• Biological importance of TIMP-2 phosphorylation on MMP-2 activity

      Bourboulia, Dimitra; Bullard, Renee (2016)
      Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are proteolytic enzymes that are secreted from the cell and play an important role in embryonic development and tissue remodeling. In cancer, MMPs are hyperactive, promoting degradation of the ex-tracellular matrix. Enhancement of MMP proteolytic activity allows tumor cells to migrate and invade surrounding tissues, increasing the chance of metastasis. Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) are also known to act extracellu-larly, and are the endogenous inhibitors of MMPs. To inhibit the protease activi-ty of MMPs, the N-terminus of the TIMP protein binds to the catalytic domain of MMP at a ratio of 1:1. Studies from our lab have found that TIMP-2 is phosphor-ylated on three tyrosine residues, and this phosphorylation increases the inter-action with MMP-2. This is the first time that phosphorylation of TIMP-2 has been reported. Fascinatingly, the proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase c-Src was found to phosphorylate TIMP-2. This is significant in that c-Src has not yet been shown to act extracellularly, and there are no details within the current lit-erature describing how this protein may function outside of the cell. In this the-sis, we usedmammalian cells as a model to decipher whether TIMP-2 phosphor-ylation wasable to occur extracellularly,as well as the effect that phosphoryla-tion of TIMP-2 hadon its functionto both inhibit/activate MMP-2. We found that(1) c-Src is able to phosphorylate TIMP-2 extracellularly in conditioned me-vidia; and (2) phosphorylation of TIMP-2 enhances its function of inhibiting MMP-2 proteolytic activity, as well as assisting in the activation of pro-MMP-2. Our results suggest the presence of anovel mechanismin whichphosphoryla-tion of TIMP-2is able to regulate the extracellular environment through en-hanced interaction with MMP-2. The information gained from this research couldlead to development of novel therapies that use phosphorylated TIMP-2 as a means of decreasing cellular migration and invasion with the overall goal of preventing metastasis.
    • Biomimetic extracellular matrix hydrogels to model and investigate conventional outflow cell biology under normal and simulated glaucomatous conditions

      Herberg, Samuel; Li, Haiyan (2022-06)
      Dysfunction of the conventional outflow pathway (comprised of the trabecular meshwork (TM) and adjacent Schlemm's canal (SC)) is the principal cause of elevated intraocular pressure in primary open-angle glaucoma. Other in vitro TM model systems cannot accurately mimic the cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interface, limiting their use for investigating glaucoma pathology. In this dissertation, we report a novel biomimetic hydrogel by mixing donor-derived human TM (HTM) cells with ECM proteins found in the native tissue. We demonstrated that this HTM hydrogel system allowed for investigation of actin arrangement, ECM remodeling, cell contractility, and HTM stiffness on a simulated tissue level (Chapter 2). Furthermore, we showed that TGFβ2-induced ERK signaling negatively regulates Rho-associated kinase-mediated phospho-myosin light chain expression and HTM cell contractility when cultured on soft ECM hydrogels but not on glass (Chapter 3). YAP and TAZ are important mechanotransducers implicated in glaucoma pathogenesis. We demonstrated that YAP/TAZ activity was upregulated by transforming growth factor beta 2 (TGFβ2) in both HTM and HSC cells cultured on/in ECM hydrogels (Chapters 4 and 5). It is widely accepted that the glaucomatous TM/SC interface is stiffer. To mimic the stiffness difference between diseased and healthy tissue, we utilized two different methods. In Chapter 4, riboflavin was used to facilitate secondary UV crosslinking of collagen fibrils and stiffen the matrix. We showed that ECM stiffening elevated YAP/TAZ activity in HTM cells through modulating focal adhesions and cytoskeletal rearrangement. In Chapter 6, we developed an ECM-alginate hybrid hydrogel system, which allowed for on-demand control over matrix stiffness during the culture of cells. We found that the stiffened matrix increased nuclear YAP and filamentous-actin fibers in HSC cells, which was completely reversed by matrix softening. We further demonstrated that YAP/TAZ inhibition could rescue HTM/HSC cell dysfunction induced by either TGFβ2 or stiff matrix (Chapters 4, 5, and 6). Finally, we showed that pharmacologic YAP/TAZ inhibition had promising potential to improve outflow facility in an ex vivo mouse eye perfusion model (Chapter 6). Collectively, we have developed bioengineered ECM hydrogels for modeling and investigation of conventional outflow cell-ECM interactions under normal and simulated glaucomatous conditions.
    • Bipolar and antisocial disorders among relatives of ADHD children: parsing familial subtypes of illness

