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  Karger Kompass
  [1 followers]  Follow
   Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
   ISSN (Print) 2296-0368 - ISSN (Online) 2296-0317
   Published by Karger Homepage  [101 journals]
  • Testosterone Mediates Seasonal Growth of the Song Control Nuclei in a
           Tropical Bird
    • Abstract: In mid- to high-latitude songbirds, seasonal reproduction is stimulated by increasing day length accompanied by elevated plasma sex steroid levels, increased singing, and growth of the song control nuclei (SCN). Plasticity of the SCN and song behavior are primarily mediated by testosterone (T) and its metabolites in most species studied thus far. However, the majority of bird species are tropical and have less pronounced seasonal reproductive cycles. We have previously documented that equatorial rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) exhibit seasonal neuroplasticity in the SCN. Manipulating T in these birds, however, did not alter singing behavior. In the current study, we investigated whether T mediates plasticity of the SCN in a similar manner to temperate songbirds. In the first experiment, we treated captive male birds with T or blank implants during the nonbreeding season. In a second experiment, we treated captive male birds with either blank implants, T-filled implants, T with flutamide (FLU; an androgen receptor antagonist) or T with FLU and 1,4,6-androstatriene-3,17-dione (ATD; an estrogen synthesis inhibitor) during the breeding season. In both experiments, the volumes of the brain areas high vocal center (HVC), Area X, and robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA) were measured along with singing behavior. In summary, T stimulated growth of HVC and RA, and the combined effect of FLU and ATD reversed this effect in HVC. Area X was not affected by T treatment in either experiment. Neither T-treated birds nor controls sang in captivity during either experiment. Together, these data indicate that T mediates seasonal changes in the HVC and RA of both tropical and higher- latitude bird species even if the environmental signals differ. However, unlike most higher-latitude songbirds, we found no evidence that motivation to sing or growth of Area X are stimulated by T under captive conditions.
      Brain Behav Evol
  • Visual Capability of the Weakly Electric Fish
           Apteronotus albifrons as Revealed by
           a Modified Retinal Flat-Mount Method
    • Abstract: Apteronotus albifrons (Gymnotiformes, Apteronotidae) is well known to have a sophisticated active electrosense system and is commonly described as having poor vision or being almost blind. However, some studies on this species suggest that the visual system may have a role in sensing objects in the environment. In this study, we investigated the visual capabilities of A. albifrons by focusing on eye morphology and retinal ganglion cell distribution. The eyes were almost embedded below the body surface and pigmented dermal tissue covered the peripheral regions of the pupil, limiting the direction of incoming light. The lens was remarkably flattened compared to the almost spherical lenses of other teleosts. The layered structure of the retina was not well delineated and ganglion cells did not form a continuous sheet of cell bodies. A newly modified retinal flat-mount method was applied to reveal the ganglion cell distribution. This method involved postembedding removal of the pigment epithelium of the retina for easier visualization of ganglion cells in small and/or fragile retinal tissues. We found that ganglion cell densities were relatively high in the periphery and highest in the nasal and temporal retina, although specialization was not so high (approx. 3:1) with regard to the medionasal or mediotemporal axis. The estimated highest possible spatial resolving power was around 0.57 and 0.54 cycles/degree in the nasal and temporal retina, respectively, confirming the lower importance of the visual sense in this species. However, considering the hunting nature of A. albifrons, the relatively high acuity of the caudal visual field in combination with electrolocation may well be used to locate prey situated close to the side of the body.
      Brain Behav Evol
  • Unusual Complication of Neglected Hydrocephalus: Spontaneous Rupture with
           Growing Skull Fracture
    • Abstract: Timely management of hydrocephalus in infants is critical as the initial treatment can have lifelong implications for survival and neurological outcome. In the developing countries, grossly enlarged heads are still not an uncommon occurrence. In extreme cases, there may be a spontaneous rupture of hydrocephalus either externally or internally, depending on the status of the sutures. Here, the successful management of a rare complication of spontaneous rupture of hydrocephalus in an infant is discussed. The management of the present case provides a novel approach to deal with this dreaded complication. Though the neurological outcome remains guarded in such cases, they need to be tackled cautiously to address the hydrocephalus and esthetic appearance of the infant.
      Pediatr Neurosurg
  • Prospective Evaluation of a Transfusion Policy of RhD-Positive Red Blood
           Cells into DEL Patients in China
    • Abstract: Background: The D antigen is highly immunogenic, requiring only a small quantity of transfused red blood cells (RBCs) to cause alloimmunization in D- immunocompetent recipients. DEL was reported arousing alloimmunization to true Rh- patients. Molecular studies of the RHD gene have revealed that DEL individuals retain a grossly intact RHD gene or have a portion of RHD in their genomes. Avoiding immunization with clinically important antibodies is a primary objective in transfusion medicine. Methods: In order to determine whether pregnant DEL women carrying an RhD+ fetus are at risk of anti-D alloimmunization, 808 Rh- pregnant women with a history of gestations or parturitions who regularly visited hospitals for their prenatal anti-D screening and postpartum care from January 2011 to December 2012 were investigated. Samples were analyzed for DEL by PCR with specific primers, PCR-sequence-specific primers (PCR-SSP), reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR), PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP), and by gene sequencing to characterize different alleles. Results: Among the 808 Rh- pregnant women of our sample, 178 (22.0%) were typed as DEL; 168 DEL samples were confirmed to have the RHD (1,227 G>A) allele, 8 DEL samples were characterized by one base mutation of the RHD (3G >A) allele, and the remaining two DEL samples were determined to carry RHD-CE(4-9)-D or RHD-CE(2-5)-D. The observation of allo-anti-D in two prominent D epitope loss cases confirmed the partial nature of these DEL phenotypes. Conclusions: In conclusion, evidence is provided that different DEL genotypes code either for partial or complete D antigen expression. It is suggested that the use of RhD+ RBCs in complete D antigen DEL patients does not induce adverse reaction.
