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Animal-assisted activities

Henrik Vase, Steffen Christensen, Aage Christiansen, Christian Juhl Therkelsen, Evald Høj Christiansen, Hans Eiskjær, Steen Hvidtfeldt Poulsen
INTRODUCTION: Mechanical circulatory support may be considered as a therapeutic option in selected patients with refractory cardiac arrest (rCA). Animal studies suggest a potential role for the Impella(®) left ventricular assist device in this setting, but so far no human data have been published. METHODS: Eight patients with rCA were treated with the Impella CP(®) device at our institution from November 2014 to October 2015. The Impella CP(®) was used at the discretion of the treating physicians in patients with rCA and pulseless electrical activity with presumed primary left ventricular failure...
October 14, 2016: Resuscitation
Ann Kern-Godal, Ida Halvorsen Brenna, Espen Ajo Arnevik, Edle Ravndal
Inclusion of horse-assisted therapy (HAT) in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment is rarely reported. Our previous studies show improved treatment retention and the importance of the patient-horse relationship. This qualitative study used thematic analysis, within a social constructionist framework, to explore how eight patients experienced contextual aspects of HAT's contribution to their SUD treatment. Participants described HAT as a "break from usual treatment". However, four interrelated aspects of this experience, namely "change of focus", "activity", "identity", and "motivation," suggest HAT is more than just a break from usual SUD treatment...
2016: Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment
Mathieu Schwartz, Claude Didierjean, Arnaud Hecker, Jean-Michel Girardet, Mélanie Morel-Rouhier, Eric Gelhaye, Frédérique Favier
Glutathionyl-hydroquinone reductases (GHRs) belong to the recently characterized Xi-class of glutathione transferases (GSTXs) according to unique structural properties and are present in all but animal kingdoms. The GHR ScECM4 from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been studied since 1997 when it was found to be potentially involved in cell-wall biosynthesis. Up to now and in spite of biological studies made on this enzyme, its physiological role remains challenging. The work here reports its crystallographic study...
2016: PloS One
Wenwen Yu, Xinle Tan, Wei Zou, Zhenxia Hu, Glen P Fox, Michael J Gidley, Robert G Gilbert
Correlations among barley protein, starch molecular structure and grain size were determined using 30 barley samples with variable protein contents. Starch molecular structure was characterized by fluorophore-assisted carbohydrate electrophoresis and by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC, also termed GPC). The chain-length distributions of amylopectin were fitted using a mathematical model reflecting the relative activities of starch branching enzymes and starch synthase enzymes. Increased protein content significantly and negatively correlated with higher amounts of amylose with longer chains (degree of polymerization, DP 1600-40000) while barley grain sizes positively associated with starch contents...
January 2, 2017: Carbohydrate Polymers
Nilay Kuşcu, Mariano Bizzarri, Arturo Bevilacqua
Myo-inositol (myo-Ins) has a physiological role in mammalian gametogenesis and embryonic development and a positive clinical impact on human medically assisted reproduction. We have previously shown that mouse embryo exposure to myo-Ins through preimplantation development in vitro increases proliferation activity and blastocyst production, representing an improvement in culture conditions. We have herein investigated biochemical mechanisms elicited by myo-Ins in preimplantation embryos and evaluated myo-Ins effects on postimplantation/postnatal development...
2016: International Journal of Endocrinology
Ida Marie Boisen, Lasse Bøllehuus Hansen, Li Juel Mortensen, Beate Lanske, Anders Juul, Martin Blomberg Jensen
Vitamin D is a versatile signaling molecule with an established role in the regulation of calcium homeostasis and bone health. In recent years the spectrum of vitamin D target organs has expanded and a reproductive role is supported by the presence of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and the vitamin D metabolizing enzymes in the gonads, reproductive tract, and human spermatozoa. Interestingly, expression levels of VDR and the vitamin D inactivating enzyme CYP24A1 in human spermatozoa serve as positive predictive markers of semen quality and are higher expressed in spermatozoa from normal than infertile men...
September 28, 2016: Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Anabel Martinez Lyons, Anna Ardissone, Aurelio Reyes, Alan J Robinson, Isabella Moroni, Daniele Ghezzi, Erika Fernandez-Vizarra, Massimo Zeviani
BACKGROUND: Assembly of cytochrome c oxidase (COX, complex IV, cIV), the terminal component of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, is assisted by several factors, most of which are conserved from yeast to humans. However, some of them, including COA7, are found in humans but not in yeast. COA7 is a 231aa-long mitochondrial protein present in animals, containing five Sel1-like tetratricopeptide repeat sequences, which are likely to interact with partner proteins. METHODS: Whole exome sequencing was carried out on a 19 year old woman, affected by early onset, progressive severe ataxia and peripheral neuropathy, mild cognitive impairment and a cavitating leukodystrophy of the brain with spinal cord hypotrophy...