      Faraone, Stephen V.; Biederman, Joseph; Mennin, Douglas; Russell, Ronald (Wiley, 1998-02-07)
      Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a familial disorder that is highly comorbid with conduct disorder and sometimes co-occurs with bipolar disorder. This pattern of comorbidity is also seen among relatives of ADHD probands. A growing literature suggests that ADHD with antisocial comorbidity may be nosologically distinct from other forms of ADHD. A similar pattern has been observed for ADHD and bipolar disorder. Given these results, along with the observed comorbidity between conduct and bipolar disorders, we used data from our study of 140 ADHD and 120 control families to determine if conduct and bipolar disorders in ADHD boys should be considered alternative manifestations of the same familial disorder. The probands and their relatives were examined with DSM-III-R structured diagnostic interviews and were assessed for cognitive, achievement, social, school, and family functioning. Our results provide fairly consistent support for the hypothesis that antisocial- and bipolar-ADHD subtypes are different manifestations of the same familial condition. As predicted by this hypothesis, there was a significant three-way association between variables assessing the family history of each disorder. Moreover, when families were stratified into bipolar, antisocial, and other types, few differences emerged between the bipolar and antisocial families. Am. J. Med. Genet. (Neuropsychiatr. Genet.) 81:108–116, 1998. © 1998 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    • Brain Correlates of the Interaction Between5-HTTLPRand Psychosocial Stress Mediating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Severity

      van der Meer, Dennis; Hoekstra, Pieter J.; Zwiers, Marcel; Mennes, Maarten; Schweren, Lizanne J.; Franke, Barbara; Heslenfeld, Dirk J.; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Faraone, Stephen V.; Buitelaar, Jan K.; et al. (American Psychiatric Association Publishing, 2015-08)
      Objective: The serotonin transporter 5-HTTLPR genotype has been found to moderate the effect of stress on severity of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with stronger effects of stress in carriers of the short allele than in individuals homozygous for the long allele. The underlying neurobiological mechanism of this gene-environment interaction in ADHD is unknown. The authors aimed to determine whether 5-HTTLPR moderates the effect of stress on brain gray matter volume and, if so, which brain regions mediate the effect of this gene-environment interaction on ADHD severity. Method: Structural MRI, 5-HTTLPR genotype, and stress exposure questionnaire data were available for 701 adolescents and young adults participating in the multicenter ADHD cohort NeuroIMAGE study (from 385 families; 291 with ADHD, 78 with subthreshold ADHD, 332 healthy comparison subjects; 55.8% male; average age: 17.0 years). ADHD symptom count was determined through multi-informant questionnaires. For the analysis, a whole-brain voxel-based morphometry approach was combined with mediation analysis. Results: Stress exposure was associated with significantly less gray matter volume in the precentral gyrus, middle and superior frontal gyri, frontal pole, and cingulate gyrus in S-allele carriers compared with participants homozygous for the L-allele. The association of this gene-environment interaction with ADHD symptom count was mediated by gray matter volume in the frontal pole and anterior cingulate gyrus. Conclusions: 5-HTTLPR genotype moderates the effect of stress on brain regions involved in social cognitive processing and cognitive control. Specifically, regions important for cognitive control link this gene-environment interaction to ADHD severity.

