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Open access

Julia Fedotova, Daria Zarembo, Jozef Dragasek, Martin Caprnda, Peter Kruzliak and Tatyana Dudnichenko

Abstract

Background: Vitamin D can be one of the candidate substances that are used as additional supplementation in the treatment of anxiety-related disorders in women with estrogen imbalance.

Materials and methods: The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of chronic cholecalciferol administration (1.0, 2.5 or 5.0 mg/kg/day, s.c.) on the anxiety-like behavior and monoamines levels in the rat hippocampus following ovariectomy in female rats. Cholecalciferol was given to ovariectomized (OVX) rats and OVX rats treated with 17β-estradiol (17β-E2, 0.5 μg/rat, s.c.). The anxiety-like behavior was assessed in the elevated plus maze (EPM) and the light-dark tests (LDT), locomotor and grooming activities were assessed in the open-field test (OFT).

Results: Cholecalciferol in high doses alone or in combination with 17β-E2-induced anxiolytic-like effects in OVX and OVX rats treated with 17β-E2 as evidenced in the EPM and LDT tests, and increased grooming activity in the OFT test. We found that DA and 5-HT levels increased while 5-HT turnover in the hippocampus decreased in these groups of OVX rats.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that cholecalciferol in high doses has a marked anxiolytic-like effect due to an increase in the monoamines levels in the experimental rat model of estrogen deficiency.

Open access

Julia Martin and Elizabeth Wilcox

Abstract

Polyominoes have been the focus of many recreational and research investigations. In this article, the authors investigate whether a paper cutout of a polyomino can be folded to produce a second polyomino in the same shape as the original, but now with two layers of paper. For the folding, only “corner folds” and “half edge cuts” are allowed, unless the polyomino forms a closed loop, in which case one is allowed to completely cut two squares in the polyomino apart. With this set of allowable moves, the authors present algorithms for folding different types of polyominoes and prove that certain polyominoes can successfully be folded to two layers. The authors also establish that other polyominoes cannot be folded to two layers if only these moves are allowed.

Open access

Delair Silveira Dos Santos, Júlia Vieira Oberger, Rivaldo Niero, Theodoro Wagner, Franco Delle Monache, Alexandre Bella Cruz, Zhelmy Martin-Quintal and Valdir Cechinel Filho

Abstract

This paper describes the seasonal phytochemical variation and the antimicrobial potential of V. zizanioides roots collected in Brazil. Considering the high levels of chemical constituents and their biological activity in dichloromethane fraction, the plants were grown in different seasons and the respective dichloromethane fractions were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The antimicrobial activity was evaluated against several pathogenic microorganisms by determining the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) using the agar dilution method. Yields of dichloromethane fractions from plants collected in the autumn and spring occurred in a higher proportion than in other seasons. Khusimol (2) was isolated by column chromatography and identified by NMR and CG-MS, along with other sesquiterpenes, including β-vetivenene (1), vetiselinenol (3), isovalencenol (4), vetivenic acid (5), α-vetivone (6) and β-vetivone (7). Some extracts showed promising antimicrobial effects, with MICs ranging from 31.25 to 500 μg mL-1. Kushimol was slightly active against the tested microorganisms.

Open access

Alexandra Rohracher, Judith Dobesberger, Claudia A. Granbichler, Julia Höfler, Giorgi Kuchukhidze, Martin Ortler, Iris Unterberger, Gerald Walser, Aljoscha Thomschewski and Eugen Trinka

SUMMARY

Background. Early identification of potential epilepsy surgery candidates is essential to the treatment process.

Aim. To evaluate the clinical applicability of the ILAE definition of drug resistant epilepsy and its potential in identifying surgical candidates earlier compared to three established “older” definitions of drug resistant epilepsy.

Material and Methods. Retrospective analysis of 174 patients who underwent epilepsy surgery between 1998 and 2009. Clinical factors and course of disease were extracted from patients' charts. Drug resistant epilepsy was classified according to four definitions and the time until fulfillment of criteria compared.

Results. Mean time to fulfillment of criteria of drug resistant epilepsy ranged from 11.8 (standard deviation (SD) 9.8) to 15.6 years (SD 11.3). Time to drug resistance was significantly longer applying the only definition, requiring failure of three antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) (Canada definition), whereas time to fulfillment of all other definitions did not differ. Fifty percent of all patients experienced a seizure free period of ≥1 year prior to being classified as drug resistant, 13% entered another 1-year remission after fulfilling any criteria for drug resistance.

Conclusion. We conclude that the ILAE definition identifies drug resistant epilepsy, with similar latency like two of three formerly used definitions. It is an easy applicable tool to minimize the delay of referral to a specialized center. Intermittent remissions delay assessment of drug resistance for all definitions and 13% of patients enter a remission despite established drug resistance.

Open access

Karsta Luettich, Yang Xiang, Anita Iskandar, Alain Sewer, Florian Martin, Marja Talikka, Patrick Vanscheeuwijck, An Berges, Emilija Veljkovic, Ignacio Gonzalez-Suarez, Walter Schlage, Walter Schlage, Julia Hoeng and Manuel Peitsch

ABSTRACT

The A/J mouse is highly susceptible to lung tumor induction and has been widely used as a screening model in carcinogenicity testing and chemoprevention studies. However, the A/J mouse model has several disadvantages. Most notably, it develops lung tumors spontaneously. Moreover, there is a considerable gap in our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of pulmonary chemical carcinogenesis in the A/J mouse. Therefore, we examined the differences between spontaneous and cigarette smokerelated lung tumors in the A/J mouse model using mRNA and microRNA (miRNA) profiling. Male A/J mice were exposed whole-body to mainstream cigarette smoke (MS) for 18 months. Gene expression interaction term analysis of lung tumors and surrounding nontumorous parenchyma samples from animals that were exposed to either 300 mg/m3 MS or sham-exposed to fresh air indicated significant differential expression of 296 genes. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis® (IPA®) indicated an overall suppression of the humoral immune response, which was accompanied by a disruption of sphingolipid and glycosaminoglycan metabolism and a deregulation of potentially oncogenic miRNA in tumors of MS-exposed A/J mice. Thus, we propose that MS exposure leads to severe perturbations in pathways essential for tumor recognition by the immune system, thereby potentiating the ability of tumor cells to escape from immune surveillance. Further, exposure to MS appeared to affect expression of miRNA, which have previously been implicated in carcinogenesis and are thought to contribute to tumor progression. Finally, we identified a 50-gene expression signature and show its utility in distinguishing between cigarette smoke-related and spontaneous lung tumors