Rehab Centers: Opening of Astrocytic Mitochondrial ATP-Sensitive Potassium Channels Upregulates Electrical Coupling Between Hippocampal Astrocytes in Rat Brain Slices.

Opening of Astrocytic Mitochondrial ATP-Sensitive Potassium Channels Upregulates Electrical Coupling between Hippocampal Astrocytes in Rat Brain Slices.

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PLoS One. 2013; 8(2): e56605
Wang J, Li Z, Feng M, Ren K, Shen G, Zhao C, Jin X, Jiang K

Astrocytes form extensive intercellular networks through gap junctions to support both biochemical and electrical coupling between adjacent cells. ATP-sensitive K(+) (K(ATP)) channels couple cell metabolic state to membrane excitability and are enriched in glial cells. Activation of astrocytic mitochondrial K(ATP) (mitoK(ATP)) channel regulates certain astrocytic functions. However, less is known about its impact on electrical coupling between directly coupled astrocytes ex vivo. By using dual patch clamp recording, we found that activation of mitoK(ATP) channel increased the electrical coupling ratio in brain slices. The electrical coupling ratio started to increase 3 min after exposure to Diazoxide, a mitoK(ATP) channel activator, peaked at 5 min, and maintained its level with little adaptation until the end of the 10-min treatment. Blocking the mitoK(ATP) channel with 5-hydroxydecanoate, inhibited electrical coupling immediately, and by 10-min, the ratio dropped by 71% of the initial level. Activation of mitoK(ATP) channel also decreased the latency time of the transjunctional currents by 50%. The increase in the coupling ratio resulting from the activation of the mitoK(ATP) channel in a single astrocyte was further potentiated by the concurrent inhibiting of the channel on the recipient astrocyte. Furthermore, Meclofenamic acid, a gap-junction inhibitor which completely blocked the tracer coupling, hardly reversed the impact of mitoK(ATP) channel’s activation on electrical coupling (by 7%). The level of mitochondrial Connexin43, a gap junctional subunit, significantly increased by 70% in astrocytes after 10-min Diazoxide treatment. Phospho-ERK signals were detected in Connexin43 immunoprecipitates in the Diazoxide-treated astrocytes, but not untreated control samples. Finally, inhibiting ERK could attenuate the effects of Diazoxide on electrical coupling by 61%. These findings demonstrate that activation of astrocytic mitoK(ATP) channel upregulates electrical coupling between hippocampal astrocytes ex vivo. In addition, this effect is mainly via up-regulation of the Connexin43-constituted gap junction coupling by an ERK-dependent mechanism in the mitochondria.
HubMed – rehab


Linguistic evidence supports date for Homeric epics.

Filed under: Rehab Centers

Bioessays. 2013 Feb 18;
Altschuler EL, Calude AS, Meade A, Pagel M

The Homeric epics are among the greatest masterpieces of literature, but when they were produced is not known with certainty. Here we apply evolutionary-linguistic phylogenetic statistical methods to differences in Homeric, Modern Greek and ancient Hittite vocabulary items to estimate a date of approximately 710-760 BCE for these great works. Our analysis compared a common set of vocabulary items among the three pairs of languages, recording for each item whether the words in the two languages were cognate – derived from a shared ancestral word – or not. We then used a likelihood-based Markov chain Monte Carlo procedure to estimate the most probable times in years separating these languages given the percentage of words they shared, combined with knowledge of the rates at which different words change. Our date for the epics is in close agreement with historians’ and classicists’ beliefs derived from historical and archaeological sources.
HubMed – rehab


Return to work after treatment for primary breast cancer over a 6-year period: results from a prospective study comparing patients with the general population.

Filed under: Rehab Centers

Support Care Cancer. 2013 Feb 16;
Noeres D, Park-Simon TW, Grabow J, Sperlich S, Koch-Gießelmann H, Jaunzeme J, Geyer S

PURPOSE: Only little research has been conducted on breast cancer survivors returning to work in Germany. This paper explores two questions: (1) Does breast cancer lead to an increased drop-out of paid work? (2) Do other factors, apart from their illness, help explain breast cancer survivors’ (temporary) retirement from work? To the best of our knowledge, this is the first comparative and prospective study on breast cancer survivors returning to work in Germany. We consider this work to be a relevant research for three reasons: (1) It exceeds the observation period of previous international studies by another 3 years. (2) By including the comparison with a population sample, it allows to take the specific situation of breast cancer patients into account. This refers to their illness as well as to the socio-economic context. (3) It combines qualitative and quantitative methods in order to receive patients’ individual interpretations. METHODS: The analysis is based on a sample of 227 breast cancer patients, participating in a prospective study on the role of psychosocial factors in the long-term course of breast cancer and a random sample of 647 age-matched women living in northern Germany. Employment and demographic data were observed directly before primary surgery (2002-2004), 1 year later (2003-2005) and again 5 years later (2008-2010). In addition, qualitative interviews at the three different observations served as a basis for quantitative data analyses, which were mainly performed by logistic regression models. RESULTS: One year after primary surgery, nearly three times as many cancer survivors had left their job as compared to the women in the reference group. For breast cancer survivors, a lower level of education, part-time employment, the severity of work-related difficulties and participation in inpatient rehabilitation correlated significantly with the failure to return to work. Six years after surgery, the probability of returning to work was still only half as high among breast cancer survivors than among controls. The main predictor for not returning to work was found to be age; tumour stage and the severity of side effects of treatment also seemed to have an impact. CONCLUSIONS: Breast cancer survivorship in Germany increases the risk of dropping out of paid work. The influence of work- and illness-related factors varies considerably between the early and late phases of recovery after breast cancer treatment. The comparative analysis demonstrates the relevance of labour market and pension legislation in Germany.
HubMed – rehab



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