      Matthews, Rick; Dwyer, Chrissa (2013)
      The central nervous system (CNS) is extraordinarily complex in both structure and function. The neural extracellular matrix (ECM) is one of the key classes ofmolecules that regulates thedevelopment of the CNS and maintains its structure and function in the adult.Thereby understanding the function of the neural ECMis key to understanding the CNS. The neural ECM is composed of several nervous-system specificproteins, which are hypothesized to uniquely contribute to the defining physiological functions of the CNS. However,work in this area has been hindered by the highly complex molecular properties of the neural ECM, which stem from alterations in expressionand modifications (resulting from glycosylation and proteolytic cleavage) of its constituents. Further defining mechanisms that alter the expression and modifications of neural ECM constituents are critical to fully understanding its complex array of functions. Often in neuropathologies, the neural ECM undergoes dynamic changes providing a valuable tool to further understand its function andthe opportunity to explore its contribution to disease pathology and utility as a therapeutic target. The work presented herein investigates the role of altered expression of the nervous-system specific ECM constituent, Brain Enriched Hyaluronan Binding (BEHAB)/ brevican(B/b), in glioma,and altered glycosylation of the nervous system enriched ECM constituent, RPTPζ/phosphacan, in O-mannosylrelated congenital muscular dystrophies (CMDs). Our work suggests that increased expression of B/b in the glioma tumor microenvironment (TEM) contributes to the pathological progression of these tumors, and reducing its expression is a valuable therapeutic strategy. Additionally, our work evaluates the transcriptional regulatory mechanisms leading to increases inB/b expression in glioma and highlights the potential value of these mechanisms as therapeutic targets. Our work also identifies the absence of O-mannosyl linked carbohydrates on RPTPζ/phosphacan in the brains of CMD models and suggests that altered glycosylation of RPTPζ/phosphacan may have a role in the neuropathologies underlying these disorders. Overall this work provides valuable insight intothe molecular complexities of the neural ECM stemming from changes in the expression and glycosylation of its constituents and furthers our understanding of its function in the normal CNS and in neuropathologies.
    • Bundling of cytoskeletal actin by the formin FMNL1 contributes to celladhesion and migration

      Blystone, Scott; Miller, Eric (2018)
      Metastasis is one of the leading causes of death in the world, affecting thousands every year. This is especially true of breast cancer, which can often result in the formation of secondary metastatic sites in the lung, liver, and bone marrow. There are many aspects to metastasis and an innumerable amount of molecular, biochemical, and cellular interactions contribute to its pathology. The ability of primary tumor cells to disseminate from the primary tumor, degrade the basement membrane, invade through the ECM, and eventually intravasate across the endothelial cell lining of the circulatory system or lymphatics requires a plethora of proteins, all working together in concert to achieve this. Nowhere in the cell is this more apparent than the actin cytoskeleton.Locomotion of cells requires several alterations in the actin cytoskeleton component of the cellular machinery. Generally speaking, cells must be able to polarize, form protrusions, adhere to the substratum, translocate, and then retract their tail, repeating this process as they continue to navigate to their destination. While there are many underlying aspects to this activity, spatiotemporal rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton are key to the successful cellular motility. The mechanics behind dynamic actin cytoskeletal modifications are varied and complex, demonstrating the requirement for a variety of actin-associated, regulatory proteins.A crucial family of proteins involved in this process is the formin family of proteins. Formins are a relatively “new” group of actin modifiers which possess the unique ability to modify and generate linear actin filaments. While the members of this protein family all share some of the same actin modifying processes, many of these proteins also have functions exclusive to themselves. As a result, research into this field has blossomed and several novel features of different formins have been identified. Furthermore, alternative splice isoforms of several formins are often expressed in a variety of cell types, with specific functions attributed to each.The formin FMNL1 was originally identified in cells of a myeloid lineage and for many years was mostly thought to be involved in leukocyte adhesion and migration. Indeed, our lab has characterized many of the functions of this protein in both human and murine macrophages. However, as a result of the work in this dissertation, we have generated sufficient evidence suggesting that FMNL1 not only plays a role in breast cancer migration, but also exhibits functions unique to a specific alternative splice isoform of this protein.Our work on FMNL1 has pushed the field of study into this protein family in new directions. Herein, we have demonstrated that all three alternative splice isoforms of FMNL1 are expressed in a variety of cell types and the FMNL1ɣalternative splice isoform distinguishes itself from these isoforms via its ability to bundle linear actin filaments. Additionally, our data indicates that this is accomplished independently of the trademark FH2 domain, often thought to be the essential component of all formins. More specifically, we have identified a unique amino acid sequence in the C-terminal region of this isoform that most likely regulates this function. As a result, we have not only identified a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of metastasis via inhibition of cellular locomotion, but also pushed the field of formin research into a novel direction by providing insight which may foster new hypotheses and challenge classical theories regarding the relationship between formins and actin.
    • CAG-Repeat length in exon 1 of KCNN3 does not influence risk for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder: A meta-analysis of association studies