      Transfus Med Hemother
  • Monitoring of Hematopoietic Chimerism by Real-Time Quantitative PCR of
           Micro Insertions/Deletions in Samples with Low DNA Quantities
    • Abstract: Background: Sensitive and accurate methods to detect hematopoietic chimerism after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) are essential to evaluate engraftment and to monitor response to therapeutic procedures such as donor lymphocyte infusion. Continuous long-term follow up, however, requires large amounts of pre-HSCT samples limiting the application of many widely used techniques for sensitive chimerism monitoring. Methods: DNAs from 42 normal healthy donors and 16 HSCT donor/recipient pairs were employed to validate the use of allele-specific insertion/deletion (indel) quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to quantify chimerism in samples with low amounts of DNA. Consequently, indel-qPCR analyses of samples from 16 HSCT patients were compared to short-tandem repeat (STR) specific PCR analyses. Results: Typing with reduced amounts of input DNA (15 vs. 60 ng) allowed for the reliable distinction of positive (mean threshold cycle (ct) 28.05) and negative (ct >36) signals. The high informativity of primer/probe sets, with 12 out of 19 markers exceeding 20% informativity, was confirmed in our cohort (n = 74). Importantly, a fourfold reduction of input DNA compared to published protocols did not alter PCR efficiencies and allowed for a more sensitive detection of chimerism in 7 of 16 HSCT patients compared to results obtained by STR-PCR. Conclusions: Our data suggest that indel-qPCR is a more sensitive technique for the detection of hematopoietic chimerism compared to STR-PCR and works efficiently for samples with low amounts of DNA.
      Transfus Med Hemother
  • A Unique Case Involving a Female Patient with Upshaw-Schulman Syndrome:
           Low Titers of Antibodies against ADAMTS13 prior to Pregnancy Disappeared
           after Successful Delivery
    • Abstract: Background: Upshaw-Schulman syndrome (USS) is usually suspected based on severe deficiency of ADAMTS13 activity without ADAMTS13 antibody, but the definitive diagnosis is made by ADAMTS13 gene analysis. We present a unique case of USS with low titers of ADAMTS13 antibodies before pregnancy. Interestingly, titers of ADAMTS13 antibodies decreased to almost undetectable levels after delivery. Case Report: In patient LL4, the diagnosis of USS was confirmed at age 27 by ADAMTS13 gene analysis. She became pregnant at age 30. During the pregnancy, she received regular fresh frozen plasma (FFP) infusion. Plasma von Willebrand factor levels increase as pregnancy progresses. To prevent platelet thrombi, much more ADAMTS13 supplementation is necessary during late gestation in patients with USS. Therefore, we shortened the interval between and increased the volume of FFP infusions as pregnancy progressed. At 39 weeks, she delivered a healthy baby girl. Before pregnancy, she had low titers of both neutralizing and binding anti-ADAMTS13 antibodies. Despite frequent FFP infusions, titers of the antibodies did not increase, but rather decreased to almost undetectable levels during pregnancy. Conclusion: Both the neutralizing and binding antibodies against ADAMTS13 decreased to almost undetectable levels after delivery in this patient, which can be caused by an immunological reset.
      Transfus Med Hemother
  • Impact of Prophylactic Mastectomy in
           BRCA1/2 Mutation Carriers
    • Abstract: Unlike the general decrease in invasive oncologic care, the trend for prophylactic bilateral mastectomy in healthy women and prophylactic contralateral mastectomy in women with unilateral breast cancer is steadily rising. This is even more surprising when considering that for e.g. prophylactic contralateral mastectomy no clear survival benefit has been demonstrated so far. The decision-making process around risk-reducing surgery may be influenced by several conflicting parameters such as the patient's fears and desire to achieve a survival advantage, the surgeon's financial motivations, or the oncologist's paternalistic approach to the above trend. Physicians should support their patients throughout the decision-making process, guide them through the dense fog of information, and encourage them to reconsider all options and alternatives before embarking on an irreversible surgical intervention. Healthy and diseased women should be comprehensively informed about their absolute individual risks for cancer, the benefits and harms of the surgery, alternative preventive strategies, and last but not least the competing risks of preceding carcinomas and cancer in general. Within the framework of non-directive counseling in the specialized centers of the German Consortium for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (GC-HBOC), decision-making aids are being developed with grants from the Federal Ministry of Health and the German Cancer Aid to support women in making conclusive and satisfactory decisions.
      Breast Care 2014;9:385-389
  • Reproduction and Breast Cancer Risk
    • Abstract: Reproduction is doubtlessly one of the main biological meanings of life. It is therefore not surprising that various aspects of reproduction impact on breast cancer risk. Various developmental levels may become targets of breast tumorigenesis. This review follows the chronologic sequence of events in the life of a female at risk, starting with the intrauterine development. Furthermore, the influence of both contraceptive measures and fertility treatment on breast cancer development is dealt with, as well as various pregnancy-associated factors, events, and perinatal outcomes. Finally, the contribution of breast feeding to a reduced breast cancer risk is discussed.
      Breast Care 2014;9:398-405
  • Effect of Intravitreal Bevacizumab Injection before Ahmed Glaucoma Valve
           Implantation in Neovascular Glaucoma
    • Abstract: Ophthalmologica 2013;229:94–100
  • Long-Term Outcome of Polymyositis Treated with High Single-Dose
           Alternate-Day Prednisolone Therapy
    • Abstract: Eur Neurol 2012;68:117–121
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