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Faculty of Life Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: RESOLFT super-resolution microscopy allows subdiffraction resolution imaging of living cells using low intensities of light. It relies on the light-driven switching of reversible switch-able fluorescent proteins (RSFPs). So far, RESOLFT imaging was restricted to living cells, because chemical fixation typically affects the switching characteristics of RSFPs. In this study we created a fusion construct (FLASR) consisting of the RSFP rsEGFP2 and the diva-lent form of the antibody binding Z domain from protein A. FLASR can be used analogous to secondary antibodies in conventional immunochemistry, facilitating simple and robust sample preparation. We demonstrate RESOLFT super-resolution microscopy on chemically fixed mammalian cells. The approach may be extended to other super-resolution approaches requiring fluorescent proteins in an aqueous environment.
    PLoS ONE 09/2015; 10(9). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0136233
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Gender plays a role in the development of a number of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and it has been suggested that females may be more insulin resistant in utero. We sought to assess the relationship between infant gender and insulin resistance in a large pregnancy cohort. Study design: This is a secondary analysis of a cohort from the ROLO randomized control trial of low GI diet in pregnancy. Serum insulin, glucose and leptin were measured in early pregnancy and at 28 weeks. At delivery cord blood C-peptide and leptin were measured. A comparison of maternal factors, fetal biometry, insulin resistance and leptin was made between male and female offspring. A multivariate regression model was built to account for the possible effects of maternal BMI, birthweight and original study group assignment on findings. Results: A total of 582 women were included in this secondary analysis, of whom 304 (52.2%) gave birth to male and 278 (47.8%) gave birth to female infants. Compared to male infants at birth, female infants were significantly lighter, (3945 ± 436 vs. 4081± 549g, p<0.001), shorter in length (52.36 ± 2.3 vs. 53.05 ± 2.4cm, p<0.001) and with smaller head circumferences (35.36 ± 1.5 vs. 36.10 ± 1.1cm, p<0.001) than males. On multiple regression analysis, women pregnant with female fetuses were less insulin resistant in early pregnancy, i.e. had lower HOMA indices (B = -0.19, p = 0.01). Additionally female fetuses had higher concentrations of both cord blood leptin and C-peptide at birth when compared to male offspring (B = 0.38, p<0.001 and B = 0.31, p = 0.03 respectively). Conclusion: These findings suggest gender is a risk factor for insulin resistance in-utero. Additionally, carrying a female fetus decreases the risk of insulin resistance in the mother, from as early as the first trimester.
    PLoS ONE 09/2015; 10(9):e0137215. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0137215
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    ABSTRACT: Small arteries are known to develop functional and structural alterations in hypertension. However, the mechanisms of this remodeling are not fully understood. We hypothesized that altered gene expression is associated with the development of hypertension in mesenteric arteries of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Three sublines of SHR and normotensive Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY) were studied at 6 weeks and 5 months of age. MiRNA and mRNA microarray experiments were performed and analyzed with bioinformatical tools, including Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). Principal component analysis showed a clear separation in both miRNA and mRNA expression levels between both ages studied, demonstrating strong age-related changes in expression. At the miRNA level, IPA identified differences between SHR and WKY related to metabolic diseases, cellular growth, and proliferation. The mRNAs differentially expressed between SHR and WKY were related to metabolism, cellular movement and proliferation. The most strongly upregulated gene (9.2-fold) was thrombospondin 4 (Thbs4), a protein involved in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response that activates transcription factor 6α (ATF6α). ATF6α downstream targets were also differentially expressed in SHR vs. WKY. Differential expression of THBS4, the cleaved form of ATF6α, and two of its targets were further confirmed at the protein level by western blot. In summary, these data revealed a number of genes (n = 202) and miRNAs (n = 3) in mesenteric arteries of SHR that had not been related to hypertension previously. The most prominent of these, Thbs4, is related to vascular ER stress that is associated with hypertension.
    PLoS ONE 09/2015; 10(9):e0137027. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0137027


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Respiratory research 02/2006; 7(1):31. DOI:10.1186/1465-9921-7-31
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