functional changes
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2022 ◽  
Michael Sennett ◽  
Douglas Theobald

Ancestral sequence reconstruction (ASR) has become widely used to analyze the properties of ancient biomolecules and to elucidate the mechanisms of molecular evolution. By recapitulating the structural, mechanistic, and functional changes of proteins during their evolution, ASR has been able to address many fundamental and challenging evolutionary questions where more traditional methods have failed. Despite the tangible successes of ASR, the accuracy of its reconstructions is currently unknown, because it is generally impossible to compare resurrected proteins to the true ancient ancestors that are now extinct. Which evolutionary models are the best for ASR? How accurate are the resulting inferences? Here we answer these questions by applying cross-validation (CV) to sets of aligned extant sequences. To assess the adequacy of a chosen evolutionary model for predicting extant sequence data, our column-wise CV method iteratively cross-validates each column in an alignment. Unlike other phylogenetic model selection criteria, this method does not require bias correction and does not make restrictive assumptions commonly violated by phylogenetic data. We find that column-wise CV generally provides a more conservative criterion than the AIC by preferring less complex models. To validate ASR methods, we also apply cross-validation to each sequence in an alignment by reconstructing the extant sequences using ASR methodology, a method we term extant sequence reconstruction (ESR). We can thus quantify the accuracy of ASR methodology by comparing ESR reconstructions to the corresponding true sequences. We find that a common measure of the quality of a reconstructed sequence, the average probability of the sequence, is indeed a good estimate of the fraction of the sequence that is correct when the evolutionary model is accurate or overparameterized. However, the average probability is a poor measure for comparing reconstructions, because more accurate phylogenetic models typically result in reconstructions with lower average probabilities. In contrast, the entropy of the reconstructed distribution is a reliable indicator of the quality of a reconstruction, as the entropy provides an accurate estimate of the log-probability of the true sequence. Both column-wise CV and ESR are useful methods to validate evolutionary models used for ASR and can be applied in practice to any phylogenetic analysis of real biological sequences.

2022 ◽  
Zhongzhi Sun ◽  
Wenju Wang ◽  
Leyuan Li ◽  
Xu Zhang ◽  
Zhibin Ning ◽  

The gut microbiome composition and function are associated with health and diseases. Sweeten-ers are widely used food additives, although many studies using animal models have linked sweetener consumption to gut microbial changes and health issues. Whether sweeteners directly change the human gut microbiome functionality remains largely unknown. In this study, we sys-tematically investigated the responses of five human gut microbiomes to 21 common sweeteners, using an approach combining high-throughput ex vivo microbiome culturing and metaproteomics to quantify functional changes in different taxa. Hierarchical clustering based on metaproteomic responses of individual microbiomes resulted in two clusters. The first cluster was composed of non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS) and two sugar alcohols with shorter carbon backbones (4-5 carbon atoms), and the second cluster was composed of sugar alcohols with longer carbon backbones. The metaproteomic functional responses of the second cluster were similar to the prebiotic fructooligosaccharides and kestose, indicating that these sugar alcohol-type sweeteners have potential prebiotic functions. This study provides a comprehensive evaluation of the direct effects of commonly used sweeteners on the functions of the human gut microbiome using a func-tional metaproteomics approach, improving our understanding of the roles of sweeteners on mi-crobiome-associated human health and disease issues.

2022 ◽  
Vol 119 (3) ◽  
pp. e2107661119
William P. Dempsey ◽  
Zhuowei Du ◽  
Anna Nadtochiy ◽  
Colton D. Smith ◽  
Karl Czajkowski ◽  

