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Jul 23, 2013
Fat cells directly sense temperature to activate thermogenesis
[Harvard Medical School] Classic brown fat and inducible beige fat both dissipate chemical energy in the form of heat through the actions of mitochondrial uncoupling protein 1. This nonshivering thermogenesis is crucial for mammals as a defense against cold and obesity/diabetes.
Jul 8, 2013
Mechanism-based corrector combination restores ΔF508-CFTR folding and function.
[McGill University] To better understand the difficulty of looking for a cure, or even effective treatment, one must understand the large and complex nature of the CFTR protein. It is made up of 1,480 amino acids strung together in five three-dimensional strands (called domains) that spin together and fold to act as building blocks for the CFTR protein.
May 8, 2013
Genomic Diversity and Fitness of E. coli Strains Recovered from the Intestinal and Urinary Tracts of Women with Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection
[Washington University in St. Louis] Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in women, and recurrence is a major clinical problem. Most UTIs are caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). UPEC are generally thought to migrate from the gut to the bladder to cause UTI. UPEC form specialized intracellular bacterial communities in the bladder urothelium as part of a pathogenic mechanism to establish a foothold during acute stages of infection. Evolutionarily, such a specific adaptation to the bladder environment would be predicted to result in decreased fitness in other habitats, such as the gut. To examine this prediction, we characterized 45 E. coli strains isolated from the feces and urine of four otherwise healthy women with recurrent UTI.
May 1, 2013
Hypothalamic programming of systemic ageing involving IKK-β, NF-κB and GnRH
[Albert Einstein College of Medicine] While the search continues for the Fountain of Youth, researchers may have found the body’s “fountain of aging”: the brain region known as the hypothalamus. For the first time, scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University report that the hypothalamus of mice controls aging throughout the body. Their discovery of a specific age-related signaling pathway opens up new strategies for combating diseases of old age and extending lifespan.
Apr 4, 2013
Renoprotective effect of combined inhibition of Angiotensin-converting enzyme and histone deacetylase
[Mt. Sinai School of Medicine] The Connectivity Map database contains microarray signatures of gene expression derived from approximately 6000 experiments that examined the effects of approximately 1300 single drugs on several human cancer cell lines. We used these data to prioritize pairs of drugs expected to reverse the changes in gene expression observed in the kidneys of a mouse model of HIV-associated nephropathy (Tg26 mice).
Mar 31, 2013
Recessive mutations in DGKE cause atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome
[Yale University School of Medicine] Pathologic thrombosis is a major cause of mortality. Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) features episodes of small-vessel thrombosis resulting in microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia and renal failure. Atypical HUS (aHUS) can result from genetic or autoimmune factors that lead to pathologic complement cascade activation.
Mar 13, 2013
Differential stem- and progenitor-cell trafficking by prostaglandin E2
[Indiana University School of Medicine] INDIANAPOLIS -- Scientists say that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be a boon to doctors gathering stem cells for transplants to treat patients with blood or bone marrow cancers, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
The compounds, known as NSAIDs and which include aspirin, ibuprofen and other painkillers, increased the number of stem and progenitor cells harvested from the blood in animal testing and a small human study, according to work published online Wednesday in the journal Nature by a research team led by Indiana University School of Medicine scientists.
Mar 7, 2013
High Resolution Helium Ion Scanning Microscopy of the Rat Kidney
[Harvard Medical School] Helium ion scanning microscopy is a novel imaging technology with the potential to provide sub-nanometer resolution images of uncoated biological tissues. So far, however, it has been used mainly in materials science applications. Here, we took advantage of helium ion microscopy to explore the epithelium of the rat kidney with unsurpassed image quality and detail. In addition, we evaluated different tissue preparation methods for their ability to preserve tissue architecture.
Feb 26, 2013
Olfactory receptor responding to gut microbiota-derived signals plays a role in renin secretion and blood pressure regulation
[Johns Hopkins University School of Med] Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University and Yale University have discovered that a specialized receptor, normally found in the nose, is also in blood vessels throughout the body, sensing small molecules created by microbes that line mammalian intestines, and responding to these molecules by increasing blood pressure. The finding suggests that gut bacteria are an integral part of the body’s complex system for maintaining a stable blood pressure.
Jan 10, 2013
How insulin engages its primary binding site on the insulin receptor
[University of Melbourne and Case Western Reserve University] Insulin receptor signalling has a central role in mammalian biology, regulating cellular metabolism, growth, division, differentiation and survival. Insulin resistance contributes to the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus and the onset of Alzheimer's disease; aberrant signalling occurs in diverse cancers, exacerbated by cross-talk with the homologous type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF1R).
Jan 7, 2013
Biguanides suppress hepatic glucagon signalling by decreasing production of cyclic AMP
[University of Pennsylvania] For fifty years, one of the few classes of therapeutics effective in reducing the overactive glucose production associated with diabetes has been the biguanides, which includes metformin, the most frequently prescribed drug for type 2 diabetes. The inability of insulin to keep liver glucose output in check is a major factor in the high blood sugar of type 2 diabetes and other diseases of insulin resistance.