate CREB phosphorylation via phosphorylation of the NMDA receptor at Ser897-NR1.
    Dudman JT, Eaton ME, Rajadhyaksha A, Macías W, Taher M, Barczak A, Kameyama K, Huganir R, Konradi C
    Journal of Neurochemistry. 2003 Nov;87(4):922-34. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2010.00147

    Addictive drugs such as amphetamine and cocaine stimulate the dopaminergic system, activate dopamine receptors and induce gene expression throughout the striatum. The signal transduction pathway leading from dopamine receptor stimulation at the synapse to gene expression in the nucleus has not been fully elucidated. Here, we present evidence that D1 receptor stimulation leads to phosphorylation of the transcription factor Ca2+ and cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) in the nucleus by means of NMDA receptor-mediated Ca2+ signaling. Stimulation of D1 receptors induces the phosphorylation of Ser897 on the NR1 subunit by protein kinase A (PKA). This phosphorylation event is crucial for D1 receptor-mediated CREB phosphorylation. Dopamine cannot induce CRE-mediated gene expression in neurons transfected with a phosphorylation-deficient NR1 construct. Moreover, stimulation of D1 receptors or increase in cyclic AMP levels leads to an increase in cytosolic Ca2+ in the presence of glutamate, but not in the absence of glutamate, indicating the ability of dopamine and cyclic AMP to facilitate NMDA channel activity. The recruitment of the NMDA receptor signal transduction pathway by D1 receptors may provide a general mechanism for gene regulation that is fundamental for mechanisms of drug addiction and long-term memory.

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