September 28, 2016: Journal of Medical Genetics
Chunbao Liu, Xiao Zhang, Yiling Song, Yichun Wang, Fengzhen Zhang, Yingying Zhang, Yongxue Zhang, Xiaoli Lan
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Early detection and evaluation of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque are important for risk stratification and timely intervention, and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM1) assists in adhesion and recruitment of inflammatory cells to vulnerable lesions. We labeled a single-chain variable fragment (scFv) of VCAM1 with (99m)technetium ((99m)Tc) and fluorescent markers to investigate its potential utility in detecting vulnerable plaques in animal models of atherosclerosis...
September 13, 2016: Atherosclerosis
Prabu Periyathambi, Thotapalli Parvathaleswara Sastry, Suresh Kumar Anandasadagopan, Kanagavel Manickavasagam
BACKGROUND: A variety of bioimaging tools assists in the diagnosis and evaluation of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other osteoarthritis. However, detection of RA in the early stages by targeting its macrophages with suitable contrast agents will help in arresting the progression of the disease. METHODS: In the present study, we investigated the effectiveness of using magnetic fibrin nanoparticles (MFNPs) conjugated with folic acid (FA-MFNPs) as a specific contrast agent to target the activated macrophages, which overexpress the folate receptors (FR) in the knee joints of rats with antigen-induced arthritis (AIA)...
September 20, 2016: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
Shaheen Hasmat, Nigel H Lovell, Gregg J Suaning, Tsu-Hui Hubert Low, Jonathan Clark
The most devastating outcome of facial nerve paralysis is the inability to completely close the eye as it can lead to corneal ulceration and loss of vision. Gravity-assisted eye closure with upper lid loading is commonly used; however it is limited in replicating physiological eye closure to adequately lubricate the cornea. Superior results can be obtained using more advanced reconstructive approaches, however they depend on nerve regrowth which may be unpredictable and prolonged. This report describes a novel technique for creating an active eye closure using an implantable actuator...
September 7, 2016: Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery: JPRAS
Abdolkarim Mahrooz
A growing interest exists in documenting the role of paraoxonase 1 (PON1) in different human diseases including, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes mellitus, cancers, aging, and several neurological disorders. Three aspects of PON1 has attracted the attention of researchers: (1) hydrolyzing and detoxifying of toxic organophosphorous compounds such as nerve gases; (2) antioxidative activity in hydrolyzing oxidized phospholipids in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL); (3) interaction with various drugs...
September 15, 2016: Current Clinical Pharmacology
Rong Yang, Vishakha Sabharwal, Obiajulu S Okonkwo, Nadya Shlykova, Rong Tong, Lily Yun Lin, Weiping Wang, Shutao Guo, John J Rosowski, Stephen I Pelton, Daniel S Kohane
Otitis media is the most common reason U.S. children receive antibiotics. The requisite 7- to 10-day course of oral antibiotics can be challenging to deliver in children, entails potential systemic toxicity, and encourages selection of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. We developed a drug delivery system that, when applied once to the tympanic membrane through the external auditory canal, delivers an entire course of antimicrobial therapy to the middle ear. A pentablock copolymer poloxamer 407-polybutylphosphoester (P407-PBP) was designed to flow easily during application and then to form a mechanically strong hydrogel on the tympanic membrane...
September 14, 2016: Science Translational Medicine
A J Shapiro, J M Norris, K L Bosward, J Heller
A Q fever outbreak in a small animal veterinary hospital, associated with a cat caesarean section, initiated a cat seroprevalence study (n = 712) that found circulating antibodies to Coxiella burnetii was highest in cattery-confined breeding cats (9.3%). These findings stimulated interest about potential sources of C. burnetii infection for cats and humans associated with cats. Cat breeders are potentially a group at increased risk of C. burnetii infection, and this study sought to identify potential risk factors...
September 13, 2016: Zoonoses and Public Health
Arunrat Khamhaengpol, Sineenat Siri
Alternative to crude plant extracts, a crude protein extract derived from animal cells is one of the potential sources of biomolecules for mediating a reduction of silver ions and a formation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) under a mild condition, which very few works have been reported. This work demonstrated a use of the protein extract of weaver ant larvae as a bio-facilitator for a simple, green synthesis of AgNPs under fluorescent light at room temperature. The protein extract of weaver ant larvae exhibited the reducing and antioxidant activities, which assisted a formation of AgNPs in the reaction containing only silver nitrate under light exposure...