      Glatt, Stephen J.; Faraone, Stephen V.; Tsuang, Ming T. (Wiley, 2003-07-30)
      Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder both showsomeevidence for genetic anticipation. In addition, significant expansion of anonymous CAG repeats throughout the genome has been detected in both of these disorders. The gene KCNN3, which codes for a small/ intermediate conductance, calcium-regulated potassium channel, contains a highly polymorphic CAG-repeat array in exon 1. Initial evidence for association of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder with increased CAG-repeat length of KCNN3 has not been consistently replicated. In the present study, we performed several metaanalyses to evaluate the pooled evidence for association with CAG-repeat length of KCNN3 derived from case-control and family-based studies of both disorders. Each group of studies was analyzed under two models, including a test for direct association with repeat length, and a test for association with dichotomized repeat-length groups. No evidence for a linear relationship between disease risk and repeat length was observed, as all pooled odds ratios approximated 1.0. Results of dichotomized allelegroup analyses were more variable, especially for schizophrenia, where case-control studies found a significant association with longer repeats but family-based studies implicated shorter alleles. The results of these meta-analyses demonstrate that the risks for both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are largely, if not entirely, independent of CAG-repeat length in exon 1 of KCNN3. This study cannot exclude the possibility that some aspect of this polymorphism, such as repeat-length disparity in heterozygotes, influences risk for these disorders. Further, it remains unknown if this polymorphism, or one in linkage disequilibrium with it, contributes to some distinct feature of the disorder, such as symptom severity or anticipation.
    • Can sodium/hydrogen exchange inhibitors be repositioned for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? An in silico approach

      Faraone, Stephen V.; Zhang-James, Yanli (Wiley, 2013-10-17)
      Medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are only partially effective. Ideally, new treatment targets would derive from a known pathophysiology. Such data are not available for ADHD. We combine evidence for new etiologic pathways with bioinformatics data to assess the possibility that existing drugs might be repositioning for treating ADHD. We use this approach to determine if prior data implicating the sodium/hydrogen exchanger 9 gene (SLC9A9) in ADHD implicate sodium/hydrogen exchange (NHE) inhibitors as potential treatments. We assessed the potential for repositioning by assessing the similarity of drug–protein binding profiles between NHE inhibitors and drugs known to treat ADHD using the Drug Repositioning and Adverse Reaction via Chemical–Protein Interactome server. NHE9 shows a high degree of amino acid similarity between NHE inhibitor sensitive NHEs in the region of the NHE inhibitor recognition site defined for NHE1. We found high correlations in drug–protein binding profiles among most ADHD drugs. The drug–protein binding profiles of some NHE inhibitors were highly correlated with ADHD drugs whereas the profiles for a control set of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were not. Further experimental work should evaluate if NHE inhibitors are suitable for treating ADHD. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

      Winslow, Gary; Levack, Russell (2020)
      CD11c+ T-bet+ B cells serve crucial roles in both protective immunity and autoimmunity.However, the ontogeny of these cells remains unclear, and strategies to target them in vivo have yet to be identified. Here, we demonstrate that developing CD11c+ T-bet+ B cells received help in the form of IL-21, IFN-γ, and CD40L from a population ofT follicular helper 1(TFH1)cells outside of formal germinal centers (GC). These TFH1cells provided help to developing CD11c+ T-bet+ B cells in two distinct phases: IFN-gwas provided early following infection, and CD40L was provided later. Unlike the TFH1cells, CD11c+ T-bet+ B cells required the GC-associated transcription factor Bcl-6 for their development, but not T-bet. While the CD11c+ B cells that arose in the absence of T-bet appeared nearly identical to their T-bet-competent counterparts,they did not switch to IgG2c. These data support a model where, in the absence of formal GCs, TFH1cells provide GC-like help to developing CD11c+ T-bet+ B cells and while T-bet is not required for the development of these T-bet+ B cells,it is required for appropriate class-switch recombination (CSR). Our work also demonstrates that mature CD11c+ T-bet+ B cells, which arise in both immunity and autoimmunity,wereeliminated following treatment with the adenosine 2a receptor (A2aR) agonist CGS-21680. Depletion of these CD11c+ T-bet+ B cells occurred in a B cell-intrinsic manner and was corelated with improved disease outcome in a mouse model of lupus. Preliminary data indicated that human CD11c+ B cells expressed the A2aR,and these cells were depleted following CGS-21680 treatment in vitro, suggesting that A2aR-agonistadministrationmay also be effective in the treatment of human autoimmune diseaseswhere CD11c+ Bcell play a role. Overall, this work provides novel insight into the development of T-bet+ B cells and identifies the first pharmacological approach to target these cells in vivo.
    • Characteristics of Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Plus Substance Use Disorder: The Role of Psychiatric Comorbidity