Defining the structural and functional changes in the nervous system underlying learning and memory represents a major challenge for modern neuroscience. Although changes in neuronal activity following memory formation have been studied [B. F. Grewe et al., Nature 543, 670–675 (2017); M. T. Rogan, U. V. Stäubli, J. E. LeDoux, Nature 390, 604–607 (1997)], the underlying structural changes at the synapse level remain poorly understood. Here, we capture synaptic changes in the midlarval zebrafish brain that occur during associative memory formation by imaging excitatory synapses labeled with recombinant probes using selective plane illumination microscopy. Imaging the same subjects before and after classical conditioning at single-synapse resolution provides an unbiased mapping of synaptic changes accompanying memory formation. In control animals and animals that failed to learn the task, there were no significant changes in the spatial patterns of synapses in the pallium, which contains the equivalent of the mammalian amygdala and is essential for associative learning in teleost fish [M. Portavella, J. P. Vargas, B. Torres, C. Salas, Brain Res. Bull. 57, 397–399 (2002)]. In zebrafish that formed memories, we saw a dramatic increase in the number of synapses in the ventrolateral pallium, which contains neurons active during memory formation and retrieval. Concurrently, synapse loss predominated in the dorsomedial pallium. Surprisingly, we did not observe significant changes in the intensity of synaptic labeling, a proxy for synaptic strength, with memory formation in any region of the pallium. Our results suggest that memory formation due to classical conditioning is associated with reciprocal changes in synapse numbers in the pallium.

PLoS ONE ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 17 (1) ◽  
pp. e0253406
Heike Schuler ◽  
Valeria Bonapersona ◽  
Marian Joëls ◽  
R. Angela Sarabdjitsingh

Early-life adversity (ELA) causes long-lasting structural and functional changes to the brain, rendering affected individuals vulnerable to the development of psychopathologies later in life. Immediate-early genes (IEGs) provide a potential marker for the observed alterations, bridging the gap between activity-regulated transcription and long-lasting effects on brain structure and function. Several heterogeneous studies have used IEGs to identify differences in cellular activity after ELA; systematically investigating the literature is therefore crucial for comprehensive conclusions. Here, we performed a systematic review on 39 pre-clinical studies in rodents to study the effects of ELA (alteration of maternal care) on IEG expression. Females and IEGs other than cFos were investigated in only a handful of publications. We meta-analyzed publications investigating specifically cFos expression. ELA increased cFos expression after an acute stressor only if the animals (control and ELA) had experienced additional hits. At rest, ELA increased cFos expression irrespective of other life events, suggesting that ELA creates a phenotype similar to naïve, acutely stressed animals. We present a conceptual theoretical framework to interpret the unexpected results. Overall, ELA likely alters IEG expression across the brain, especially in interaction with other negative life events. The present review highlights current knowledge gaps and provides guidance to aid the design of future studies.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 108
Thomas Gerhard Wolf ◽  
Karin Anna Faerber ◽  
Christian Rummel ◽  
Ulrike Halsband ◽  
Guglielmo Campus

Hypnosis has proven a powerful method in indications such as pain control and anxiety reduction. As recently discussed, it has been yielding increased attention from medical/dental perspectives. This systematic review (PROSPERO-registration-ID-CRD42021259187) aimed to critically evaluate and discuss functional changes in brain activity using hypnosis by means of different imaging techniques. Randomized controlled trials, cohort, comparative, cross-sectional, evaluation and validation studies from three databases—Cochrane, Embase and Medline via PubMed from January 1979 to August 2021—were reviewed using an ad hoc prepared search string and following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. A total of 10404 articles were identified, 1194 duplicates were removed and 9190 papers were discarded after consulting article titles/abstracts. Ultimately, 20 papers were assessed for eligibility, and 20 papers were included after a hand search (ntotal = 40). Despite a broad heterogenicity of included studies, evidence of functional changes in brain activity using hypnosis was identified. Electromyography (EMG) startle amplitudes result in greater activity in the frontal brain area; amplitudes using Somatosensory Event-Related Potentials (SERPs) showed similar results. Electroencephalography (EEG) oscillations of θ activity are positively associated with response to hypnosis. EEG results showed greater amplitudes for highly hypnotizable subjects over the left hemisphere. Less activity during hypnosis was observed in the insula and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC).

