Induction of Thoracic Aortic Remodeling by Endothelial-Specific Deletion of MicroRNA-21 in Mice.

Induction of Thoracic Aortic Remodeling by Endothelial-Specific Deletion of MicroRNA-21 in Mice.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e59002
Zhang XY, Shen BR, Zhang YC, Wan XJ, Yao QP, Wu GL, Wang JY, Chen SG, Yan ZQ, Jiang ZL

MicroRNAs (miRs) are known to have an important role in modulating vascular biology. MiR21 was found to be involved in the pathogenesis of proliferative vascular disease. The role of miR21 in endothelial cells (ECs) has well studied in vitro, but the study in vivo remains to be elucidated. In this study, miR21 endothelial-specific knockout mice were generated by Cre/LoxP system. Compared with wild-type mice, the miR21 deletion in ECs resulted in structural and functional remodeling of aorta significantly, such as diastolic pressure dropping, maximal tension depression, endothelium-dependent relaxation impairment, an increase of opening angles and wall-thickness/inner diameter ratio, and compliance decrease, in the miR21 endothelial-specific knockout mice. Furthermore, the miR21 deletion in ECs induced down-regulation of collagen I, collagen III and elastin mRNA and proteins, as well as up-regulation of Smad7 and down-regulation of Smad2/5 in the aorta of miR21 endothelial-specific knockout mice. CTGF and downstream MMP/TIMP changes were also identified to mediate vascular remodeling. The results showed that miR21 is identified as a critical molecule to modulate vascular remodeling, which will help to understand the role of miR21 in vascular biology and the pathogenesis of vascular diseases. HubMed – depression


A biophysical model of endocannabinoid-mediated short term depression in hippocampal inhibition.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e58926
Zachariou M, Alexander SP, Coombes S, Christodoulou C

Memories are believed to be represented in the synaptic pathways of vastly interconnected networks of neurons. The plasticity of synapses, that is, their strengthening and weakening depending on neuronal activity, is believed to be the basis of learning and establishing memories. An increasing number of studies indicate that endocannabinoids have a widespread action on brain function through modulation of synap-tic transmission and plasticity. Recent experimental studies have characterised the role of endocannabinoids in mediating both short- and long-term synaptic plasticity in various brain regions including the hippocampus, a brain region strongly associated with cognitive functions, such as learning and memory. Here, we present a biophysically plausible model of cannabinoid retrograde signalling at the synaptic level and investigate how this signalling mediates depolarisation induced suppression of inhibition (DSI), a prominent form of short-term synaptic depression in inhibitory transmission in hippocampus. The model successfully captures many of the key characteristics of DSI in the hippocampus, as observed experimentally, with a minimal yet sufficient mathematical description of the major signalling molecules and cascades involved. More specifically, this model serves as a framework to test hypotheses on the factors determining the variability of DSI and investigate under which conditions it can be evoked. The model reveals the frequency and duration bands in which the post-synaptic cell can be sufficiently stimulated to elicit DSI. Moreover, the model provides key insights on how the state of the inhibitory cell modulates DSI according to its firing rate and relative timing to the post-synaptic activation. Thus, it provides concrete suggestions to further investigate experimentally how DSI modulates and is modulated by neuronal activity in the brain. Importantly, this model serves as a stepping stone for future deciphering of the role of endocannabinoids in synaptic transmission as a feedback mechanism both at synaptic and network level. HubMed – depression


Iterative cross-correlation analysis of resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging data.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e58653
Yang L, Lin F, Zhou Y, Xu J, Yu C, Pan WJ, Lei H

Seed-based cross-correlation analysis (sCCA) and independent component analysis have been widely employed to extract functional networks from the resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging data. However, the results of sCCA, in terms of both connectivity strength and network topology, can be sensitive to seed selection variations. ICA avoids the potential problems due to seed selection, but choosing which component(s) to represent the network of interest could be subjective and problematic. In this study, we proposed a seed-based iterative cross-correlation analysis (siCCA) method for resting state brain network analysis. The method was applied to extract default mode network (DMN) and stable task control network (STCN) in two independent datasets acquired from normal adults. Compared with the networks obtained by traditional sCCA and ICA, the resting state networks produced by siCCA were found to be highly stable and independent on seed selection. siCCA was used to analyze DMN in first-episode major depressive disorder (MDD) patients. It was found that, in the MDD patients, the volume of DMN negatively correlated with the patients’ social disability screening schedule scores. HubMed – depression


Altered Regional Homogeneity in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder during Manic State: A Resting-State fMRI Study.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e57978
Xiao Q, Zhong Y, Lu D, Gao W, Jiao Q, Lu G, Su L

Pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) is a severely debilitating illness, which is characterized by episodes of mania and depression separated by periods of remission. Previous fMRI studies investigating PBD were mainly task-related. However, little is known about the abnormalities in PBD, especially during resting state. Resting state brain activity measured by fMRI might help to explore neurobiological biomarkers of the disorder.Regional homogeneity (ReHo) was examined with resting-state fMRI (RS-fMRI) on 15 patients with PBD in manic state, with 15 age-and sex-matched healthy youth subjects as controls.Compared with the healthy controls, the patients with PBD showed altered ReHo in the cortical and subcortical structures. The ReHo measurement of the PBD group was negatively correlated with the score of Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) in the superior frontal gyrus. Positive correlations between the ReHo measurement and the score of YMRS were found in the hippocampus and the anterior cingulate cortex in the PBD group.Altered regional brain activity is present in patients with PBD during manic state. This study presents new evidence for abnormal ventral-affective and dorsal-cognitive circuits in PBD during resting state and may add fresh insights into the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying PBD. HubMed – depression



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