      Wilens, Timothy E.; Kwon, Anne; Tanguay, Sarah; Chase, Rhea; Moore, Hadley; Faraone, Stephen V.; Biederman, Joseph (Wiley, 2005-01)
      The objective of the study was to investigate the characteristics of adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or substance use disorder (SUD), especially in the context of comorbid psychiatric disorders. Subjects were adults (n ¼ 78) participating in a controlled family study of ADHD and SUD. Four groups were identified based on a diagnosis of ADHD or SUD: ADHD, SUD, ADHDþSUD, and neither ADHD nor SUD. All diagnoses were determined by structured clinical interview for DSM IV. Rates of psychiatric comorbidity were lowest in the controls, intermediate in the ADHD and SUD groups, and highest in the ADHDþSUD group. Relative to controls, the ADHD, SUD, and ADHDþSUD groups had higher rates of major depression (z ¼ 1.98, p ¼ 0.05), conduct disorder (z ¼ 2.0, p ¼ 0.04), antisocial personality disorder (z ¼ 2.6, p ¼ 0.009), agoraphobia (z ¼ 2.5, p ¼ 0.01) and social phobia (z ¼ 2.7, p ¼ 0.007). Higher rates of psychiatric comorbidity, especially mood and anxiety disorders, exist in subjects with SUDþADHD relative to subjects with SUD, ADHD, or controls. Clinicians need to be attentive to other psychiatric disorders that may occur in the large group of adults with ADHDþSUD.
    • Characterization of Hic-5 in Cancer Associated Fibroblasts: A Role in Extracellular Matrix Deposition and Remodeling

      Turner, Christopher; Goreczny, Gregory (2017)
      Hic-5 (TGFβ1i1) is a focal adhesion scaffold protein that has previously been implicated in many cancer-related processes. However, the contribution of Hic-5 during tumor progression has never been evaluated, in vivo. In Chapter 2 of this thesis, I crossed our Hic-5 knockout mouse with the MMTV-PyMT breast tumor mouse model to assess the role of Hic-5 in breast tumorigenesis. Tumors from the Hic-5 -/-;PyMT mouse exhibited an increased latency and reduced tumor growth. Immunohistochemical analysis of the Hic-5 -/-;PyMT tumors revealed that the tumor cells were less proliferative. However isolated tumor cells exhibit no difference in growth rate. Surprisingly, Hic-5 expression was restricted to the tumor stroma. Further analysis showed that Hic-5 regulates Cancer Associated Fibroblast (CAF) contractility and differentiation which resulted in a reduced ability to deposit and reorganize the extracellular matrix (ECM) in two-and three-dimensions. Furthermore, Hic-5 dependent ECM remodeling supported the ability of tumor cells to metastasize and colonize the lungs.The molecular mechanisms by which CAFs mediate ECM remodeling remains incompletely understood. In Chapter 3 of this thesis, I show that Hic-5 is required to generate fibrillar adhesions, which are specialized structures that are critical for the assembly of fibronectin fibers. Hic-5 was found to promote fibrillar adhesion formation through a newly characterized interaction with tensin1, a scaffold protein that binds to β1 integrin and actin. Furthermore, this interaction was mediated by Src-dependent phosphorylation of Hic-5 in two and three-dimensional matrix environments to prevent β1 integrin internalization and subsequent degradation in the lysosome. This work highlights the importance of the focal adhesion protein, Hic-5 during breast tumorigenesis and provides insight into the molecular machinery driving CAF-mediated ECM remodeling.
    • Characterizing the Role of the Epsilon Subunit in Regulation of the Escherichia coli ATP Synthase.