2022 ◽  
Junjie Yao ◽  
Xiaoyi Zhu ◽  
Qiang Huang ◽  
Anthony DiSpirito ◽  
Tri Vu ◽  

Abstract High-speed high-resolution imaging of the whole-brain hemodynamics is urgently needed to facilitate the next level of neurovascular research. Image acquisition speed and image quality are crucial to visualizing real-time hemodynamics in complex brain vascular networks, and displaying fast pathophysiological dynamics on a micro and macro-level, enabling advances in current queries in neurovascular and brain metabolism research, including stroke, dementia and acute brain injury. Further, real-time oxygen saturation of hemoglobin (sO2) imaging to differentiate arteries from veins and capture fast-paced oxygen delivery dynamics is needed to solve pertinent questions in these fields and beyond. Here, we present a novel ultrafast functional photoacoustic microscopy (UFF-PAM) to image the whole-brain hemodynamics and oxygen delivery. UFF-PAM takes advantage of several key engineering innovations, including Raman-shifter-based dual-wavelength laser excitation, water-immersible 12-facet-polygon scanner, high-sensitivity ultrasound transducer, and deep-learning-based image upsampling. A volumetric imaging rate of 2 Hz has been achieved over a field of view (FOV) of 11× 7.5 × 1.5 mm3 with a high spatial resolution of ~10 µm. Using the UFF-PAM system, we have demonstrated proof-of-concept functional studies on the mouse brains in response to systemic hypoxia, sodium nitroprusside, and stroke. We observed the mouse brain’s fast morphological and functional changes over the entire cortex, including vasoconstriction, vasodilation, and deoxygenation. More interestingly, for the first time, under the whole-brain FOV and micro-vessel resolution, we captured the vasoconstriction and oxygenation change simultaneously in the spreading depolarization (SD) wave. Our work provides a great potential for fundamental brain research under various pathological and physiological conditions.

2022 ◽  
Vol 8 ◽  
Nadine Norton ◽  
Katelyn A. Bruno ◽  
Damian N. Di Florio ◽  
Emily R. Whelan ◽  
Anneliese R. Hill ◽  

Background: Doxorubicin is a widely used and effective chemotherapy, but the major limiting side effect is cardiomyopathy which in some patients leads to congestive heart failure. Genetic variants in TRPC6 have been associated with the development of doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity, suggesting that TRPC6 may be a therapeutic target for cardioprotection in cancer patients.Methods: Assessment of Trpc6 deficiency to prevent doxorubicin-induced cardiac damage and function was conducted in male and female B6.129 and Trpc6 knock-out mice. Mice were treated with doxorubicin intraperitoneally every other day for a total of 6 injections (4 mg/kg/dose, cumulative dose 24 mg/kg). Cardiac damage was measured in heart sections by quantification of vacuolation and fibrosis, and in heart tissue by gene expression of Tnni3 and Myh7. Cardiac function was determined by echocardiography.Results: When treated with doxorubicin, male Trpc6-deficient mice showed improvement in markers of cardiac damage with significantly reduced vacuolation, fibrosis and Myh7 expression and increased Tnni3 expression in the heart compared to wild-type controls. Similarly, male Trpc6-deficient mice treated with doxorubicin had improved LVEF, fractional shortening, cardiac output and stroke volume. Female mice were less susceptible to doxorubicin-induced cardiac damage and functional changes than males, but Trpc6-deficient females had improved vacuolation with doxorubicin treatment. Sex differences were observed in wild-type and Trpc6-deficient mice in body-weight and expression of Trpc1, Trpc3 and Rcan1 in response to doxorubicin.Conclusions: Trpc6 promotes cardiac damage following treatment with doxorubicin resulting in cardiomyopathy in male mice. Female mice are less susceptible to cardiotoxicity with more robust ability to modulate other Trpc channels and Rcan1 expression.