October 2016: Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology. B, Biology
Theo Arthur Meister, Emrush Rexhaj, Stefano Flavio Rimoldi, Urs Scherrer, Claudio Sartori
Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of mortality and morbidity in Western countries, but the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. Genetic polymorphisms, once thought to represent a major determinant of cardiovascular risk, individually and collectively, only explain a tiny fraction of phenotypic variation and disease risk in humans. It is now clear that non-genetic factors, i.e., factors that modify gene activity without changing the DNA sequence and that are sensitive to the environment can cause important alterations of the cardiovascular phenotype in experimental animal models and humans...
September 6, 2016: VASA. Zeitschrift Für Gefässkrankheiten
Christine Olsen, Ingeborg Pedersen, Astrid Bergland, Marie-José Enders-Slegers, Camilla Ihlebæk
The need for meaningful activities that enhance engagement is very important among persons with dementia (PWDs), both for PWDs still living at home, as well as for PWDs admitted to a nursing home (NH). In this study, we systematically registered behaviours related to engagement in a group animal-assisted activity (AAA) intervention for 21 PWDs in NHs and among 28 home-dwelling PWDs attending a day care centre. The participants interacted with a dog and its handler for 30 minutes, twice a week for 12 weeks...
September 2, 2016: Dementia
Kunyu Li, Margaret Baird, Jianping Yang, Chris Jackson, Franca Ronchese, Sarah Young
Adoptive cell therapies (ACTs) using tumor-reactive T cells have shown clinical benefit and potential for cancer treatment. While the majority of the current ACT are focused on using CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL), others have shown that the presence of tumor-reactive CD4(+) T helper (Th) cells can greatly enhance the anti-tumor activity of CD8(+) CTL. However, difficulties in obtaining adequate numbers of CD4(+) Th cells through in vitro expansion can limit the application of CD4 Th cells in ACT. This study aims to optimize the culture conditions for mouse CD4 T cells to provide basic information for animal studies of ACT using CD4 T cells...
August 2016: Clinical & Translational Immunology
Pascale May-Panloup, Lisa Boucret, Juan-Manuel Chao de la Barca, Valérie Desquiret-Dumas, Véronique Ferré-L'Hotellier, Catherine Morinière, Philippe Descamps, Vincent Procaccio, Pascal Reynier
BACKGROUND: There is a great inter-individual variability of ovarian ageing, and almost 20% of patients consulting for infertility show signs of premature ovarian ageing. This feature, taken together with delayed childbearing in modern society, leads to the emergence of age-related ovarian dysfunction concomitantly with the desire for pregnancy. Assisted reproductive technology is frequently inefficacious in cases of ovarian ageing, thus raising the economic, medical and societal costs of the procedures...
August 25, 2016: Human Reproduction Update
Ryan L Peterson, Ahmad Galaleldeen, Johanna Villarreal, Alexander B Taylor, Diane E Cabelli, P John Hart, Valeria C Culotta
In eukaryotes the bimetallic Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzymes play important roles in the biology of reactive oxygen species by disproportionating superoxide anion. Recently, we reported that the fungal pathogen Candida albicans expresses a novel copper-only SOD, known as SOD5, that lacks the zinc cofactor and electrostatic loop (ESL) domain of Cu/Zn-SODs for substrate guidance. Despite these abnormalities, C. albicans SOD5 can disproportionate superoxide at rates limited only by diffusion. Here we demonstrate that this curious copper-only SOD occurs throughout the fungal kingdom as well as in phylogenetically distant oomycetes or "pseudofungi" species...
September 30, 2016: Journal of Biological Chemistry
Levente Kovács, Fruzsina Luca Kézér, Ferenc Ruff, Ottó Szenci
Peripartal autonomic nervous system function and early maternal behavior were investigated in 79 multiparous Holstein-Friesian cows. Animals were allocated into four groups based on the technology of calving management: 1) unassisted calving in a group pen (UCG; N=19), 2) unassisted calving in an individual pen (UCI; N=21), 3) assisted calving with appropriately timed obstetrical assistance (ACA; N=20), and 4) assisted calving with premature obstetrical assistance (ACP; N=19). Heart rate, the high frequency (HF) component of heart rate variability (HRV) as a measure of vagal activity and the ratio between the low frequency (LF) and HF components (LF/HF ratio) as a parameter of sympathetic nervous system activity were calculated...
October 15, 2016: Physiology & Behavior
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