      Duncan, Thomas; Shah, Naman (2015)
      The F-type ATP synthase is a rotary nanomotor central to cellular energy metabolism in almost all living organisms. In bacteria, the enzyme also plays a role in nutrient uptake and pH regulation underlining its importance. All ATP synthases can be inhibited by ADP, whereas in bacteria, the enzyme is alsoautoinhibitedbyits ε subunit. The inhibition involves a drastic conformationa l change of the C-terminal domain of the ε subunit (εCTD)thatblockscatalytic turnover. Thisregulation by ε is believed to play an important role in maintaining viability of the cell. Recent development in the field of antibiotics has validated ATP synthase as a drug target against pathogenic bacteria. Thus, there is a renewed interest in studying the role of the ε subunit in regulation of the enzyme and exploiting it to develop antimicrobials that can kill pathogenic bacteria. The present work describes advances in our understanding of the regulatory interactions of εCTD in E. coli ATP synthase.In the first approach, we used an optical binding assay to understand the transitions of εCTD between its active and inhibitory conformations.Using different ligands we revealedthe relationship between ADP inhibition and ε inhibition. In the second novel approach, the terminal five amino acids of εCTD were deleted to observe the effects on in vivo and in vitro functions of ATP synthase. The results obtained from these studies advance our understanding of εinhibition inbacteria and also provide a noveltarget within bacterial ATP synthase to obtain antibacterial drugs.
    • Charting Neurotypical Change in Complement and Cytokine Levels Across Postnatal Human Cortical Development

      Sager, Rachel (2021-12)
      A burgeoning body of evidence supports a role for immune signals in neurotypical human brain development. Furthermore, associations between neuroinflammation in development and the subsequent increased risk for psychiatric disorders indicate that an excess of immune signaling early in life damages brain function later in life. In this dissertation, I examined the postnatal expression of two major immune signaling families: complement and cytokines; and the relative contributions of neural cell types to the cortical transcriptome. I used high-throughput microarray, quantitative reverse transcription PCR, immunohistochemistry and multiplex immunoassays. I found coordinated increases in glial cell marker, complement, and cytokine transcripts from birth until the typical age of entry into school (age 5). There were two main patterns of change in gene expression encoding immune signals and their receptors: an early postnatal peak in toddlers followed by a decline in expression levels (C1Q, C3, IL-1β, CD11B, IL-1R1, IL-18) and an early postnatal increase in toddlers, followed by additional increases in adolescents and young adults (IL-6, TNF-α). Complement inhibitor mRNAs were also differentially expressed across postnatal human life, increasing before reaching a plateau around school age (CD46, CD55, CR1,) or peaking in young adulthood (SERPING1, CD59). This suggests sustained complement inhibition during adolescence. The multiple cytokine and complement family members that peaked in toddlers suggest a period of dominant immune signaling from age two to five in humans. This may be related to the proliferation or maturation of glia during early postnatal development, whereas the cytokines seen increasing in adolescents and young adults are contemporaneous with periods of proposed increases in synaptic elimination. These findings open up additional avenues of investigation into the role of immune signaling in normal mammalian brain development and support that time periods of normative increases in developmental immune factor signaling overlap with known 'windows of vulnerability' to manifesting autism and schizophrenia.
    • The Chemosensory-­Related Consequences of Fetal Ethanol or Fetal Nicotine Exposure: Their Contribution to Postnatal Nicotine Acceptance

      Youngentob, Steven; MANTELLA, NICOLE (2015)
      Human studies demonstrate a predictive association between gestational exposure to alcohol or nicotine and the probabilityoflater nicotine dependence.The flavor qualitiesof both drugsare known to influencetheir earlyacceptance and they share the perceptual attributesof an aversive odor, bitter taste and oral irritation.This dissertationexamined whether there are chemosensory-­‐related consequences offetal: (1) alcohol exposurethat contribute toenhanced nicotine acceptance; or (2)nicotine exposure that also enhances acceptance. The study rationale was drivenby overlappingliteraturesrelated to: (1) the relationship between gestational exposurewith chemosensory stimuli and their postnatal acceptance; (2) lessons learned from prenatal alcohol exposure and its postnatal consequences; and (3) perceptual commonalities between the flavor of alcohol and nicotine.Alcohol studies: rats were alcohol-­‐exposed during gestationvia the dams’ liquid diet. Control damsreceived ad libaccessto an iso-­‐caloric, iso-­‐nutritive diet. Nicotine studies: dams’ were implanted with a mini-­‐osmotic pump containing nicotine.Control animals received either vehicle only or no pump. Behaviorally, we found that fetal alcohol exposed adolescent rats showed anenhanced nicotine odor
    • Comorbidity of ADHD and adult bipolar disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis

      Schiweck, Carmen; Arteaga-Henriquez, Gara; Aichholzer, Mareike; Edwin Thanarajah, Sharmili; Vargas-Cáceres, Sebastian; Matura, Silke; Grimm, Oliver; Haavik, Jan; Kittel-Schneider, Sarah; Ramos-Quiroga, Josep Antoni; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2021-05)
      Attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Bipolar Disorder (BD) are common mental disorders with a high degree of comorbidity. However, no systematic review with meta-analysis has aimed to quantify the degree of comorbidity between both disorders. To this end we performed a systematic search of the literature in October 2020. In a meta-analysis of 71 studies with 646,766 participants from 18 countries, it was found that about one in thirteen adults with ADHD was also diagnosed with BD (7.95 %; 95 % CI: 5.31-11.06), and nearly one in six adults with BD had ADHD (17.11 %; 95 % CI: 13.05-21.59 %). Substantial heterogeneity of comorbidity rates was present, highlighting the importance of contextual factors: Heterogeneity could partially be explained by diagnostic system, sample size and geographical location. Age of BD onset occurred earlier in patients with comorbid ADHD (3.96 years; 95 % CI: 2.65-5.26, p < 0.001). Cultural and methodological differences deserve attention for evaluating diagnostic criteria and clinicians should be aware of the high comorbidity rates to prevent misdiagnosis and provide optimal care for both disorders.
    • The concept of target features in schizophrenia research

      Tsuang, M. T.; Faraone, Stephen V. (Wiley, 1999-05)
      Target features are clinical or neurobiological characteristics that arc expressions of the underlying predisposition to an illness. They comprise a wide range of phenomena, from thc classic signs and symptoms of psychopathology to sophisticated measures of brain structure and function. For schizophrenia, many target features have been identified. These include eye tracking dysfunction, attentional impairment, allusive thinking, neurological signs, thought disorder, characteristic auditory evoked potentials, neuropsychological impairment, structural brain abnormalities and functional brain abnormalities. In their most pathological forms, thcse features are present among many schizophrenic patients, yet it is their presence among their non-psychotic relatives that shows them to be target features. We discuss the theoretical background for target features, present examples and describe how the discovery of target features has implications I for schizophrenia research.
    • Connexin43 and immunity : macrophage phagocytosis, cardiac calcinosis and autoimmune myocarditis

      Steven Taffet; Aaron Glass (2013)
      Connexin43 (Cx43) is a gap junction protein best known for coupling the cytoplasms of cardiac myocytes and allowing the efficient conduction of action potentials throughout the heart. In addition to the heart, Cx43 is also highly expressed in many immune cells and it has been attributed numerous roles in immunity. One such reported role was in macrophage phagocytosis. The first chapter in this dissertation explored the phagocytic activity of cultured and primary murine macrophages from wild type (WT) and Cx43-deleted (Cx43-/-) macrophages. No difference in phagocytic uptake was observed between the two groups using a series of target particles, indicating that Cx43 is dispensable for phagocytosis in macrophages. Given the spectrum of immune functions in which Cx43 has been ascribed a role, we set out to characterize its effect on a model of autoimmune myocarditis (EAM). Using the area of cardiac inflammatory infiltrate as a correlate of disease severity, we observed the progression of the disease to be independent of Cx43 status utilizing WT and Cx43-heterozygous (Cx43+/-) animals as well as radiation chimeric mice reconstituted with cells from donor WT, Cx43+/- and Cx43-/- mice. Although the severity of EAM did not measurably change when induced in animals with differing levels of Cx43 expression, substantial changes to ventricular Cx43 were noted in diseased hearts. Large foci were observed that completely lacked Cx43 immunofluorescence signal. Areas surrounding these foci exhibited disrupted Cx43 patterns such as internalization and lateralization. Similar alterations to Cx43 were also observed in the BALB/cByJ strain of laboratory mice that develop a spontaneous myocarditic disease. To investigate the electrophysiological ramifications of EAM, especially in the context of Cx43+/- mice, ECGs were recorded from animals over the course of EAM. Significant changes to the QRS interval were noted, including prolongation that was only observed in Cx43+/- animals.