2022 ◽  
Vol 9 (1) ◽  
pp. 29
Graysen Vigneux ◽  
Jake Pirkkanen ◽  
Taylor Laframboise ◽  
Hallie Prescott ◽  
Sujeenthar Tharmalingam ◽  

The lens of the eye is one of the most radiosensitive tissues. Although the exact mechanism of radiation-induced cataract development remains unknown, altered proliferation, migration, and adhesion have been proposed as factors. Lens epithelial cells were exposed to X-rays (0.1–2 Gy) and radiation effects were examined after 12 h and 7 day. Proliferation was quantified using an MTT assay, migration was measured using a Boyden chamber and wound-healing assay, and adhesion was assessed on three extracellular matrices. Transcriptional changes were also examined using RT-qPCR for a panel of genes related to these processes. In general, a nonlinear radiation response was observed, with the greatest effects occurring at a dose of 0.25 Gy. At this dose, a reduction in proliferation occurred 12 h post irradiation (82.06 ± 2.66%), followed by an increase at 7 day (116.16 ± 3.64%). Cell migration was increased at 0.25 Gy, with rates 121.66 ± 6.49% and 232.78 ± 22.22% greater than controls at 12 h and 7 day respectively. Cell adhesion was consistently reduced above doses of 0.25 Gy. Transcriptional alterations were identified at these same doses in multiple genes related to proliferation, migration, and adhesion. Overall, this research began to elucidate the functional changes that occur in lens cells following radiation exposure, thereby providing a better mechanistic understanding of radiation-induced cataract development.

Takuya Morishita ◽  
Jan E. Timmermann ◽  
Robert Schulz ◽  
Friedhelm C. Hummel

AbstractInterhemispheric interactions demonstrate a crucial role for directing bimanual movement control. In humans, a well-established paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation paradigm enables to assess these interactions by means of interhemispheric inhibition (IHI). Previous studies have examined changes in IHI from the active to the resting primary motor cortex during unilateral muscle contractions; however, behavioral relevance of such changes is still inconclusive. In the present study, we evaluated two bimanual tasks, i.e., mirror activity and bimanual anti-phase tapping, to examine behavioral relevance of IHI for bimanual movement control within this behavioral framework. Two age groups (young and older) were evaluated as bimanual movement control demonstrates evident behavioral decline in older adults. Two types of IHI with differential underlying mechanisms were measured; IHI was tested at rest and during a motor task from the active to the resting primary motor cortex. Results demonstrate an association between behavior and short-latency IHI in the young group: larger short-latency IHI correlated with better bimanual movement control (i.e., less mirror activity and better bimanual anti-phase tapping). These results support the view that short-latency IHI represents a neurophysiological marker for the ability to suppress activity of the contralateral side, likely contributing to efficient bimanual movement control. This association was not observed in the older group, suggesting age-related functional changes of IHI. To determine underlying mechanisms of impaired bimanual movement control due to neurological disorders, it is crucial to have an in-depth understanding of age-related mechanisms to disentangle disorder-related mechanisms of impaired bimanual movement control from age-related ones.

Matti Gärtner ◽  
Anne Weigand ◽  
Milan Scheidegger ◽  
Mick Lehmann ◽  
Patrik O. Wyss ◽  

AbstractKetamine exerts its rapid antidepressant effects via modulation of the glutamatergic system. While numerous imaging studies have investigated the effects of ketamine on a functional macroscopic brain level, it remains unclear how altered glutamate metabolism and changes in brain function are linked. To shed light on this topic we here conducted a multimodal imaging study in healthy volunteers (N = 23) using resting state fMRI and proton (1H) magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to investigate linkage between metabolic and functional brain changes induced by ketamine. Subjects were investigated before and during an intravenous ketamine infusion. The MRS voxel was placed in the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC), as this region has been repeatedly shown to be involved in ketamine’s effects. Our results showed functional connectivity changes from the pgACC to the right frontal pole and anterior mid cingulate cortex (aMCC). Absolute glutamate and glutamine concentrations in the pgACC did not differ significantly from baseline. However, we found that stronger pgACC activation during ketamine was linked to lower glutamine concentration in this region. Furthermore, reduced functional connectivity between pgACC and aMCC was related to increased pgACC activation and reduced glutamine. Our results thereby demonstrate how multimodal investigations in a single brain region could help to advance our understanding of the association between metabolic and functional changes.

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